The Best Tires for Gravel Roads
Gravel roads are hard on tires, so if you’re running on gravel a lot you’ll need a tire that can withstand a high level of torture.
Not only can gravel create excess friction on a tire’s tread and cause it to wear quickly, the sharp edges cut and chip the tread surface, while small stones can get lodged in between the tread blocks too. When this happens, it creates uneven wear on the tire, causing it to wear even faster. Plus, getting gravel stuck in the tread also impacts the tire’s ability to grip, both off-road and on-road too.
So for those who pack a lot of miles on, on gravel roads, we’ve assembled our top picks in the conventional all-season category as well as when it comes to more off-road-focused all-terrain tires.
Best All-Season Tires for Gravel Roads
Cooper Discoverer Enduramax
A newer tire on the market, the Enduramax is designed as highway tire that’s also built to be extremely rugged. It’s ideal for those who spend a lot of time on bad roads, or who drive on gravel a lot.
Essentially Cooper has integrated more all-terrain tire features into a conventional all-season design.
Built for crossovers, SUVs and pickup trucks, it makes use of Cooper’s Durable Tread Technology with a compound that resists cuts and chips.
Internally, Cooper’s Armor Belt Technology includes the sort of steel belts normally reserved for light truck tires, to maintain its shape over prolonged use on poor roads.
At the same time it’s quiet on-road and handles quite well on wet roads too. Plus, it’s certified for true winter use as well and comes with the three-peak mountain snowflake logo on its sidewall.
This is a tire that, on paper, doesn’t seem like the best offering, but in real life, and for those who drive on gravel a lot, it really shines.
General Grabber HTS60
Looking more like an all-terrain tire than a conventional all-season tire, the General Grabber HTS60 is built to handle tough conditions without wearing down. Plus, it’s designed to offer the sort of comfort and performance you’d expect from an all-season.
The tread design offers a nice planted highway feel and responsive turn-in with a strong center rib, while reinforced shoulders help with steady cornering.
The tread compound is more durable than conventional all-season and is designed to withstand cuts and chips and hold up to off-road use use, which is not common for a highway-focused tire.
All this and it comes with a length 65,000 mile warranty, while on-road it’s still quiet and comfortable. Oh, and it’s pretty affordable too.
Michelin Defender LTX MS
Always a top pick for any list of truck or SUV tires, the Defender LTX MS stands out for a few reasons.
The tire is made to hold up better during severe use, meaning it’ll last a long time if you don’t abuse it. Plus, it will last a long time even if you do.
It makes use of Michelin’s Evertread compound which is designed to withstand abuse longer. The physical construction of the tread is also designed to better distribute acceleration, braking and cornering forces of large, high-torque vehicles – another reason it is able to maintain its grip over time.
Plus as an added benefit, the heavy siping on these tires makes them over-perform when it comes to wintry conditions. They’re still only certified as all-season tires, but they grip better than most in snow.
Firestone Transforce HT2
This highway terrain tire takes a unique path, combining conventional all-season attributes with those of a rugged commercial tire. As a result, it’s definitely well-suited to handling miles of gravel roads and a lot worse.
Recently improved, a new tread compound is better designed to resist the cuts and chips that gravel roads can result in. Plus, it’s built to offer this same level of durability when carrying heavy payloads or towing.
Despite it’s rugged nature, highway driving is quite civilized and it’s more responsive than you’ll find in a lot of tires that are designed for harsher conditions.
One big down-side of this tire is the lack of a mileage guarantee from the manufacturer. That said, expect to get around 50,000 miles to a set. That’s not a lot by modern standards, but when you factor in the affordable price, it’s an attractive offer.
The other down side is that owners complain it’s not good in the snow, so we’d only recommend this more affordable option if you live in a warmer climate.
Best All-Terrain Tires for Gravel Roads
BFGoodrich All-Terrain TA KO2
We sometimes get sick of recommending these BFGs so often, but there’s not much we can do when they make a tire this good.
This second generation of the tire is built with a new compound that BFG claims will last twice as long on gravel roads. The tread design also plays a major part, with interlocking tread blocks and plenty of void space for impressive off-road grip. Plus, stone-ejectors force out gravel caught in the tread which can not only reduce traction but lead to premature wear.
Most versions come with a 3-ply sidewall and the tire now also comes certified with the three-peak mountain snowflake logo, identifying it’s true winter capability.
The treadwear rating is on the low side at just 50,000 miles, but don’t let that fool you. BFG has built this tire for serious off-road use and it’s designed to hit that mileage target with plenty of abuse.
Of note, BFG does also offer a DT version of this tire for larger pickup trucks. These versions are not winter-rated but they do offer an even higher level of durability on gravel roads, as well as a higher tolerance for the torque loads of bigger trucks.
Goodyear Wrangler All Terrain Adventure with Kevlar
Durability is key when it comes to all-terrain tires and especially when it comes to packing on the miles on gravel roads.
Goodyear engineered the tread compound to be particularly long lasting. An additional level of side-puncture protection comes from the Durawall Technology, wth an extra layer of protection.
But the truly unique feature is the DuPont Kevlar layer built into the tread casing, which gives added structural rigidity and amazing protection against stone-drilling.
Plus, opt for the load range E tires and they come with thicker Pro-Grade steel belts with two layers of Kevlar. (Most Load Range E tires also come certified for true winter use).
Goodyear Wrangler Duratrac
Seriously hard-core tires designed for commercial use, the Wrangler DuraTrac is trusted by those who work hard outdoors and who need a tire that can keep up.
The tread compound is extremely durable and is built not only to resists chipping and chunking, but to do so under heavy loads. It’s made for hard off-road use where there’s towing or heavy payloads involved.
Approaching a mud-terrain tire when it comes to capability, there’s a huge amount of voice space to help in loose earth and mud too. The tread block also feature stepped edges, which help force stones caught in the tread out.
Most versions of the tire are three-peak mountain snowflake (3PMSF) certified, while most are also designed to accept optional #16 metal studs for even more winter traction.
Bridgestone Dueler AT Revo 3
Continental Terrain Contact AT