We are witnesses of an unprecedented rise in the popularity of vehicles that are positioned high from the ground. It seems that there is more choice in this sector than in cars that sit lower to the ground - SUVs, trucks, crossovers, CUVs, crossover-coupes, etc.
Many people buy these vehicles for the roomy interiors, but some of them want the added all-terrain functionality. Normally, a car that sits farther from the ground will be better for driving on uneven surfaces, taking you to places that a normal vehicle can’t.
That said, not many SUVs and crossovers are equipped for off-road driving from the factory. Most of them come with touring tires, which are designed primarily for street driving or highway tires, which add higher load ratings.
Now, it’s true that these tires can be used for driving over lighter terrain but put them into mud or over large rocks, and they will quickly lose traction. If you want to take your vehicle to the next level when it comes to off-road traction, you want all-terrain tires.
These tires are specifically designed to give you a combination of safe and reliable street performance, and advanced off-road traction. The best all terrain tires should provide you with responsive everyday drive, yet give you enough off-road traction, even in the most slippery conditions.
Of course, you can get better on-road performance from a set of touring or highway tires, or better off-road traction from a set of mud-terrain or maximum traction off-road tires. However, none of them will give you the combination that a true all-terrain tire will.
If that was enough to convince you to purchase all-terrain tires for your vehicle, you are just at the right place. In our “Top 10 best all terrain tires available in 2021” article, we will give you a list of our favorite tires for SUVs and trucks, and also crossovers. Here, we value safe on-road driving, useful off-road traction, tolerable street comfort, and, of course, price.
For those of you in a hurry, our choice for the best all terrain tires are the BFGoodrich All-Terrain T/A KO2
Before we jump to our list, though, be noted that we also prepared a short buying guide down below. There, we will explain the qualities of all-terrain tires, so you can decide whether they fit your driving style.
Many people often opt for all-terrain tires just because they look more aggressive, only to be disappointed by some of their traits later. These tires cost a lot of money, especially for a set of four. That’s why we strongly recommend reading through that part if you aren’t sure about purchasing these tires.
- The 10 Best All Terrain Tires Available in 2020
- 1. Goodyear Wrangler All-Terrain Adventure with Kevlar
- 2. BFGoodrich All-Terrain T/A KO2
- 3. Mickey Thompson Baja ATZ P3
- 4. Kumho Road Venture AT51
- 5. Falken Wildpeak AT3W
- 6. Michelin LTX A/T 2
- 7. Continental TerrainContact A/T
- 8. Bridgestone Dueler A/T Revo 3
- 9. Hankook Dynapro AT-M
- 10. Cooper Discoverer AT3 XLT
- Buying Guide For Best All Terrain Tires
- Final Words
The 10 Best All Terrain Tires Available in 2020
Best All-Terrain Tires for Off-Roading
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The Wrangler family of tires is perhaps the most popular among off-roaders, and for several reasons. This, of course, includes the all-terrain model, which is our favorite on the market right now.
Thanks to Durawall Technology, the “Wrangler All-Terrain Adventure with Kevlar” is the toughest all-terrain tire on the market right now. You can use these tires on hardpacked surfaces for prolonged periods of time, without worrying about damaging the tread.
Goodyear covers the Wrangler with a 60,000-mile treadwear warranty, which only confirms that you’re dealing with a high-quality product. The Wrangler is exceptional when it comes to performance as well. For off-roading, the tire is super-usable over gravel, dirt, grass, and even mud.
Unlike many of its competitors, the Wrangler also works on the street, both on dry and wet surfaces. Snow traction is among the best as well, while the ride quality is plush.
That said, the tread pattern on the Wrangler doesn’t work very well on sand, and it produces slightly more noise on the highway than we would’ve liked.
BFGoodrich is another manufacturer that’s very well-received in the off-road community. The All-Terrain T/A KO2 is perhaps the biggest reason for that. Despite the fact that this tire is older than most of the competition, it still offers outstanding performance across the range.
For off-roading, you’d be hard-pressed to find a better all-terrain tire. Thanks to the race-derived technology in the KO2, there is traction on every surface you encounter, including rocky surfaces and mud. Moreover, the Sidewall Armor adds extra durability and loose object rejection for added peace of mind.
On the road, the KO2 handles as good as it gets from such an aggressive all-terrain tire. Highway stability is excellent, and the tires feel very responsive in the corners. Traction and grip are good for the class, both on dry and wet surfaces. Furthermore, traction and braking on snow are excellent, while the 50,000-mile treadwear warranty is among the longest in the category. With that said, the KO2 can be pretty noisy on the highway.
Mickey Thompson is a company that specializes in off-road tires, offering high-quality products for real enthusiasts. The Baja ATZ P3 is one of their best all-terrain tires, primarily because it works on every surface.
With a set of these tires, you can confidently attack hardpacked surfaces, such as dirt and gravel, rocky terrain, mud, and even sand. Oh, and thanks to the Powerply 3-Ply sidewall construction for sidewall protection, the Baja ATZ P3 can take a lot of beating without getting damaged.
On the road, the Baja works very well, providing the driver with excellent stability and high levels of grip and traction. Wet performance is also very good, but sadly, snow traction trails behind the best in the business.
Also, Mickey Thompson provides a 45,000-mile treadwear warranty on the Baja ATZ P3, which is slightly lower than the class-leading tires.
Kumho’s all-terrain offering is very popular among budget-minded buyers. Despite the lower price point than many of the premium competitors, this tire surprises with its excellent performance across the range.
For off-roading, you’d be hard-pressed to find a lot of tires that will fare better. The AT51 works outstandingly well on hardpacked surfaces, such as dirt and gravel. You can expect advanced traction on rocky surfaces, as well as mud. However, we found that the AT51 doesn’t offer reliable traction in deep mud.
On the road, the AT51 performs admirably, but short of the best in the category. Still, it is completely safe, both on dry and wet surfaces. Moreover, we found that it works tremendously well on snowy surfaces.
That said, the Road Venture AT51 doesn’t ride very smoothly on the road, and it’s not very quiet either.
The Wildpeak AT3W has the deepest tread in the all-terrain category, which obviously translates into excellent off-road traction. Falken’s all-terrain product is supremely usable on hardpacked surfaces, but also deep mud, rocky terrain, and even sand. In some ways, this tire is similar to real off-road tires.
Moreover, the Wildpeak AT3W is very strong and durable. Falken provides a 55,000-mile treadwear warranty, which is outstanding for the price.
On the road, the Wildpeak AT3W performs safely, both on dry and wet surfaces. The highway stability is excellent as well – you will feel completely in control behind the wheel. Thanks to the aggressive tread pattern with a lot of siping, this tire also works in snowy conditions very well.
That said, noise is an issue, especially on the highway.
Best All-Terrain Tires for Street
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Michelin isn’t always the first company that comes to mind when you think about off-roading. However, they are still the most famous tire maker among those that seek high-quality tires.
The LTX A/T 2 is their all-terrain offering, designed for larger trucks and SUVs. For off-roading, the tire performs outstandingly well on hardpacked surfaces, where it provides the driver with responsive and grippy performance.
That said, traction in deeper mud or over rocky surfaces is worse than the competition. However, Michelin’s focus was more on the road side of things, where the LTX A/T 2 excels. On the street, this tire provides outstanding performance, both on dry and wet surfaces. Snow traction is outstanding as well, among the best in the category.
Furthermore, this is one of the quietest and most comfortable all-terrain tires we’ve tried, even comparable to some highway tires. Michelin provides a 60,000-mile treadwear warranty on the LTX A/T 2, which confirms its toughness and durability.
Continental also opted for a road-focused tire when they designed the TerrainContact AT. On the street and highway, this tire provides the driver with very high levels of grip and traction, both on dry and wet surfaces. The ride is also very plush, and there is not a lot of noise on the highway.
For off-roading, the TerrainContact performs outstandingly well on dirt and gravel. However, traction in deep mud suffers, and the same can be said for large rocks.
On the positive side, Continental offers an exceptional 60,000-mile treadwear warranty on the tire.
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Bridgestone, also a company that is mostly known for their road tires, opted for a similar strategy with the Dueler A/T Revo 3 as its greatest rivals.
This tire is one of the best all-terrain tires for the street and highway that we’ve tried to date. It is very responsive in the corners and provides high levels of grip and traction in the corners.
On top of that, the Dueler doesn’t produce a lot of noise, and it doesn’t transfer a lot of vibrations inside the cabin. The only gripe we have is the slightly worse snow traction.
For off-roading, the Dueler A/T Revo 3 works tremendously well over dirt and gravel, but it’s not the greatest choice for deep mud. On the positive side, Bridgestone offers an outstanding 60,000-mile treadwear warranty.
Hankook’s offering in the all-terrain category ticks almost all the right boxes. For off-roading, it provides the driver with excellent traction on hardpacked surfaces, such as gravel and dirt. It also works on rocky surfaces and light mud. It suffers in deep mud, though.
On the street, we were impressed by the traction and grip this tire offers, and also by the overall responsiveness. The ride quality is pretty smooth as well, while noise shouldn’t be a very big issue. Snow traction is also good, but not exceptional.
The Dynapro AT-M comes with a 50,000-mile treadwear warranty, which is very good for the price.
The Discoverer AT3 XLT is one of the latest all-terrain tires we tested, and we immediately liked it. We were impressed by the off-road ability on this tire, especially given the fact that it also drives tremendously well on the road.
Sure, the AT3 XLT isn’t the best choice for very deep mud, but that task is hard for most all-terrain tires. Moreover, the performance over hardpacked surfaces is exceptional, while driving on the street feels completely safe.
Another area where the XLT excels is refinement. Thanks to the Whisper GroovesTM, the tire is very quiet on the highway, while offering a smooth ride as well. Cooper also provides a 60,000-mile treadwear warranty, which is one of the best in the business.
Buying Guide For Best All Terrain Tires
1. All-Terrain Tires Advantages
The biggest advantage of all-terrain tires when compared to normal street tires is the advanced off-road capability. Thanks to the aggressive tread pattern with deeper grooves, all-terrain tires have more biting edges for increased traction on slippery surfaces.
All-terrain tires work much better on hardpacked surfaces, such as dirt and gravel. So, if you live in the countryside, these tires will give you a much safer and more responsive drive on those surfaces. Traction over larger rocks and in mud will be much better as well, also thanks to the aggressive tread pattern.
On top of that, all-terrain tires are also made from a tougher and more resilient tread compound. Most of them are cut- and -chip-resistant, which means that the tires won’t be damaged when driving on hardpacked surfaces. Also, many all-terrain tires have a self-cleaning tread pattern with stone ejectors, which further enhances their durability.
Some models are even puncture-resistant, which is a great thing to have for the next off-road adventure. If you use touring or highway tires on the same surfaces, you risk severely damaging the tires.
When it comes to street driving, all-terrain tires generally have better snow traction than touring or highway tires. The deep and aggressive tread pattern works much better on snowy surfaces, especially over unpacked snow.
That said, not every all-terrain tire works tremendously in the snow. Those that have the M+S symbol are usually only adequate for snow driving. Tires that have the 3PMSF (Three-Peak Mountain Snowflake) symbol fare much better over snow, so be sure to purchase such a tire if you live in areas with frequent snow in the winter.
2. All-Terrain Tires Disadvantages
You should expect a much higher number of disadvantages if you opt for all-terrain tires. That’s especially true if you mostly drive on the road, like most people out there.
The most obvious argument against all-terrain tires is noise. Premium manufacturers managed to make all-terrain tires more bearable when it comes to noise, but they are still much louder than touring or highway tires. All-terrain tire noise can be specifically tiring on highways and longer journeys, so make sure that you and the passengers can endure it for longer periods.
The overall performance of your vehicle will also suffer if you opt for all-terrain tires. Usually, these tires are heavier, which might have a negative effect on the acceleration. Also, they are much less responsive, which might make the overall driving experience a tad worse in the corners.
Moreover, all-terrain tires have lower levels of grip and traction on dry surfaces, and they need longer distances to stop from higher speeds. Usually, all-terrain tires aren’t as good on wet pavement as well, with really heavy rain being the only exception.
If you opt for all-terrain tires, it’s almost certain that your SUV or truck will consume more fuel. These tires are not only heavier, but they also possess a higher rolling resistance. You might expect a difference of around 2-3 mpg.
Despite the overall toughness on these tires, they have worse treadlife. Sure, they can take more beating in off-road conditions, but if you mostly use them on the street, you should expect worse treadlife. The treadwear warranties of these tires reflect that – the best all-terrain tires have a 50,000-mile treadwear warranty while touring and highway tires have up to 80,000-mile treadwear warranty.
3. How to Differentiate Between Various All-Terrain Tires?
Unlike touring or highway tires, all-terrain tires often have pretty big differences between them. The term “all-terrain” gives manufacturers a lot of freedom when they design their products. Some of them opt for a more road-focused design, while others opt for better off-road drivability.
Fortunately, you can easily discern between a road-focused and off-road-focused all-terrain tires. If the tires have a more aggressive tread pattern with deep grooves, then they will work much better on slippery off-road surfaces.
Conversely, if the all-terrain tires have a tread pattern that looks less aggressive, chances are they will work much better on the street. These tires will also be quieter – the more aggressive the pattern is, the louder the tires are.
When it comes to snow traction, you should look for small sipes on the tread of the tires. These sipes add more biting edges to the tire, which translates into better traction and braking on snow, but also over ice.
Finally, while most all-terrain tires are tough enough for hauling very heavy cargo or towing large trailers, you should opt for LT-metric tires if you’re into this stuff.
LT-sized tires are designed to withstand much more weight on their shoulders, which makes them an excellent choice for hauling or towing. Also, if you own a full-size truck, then you should only install LT-metric tires.
We are confident that the tires listed above will give you a safe and reliable driving experience, both on the street and for off-roading. Nonetheless, if you just found a great deal on some tires that aren’t listed here, be sure to read our review of the model.
If the review isn’t available, we strongly recommend choosing tires from manufacturers that you fully trust. Very cheap all-terrain tires, often Chinese, don’t offer the marketed performance.
These tires not only lack proper traction for off-roading but aren’t very durable. On some models, even a one-day off-roading session can severely damage the tread. When that happens, the only thing you’re left with is purchasing new tires, which defeats the purpose of the lower price. Moreover, we found that they aren’t very safe to drive on the road, especially on wet pavement.
That’s why we always endorse well-known and proven manufacturers. These companies make a thorough test on every tire they make, which often translates into reliable performance on every type of surface.