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- Excellent cornering stability and traction on a dry surface
- Outstanding wet traction and hydroplaning resistance
- Works well in dirt, sand, and rocks
- Durable-tread technology to prevent tread chipping
- Whisper groves technology for a peaceful and quiet ride
- Does not provide good traction on an icy surface
- Not that good in mud
The demand for all-terrain tires has risen dramatically in recent years. And why not? These tires provide a flexible driving experience both on and off-road. It would be correct to say that these tires combine the tread design of off-road tires with the easy handling of on-road tires.
All-terrain tires can be a good choice for those looking for versatile tires for their SUVs or trucks.
Nowadays, almost all tire manufacturing companies make all-terrain tires – one well-known name is Cooper Discoverer. This American tire brand produces a series of all-season tires.
Discoverer AT3 LT is their well-liked all-terrain tire, designed for heavy hauling. The company claims that the tire provides excellent grip on wet roads and is strong enough to deliver a flexible driving experience on rocky terrains.
Cooper Discoverer further states that AT3 LT tires use durable-tread technology to prevent tire treads against rocks and gravels.
Today, I will review Cooper Discoverer AT3 LT tire to determine if the company lives up to its claims. I will test how this tire performs in different conditions and discuss its various aspects.
So, let’s start this review without further delay.
What are the qualities of the Cooper Discoverer AT3 LT?
If I discuss the features, the first thing that grabs all my attention is durable tread technology. It enables drivers to tackle mud, gravel, and dirt on suburban roads without causing damage to tires. Silica compound and next-generation tread patterns safeguard tires from damage.
Furthermore, Cooper Discoverer AT3 LT tires feature Even Wear Arc Technology that balances the pressure when the tire tread touches the road surface. As a result, drivers get good handling.
In addition to this, the tire uses whisper grooves technology to ensure quiet rides on highways. There are also stone ejector ledges on tires that prevent blowout due to stone drilling.
If I talk about internal construction, the AT3 LT tire consists of a two-ply polyester casing. You get a single-ply above two sturdy steel belts improving durability and handling of tires.
What are the maintenance indicators?
All new tires come with tread wear indicators (TWIs). They show how much of the tire tread has rubbed off and how long it will last. Cooper Discoverer AT3 LT tires have industry-standard TWIs.
The tread on your tires gives your vehicle traction on the road. Additionally, it allows water to come out from beneath tires. Therefore, tires do not glide on the water layer.
Cooper Discoverer AT3 LT tires have tread wear indicators at multiple locations. They look like narrow bars of smooth rubber.
Replace the tire when it has worn down to 1.6 mm (2/32 inches).
The good news is that you would not need to replace your Cooper Discoverer AT3 LT tires soon. The company gives a warranty of 6 years or 60,000 miles on tread wear that seems excellent for trucks and SUVs.
How does the Cooper Discoverer AT3 LT tire perform on a dry tarmac?
Before I go over the performance test of Cooper Discoverer AT3 LT tires on dry tarmac, let me clear that you should not expect them to perform like performance tires.
Remember, all-terrain tires are a blend of off-road and on-road tires. Therefore, they are good on almost all surfaces but not the best.
AT3 LT tires, designed for heavy-duty pickup trucks, perform admirably in dry conditions.
If you look attentively at tread patterns, you will find stone ledges that expel gravel and stones.
While AT3 LT tires do not have aggressive sidewalls as you get in Cooper discoverer’s AT3 XLT tires, they provide decent traction. They give you enough confidence while accelerating and braking on dry terrains.
When I tested these tires in dry conditions, they provided me with a pretty good grip. Moreover, the stopping distance was admirably shorter (at least 1 to 2 feet shorter) than my expectation.
The best part is, tires give low-pressure driving on dry tarmac. I aggressively grazed the sidewall of the tire on the rocky path for almost 40 miles at 19psi. Still, I could not smash the tire.
If you have a heavy-duty truck that you drive on suburban roads having dirt, gravel, and stones, you are good to go with AT3 LT tires. Besides this, they are quiet.
All in all, I am happy with their performance on the dry surfaces. If I have to rate their performance on a scale of 10, I would probably give them 8.9.
How is it over wet and slippery roads?
Like I mentioned above, all-terrain tires provide good traction on different surfaces.
However, they are not suitable for those who drive only on off-roads or highways. Therefore, if you go on wet and slippery roads regularly for miles, it might not be the best option for you.
Drivers who deal with aggressive wet conditions or slippery roads regularly must invest in rain tires.
Since all-terrain tires have distinct tread compounds and tread voids, they are not as good as high-performing winter tires for wet conditions.
However, it does not mean that Cooper Discoverer AT3 LT tires will not give you traction in wet conditions. The AT3 LT tire has well-defined deeper grooves (tread) that provide a decent grip and transmit water very well.
When I drove my vehicle with AT3 LT tires on a wet road, I got an excellent grip. Though I was driving in standing water, I did not experience hydroplaning.
What surprised me the most was that the tires did not lose contact with the road. All credit goes to their wet traction.
So I can confidently state that the tire will perform well even in a heavy rainstorm with a lot of standing water.
However, it is not the replacement for tires specially designed for extreme wet conditions. All-terrain tires come with a non-directional tread pattern. Therefore, they work well on mild slippery roads only. Nevertheless, another tire of this series i.e, Cooper Discoverer AT3 4S is slightly better in wet conditions.
According to the company, the tire stops at least 10 feet shorter on damp roads. And I can say that the company keeps its word.
It is worth mentioning that wet roads might make your stopping distance double. Nevertheless, with AT3 LT tires, the difference would be negligible.
I had remarkable braking experience in wet and slippery conditions. However, due to poor road conditions, my SUVs speed was around 43 mph at the time.
Individuals who drive at high speed may notice a slight increase in stopping distance on wet roads. Maybe when they are at 60 mph or higher.
With that being said, how is it on snowy roads?
It is not easy to drive on icy roads with regular tires. There are special tires for snowy terrains. By special tires I mean, they have different rubber compositions, tread depth, tread pattern, and biting edge.
So will the all-terrain AT3 LT tire perform well on snowy roads?
Despite having a decent tread depth (16.5), AT3 LT tires lack excellent biting edges to hold the road surface in ice. These tires can readily dig through snow, but the rubber material is not flexible enough to provide proper grip.
When I drove them on light snowy roads a couple of times, I found them quite capable. However, things might get a little trickier on icy roads.
In my experience, these tires work outstanding in dirt roads, rain, and highways. However, when it comes to ice, they may get a little shaky if tires have used more than 20 thousand miles.
In short, they are not suitable for snowy roads. You can expect to get good traction in light snow but not in deep snow. Moreover, how much tread is remaining will matter a lot.
If you reside in a region with extreme snow or freezing temperatures, these tires will not give you 100% satisfaction.
For dry conditions, I had rated this tire 8.9 on a scale of 10. This time it is 7.5.
I would say it’s not an excellent tire for icy terrain, but one who has to drive in a snowy region once in a blue moon can use them.
Is it suitable for off-road driving?
AT3 LT tires, like other all-terrain tires, feature enormous block patterns and voids that give a good grip on loose surfaces like pebbles.
As these tires have decent-sized sidewalls, you get good traction on rough roads. There is very little chance for puncture even if the tire hits potholes and pebbles.
Cooper Discoverer AT3 LT tires feature silica-based tread compounds, making them chip resistant. It is another feature making them suitable for light off-road use.
Furthermore, AT3 LT tires are E/10 ply rated. For those who do not know, the ply rating defines how many rubber layers a tire has. Tires with 10 Ply are less likely to blow out soon. Moreover, they improve the hauling capacity of your truck.
Off-road tires can bear sand, dirt, mud, and rock effortlessly. These tires are for those who go out on the jungle trail on their trucks and SUV.
If I share my personal experience, I never got stuck anywhere while using them on mud and dirt. Even on the sandy beach, I could feel that extra traction.
I can say If you spend your time doing off-roading only, do not expect much with this tire. Otherwise, it performs splendidly in less demanding off-road conditions.
Is it comfortable and refined?
Yes, these tires give you a comfortable and refined driving experience on almost all terrains.
As I discussed in the feature section, Cooper Discoverer AT3 LT tires feature even Arc technology. As a result, they let you maintain balanced on-road treadwear and impressive handling.
Cooper Discoverer is quite generous with the tread width. Therefore, on the turns, you get a firm grip.
In addition to this, unlike off-road tires, these tires do not make loud sounds. Cooper Discoverer AT3 LT tires use whisper grooves technology, ensuring a noiseless and peaceful ride.
I found them at least five times quieter than my SUV’s mud tire. All I can say is that the tires handle the ride very well and provide a smooth ride.
Should I buy the Cooper Discoverer AT3 LT?
Cooper Discoverer AT3 LT tires are an ideal investment for people having full-size SUVs or trucks to haul heavy loads. They are robust enough to perform well in all types of terrains.
You can expect to have a firm grip on motorways, suburban roads, and rugged terrains.
The tires will give you the best of both on and off-road. However, you should not expect it to provide results like performance tires.
Remember, performance tires have their downsides. They are not good on regular roads.
So, if you drive on highways and occasionally go off-road or in snowy areas, the Discoverer AT3 LT tires will not disappoint you.
I have driven over 40,000 miles on these tires, and 85 percent of the tread is still left. I have used these tires on nearly every terrain.
These tires come with a treadwear protection warranty of 60,000 miles. Furthermore, you get 45 days test drive guarantee. So I think you shouldn’t hesitate to test them out.
Cooper Discoverer AT3 LT tires are a gem for the drivers of SUVs and pickup trucks. If you haul heavy load trucks on terrains full of dirt and gravel you must put it in your consideration list..