Cooper Discover S/T Maxx Review

Oct. 31, 2011 By Jaime Hernandez

One of the quickest ways to increase your vehicle’s dirt driving performance is by getting a set of quality off-road tires. Not only will they make your 4x4 drive better, but off-road tires will also give you peace of mind when you’re out in the backcountry.

We recently set out to look for new rubber to outfit our off-road adventure rig. We were running an all-terrain-style tire, but we wanted to try something a little more aggressive.  Ideally, we wanted a hybrid of an all-terrain, mud and snow, with well mannered on-road driving characteristics--a tall order for any tire to fill.

Earlier in the year Editor Josh Burns was invited to test Cooper’s new off-road tires at their test facility in Texas. We were so impressed with the review of Cooper Tires’ new off-road additions that when time came, Cooper was a real contender on a list of already tried-and-tested off-road tires.

Cooper Tire Unveils New All-Terrain and Off-Road Tire

The new Cooper Discover S/T Maxx offers a bold design with over 30 years of the Discover off-road tire line to back it up. We ordered a set of 285/75 R16 to test on our 80 Series Toyota Land Cruiser.

Cooper Tires Discover S/T Maxx

Cooper Tires’ next generation Discover offers some impressive features, such as a new proprietary cut-and-chip-resistant tread compound, a proven and reliable three-ply Armor-Tek carcass construction combined with a modern hybrid 4-5 rib tread design and unique tread features.

Jason Smith, shop manager at ORW Escondido, helped us out with the mounting, balancing and installation of our Cooper Discover S/T Maxx tires. They required less than 3 ounces to get a static and dynamic balance, which is impressive.

With an E load rating, the Cooper Discover S/T Maxx is also a great choice for trucks and SUVs that need added load-carrying capacity and safety. In addition, they are mud and snow rated, including studdable lugs for those of you living in snow country.

Before our SUV had even left the shop, we could tell the Cooper Discover S/T Maxx wrapped around TEQ forged wheels had transformed our 4WD into a different machine.

The three-ply Armor-Tek, angled-ply construction absorbs and helps dissipate tire impact forces that can damage a tire in harsh off-road conditions. A patented natural rubber, silica-based compound blend delivers excellent cut and chip resistance on rocky and gravel terrain.
One of our fears of going to a more aggressive tire was road noise. We were pleasantly surprised that the Coopers don’t make any excessive noise, even at highway speed.

With our off-road adventure travels taking us across sandy washes, rocky mining roads, steep climbs, rutted and whooped-out desert roads, and even mud and snow, we needed a tire that could perform flawlessly.

An optimized design of the sidewall area provides additional off-road traction, abrasion and puncture resistance. Its rugged design minimizes the potential for damage due to scrapes and abrasion when used in difficult terrain.

It wasn’t until after taking a trip to the Mojave desert and pushing the Coopers hard over a three-day period that a new gained respect for the tire was fully developed. On the Mojave trail, we encountered sand, mud, rocks, aged railroad ties, and even boulders that smacked our vehicle around like a ping pong ball. The Coopers hardly showed any wear, all while our vehicle blew a shock, broke a mirror and even lost a headlight on the trip. We’re sure glad our tires stayed on and no flats or failures occurred.

We ran the tires at 15 psi off-road on a non-beadlock wheel with no failures over a 100-mile off-road trip. We did not try anything lower than this because getting below the 10 psi range is asking for trouble on a non-beadlock wheel.

Strategically placed ribs within the lateral grooves of the tread design help to discharge stones and resist stone drilling. Sipping on the thread design also works well to self-clean after going through muddy terrain.

On pavement, dirt, rock, sand and mud, the Coopers have not let us down.

To and from the trail, the Coopers roll right along. Although it seems a little heavier than the competition for a comparable size, we haven’t noticed any real decrease in MPG jumping from an all-terrain design to this more aggressive thread.

On wet surfaces, the tire does handle great. It gives the driver a sense of confidence while on the road. 

We have not had the opportunity to do any snow driving yet, but winter is around the corner and we are ready. We’re confident that the rubber silica blend compound will aid in giving traction in wet snow, with added traction in deeper powder thanks to the 4-5 rib and void thread design.

We’ve mounted, driven, and even blown some tires in our lifetime – enough to be able to tell the difference between real performance tires and impostors. We can tell you the new Cooper Discover S/T Maxx is the real deal for trucks that get dirty.

If you’re looking for a quality off-road tire that can handle the dirt, yet keep an adaptable street performance on hand, then this is your tire. It’s not too extreme for daily driving, and just right for an adventure rig. 

Our only complaint is that they don’t offer larger sizes than a 33-inch.  Maybe once enough demand builds behind this tire, the sizes will come. We’ll keep our fingers crossed.

If you’re in the market for new off-road tires and need something that can realistically be daily driven, make sure to check out the Cooper Discover S/T Maxx. If this tire seems a little too aggressive, or not aggressive enough, then check out other models in the Discover line ranging from all-terrain to mud-terrain tires.

Tire Tested: Cooper Discover S/T Maxx LT285/75R16
Overall Diameter: 33.1 in.
Type: Radial
Load range: E
Max Load: 3,750 lb
Sidewall Construction: 3-ply poly
Tread Construction: 1-ply nylon, 2-ply steel, 2-ply poly
Approved Rim Width: 7-9 in.
Tread Depth: 18.5/32 in.
Tread Width: 9.3 in.
Section Width: 11.5 in.
Weight: 61 lb.

Available Sizes:
LT 225/75 R16 E
LT 235/85 R16 E
LT 265/70 R17 E
LT 275/ 70 R18 E
LT 285/70 R17 E
LT 285/ 75 R16 E


Cooper Tires

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