First Look: Nitto Ridge Grappler Off-Road Tire

Jun. 01, 2016 By Josh Burns, Photos by Josh Burns and Courtesy of Nitto Tire
Nitto just unveiled an all-new off-road tire, the Ridge Grappler.

We were pleasantly surprised to see a package show up at our doorstep recently - four tires wrapped in cloak-and-dagger black plastic. Tearing them apart like a 5-year-old kid on Christmas morning, we were excited to uncover four of Nitto’s newest off-road tire, the Ridge Grappler.

We were a little surprised when we first heard Nitto was producing yet another off-road tire, considering the company recently released two new truck and SUV tires toward the end of 2014 in the Terra Grappler G2 and Exo Grappler AWT. Neither the G2 or Exo AWT are going anywhere, as both have been great tires for Nitto. The Ridge Grappler, however, will represent an entirely new tire option for Nitto that’s more of a hybrid between an all-terrain and mud tire.

We've only had the Ridge Grappler tire on our truck for a few days, but we can already note it is surprisingly quieter than the Exo Grappler AWT.

A quick look at Nitto’s current options gives a little insight into where the Ridge Grappler fits in. The Terra Grappler G2 will still serve as Nitto’s mass appeal all-terrain tire, offering quiet on-road operation and plenty of grip for weekend warriors. The Exo Grappler AWT aims at providing great all-weather performance for truck and SUV owners in a tread pattern with wider lugs and a little more off-road “bite” than the G2.

There will be limited size offerings when the Ridge Grappler is first launched next month, but we're told many more sizes are to follow soon.

The all-new Ridge Grappler fits in with the growing trend of off-road tires that pairs aggressive tread in a design that is designed to provide relatively quiet on-road operation. The Ridge Grappler also stands out with an aggressive, meaty sidewall design featuring lugs that wrap from the tread deep into the center of the sidewall.

We have a set of Nitto Ridge Grapplers already installed on our truck, and although we only have a few hundred miles on them so far we are confident in reporting the tires are actually quieter than the Exo AWT tires, which is a bit of a shocker because they look far more aggressive. Nitto representatives actually tell us that the Ridge Grappler’s tread pattern has been in development for nearly four years, and the company is now unveiling the tire because they feel it meets the demand of truck and SUV owners looking for more off-road performance but aren’t willing to sacrifice on-road performance and a quiet ride. It's worth noting as well that Nitto will offer an F load range in the tire in certain sizes, which is unique in the growing hybrid tire segment. Eventually, Nitto will offer a total of 30 sizes in the Ridge Grappler fitting a range of wheels from 17 to 22 inches.

Like Nitto’s other truck and SUV tire options, there are two different sidewall designs on each side of the tire, though on the Ridge Grappler they both look relatively similar. The Nitto Ridge Grappler will makes its way into stores July 2016, but there will be very limited sizes when first unveiled.

Those sizes first available in July 2016 are as follows:

LT285/70R17 C 116/113Q
LT285/70R17 E 121/118Q
37x12.50R17LT D 124Q
37x12.50R20LT E 126Q
35x12.50R22LT F 121Q

A much broader size offering will be available soon to fit most truck and SUVs, though Nitto has yet to announce exactly when those will be available. Those additional size offerings can be found here:

LT265/70R17 E 121/118Q
LT285/75R17 C 117/114Q
LT285/75R17 E 121/118Q
LT295/70R17 E 121/118Q
LT305/70R17 E 121/118Q
33x12.50R17LT E 120Q
35x12.50R17LT E 121Q
LT275/65R18 E 123/120Q
LT275/70R18 E 125/122Q
LT285/65R18 E 125/122Q
LT295/70R18 E 129/126Q
33x12.50R18LT F 122Q
35x12.50R18LT F 128Q
37x12.50R18LT E 128Q
LT275/65R20 E 126/123Q
LT295/55R20 E 123/120Q
LT295/60R20 E 126/123Q
LT295/65R20 E 129/126Q
LT305/55R20 F 125/122Q
33x12.50R20LT F 119Q
35x11.50R20LT E 124Q
35x12.50R20LT F 125Q
35x13.50R20LT F 126Q
33x12.50R22LT F 114Q
37x12.50R22LT F 127Q

We’ve had so little time on the tires that we have little to report at this point, but be sure to check back soon for an in-depth review of the off-road and on-road performance of Nitto’s Ridge Grappler.

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