Choosing the best off road tires for your truck or Jeep means finding the right tires for your needs. This article looks at some of our favorites.
Whether you’re a hard core off-roader, or a casual enthusiast looking for optimal traction for the conditions you get into, there is an off-road tire for your truck or SUV that fits your needs perfectly. But with such a wide selection, how do you choose which is best for you?
For many of us who own trucks and SUVs, the real fun begins where the road ends. We willingly give up the smoother, quieter ride on pavement for the added traction and durability found in today’s best off road tires. Whether you’re slinging mud and slop with a smile on your face, inching slowly up a slick rock face, or simply winding your way along a wooded two-track to a secluded spot for some rest and relaxation, picking the right tire for your vehicle is vital and a great way to personalize your ride. We have gathered up our picks for the 10 best off road tires for your truck or SUV, along with some reasons why we picked them.
What is the best all-terrain tire?
All-terrain tires work well for many types of terrains, just as the title implies. They have closer tread patterns for pavement use, and generally will wear better than most other off road tires. They will do well in harder conditions, but because of the closer tread patterns, will not perform like a mud tire will in extreme mud conditions. These types of tires are often siped for icy and slick conditions, too, and make a great choice for the casual off-roader, or the serious off-road driver that also hits the pavement a lot. The best all-terrain tire is one that wears well and is made by a company that stands behind it. One of the best going is the BFG All-Terrain A/T KO2.
Table of contents
- 1. Editor's Pick: BF Goodrich All-Terrain T/A KO2
- 2. Dick Cepek Trail Country EXP
- 3. Toyo Open Country R/T
- 4. Nitto Ridge Grappler
- 5. Fury Off-Road Country Hunter M/T
- 6. Pro Comp Xtreme M/T 2
- 7. Maxxis Creepy Crawler
- 8. Goodyear Wrangler MT/R with Kevlar
- 9. Mickey Thompson Baja Claw TTC
- 10. Super Swamper IROK Bias
- What is a mud terrain tire?
- What kind of off road tires are best for your vehicle?
- What features do you want in an off road tire?
- How important is the sidewall design of an off-road tire?
1. Editor's Pick: BF Goodrich All-Terrain T/A KO2
Probably the most widely used off-road tire going, the BFGoodrich All-Terrain T/A KO2 easily makes our list of the best off road tires by being an extremely tough, durable tire that works very well in a wide range of situations. These tires also have excellent road manners as well, making them a great choice for your truck or SUV that doubles as your daily driver. The latest version, the KO2, got a 20-percent tougher sidewall that really helps a critical area for off-road use. Anyone who has ever dealt with a sidewall puncture knows how much fun it isn’t. The BFG is available in just about every size imaginable, giving you the option of getting a great off-road tire for almost any application. The KO2s have generous siping blocks that interlock for traction on slick surfaces like rocks, or icy pavement. If we’re talking pure off-road our Editor’s Choice would have been different, however we felt this tire deserves the title as the best all-around option out there.
The BF Goodrich All-Terrain T/A KO2 also received a positive review on tirereviewsandmore.com
2. Dick Cepek Trail Country EXP
The Trail Country EXP from Dick Cepek is an interesting tire for off-road use. It combines elements from a mud tire, an all-terrain tire and a tire suitable for pavement, all into a really solid performing off-road tire that won’t beat you up driving down the road. The interlocking center tread has deep lugs that are closely spaced, giving you a bigger footprint on pavement and hard-pack terrain, like rocks, or wooded trails. The outer edge of the tread is more blocky and open, to give better traction in muddy and snowy conditions, making this hybrid off-road tire a great choice for the truck or SUV owner looking for a little more aggressive tire that still handles well on the roads. The tread pattern has stone ejector ribs to help dislodge stones before they damage the tire. Another great all-purpose, off-road tire.
3. Toyo Open Country R/T
Toyo makes some legendary off road tires and their new Open Country R/T (Rugged Terrain) is gaining a solid reputation as a great off-road tire with decent on-road manners. While not quite as aggressive as a mud-terrain tire, the R/T definitely hooks up thanks to deep, self-cleaning tread. Toyo went a slightly different route than the competition, having more open tread in the middle of the tire, with a stiff, block tread on the outer edges to give the tire s stiff sidewall. Textured sidewall tread helps pull you out of ruts while adding an added layer of protection against sidewall punctures. The R/T is a great, well-mannered off-road tire that will not disappoint.
Read the Toyo Open Country R/T review at tirereviewsandmore.com
4. Nitto Ridge Grappler
The Nitto Ridge Grappler was designed to be a mud-terrain tire that won’t beat you up on the road. This tire has deep, self-cleaning tread with directional chevron patterns and siping for added traction on slick surfaces. It would serve as a great tire for enthusiasts wanting to get back into some extreme terrain, and still have a good tire on the road. A tough tire, the Ridge Grappler would be a great choice for driving in heavy dirt and rocky terrain. The real star of the show is the sidewalls. The heavy tread on the edges wraps around, giving you great sidewall traction, perfect for pulling out of a deep rut. This is another tough tire that resists punctures and, combined with everything else, makes it an easy choice for our list of the best off road tires.
5. Fury Off-Road Country Hunter M/T
The Country Hunter M/T tire from Fury Off-Road Tires is a new design that offers a great all-around mud-terrain tread pattern with solid pavement manners, too. What helps set the Fury apart is the availability of sizes for larger-diameter wheels, making this a great choice for trucks and SUVs with rims up to 28-inches in diameter, something that isn’t always easy to find. It has deep lugs, with good sidewall tread for any terrain condition, and siping for slick conditions, too. The tread is also designed to not beat up your ears when driving at highway speeds, a nice touch. For those looking for a great off-road tire for big rims, the Fury is a great choice.
6. Pro Comp Xtreme M/T 2
The latest version of the Pro Comp Mud Terrain tire, the M/T 2 is a great off-road tire choice for serious wheeling. Deep, self-cleaning lugs will help dig through the muck and slop, while also digging in on rocks and other terrain. These tires have a stiff bead, with a well-protected sidewall that will still flex, helping you get more traction. The bead holds even when aired down significantly, letting you drop the pressure down to extreme levels when you need the extra bite. Decent sidewall tread helps pull you up out of ruts, too. This is a great mud-terrain off-road tire for the money.
7. Maxxis Creepy Crawler
Maxxis is one of the biggest tire manufacturers going because of the diversity of products they offer. Well-known among the ATV crowd, Maxxis makes some of the most aggressive rubber for your truck or SUV that you can find. One of the best off road tires from Maxxis is the Creepy Crawler. Not just a catchy name, the Creepy Crawler is a great tire for crawling over rocks, through the mud or anywhere else normal drivers would fear to tread. Another tire that you can lower the air pressure way down and not worry about it popping off the bead, the Crawler has some serious sidewall tread, giving it added protection and grip. Anyone who knows Maxxis, knows they produce some of the toughest tires ever. The Crawler is one of them, and is an amazing choice for a serious off-road tire for the hard-core enthusiast.
See what tirereviewsandmore.com had to say about the Maxxis Creepy Crawler
8. Goodyear Wrangler MT/R with Kevlar
The Goodyear Wrangler MT/R was a pretty decent off-road tire, but they improved it a while ago with the addition of Kevlar woven into the tire carcass, making it seriously resistant to punctures. The only downfall to that is, it’s a little stiffer in the sidewall area for some off-road conditions, but airing it down a few times breaks the tire in and turns it into a great off-road tire. The asymmetrical tread patterns gives you excellent with deep, self-cleaning outer lugs and a denser strip to the inside of the tire, that gives it better road wear and reduces noise. Directional tread, including sidewall tread helps dig you out of tough spots on the trail. Great grip and good wear makes this one of the best off road tires for your truck or SUV from Goodyear.
9. Mickey Thompson Baja Claw TTC
The original Baja Claw tire is one of the most well regarded and and best off road tires going, and the Baja Claw TTC improves on the legend, making it one of the aggressive tires for extreme traction conditions. The 23-degree angled, directional tread extends along the sidewall for aggressive grip on rocks, in mud, snow and sand, and just about anywhere else. Radial construction gives it decent road manners, but let’s be real – this is a tire that was made for places unpaved and untamed. Mud scoops clear the tread of mud and gunk, while siping and T6 compound in the tread itself gives outstanding traction on slick surfaces. The sidewall is extremely puncture resistant while allowing for maximum flex. Ready to challenge your driving skills? The Baja Claw is ready to do it’s part.
10. Super Swamper IROK Bias
If we’re going to talk about extreme terrain off road tires, we need to talk about Super Swamper. But how do you pick just one tire from all the different tires they offer? It was hard, but we have to recommend the IROK. This beast is about as good as it gets for extreme traction conditions in mud, snow and hard-core rock crawling. It has the three-stage lug design that Swampers are known for, with scooped lugs for extra bite in the mud and excellent cleaning. Molded blades and siping help grip in the slickest terrain and added protection in the sidewalls make these really tough tires too. Being a bias tire, instead of radial, it isn’t a great tire for pavement, as it will wear quickly and be a bit rough going down the road. But seriously – Who is buying Swampers for going down the road?
What is a mud terrain tire?
A mud terrain tire has big, deep lugs with plenty of open space between those lugs to help get traction in deep mud, snow and other nasty terrain. They also work well for rock crawling and other extreme conditions. When properly constructed for pavement use, too, a mud-terrain tire works fine for every day driving too, but know that they are often going to wear faster and create more noise on the pavement due to the open design.
What kind of off road tires are best for your vehicle?
So after seeing all of the best off road tires…how do you pick the right one for you? It’s not as hard as it might seem. You really need to know the type of terrain your going to be driving in the majority of the time. The all-terrain-type tires will generally give you better on-road handling than say a mud-terrain tire. Does that come at a cost? Yes, there is a slight loss of traction compared to a more aggressive tire. But if we’re talking about your daily driver, how often are you driving off-road?
The mud and more extreme terrain tires are going to wear quicker and create more road noise, too. When you add in the cost often associated with bigger, more aggressive tires, it really makes you take a long hard look at what you’re going to be doing. Yes, that set of Super Swampers is going to look amazing on your truck, but if you’re replacing them every year because they’re wearing down on your commute to work every day, maybe you’d be better served by a set of BFG All-Terrains?
What features do you want in an off road tire?
Knowing what to look for in an off road tire is another thing to decide. If you’re driving in a lot of mud and slop, you want a tread pattern that is open, with deep lugs that will grip and scoop the mud away from the tire. If you drive in serious mud a lot, look at a narrower tire, too, so it cuts down on floatation. If you ever see swamp buggies, they have extremely narrow tires, to cut through the mud quicker. If you’re into rock crawling, a wider tire that gives you more contact with the surface is in order.
Slippery conditions, including wet pavement, rocks or especially ice, calls for siping. Siping is the thin grooves you see cut into the tread blocks of the tires. These grooves give the tire more bite and flex on these slippery surfaces. If you live in areas where the roads get slippery often during the winter months, a tire with siping is a must. If you don’t, chances are good that you’ll do some unexpected off-road driving as you head into the ditch.
How important is the sidewall design of an off-road tire?
Sidewalls are a vital part of the tire, and most serious off-road drivers look for tires with a decent amount of sidewall. The key is flex. If the tire has sidewall flex, it lets the tire, when aired down to a lower pressure, grip the surface better. This is critical when negotiating rocks, and why so many rock crawlers use beadlock rims, so they can run the minimum pressure possible and still keep the tire inflated. This helps is sand and snow, too, as it lets the tire spread and grip.
Sidewall flex can create another issue, though, that is addressed by the best off road tires. A sidewall puncture or pinch flat is the bane of the off-road driver’s world. Pinch flats happen when your low tire pressure causes the tire to wedge into a sharp edge of a rock, and the resulting pinch splits the rubber. They are almost impossible to patch correctly, and can ruin your day very fast. To combat this, the best off road tires have additional tread on the sidewall that adds a level of protection against punctures and pinches, while giving additional traction, which can help pull you out of a rut.
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Updated 8/18/2021: Updated product descriptions, CTA, added Additional Resources