From time to time, this website will assemble a comparison of evenly-matched tires to help you make an informed buying decision. Given the mission of our site, and the preferences of our readers, they’ll often be tires that can get you into (and out of) obstacles on the mighty Moab. Pricing information is not featured in this series, thanks to a constantly fluid rebate system and the ability of retailers to set their own margins. Shop around, kids. In this post we will look at the Nitto Ridge Grappler and Toyo Open Country R/T.
According to the manufacturer, the Nitto Ridge Grappler represents the next generation of the Grappler tire family. As for the Toyo Open Country R/T, Toyo says it meshes the capability of a mud-terrain with the comfort of an all-terrain.
Both of these tires are designed to work well on trucks that are used for daily drivers and don’t shy away from off-road duty when the weekend calls.
Who They’re For
Nitto says the Ridge Grappler Light Truck tire provides the best of both worlds from mud- and all-terrain product offerings. Its tread pattern is described as a hybrid style, combining a comfortable on-road ride with the deep and aggressive sidewall lugs with a tread pattern to provide capable off-road performance.
In the other corner, we find the Toyo Open Country R/T. Marketed as an on-/off-road rugged terrain tire, it is said to have the ability to tackle mud and rocks like its Open Country M/T brother while delivering a quiet ride in the vein of its Open Country A/T/ II cousin. Toyo credits the off-road traction to a durable 3-ply polyester construction.
Both of them, then, are targeted at drivers who want an aggressive-looking tire that’ll get them into and out of tight (read: fun) places, but not beat them up on the way back to town.
A reinforced block foundation adds rigidity to the tread blocks of the Nitto Ridge Grappler, reducing flex and helping to quash that squishy feeling one gets when wheeling tires like this on dry pavement. Shoulder grooves are arranged in alternating widths and lengths to clear out mud and maintain traction. Those shoulders also have staggered lugs and stone ejectors reside in the grooves.
Open, scalloped shoulder blocks on the Toyo Open Country R/T are said to improve off-road traction by enhancing grip in snow, sand, and mud. Open channels out through the shoulder should evacuate that sticky mud out the sides once your speed increases. There are also stone and mud ejectors to help force gunk out of the grooves.
Often a part of the tire few people think about until there is a rock or stick jutting out of it, the Ridge Grappler’s sidewall – like all Grapplers – two bold and distinct sidewall designs. One side features a traditional pattern of rectangle blocks while the other side features a more aggressive design that looks not unlike the Transformers logo. That sound you hear is Michael Bay picking up the phone.
The Open Country R/T also has two different sidewall designs but they are far more similar to each other than those found on the Nitto. Still, it’s nice to have the choice. A durable sidewall compound is said to enhance traction in low inflation situations and offer an extra dose of side impact protection.
Note that not all Nitto Ridge Grappler models are LT tires, meaning some have tread depth measurement of about 13.5 versus 16.4 on the more stout light truck rated rubber. All of the Toyo Open Country R/T models are also LT tires, but their tread depth can be deeper than that found on the Nittos, with the flotation sizes checking in at an 18.9 measure.
If you’re new to the LT- vs P-tire system, know that they are some significant differences. P-metric rubber (generally designed for passenger vehicles) and LT-metric tires (rubber with thicker tread intended for truck duty) are not necessarily interchangeable. P-metric and LT-metric tires follow different load and inflation tables and are designed to carry different loads at different pressures. Check your manual, in other words.
The Nitto Ridge Grappler is available in a very wide range of sizes, from 265/70R16 all the way up to a bro-tastic 38×13/50R24. In fact, no fewer than 87 different measurements are available, with a full 51 of those in the popular 18- and 20-inch range, which makes up the meat of today’s truck marketplace.
As for the Toyo Open Country R/T, it offers 46 different sizes; the smallest of which is a diminutive 31×10.50R15. However, this does mean that those of us running older trucks with stock(ish) sized wheels can play with these tires. The largest size in this range? A healthy 37×13.50R22.
Which One For You
As always, a verdict like this comes down to a myriad decisions, not the least of which includes of styling preferences and availability of sizes. Both are targeted at customers who don’t want to mount the most extreme off-road tires on their vehicle, meaning the rig is likely bound for daily driver duty in addition to the occasional blast at the off-road park. Shop carefully, read the reviews, and make an informed decision.
We are committed to finding, researching, and recommending the best products. We earn commissions from purchases you make using the retail links in our product reviews. Learn more about how this works.