Tires are one of the most important but often overlooked parts of your vehicle. Aside from the occasional flat tire, you don’t even think about them much. But just because your old tires don’t get much attention, doesn’t mean you should ignore them entirely. In fact, if you are looking for a great way to upgrade your vehicle, look no further than a quality set of all-terrain tires. All-terrain tires offer improved traction on a variety of surfaces and make driving in difficult weather easier. Their open-tread design makes easy work of off-road driving situations.
If you plan on getting adventurous this summer, or if you want an upgrade for winter weather, these ten all-terrain tires are a great place to start.
Picking The Best All-Terrain Tires
There are a lot of all-terrain tires on the market. So, how do you know which ones are best?
First, think about where you want to drive. Are you just looking for a little off-pavement adventure on dirt roads or are you planning on some serious off-roading with the possibility of mud or sand? Or are you looking for a great all-around tire that can handle rain, slush, or snow in addition to fair weather? What is the mix of pavement and dirt your tires will see? When deciding what all-terrain tires to purchase, make sure you know what your driving adventures may require.
Also, be aware that every vehicle has different tire fitment requirements. Wheel size, suspension, brakes, and even fender wells are a few of the factors that determine which tires will fit your vehicle. Durability, weight ratings, and correct sizing should all be considered in your all-terrain tire selection process.
What To Consider When Purchasing All-Terrain Tires
There is little doubt that buying all-terrain tires is a great investment for your vehicle. From driving on different terrains to dealing with tough weather, there are too many benefits to pass up on this opportunity. What are some things you should look for when deciding which tire to buy?
All-Terrain Tire Features
All-terrain tires have a few key features that contribute to their performance. First, there is the tread. The best all-terrain tires have deep and aggressive tread patterns. These tread patterns help the tire get the best grip possible on a wide variety of surfaces, especially wet, snowy, or dirty ones.
That being said, a balance between grip off-road and a pleasant ride on-road is important. All-terrain tires tend to have more road noise when driving on pavement than typical All-Season or Performance tires, but less than mud-terrains. Though many brands tout their noise-reduction technologies, some all-terrain tires will be louder than others.
Another thing to look for is the sidewall of the tire. While a lower sidewall looks cool and is functional on vehicles that stay on the pavement, it doesn’t provide the best off-road performance. For offroad driving, you want a lot of sidewall (the area between the wheel and the tread). This is in order to be able to air down the tires and get better traction off-road, without damaging the wheel. Another benefit is that a taller sidewall provides a more comfortable ride. But, with when a tire is aired down and squishy, you lose fuel efficiency and tire life. A firmer tire will perform well on asphalt, but not as well on off-road terrain.
You should also pay attention to the rating of the tire when making a purchase. Tires are rated for speed, load, and conditions. If you plan on towing or hauling a lot of gear on your all-terrain tires be sure to check the tire’s load index rating.
Brand And Price
When looking at brands of tires, everyone has their favorites. But when it comes to all-terrain tires, sometimes it is better to look beyond the brand. Be sure to look at the specific tire and what it offers. Sometimes the tires that best fit your needs may not be the most “on-brand” tires.
Price is obviously a very important factor as well. A set of four tires can be quite pricey, but you don’t want to get too cheap of a set. Value is important with tires, and you need to be sure you are getting what you pay for. If the price is a bit cheap, it may be smart to look into why its so cheap. With an expensive tire, you should look at why it’s so expensive and see if it possibly has any specs that you don’t need to spend that much money on.
Some other things to look at are if the tire comes with a warranty and how long it lasts. Many tires will be warrantied up to a certain number of miles or length in time. This is important if you end up needing a patch or potentially a replacement. Also, keep an eye open for sales, as you can often get a good deal for a normally more expensive set of tires. Another important tip is to avoid any outliers — avoid tires that are unusually cheap or expensive. You’ll likely get what you pay for on a cheap tire, and the really expensive ones sometimes aren’t worth the high price.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are all-terrain tires good for?
The purpose of all-terrain tires is to provide traction on all types of surfaces. They are designed to not only drive on regular roads, but also on mud, dirt, and any other abnormal or unpaved terrain. They also provide more durability against debris and other irritants.
How many miles do all-terrain tires last?
On average, an all-terrain tire should last between 20,000-40,000 miles. How long they last mostly depends on how rough you are on the tires. The more wear they get from off-road driving, the more likely they will last around 20,000 miles. The weight of your vehicle, or what you are towing, will also affect the longevity of your tires.
Tires that are used more conservatively may last towards the higher end of the range. Obviously, this range is only an estimate, and there are a lot of factors that go into how long your set of all-terrain tires will last.
What is the difference between all-terrain and all-weather tires?
While there are some differences between all-season and all-terrain tires, there are also many similarities. A lot of all-terrain tires also double as all-season tires. The main difference is that all-terrain tires have deeper treads for use on different terrain. But, those deeper treads can also make all-weather driving easier.
Standard tires are usually designed to drive on wet or dry roads, but with all-terrain tires, you can do that and much more. So, if you plan to drive through snow or off-road conditions, all-terrain tires are your best bet.
Do all-terrain tires affect gas mileage?
Though all-terrain tires won’t kill your gas mileage, they will decrease it by an average of about 3% when compared to standard tires. That small drop off shouldn’t discourage you from upgrading to all-terrains as there are a host of other benefits that make up for this decrease in fuel economy.
Are all-terrain tires good for towing?
When towing, all-terrain tires are usually the better option over standard tires. That is because they are good for regular driving and also durable enough for towing. When shopping, be sure to look at the specific tire’s weight rating to ensure it can handle the weight of whatever you plan to tow.