We've used the following criteria to form a list of suggested quiet all-terrain tires (below):
1. User "comfort" ratings
2. Direct experience
3. Tire construction/features, i.e. the manufacturer engineered the tire with a focus on quietness
Size & spec are relevant factors here. Firstly, keep tread depth in mind. The Yokohama Geolandar A/T G015 tread depth, for example, ranges from 12/32" to 18/32" depending upon size and specification. Some other all-terrain options have even more significant tread depth differences between various tire sizes. This can influence tire noise, so if you prioritize a quiet ride over off-road capability, you might keep the tread depth to a minimum.
Tire contact patch also influences road noise. An all-terrain tire that delivers a quiet ride in section width 235 might not deliver a similarly quiet experience in section width 305. So if there's flexibility on size and specification for your vehicle, consider minimizing the width of the tire to encourage quietness.
Continental TerrainContact A/T
Firestone Destination A/T
General Grabber APT
Goodyear Wrangler All-Terrain Adventure
Kumho Road Venture AT51
Michelin LTX A/T 2
Nitto Ridge Grappler
Nitto Terra Grappler G2
Sumitomo Encounter AT
Toyo Open Country A/T II
Yokohama Geolandar A/T G015
If you're looking for low profile all-terrain tires, you may not find the search particularly straightforward. You're unlikely to find a "low profile" all-terrain tires subcategory with online sellers, and manufacturers generally don't produce all-terrain tires that are classified as low profile, specifically.
And so the task of finding a set that is suitably low profile falls to you.
The bad news is that involves some math.
The good news is that it's very simple math.
To determine the side profile (height) of a tire requires an awareness of two numbers from the tire size description -- section width, and sidewall aspect ratio.
As an example let's consider all-terrain tire size 275 60R20.
The two numbers you need to be aware of to determine side profile are 275 and 60. 275 is the tire section width, 60 is the sidewall aspect ratio.
Tire section width is expressed as millimeters. If you're a red-blooded Murican, you might find it more intuitive to immediately convert that number to inches (Google is your friend).
275 mm = 10.83 inches
The sidewall aspect ratio number is expressed as a percentage of section width, so 60 = 60%.
To determine the sidewall height of the tire you'll take 60% (0.60) and multiply it by the section width, 10.83 inches.
The result in this example is 6.5 inches; the sidewall height of a 275 60R20 all-terrain tire is 6.5 inches (from wheel to tire tread).
By comparison, all-terrain tire size 275 55R20 would be a slightly lower profile: 10.83 x 0.55 = 5.96 inches. So about ½ inch less sidewall, i.e. a lower profile than the 275 60R20 tire.
You'll be hard-pressed to find truly low profile all-terrain tires with the look of low profile truck and SUV street tires. Nevertheless, all-terrain tires often have significant and tall sidewalls, and you can use this calculation to at least avoid that…
Because it's a significant expense, purchasing a new set of all-terrain tires for their truck or SUV is something that most folks want to do as infrequently as possible.
Tire life is influenced by numerous factors. Certain drivers may be able to coax 80,000 miles out of a set, others just half that with the same tire. How all-terrain tires are used (on-road, off-road, through warm seasons and/or cold seasons), cared for, rotated (if applicable), and more will determine tire life.
But before purchasing a new set of all-terrain tires, there are a couple of data points worth considering if the aim is high mileage.
The first is treadlife warranty. While there's arguably a bit of marketing in play here, tire manufacturers generally won't warranty a set of tires for an unrealistic mileage; let's assume they don't want to be inundated with mileage warranty claims.
The following all-terrain tires provide some of the strongest mileage warranties*:
Toyo Open Country ATII: 65,000 miles
Continental TerrainContact A/T: 60,000 miles
Goodyear Wrangler All-Terrain Adventure: 60,000 miles
General Grabber APT: 60,000 miles
General Grabber AT2: 60,000 miles
Yokohama Geolandar A/T G015: 60,000 miles
Kumho Road Venture AT51: 55,000 miles
Cooper Discoverer A/T3: 55,000 miles
Firestone Destination A/T: 50,000 miles
Hankook Dynapro AT-M: 50,000 miles
Dick Cepek Trail Country: 50,000 miles
Of that set, these all-terrain tires have achieved solid treadlife ratings from Tire Rack users**:
Yokohama Geolandar A/T G015: 8.7/10
Firestone Destination A/T: 8.5/10
Kumho Road Venture AT51: 8.4/10
General Grabber AT2: 8.2/10
Knowing how long a set of all-terrain tires will last given your personal driving style and use patterns requires a crystal ball. However, using the combination of these two data sets provides insight into how you can give yourself best chance of acquiring a high mileage, long-lasting set of all-terrain tires.
*We pulled the highest warranty mileage number available for each tire. Check stipulations and conditions. All specifications and fitments may not be eligible for the indicated mileage.
**Data as of November, 2017. Bear in mind that some of the all-terrain tires in the first set are too new to have established treadwear user ratings.
The on- and off-road performance balance is what defines all-terrain tires, and distinguishes them from bona fide off-road rubber.
But that doesn't mean that all-terrain tires are homogeneous in terms of design and characteristics. Some all-terrain tires are more mild and street-oriented, while others are aggressive, prioritize off-road traction, and blur the line between all-terrain and off-road.
The following aggressive all-terrain tires have the tread depth and design characteristics to roll through just about any off-road adventure.
1. Cooper Discoverer S/T MAXX | Tread depth up to 18.5/32"
Highlights: 3-ply “Armor-Tek3®” carcass construction, cut and chip resistant tread compound, stone ejector ribs. And the Discoverer S/T MAXX has some of the most conspicuous tread blocks of any all-terrain tire on the market.
2. Dick Cepek Fun Country | Tread depth up to 18.5/32"
Highlights: Reinforced three-ply sidewall with Dick Cepek Sidebiters™ for enhanced puncture resistance. Updated, more durable tread compound, and stone ejector ribs. The "DC" embossed upper sidewall and design characteristics are awesome…
3. Falken Wildpeak A/T3W | Tread depth up to 20/32"
Highlights: The Wildpeak A/T3W features the deepest tread depth of any all-terrain tire on the market. Other off-road characteristics include an "outer apex sidewall," sidewall shoulder blocks, and support ramps + step-down features on the tread blocks. The Wildpeak A/T3W is one of the most reasonably priced all-terrain tires out there too; a truly excellent value.
4. Mickey Thompson Deegan 38 All-Terrain | Tread depth up to 17/32"
Highlights: The Deegan 38 All-Terrain doesn't compete with the likes of the Wildpeak A/T3W in terms of tread depth, but everything else about it is plenty aggressive. Standout off-road features include the open-void tread pattern, tread edge chamfers to discourage stone retention, and its "Two-Pitch SideBiter Pattern" and Angled Shoulder Scallops.
5. Nitto Ridge Grappler | Tread depth up to 18.3/32"
Highlights: The Ridge Grappler is billed as an all-terrain and mud-terrain hybrid, and an effort to blend full-fledged off-road features with livable on-road characteristics. Prominent tread blocks (just about everywhere you look), shoulder grooves and "Lateral Z" grooves create one of most aggressive all-terrain tires on the market. And we think the best upper sidewall look in the category.
Due to increasing manufacturer competition and tire category popularity, cheap all-terrain tires aren't necessarily low quality.
Economizing with cheap all-terrain tires might not get you the highest performing, most capable and versatile all-terrain tires on the market, but that's not everyone's priority.
If you’re willing to potentially exchange some performance for savings, then put these three reasonably cheap all-terrain tires on your radar.
(Fall, 2017 Update: Northern climate drivers, be sure to see #3, the Sumitomo Encounter AT. New for this year, it's the least expensive all-terrain tire on the market with a Severe Snow Service rating. -Ed.)
1. Kelly Edge A/T
Edge A/T at a glance:
Mileage Warranty: 50,000 miles
UTQG (treadwear grade): 560 or N/A
Tread depth when new: 12/32" or 15/32" (varies by tire size)
Release date: 2015
Severe Snow Service rating: No
User ratings: 4.1 / 5 (Goodyear.com)
How cheap? In size 265 70-17 (LT specification) the Edge A/T runs 70% of the cost of a leading BF Goodrich all-terrain tire. A price advantage of about $68 per tire.*
2. Nexen Roadian AT Pro RA8
Roadian AT Pro RA8 at a glance:
Mileage Warranty: 50,000 miles (P metric), 40,000 miles (LT sizes)
UTQG (treadwear grade): 560 or N/A
Tread depth when new: 12/32" to 16/32" (varies by tire size)
Release date: 2015
Severe Snow Service rating: No
User ratings: 4.4 / 5 (TireBuyer.com)
How cheap? In size 31X10.5R15 the Roadian AT Pro RA8 runs 61% of the cost of a premium Goodyear all-terrain tire. A price advantage of $82 per tire.**
3. Sumitomo Encounter AT
Encounter AT at a glance:
Manufacturer: Sumitomo Rubber Industries
Mileage Warranty: 60,000-Mile Treadwear for Metric and LT Sizes
UTQG (treadwear grade): 660 or N/A
Tread depth when new: 12/32" to 19/32" (varies by tire size)
Release date: 2017
Severe Snow Service rating: Yes
User ratings: Pending
How cheap? In size 265 60R18 the Sumitomo Encounter AT runs 80% the cost of the (affordably priced) Firestone Destination A/T. A price advantage of $36 per tire.***
Considering spending a bit more for superior performance, more “bells and whistles?” The Falken Wildpeak A/T3W and Kumho Road Venture AT51 fall just north of the cheap all-terrain tires price tier. Like the Sumitomo, both are rated for severe snow service and worth a look.
*Amazon pricing data as of 7/25/2017.
**TireBuyer.com pricing data as of 7/25/2017.
***TireRack.com pricing data as of 10/22/2017.
Last update: November, 2017
Are all-terrain tires good in snow?
A glimpse at the tread characteristics of most all-terrain tires might have you thinking "yes," but that's not necessarily the case. While all-terrain tires have the aggressive tread design and depth to cope with snow and messy winter conditions, not all will inspire when old man winter strikes.
Because winter performance is about much more than aggressive tread design. Just because an all-terrain tire maintains traction in mud, dirt, and the like doesn’t necessarily mean results will be the same during winter.
Tire compound, or the material composition of the tire is crucial for snow and wintertime performance. Snow/winter tire compounds are uniquely engineered to remain pliable in freezing temperatures. If the tire compound is not intended or suitable for use in freezing temperatures, then it will harden and not properly interact with the road surface and conditions.
In recent years the all-terrain tire segment has responded to the increased demand for all-terrain tires that perform well in snow. A growing group of all-terrain tires are snow rated, and meet objective snow performance criteria established by the U.S. Rubber Manufacturers Association and the Rubber Association of Canada. These all-terrain tires are marked with the mountain snowflake symbol:
A complete list of current snow rated all-terrain tires with the mountain snowflake symbol is below.
What about all-terrain tires that are not snow rated? Are they not good in snow and winter?
Plenty of drivers have had success with "standard" all-terrain tires through winter. But if you're looking specifically for an all-terrain tire that provides a definite and objective level of snow performance, then selecting from the following group is probably the surest course of action.
(NOTE that meeting the snow performance criteria doesn't mean that these all-terrain options are equivalent to true winter tires. Across the full range of wintry conditions -- dry, wet, messy, slushy, icy, etc. -- winter tires are the superior option.)
All-terrain tires with the mountain snowflake symbol:
+ BF Goodrich All-Terrain T/A KO2
+ Cooper Discoverer A/TW
+ Falken Wildpeak A/T3W
+ General Grabber AT2 (not every size/spec)
+ Goodyear Wrangler All-Terrain Adventure (not every size/spec)
+ Hankook Dynapro AT-M (not every size/spec)
+ Kumho Road Venture AT51 (not every size/spec)
+ Sumitomo Encounter AT
+ Yokohama Geolandar A/T G015
The 10 Best All-Terrain Tires list is based upon our own direct experiences and subjectivity, user ratings, four season capability, warranty, comfort, pricing and features, and a variety of other factors.
The list is not fixed, and evolves as new all-terrain tires are introduced and prove their mettle.
So in no particular order, here's our take on the best all-terrain tires currently available.
1. Continental TerrainContact A/T
What is it: Continental’s first ever all-terrain tire (incredibly enough).
Why it made our list: Doesn’t get much more quiet and comfortable than the TerrainContact A/T. In our experience the TerrainContact A/T is as quiet (or more so) than many OE truck & SUV tires. Plus it delivers off the tarmac. Need some improved off-road capability but not willing to sacrifice much on-road? The TerrainContact A/T could be your tire. Affordable too.
2. Kumho Road Venture AT51
What is it: A standout all-terrain tire that’s perhaps the best Kumho product in recent memory.
Why it made our list: Very reasonably priced with severe snow/winter capability, and excellent (long-term) overall user favorability. Could be argued that you get more than you pay for with the Road Venture AT51.
3. BF Goodrich All-Terrain T/A KO2
What is it: The latest supreme all-terrain tire from BF Goodrich.
Why it made our list: Money being no object, the All-Terrain T/A KO2 is perhaps the most competent all-around all-terrain tire in the game. Severe snow/winter performance, off-road prowess, good comfort attributes. The KO2 delivers everywhere just like its predecessor.
4. Goodyear Wrangler All-Terrain Adventure with Kevlar
What is it: Goodyear’s excellent all-terrain tire with next generation Kevlar as part of the internal structure.
Why it made our list: The All-Terrain Adventure with Kevlar may be the most underrated of this all-terrain group. We attribute some of the humdrum perception to high initial cost more than performance because on-road and off, the Wrangler delivers the goods. We hold this tire in particularly high regard because it dug us out of a mud pit once upon a time when we weren’t deserving of a break...
5. Firestone Destination A/T
What is it: Firestone’s tried and true all-terrain tire.
Why it made our list: Just because it’s nearly old enough to drive itself doesn’t mean it’s timed out or irrelevant. The Destination A/T has made some users into “lifers." With its excellent performance:cost ratio, the Destination A/T could probably stick around as a top option indefinitely.
6. General Grabber AT2
What is it: The current all-terrain option from the General.
Why it made our list: General tires commonly deliver performance that exceeds the price point, and the Grabber AT2 is no exception. Proven high quality over years on the market.
7. Falken Wildpeak A/T3W
What is it: An all-terrain tire that pushes the limit of the definition.
Why it made our list: More features than you can shake a stick at, including severe snow/winter capability. And that cavernous tread depth (up to 20/32”) delivers mega off-road capability. Probably not the most road-friendly of this group though...
8. Hankook Dynapro AT-m
What is it: A standout all-terrain tire from a company too often overlooked.
Why it made our list: Severe snow/winter capability, reasonable noise levels (71-74 dB on the EU scale), and true off-road capability. The AT-m has a jointless bead wire that allows for low air pressure off-road driving too.
9. Nitto Terra Grappler G2
What is it: Nitto's off-road know-how in an all-round, everyday package.
Why it made our list: Solid user ratings, menacing, awesome looks, and a wide variety of unique sizes/specs; especially in the larger diameters. Looking for 37X13.5R20, or 35X12.5R22? The Terra Grappler G2 is your all-terrain tire.
10. Yokohama Geolandar A/T G015
What is it: The latest all-terrain entry from Yokohama, which should catapult them back into category relevance.
Why it made our list: It's the most recent addition to this list of best all-terrain tires, but our initial impressions are very favorable. A new "Enduro Compound" allows Yokohama to warranty the Geolandar A/T G015 for a stout 60,000 miles. Every size and spec qualifies for the severe snow/winter service rating, and early user feedback is that it's a comfortable, excellent everyday option too.