There’s nothing more exciting than turning off the paved road exploring the unknown places of our world. The first step in your next great adventure is figuring out which set of tires I can take you there.[azonpress_tables id=”17″]
All-Terrain vs Mud Terrain For Overlanding
This feels like it’s the age-old debate of off-roading and overlanding. Do you pick tires that can power through the slickest in the deepest mud or do you choose the more versatile all-terrain options?
At the end of the day, it really just depends on what your goals are.
All-terrain tires give away their best features in the name. With a good set of all-terrain tires, you’ll be able to not only tackle mildly muddy conditions, but drive on paved roads in relative comfort. All-terrain tires trade being great in any one application for being pretty good in nearly every application.
Mud tires also let you know what they’re all about in their name. These tires were designed to dig through the muddiest conditions you can find. The extra large lugs and the deep voids in between them grip muddy terrain and shed excess mud with each rotation.
While they are the best choice for muddy conditions, driving on day-to-day paved roads can wear them down pretty quickly and they struggle on icy or rainy roads.
If you can’t decide between the two, you can always throw some mud terrain tires in the back and switch them out as needed.
Let’s get into our rundown of the best tires for overlanding.
BFGoodrich KM3[azonpress template=”widget” asin=”B07H4PM26C”]
These tires from BFGoodrich are built to handle muddy driving situations.
They’ve been designed using a modern material that handles better in slick conditions. These tires have been purpose-built for tearing through slick mud and handling rocky climbs. They’re also great for aired-down conditions.
When you’re overlanding, and you need to do some serious climbing or get through some particular slick like mud, it’s common to air down your tires. These tires from BFGoodrich were built with a flexible zone that enhances performance in air-down driving conditions.
The KM3’s are great off-road, and they are not so bad on-road either, with a slight audible noise being the biggest on-road issue. However, they underperform in snow or icy surfaces like most mud tires.
If the snow is soft and deep, they do much better, but I wouldn’t recommend these tires for shallow snow and would advise you to look at the KO2’s instead.
BFGoodrich KO2[azonpress template=”widget” asin=”B07F6Q2Z7V”]
If you’re looking for an all-terrain tire but also has decent lugs and sizable voids, this is the one for you.
This is an all-terrain tire that really embraces being able to approach every terrain. These tires are purpose-built to handle Baja driving as well as low traction conditions. They’re severe snow rating means that they pack some pretty serious grip out on the road.
While the KO2’s are excellent in the snow their performance in sticky mud is questionable, in my experience I find that they lack the ability to clear the mud fast enough.
Falken Wildpeak AT3W[azonpress template=”widget” asin=”B01C53C6XS”]
These tires come packed with a wide range of features to help all-terrain driving be easier and more exciting than ever before.
Not only do these tires carry a severe snow rating, they’re also ready to tackle snowy conditions on difficult terrain such as driving through mountain ranges. These tires have been designed to handle rugged and wet terrain just as easily as they perform on day-to-day paved roads.
These are a great choice for drivers who need to get to their overlanding location, but don’t want to change tires halfway through the Journey.
General Grabber X3[azonpress template=”widget” asin=”B00PUFXQ2O”]
The Grabber X3 is a tire with a lot going for it. While it’s not going to have the most dramatic lugs and voids out of all the mud tires out in there, it’s got more than its fair share of advantages going for it.
This tire features everything overlanders look for in their mud tires. The sidewall lugs, 3-ply design, and siped construction allow these tires to sail through muddy and rocky driving. While the Grabber X3 is a dedicated mudding tire, it was also built with paved roads in mind.
The lugs have been given a unique pitch design which allows them to travel over paved roads with more stability and quieter than your average mud tire.
These might just be the new direction for all-terrain tires.
Goodyear Wrangler DuraTrac[azonpress template=”widget” asin=”B07HYWRN94″]
It’s no surprise that Goodyear would create some of the best all-terrain tires on the market. The Wrangler DuraTrac tire is a great choice for drivers who are looking for something that they can use every day, but that’s also ready to leave the paved road behind.
The high angled center tread blocks provide extra stability on the road and also help to reduce unwanted noise when traveling on paved roads.
These tires also feature rim protection to keep your wheels safe when parking on the curb. The enhanced off-road performance as well as a boost to winter driving capabilities make them a solid all-around choice for overland driving.
Nitto Trail Grappler[azonpress template=”widget” asin=”B075758YFY”]
These just might be the most unique mud tires on today’s list.
The Trail Grappler was designed with style in mind. Now, we know what you’re thinking, and while we agree that performance is ultimately the most important thing, there is something to be said for tires that just look great.
These tires feature a two-sided design the drivers can flip to match their style. If you’re thinking that these are all form and no function, you’d be in for a surprise.
These tires were designed using advanced 3D computer modeling. This high-tech approach to tire design was used to help minimize the road noise common amongst mud tires. Speaking of driving through mud, you’ll notice the classic oversized lugs that not only look great, but also handle like nothing else.
Toyo Open Country[azonpress template=”widget” asin=”B0070Z653O”]
You can think about the Open Country like the Swiss Army knife of overlanding tires.
These tires are purpose built to handle any combination of situations you’re looking for. Whether you’ve got a commercial vehicle that needs to handle some rugged terrain, or you need everyday tires that can handle weekends off the road, these are the right tires for the job.
It’s the flexibility of design that makes these tires as successful as they are. Rather than sticking with one design Toyo has opted to create a whole range of tires based on a core model. This lets you choose the exact tires that are right for your vehicle, your driving style, and the conditions you expect to face.
If you need tires that are ready to handle the exact specifications of how and what you drive, these might be the right ones for you.
What To Look For In An Overland Tire
This might be the hardest question to answer when it comes to finding tires for overlanding.
The right tire for you is going to depend on a wide variety of factors. Things like your vehicle, the conditions you like to drive in, and the adventure you’re planning on going on are all going to come together to help you decide which tire is right for you.
If you’ve got a dedicated overlanding vehicle that’s going to be spending minimal time driving on pavement, then you might be best served with the most rugged or versatile mud tires you can find. However, if you’ve got one vehicle that’s set out to be your multitasker, then you might be better served with some of the all-star all-terrain tires we’ve mentioned today.
At the end of the day, the best way to find which overland tire is right for you is to think about the conditions you like driving in.
Whether you plan on scaling sheer cliffs and digging through the mud or you like to leave the road behind when you get some free time, there’s a set of tires out there that’s exactly what you’ve been looking for.
It’s Time to Get Our There and Get Driving
We hope that this guide has inspired you not just to pick the right tires for your vehicle, but to get out there and explore the potential and excitement of overlanding.
Overlanding Tires FAQs
What is the average lifespan of overlanding tires?
The average lifespan of overlanding tires varies based on the brand, usage, and maintenance. Typically, with regular use and proper maintenance, overlanding tires can last anywhere from 40,000 to 80,000 miles. However, frequent off-road use can reduce their lifespan.
How often should I rotate my overlanding tires?
It’s recommended to rotate overlanding tires every 6,000 to 8,000 miles to ensure even wear and extend their lifespan. Regular rotation helps in achieving uniform wear for all tires and improves road traction.
Can I use overlanding tires for daily commuting?
Yes, many overlanding tires are designed to be versatile, allowing for both off-road adventures and daily commuting. However, it’s essential to choose a tire that offers a good balance between off-road capability and on-road comfort.
How do I maintain my overlanding tires to ensure their longevity?
Regularly check the tire pressure and ensure it’s at the recommended level. Inspect the tires for any signs of damage, cuts, or punctures. Rotate the tires regularly and get them balanced if you notice any vibrations. Also, avoid overloading your vehicle beyond its capacity.
What’s the difference between overlanding tires and regular SUV tires?
Overlanding tires are specifically designed for prolonged off-road adventures and challenging terrains. They have robust construction, deeper treads, and features that enhance grip on various surfaces. In contrast, regular SUV tires are primarily designed for on-road use with occasional off-road trips.
Are overlanding tires noisier than regular tires on highways?
Some overlanding tires, especially those with aggressive tread patterns, can be noisier on highways compared to regular tires. However, many modern overlanding tires are designed to minimize road noise, offering a quieter ride even on paved roads.