All-terrain tires are tires designed for nearly any road conditions. The engineers tasked with creating these tires must strike a balance between road performance and road traction with some of the toughest tread compounds.
The best all-terrain tires will allow your vehicle to seamlessly transition from pavement to off-road. In this article, we cover the differences between all-terrain tires and other types of tires, some of the best tire brands in the industry, and average costs of all-terrain tires.
What Are All-Terrain Tires?
All-terrain tires, also called AT tires, combine features of standard street tires and off-road tires for improved traction in a variety of conditions. They typically aren’t as heavy-duty as off-road tires and don’t feature aggressive treadwear or big lugs like off-road tires do.
However, the tread blocks are closer together on all-terrain tires than they are on off-road tires, allowing for closer contact with the pavement. Additionally, all-terrain tires feature sipes in the tread blocks rather than the biting edges of mud-terrain tires or winter tires.
All-terrain tires are marked with LT for “light truck” on the sidewalls. They work well on a variety of vehicles, from Jeeps to pickup trucks and SUVs. The best all-terrain tires have lower silica content in the tire’s rubber compound, as this allows for fewer punctures and higher durability.
All-terrain tires’ shoulder blocks should be in line with the rest of the tread blocks for improved cornering, although this isn’t always the case.
Difference Between All-Terrain Tires and All-Season Tires
The greatest difference between all-terrain tires and all-season tires is their purpose: while all-terrain tires are meant for driving on different terrains, all-season tires are developed strictly for the road. All-terrain tires are designed for both on- and off-road performance, while all-season tires are designed to handle various road conditions specifically for road driving.
Due to tread design, both types of tires are great at preventing hydroplaning. All-terrain tires, however, offer more puncture resistance than all-season tires with little sacrifice in terms of road noise. All-terrain tires also offer the ability to carry heavy loads since they have higher ply ratings than all-season tires.
Both types will likely feature a symbol of a three-peak mountain snowflake on the sidewall of the tire, indicating the tire’s ability to meet or exceed industry-established requirements for handling severe snow.
5 Best All-Terrain Tires
The best all-terrain tires are essentially crossovers between off-road and all-season tires. However, all-terrain tires provide longer tread life than off-road tires or truck tires when driving on pavement. Learn about five of the all-terrain tires rated highest by customers on Tirebuyer below.
#1 Pirelli Scorpion All-Terrain Plus
Built for those who want on-road functionality with off-road capabilities, the Pirelli Scorpion All-Terrain Plus is designed to optimize durability, traction, and wear resistance. This all-terrain tire features Pirelli’s cut- and chip-resistant New Generation tread compound. The innovative tread compound is molded into a symmetric high-void pattern meant to provide smooth and quiet on-road operation with confident off-road traction.
#2 Falken Wildpeak A/T3W
The Falken Wildpeak A/T3W is a highly rated all-terrain tire offering loose surface performance with satisfying traction and handling characteristics on pavement. The tire’s tread pattern is engineered to be resistant to chips and tears when you’re off-road. Additionally, support ramps and step-down features on the tread blocks help provide rigidity for handling stability.
#3 Hankook Dynapro AT2 RF11
The Hankook Dynapro AT2 RF11 strikes the perfect balance between off-road traction and on-road performance, delivering a blend of all-terrain performance for your SUV or crossover. Whether you’re driving on mud, snow, dirt, or ice, the multidirectional grooves and sipes offer excellent traction in any direction. A block-chain control system increases ride comfort by optimizing movement between blocks, while locking shoulder lugs offer added off-road traction.
#4 Nitto Terra Grappler G2
Providing powerful all-terrain traction, the Nitto Terra Grappler G2 might be the perfect choice for your truck or SUV. The all-terrain tire offers enhanced durability and tread life, and the tread blocks are computer-tuned to give you a quiet and comfortable ride. Reinforced coupling joints promote even wear, and shoulder lugs bite into the terrain for increased traction while you’re driving off-road.
#5 BFGoodrich All-Terrain T/A KO2
Developed to meet the needs of Jeep, pickup truck, and SUV drivers, the BFGoodrich All-Terrain T/A KO2 is designed to deliver traction anywhere. The tire features a cut-, chip-, and tear-resistant compound that’s molded into an aggressive pattern with interlocking tread blocks and innovative siping for performance on- and off-road. Additionally, this all-terrain tire meets the industry’s requirements for performance in severe snow.
Cost Of All-Terrain Tires
All-terrain tires range from $89 to $904, according to Tirebuyer, the cheapest tire being the General Grabber AT2 and the most expensive tire being the Toyo Open Country R/T. Tires vary in price due to size. Below is a list of price ranges for a few of the most popular AT tires:
- Kumho Road Venture AT51: $134–$324 per tire
- Toyo Open Country A/T III: $152–$584 per tire
- Yokohama Geolandar A/T G015: $140–$462 per tire
To find the best all-terrain tires at the lowest cost and give customers a sense of what’s available, our review team also sourced prices from Tire Rack. Below are some top-rated AT tires and their prices on Tire Rack:
- Hankook Dynapro AT-M: $200 per tire (size 265/60R18)
- Michelin LTX A/T 2: $372 per tire (size LT275/65R20)
- Goodyear Wrangler All-Terrain Adventure With Kevlar: $418 per tire (size LT275/54R20)
Top Recommended Tire Brands
The best all-terrain tires come from a variety of brands, so it’s hard to know where to start when shopping for tires. Based on our extensive research, we recommend the following tire brands as options that stand out for their quality.
Michelin: Best Overall
A French tire manufacturer focused on tire innovation, Michelin was the second-largest tire producer in the world in 2020. In our 2022 industry-wide review of tire brands, our team of experts recognized Michelin as Best Overall. Due to Michelin’s positive reputation as a leader in the industry, the company was one of only two tire brands to earn a perfect rating of 5.0 out of 5.0 stars in our review’s reputation category.
To learn more about this tire brand, check out our Michelin tires review.
Goodyear: Most Durable
The parent company of Cooper Tire & Rubber Co. and many other notable brands, Goodyear is America’s claim to fame in the world of tires. Goodyear offers the market’s most durable tires, according to our review team’s expert opinions. Goodyear was also the world’s fourth-largest tire producer in the fiscal year of 2020.
For more information about Goodyear, check out our Goodyear tires review.
Cooper: Best Value
Cooper Tire & Rubber Co. has been providing tires known for good value since 1914. The company offers low prices on average, and our review team gave Cooper the title of Best Value and rated it 4.5 out of 5.0 stars in our cost category. Cooper is one of only two tire manufacturers with headquarters in the U.S., and the company has nearly 10,000 employees worldwide.
Read our Cooper tires review to learn more about the company.
How We Rate Tire Brands
Our review process aims to deliver consistent and unbiased assessments of tire brands. While there are multiple qualities that make a tire manufacturer successful, our review team focuses on those we believe are the most important for consumers:
- Price: Tire size and type can both affect the final cost. Our team of experts compares pricing across a variety of tires from each brand.
- Tire Variety: To determine this score, we look at the types of tires available, including passenger tires and light truck/SUV tires. Tire types can be based on the season, terrain, and other factors.
- Reputation: The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) created the Uniform Tire Quality Grading (UTQG) Standards to score treadwear, traction, and temperature. Tire brands with high UTQG ratings perform best in this category. Established companies with a long history of reliable service also receive positive marks.
- Customer Satisfaction: We comb through customer reviews on sites like the Better Business Bureau (BBB) to learn about customer experiences. Tire brands with a low volume of complaints score well in this area. We also consider studies from experts like J.D. Power, giving top marks to companies that have a high customer satisfaction index.
*Data accurate at time of publication.