The Best All-Terrain Tires: Own Any Type of Terrain, Any Time of Year
Improve your vehicle’s performance in a variety of on-road and off-road conditions with our top all-terrain tire picks.
The Drive and its partners may earn a commission if you purchase a product through one of our links. Read more.
BY Ray Prince / LAST UPDATED ON September 30, 2021
All-terrain tires are the ultimate workhorse, equally useful on or off road. Their advantages include an open tread design for improved traction, reinforced sidewalls for load-carrying capacity, and all-year operability to drive on dry or wet surfaces. Some even carry hallmark symbols (such as the Three-Peak Mountain Snowflake symbol) for this purpose, and they’re the preferred choice for light trucks, pickups, SUVs, and four-wheel drive vehicles that aim to get off the beaten trail and into the wilderness. All-terrain tires are also great for vehicles with heavier-than-average loads. Below is our list of the best all-terrain tires available online, including our top picks, benefits of all-terrain tires, types of all-terrain tires, and answers to some frequently asked questions. Let’s dive in.
An aggressive and beefy all-terrain radial tire that provides comprehensive control while off-roading.
- Superior traction in snow, rain, and mud
- CoreGard technology gives added durability and stiffness to sidewalls
- Optimally blended and specially formulated tread rubber reduces chips and tearing, as well as stone retention
- Not fuel-efficient
- Highway performance is significantly poorer than off-road
- As tires wear, wet traction decreases, and high-speed vibrations increase
A rugged-looking all-terrain tire that offers great grip and acceleration during on- and off-road adventures.
- Great traction in wintry and wet conditions
- Protected from accidental curb damage
- Ideal for hauling heavy loads, such as RVs and trailers
- Poor traction on wet grass, deep mud, ice, and deep snow
- Poor lateral stability
- Road noise and vibrations
The most extreme all-season all-terrain tire that Cooper offers. It boasts excellent off-road traction without sacrificing on-road performance.
- Its aggressive tread pattern delivers sure footing over serious boulders and uneven, rugged trails
- You get maximum traction thanks to deep “Climber Cleats” and “Flex Grooves” built into the sides of the tires that are specifically designed for a tight grip and efficient mud throwing
- Tire gradually develops poorer traction on wet roads
- Increased road noise is also noted as edges of tires begin to wear
Why Trust Us
Our reviews are driven by a combination of hands-on testing, expert input, “wisdom of the crowd” assessments from actual buyers, and our own expertise. We always aim to offer genuine, accurate guides to help you find the best picks.
Best All-Terrain Tires Reviews & Recommendations 2021
How We Selected the Products
Our comprehensive selection process evaluates tires on overall construction, tread design, internal tire construction, size, and weather ratings, with a favorable nod toward all-terrain tires earning a Three-Peak Mountain Snowflake symbol for high snowy terrain performance. We also favored the number and quality of online customer testimonials, as we felt this offers a solid consensus of how each tire performs for individual users.
Our product selections, rankings, and awards for this story are based on research. While we haven’t conducted real-world testing yet on all of these products yet, we’ve looked at consumer testimonials and data, tutorials, and general discussions on social media and in forums. We also consider price and specification in the context of the segment. And, of course, we rely on our institutional knowledge of the automotive landscape to weed out weak products.
What To Consider When Buying All-Terrain Tires
Here are some of the more important criteria to consider when buying all-terrain tires.
Tread-design options are virtually limitless, each rib and shoulder block pattern intended to bring key benefits when it comes to improved tread life, weight distribution, tear/puncture resistance, load-carrying capacity, and more. We favored a combination of wide shoulder lugs for traction, angled shoulders, carbon-reinforced construction for wear resistance, and heavy-duty three-ply sidewalls over traditional two-ply sidewalls for overall toughness.
Internal tire construction is key to better manage heavy loads and withstand extreme weather. A nod goes to all-terrain tires with nylon-wrapped steel brands that increase rigidity and durability.
Look for all-terrain tires with mud and snow ratings such as the Three-Peak Mountain Snowflake rating. These distinctions vouch for an all-terrain tire's ability to ride well in muddy and snowy environments with an increased number of sipes and softer treads for better handling.
Expect your average all-terrain tire to last for roughly 40,000 miles. In some cases, it can exceed 60,000 miles depending on road conditions. Many all-terrain tires come with longer treadwear warranties. In general, the longer the treadwear warranty (e.g. 60,000+ miles) the harder the tread. Softer tread all-terrain tires tend to wear out a lot quicker.
Started more than 140 years ago by Benjamin Goodrich, the now Michelin-owned BFGoodrich is one of the world's most recognized tire brands. It has several achievements, such as equipping the first vehicle to cross the country (1903), equipping the first nonstop transatlantic flight (1927), and countless accolades racked in world-class competitions such as 24 Hours of Le Mans, the Dakar Rally, and the World Rally Cross.
One of our favorite BFGoodrich tires is the BFGoodrich All-Terrain T/A KO2.
Founded in 1941 by Cho Hong Jai, Hankook is a South Korean rubber manufacturer that equips tires across countless applications, including passenger cars, SUVs, vans, trucks, and buses. One of our favorite Hankook all-terrain tires is the Hankook Dynapro ATM RF10
Founded in 1900 by Garvey Firestone, this manufacturer is known for being the original tire supplier of the Ford Motor Company and its neck-and-neck rivalry with Goodyear. They make several popular models of all-terrain tires, including the Firestone Destination A/T and the Bridgestone Dueler A/T.
Goodyear is one of the more popular all-terrain tire companies in the United States. Started in 1989 by Charles Goodyear, an inventor of vulcanized rubber, it started its humble beginnings as a bicycle and carriage tire manufacturer before expanding to full manufacturing of aircraft tundra tires and critical World War II components for fighter planes and other aircraft. Today, it enjoys a sterling reputation with billions in annual sales. Our favorite Goodyear tire is the Goodyear Wrangler Radial Tire.
Q: What are all-terrain tires good for?
All-terrain tires work to provide traction on all types of weather conditions on and off road, across snow, rain, ice, and other adverse conditions. It is a good compromise between mud tires for off-roading ability and highway tires for general comfort, good on light trucks, full-size pickups, and SUVs. Some hallmarks of all-terrain tires include off-shoulder tread blocks, long-link carbon/steel belt construction for puncture resistance, wide tread grooves for traction, and spiral-wrapped shoulder seams to maintain a tire's shape.
Q: Can I use all-terrain tires all year?
Yes, all-terrain tires are designed to be used all year. They work equally well on the road and off.
Q: Which is better, all-season or all-terrain tires?
It depends on the driving environment. All-season tires are better designed to limit road noise and glide well on the highway. All-terrain tires have specialized construction (such as open tread and shoulder grooves) that make them work better on rougher terrain with improved grip and traction.
Q: When should I replace my all-terrain tires?
Look for the following signs of defective wear with your all-terrain tires before deciding to keep them or replace them.
- Shallow and unevenly worn tread.
- Damaged valve stems.
- Rougher ride than usual.
- Excessive vibration on dry and wet surfaces.
Q: How do I check tire tread depth?
Tire tread depth is an excellent indicator of how worn out your all-terrain tire is. To check for tire tread depth, insert a penny into several of your tire's grooves. If you can see all of Abraham Lincoln's head, then your tread depth is below 2/32 inch, which is the minimum. For deeper treads, we recommend using a certified tire-tread gauge. Always refer to the manufacturer for tire-tread depth guidance.
Our top voice for an all-terrain tire is the BFGoodrich All-Terrain T/A KO2 Radial Tire. It is a beast of a tire with CoreGard technology for sidewall toughness, locking 3-D sipes for traction, and the Three-Peak Mountain Snowflake symbol for excellent performance in snowy conditions.
Why Trust Us
The Drive seeks to be the internet’s premier destination for news, features, reviews and guides about modern automotive culture.
Founded as the /DRIVE YouTube channel before growing into a full-fledged online publication in 2015, The Drive brings you the best of what’s new in the world of speed, from gear reviews to the latest industry coverage—all from a veteran team of writers and editors with many decades of combined hands-on experience. Our reviews are driven by a combination of hands-on testing, expert input, “wisdom of the crowd” assessments from actual buyers, and our own expertise. We always aim to offer genuine, accurate guides to help you find the best picks.