LAST UPDATED: March 24, 2020
Best UTV Tires: Easily Navigate Mud, Snow, and Rough Terrain
These top UTV tires get the job done
The Review Team
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PUBLISHED ON March 24, 2020
When you own a UTV, you want to make sure it's operating at its fullest potential. One way to ensure this is by installing high-quality tires on the machine. There are a lot of options available, and it can be challenging to choose the best brand for your utility task vehicle.
In our buying guide below, we highlight the best UTV tires on the market and provide some tips so you can get as much performance from your utility terrain vehicle as possible.
These four-ply, all-terrain tires are excellent on hard surfaces. They are durable and provide a smooth ride.
They are great for climbing steep inclines and don't dig up the yard. They are very grippy and wear well over time.
They may be narrower than advertised and can wear out quickly if your alignment is off. They may not provide as much traction as you want.
These six-ply tires provide a smooth, radial-like ride and feature 3/4-inch lugs and an extended-wear rubber compound.
They are a great value and are lighter and tougher than some pricier models. They're also excellent in mud and light snow.
It's easy to dig up the ground with these tires. They may puncture prematurely and may not appear as depicted in photos.
These six-ply tires have a 1.5-inch tread depth and are puncture-resistant. They are also smooth on packed surfaces.
Their deep tread makes them very grippy in the mud and perfect for trail riding and steep inclines. They also look mean and have an aggressive tread pattern.
They don't work well in the sand and can ride a little rough at low speeds. They also may be hard to control in certain conditions.
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Benefits of UTV Tires
- Replace stock tires. It's easy to go through UTV or 4x4 tires very quickly. Eventually, you will have to buy some new ones. Even the best all-terrain UTV tires have a limited lifespan.
- Versatile. The best UTV all-terrain tires can tackle a variety of conditions. They work well on soft surfaces as well as on hard terrain. The best tires push water out of the way and provide good traction.
- Durable. If you use the wrong tires, you may experience excessive wear or tire and tread damage. This will slow you down and prevent you from getting unstuck in messy conditions.
Types of UTV Tires
All-terrain or general-purpose UTV tires have large and rugged lugs that are around 3/4- to 1-inch tall. The lugs are spaced in such a way so that they grip really well when you're riding over rocks and logs. These tires provide a little bit of traction in snow, sand, and mud.
The best UTV mud tires feature large, aggressive, and heavy-duty lugs that sometimes resemble claws. They have tough sidewalls and are designed to get you out of deep pits and ruts. The tread is widely spaced apart and can be shaped like an arrow, so you can easily ride through mud.
UTV sand tires, or paddle tires, feature different styles in the front and the rear. The rear tires, for example, are wider and lighter in weight. In order to dig into the sand, the tires' scoops and paddles operate similarly to rotating shovels. They are designed to stay on top of the sand, so they're not good on hard or paved surfaces.
Hard Pack/Dual Sport
These are similar to general-purpose tires in that they are very versatile. Their tread is comparable to that of off-road truck tires, and they are very durable. The strong and thick lugs grip and bite the surface area. Many brands are also DOT-rated, so you can use them on the street or highway, unlike general-purpose tires.
ITP is an American tire company based in Clinton, Tennessee, and has been around since 1982. ITP designs tires and wheels for a variety of ATVs, UTVs, and side-by-side vehicles, including the ITP Mud Lite AT Mud Terrain ATV Tire and ITP Mega Mayhem Mud Terrain ATV Tire.
Carlisle Tire was founded in Carlisle, Pennsylvania, in 1917. Carlisle is part of the Carlstar Group, which also includes ITP. The company manufacturers specialty tires and wheels for ATVs, UTVs, trailers/haulers, lawn and garden equipment, and more. One top product is the Carlisle All Trail ATV Tire.
UTV Tires Pricing
- $80-$145: Most UTV tires are 26 or 27 inches, which are slightly larger than ATV tires. As a result, they are generally 15 to 20 percent more expensive. Well-known American-made brands may also be pricier, but you may find some less expensive options as well.
Tire size plays a major role in UTV performance. If you don't have the right sized tire, it can affect a variety of things, including traction, ground clearance, speed, and center of gravity. Also, make sure the tire's size is compatible with your specific UTV for a proper fit, and check the wheel’s bolt pattern and offset.
Different UTV tires have different tread designs based on their purpose (sand, mud, snow, etc.). Some tread is wider with narrow gaps, so the tires can better navigate rocks, hard dirt, and gravel. Other tread is designed for higher speeds and less road noise but does not provide as much grip in mud and soft soil.
The best UTV tires for trail and mud are either bias or radial construction. The benefit of bias tires is that they perform well on sharp inclines and rough terrain. Radial tires, however, are smoother on flat and paved roads. Radial tires also have longer lifespans if they're properly maintained. However, they are more expensive and more challenging to repair than bias tires.
Several things affect rolling resistance, including tread design and tire weight, height, and width. Rolling resistance is important because it determines top speeds and acceleration. Typically, narrower tires roll easier than wider tires because of friction and drag. If you want to achieve higher speeds on your UTV, choose lighter weight and narrower tires.
- Load-Carrying Capacity: Check the maximum load-carrying capacity of your UTV before making a purchase. Either read the owner's manual, check out the specifications online, or check with a dealer. For example, if the load-carrying capacity is 1,000 pounds, buy tires that match or exceed this amount for the best results.
- Tread Depth (Lug): For turf and general purposes, you need a tread depth of less than one inch. The best UTV snow tires have one- to 1.5-inch treads. If the tread is over 1.5 inches deep, you can drive the UTV in extremely soft conditions. Keep in mind that if you choose tires with deep lugs, you can tear up turf.
Best UTV Tires Reviews & Recommendations 2020
Carlisle's all-terrain, four-ply tire is designed for ATVs, UTVs, side-by-side vehicles, and fun karts. It's great for vehicles that ride on hard surfaces and was designed with durability in mind. These tires also provide a smoother ride compared to some other tires.
These are great, aggressive tread tires. They're ideal for climbing steep hills and do not tear up the yard like some tires do. They wear well over time on paved roads and work well in the snow. They provide a great grip, do not slide, and the compound works really well with the deep tread to move you around.
However, the tires may be narrower than advertised, so they may not provide as much traction as you need. They may also wear out pretty quick if your alignment isn't perfect, and gravel can embed itself in the tight tread and get thrown up into the fenders as you ride.
These six-ply construction tires are designed for trail riding. They provide a smooth, radial-like ride due to their special center tread contact area. They feature 3/4-inch lugs and an extended-wear rubber compound, which increases their lifespan.
The angled shoulder lugs provide great traction in the mud. They do a great job of gripping without losing traction and are great in mud and heavy wet snow. The tread design allows for a smooth ride on pavement without taking away from off-road performance. Overall, they are lighter, tougher, and more capable than many expensive tires.
However, you may not be able to turn without digging up the ground. The rubber is a little thin, and they may puncture over a short period of time. Also, they may not appear as pictured.
These mud tires feature an ultra-deep, 1.5-inch tread depth. They are six-ply tires and have a high level of puncture resistance. They also feature a tread pattern that makes them notably smooth when you're riding on hard-packed surfaces.
These are aggressive, mud-throwing, mean tires. The tread is deep, they are very grippy, and they are perfect for trail riding. They also perform well on black dirt, red clay, and when you’re climbing steep hills. They look pretty badass.
Unfortunately, these tires do not perform well in sand. Also, when you're riding at low speeds, they can be a little rough. In addition, the lugs are so deep and flexible that on some hills they can be a little hard to control.
- Think about where you will be riding before purchasing tires. Will you use them in snow or on rocky terrain? Do you prefer riding on muddy trails, or do you need tires for a variety of surface areas?
- Check out the ply rating. This will alert you to the load-carrying capacity of the tires as well as how puncture-resistant they are.
- Three numbers determine the size of your tire, i.e., 25x8-12, which represent height, width, and rim diameter in inches. You can go up or down an inch and still get a proper fit.
- Larger tires may provide more ground clearance, yet they also increase the center of gravity, which can make it easier for you to tip the UTV over.
- If you choose a tire that's one inch smaller or larger, make sure it doesn't void the warranty.
Q: When do I need to replace my UTV tires?
A: Before every ride, check for cracks in the sidewall or between the treads. Also look for bald spots, worn or missing tread lugs, and punctures in the rubber. These are signs you may need to replace the tires.
Q: How do I maintain my UTV tires?.
A: If you ride your UTV frequently, make sure you inspect them on a regular basis. Make sure they are properly inflated and aren't missing any lugs or treads.
Q: Are UTV and ATV tires interchangeable?
A: Many ATV and UTV tires are interchangeable; however, you have to make sure there is room on the vehicle for the tires. Check the size to determine a proper fit.
Our pick for the top UTV tire is the Carlisle All Trail ATV Tire. They are durable with aggressive tread and are great for steep hills, paved roads, and in the snow.
For a more budget-friendly option, consider the ITP Mud Lite AT Mud Terrain ATV Tire.