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01 Jeep FC Concept Mud All Rugged Terrain Tire Guide

All Terrain vs Mud Terrain vs RT Tires

Truck, Jeep and 4x4 Tire Buyer’s Guide

Photography by John Cappa and courtesy of the manufacturers 

When selecting off-road worthy tires for your 4×4 pickup truck, Jeep or other SUV you have three basic tread design options. These include all-terrain (A/T), mud-terrain (M/T) and the relatively new rugged-terrain (R/T) designation, also known as rough-terrain or hybrid-terrain tires. Which tread design you should choose will depend on how you use your 4×4, Overlander, Tow Rig or Prerunner and of course your personal preference. Each tread type has its purpose, pros and cons. Read on and we’ll help you select the best tires for your application.     

17 Toyo Open Country All Terrain Tire on Toyota RAV4 AWD Hybrid

A/T All-Terrain Tires

A/T all-terrain tires are usually the default go-to for most 4×4 enthusiasts that still regularly use their vehicle on the street. They are the most economical off-road tire choice and they typically last longer than the other tire options. You can find all-terrain tires under everything from small Jeeps to 1-ton dualie tow rigs. A/T tires are generally the lowest cost and lightest of the three tire types when looking at equivalent size and load ratings. They also offer the least rolling resistance of the three, which helps provide the best fuel economy as well. All-terrain tires usually feature a more durable reinforced tread and sidewall than traditional all-season street tires and they offer more traction on slick surfaces. All A/T tires have a M+S mud and snow rating and many are shod with the exclusive three peak mountain snowflake rating for superior ice and snow performance. This is a key rating to look for if you frequent winter roads regularly.

16 BFGoodrich KM3 Mud Terrain Tires on Method 305 NV Titanium Wheels

M/T Mud-Terrain Tires

M/T mud-terrain tires are generally not for the meek or faint of heart. They feature large knobby tread lugs and open voids that help move mud and offer traction in difficult terrain. However, on-road they are loudest and least efficient of the three tire types. Because of the meaty tread and sidewall lugs, mud-terrain tires are often the heaviest tire option. They are also the most expensive option. Mud-terrain tires are prone to wear out more quickly and unevenly than other tire types and are the most difficult to keep properly balanced. All M/T tires have the M+S snow rating, but the large smooth tread lugs offer poor performance on ice and wet roads, even if they have siping. Now, if you regularly encounter clay mud or simply like the aggressive looks of a mud-terrain, these are the tires to have. Their fantastic performance in the wet stuff is only matched by their mediocre performance and handling on-road.

15 4WP Factory Xtreme RT Tire on Ford Super Duty

R/T Rugged-Terrain Tires

The R/T rugged-terrain is a relatively new tire design and designation. R/T tires are sometimes called tweener tires because their on- and off-road performance and tread aggressiveness fits in between the A/T and M/T tire types. As such, R/T tires generally offer both A/T and M/T tire features, such as large open voids and knobby sidewall tread to help move mud as well as siped tread lugs to improve traction in wet and icy conditions. All R/T tires have the M+S mud and snow rating and some also have the coveted three peak mountain snowflake advanced snow rating, making them a great choice for vehicles that see street use, icy roads and unimproved snow and mud covered trails. R/T tires can be used successfully on all types of 4x4s from small SUVs to 1-ton tow rigs.

02 BFGoodrich All Terrain TA KO2 Tire

BFGoodrich All-Terrain T/A KO2

The BFGoodrich All-Terrain is an A/T tire that has been a staple in the 4×4 world for many decades. The latest KO2 version still carries that flag. The all-around performance on- and off-road makes it a great tire for a daily commuter 4×4 that acts as a weekend warrior too. It’s also a favorite tire for overlanders. The BFG all-terrain KO2 features a three peak mountain snowflake rating, which provides superior winter performance over a traditional M+S mud and snow rated tire. It’s available in many popular sizes up to 37 inches.

Pros:

  • Great all-around performance
  • Three peak mountain snowflake rating for severe winter conditions 

Cons:

  • Can wear out faster than some other all-terrain tires on heavy 4x4s
  • The small sipes in the tread can capture and hang on to small stones

4WP Link: https://www.4wheelparts.com/p/bf-goodrich-all-terrain-t-a-ko2-tires/2200

03 BF Goodrich Mud Terrain KM3 Tire

BF Goodrich Mud-Terrain KM3

The BF Goodrich Mud-Terrain M/T tire has gone through several iterations over the years. The latest is the KM3. It’s said to work 5 percent better in mud and 8 percent better in the rocks than the previous BF Goodrich mud-terrain tire. This new KM3 mud-terrain also features 27 percent tougher sidewalls for more puncture resistance. The large tread lugs and aggressive sidewall tread will surely help propel your 4×4 through loose soil and mud. Many different diameters are available for 15- through 22-inch wheels.

Pros:

  • 27 percent tougher sidewalls than outgoing mud tire model
  • Incredible number of sizes for 15- to 22-inch wheels

Cons:

  • Standard M+S mud and snow rating
  • Less ideal than an all-terrain tire for street use

4WP Link: https://www.4wheelparts.com/p/bf-goodrich-mud-terrain-t-a-km3-tires/prod1660024

04 Toyo Open Country Mud Terrain Tire

Toyo Open Country M/T

The Toyo Open Country M/T mud-terrain tire is well known for being available in large diameters with E and F load ratings that are compatible with heavyweight 3/4- and 1-ton trucks. The tires feature three-ply sidewalls, which contribute to increased durability, impact resistance and more precise handling. The aggressive tread is made up of hook-shaped blocks with open scalloped shoulder lugs to improve traction in loose and mucky terrain. Deep siping in the tread helps maintain grip on wet surfaces. There are lots of sizes and wheel diameters to choose from.

Pros:

  • Sipes in tread lugs help on wet and icy surfaces
  • Available in large diameters with E and F load ratings for 3/4- and 1-ton trucks

Cons:

  • Less ideal than an all-terrain tire for street use
  • Sipes in tread can capture small stones

4WP Link: https://www.4wheelparts.com/p/toyo-open-country-m-t-tires/10486

05 Toyo Open Country RT Rugged Terrain Tire

Toyo Open Country R/T

Off-road performance meets on-road comfort with the Toyo Open Country R/T tire. The LT-metric and flotation sizes feature heavy-duty three-ply sidewalls for durability, impact resistance and improved handling. The optimized thread pattern arrangement reduces noise for driving comfort. An aggressive sidewall design with a durable sidewall compound enhances traction and side impact protection, while open scalloped shoulder blocks increase off-road traction. The Toyo Open Country R/T is available in many popular diameters for 15- to 24-inch wheels.

Pros:

  • Three-ply sidewalls on LT and flotation sizes
  • Aggressive tire that still rolls smooth on the street

Cons:

  • P/Euro-metric sizes only have two-ply sidewalls
  • Standard M+S snow rating

4WP Link: https://www.4wheelparts.com/p/toyo-open-country-r-t-tires/10487

06 Toyo Open Country AT III All Terrain Tire

Toyo Open Country A/T III

The Open Country A/T III is an all new all-terrain tire that’s designed to deliver off-road traction with responsive and predictable on-road handling. The tread design, construction and tread compounding put a strong focus on wet weather performance, durability and treadwear life. Key advantages are a quiet ride with exceptional stability. The Open Country A/T III is available in many popular LT-metric, P/Euro-metric and flotation sizes.

Pros:

  • Three peak mountain snowflake rating for severe winter conditions
  • Treadwear warranty up to 65,000 miles for some sizes

Cons:

  • Not ideal for slick clay mud
  • More aggressive looking than some other A/T tires

4WP Link: https://www.4wheelparts.com/p/toyo-open-country-a-t-iii-tires/prod5820001

14 4WP Factory Xtreme RT Tire 1

4WP Factory Xtreme RT Tire

One of the newest offerings in the Rugged Terrain segment is the all-new 4WP Factory Xtreme RT tire and it’s designed to bridge the gap between an All-Terrain and a Mud Terrain with the added benefit of a stronger construction, multiple load ranges for daily drivers, weekend wheelers and even tow rigs. These tires are more aggressive than an all-terrain but are still lighter than a mud terrain and offer both ride comfort on the open road and rugged traction out on the trail. Available in load ranges D, E, and F in 33, 35 and 37-inch diameters and backed by a 50,000-mile factory warranty.

Pros:

  • High Ratio Contact Area
  • 3-ply sidewall
  • 90% Less Road Noise Than A Mud Terrain
  • Offset Shoulder Blocks for Better Traction in Uneven Terrain
  • Open Shoulder Grooves and Mud Ejectors for Better Stone and Mud Clearing
  • Tow Rig Compatible Load Ranges
  • 50,000 mile Treadwear Warranty

Cons:

  • Not ideal for thick mud
  • More road noise than an all-terrain tire
  • No smaller sizes than 33-inches available at this time

4WP Link: https://www.4wheelparts.com/b/tires-wheels/tires/4-wheel-parts/_/N-cm77uZ1z0acwm

07 Mickey Thompson Baja Pro XS Mud Terrain Tire

Mickey Thompson Baja Pro XS

The Mickey Thompson Baja Pro XS is one of the most aggressive and absolutely the largest diameter street legal light truck mud tire you can slap onto a 4×4. Most would consider it a mud-terrain tire, but it probably should be in an extreme performance tire category. Massive tread lugs feature 27/32 of tread depth. Huge voids are designed to move mud and grip onto jagged rocks, while the circumferential tread elements provide lateral grip. Siping on each lug improves smooth surface traction and offers additional tread lug and tire carcass flex. Angled shoulder scallops guide mud and loose earth into the SideBiter cleats. The thick four-ply construction is designed to fend off punctures. Sizes from 35 to 58 inches in diameter are available for up to 24-inch wheels.

Pros:

  • Largest diameter street legal tire available
  • One of the most aggressive DOT compliant light truck tires on the planet

Cons:

  • Bias-ply carcass and tread design are not street or ice friendly
  • Limited available tire diameters

4WP Link: https://www.4wheelparts.com/p/mickey-thompson-baja-pro-xs-tires/prod5760001

08 Mickey Thompson Baja ATZ P3 RT

Mickey Thompson Baja ATZ P3

The Mickey Thompson Baja ATZ P3 is an R/T hybrid tire that fits in between an all-terrain and mud-terrain tread pattern. It’s designed to give the grip needed for weekend adventures, while offering a smooth ride on paved roads. The ATZ P3 features an extra wide footprint and tough sculptured tread blocks for great all around traction. A silica-reinforced tread compound enhances wet weather performance, tread longevity and cut/chip resistance. PowerPly three-ply sidewall construction offers defense against punctures and provides responsive handling. Deep aggressive shoulder SideBiters add protection and improve off-road traction. The Baja ATZ P3 is available in many popular diameters for 15- to 22-inch wheels.

Pros:

  • Durable three-ply sidewalls
  • 45,000-mile treadwear warranty

Cons:

  • Standard M+S snow rating
  • Not ideal for regular use in thick clay mud

4WP Link: https://www.4wheelparts.com/p/mickey-thompson-baja-atz-p3-tires/7328

09 Mickey Thompson Baja Boss Mud Terrain Tire

Mickey Thompson Baja Boss M/T

The Mickey Thompson Baja Boss M/T is an ultra-premium extreme mud-terrain radial tire. PowerPly XD three-ply sidewall construction features 50 percent more denier cord to provide even greater puncture resistance, improved handling and quicker steering response than the original PowerPly sidewalls. An asymmetrical tread pattern reduces noise, improves handling and on-center feel. The next generation four-pitch SideBiters are 50 percent larger than any previous Mickey Thompson radial tire, providing increased sidewall traction and protection. Many sizes are available for 15- to 24-inch wheel diameters.

Pros:

  • Durable three-ply sidewall with larger SideBiters for more traction
  • Available in D, E and F load ratings for 3/4- and 1-ton applications

Cons:

  • M+S snow rating only
  • Less ideal than an all-terrain tire for regular street use

4WP Link: https://www.4wheelparts.com/p/mickey-thompson-baja-boss-tires/prod3330002

10 Dick Cepek Fun Country Rugged Terrain RT Hybrid Tire

Dick Cepek Fun Country

The Dick Cepek Fun Country is an R/T tire that was developed to deliver excellent off-road traction, a quieter ride and superior durability. Uniquely designed interlocking tread lugs feature narrow sipes for exceptional surface grip, while wide alternating tread grooves work with the tread design for a firm contact patch that responds to changing terrain. An all-new rubber compound offers improved cut and chip protection and a reinforced three-ply sidewall with SideBiters makes the tire more puncture resistant.

Pros:

  • 45,000-mile treadwear warranty
  • Three-ply sidewall and SideBiters for more puncture resistance

Cons:

  • Standard M+S mud and snow rating
  • Limited number of tire diameters available

4WP Link: https://www.4wheelparts.com/p/dick-cepek-fun-country-tires/5326

11 Dick Cepek Extreme Country Mud Terrain Tire

Dick Cepek Extreme Country

The Dick Cepek Extreme Country mud-terrain tire has been designed with a proven tread compound for excellent traction, responsive handling, even wear, longer life and a quiet ride. The tire delivers stability and responsive grip on irregular surfaces. A heavy-duty two-ply next generation high tensile body ply cord enhances sidewall strength without adding weight, rolling resistance, heat buildup or ride harshness. Wide outer tread voids along with angled shoulder scallops provide better traction in mud and loose soil, while tighter inner void/large surface area tread elements provide a greater contact patch for better handling and a quieter ride.

Pros:

  • Aggressive mud-terrain tire with lots of biting edges
  • Tighter inner void/large surface area for better handling and a quieter ride

Cons:

  • Standard M+S mud and snow rating
  • Limited number of tire diameters available

4WP Link: https://www.4wheelparts.com/p/dick-cepek-extreme-country-tires/5325

12 Pro Comp AT Sport All Terrain Tire

Pro Comp A/T Sport

The Pro Comp A/T Sport all-terrain tire features sweeping groove technology, which increases traction and stability in all road conditions. A staggered tread design increases grip in all-terrain and inclement weather environments by clawing at the driven surface. Side holder lugs greatly improve traction in all-terrain environments and all-weather conditions while increasing puncture resistance. An all-terrain tread compound was formulated for the optimum performance across wet, dry, on- and off-road surfaces, while a multi-pitch variation of alternating tread blocks reduces pitch noise as the noise from one block pitch is canceled out by another. Every Pro Comp A/T Sport is backed by a 60-day trial and 60,000-mile warranty.

Pros:

  • 60,000-mile treadwear warranty
  • Smooth rolling all-terrain tire

Cons:

  • Standard M+S mud and snow rating
  • Mild tread is not ideal for clay mud

4WP Link: https://www.4wheelparts.com/p/pro-comp-a-t-sport-tires/28896

13 Pro Comp Xtreme MT2 Mud Terrain Tire

Pro Comp Xtreme MT2

The Pro Comp Xtreme MT2 is one of the few mud-terrain tires with a treadwear warranty. It’s a great tire option for those that want an aggressive looking mud-type tire, but still spend most of their miles on the street. Step-down tread blocks are self-cleaning when driving in snow and mud and scalloped shoulder lugs provide extra traction. Full-length elliptical siping in each lug enhances wet weather and snow capability and rock-rejection ribs help to dislodge stones between the tread blocks. The enhanced upper sidewall treatment offers cut and abrasion resistance and the three-ply sidewalls protect against punctures. Sizes up to 40 inches in diameter are available in popular wheel sizes.

Pros:

  • 40,000-mile treadwear warranty
  • Sizes up to 40 inches in diameter

Cons:

  • Standard M+S mud and snow rating
  • Harder tread compound than some other tires

4WP Link: https://www.4wheelparts.com/p/pro-comp-xtreme-m-t-2-radial-tires/9518

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