Gear Collections: Overlanding Tires

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Whether you’re looking to get started in overlanding or you’re a longtime expert overlander, knowing which are the latest and greatest tires is important. After all, just because your 4×4 was built for driving off-road doesn’t mean the tires its wearing are as equally capable. The single best investment you can make in your vehicle, overland rig or otherwise, is tires.

From ejecting rocks to finding traction in deep mud, sand, and snow to gripping sopping wet pavement, tires are your first line of defense against getting stuck. And if you want to adventure solo, you’re going to want to be sure you have the best tires possible.

With that in mind, we put together a list of our favorites. In alphabetical order, here are the best tires for overlanding.


BF Goodrich — All-Terrain T/A KO2


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If you’ve ever been in the middle of an overlanding journey and had a tire give out on you, you know how frustrating it can be. If you want to make sure your ride is always ready for the mud, the BFG KO2 tires offer the perfect combination of excellent all-terrain performance and durability. Be forewarned, these have a pretty stiff sidewall. So, they will make your ride a bit harder. But what they lack in supple cushioning, they make up for with toughness and rock-puncture prevention.


BF Goodrich — Mud-Terrain T/A KM3 Tires


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You’ve likely seen the first and second generations of the KMs on other overland rigs. The third-gen, the KM3s, take the success of their predecessors to a new level. They boast 5% better mud traction, which allows you to power through mud and loose soil. The KM3s feature massive tread blocks designed to deliver incredible grip from any angle of approach. The new mud-ejecting bars release compacted mud for continued traction.


Falken — WILDPEAK A/T3W


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The WILDPEAK A/T3W is a relative newcomer to the scene. Despite its newness, the WILDPEAK A/T3W has received rave reviews for both its on- and off-road manners and capability. The A/T3W combines aggressive off-road ability and rugged terrain driving without compromise on the pavement. An optimized tread design combined with a silica tread compound enable the A/T3W to excel in three areas: wear, winter, and wet performance. Designed for severe snow conditions, every A/T3W tire is qualified by USTMA and TRAC for the Three Peak Mountain Snow Flake (3PMSF) symbol. The A/T3W is packed with technology, from Falken’s patented 3D Canyon Sipes to an all-new proprietary lower sidewall. Full-depth sipes and grooves maintain consistent performance and appearance throughout the life of the tire.


General Tire — AT2


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For those who want an all-terrain tire with a bit more on-road refinement, we recommend General’s AT2. It’s a tough all-terrain tire designed with aggressive, self-cleaning tread that provides off-road traction, durability and impressive performance. Its tread is siped from the factory, ensuring slick-road performance. Its treads are big and blocky for off-road grip and the sidewalls are protected from sharp rocks and logs. Best of all, the AT2s are really compliant on a daily basis. So, if your overland rig is your primary daily driver, you’ll appreciate the AT2’s on-road manners.


General Tire  — Grabber X3


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One of the — if not the — top-rated all-round overlanding tire is General’s Grabber X3. In fact, it’s the tire our very own Nick Jaynes picked for his Jeep Gladiator. The X3s are a bold and aggressive Mud-Terrain tire. They deliver extreme off-road performance in mud, dirt and rocky terrain, with three-ply sidewall durability, balanced with impressive on-road performance. While other tires on this list have super stiff sidewalls, the X3s do not. Nevertheless, they are still incredibly resilient and resistant to punctures. What’s more, although the X3 is technically a mud tire, they have some characteristics of an all-terrain. This makes them the best of both styles.


Goodyear — Wrangler DuraTrac


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Seems like Goodyear has been making the Wrangler DuraTrac forever. In this case, it proves the old adage, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fit it.” People are dedicated to the DuraTrac, and for good reason. As Goodyear puts it, the DuraTrac is a workhorse of a tire. It’s not just great at finding traction off-road, it is also a strong towing tire as well. The DuraTrac has been accused of having soft sidewalls. But if you are careful on rocks and around other sharp obstacles, you should be fine.


Goodyear — Wrangler MT/R with Kevlar


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Another oldie but goodie is the Wrangler MT/R with Kevlar. They feature an asymmetrical tread design and the DuPont Kevlar reinforced sidewalls, which improves puncture resistance by 35%. These bad boys might not be the newest, or the quietest, but when you want a military-tough tire, there are few better choices than the Wrangler MT/R with Kevlar.


Mickey Thompson — Baja ATZ P3


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The Mickey Thompson Baja ATZ P3 has a unique ‘hybrid’ style design. That means its somewhere between an all-terrain and mud-terrain. This hybridization gives the tire excellent grip while offering smooth, relatively quiet ride comfort. The footprint of the Baja ATZ P3s is an extra wide. Matched with beefy tread blocks, these tires return great all around traction. Like other tires on this list, the sidewalls feature PowerPly three-ply construction. Plus, they have deep, aggressive side-biters for improved protection. The multi-draft grooves are self-cleaning and improve wear.


Nitto — Trail Grappler M/T


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When the engineers at Nitto designed the Trail Grappler M/T, they blended some of the off-road performance of the Mud Grappler with the on-road comfort of the Terra Grappler. This created a tire that is both aggressive and quiet — what’s not to love? The sidewall combines a three-ply high turn-up construction with a thick rubber compound that cushions the tire and helps prevent punctures. For on-road comfort, Nitto’s engineers used advanced sound analysis equipment to reduce the noise levels commonly associated with off-road tires. Plus, they look mean, too.


Toyo — Open Country M/T


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You’ll either love them or hate them. But the Open Country M/T is legendary for durability, off-road performance, long tread life, and an aggressive tread pattern. It’s designed to help trucks work hard on pavement and then work just as hard when roads are muddy, snowy, and rocky — or when there are no roads at all. Some overlanders report these tires don’t ride as nicely on Jeeps as they do Toyotas or Land Rovers. So be forewarned.


Header image credit: Nick Jaynes

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Photo by Brett Willhelm

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