Get Adventure Ready With Firestone Destination XTs

Photo By: Rick Stowe

Quick Take: The Destination XT tires from Firestone provide excellent traction and durability on the trail and pavement. They provide the traction and durability that overlanders need off-road while still offering a smooth ride and low road noise on the tarmac. 

“It’s just 20 minutes away, and I packed all of my gear. Might as well camp.” Those words echoed in my mind as I slowly made my way up the rocky five miles of trail during a deluge just after 10 pm. I had spent the day fishing with an old friend, and after dinner with his family, I rolled out of the driveway towards a nearby trail instead of just spending the night in their warm and dry guest room. 

Photo by Rick Stowe

In hindsight, I realized I hadn’t considered the fact that the trailhead was 20 minutes away, but that only got me to the beginning of the trail. After a very slow five miles of alternating between rocks, mud, and flooded water breaks, I finally arrived at a spot to make camp. While visibility was an issue in the deluge, traction never was. Even through off-camber sections, I never experienced any slipping or sliding on the saturated trail. This was especially welcome given the dark void outside of the driver-side window. This was one of my first off-road experiences with the Firestone Destination XTs, and I have to admit it left me inspired and looking forward to many more excursions over the next 50,000-odd miles. 

While I’d love to spend more time on the dirt experiencing adventures like that rainy night drive up the mountain, my overlanding rig is also my daily driver, so it is no stranger to time on the tarmac. Mud terrain tires have tempted me in the past, but my one venture into a set of truly aggressive offroad tires ended with relatively quick wear and much more road noise than I liked. Because of that, I’ve been pretty firmly planted in the camp that, based on the total lifetime of a tire that I’m using on dirt, all-terrain tires will do just fine. Until now. 

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Thankfully, in recent years, overlanders looking to get off of the pavement on occasion no longer have to choose between the compromise of a longer wear all-terrain tire and the more capable but much faster-wearing mud-terrain designation. The rise of the X/T, also known as hybrid tires, offers a more aggressive but still road-friendly option. Even though these options have been on the market for a while, it wasn’t until I got a chance to check out the Firestone Destination XTs in person that I was tempted to commit to a set. I was immediately impressed with the tread depth, the aggressive shoulder lugs, and the overall aggressive yet still pavement-friendly design. 

Photo by Rick Stowe

Now that I’ve had a few months with them on my truck, it’s safe to say that I’m a convert. However, it’s really unfair to describe the XTs simply as a more aggressive all-terrain tire. While they do have larger tread voids and a deeper overall tread, the Firestone team has examined every aspect of these tires to make them capable and durable additions to any rig that will venture off the pavement. While the Destination XTs originally debuted in 2019, they’ve recently been updated with a new compound that softens the ride while maintaining durability. The 3D siping throughout the tread blocks allows the XTs to maintain performance as the tire wears. I’m particularly looking forward to this feature as the miles on the tires add up. With previous AT tires, I’ve noticed a significant decrease in traction as they reach the end of their lifespan.

On a recent 800-mile round-trip weekend getaway, I drove through some southern states infamous for their less-than-smooth highways. Even after hours of comically uneven bridge gaps and far too common potholes, I didn’t find myself flinching in anticipation of every bump. While suspension plays a big part in smoothing out inconsistencies on paved roads, the XTs provided a smoother ride than my last set of tires by a noticeable margin. 

For overlanders looking to gain additional traction over traditional all-terrain tires without totally sacrificing on-road performance, the Destination XTs are a great option. Firestone has continued to innovate and update the XTs to provide a tire that will offer thousands of miles of durability and comfort during both weekend adventures and the daily commute. 

Photo by Rick Stowe

What to know: 

  • Warranty: 50,000 mile 
  • Weight: As tested, 44.6 pounds
  • Price: As tested, $287.99
  • Tread Depth: 15/32 inch
  • Design: Staggered shoulder lugs and open shoulder lugs provide extra traction and shed mud. 
  • Testing: The Destination XTs outperformed similar tires across multiple metrics during external reviews. 
  • Winter Rating: The Destination XTs are rated for winter and snow use.

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