All-Terrain vs. All-Season Tires

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If you are an owner of a pickup truck or maybe an SUV, you want your tires to be able to provide traction, require less braking time, and have easy handling so that you can use them safely in snow.

Luckily, there are tires available with the above-mentioned advantages and the added benefit of using the tires for all purposes and all year round.

There are two special types of tires to solve your problem: all-terrain tires and all-season tires.

The question is, which one to get? Read our all-terrain vs. all-season tires in snow guide to get a clearer picture of the advantages and disadvantages of such tires.

All-Terrain vs. All-Season Tires

Like all other tires, these come with their own features. Some of them are noted below.


Both all-terrain and all-season tires are made of rubber. But they differ in the raw materials used. All-terrain tires are made harder to be more durable and withstand both on-road and off-road conditions. The rubber compound used to make them keep the tires softer during winter.

All-season tires are made of the type of rubber which works best as long as the temperature remains above 40 to 50 degrees Fahrenheit.

Tread Profile

The all-terrain tires have a kind of design, which is known as open-tread. This is the most useful feature of these tires. Due to this tread profile, the tires ensure a great grip on the roads or on any type of surface, be it mud, snow, or other off-road conditions.

And the tread profile in all-season tires is such that they can be comfortable to drive in mostly on road conditions, in most weather conditions. All-season tires provide somewhat traction in snow or icy roads, but in a snowstorm or harsher conditions, it is best to stay in.

Moreover, the all-terrain tires are clearly better than the all-season tires in this regard. And the former one drives better and safer in snow. You don’t need to go back and forth between the winter tires and all-terrain tires.


Though both the all-terrain tires and all-season tires provide great mileages, the all-terrain tires provide milage that is significantly lower than the all-season tires.

This means all-terrain tires wear out faster than the all-season tires and thus should be changed more frequently.

Fuel Consumption

The all-terrain tires consume more fuel, or in other words, make the vehicle less fuel-efficient.

All-terrain tires are mostly used if the driver goes off-road frequently, for which the tires need to have certain features to survive those conditions. The build of the tires while providing those features, also takes up more fuel.

And the all-season tires, in comparison, take up much less fuel, making the vehicle more fuel-efficient, but at the cost of the features, the all-terrain tires own.

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Rolling Friction

This is one of those properties due to which fuel consumption is higher in all-terrain tires. Rolling friction is higher in all-terrain tires if compared to all-season tires.

Owing to the rolling friction, the speed of all-season tires is also faster than that of the all-terrain tires. In snow or rain or any wet condition, you need more traction to get good handling, which the all-terrain tires provide, without a doubt.

The all-season tires, however, built mostly for on-road use, don’t deliver in this regard as well as the all-terrain tires. That being said, they do provide decent traction in rainy days, and to a lesser extent, on muddy roads.


Every tire is not the same, and so, due to their differences, have different prices. The all-terrain tires are more expensive than the all-season tires. But the all-terrain tires, for the higher price, gives higher performance. They can be operated in both off-road and on-road conditions.

The all-season tires come at a lower price but have decent features. They can be used in all the seasons quite comfortably, provided the conditions are not too harsh.


All-terrain tires, due to their aggressive build, are vulnerable to cupping. Make sure to check for cupping from time to time and change them if needed. The all-season tires in this regard are advantageous. They are built softer, and therefore, there is less cupping.

Pros and Cons

Now that you have a general idea about the tires and how they function in snow, let’s take a look at the pros and cons of each tire to summarize.

Pros and cons of All-Terrain Tires

Pros and cons of All-Terrain Tires


  • The tread profile enables the tires to provide more traction in both dry and wet conditions, including snow, on-road, and off-road
  • Stronger sidewalls to provide additional traction and improved load capacity
  • Good mileage
  • No need to change the tires during the winter season
  • Higher rolling friction in snow and on rainy days
  • Better handling in both on-road and off-road conditions


  • The tread profile leads to noise during driving
  • Mileage is less than that of the all-season tires
  • Increases the fuel consumption of the vehicle
  • Costs more than other tires
  • Susceptible to cupping

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Pros and cons of All-Season Tires

Pros and cons of All-Season Tires


  • The tread profile gives a smoother and more quiet drive
  • Tread life or mileage is more than that of the all-terrain tires
  • Makes the vehicle more fuel-efficient
  • Price is less than all-terrain tires
  • Not susceptible to cupping


  • Provides less traction in snow
  • Built mostly for on-road usage
  • Rubber compound doesn’t work very well under 40-degree Fahrenheit
  • Less rolling friction
  • Less load capacity
  • May need to change the tires in stormy weather in winter


If you have read the whole article, you are equipped with the necessary information you need to decide which one to go for to tackle all the snow in winter.

The all-terrain tires provide more traction than the all-season tires in the snow. But their use is justified if you frequently go for off-road driving. If you are someone who drives in paved roads more or a fan of peace and quiet and don’t need to drive much in the snow, then the all-season tires are for you.