What Are All-Terrain Tires?

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The tire is probably the most fundamental component when it comes to talking about cars. A robust and dependable tire will enhance your overall driving experience as well as safety while driving on the road.

All-terrain tires are a particular type of all-purpose tire that can perform great on and off the road. 

Their combination of a sound handling system of the street tires and the open-tread design for the off-road tires makes them the best of both worlds.

If you have recently bought a car or want to replace stock tires and don’t clearly know what all-terrain tires are, this article got answers to all your queries.

Features of All-Terrain Tires

Features of All-Terrain Tires
Features of All-Terrain Tires

The best feature about the all-terrain tires is their dual-purpose usability. They can efficiently work on any kind of ground ranging from dirt roads to asphalt. 

Although they can be pretty heavy and may produce few grinding sounds while driving, what makes them truly special is how seamlessly they can switch from one terrain to the other.

Here are some of the best features of all-terrain tires.

Tread Design

It is possibly the most important feature of any tire. The primary function of a tread is to provide traction between the ground and the tires. 

However, as we know, with the traditional tread design, they have gaps between the blocks. Moreover, the depth of the treads is relatively low, so what happens is that they can get trapped between rocky surfaces, mud, etc.

All-terrain tires have a unique open tread design, allowing them to flex between muddy terrains quickly. The deeper space also helps by allowing bigger chunks of debris into the tire without hampering the performance.

Strength of the Sidewall

The sidewall is responsible for keeping the tire’s structure when a heavy load is applied and protecting the outside from sharp objects to prevent it from getting punctured. 

An all-terrain tire has a stronger sidewall and thicker design that offers overall protection from any external entity.


Sizing is quite an essential factor for choosing the perfect tire for your vehicle. Bigger tires can easily traverse through rocky terrains but lose some speed because of their size. 

All-terrain tires provide your car with enough lift and protection from different types of roads.

Towing Capability

If you’re regularly towing some heavy equipment with your vehicles like an RV, or a boat, you’re far better off with all-terrain tires than anything else. They offer an excellent load rating so that you can easily tow heavy equipment without breaking a sweat.

Longer Lifespan

All-terrain tires offer a longer lifespan than your average run-of-the-mill tires. They can last for as long as 50,000 miles easily. With this long life cycle, you can rest easy because you often don’t need to overthink about changing the tire anytime soon.

Fuel Efficiency

You should definitely consider the crucial aspect of fuel efficiency while choosing the best quality tire for your vehicle. 

All-terrain tires have different tread patterns on the outside wall, making them much more roll-resistant than your average tires. 

This means that you’ll be able to save as much as 5% of total fuel per year just by switching to all-terrain tires for your vehicle.

All-Terrain vs. Other Tires

Before choosing any other tire for your car, you might want to check how all-terrain tires hold up against the other available tires in the market.

All-season Tire vs. All-Terrain Tire

All-season Tire vs. All-Terrain Tire
All-season Tire vs. All-Terrain Tire

Compared to all-terrain tires, all-season tires are usually quieter and offer more smoothness on normal roads. They also are a little bit more fuel-efficient than the all-terrain ones.

But if you’re looking for a tire that can withstand different rough conditions with better build quality and longevity, you should go with all-terrain ones.

Snow Tires vs. All-Terrain Tires

Snow Tires vs. All-Terrain Tires
Snow Tires vs. All-Terrain Tires

All-terrain tires are suited well for low temperatures; they rarely slip and don’t lose durability on icy roads. 

In addition, generally, all-terrain tires are graded with three snowflake ratings, meaning they are designed to handle extreme temperatures.

Snow tires work great in continuous freezing temperatures. They offer a little bit more stability and flexibility when going through icy roads.

Mud Tires vs. All-Terrain Tires

Mud Tires vs. All-Terrain Tires
Mud Tires vs. All-Terrain Tires

Mud tires have a much more aggressive tread design, meaning that they can traverse better through muddy roads and hold onto the ground much better. 

But most of us don’t go through muddy ground that much, and muddy tires come with their own set of compromises. 

So, for most situations, all-terrain tires will serve you a whole lot better than mud tires. Here you can check All Terrain Tires vs Off-Road Tires.

Common All-Terrain Tire Terminology

If you’re on the market looking for good-quality all-terrain tires, some proper terminologies will come in handy in determining the best tire for your car.


The groove’s primary function is to dispose of the water from the tread to get rid of hydroplaning. A larger groove has the potential to expel water, dirt, and unnecessary materials more quickly.


Lug is the portion of the tire that remains in contact with the ground. A good quality lug pattern will be effective at gripping the ground efficiently.


The open space between the treads is known as the voids. A low void means less contact with the ground, whereas a higher void ratio will mean that the tire will contact the ground more frequently.


Tread Pattern

Tread is usually calculated by measuring the length from the bottom of the groove to the top of the tire. Tread has a lot of functions – it affects traction, speed, acceleration, and fuel consumption.


The slot between the tire surface is known as the sipe. The sipe pattern affects the overall responsiveness of tires through snow, ice, muddy, and wet surfaces.

Common Markings

There are some required markings on the all-terrain tires to determine the quality of the tire. Here are the required markings.

  • DOT number
  • The capacity of load, speed, etc
  • Build characteristics

What Are the Right Vehicles for All-Terrain Tires?

What Are the Right Vehicles
What Are the Right Vehicles

Although most cars can benefit from using high-quality all-terrain tires, certain vehicles will be most benefitted. Here are some examples.

Pickup Truck

A pickup truck carries massive loads while traversing through miles of land almost every day. Therefore, an all-terrain tire will not only increase its performance but also help retain durability.


If you tend to cover many grounds, an all-terrain truck will help your SUV in this regard.

Light Truck

For increasing off-the-road performance, an all-terrain tire will fit into the light truck category a lot. Because of the higher load capacity, all-terrain tires are the perfect fit for light trucks.

Top All-Terrain Tire Brands

Top All-Terrain Tire Brands
Top All-Terrain Tire Brands

Some of the topmost brands for buying your next all-terrain tires are the following –

  • Toyo Tires
  • Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company
  • Dick Cepek
  • BFGoodrich
  • Cooper Tire and Rubber Company

Final Words

As you can probably tell, no matter what type of car you have and the kind of ground your car traverses, all-terrain tires are best when it comes to riding different types of tracks during not too extreme weather conditions.

I hope the article was informative enough to answer your question ‘what are all-terrain tires’?

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