- A side note here: As a former Bridgestone engineer, I strongly recommend checking DiscountTire - Treadwell out. This is a tool that DiscountTire dealers use in the store. You can get recommendations based on value, performance, and local favorites.
TRIED & TESTED!
Rugged-terrain tires are a combination of all-terrain and mud-terrain tires. While they look aggressive as mud tires, they have also good on-road manners like accomplished all-terrain tires. If you have to drive in severe conditions and also ride on smooth surfaces, you are at the right place.
Rugged-terrain tires can be used as all-terrain or mud-terrain tires. While they have slightly more durable than all terrains, yet, this feature might increase your fuel mileage. I do recommend these tires for commercial usage, heavy-duty applications, and towing. Well, you can buy them for a more aggressive appearance while conversing on-road manners of all-terrain tires.
At a Glance
- Nitto Ridge Grappler – Great highway/street tire for 50% on and 50% off usage – Best Performance Driven All-Round RT Tire
- Toyo Open Country RT – Great for hauling & towing – Best Efficiency Driven All-Round RT Tire
- Patriot RT – Great for winter usage – Best Performance Driven Affordable RT Tire
- Kenda Klever RT – Great appearance and durability – Best Efficiency Driven Affordable RT Tire
What are Rugged-Terrain Tires?
Rugged-terrain tires are the top point of tire technology. They can perform like an all-terrain while providing tons of off-road gripping like a mud-terrain. Sound good, right?
- Look as aggressive as mud-terrain
- Grip like mud-terrain
- Perform almost as good as all-terrain on the highway
- Less loud than mud-terrain
- Stronger than all-terrain
- Ability to drive on low inflation pressure
Although they can handle pretty much everything, they are not meant to be number one in one condition. They are optimal.
In order to achieve this optimum point, manufacturers sacrifice some features. These scarifications come up with advantages and disadvantages. I’ve prepared a comparison table for better understanding.
All-Terrain vs Rugged-Terrain vs Mud-Terrain
All-terrain, rugged-terrain, and mud-terrain tires perform differently in different conditions. The below table will explain it better!
Where to Use Rugged-Terrain Tires?
Alright, this question is kinda tricky. You might want to use them for harsh winter conditions. Maybe for muddy surfaces. Even for rock.
Above surfaces have one common feature. They are all hard conditions for an all-terrain tire!
So the answer is easy. If you need huge off-road traction and durability while spending most of your time on the road; you must go with a rugged-terrain tire instead of mud or all-terrain.
Now, I’d like to share my top 5 picks with you. I’ll sort them according to overall performance.
In the following section, I pay attention to overall performances.
Note: Reviews are tailed into every product
- Nitto Ridge Grappler
- Falken Wildpeak AT3W
- Cooper STT Pro
- Hankook Dynapro MT2
- Firestone Destination XT
Nitto Ridge Grappler
Nitto Ridge Grappler is a well-balanced RT tire that has an extremely aggressive appearance. Due to its stiff compound, it lasts long. However, this feature decreases its winter and wet traction slightly. What I like most about this tire is its on-road manners. It’s exceedingly smooth and quiet for this design.
If you are looking for something big, it is available even for 24-inch rim size!
What I like
- Exceptional comfort and road noise reduction
- Gravel and dirt traction
- Mild off-road beast
- Product range is wideeee
What I don’t Like
- Does not have tread wear warranty
- Winter performance is decent
- Severe (mud,rock) performance is average
Toyo Open Country RT
Toyo Open Country RT is a slightly different tire than Ridge Grappler. This dude is more functional. It’s a perfect option for those who are into hauling or towing. It’s durable, last-long and offers decent traction on wet and snowy surfaces. However, a bit noisy ride is a common feature of RT tires. No worries, it’s bearable.
What I like
- Exceptional comfort and communitive tire
- Off-road beast
- Long-lasting rubber
- 45,000 miles treadwear warranty
What I don’t Like
- Winter performance is decent
- It isn’t available on passenger metric sizes. Hence, it works best on 3/4 ton or above trucks (or lifted 1/2 tons).
If you’d like to see a detailed comparison between Nitto Ridge Grappler and Toyo Open Country RT –> https://tireterrain.com/nitto-ridge-grappler-vs-toyo-open-country-rt/
Kenda Klever R/T
Kenda Klever R/T is a reliable tire on wet and dry grounds. It provides a smooth but a bit noisy ride. Moreover, even though it doesn’t have a 3PMSF, it still has decent winter performance in all conditions but ice. Due to its 3-ply sidewalls, its off-road capability is huge. Especially for rock crawling. Though, its tread life is slightly lower than all-terrain tires but better than most rugged-terrain tires.
Note: Kenda Klever R/T is specified for 3/4 or above light trucks. Hence, it’s only available in LT sizes. So, its on-road manners might feel a bit harsher on SUVs or 1/2-ton trucks.
|Dirt-cheap price||Slightly noisy ride|
|3-ply sidewall||Relatively poor steering response for below 3/4 ton trucks and SUVs|
|Huge wet and dry traction||No treadwear warranty|
|Satisfiying winter performance||Only available for LT sizes, hence you don’t have an option for a better on-road manners|
|All-round off-road capability, especially rock crawling|
Here is the detailed review of Kenda Klever R/T –> https://tireterrain.com/kenda-klever-r-t-tire-review/
Patriot RT tires have huge traction ability on loose grounds. They have decent handling and a wet grip. Furthermore, they are quiet and smooth for a rugged-terrain tire.
Patriot RT Plus is a good choice for winter conditions and proves it with 3PMFS. However, their tread life is limited and similar to mud-terrain tires. Yet, their dirt-cheap price covers this deficiency.
Correction: Turns out that Patriot decides to merge these two tires at once. Right now, Patriot RT is the only one available and it’s branded with 3PMSF.
Here is the detailed review of Patriot RT tires –> https://tireterrain.com/patriot-rt-tires-review/
These are my ‘Top 4 Rugged-Terrain Tire’ picks. Since Goodyear Wrangler Duratrac and Cooper ST Maxx are highly popular in the market, I didn’t put them on this list. Still, they are pretty acceptable options.
Take-Home Points, A side note here: If you’d like to get local advice and find the best fit for your driving habits, location, and road conditions DiscountTire – Treadwell Tire Guide can give you masterpiece recommendations.
A side note here: If you’d like to get local advice and find the best fit for your driving habits, location, and road conditions DiscountTire – Treadwell Tire Guide can give you masterpiece recommendations.
I hope this article was helpful. If you fellows need any other suggestions for your operation or any comments, please leave them below. Have a safe ride!
Guide Me Bruh!
This section contains my research and top picks. Depending on your need, you may choose a category and easily find the best fit for yourself. Remember, nobody knows your driving conditions and requirements better than yourself. You’re in the charge out here.
Jack Pearce says
Bought 35×12.50×17 kenda RT haven’t got them mtd yet on my lifted 2001 xj cherokee in Southern Az
Emrecan Gurkan says
Great pick for your region