Toyo Open Country AT3 and Nitto Ridge Grappler are both high-quality off-road tires that are built with different intents. While Ridge Grappler is a rugged-terrain tire, Open Country AT3 is an all-terrain tire. Since both tires belong to the same company, they target different audiences. So, which tire do you belong to? Let’s see!
As a former Bridgestone engineer, from my standpoint, Toyo Open Country AT3 is a more reliable tire. It’s significantly better on wet and snow. Even though both can handle mild and severe off-road very well, Nitto Ridge Grappler’s soft compound decreases its consistency. However, Nitto Ridge Grappler has better on-road manners. It is a quieter tire. Yet, its riding quality is inferior.
Note: Nitto Ridge Grappler’s tread life is hypervariable. Hence, I’ve detailly shared it in the durability section.
- A side note here: I highly recommend checking TireRack Tire Decision Guide out before deciding on a tire. You can easily specify your priorities and get masterpiece suggestions in a minute.
- TireRack Test Results: https://www.tirerack.com/tires/tests/TireTestServlet?perfType=ORAT
- Customer Reviews & Rating Chart: https://www.tirerack.com/tires/reviews/MenuServlet?search=surveyComments
Table of Contents
Center section spacing can give you clues about tire type(All-terrain, mud-terrain, etc.). Wider spacing means better off-road performance and mostly it means you are looking for a mud-terrain tire. Well, in this case, things are a bit more complicated.
Even though Nitto Ridge Grappler (Nitto’s Grappler Line-Up) was announced as a rugged-terrain tire, it’s clear that Nitto’s main goal for this tire on-road manners and smoking hot appearance.
Ridge Grappler with the narrower margin promises a lot for on-road. Moreover, it has a dynamic tread design. Different shaped and sized sipes on the center block are increasing biting capability. That means better traction ability. Yet, a narrowed void area generally doesn’t work very well on the loose grounds. If they want solid off-road traction with this pattern, they should use a fluffy compound. Well, they did.
On the other hand, Toyo Open Country AT3 has a more compact tread design. It has wider lugs which provide tons of traction. Besides that, its siping density is superior. Hence, it promises better wet and winter performance.
I’m personally in love with how Nitto Ridge Grappler looks. Yet, Open Country AT3’s jack-of-all-trade design promises better performance.
Nitto released this tire with the claim of good on-road manners and satisfying off-road performance. Well, that’s true. But the problem is this compound can not handle aggressive off-road driving. It has some chunking and cracking issues. In further time, these chunks will turn into uneven wear, hence, balancing issues.
On the other hand, Open Country AT3’s compound is stiff enough to handle off-road conditions. Since its internal structure is not as heavy as Ridge Grappler, its wearing rate is better than Nitto Ridge Grappler.
Regarding sidewall durability, things are a bit more complicated. Most problems that Ridge Grappler has are caused by heavy weight. Well, some of this weight is produced by thick sidewalls. In fact, the diversity in customer opinions stems from this.
LT sizes of Ridge Grappler are extremely heavy. They can handle the toughest off-road conditions. Well, with the trade of tread life. However, SL and XL sizes of Ridge Grappler can last almost as long as Toyo Open Country AT3. Yet, they can only handle mild off-road due to their relatively weaker sidewalls.
On the other hand, things are the total opposite for Open Country AT3. While its LT sizes have stiff and durable sidewalls, especially its SL sizes have weak sidewalls. Sidewall damage is always on the table. So, if you don’t need an LT size, I recommend XL sizes for Toyo AT3.
In a nutshell,
- Toyo Open Country AT3 is a better option for LT sizes
- SL and XL sizes of Nitto Ridge Grappler are solid
- LT sizes of Nitto Ridge Grappler wear so quickly. Yet, their sidewalls are exceedingly durable.
- SL sizes of Toyo AT3 have weak sidewalls
- If you’ll buy Toyo AT3 and want better on-road manners, I recommend XL sizes instead of SL sizes
Getting maximum wear life from a tire is related to you as well as your tire,
If you’d like to learn how to get maximum tread life:
Let’s keep it short. Due to its narrowed void area and the groves that direct the airflow to the shoulders, Nitto Ridge Grappler is a less vocal tire.
However, that doesn’t mean Toyo AT3 is making too much noise. They just pay the price for high traction capability. Toyo AT3 is still one of the quietest tires in its category.
Riding comfort is mostly related to the internal structure. Well, the tread design has a slight effect on it, yet, too small to be considered for this time.
Since Nitto aims to build a mud-terrain tire with good on-road manners, they use extremely heavy and durable structures. This comfort level overperforms mud-terrain tires. Yet, compared to all-terrain tires, this heavy and stiff structure causes some bumping issues.
On the other hand, Toyo Open Country AT3 has a basic all-terrain tire internal structure. They use a two-ply polyester casing as a foundation for the twin steel belts. As a result of this, they can reach a balance of durability and comfort.
Toyo Open Country AT3 has a better riding quality.
The dry performance of off-road tires can be evaluated under three different layers.
While one of them is dry traction and it’s easy to achieve, the other two cornering stability and steering response can cause some issues due to the lug-type patterns of off-road tires.
Let’s evaluate them one by one.
Dry traction is a doddle for these premium brand off-road tires.
While Toyo AT3 uses its biting edges mostly, Ridge Grappler uses its slick compound to provide decent dry traction.
Both tires have reliable dry traction capability.
Regarding steering response, the weight of the tire and the continuity of the tread is highly important.
Toyo Open Country AT3’s center section is consist of S shape lugs that are interlocked. However, the center line of the tire has some gaps that negatively affect to steering response. So, you might experience a minor delay
On the other hand, Ridge Grappler is a better design in that case. Due to its triangle-shaped lugs, the center line of the tire has minor gaps. Hence, it communicates quicker. Though, its heavy weight creates minor delay.
Nitto Ridge Grappler and Toyo Open Country AT3 have decent steering responses.
So, the cornering stability is important if you’re an aggressive driver. In this case, off-road tires generally don’t have any issues due to their strong sidewalls.
In our comparison, both tires have strong sidewalls. So, the tires can keep their shape while cornering at high velocity.
In this section, there is no need for the grouping I did in the durability section.
No matter what size they are, both tires have reliable cornering stability.
Due to their relatively stiff compounds, off-road tires sometimes struggle to produce solid traction on wet pavement. However, they are mostly one of the most successful segments if we’re talking about the high-speed wet performance.
I made the above explanation in order to explain more easily that wet ground performance should be evaluated in two different ways.
So, while wet traction is the indicator of starting, accelerating, and stopping, hydroplaning resistance is the indicator of high-velocity wet performance.
Let me explain them one by one.
Wet traction is related to compound stiffness and siping density (biting edges).
Let’s start with the compound stiffness. Compound stiffness is measured with UTQG ratings. Even though this isn’t the only factor that affects wet performance, the tires below 700 UTQG ratings perform better on wet pavement.
Since Toyo Open Country AT3 has 600 and Ridge Grappler has 500 UTQG, both tires pass the test.
Regarding the second variable siping density, Toyo Open Country AT3 has a huge advantage. Yet, this difference is the same difference between the mud-terrain and all-terrain tires. Mud-terrain tires don’t have too many sipes, yet, they can grip wet surfaces due to their soft compounds.
Due to its more compact tread and soft compound, Nitto Ridge Grappler provides reliable wet traction. On the other hand, Toyo Open Country AT3 is a beast in this case. I don’t think that any tire in the market can beat it.
Hydroplaning resistance is the water evacuation capability of the tire. Tires can keep the water inside the tread at high speed. Well, if the tread doesn’t throw the water out of it, it might lose contact with the surface in case of any braking. That’s called hydroplaning.
So, solid hydroplaning resistance is provided by circumferential grooves and open shoulder blocks.
Both tires have suitable tread designs for the above entailments. I can’t separate them. Both are trustworthy. Yet, Ridge Grappler can be found on higher speed ratings. Hydroplaning resistance might be more useful for Ridge Grappler users.
Note: Hydroplaning is vital for a safe ride under the pouring rain. However, it might occur even with the best tire. Maybe you can’t prevent it but if you know what it is and how to deal with it, you can easily stay on the safe side.
Here is an extremely efficient guide about ‘How to Deal with Hydroplaning?‘ –> https://www.prioritytire.com/blog/hydroplaning-aquaplaning
Winter performance is another black point for Ridge Grappler. These tires are not built to perform in severe winter conditions. Well, they do not have 3-peak mountain snowflake marking.
On the other hand, Open Country AT3 is great in severe winter conditions. They can handle every kind of snow very well. Moreover, their traction capability is superior. They only struggle a bit on the ice. Yet, you can handle it with a piece of driving skill. It is also rated with a 3-peak mountain snowflake marking.
Open Country AT3 is the true winner of this section. No doubt.
The off-road performance of these tires is a bit cheeky. Therefore, I would like to classify them due to surfaces.
- A sidenote here: If you’d like to see the best all-terrain tires by vehicle or usage, this article is GOOOOLD –> https://tireterrain.com/best-all-terrain-tires/
They are working equally well on dirt. Indeed, Open Country AT3 can clean itself a bit better than Ridge Grappler.
I can say that Open Country AT3 is slightly better.
The narrow void area of Ridge Grappler is struggling to clean compact mud and losing traction in long-time usage. Yet, its evacuation capability is dope. On the other hand, Toyo Open Country AT3 has a huge self-cleaning capability. Its wide grooves enable mud performance.
Open Country AT3 is the winner in this section.
Rock and Gravel
Rock and gravel is the expertise of Ridge Grappler. The Center section with huge mobility and flexibility can crawl easily through to rocks.
On the other hand, Toyo Open Country AT3 can handle both rock and gravel. In fact, it has better gravel performance due to its wider gaps. However, I can’t say the same thing for rock crawling.
- Nitto Ridge Grappler is a better option for rock crawling
- Toyo Open Country AT3 is a better option for gravel
Ridge Grappler is more capable to work well on sand. It has a less aggressive design which is what you need on the sand.
On the other hand, Open Country AT3 can evacuate the sand easily. Yet, traction is not good as Nitto’s.
Nitto does not offer a tread warranty for Ridge Grappler.
Toyo offers a 65000 miles tread warranty for Open Country AT3.
Getting maximum wear life from a tire is related to you as well as your tire,
If you’d like to learn how to get maximum tread life:
|Toyo Open Country AT3||Nitto Ridge Grappler|
|Category||All – Terrain Tire||Hybrid All-Terrain Tire|
|Vehicle||Light Truck, SUV||Light Truck, SUV|
|Available Sizes (Rim)||15’’, 16’’, 17’’, 18’’, 20’’, 22’’||16”, 17”, 18”, 20”, 22”, 24”|
|Weight||26-76 lbs||40 – 95 lbs
|Made In||White, GA, USA||White, GA, USA|
|Severe Snow Rated (3PMSF)||Yes||No|
|Warranty (P-metric)||65,000 Miles||N/A|
|Warranty (LT Sizes)||50,000 Miles||N/A|
|Prices||Check price section to see best possible prices||Check price section to see best possible prices|
The tire market has a dynamic price policy. Hence, in my point of view, sharing tire price is pointless.
Though, I’ve analyzed the top 10 brands of most popular tire brands.
Here are the dealers with a reasonable price range,
- Biggest dealer in the US. Founded in 1960
- 1000 stores in 35 states. You most probably find one on your parallel street
- Free rotation and balancing
- 5% off for DiscountTire cardholders on online purchase
- Highest rated online tire dealer in Consumer Affairs
- Almost all brands are available
- Delivery takes 2-4 days (30% shorter average waiting time when you book online)
- Frequent discounts and promotions
Toyo Open Country AT3: https://www.discounttire.com/buy-tires/toyo-tire-open-country-a-t-ii
Nitto Ridge Grappler: https://www.discounttire.com/buy-tires/nitto-ridge-grappler
- Fast and Free shipping
- Usually delivered in 1 day
- Joint venture with DiscountTire(their installers and dealers are on your service)
- Tons of installer options, they also help you to choose the best one
- Mobile installers in many areas, your tires will be replaced while you’re working in the office
- Tire test results and comparisons can be found on the most product page
- 4.6/5 points on Google rate
Toyo Open Country AT3: https://www.tirerack.com/tires/toyo-open-country-a-t-iii
Nitto Ridge Grappler: Not available
- Free shipping
- Delivered in 2 days
- Verified shops near you(for mount and balance)
- Mobile installation option
- 7 million customers since 2021
- 4.7/5 points on Google rate
- Top-notch customer service, you may even request a price match
Toyo Open Country AT3: https://simpletire.com/brands/toyo-tires/open-country-a-t-iii
Nitto Ridge Grappler: https://simpletire.com/brands/nitto-tires/ridge-grappler
While choosing dealers, I especially pay attention to reliability. All of the dealers on this list have 15-20 years of experience in the online tire business. Therefore, I can guarantee a smooth and fast tire buying process.
In summary, both tires have a different range of applications. Ridge Grappler is a bit more definite.
- LT sizes have stronger sidewalls. That feature makes them more durable but less comfortable. I don’t recommend them only for inner-city driving. (LT vs P-Metric tires)
- XL sizes tend to carry more load and offer better handling. Hence, they might be a better pick for hauling and towing( XL vs SL tires)
- Please pay attention to load range and speed index. These metrics are essential if you expect decent tread life.
Pages that should be strictly checked before making a purchase:
- TireRack Deals: https://www.tirerack.com/specialoffers/specialoffers.jsp
- DiscountTire Deals: https://www.discounttire.com/promotions
- SimpleTire Deals: https://simpletire.com/tire-deals
- JustTire Deals (Goodyear, Cooper, Starfire, Kelly): https://www.justtires.com/en-US/offers
- Goodyear Deals: https://www.goodyear.com/en-US/tire-sale
You can keep the below points in your mind for better selection,
- I don’t recommend Ridge Grappler unless you are not living in Southern regions.
- Ridge Grappler has good on-road manners
- Open Country AT3 is a trustworthy selection
Hope this comparison is helpful. If you have any further questions, please leave them below!
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.