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2024-04-01

All Terrain vs. Mud Terrain Tires: Choosing the Best for Your Vehicle

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Choosing the right tire for your vehicle is crucial to enhancing performance, ensuring safety, and improving your overall driving experience. In this guide, we'll explore the differences between All Terrain (A/T) tires and Mud Terrain (M/T) tires, empowering you to make the best choice for your driving needs.

Understanding Tire Types

What Are All Terrain Tires?

All Terrain tires are designed to provide balanced performance both on and off the road. They feature a tread pattern that's less aggressive than Mud Terrain tires, making them an excellent choice for drivers who spend most of their time on highways but still require occasional off-road capabilities.

What Are Mud Terrain Tires?

Mud Terrain tires are specialized for off-road driving, particularly in muddy conditions. With deeper tread blocks and more aggressive patterns, these tires are built to provide superior traction in challenging terrains, making them ideal for off-road enthusiasts.

Key Differences Between A/T and M/T Tires

Tread Design

A/T tires Feature a moderate tread depth and pattern designed for versatility, offering reliable performance on various surfaces, whereas M/T tires Boast deeper, more aggressive tread patterns for enhanced grip in mud and loose soil, giving your ride a meaner, more aggressive look.

Tire Compound

A/T tires use a softer rubber compound for better traction on both paved roads and mild off-road conditions, while M/T Tires employ a harder compound that withstands rough terrain, resulting in less comfort on the road.

Noise and Comfort

A/T tires are overall much quieter on highways, providing a more comfortable ride for daily driving compared to M/T tires, which tend to produce more road noise, particularly at higher speeds, due to their aggressive tread patterns.

Durability and Lifespan

A/T tires will usually offer a balanced lifespan, suitable for a mix of driving conditions. On the other hand, M/T tires may wear faster on highways since they have been designed and built to last in more extreme off-road conditions.

On Road and Daily Performance All Year Round

A/T tires tend to perform well in light to moderate snow conditions. Most of them are actually severe-winter-conditions rated with the 3-Peak-Mountain-Snowflake (3PMS) logo, giving the extra confidence needed to drive them all-year round or to face an expected snowstorm. M/T tires are, on the other hand, less incline to have the 3PMS logo making them less efficient in heavy snow conditions, although most of them fo have the Mud and Snow (M+S) approbation.

Vehicle Application

Both A/T and M/T tire models are generally installed on these 3 types of vehicles; full-size pick-ups like the Ford F-150/F-250/F-350, Chevrolet Silverado 1500/2500/3500 series, Ram 1500/2500/3500, medium-size trucks like the Ford Ranger, Toyota Tacoma or the Chevrolet Colorado, as well off-road oriented SUVs like the Jeep Wrangler, Toyota 4Runner or the Ford Bronco.

However, for A/T models, there is an emerging trend surrounding A/T tires getting installed on regular and smaller SUVs such as the Subaru Outback, Toyota Rav4 or Maxda CX-50, just to name a few.

You can read more details about this emerging trend in this article

Choosing the Right Tire for Your Needs

Consider Your Driving Conditions

Assess your typical driving environment. If you frequently drive off-road or in muddy conditions, M/T tires might be your best choice. For mostly highway driving with occasional off-road adventures, A/T tires could be more suitable.

However, if you are looking for a tire that give a "wow" effect more than the usual selection criteria such as durability, comfort, road noise, the M/T tires would be the better fit.

Weighing Performance vs. Comfort

Consider whether off-road performance or on-road comfort is more important for your daily driving needs. A/T tires offer a compromise between the two, while M/T tires prioritize off-road capabilities.

Budget Considerations

While A/T and M/T tires can be similar in price, consider the potential for faster wear of M/T tires if used primarily on highways, possibly leading to more frequent replacements.

Our Top 3 Recommendations for A/T Tires in 2024

Our #1 Recommendation for A/T Tires in 2024

BFGoorich All-Terrain T/A KO2

The BFG KO2 tire stands out as PMCtire's top A/T choice among customers, year after year, thanks to its unparalleled blend of durability, off-road capability, and on-road performance. Its advanced tread design and tough rubber compound offer exceptional traction across various surfaces, making it a reliable option for drivers seeking versatility without compromise. The KO2's consistent popularity is a testament to its ability to meet the demanding needs of diverse driving conditions while ensuring customer satisfaction through superior quality and longevity.

It is to consider that in 2024, BFGoodrich will launch the newest generation of their All-Terrain T/A KO tire, the BFGoodrich All-Terrain T/A KO3.

We have yet to receive any feedback on them since only a few OE dimensions have been launched and are available right now and we haven't tested it yet, but we're confident the newer generation will bring all of the great features technologies found in the KO2 and even more!

Want to learn more about the BFGoodrich All-Terrain T/A KO2?

Click here to see all BFGoodrich All-Terrain T/A KO2 details and available sizes

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Our #2 Recommendation for A/T Tires in 2024

Goodyear Wrangler Duratrac RT

The Goodyear Wrangler DuraTrac RT builds on the legacy of its predecessor, the Goodyear Wrangler Duratrac, which has been acclaimed by reviews and comments from our customers for many years already. This new generation incorporated advanced technology for improved durability and off-road performance. It distinguishes itself with enhanced tread design for better traction in mud and snow compared to the previous generation, along with a tougher sidewall to resist punctures and cuts. This evolution makes it an exceptional All Terrain tire, offering drivers superior grip and control in diverse conditions, from rocky trails to snowy roads. The Wrangler DuraTrac RT is an ideal choice for adventurers and daily drivers alike, seeking reliability and performance without compromise.

Want to learn more about the Goodyear Wrangler DuraTrac RT?

Click here to see all Goodyear Wrangler DuraTrac RT details and available sizes

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Our #3 Recommendation for A/T Tires in 2024

Falken WILDPEAK A/T4W

Just like the DuraTrac RT, the Falken WILDPEAK A/T4W evolves from its acclaimed predecessor, the Falken WILDPEAK A/T3W with significant improvements in tread life and all-weather traction. It stands out for its innovative tread design that enhances grip on wet and snowy roads, coupled with a rubber compound optimized for durability. This tire also features a more robust sidewall construction compared to its predecessor, providing better protection against off-road hazards. The WILDPEAK A/T4W is praised for offering these advanced features at a competitive price point, making it an excellent choice for drivers seeking a blend of performance, reliability, and value in their all-terrain tire selection.

Want to learn more about the Falken WILDPEAK A/T4W?

Click here to see all Falken WILDPEAK A/T4W details and available sizes

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Our Top 3 Recommendations for M/T Tires in 2024

Our #1 Recommendation for M/T Tires in 2024

BFGoodrich Mud-Terrain T/A KM3

Year after year, the BFGoodrich Mud-Terrain KM3 reigns as PMCtire's premier M/T tire, beloved by customers for its supreme off-road capabilities and durability. Engineered to excel in the most challenging mud and rocky terrains, its superior tread compound and innovative design ensure exceptional traction and puncture resistance. This tire is not only a favorite among PMCtire's clientele but also a trusted companion in competitive off-road events such as the King of the Hammers, one of the toughest off-road races in the world, showcasing its performance and reliability under the most extreme conditions. The KM3's advanced design and robust construction make it an ideal tire for competitors looking to conquer the extreme conditions of the King of the Hammers, illustrating its capability and reliability in the most demanding off-road challenges. Its enduring popularity underscores its position as the ultimate choice for off-road aficionados and competitive drivers alike, who demand nothing but the best in M/T tire technology.

BFGoodrich-Mud-Terrain-Tires-on-Patrol-Jeep-1-scaled.webp

Want to learn more about the BFGoodrich Mud-Terrain T/A KM3?

Click here to see all BFGoodrich Mud-Terrain T/A KM3 details and available sizes

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Our #2 Recommendation for M/T Tires in 2024

Toyo Tires Open Country M/T

The Toyo Tires Open Country M/T stands as PMCtire's leading M/T tire choice, consistently favored by customers for its exceptional off-road prowess and resilience. Designed to tackle the harshest conditions, from deep mud to jagged rocks, it features an aggressive tread pattern and a durable compound that offer unparalleled traction and cut resistance. As is the case for the KM3, this tire is not only a perennial favorite among PMCtire shoppers but also a preferred option for competitors in the Baja 1000, one of the most prestigious and challenging off-road races in the world, taking place on Mexico's Baja California Peninsula, a testament to its high performance in competitive off-road racing. This iconic event, part of the SCORE International Off-Road Racing series, attracts competitors from around the globe who come to test their skills, endurance, and equipment against the rugged and unforgiving desert terrain. The race features various vehicle classes, from motorcycles and ATVs to trucks and custom-built buggies, all competing over a course that can vary in length from 600 to over 1,000 miles. The Baja 1000 is renowned for its harsh conditions, including rocky paths, sand dunes, and dust, requiring vehicles and tires to be of the highest durability and performance. The Open Country M/T's strong reputation among PMCtire's audience and its proven track record in events like the Baja 1000 underscore its status as a top-tier choice for those who demand the utmost in M/T tire performance.

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Want to learn more about the Toyo Tires Open Country M/T?

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Our #3 Recommendation for M/T Tires in 2024

Goodyear Wrangler Boulder MT

The Goodyear Wrangler Boulder MT, newly introduced this year, quickly ascended to become PMCtire's preferred M/T tire, captivating customers with its advanced off-road capabilities and durability. This tire, based upon renowned models like the Goodyear Wrangler Duratrac and Goodyear Wrangler MT/R with Kevlar, both of which are highly regarded for their off-road capabilities, is engineered with cutting-edge technology to master the most challenging terrains, from deep mud to sharp rocks. Its aggressive tread pattern and robust compound ensure superior traction and resistance to abrasions, setting a new standard in M/T performance. Therefore, despite not having received much feedback from our customers about this tire yet, Goodyear's history and dominance in the A/T and M/T tire market give customers great confidence that the Wrangler Boulder MT will be a great tire for their offOff-Road and On-Road needs.

Want to learn more about the Goodyear Wrangler Boulder MT?

Click here to see all Goodyear Wrangler Boulder MT details and available sizes

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In exploring the diverse worlds of All Terrain and Mud Terrain tires, we've navigated through the intricacies that define their purposes, performance, and suitability for various driving conditions. Whether you're looking for a tire offering the versatility and balanced performance of AT tires, the rugged, uncompromising grip of MT tires in the most challenging terrains or simply a good-looking tire that completely transforms how aggressive your vehicle will look, understanding these differences is key to selecting the right tire for your adventures.

Our top three recommendations for both A/T and M/T tires are curated to cater to a wide range of needs, preferences, and driving scenarios. From the reliability and all-around excellence of the BFGoodrich KO2, topping our recommendations of A/T tires, to the unmatched off-road prowess of the BFGoodrich Mud Terrain KM3, topping our M/T recommendations our selections are designed to enhance your driving experience, safety, and tire longevity.

As we conclude, remember that the right tire not only complements your vehicle but transforms your driving experience. Whether you're navigating the daily commute, exploring rugged trails, or gearing up for competitive off-road racing, our recommendations aim to guide you towards making an informed, confident decision. At PMCtire, we're committed to providing you with the best products and insights to meet your driving needs.

While exploring the vast selection of A/T and M/T tires offered on pmctire.com, don't hesitate to reach out to our team of experts, who will gladly guide you through the different options and equip your vehicle with tires that inspire confidence on any terrain!

Dominic Vaillancourt

Automotive expert & Spokesperson