You need off-the-road worthy tires if your passion is exclusive off-roading, exploring the road less traveled or you live in an area where you every other day take on gravel, dirt, mud, or sand.
Below you’ll meet our top-rated off-highway tires along with a guide to help you unearth the best off road tire for daily driving that’s a thrill on dirt roads and trails.
To get us started first is our review of the tires that will make you a beast of the unbeaten track.
Best off Road Tire for Daily Driving in 2020
Best for all terrains
If you are not an off-roader and you just a good tire on a budget, get to see our review of the best cheap tires in 2020.
A buyer’s guide for best off road tires for daily driver
Your hunt for the best off road tires for daily driving is never made easy by the existence of a mountain of choices.
Knowing how to strike the right balance is key- you want mileage, comfort, safety, and a compelling off-highway performance without losing everything when out on paved roads.
Here is what to keep in mind when comparing the options:
1. What are your intentions?
Off-road tires adopt varying designs depending on the purpose and selecting one over the other will impact your ride quality, truck behavior, and capabilities.
For example, mud tires — especially those with knobby, eminent tread blocks— can bring massive improvement to your ride quality if you are often out battling muddy terrain.
But there’s a catch: they tend to scream when back to the city and suburbs.
Likewise, while they stage a respectable off-roading performance, all-season tires are notoriously handicapped when it comes to deep wintry conditions.
The following guidelines will point you in the right direction according to your mission.
Do you drive around well-maintained city roads and other pavements most of the time and you are a weekend-or-special occasion-only off-roader?
We recommend highway terrain tires.
These feature a multipurpose all-terrain tread pattern and you’re guaranteed a good performance when you head to the wild to go hand in hand with the comfort of your daily city commutes.
An example of the best all terrain tire for highway driving is the Westlake SL369 Radial Tire (read its review above).
Are you the type that spends a greater slice of time driving around cities and suburbs and another good chunk on loose dirt, gravel, and rocky tracks and love a bit of 4WDing?
We propose that you settle for all terrain tires such as BF Goodrich Mud-Terrain Tire (reviewed above).
These typically have their tread block built closer to establish expansive contact with the surface and are further customized to supply extra traction in insane conditions to allow you to standout off road.
Moreover, they experience diminished noise making them advantageous when you’re driving along the streets.
Finally, puncture resistance and long wear life are vital in a tire targeting 4WD action and they consistently prioritize the two.
Are you planning to spend the bulk of your time out in the bush because you cannot get enough of 4WDing?
Well, in such a case, you’ll need a tire that’s tough enough to take you back hence we recommend the best mud terrain tires.
They provide reliable traction on sand, rocks and such strange situations and deprioritize on-road comfort in favor of extensive nonroad capabilities including the most effective grab onto challenging terrain (biting edges dominate here).
Plus, they traditionally feature technology to eject debris out of their tread such as stone ejectors.
Their highly engineered and super targeted tread compounds make them work even on hard-packed snow when the majority of the other tires quit.
On the whole, this construction delivers the ultimate off-road performance while retaining some favor on the streets.
Of course, you have to fork out good cash to earn this honor.
What about the other times?
Now, if you’re an average driver who only sporadically encounters dirt, pick all-season tires.
They’re built to handle various conditions comfortably and are fairly adept once your vehicle turns off the tarmac and onto the dirt.
The only thing you should be aware of is that they are never optimized for extreme off the road performances and will just play a ‘survival’ role off-road (and not make you a star!).
2. Check the tire size
Off-street tires are sized in different designations from what you’re used to with on-road and getting the size right is crucial in your tire selection process (trial and error can only take you so far).
The thing is we all want to upsize to make the vehicle look more striking and to show the mud, snow, and rocks who’s the boss.
But don’t be too fast- you have to carefully play your cards here since raising the size can be the source of pain at the fuel pump because larger wheels have greater weight.
It can also undeniably hamper acceleration because of the larger circumference.
On a more positive note, sizing it right will improve influential aspects such as braking performance, cornering, ride comfort, and steering feel.
So, how are you supposed to approach the issue of sizing in tires for off road driving?
Take a look:
· Understand the numbers
Taking 245/75-16 as an illustration, the interpretation is as follows:
- 245- This means the tire has a width of 245 millimeters.
- 75- Indicates that the tire’s sidewall height is 75% of 245 (It’s usually expressed as a percentage of the tire width) making it 183.75 millimeters.
- 16- Lists the wheel’s diameter (in inches).
· Next, determine the outer diameter.
- Convert the sidewall height to inches (like in the diameter).
To do this, take 183.75mm x (multiplication) 2 /25.4 (1 inch = 25.4 mm). The ‘new’ sidewall height is 14.47 inches (the answer).
- Take this sidewall height and add to the wheel’s diameter to arrive at the tire’s total diameter.
This will be 14.47+16=30.47.
With that, you’re in a position to decode off-road tire specifications such as 31.8 x10.5–16 if you see them online (people have just converted them as elaborated above).
· Know the optimal tire clearance for your vehicle
If you want to maintain your vehicle’s tire clearance, your owner’s manual will have the details and it will be straightforward.
You can also talk to the dealer or your manufacturer’s customer service staff if you misplaced your copy.
Otherwise, you can turn to sources such as internet forums for opinions on the best lift for your specific truck if you’re considering a lift kit.
Another probable place you can locate this information is the lift kit manufacturer’s website.
· Reading off-the-road tire sizing
The tire might show 245 75 R 16…well, there’s nothing to worry about there- it still means it’s 255mm wide, has a sidewall height 75%, and that it’s Radial (R) tire (Radial tires are more widely used in vehicles today).
Lastly, it will fit a wheel with a diameter of 16-inches.
Pro-Tip: Talk to friends who own a similar vehicle and have equipped their machines with off-highway tires for guidance if still stuck. There are also plenty of tire size calculators online to simplify your conversions.
3. Other considerations
At this stage, you have unraveled the lion’s share of the key issues and you can now address the final list of factors.
Find them below:
- Type, if rubber compound- This will influence temperature resistance, strength, and tire durability.
- Tread pattern- This has a lot of say when it comes to the grip as well as noise.
- Special features- Extended biting edges help as does thick sidewall. Also beneficial is enhanced debris eviction properties.
- Tire toughness- Tire hardening off-road technology helps impact resistance along with more plies and expanded tire thickness (for puncture resistance).
Advantages and disadvantages of using all-terrain tires
As mentioned earlier in this article, all-terrain tires impress in a wide variety of terrain types and are an option for more difficult trails.
Nothing is faultless and they also have a number of trade-offs that may affect your decision.
We look at them here.
Advantages of using all-terrain tires
- Adequate grip and performance- They afford sufficient grip and first-class performance even on icy roads, especially brands with reinforced traction.
- Delightful handling and braking- For the most part, they offer responsive handling and turning while their braking distance is not way off.
- Pleasurable in-car riding experience- Their hybrid design makes them quite comfortable to ride on highways and the city.
- Road resilience- Some brands are built stronger (with reinforced sidewalls) to guard against cracks, cuts, and punctures.
Disadvantages of using all-terrain tires
These vehicle tires are not the best choice for drivers who live in regions that experience deep snowing- they lack advanced ice capabilities such as special winter compound and high-density sipes (found in winter tires).
In a like manner, mud tires tackle muddy roads better.
Best off road tires reviews: Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Below we address some of the questions that bother car owners when shopping for off-roading tires.
Q. What is tire rolling resistance?
Tire rolling resistance is nothing else but the energy your vehicle needs to drive the tire forward and sustain a consistent rolling speed.
When higher (because of the design and setup issues), the tire needs more force from the vehicle’s engine and you will subsequently notice increased fuel usage.
The converse is also true- diminished rolling resistance leads to less fuel wastage.
Q. What is the advantage of radial tires?
Radial tires are more popular than non-radial tires because their more flexible sidewalls provide better traction when cornering.
The arrangement of the plies in radial tires also stabilizes contact with the road and you generally enjoy a softer ride.
Q. How long should offroad tires last?
Well, there is no definite lifespan and it largely depends on factors like your driving style and your regular driving conditions.
Having said that, most average about 40k miles.
Q. Can offroad tires be used on road?
Yes, of course, for some.
We have already learned that their sort of hybrid engineering helps them work both on roads teeming with rocks, boulders, sand, and dirt and on urban or suburban roads or streets.
Q. Do all terrain tires reduce gas mileage?
Several manufacturer tests have shown that all-terrain tires generally have poorer fuel economy compared to their highway peers.
This is attributed to their greater rolling resistance caused by the different tread patterns (to improve grip).
Q. How much should you inflate your all terrain tires?
Like other categories of tires, it’s best to refer to the manufacturer’s guidelines about tire inflation since the required inflation varies from one all-terrain tire brand to another.
That being said, most off-road enthusiasts start all their tires between 15-20 PSI.
The Wrap Up
Knowing the essentials is the first step towards finding the best off road tire for daily driving and we have covered them including the question of sizing.
Less important is the brand name – a bigger name doesn’t always turn out better.
The other limitation could be your budget- I would rather spend a few extra bucks for a tire I’m sure of than ‘save’ and end up with a tire that abandons me in the middle of nowhere.
Hope this helps.
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