Getting the best set of off-roading tires is one of the main concerns of off-road Jeep and truck owners everywhere.
With so many tires to choose from, which set is best?
Do you need more than one set of tires if you like to try your hand at different types of terrain?
Tires are expensive.
When you’re already shelling out a lot of money to improve your truck with performance parts like open fenders and suspension upgrades as well as critical equipment like truck winch bumpers, is there really any benefit to purchasing different sets of tires?
Truthfully, it depends on what you want to do with your truck and how serious you are about off-roading.
Different Tires Are Designed for Different Surfaces
No matter what you want to do with a car or truck, there’s a tire designed specifically for that; the same goes for off-roading.
Since there are so many types of off-roading you can do, there are tires designed to tackle different activities more easily:
===> All-Terrain - All-terrain tires are a great tire for off-roaders who want to do a little bit of everything, at least up to a certain point.
They are designed slightly larger than most stock tires and with bigger treads; however, they aren't as tready as tires for climbing rocks.
They can perform moderately in mud and snow. 4WD vehicles come from the factory with all-terrain tires because they are versatile.
You can put bigger and better ones on to improve your all-around traction.
===> Mud - Mud tires are designed somewhat differently than all-terrain tires.
While they do have aggressive treads, the treads are shaped to fling mud out as the tire rotates and not allow it to pack in.
One of the limitations of all-terrain and rock-climbing tires is that the treads allow mud to pack in, which reduces traction as opposed to increasing it.
If playing in the mud is a highlight of your activities, you may consider getting mud tires and still do fairly well overall doing a variety of activities.
===> Rock/Hill Climbing - Tires designed to give the best traction for rock and hill climbing have aggressive treads that grip and flex so you can get over rough, uneven terrain and obstacles.
These tires are not good in the mud or snow as the deep treads end up packed with material, essentially turning them into slicks.
===> Snow - Designed to have a different cross profile and a wider traction patch, snow tires have deep, grooved treads that shed water and slush as opposed to the deep, chunky ones of mud or rock tires.
They are also made from a different grade of rubber that remains flexible in the cold, where all-terrain tires can get a little stiff.
Do You Need Specialty Off-Roading Tires?
With four types of tires you can use for various off-roading activities, the question remains: should you purchase more than one set of tires?
Well, it really depends on you and what you like to do with your off-road Jeep or truck.
It also depends on whether you want to maintain the ability to safely drive your vehicle on-road for daily transportation.
If you go off-roading with your everyday vehicle and like doing a little bit of everything and are satisfied keeping your activities within the limitations of your vehicle and all-terrain tires - probably not.
You can have the best of all worlds enjoying many moderate off-roading activities on the weekends and driving to work in comfort and safety on the weekdays.
On the other hand, if you aren’t satisfied with those limitations and want to do more, tires are typically the first of many components you can upgrade to improve your vehicle’s performance.
If you really want to drive in the mud, a set of mud tires will help.
If going off-road in the snow is your thing or you like rock climbing, a set of tires designed for handling deep snow or with huge treads for gripping would be your best options, respectively.
Should You Invest in Multiple Sets of Off-Road Tires?
So should you just upgrade altogether or do you need additional sets of tires and wheels? That can really get expensive.
Once again, it depends on what you want to do with your truck or Jeep.
If you want the ability to switch back and forth from all-terrains to specialty tires, then you need multiple sets.
If you’re building an off-road project truck and all you ever plan on doing with it is driving in mud or traversing extreme, rocky trails, then a set of specialty mud or rock tires is all you need.
So What Is The Final Answer?
Choosing the best ones can be challenging, especially with so many types, sizes, and brands available.
Deciding whether you need one set of specialty tires, multiple sets of standard and specialty tires, or you're fine with your all-terrains is a balancing act.
It all depends on the off-road activities you enjoy and what you want to do with your vehicle!