Are you worried about your all-terrain tires in the rain? You should be! The truth is, not all tires are created equal. Some are aggressive all terrain tires made for climbing rock faces, while others, milder but still considered all-terrain, tires will look cool on your friends’ mom’s mall crawler Jeep. So if you’re looking for something that can handle both wet and dry surfaces, then an all Terrain tire might not be what you need.
And while they may offer better traction on snow or ice-covered roads, it’s important to keep in mind that this type of tire has less grip on dry asphalt than other types of tires do – so it’s best to stay off the road when there is heavy snowfall or icy patches.
An all-season or all terrain tire will perform much better in the rain since they are designed to drain water out of the grooves. But what about all-terrain tires? Are they really good off-roading in the rain? If so, how does it compare to an all-terrain tire? The answer is a little bit complicated.
What Are All-Terrain Tires?
all-terrain tires are a specific category of off-road, all-terrain tires. The reason they are called that is that most (but not all) of these tires offer some sort of compromise between on-road traction and off-roading capabilities.
All-terrain tires are intended to perform well on both asphalt and dirt, making them a safe choice for those who engage in light off-roading (eg: going on unmarked trails) as well as commuting on a daily basis. They’re a good jack of all trades tire.
On the highway, all-terrain tires will usually offer better wet and dry road braking and handling than pure off-road tires like mud terrains (M/Ts) and/or extra all-terrain (A/Ts). However, if you’re looking for an ultra-high performance tire that can outperform even some dedicated summer max performance tires (MPS), your best bet is to get a dedicated winter tire or summer max performance tire.
All-terrain tires are typically available in many different sizes and can range from 30% – 70% on-road use, with other types of off-roading receiving significantly less emphasis during the design process.
When do I need to use all-terrain tires?
all-terrain tires are the best choice for those who live in places where it rains frequently or where there are unpaved roads. They are also ideal for those that do light off-roading on a regular basis due to their versatility, but they’re not suitable if you’re looking for pure on-road performance or maximum off-road traction.
all-terrain tires are always a compromise between on-road and off-road performance. For serious off-roading, other types of tires will offer better performance regardless of weather conditions.
First of all, the A/T tire’s category doesn’t specifically cover “off-roading” or “usage in rain”. It just means that they’re road tires that are slightly more sturdy than normal sports cars.
When you look at reviews online, you’ll find some people saying that their A/T tires always performed well even in rain and other people saying that their A/T tires were useless off-road even in perfectly dry conditions.
The reason for this is that to figure out if a tire is good or not, we need to consider more than just the category of the tire.
When you off-road and/or drive fast on wet surfaces:
If you’re just an average person, driving fast on wet pavement would feel scary- you’re sticking to the asphalt, but your tires are slipping just a tiny bit.
When it comes to off-road, if you go fast over difficult terrains with an A/T tire, you’ll slip too. But more importantly is that even before you slip, your traction will be poor due to the tread pattern of the tire.
But when you drive slowly on wet surfaces, you’ll be fine because your tires will stick to the asphalt via hydroplaning (which is how cars can perform at maximum traction).
What About Driving Off-Road In General?
All-season tires are bad for this since they only have medium tread depth which doesn’t really embrace the surface enough.
But all-terrain tires are better since the tread depth is deeper, which allows for more traction. But it’s not like an all-terrain tire will make every bump and rock easy to drive over.
If you off-road or drive aggressively on wet surfaces, don’t buy an A/T tire. If you just drive normally, then it doesn’t matter which tire you use since A/T tires are designed to perform in both normal and wet conditions- they’re not specifically made for the rain either.
But if you want a tire that performs well off-road even in the rain, buy an A/T2 or M+S rated tire.
They’re designed for this kind of usage.
These tires will feel like an A/T tire but slightly worse on dry areas (compared to the average A/T tire) and good off-road in wet conditions (compared to the average M/T tire).
How Can I Tell If My Car Needs All-Terrain Tires?
all-terrain tires are good for SUVs and light trucks that do moderate to heavy off-roading, but not if you’re gonna be doing serious off-roading.
If your car doesn’t have bigger wheels (eg: 17 inches) & you don’t drive aggressively or in wet weather conditions, an all-season tire is the best choice for you.
But if your car has bigger wheels or you drive aggressively, then it’s best to choose an all terrain tire since the all-season tire can’t cope with such driving conditions and will wear out faster as a result.
If you only do light off-roading, then buy tires designed for this (like an all-terrain tire), but if you do serious off-roading then buy tires designed for that.
As long as you choose the right kind of tire, it doesn’t matter if your car is a sedan or SUV, what brand of tires you buy, etc… As long as most of the people say the tire is good, it probably is.
Wrapping Up – All Terrain Tires In The Rain
We all know that the best tires are ones that can handle both dry and wet conditions, but how about those really heavy-duty off-road tires? Is it worth paying more for them if you drive on city streets or highways most of the time? The answer is no.
All-terrain tire treads may be designed to provide better traction in dirt, sand, mud, snow, and ice than standard highway car tires which means they’re heavier too.
And because weight is bad news during rainstorms (or any other time), these types of rugged rubber will also cost you more gas mileage due to their not so aerodynamic design. It’s just not worth it! Your best bet when shopping for new tires is a good ol’ fashioned passenger car tire that was made for rain specifically.
This is not to say you can’t drive off-road with a passenger car tire, but if you do go the all-terrain route and it happens to be raining outside, then slow down and take your time! You may feel like an off-road hero rolling over the mud puddles and rocks, but remember- you’re not in a hurry and neither is anyone else. Be safe!
How about all-terrain tires in the snow? Are they just as bad or can I drive off-road without fear of getting stuck? Well, the truth is that the tire treads on an all-terrain don’t do much to help you grip the road in snow and ice. In fact, if you’re driving straight into a foot of fresh snow then even an all-season tire will have a hard time getting you going!