LAST UPDATED: August 16th, 2021
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There are plenty of reasons why you should invest in great rock crawling tires for your truck.
If you’re an adventure-loving soul, the thrill of rock crawling at Sandstone Canyon is something you should definitely experience at least once in your life.
After all, hands-on experience in rock climbing is such a cool thing to have. But for that, you need the best rock crawling tires.
These aren’t anything like passenger tires; you’ll notice the difference at the very first glance.
RC tires are exceptionally wide with raised sidewalls, ridges, bars, and a jagged tread pattern to beat the odds.On top of that, they don’t come cheap.
Here you will find RC tires that are worth a shot alongside a detailed buying guide to help you out.
Table of Contents
Benefits of Rock Crawling Tires
Dedicated RC tires are not only advantageous but also the most fun. If you want to try rock crawling just for the thrill of it, you probably know how rugged the tires have to be for this sport.
But a sturdy construction that withstands the elements is not the only benefit these tires offer you.
We’ll be pointing out the key benefits of rock-climbing tires below so that you know just how badly you want them
Wide Contact Patch
The tread is the area along the tire’s circumference that grips the road. Rock climbing tires have a wide tread and, therefore, a bigger footprint.
The larger this contact patch is, the better traction you can expect while climbing rocks.
Crawler tires make it possible to accelerate your Chevy Silverado over gravel roads and mountain trails.
To handle your ride, you should make sure that it has a good contact point with the road.
While regular tires will give away under high torque, their rock crawling alternatives treat the rockiest terrains like your neighborhood street.
The best thing about crawler tires is that they open doors to adrenaline-pumping sports off the roads.
Definitely, the path will include ravines, ridges, and rocks that you wanted to overcome. Rock crawling truly puts your masterful driving to the test.
And with good rock crawling tires, you can reach all the way to the top.
5 Best Rock Crawling Tires Review
Climbing rocks is one of the most practical ways to test your truck’s true potential and your experienced handling.
Here we have five outstanding rock crawling tires to get you started.
Falken Wildpeak AT3W All Terrain Radial -265/70R17 115T
Driving off-road terrains are the most fun when you have reliable RC tires on your rugged F150.
The Falken Wildpeak is one of the best all-terrain tires that give you the versatility you want.
Its 3D Canyon sipe will have an improved grip on the terrains- allowing you to explore new trails with confidence and safety.
To begin with, the Falken A/T3W crawler tires interlock the shoulders to keep your ride stable.
Other than resisting damage from an increased torque, the interlocking shoulders boost your handling capacity. It also enables you to climb boulders with maximum control and ease.
When it comes to rock crawling, you need a solid contact point between the tires and the trail.
That’s where the best of Falken Widepeak’s rugged blocks come. They have step-down qualities with effective support ramps. This way, they enhance rigidity.
We recommend the Falken Wildpeak because its aggressive tread pattern effectively prevents gravel, stones, and other small obstacles from getting trapped in its grooves.
You can now power through heavy snowfall. Thanks to Wildpeak’s silica and optimized design.
The lower sidewalls of this thing are made with a heat diffusing technology. An excessive amount of heat can affect internal components for road use.
But you won’t face such a thing with the Wildpeak A/T3W mostly because its outer sidewall apex is simply the best.
It protects the internal casing while the lower sidewalls offer cooling protection.
Although low pressures increase traction and prompt your LT to burn more fuel, it surprisingly keeps it to a minimum.
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Goodyear Wrangler MT/R Kevlar Radial Tyre
It’s time you took your off-road adventures up a notch with the best Goodyear Wrangler tires.
They have DuPont MT/R with Kevlar sidewalls with an asymmetric tread. This type of design offers aggressive traction on mountain trails.
Handling your ride on the bumpy tracks can be difficult. Especially if you’re
new to rock crawling, you might find the starting days quite challenging. The Goodyear Wrangler MT/R with Kevlar is what you need to overcome those bulging boulders with your ride.
Its innovative silica rubber provides brilliant traction on wet tracks and snowy trails. We also noticed how it doesn’t make a significant change to the fuel economy.
This tire’s sipes, grooves, and robust structure have got you covered in rocky foothills with maximum traction. But what helped with traction is its high-quality wraparound design.
The crawler tires will glide smoothly over rocks, deep mud, and sand. So, it’s possible to drive around in your jeep on mixed terrains. Moreover, they’re not loud at all on the highway.
Speaking of highways, we loved the fact that Goodyear Wrangler MT/R with Kevlar integrated a designed stripe on the tire. It grips the road just right without the extra resistance.
We’re quite hopeful that it will easily run for 60k miles and more. And its load capacity goes hand in hand with its ruggedness. It is built to carry a whopping 2535 pounds of weight.
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Mickey Thompson Baja ATZP3 All-Terrain – 35X12.50R20LT 121Q
Pulling off an insane rock crawling session at your favorite off-road destination is just made easy.
Here we have the Mickey Thompson Baja radial tire. Being a hybrid of the AT and MT tires, this one will be your best friend in rock crawling and extreme sports alike.
For starters, its super-wide footprint comes in handy when sizable contact is a priority. The professionally designed ATZP3 is certainly a lot more rugged than SUV tires.
If you only have rock crawling in mind, handling won’t necessarily require extra finesse on your end.
It’s packed with all the features that you demand before heading off to the Slickrock Trail.
For example, the designed scalloped shoulders improve its off-road charisma.
And it is reinforced by SideBiters- aggressive shoulders that upgrade off-road traction.
Up next, we have the superior load capacity offered by this Mickey Thompson Baja tire.
Each of the tires can handle up to 3200 pounds, which is just perfect for heavy rides.
Even if you have lift kits, custom steering gears, or heavy dampers, they can’t slow you down.
Its 3-ply sidewall protection goes the extra mile in making your tires last. You have to remember that once the sidewall is punctured, getting new tires is the only option.
Luckily for you, if we’re to say, what we liked about the Baja ATZP3 is undeniably its build.
It’s suitable for running errands on the highway or trying out a mountain trail on the weekend. This thing is a perfect example of being the best of both worlds.
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Cooper Discoverer STT Pro All-Season LT285/70R17 121/118Q
For an adventurous spirit like you, the Cooper Discoverer STT Pro is the full package for an RC trip.
This tire is armored with Earth Diggers and Mud Slingers to overcome obstacles on the terrain- anything from small pebbles to mighty boulders!
Its Stone Armor technology delivers best-in-class durability. There are ridges, edges, and channels across the rugged portion that protect it from set debris and rocks on different surfaces. Its innovative profile also gets rid of sharp, lodged stones and gravel.
This RC tire is as efficient in mud-terrain driving as it is in off-roading. It comes with deep and wide trenches with notches that clear soil from the contact patch.
These trenches make sure that it can firmly grip the muddy surface for powering through forest trails.
Besides, its huge tread blocks and mud scoops set into sticky soil, loose sand, and dirt for the best performance.
Its ability to grip the terrains in all weather conditions made the Cooper Discoverer STT Pro our all-time favorite. Also, its patented Armor Tek3 configuration fortifies the sidewall.
In short, it has aggressive traction, tough sidewalls, and a crawling-ready profile. We were also impressed by its incredible mileage.
However, that’s not all about its incredible biting edges and tread blocks. Its rubber-formulated construction does well in shredding and puncturing from rocky and muddy obstacles on mountain foothills.
If you want to reach up or go all the way down, you can depend on this all-season tire.
BFGoodrich All-Terrain T/A KO2 All-Terrain Radial Tire -265/75R16 123R
Featuring a split-resistant sidewall and traction bars, this BFGoodrich All-Terrain tire is perfect for your off-roading adventures.
So, if you’re planning to hit the famous Coyote Lake trail this weekend, get these designed tires and break them in!
BFGoodrich integrated the CoreGard in the tire’s super rugged sidewalls. Their race-worthy Baja T/AKR2 inspired this technology.
Its rubberized shoulders have a greater thickness compared to entry-level rock crawling tires.
The premium quality rubber extends the sidewalls in a downturned position. It protects the most common sidewall failure zones.
The tire effectively deflects protruding obstacles which would otherwise split its sidewall.
Moving on to its premium rubber and biting edges, the overall design allows an even wear. Besides, its interlocking pattern set is the best.
It enhances stability, which will help you accelerate, brake, or turn the vehicle with ease.
Moreover, it has protruding rubber blocks on the sidewall. They bolster the tire to maintain satisfactory traction on snow and surfaces alike.
Also, it enables the wheels to release mud and gravel from the channels for road use.
Stone ejectors clean out the tire, and the raised bars perform wonderfully well on soft soil terrains.
Its serrated shoulders feature bars and tread blocks, which take the traction up a notch.
The best 3D sipe technology of the BFGoodrich Mud offers robust biting edges that not only lend a hand in rock crawling but also improve maneuverability in deep snow.
There’s no doubt about the fact that BFGoodrich is the best off-road tire. It packed a ton of super RC-friendly specs in their brilliant T/AKO2.
Be it paved roads or mud-terrain, the BFGoodrich All-Terrain tires cover all the bases where you can test your jeep.
What to Look for Before Buying
Rock crawling is undoubtedly one of those extreme sports that keep you at the edge of your seat.
Then there are rock-crawling championships that have a different fanbase altogether.
Take the SuperCrawl World rock climbing competition, for example. Here you get to experience world-class crawlers and suspension lift kit variations to get ideas for your own.
So, once you’ve set your mind on buying an all-terrain tire or the best rock crawler tire, you should think about a few factors.
Considering the sidewall profile, shoulder blocks, all-weather and off-road performance is a step in the right direction.
Since you will be spending a considerable amount of money on four tires and probably an extra, you require RC tires that are worth it.
But how do you choose the best rock crawling tires? Here’s how:
Tire Tread Pattern
First off, we have their distinct pattern that gives an optimum amount of traction on rough terrains to swampy ravines.
These super-wide tires can look quite intimidating. But the truth is, they allow you to maneuver the vehicle with precise controls and braking on multiple surfaces.
Often we see people setting out for serious rock crawling destinations with entry-level, bias-ply road tires.
Longevity isn’t something in which below average road tires excel. Their tread pattern is comparatively a lot less rugged than those dynamic rock crawlers.
Now, if you’re to ask what makes an RC better than an AT, their varied profile, stability, and mileage instantly come to mind.
For example, a super firm grip on the contact patch is important because it helps you crawl over mountain trails and mud terrain to reach your destination.
Moreover, the raised tread blocks and silica compound will improve your acceleration, braking power, and off-roading performance so you can maneuver your ride through challenging paths.
The Falken Wildpeak AT3W is the best example of rock-climbing tires without a bias-ply construction. Bias-ply has rugged tread blocks, interlocking sipe profile, and off-set shoulders to meet your extreme off-road demands.
All About Sidewalls
Unlike road tires, RC tires take care of the sidewall. The fact that you can’t repair a sidewall makes them all the more valuable. Especially when you’re using radial RC tires, the tension is way off the charts.
But when you’re out in the sun, you must keep your eyes on the road. Analyzing what will damage your RC sidewall takes the fun out of your rock-crawling rendezvous.
That is why you should look for the best bruise-resistant rubber sidewalls with thick, extended shoulders and quality compound.
A greater thickness will increase the tire’s ability to deflect and release small sharp objects which could be wedged deep into the channels.
Similarly, the tread blocks will also provide support to the critical failure zones of the sidewall, allow off-roading, and last more than a year.
Besides, a tough sidewall can prevent splits and splinters on the surfaces from damaging its expensive construction.
We have our eyes on the BFGoodrich Krawler tires for their extended and down-turned sidewall and price.
It boasts a unique Coregard Technology that wraps all the necessary precautions to make the sidewall survive some serious off-road abuse.
There should be protruding traction bars on the upper sidewall for a better grip in mud and soft soil.
You can also check out the Mickey Thompson Baja ATZP3 hybrid or the Goodyear Wrangler MT/R with Kevlar.
It allows responsive handling and all-around sidewall protection with the PowerPly 3-ply technology.
How Heat Affects Tire Pressure and What You Can Do About It
Among all the things that could cause a total blowout, overheating is still one of the most overlooked aspects of rocks.
As the temperature stonks up, the air pressure increases inside the tires. Since crawling requires low pressure, the practicality of your expensive RC tires takes a big hit.
Moreover, overly inflated tires are subject to premature, uneven wear.
We don’t expect you to get off the driver’s seat and touch your road tires to see if it’s hot like some pancake.
Keeping an eye on your Goodyear Wrangler MT/R pressure gauge will cut the deal. It will let you know about excessive heat generation with a higher PSI level.
You may have paid a hefty price for a Tyre Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS) on your brand-new Jeep Wrangler. But the truth is, it only alerts you when the pressure is too low.
As you can see, the TPMS does not warn you about high pressure. So, it won’t be useful for knowing when it’s time to pull the brakes and cool off.
Keeping that in mind, modern RC tires feature a heat-diffusing system in the lower portion of the sidewalls. It helps sensitive areas to stay cool.
The Ins and Outs of Tire Codes
Well, if you’re buying the best rock crawling road tires for your Wrangler MTR online, you should be able to read a sidewall so that it’s a perfect fit.
On the same note, we will break down the sidewall markings or tire codes that show important pointers.
And don’t be scared. It’s not Dothraki. Once we walk you through the steps, you can read rock crawling tires like the ABCs.
To begin with, the first two letters will define what sort of vehicles it supports. “LT” is for Light Trucks, and “P” is for passengers. The abbreviations are quite easy to catch up on.
Up next, you will find a three-digit number that ends with a slash. It denotes the tire’s width.
In simple words, it’s the distance between the two sidewalls. A bigger number means a wider one.
Right beside the slash, there will be a two or three-digit number that ends before a letter.
This number is the sidewall height expressed as a percentage of its section width.
It’s called the aspect ratio. A higher aspect ratio reflects a taller sidewall, which is the best for rock crawling trucks.
Now, the letter beside the aspect ratio will either be an “R” or an “X.” The former means that it has radial construction, and the latter shows a bias-ply.
Next, the two-digit number that follows is the bead diameter. Some will call it the rim size.
It is expressed in inches and it denotes a specific rim size that will accept it. If the bead diameter doesn’t match the rim diameter, it’s of no use.
And finally, there’s a code after a gap which implies service description. The numerical part indicates the load capacity, and the letter is a speed symbol.
Radial Vs. Bias Ply Tires: Which One Is the Best?
Radial tires are popular for their traction, construction, comfort, and super handling capacity.
They are made of highly flexible yet strong rubber, which absorbs shocks on the terrains.
This way, you have the best ride that feels not only comfortable but also goes easy on the engine.
On the other hand, bias-ply construction is designed incredibly strong with robust sidewalls.
But the fact that it’s super stiff makes it more prone to shock damages than radial ones.
The reason why people might prefer bias-ply construction is that you can easily repair them.
Well, you already see how sidewall damage can make your radial AT give up the ghost.
A good thing about bias ply tires is that they have the toughest sidewalls that withstand cuts, slits, and punctures pretty easily.
Moreover, you can even expect good traction at moderate to slow speeds.
And its overlapping internal construction allows the tire to flex comfortably on rugged mountain trails.
Their uniformity and suspension help with hauling a greater load as well.
Frequently Asked Questions
How is an AT tire different from an MT tire?
All-terrain and Mud-terrain tires are great choices for off-road driving. They come with wide footprints and craggy patterns.
But an MT lacks good handling power in the rain and snow. Unless your route involves thick mud and sand terrains, AT tires are a better option for you.
Are the BFGoodrich All-Terrain tires any good?
The BFGoodrich T/A KO2 is a race-ready AT. It features an interlocking pattern that improves traction with rugged biting edges.
Besides, its 3D sipe increases traction on snow and mud terrains. The raised sidewall bars are resilient as well.
How can I break in rock crawling tires?
Breaking in RC tires or making them more grippy is the same thing. And for that, you’re going to require Simple Green or WD40.
Brushing them with Simple Green will make the tread compound softer. Soft rubber tires flex better on rocks. You can also try driving on the RC tires for naturally breaking them in
Are rock crawling tires good on the road?
Rock crawling tires are too rugged for the road; their aggressive tread blocks, stone and mud ejectors, deep trenches, and bars release small pebbles and such.
Their traction is way too high for the easy roads. The Goodyear Wrangler MT/R Kevlar Radial Tire comes with a specialized strip for on-road action at a reasonable price.
Why does a rock-crawling tire decrease fuel economy?
Rock crawling or all-terrain tires are much wider and taller in size compared to road tires.
They have a super high aspect ratio and a greater rolling resistance on surfaces. That is why they cause your ride to burn more fuel for simply getting from one place to another.
And the low pressure, high torque moments also take a toll on your overall fuel economy
We’ve included five top-rated RC tires from rock crawling maniacs over the world.
These can topple the challenges of rocky landscapes and serpentine mountain trails, but, most importantly, they’re ready to introduce you to the thrills of rock crawling.
We hope that our best rock crawling tires reviews were of help to you!