In a perfect world every new 4x4 would come with the option of an all-terrain or mud-terrain tire. Unfortunately, OEMs have to calculate wear and meter noise decibels and make certain that the “average consumer” is getting the most efficient tire (think fuel economy and on-road handling). Luckily we live in a country where customizing your vehicle is king and swapping from highway pizza cutters to knobby mud-terrains won’t void your warranty (or at least it shouldn’t!).
Mickey Thompson is one of the original and leading tire manufacturers that specialize in performance off-road tires. From the company’s mega-sized 54-inch Top Truck Challenge Claws to its modest 30-inch Baja STZs, MT has something for just about every off-road enthusiast.
We tend to consider ourselves trail riding gurus more than anything else. It’s not that we don’t dig off-road competitions; we simply don’t have the time or money to partake in most of the events. Seeing that trail riding is the core of what we do, we often look for tires that can be as versatile as the terrain we encounter.
This leads us to the Mickey Thompson Baja MTZ Radial. The Baja MTZ is a modern spin on the traditional mud-terrain radial. We’ve been ripping up some miles on our 35x12.50 Baja MTZs and have been extremely impressed with how the tire performs, especially in the mud. While we say mud is where this tire shines, it has proved capable over much of the Southeast’s diverse terrain. Low air pressure makes a notable difference in the tire’s grip, but on a recent outing to our local hunting club we found that at around 25 psi (our street pressure) the tires had no trouble finding traction. Stuffed under our ’97 Jeep Wrangler, the MTZ offers a nice balance of highway manners and off-road performance. For more info on the MTZ and the entire Mickey Thompson lineup check out www.mickeythompsontires.com.
Make, Model Mickey Thompson Baja MTZ
Size Tested 35x12.50x15
Load Range C
Maximum Load (lb) 2,535 @ 35 psi
Sidewall Construction 3-ply
Approved Rim Width (in) 81⁄2-11
Tread Depth (in) 19.5⁄32
Tread Width (in) 10
Section Width (in) 12.2
Overall Diameter (in) 34.8
Weight (lb) 66
Sizes Available (in) 31-38