As far south as a person can go on the continent of South America is a region called Patagonia. A stark landscape of rock and volcanos covering a vast and sparsely populated area, Patagonia is literally the end of the earth. The name comes from the mythical giants once thought to live in this region, and it carries a certain rugged mystique that is hard to explain but easy to imagine. If that doesn’t make you think of off-roading through the unknown, into the sunset, we don’t know what will.
Not long ago an all-new tire popped up on our radar, the Milestar Patagonia M/T. Upon first inspection, this tire stood out. The name grabbed our attention, but that wasn’t all. The tread design is different in a sea of sameness.
Having spent enough time with enough different tires to border on obsession, it was just a matter of time before we got a set of Patagonia M/Ts to run through the paces. We have now pounded them down the highway had have hit loose gravel, packed dirt, heavy rock, sand, and even a little mud. With that time under our belts we can say that the Patagonia’s tread pattern is foreign yet somehow familiar, aggressive yet somehow tame. The center of the tire has lugs close together, reminiscent of a mild all-terrain, yielding a quiet ride where rubber is in near-constant contact with the road. The outer lugs are widely spaced and chunky, ready to grab onto knobs, rocks, sticks, mud, and sand like a very aggressive mud tire. All the lugs are filled with siping that helps grab slick surfaces whether wet, cold, or both.
Check out how we pounded the Pategonias to see how they work in a wide variety of terrains and to see if we could find their limits. If you want to check Milestar for your size tire, go to milestartires.com
Tires. Most folks just use them to drive to and from work. They do an important job, and off-roaders generally ask a lot of their tires. We take tire testing seriously and try to get them in different environments so you can know what to expect. Our coarsest filter is probably for road noise, because we rank performance higher than on-road silence. Generally speaking these Milestar Patagonia M/T tires are fairly quiet on-road compared to other mud-terrains. The close center lugs help keep tire noise down. The widely spaced outside lugs help grab and dig off-road. Tons of siping and sharp edges on all the lugs should help the Patagonias grab ice, snow, and wet surfaces.
Testing mud-terrain tires is our bread and butter. OK, so we don’t spend much time in mud, but this general tire designation generally applies to heavy-duty off-road tires ready for abuse in harsh environments, like rockcrawling. Lots of rockcrawling venues have reputations for being hard on tires, but just about any rockcrawling truly tests a sidewall’s mettle. With about 7 psi in the tires and the beadlocks holding firm, things got a bit pinchy, but the Patagonias didn’t care. A three-ply sidewall and tough rubber compound keep things from cutting, tearing, or sheering despite the rocks.
We also played around in the sand dunes where these tires did exactly what we hoped they would do. The outside lugs act like paddles to dig and move you forward while the center lugs act like a rib or rudder, countering the forces that want to push the tire sideways away from the plane of rotation.
If we could, we would love to spend more time testing these tires in wet and cold environments. We did find a little mud in the usually dry lakebed of Johnson Valley, California, and while this hardly equates to all the mud commonly found in other regions besides the Southwest, this mud is no less sticky or slick. The Pategonias felt solid in what slick stuff we could find, providing forward movement and allowing us to have some semblance of steering input despite the muck and ruts. The outer lugs have stone ejectors between the large lugs, and this prevents gravel from getting lodged there while also helping allow sticky mud to escape with a little wheel speed. All in all, we have been swayed by the performance of these tires after testing them. The seemingly bipolar tread lugs lead us to the following loose tire analogy: The outer, widely spaced lugs work like the treads of a Bogger while the center, closely spaced lugs give the Patagonia M/T some of the benefits of an All-Terrain. We will continue to test these tires on-road and off-, gathering impressions and experiences while using and abusing the Milestar Patagonia M/T.
Milestar Patagonia M/T
Size Tested: LT315/70R17
Load Range: D
Maximum Load (lb): 3,195 at 50 psi cold
Sidewall Construction: 3-ply
Approved Rim Width (in): 9.5
Tread Depth (in): 19/32
Tread Width (in): 10.25
Section Width (in): 12.7
Overall Diameter (in): 34.7
Weight (lb): 68
Sizes Available: 30 sizes ranging from 29 to 37 inches (40 by the end of February 2018), for wheel diameters of 15 to 20 inches.