Tires-what can we say? They're round, full of air, and, well, we have the cavemen to thank. But nowadays tire technology has graduated with honors from its rocky start to becoming monster meats that can even offer a smooth-handling and silent ride on the street-and with durability built in if there are also daily-driver chores. All-terrain tires have developed a reputation of being able to perform strong in literally all types of terrain-versus that just being a marketing phrase-while some mud tires can be impressively effective at walking over boulders too. Here's a look at the mix of rubber that's out there, including old favorites with new sizes.
Who Makes It: BFGoodrich
Features: The CORR-inspired Krawler T/A has nylon sidewall piles, deep lugs, and a special tri-polymer compound for traction and grip.
Sizes: 35 inches up to the new-for-2006 39x13.50R17.
Designed for: Rocks, mud, and dirt.
For more info: www.bfgoodrichtires.com
Who Makes It: Parnelli Jones
Features: Besides the neat PJ initials running throughout the center of the tread, these radial tires have 21/32-inch tread depth.
Sizes: 31 to 38 inches.
Designed for: Mud, rocks, sand, or whatever is on the ground.
For more info: www.dirtgriptires.com
Dueler A/T Revo
Who Makes It: Bridgestone
Features: Uses UNI-T AQII technology, which means it's built with a dual-layer tread compound with an exposed inner tread layer for extra-grabby performance. For durability off the pavement, there's two polyester body-ply designs.
Sizes: Includes 31 to 33 inches.
Designed for: A good upgrade for snow and rough roads.
For more info: www.bridgestonetire.com
Who Makes It: Cooper
Features: Rugged five-rib tread pattern that goes over the shoulders for more traction, as well as deep, wide sawtooth circumferential grooves with lateral slots.
Sizes: Includes 31 to 35 inches.
Designed for: All terrain, all weather.
For more info: www.coopertireandrubber.com
Who Makes It: Dick Cepek Tires & Wheels
Features: Self-cleaning tread with "stone kickers" for traction, an extra-wide footprint, and Sidebiter sidewall protection.
Sizes: 31 to 40 inches.
Designed for: They call it a mud- and all-terrain hybrid.
For more info: www.dickcepek.com