Is The Meekest Of Toyo's Three Open Country Treads The Best For The Masses?
Toyo made the 'wheeling world stand up and take notice when the Open Country M/T was introduced five years ago, in our opinion being the first mud tire that was truly livable on the street. As a result, thousands of them are needlessly being worn out on vehicles that'll never even see a dirt road, much less mud. Meanwhile, the Open Country A/T would go places that we'd never expected from an all-terrain while also being very street-friendly and wearing exceptionally well. Surely Toyo sold more than a few A/Ts because of all the hoopla that the M/T created, but nowhere near as many A/Ts were purchased purely because of their looks. Well, beauty is in the eye of the beholder, they say, so the mild-treaded H/T with its generous siping should look absolutely gorgeous to anybody who spends most of their miles on pavement (which is probably at least 99 percent of us), yet wants a tire that isn't a complete dud in the dirt. But how many have even heard of this member of the Toyo Open Country trio?
Mounted on a set of 16x8 Eagle Alloys with a perfect 4-inch backspacing for our live-axle Chevy test mule, the light and true made-in-the-USA wheels combined with Toyo's 12-segment mold carcass to create a very well balanced setup, literally. One set was a mere 0.004 inch out of round and didn't even need any weight on the inside, and the Hunter GSP 9700 found the "worst" one to be just 0.020 inch off of perfectly round. Well, frankly, we expected that from Toyo, which has recently been voted number one overall in both consumer and medium truck tires by independent tire dealers. What we didn't quite anticipate was how well the Open Country H/T worked, both on pavement and in the dirt.
Cruising In Comfort
Driving on pavement on the H/T became sort of a non-event-the tires were simply there, doing exactly what was asked of them-and it was nice to be impressed beyond expectations by how cushy and well-performing a modern tire can be. There was no noise, no tracking, no anything-not even rolling resistance-and the Toyos simply did their thing so well that it was easy to forget about them altogether. And should you forget to rotate them, we've been told (by an independent source) that the H/T is practically impervious to irregular wear. Plus, as the tire eventually does wear, it is built to remain quiet through its useful life, and has full-depth sipes and dual circumferential grooves to help traction in the wet.
Can You Really Go Onto The Dirt With These?
Alright, we went all ga-ga over how pleasant the Open Country H/T is on the pavement, but no matter how few miles you might spend on the trails-or you probably wouldn't have a four-wheel drive in the first place-a tire has to work on the trail, too, at least to some extent, to be useful to you. Turns out the H/T really went beyond the call of duty for a mild-treaded tire. While we've had some good luck with mild treads and judicious throttle use, it seems the plentiful siping helped propel us up hills and over trails that should've been out of reach. We found this over and over, and things got even better when the ground was damp-to a point. When it comes to real mud, fogetaboutit, as a Soprano associate would put it.
You might be surprised how well a mild tire like this can work in the dirt (we were), at least under a heavy vehicle that creates the needed contact pressure. For quiet comfort, resistance to irregular wear, and superb handling, the Open Country H/T really is the best of the three.
Tire: Toyo Open Country H/T
Load range: C
Max load (lb @psi): 2,470 @ 50
Sidewall plies: 2-ply polyester
Tread plies: 2-ply polyester, 2-ply steel, 1-ply nylon
Approved rim width (in): 7-8
Tread depth (in): 15/32
Tread width (in): 8.25 (measured)
Section width (in): 10.8
Overall diameter (in): 31.6
Static loaded radius (in): 14.1
Revolutions per mile: 658
Weight (lb): 45
Test vehicle: 6,300-pound K-5 Blazer