BFGoodrich Hankook Dynapro Toyo Open Country Tires - All Terrain Tires Shootout

Mountain Tire Testing Three Top Brands

Kevin McNultyPhotographer, Writer

An all-terrain tire is a tire is a tire, right? Not always. There are hundreds of all-terrain tires on the market, and it's difficult to distinguish the technological advancements designed into each brand. In most cases it takes the trained eye and tests of an expert to decipher the differences between a good tire, a bad tire, what will work, and what won't. The best way to determine which tire is better than another is head-to-head testing on similar vehicles, on the same terrain-and that's just what we did.

Recently we had the opportunity to test three top all-terrain tires: the new Hankook Dynapro ATm RF10, the Toyo Open Country A/T, and the BFGoodrich All-Terrain T/A KO. To be fair, we used similar vehicles with the same capabilities and wheeled these rigs over the same terrain and trails. Although the trails weren't the toughest, they were similar to what we feel most off-road enthusiasts use for recreation. We're quite sure you just want to know which all-terrain tire offers the best traction on- and off-road and which has the best ability to endure abuse.

An all-terrain tire could be considered a mild off-road tire. It is designed to be a decent all-around performer on many types of terrain, including the street. These tires should work well on wet and dry highways and in snow, rocks, sand, and light mud.

Standing our three test subjects side by side, the tread designs may look a little similar, but there are intricate details in design that may help one tire perform better than another. The basics of these details are tread block design, siping, shoulder blocks/lugs, and voids. The Dynapro and the Open Country A/T are similar in tread pattern design with the exception that the RF10 has more sipes designed into its tread blocks. These additional sipes should, in theory, give the RF10 better traction on wet highways. The BFGoodrich has larger voids between the tread blocks, which will help self-clean in muddy situations. The BFGs use their aggressive ShoulderLock technology, which gives the tire more side-biting traction, especially when it's aired down. All three of the tires are constructed with their manufacturer's own proprietary durable rubber compound.

Each of the tires performed very well given the terrain we tested them on. The tires showed very little, if any, chipping and cutting of the tread and sidewall, even after a long day of running rocky trail terrain. We are very familiar with the Open Country and All-Terrain T/A KO-both tires have been around for a while. The RF10 is the new kid on the block, and we were impressed by its off-highway performance and its friendly on-road manners.

To tell you the truth, there weren't many discernible differences among the three tires' performance on- and off-highway. However, we did get slightly better traction with the Hankooks on sandy rock, a good test of a tire's traction capabilities. The on-highway friendliness of the tires is what we expected, far more quiet than the drone of the mud-terrain tires we are used to. The tires emitted little road noise, with the BFG All-Terrains slightly louder than the RF10s and the Open Countrys.

Tech Specs

BFGOODRICH ALL-TERRAIN T/A KO

TIRE TESTED: 265/75R16
TYPE: Radial
LOAD RANGE: E
TREAD PLIES: 3 poly, 2 steel, 1 nylon
SIDEWALL PLIES: 3 polyester
WARRANTY: 6 years workmanship and material
SIZE INFORMATION: www.bfgoodrichtires.com

HANKOOK DYNAPRO ATM RF10

TIRE TESTED: 265/75R16
TYPE: Radial
LOAD RANGE: E
TREAD PLIES: 2 poly, 2 steel, 2 nylon
SIDEWALL PLIES: 2 polyester
WARRANTY: 50,000-miles tread wear, and road hazard
SIZE INFORMATION: www.hankooktireusa.com

TOYO OPEN COUNTRY A/T

TIRE TESTED: 265/75R16
TYPE: Radial
LOAD RANGE: E
TREAD PLIES: 2 poly, 2 steel, 2 nylon
SIDEWALL PLIES: 2 polyester
WARRANTY: 40,000-mile limited tread wear
SIZE INFORMATION: www.toyo.com