Testing the New Pro Comp A/T Sport
A Do-It-All Tire?
I use my 2005 Chevy Tahoe (Rosco P. Drivetrain) for everything. I use it to take the kids to daycare and the dog to the vet. I have flat-towed with it and run to the parts store for that last-minute gizmo. I take it four-wheeling on some pretty tough trails and also use it for family road trips. This daily driver usage isn’t what I had in mind for the big comfortable former cop car when I was building it, but that doesn’t change the fact that that is how it gets used. The aggressive mud tires on the rig were beginning to wear out and also wear on my nerves.
As senior editor of an off-road magazine, I am used to the quirks of mud-terrain tires. I’ve told people that if they want to know what is a good heavy-duty off-road tire, I’m a good person to ask. If they are concerned with road noise and on-road performance, they should look for tire advice elsewhere. At this point almost all of my 4x4s have mud-terrains, but do I really need them? With durable yet effective modern tire compounds and durable sidewalls with three or more plies, is all the road noise and lug separation necessary? With the introduction of Pro Comp’s new A/T Sport tire, a tire touted to do it all, I thought I might have an opportunity to test this idea out. At the end of the day I couldn’t be happier. That’s not to say my trail rigs are all going to be wearing ATs instead of MTs, but the old adage rings true here: Use the right tool for the job.
The ad for the Pro Comp A/T Sport touts how these tires will be “Getting you to your next adventure.” That’s absolutely true for us. Just after getting the tires mounted up on our Tahoe at the local tire shop, we headed north to Moab, Utah, for Easter Jeep Safari. We flat-towed our 1949 CJ-3A on the eight-hour road trip with plans to wheel both rigs in Moab. Sure, we didn’t drive the whole way on dirt, but we couldn’t resist the urge to get the new tires a little dirty. Traction on packed sand and dirt roads with 42 psi was great despite the load.
The Pro Comp A/T Sport tires feature an impressive 60K Treadwear Warrantee and a Forever Warrantee, non-prorated free replacement covering the life of the tire for any defect from factory workmanship or materials. That means the company has confidence in its tires. With our 37s aired down to 20 psi, the red rocks of Moab didn’t stand a chance. We love using all-terrains in Moab. This is one off-road venue where the extra tread and contact patch that makes less noise on the road helps give your rig extra traction on the rough rocks. The tires have also performed well on smoother rocks closer to our Arizona home. The staggered outside lugs, supple compound, and side holder lugs help grab rocks when the tires are aired down.
In wet conditions the Sweeping Groove Technology of the A/T Sport helps channel water and debris away from the contact patch. We have driven the Tahoe with these tires in deeper water as well as on the road during rain and snow without any sensation of slipping. These thumb-sized sweeping grooves work in conjunction with lots of tread sipes to grab wet and icy pavement (or sand and rocks).
In sticky mud, some of the attributes that keep the A/T Sport quiet on the road mean it gets packed, but the large voids of the sweeping grooves help clear mud from the tread. That makes the A/T Sport work as well as any all-terrain tire in the slick stuff.
On road the A/T Sports were a welcome change from our loud and flappy old mud tires. The Tahoe became much more civilized for daily driving because of the Multi-Pitch Tread Block Variation. It sounds fancy, but it just means the tread blocks alternate in size to help cancel out tire noise. The compound is dialed in for on- and off-road traction in our opinion. So far we have racked up a few thousand miles on these tires and they look like new, but you can bet we’ll keep an eye on how they wear over time. For now, consider us reformed mud-tire addicts on a multiuse rig like this.