For the hardcore outdoorsy types, the quest for the perfect tires can be never ending. I spend a lot of time on and off pavement, in a wide variety of conditions, and not in the most capable of vehicles. This makes having an awesome all around tire imperative, and finding the right one isn’t always easy. Online tire reviews leave a lot to be desired and deciphering how a user review can relate to your driving can drive you crazy. A few tips I’ve found helpful in finding relevant reviews are to find online forums for either the vehicle you’ll be using or the types of activities you intend to take part in. Thus for my purposed the Honda Element forums as well as ski forums gave some good insight into my selection.
I ended up going with the Hankook Dynapro ATM because I wanted one tire to do it all, which for my purposes includes a ton of highway driving, driving to ski resorts or mountain roads several times a week, and scaling various dirt and fire roads. I settled on the Dynapro because it was noted for it’s snow performance, aggressive tread, and it was a heck of a lot cheaper than its competitors. I had considered running a dedicated snow tire in the winter but decided they wouldn’t last long with the amount of highway driving I do as well as in our milder climate.
I drive an 05′ Honda Element (toaster!) AWD. When I purchased it the dealer was about to put new tires on and I told them I wanted an aggressive AT so they slapped on Big O Bigfoot A/T. These were nice in all conditions at first, a little loud, and super expensive. I’ve had BFG Rugged Trails in the past as well. I narrowed down the the Hankook as it seemed to compare to a Toyo Open Country and Dueller Revo, both of which were almost $900 installed. The Dynapro’s cost me $650 installed in a 225/35/16.
On the highway they are certainly quieter than the Bigfoot AT, but grip a whole lot better. In rain they don’t get squirrely or try to hydroplane, on dirt they grip and make things predictable. Where they really shine is on Snow. The Hankook Daynapro ATM snow performance is awesome, grips like a champ at normal snow speed and instills confidence. The tread flushes as it should and I don’t lose any traction whatsoever. Where the old tires were nerve racking, the Dynapros have no problem doing 40 on super snowy roads (slowing a tad for corners). On variable roads where I’ve hit snow or ice unexpectedly at high speed the tires bite so the car can doesn’t have to. I just completed a trip from California to Wyoming and back in variable conditions including Targhee on a storm day and am sold. These tires are way better than anything I’ve every tried. With 5000 miles on them they’re not showing any wear.
Hankook makes these tires in a wide variety of sizes so you can run them on anything from a crossover to an I’m Compensating monster truck. For the price they are simply awesome!