Difference Between All Terrain, Winter Rated, and Winter Tires

Find the Perfect Tire: http://tires.canadiantire.ca/en/tires

Canadian Tire took three popular types of light truck tires to a renowned proving ground 160 kilometers south of the Arctic Circle and ran them through a series of tests to discover which tires performed best in wet, dry, snow, and ice conditions. We tested all terrain, winter rated all terrain, and dedicated winter tires. At first glance there is no large difference in the appearance of the tires. All have big deep treads and large tread blocks that look like they can tackle anything. So is there a difference? The answer is yes. The biggest variable is the chemistry of the rubber compound used in each tire. All terrain tires have a rubber compound that is designed for warmer weather use. Dedicated winter tires have a compound that grips better in colder temperatures and a tread pattern that is better suited for traction on snow and ice. Although winter rated all terrain tires can be used all year round, they offer only mediocre performance in winter and summer conditions. Our first test measured the braking performance of our three tires from 40 kilometers an hour to a dead stop on a snow packed course. The dedicated winter tires came to a full stop in 28 meters. The winter rated all terrain tires took 39 meters to come to a complete stop; a reasonable distance but not as short as winter tires. The all terrain tires took 56 meters to stop! That is an astonishing 50% stopping difference between our dedicated winter tire and our all terrain tire. Next we compared the tires traction in snow by running our SUV through a 90 degree radius turn at 40 kilometers an hour. The winter tires performed best, executing the corner cleanly. The winter rated all terrain tires did reasonably well on the turn with only a minor oversteer. The all terrain tires proved more problematic in the turn and experienced a dramatic understeer. Finally, we drove each set of tires to their limits on our customized road course. Our test driver provided his opinion on each tire’s traction, control, and stability. The results were conclusive. Dedicated winter tires provide superior traction and control in cold, snowy conditions. As we’ve shown, all terrain tires don’t provide the braking, cornering, or handling capabilities necessary for safe winter driving especially when compared to our dedicated winter tire. The conclusion? For typical snowy, icy, Canadian winters, when temperatures dip below seven degrees celsius, winter tires are the best and safest choice for driving and you’ll find the best selection of light truck tires for all types of conditions at Canadian Tire!


Chris NA says:

Winter tires belong in the city with the shopping trolleys and hockey moms, utter garbage on dirt and gravel with ice, slush and snow. I’ll stick with my BFG KO2s year round thanks.

mjv1967 says:

I just got a set of Nokian Rotiiva AT all terrain all weather tires for my 4Runner. A great 3 season choice for a mid size SUV. And very hand when it is not yet winter (December) and not quite spring (March/April) but the temps are still around 0C compromising regular all terrain tires. I will still use winter tires for the snowy season Jan-March.

David Cazes says:

Another on road biased test.  People buying All-terrain need it for…all terrains.  Not just the street.  Drive in a foot of snow and those street snow tire and they will be so packed in snow they won’t have any traction.

vegass04 says:

No shit Sherlock. Winter tires are better on snow then all year or all terrain?? I’d never guess..What about putting the inter and all year on a test in autumn or spring and compare it that way.

needforsuv says:

what you didnt include here was regular all seasons / highway terrians
i think at would still do better then those

serious Dopamine says:

I need from all terrain to snow tires

mikkei says:

ONLY winter tires are the best – others tires in test in winter handles like shit!!!!!

ThePleds says:

wow that was stupid.. what about winter tire vs a/t winter tire in all year round conditions

MR-FLIP says:

just don’t bring them winter tires to Arizona; ) we run A/T

Filthy Gamer says:

The thing is that we ant professional drivers I men some of us so how the fuck do you guys expect us to drift on snow?

Spudwellington says:

meh. ill air down my all terrains and throw it in 4 high if im uncomfortable…

mymomsagirlpoopgood says:

my duratracs would rape any of these tires in the snow

SuzukiKid400 says:

What most of these tests fail to address is how the tires handle in SLUSHY conditions. Slush is the absolute worst in my opinion. Worse than ice, and worse than snow, because it’s very dense and the tire rides ontop of this heavy liquid. An all terrain winter rated tire like the duratracs are good for these conditions because the deep tread blocks go through the slush to the road. Winter tires don’t have deep treads so they don’t perform any differently than any other tire in slushy conditions.

Practical Guy says:

Lets see the BFG KO2 in this testing! I’m curious how good that mud/ snow terrain tire is versus the rest.

Luke Kim says:

Another marketing bullshit…. from Crappy Tire. I have 97 Jeep Cherokee with all terrain BFGoodrich tires. It never gave me problems in snow rain highway or normal road.

Michel G. says:

And being on 4×4 makes a huge difference.

Alex Cruz says:

could you put one snow tire on a car? My girlfriend’s father installed a winter tire to replace one front tire and it drives weird now

Doug Penner says:

Now let’s compare a quality mud and snow vs a cheap Chinese winter tire which most people buy.

Mr. Wise Spirit says:

Idk man, to me; I think to get the best opinion on tires use is to just use Joe Shmoes. Maybe a test of about 10 average drivers. The use of a professional driver can be so biased. But hey, that’s just me.

I live in Bismarck, N.D. and the drivers here… OMFG forget how to drive in winter conditions every damn year.

Ice Man says:

why use a dedicated winter tire in the summer?

Anthony Macneil says:

Bought my Cooper Discoverer AT / W at Canadian Tire and was told they are the best in winter driving and all year round.

Nate Eller says:

nah u aint try the right bf goodrich all terrains

TSAP 17 says:

I use mud tires

Trent Nelson says:

ya, it doesn’t matter what tire you have if you drive through 2 feet of snow.

Samuel Clark says:

general grabber at2 is a beast in snow. winter rated and studdable

Noah Garay says:

Interco q78 superswampers. Good for mud and skinny for snow

Dan S says:

Pretty accurate if straight-forward assessment. My experience has been about the same. I’ve currently got the Goodyear Duratrac winter-rated AT tire (shown in this video) mounted on a F-150. It fares pretty well in the winter–enough that I decided not to buy winter tires for the first couple of seasons–but not nearly as good as the dedicated winters I had on my last vehicle.

70donaldm says:

It Depends on what AT tires you have!!!

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