If you’ve been following our work, you may have noticed that all of the reviews and guides we do apply to passenger vehicles, and I’m about to change that. Today I’m taking a step back from all those comfortable vehicles we drive daily, and I’ll talk about ATVs.
ATV or all-terrain vehicle is a quad bike, often referred to only as a quad, designed for off-road use. Considering that they are lightweight with a short wheelbase means you’re getting much more fun than with an off-road vehicle. There are plenty of ATV models on the market, but none of them will perform as intended without a proper set of tires.
Unlike passenger cars, with ATVs, you’re looking at slightly different tire options. Don’t get me wrong, they are still tires, but in most cases, they’re not the models you’re used to with your average off-roader.
Since ATVs aren’t really designed for the road, I won’t be talking about that because you probably won’t care. Also, I’ve read that driving an ATV on the road in some areas is illegal, so double-check that. Without further ado, let’s dive into the list.
#1. Kenda Bearclaw K299
The list starts with a tire brand I haven’t spoken about much in previous reviews. While the company has some road tires, the one we’re interested in today is the Bearclaw K299.
As an off-road option for your ATV, I have to say that the Bearclaw K299 is a tire that won’t disappoint. On hard-packed surfaces, the tire’s performance is more than up for the task, offering high levels of traction and stability. The center lugs are doing an excellent job at keeping the tire stable in a straight line and will provide you with a decent amount of responsiveness. With that said, on smoother dirt roads, you may notice a slight loss of traction, mainly because there isn’t a lot of surface area for the tire to bite into.
One area where the tire can bite into is mud. With the Bearclaw K299, you are looking at one of the best ATV tires for shallow mud, and in some cases, the tire can deliver respectable performance even in a deeper one. This is where the angled lugs come into play and basically act as scoops or paddles and offer superior performance. Even in sandy conditions, the tire will have no massive issues, and you’ll get plenty of usable performance.
There are instances where you’ll be driving your ATV over rocks, and you can be sure that the Bearclaw K299 will deliver on that front. While I wouldn’t classify it as the absolute best for those conditions, it fairs well when compared to its rivals. Thanks to the internal construction and the rubber compound, you can be sure it will be as durable as possible.
- Superior mud performance
- Decent traction on hard-packed surfaces
- Usable for driving over rocks
- You may notice traction issues on smooth roads
- While it handles good, it will begin to struggle a bit when you approach the limit on smoother surfaces
#2. Carlisle All Trail II ATV
Moving away from tires with aggressive tread patterns, we have the Carlisle All Trail II ATV. In vehicle tires terms, you can consider this as an all-terrain if you look at the previous tire as a mud-terrain one, and considering the performance, the analogy is sound.
The All Trail II delivers excellent performance on hard-packed surfaces like dirt or gravel roads. There is plenty of grip and traction, which is to be expected, as it has a larger footprint. Even on dust-covered roads, the tire will continue to deliver while also remaining easy to control and handle. I wouldn’t classify it as the most responsive in these conditions, but at least you’ll be in control.
Things aren’t as impressive when it comes to driving on mud. The All Trail II is decent in shallow mud and won’t struggle too much, which is where the performance ends. Driving on deeper mud is not the most positive experience, but it can get you out in a pinch. Surprisingly, it seems to fair decently well in sand.
For rocks, it’s more or less similar to what the previous tire had to offer, but not to that extent. The durability isn’t in question, and the tire won’t get damaged, but you may notice it struggling a bit more over larger and smoother rocks.
- Excellent performance on hard-packed surfaces
- Usable in shallow mud or sand
- Easy to control
- Traction in deep mud will be limited
- The tire will struggle over larger and smoother rocks
#3. ITP Mud Lite II ATV/UTV
One of my favorite ATV tires comes from the company ITP. It has been in the business of making ATV tires for 4 decades, and one of the latest additions to the fleet is the Mud Lite II ATV/UTV. In my opinion, this is one of the most flexible tires as it can deliver excellent performance in almost all conditions.
In the lightest conditions, like gravel or dirt roads, the Mud Lite II is a tire that shines. ITP designed it to offer high levels of grip and traction on anything from finer dusty roads to larger gravel ones. This is a bit surprising, as it’s quite an aggressive tire, but it does well in these conditions, not only in terms of performance but also with handling and stability.
When it comes to mud, the tire is good but won’t be winning any trophies in these conditions. The Mud Lite II does an excellent job in shallow mud and is acceptable in a deeper one. Even though the aggressive design gives the impression that it would be the best, unfortunately, it falls behind the leaders in this category. For the most extreme mud situations, meaning deep mud, you’ll need to look at some of the other models on this list.
Going back to areas where the Mud Lite II shines, we come to rocky surfaces. Regardless if we’re talking about smaller or larger rocks, the tire will have no issues going over them, and thanks to the durable construction and design, it will take a lot of torture before it gets damaged.
- Excellent mud performance
- Plenty of performance on hard-packed surfaces
- There are better options for deep mud
- Not the most responsive handling on hard-packed roads
#4. SunF A050 Power
What if you’re after a tire that’s very good on mud, and the price isn’t the issue? Then you should look at the SunF A050 Power, a tire that may not win an award for the best price per performance ratio but will be near the top in terms of performance.
The tire’s aggressive design may give you the impression that it would be poor on gravel or dirt roads, but you’d be wrong. While I wouldn’t classify the A050 Power as the best in these conditions, but I have to say I was surprised by how well it drives. The lighter construction means that you’ll be getting surprisingly agile handling for a tire from this category, but you won’t have the highest levels of grip and traction.
Mud is where the A050 Power delivers the best performance. Considering that it’s lighter than most of its competitors, it doesn’t sink as easily, meaning that even in deeper mud, the tire won’t struggle too much. Sure, getting too aggressive means you’ll dig in and get stuck, but unless it’s your first time on an ATV, you shouldn’t have any issues. Even in wintery conditions, where you have snow or slush, the tire will offer excellent performance, and the chances of getting stuck are greatly reduced.
The large lugs aren’t good just for muddy conditions, as they also help a lot with driving on rocky surfaces. Smaller or larger rocks won’t make any difference, as the A050 Power will have no issues in both conditions. It can hook up even to larger rocks and continue delivering its impressive performance.
- Lightweight and durable
- Excellent performance on mud or rocks
- Nimble handling
- Traction on hard-packed surfaces isn’t the best in this category
- Not the most affordable tire on this list
#5. Wanda ATV
Wanda, the tire manufacturer, not the Marvel hero, is a Chinese tire brand and one of the few I can recommend. The tire isn’t the absolute best at what it does, but it comes at a slightly lower price point than some of its competitors, and most importantly, it’s long-lasting.
Starting off with dirt or gravel roads, the Wanda ATV is a solid performer. It won’t wow you with the levels of grip and traction it can deliver, but it will get the job done. For the most part, you’re looking at dependable performance and decent handling, which is what you’d expect from a tire from this price range. With that said, there is a slight drawback. These kinds of tires aren’t designed to be touring tires, but this one seems to be just a bit harsher-riding than its competitors.
For driving in mud, the large scoops are doing a pretty good job at delivering solid performance in these conditions. I wouldn’t use the Wanda ATV in the deepest mud patches possible, but for the shallower ones, I cannot find too many faults. Sure, you’ll get the occasional slip if you get too carried away with the gas, but nothing too problematic. The self-cleaning pattern is a nice touch, ensuring that the tread remains clean of mud and debris, ensuring consistent performance.
In rocky conditions, the Wanda ATV is still a solid performer. While you won’t feel your ATV going over rocks like Spider-Man, it can get the job done. The tire will struggle a bit in the more extreme conditions. It may not seem like something to brag about, but don’t forget that you’re looking at a long-lasting tire. There’s a decision to be made here if you want a tire that will last long at the price of a bit of performance in extreme situations.
- Self-cleaning pattern
- Decent performance in most conditions
- Will struggle in more extreme situations
- The ride feels harsh on hard-packed roads
#6. Maxxis Mudzilla
What do you get when you cross mud and Godzilla? Mudzilla, a tire made by Maxxis designed to be the absolute champion when it comes to driving in mud. Despite that, the tire’s performance in other conditions is respectable.
As a “mud-specific” tire, the Mudzilla is a decent performer on dirt and gravel roads. In some areas, it reminds me of the Bearclaw K299 – plenty of grip and traction over the rougher surfaces but a bit of struggle on the smoother ones. The tire’s sturdier construction means that while you will get a sharper response, you’ll also have to deal with a bit of a stiffer ride, especially on bumpier roads.
Mud is what the Mudzilla is designed for, and it does that as best as it can. The placement of the lugs, angle, size, and design all contribute to the excellent performance the tire can deliver. Regardless if you’re driving on shallow or deeper mud, the tire won’t disappoint. Even if you’re aggressive with the gas, you’ll notice the tire digging in, but it will quickly recover and get you out of there.
The sturdy internal construction may cripple comfort, but it adds to longevity, something you’d want if you plan on driving on rocky surfaces. You will get pretty good performance, but in some cases, you may need to air down the tire to get it to go over certain terrain. While I wouldn’t classify it as the absolute best for this application, I have to say it does a pretty good job at it.
- One of the best ATV tires for mud
- Decent performance on hard-packed surfaces or rocky terrains
- Sharp and responsive
- Not as soft to drive as some of its competitors
- Slight traction issues at higher speeds on smooth dirt roads
#7. ITP Cryptid
As a direct competitor of the Mudzilla, we have another model from ITP. The Cryptid may look like a tire with shovels sticking out of it, but that’s what makes it a superior mud performer. Surprisingly, the tire seems to do pretty well even in other off-road conditions, which is not a common sight.
Starting off with the lighter stuff, we have hard-packed surfaces, which the Cryptid doesn’t have too many issues with. The levels of grip and traction are excellent, which is the biggest surprise. What isn’t so surprising is how the tire handles. Due to the large lugs, which are pretty tall, you won’t be getting the sharpest handling and will notice a bit more wobble than with other tires.
Those massive lugs give the Cryptid its mud performance, making it one of the best, in some cases better than the Mudzilla. The tire simply glides over shallow mud or slush from the snow without breaking a sweat. In deeper mud, the tire continues to deliver its impressive performance and will have no problem getting you out from patches you wouldn’t even think of driving on. As long as your ATV is powerful enough to handle the strain, there isn’t mud deep enough that can get this tire stuck.
On rocky surfaces, the Cryptid continues to impress with the performance it can deliver. Over larger ones, the tire feels like it walks over them, and for the smaller ones, it will either roll over or “move” them aside until it gets to a solid surface. The tread design is also responsible for keeping rocks from getting stuck, meaning that the performance will be consistent and you’ll avoid premature damage.
- Superior mud performance
- Plenty of traction on hard-packed roads
- Self-cleaning tread pattern keeps the tire clean from mud or rocks
- The handling isn’t the most responsive and is a bit vague
- You’ll notice a bit more wobble on hard-packed surfaces
#8. Tusk Terraform
Are you looking for premium performance tires for your HR-V? Can you afford to pay the elevated asGoing back to the sensible options, we have the Tusk Terraform, a tire that balances performance and price quite nicely. Looking at it as a package, it’s a very close competitor to the Wanda ATV – delivering decent performance without emptying your wallet.
Driving on gravel or dirt roads with the Terraform is generally a good experience. The tire’s grip and traction levels are pretty good and can handle getting a bit aggressive if you want to have some fun. Naturally, the performance isn’t on the same level as some of the other tires on this list, but at this price point, I believe it’s an excellent option.
Looking at the tread design, you’ll get the impression that the Terraform will be a solid performer in mud, and you’d be right. The tire’s ability to deliver traction is excellent, especially in shallower patches. You will reach a point where the mud will become too deep, so don’t expect wonders here. One advantage the tire has is its weight, which prevents it from sinking too easily. This also helps it in swampy areas or if there’s a lot of slush, which the tire won’t have too many issues with, as the open tread design keeps the grooves clean.
The rock performance of the Terraform is decent and will get the job done as long as you’re not expecting wonders. It can deal with smaller rocks decently nice, while you may notice it struggling a bit with the larger ones.
One thing I have to mention about this tire is the size options or the lack of them. Unlike most of its competitors, with the Terraform, you’re looking at limited sizes, so double-check if you can fit them to your ATV.king price that is almost a given with these tires? If so, the Pilot Sport All-Season 4 deserves your attention.
A combination of Helio technology, silica tread compound, and sunflower oil helps this tire deliver the best of both worlds. The Helio technology and sunflower oil enhance this tire’s traction in wet conditions and prevent the rubber from shriveling in low temperatures.
Similar to any performance tire worth its salt, the Pilot Sport All-Season 4 features an asymmetric tread pattern. One that features outboard shoulder blocks for enhanced grip, steering response, and stability. The tread pattern also contains grooves for water evacuation.
This tire also comes with 360 Degree Variable sipes. These are self-locking indents that lock the treads for better dry cornering and open them for increased snow traction. What’s more, this tire also has the biting edges needed to plow through light snow and ice reliably.
The only issue some people may note about this tire is that it can feel twitchy during aggressive cornering. Unfortunately, this problem has no solution. But you can mitigate it by being gentle with the steering input, especially while turning corners in wet situations.
- Surprisingly good in muddy conditions
- Pretty good performance on dirt and gravel roads
- Limited size options
- It will begin to struggle in more extreme situations
#9. GBC Mongrel
As part of the Greenball group, which has several brands, we have GBC with the Mongrel. Looking at the design and the tire specifications, it’s clear that this is a direct competitor of the Carlisle model I mentioned. A good all-round performer that may not excel in every condition but will offer flexible usage.
Considering that it features a far less aggressive pattern, you will be getting a very good performance on hard-packed roads. Gravel or dirt won’t be a problem, as the tire’s grip and traction levels are very good. Since the lugs aren’t massive, there won’t be too much flex in them, so the handling will be pretty responsive for an ATV tire.
Mud is an area where it may not compare to something like the Mudzilla or Cryptid, but it will get the job done. The Mongrel will have a solid performance in shallower mud, and you can expect to get a similar performance in slush. With that said, going for deeper patches won’t reward you with the best performance, as the tire will begin to struggle a bit.
One thing the Mongrel seems to tackle well is rocky conditions. At full pressure, the tire will deal with smaller rocks nicely, and while it will struggle a bit, there is a solution to that. The tire has a 10-ply rating, which is something that most of its competitors cannot brag about. as a result, you can deflate it, thus increasing the contact patch and getting excellent traction. Keep in mind that the 10-ply rating also means that you’re looking at a heavier tire.
- Excellent all-round performance
- 10-ply rating
- Decent in muddy conditions
- Will struggle in deep mud
#10. EFX MotoClaw Radial
The last tire on this list is the EFX MotoClaw Radial, which features a slightly unique design that seems to work in its favor to make it flexible. Like the previous tire I talked about, this one is also intended to deliver good performance in multiple conditions.
On hard-packed surfaces, the MotoClaw Radial is surprisingly good, and there’s a good reason for that. Unlike some of its competitors, the lugs are stiffer, so they won’t bend too much, meaning that the handling is very responsive. On top of that, the pattern also does wonders for grip and traction, making this a very solid performer.
Tires that usually excel on dirt or gravel roads don’t deal with the mud too well, but the MotoClaw Radial is an exception. While it won’t be able to compete with some of the best mud tires on this list, I have to say we’re looking at a very good performer. As long as you avoid very deep mud patches, you shouldn’t have too many issues. I can say that the tire does considerably well with slush in wintery conditions. You may notice a bit of slip, but only if you get a bit aggressive.
The same goes for driving over rocks – solid performance, but far from the best in this category. In lighter conditions with smaller rocks, the MotoClaw Radial will have no massive issues, and the traction will be solid even with smoother rocks. With that said, going into very extreme situations won’t be an experience you’ll be happy with. I can classify it as okay, but not something that will blow your mind.
As good as the MotoClaw Radial is, there is a slight drawback, and that’s the price. It’s not the most expensive tire on the market, but it’s quite close to that mark.
- Grip and traction on hard-packed surfaces are excellent
- Usable in lighter mud and rocky situations
- Very responsive handling
- Not the most affordable option
- It will struggle in extreme conditions