Finding tires for rain is something you cannot take lightly. Especially if the area where you live receives lots of downpours. Continuous rain reduces the road’s friction, leaving it to the tire to generate all the traction and grip that is needed to keep your vehicle stable.
That’s precisely what the best wet weather tires do. They keep your vehicle’s stability intact regardless of how much water is there on the road. Even in deep puddles of water, you can count on these tires to provide enough traction for fast and worry-free driving.
These tires also reduce the risk of hydroplaning. Hydroplaning is when enough water accumulates beneath your tire’s tread to cause it to lose traction with the road. Whether it lasts for a second or a longer time frame, hydroplaning could lead to a crash.
In this article, we’re going to look at the ten best tires for rain. The sooner you buy these tires and install them in your vehicle, the earlier you can drive worry-free on wet roads. We’ll also answer common queries people have about wet weather tires.
What's In This Guide?
- Top 10 Best Tires for Rain
- #1. Vredestein Quatrac Pro
- #2. Continental ExtremeContact Sport
- #3. General AltiMAX RT43 Radial Tire
- #4. Hankook Ventus V2 Concept2
- #5. Pirelli P4 Season Plus
- #6. Michelin CrossClimate 2
- #7. Michelin Pilot Super Sport
- #8. Michelin Pilot Super Sport 4S
- #9. Goodyear Assurance WeatherReady
- #10. Cooper Discoverer All-Season
- Frequently Asked Questions
Top 10 Best Tires for Rain
#1. Vredestein Quatrac Pro
The Vredestein Quatrac Pro is my top pick for several reasons. It features many improvements over its predecessor, the world-renowned Quatrac 5. This tire offers stronger traction on wet surfaces, ice, and snow. Its handling is also one step above the model it replaced.
A close inspection of its tread area reveals an asymmetric tread pattern. Made of silica and resin, the unique tread design provides this tire with enhanced road-gripping capabilities and a precise turning mechanism. You can thus count on this tire to provide you with a better drive.
This tire also does a fine job of resisting hydroplaning. A rib within and inside the shoulder has created full circumferential channels for any water, slush, or mud to drain out of the contact patch. That’s not all. The rib also features adjacent notches to boost this tire’s grip.
You can trust the Quatrac Pro to withstand quite a lot of abuse as well. Mainly because of its exterior polyester layer that supports two steel belts. But also because of the polyamide underpinning. Both of them help reduce the wear and tear to the tire at breakneck speeds.
I was also impressed with the warranties on offer. There are three of them, including a 12-month (or for the first 2/32”) wear warranty. Then comes the eight years or 40,000 miles workmanship and materials warranty. And you also get a 30-day trial period.
- Impressive wet-weather performance
- Above-par handling and steering control
- Minimal road noise
- Not meant for sports cars and smaller vehicles
#2. Continental ExtremeContact Sport
The Continental ExtremeContact Sport offers the best of both worlds. On the one end, it has an advanced summer tread compound with the manufacturer’s patented +Silane technology that enables it to provide extreme grip and traction on both dry and wet road surfaces.
On the other end, it’s backed with Continental’s exclusive SportPlus Technology. One which gives this tire slick steering response and feel while also elevating its cornering stability to the level of a UHP summer tire. This is one area where this tire outclasses the best in its category.
The addition of circumferential grooves means you can count on this tire to resist hydroplaning. Two inner high-tensile steel belts give the tire the stability that will help it retain its shape at high-speed driving. Continental has also added maintenance indicators to help you check the tire’s health.
These indicators do two things. The first of which is giving you a close overview of how fast (or otherwise) the tire is wearing. The second indicator tells you whether the tire has the depth needed to handle dry or wet road conditions. These indicators are similar to what you find on high-price tires.
Keep an eye on the ‘DW’ marking to know when the tire needs replacement. The W (wet) marking will wear first, followed by the disappearance of D (dry). Once both the indicators aren’t visible, it’s time to order a new set. If they disappear in the first 30,000 miles, claim the tread warranty.
- Very impressive wet grip and traction
- Excellent cornering stability and performance
- Not for snowy or icy roads
#3. General AltiMAX RT43 Radial Tire
Here is another tire that shines in wet conditions. That isn’t to say that this tire won’t be of any help when the sun is shining out there. Its enhanced tread design enables it to offer improved handling and traction performance in the rain as well as dry conditions.
Unlike other performance tires, the AltiMAX stays quiet, even at higher speeds. Its sound suppression system helps it keep road noise at a minimum. A rubber tread compound uses traces of silica to minimize road vibrations, whether you’re driving at or way below the speed limit.
General has also equipped this tire with its low surface abrasion technology and anti-slip sipe design technology. The former enhances the treadlife by saving it from unnecessary wear. The latter, meanwhile, enhances dry and wet traction while also improving ride comfort.
I genuinely appreciate what General has done with this tire to increase wet performance. Apart from the standard circumferential grooves – which resist hydroplaning – the tire has sipes around its edges to further increase its grip on slippery surfaces. You also get Visual Alignment Indicators.
A nice addition is a 75,000 miles treadwear warranty. The tire also comes with what General refers to as the Replacement Tire Monitor. It features a stamp that starts showing a “replace tire” indicator when the tire has suffered excessive treadwear.
- Excellent sound suppression
- Highly-useful maintenance indicators
- Not suitable in the mountains
#4. Hankook Ventus V2 Concept2
The Hankook Ventus V2 Concept2 does many things at once. The presence of high amounts of silica in its tread compound enables it to offer excellent dry and wet traction. Its directional tread pattern and continuous center rib reduce the braking distance at high speeds.
Both also help this tire offer an above-average ‘pick’ and quick steering response. That isn’t to say that this tire is made for driving enthusiasts, who might be put off by the response its softer sidewalls give. Still, if you’re like most drivers, you won’t find any faults with its steering response.
Wet traction is an area this tire doesn’t divide opinions in. Hankook has equipped it with a silica-infused compound that, together with the four circumferential grooves and the V-tread pattern, does an excellent job of removing water from underneath the tire’s footprint.
Multiple sipes and 3-D tread blocks help it offer average performance on snow and ice. Despite their presence, this tire remains an all-season tire. You shouldn’t expect it to be a world-beater in rough winter weather. If you do, you’d be putting your vehicle’s stability in danger.
Hankook has done really well to reduce unwanted road noise with this tire. A Noise Control Block ensures that minimal road noise gets to those sitting in the vehicle’s cabin. The elimination of any unnecessary road noise means you can expect this tire to offer a comfortable driving experience.
- Offers an ultra-quiet driving experience
- Backed with a 45,000-mile treadwear warranty
- Cornering could have been softer
#5. Pirelli P4 Season Plus
The Pirelli P4 Season Plus is rightly dubbed as one of the best touring tires right now. That couldn’t have been the case if its wet performance was poor. An optimized tread design and two central longitudinal grooves help this tire deliver top-of-the-category performance on slippery roads.
Here’s why I’m so sure. The optimized tread design helps this tire retain its dry-weather grip, but in damp conditions where other all-season tires suffer. As for the longitudinal grooves, they offer any accumulated water with all the space it needs to escape the tire’s footprint.
Wet weather performance isn’t the only box this tire ticks. Its road noise, or the lack of it, is another reason why you may want to buy this tire. In fact, having tested some of the quietest tires on the market, I could say with confidence that the Pirelli P4 is right up there with some of the best in this category.
Pirelli also entices potential customers by using a silica-rich tread compound. The good thing about silica is that it improves grip, especially in rain. It also puts a dampener on the road noise. Silica softens the ride without compromising on handling, too, a combo that you don’t get from other tread compounds.
Unfortunately, the P4 also has its fair share of shortcomings. The first of which is size ability. This tire is available in a limited number of sizes, making it difficult to find a tire with a specific size. Secondly, some users complain about rocks getting stuck in its grooves and remaining there for long periods.
- Long-lasting 90,000-mile treadwear warranty
- Excellent fuel efficiency thanks to low rolling resistance
- Available in only a few sizes
#6. Michelin CrossClimate 2
Michelin has pulled out all the stops to make CrossClimate 2 one of its best tires for rain. It has equipped this tire with its proprietary Thermal Adaptive tread compound, which has enhanced its grip on both dry and wet surfaces. The dependable tread compound has also shortened the tire’s braking distance.
Aside from enhancing the Cross Climate 2’s traction, the tread compound also helps it remain soft and pliable in winter. This ensures that as the temperatures grow down, the tire’s traction and the grip don’t follow suit. You can thus expect this tire to keep you safe in light-snow conditions.
Then comes the tire’s directional tread pattern. Featuring V-Ramp chamfers, the tread pattern has provided the tire with biting edges. This helps the tire latches onto wet surfaces. What’s more, the biting edges also disconnect, letting the tire offer the same supreme grip on dry roads.
You might find it good to note that this tire comes with Michelin’s PIANO Noise Reduction Tuning Technology. As the name implies, the technology helps minimize road noise as much as possible, ensuring a comfortable ride. The noise remains down regardless of the speed of your vehicle.
On top of everything else, Michelin has supplemented the tire’s tread with several of its tread wear indicators (TWIs). The first of which is the narrow rubber bars that let you measure the remaining tread depth. Once the tire hits zero or minimal tread depth, the rubber bars will become visible.
- Highly reliable wet weather performance
- Compatible with a wide range of vehicles
- Wear life is relatively short
#7. Michelin Pilot Super Sport
The Michelin Super Sport has been on the market for over a decade. However, unlike other tires that were released in the same year, the Super Sport hasn’t let its successors replace it altogether. Instead, with each passing year, this tire’s popularity has remained strong.
Part of the credit for its long-held fame goes to the tire’s wet weather traction. Michelin has equipped it with a wet compound on the inboard shoulders to help it retain traction on slippery roads. Multiple grooves within the tread area channel the water out, resisting hydroplaning.
Then comes its low-void outboard shoulders. Made of a circuit-ready tread compound, they will provide your vehicle with an above-average cornering grip. The grip was touted as excellent when the tire first hit the market, but the arrival of better players has lowered its grade in comparison.
Its spirally-wound Twaron cord is what really sets this tire apart from the competition. Twaron lends as much strength reinforcement to the tire as steel, but not at the cost of added weight. Michelin insists that this tire has a 10% lower overall weight when compared with others in this category.
A few sizes of the Pilot Super Sport are equipped with Michelin’s Acoustic Technology. The technology is basically a sound-absorbing foam, attached to the tire’s inner liner. While you cannot see it in action, the technology’s impact – reduced road noise – can be easily felt when driving.
- Excellent wet surface traction
- Awesome (30,000-mile) treadwear warranty for a max performance tire
- Doesn’t come cheap
#8. Michelin Pilot Super Sport 4S
At the time of its launch in 2017, the motorsports community was very excited. The Pilot Super Sport 4S’s on-road performance didn’t do anything to dampen their enthusiasm. In fact, it has cemented this tire’s reputation as a worthy successor of the uber-popular Pilot Super Sport.
This tire’s wet performance is as fantastic as its UHP. Mainly because of Michelin’s decision to equip its tread’s inner part with “silica and functional elastomers”, which enhance its traction on dry roads. The tread’s inner part is the reason why this tire’s braking distances in rain are so short.
The remaining credit for its outstanding behavior in rain goes to the tire’s asymmetric tread pattern. Or, more specifically speaking, the asymmetric tread pattern’s inner part. Unlike the outer part, which is more suited for summer conditions, the inner part is geared more toward rainy conditions.
You can also trust the tire to retain its shape during high-stress conditions. An inner belt made from a nylon-and-aramid-fiber blend ensures that the contact patch retains its size when you’re moving your car around at breakneck speeds. The inner belt is also responsible for its steering being ultra-responsive.
Michelin didn’t forget about aesthetics when designing this tire. The Pilot S has a velvety ‘Premium Touch’ technology logo making its sidewall more pronounced. Also there is a subtle (but noticeable) rim protector strip, a must-have feature considering the tire is available in 19- and 20-inch forms as well.
- Traction on slippery roads couldn’t be any better
- Exceptional cornering grip and stability
- Better than expected treadle
#9. Goodyear Assurance WeatherReady
Goodyear is one of the few brands that aim to offer decent performance at a pocket-friendly price. The US-based brand has plenty of tires in its lineup, but none of them can rival the Assurance WeatherReady when it comes to performance on dicey, slippery roads.
Driving in the train with the tire gives you the feeling of being in total control. The tire’s unique tread design as well as biting edges help it retain its grip in water puddles. The biting edges are strategically placed throughout the tread area, boosting this tire’s performance in wet conditions.
Snow performance is acceptable enough but you cannot compare this tire to dedicated snow tires. Dry performance is also great, and unless you get carried away, the cornering grip and stability will also be impressive. Similar is the case with its steering response, which is excellent for an all-season tire.
You won’t have any complaints about this tire’s comfort and noise. It drivers seamlessly and lets no vibrations in the cabin, thanks to the tread compound that smoothens out road imperfections. Noise levels are also on the lower side when you consider that this tire is available at an affordable price.
The only area where I’d hope to see an improvement is treadlife. Even when you keep the tire away from the off-roads, it will wear out quite soon. Fortunately, Goodyear has offset this drawback by backing this tire with a 6-year (60,000 miles) treadlife warranty and an equally long workmanship guarantee.
- Astounding traction and braking power on wet surfaces
- Available at a pocket-friendly price
- Back with a six-year treadle warranty
- Wears out quite soon
#10. Cooper Discoverer All-Season
The Cooper Discoverer is one of the few tires that have the term ‘wet weather tire’ in its name. That should tell you all you need to know about its performance in rainy conditions.
Even though the tire has a symmetric tread pattern, it rolls over effortlessly over wet surfaces and difficult terrains. A maximum load capacity of 2,300 pounds also works in favor of its wet weather performance, giving the tire more control as it’s running through deep water puddles and slick streets.
The presence of grooves within its tread area helps it resist hydroplaning like a champ. Alongside them are the biting edges, helping the tire make its mark on slippery terrain. And the fact that it’s M+S rated means it also has its fair share of sipes to help it remain stable on mountainous and snowy terrains.
Its grooves not only eliminate water from beneath the tire’s footprint. They also offer lateral protection to the tire, minimizing stone retention on the tire’s surface. This self-cleaning ability is the reason why, every time you take this tire to the read, it will show a new, fresh face to the world.
The only issue I have with the Cooper Discoverer is noise. This tire produces a lot of it, especially when you compare it with others in the same category. While the noise might not overwhelm your vehicle’s passengers’ ears, it will still be loud enough all right.
- Rolls effortlessly over wet surfaces
- M+S rating means it’s able to perform well on slippery terrain
- Good handling with great sidewalls
- Produces a lot of noise
Frequently Asked Questions
How to choose the best tires for rain?
You might want to pay attention to the following factors:
- Type of tire. All-season and summer tires usually work best in rainy conditions. They have the tread pattern and sticky rubber needed to offer traction and grip on slick and slippery surfaces. Some UHP tires, like the one mentioned above, might do well in rain, too.
- Tire’s tread. Any tire with low tread won’t perform adequately in rainy conditions. Tires with a worn-out tread are also at an added risk of hydroplaning. Their braking distances are also much longer than tires with an unused or slightly-used tread.
- Tire’s size. Confirm with the tire manufacturer that your vehicle’s size is available with them. Things can get pretty frustrating if the tire you’ve ordered – and which is lying in your garage – won’t fit your vehicle.
- Driving style. How you normally drive will determine whether all-season, summer, or high-performance tires will come in handy for you in rain. If you usually drive in challenging conditions, a high-performance tire might suit you more. Otherwise, go for an all-season or summer tire.
- Tire’s Price. Premium tires offer excellent performance, minimize road noise and provide a comfortable ride. But their asking price might blow a hole in your pocket. For this reason alone, mid-range tires will probably work out better for the majority.
What type of tires can prevent hydroplaning?
Rubber tires with grooves in their tread area can effectively resist hydroplaning. The grooves are there to effectively channel water from beneath the tire’s footprint. This makes sure that the tire’s friction with the road surface stays intact, eliminating or reducing instances of hydroplaning.
Are all-season tires good for rain?
All-season tires provide the necessary grip and traction needed to keep your vehicle stable on slippery roads. If you’re searching for an all-season tire for rainy conditions, make sure to compare its wet braking scores with others in the same category. This will let you gauge their performance in the rain.
Do winter tires do better in rain?
Winter tires provide an average performance in rainy weather. If you live in an area where it rains a lot, make sure to look for wet weather tires. These tires have what it takes to offer optimum traction on slick, slippery road surfaces.
Can you use summer tires in the rain?
Summer tires perform excellently in rainy weather. Their tread area is optimized for exceptional road grip, regardless of whether the road is dry or damp. Just keep in mind to replace summer tires when the temperature nosedives below 45-degrees Fahrenheit.
Driving in rain shouldn’t be taken lightly. When it rains, the road’s asphalt gets mixed with water and any oil or grease left behind by leaky vehicles. This creates a surface where tires find it difficult to “hang on” to. Puddles on the road can also give way to hydroplaning.
If you live in an area that receives more than its fair share of rain, it should be a no-brainer to invest in any one of the 10 tires I outlined above. Bear in mind that some of these tires are better at their job than others, so pay attention when you’re choosing.