- Well refined
- Very good performance on the road
- Among the best off-road capable hybrid tire
- Usable in light snow conditions
- Some competitors will offer slightly shorter braking distances
- The handling isn’t the tire’s strongest side
Most of the cars you’ll see on the road today are passenger cars. Hatchbacks, sporty sedans, or coupes are a common sight on the streets.
SUVs and trucks offer plenty of features that other types don’t, which is why their popularity has been on the increase in the past years. Among the many things they offer over the standard cars we know is the ability to go off-roading.
People who are into these kinds of activities will need to be looking at a specific set of tires. Unlike the regular models that we use for driving on the roads, you’d need to be looking at different set of tires for off-roading.
The biggest problem manufacturers faced in the past was producing tires that could be used on and off-road. In this case, all-terrain tires are the best approach. Technically, you will be sacrificing a bit of the off-road performance for some more usable road one. With that said, there are also tires that are between the all-terrain and mud-terrain tires, often referred to as hybrid or rough-terrain tires.
There are plenty of manufacturers that produce various types of tires and those that are dedicated to one type only. Dick Cepek is a relatively young tire brand that specializes in off-road tires.
One of the several options in the company’s lineup is the Trail Country EXP, a rough-terrain tire capable of delivering excellent performance on the asphalt and on the dirt.
What are the features of the Dick Cepek Trail Country EXP?
Like most off-road capable tires, the Trail Country EXP features an aggressive tread pattern in a symmetric design. The goal of this is to enable the tire to provide performance in multiple conditions.
The Trail Country EXP has an M+S rating, meaning that it’s capable of delivering traction in mud and snow. The deep tread and the zig-zag pattern indicate that the tire should be able to dig in and provide traction in both situations.
For durability, the Trail Country EXP is designed with two steel belts, and a carcass reinforced with a 2-ply casing. As a result, the tire should handle some abuse in off-road conditions, especially in rock crawling situations.
There should be two advantages to the rubber compound. On the one hand, it’s designed to withstand chips and cuts, enabling it to survive off-road conditions. On the other hand, the compound is enriched with silica, meaning that it can deliver traction on wet roads.
How does it behave on dry tarmac?
Off-road capable tires are known for offering usable performance in dry conditions, something that the Trail Country EXP does pretty well.
Considering the category, the Trail Country EXP is a tire that can offer very good levels of traction and grip. The tire hooks up to the road and does a pretty good job at minimizing slip even in more aggressive acceleration. The lateral grip is also pretty good, enabling the tire to resist understeer.
In terms of handling, the Trail Country EXP isn’t a tire that you’d compare with some of the passenger models I’ve reviewed in the past. Responsiveness and feedback aren’t something that will wow you.
The braking distances of the Trail Country EXP are decent, but some of the premium options may provide slightly shorter distances.
How does it behave over wet and slippery roads?
In rainy conditions, the Trail Country EXP also delivers very good performance when compared with other similar tires.
As an all-season tire, the silica enhanced rubber compound enables the Trail Country EXP to deliver respectable levels of traction. In the corners, the tire feels planted and will keep you safe as long as you don’t push it past its limits.
Even in these less than ideal conditions, the Trail Country EXP feels surefooted and safe. The safety the tire can provide can be seen from the braking distances. Like in dry conditions, they aren’t class-leading but still remain very safe.
The Trail Country EXP’s wide grooves and deep tread enable it to have very good aquaplaning resistance. It will remain quite stable at highway speeds.
How is it over snow?
The Trail Country EXP is M+S rated, meaning that you shouldn’t expect it to perform like a tire with a 3PMSF rating.
You can expect the Trail Country EXP to be usable in lighter conditions, something that should be enough as long as you don’t live in an area with harsh winters.
When it comes to handling, the Trail Country EXP isn’t the worst performer of the bunch. Even though it’s not as good as a proper winter, it is decent. For the most part, you can expect it to behave in a civilized manner and not catch you by surprise.
Is it comfortable and refined?
When it comes to refinement, off-road capable tires aren’t the best at it. With that said, there are some options like the Trail Country EXP capable of decent performance.
The comfort levels that the Trail Country EXP can deliver are not too bad. By not having the stiffest sidewall means that the tire can absorb some of the bumps. You have the option to improve the comfort levels a bit if you deflate the tire slightly.
Off-road tires are known for not being the quietest option, and the Trail Country EXP is no different. With that said, when compared with tires from its category, the noise levels are acceptable. Most of the tire roar you’ll hear will be at higher speeds.
Is it good for off-roading?
The Trail Country EXP is designed for off-roading, and that’s what the tire does best.
Over hard-backed surfaces, the Trail Country EXP delivers very high levels of traction. Dirt and gravel road pose no problem, and you can take your off-roading experience to the next level.
In softer surfaces like sand or mud, the Trail Country EXP will have no problem finding traction even in some extremer situations. With that said, tires with a more aggressive tread pattern will perform better in deeper patches.
Another area the Trail Country EXP performs well is rock crawling. The internal construction is designed so that it can be deflated and won’t get damaged, just as sharper rocks won’t cause damage to the rubber.
Is the Dick Cepek Trail Country EXP ideal for sporty driving?
Considering the type of tire we’re looking at, you shouldn’t expect it to be good at sporty driving.
Despite the slightly stiffer sidewall, the one on the Trail Country EXP will flex when you go into a corner at a higher speed. In addition to that, the responsiveness isn’t nearly good enough to make it sporty to drive.
Grip and traction levels aren’t exceptionally high to make it suitable for sporty driving. The Trail Country EXP isn’t a tire that can be pushed hard, making it a poor choice in this regard.
Dick Cepek Trail Country EXP Warranty
Rough-terrain tires are still relatively new, so there aren’t too many options to compare them with. The Trail Country EXP comes with a 45,000-mile treadwear warranty. This is excellent when you compare it with some hybrid tires I’ve looked at in the past, like the MasterCraft Courser CXT.
Dick Cepek Trail Country EXP Pricing: Is it worth the money?
Should I buy the Dick Cepek Trail Country EXP?
When it comes to hybrid off-road tires, the Trail Country EXP is a pretty strong contender.
Over paved roads, the tire can deliver decent amounts of performance, both in dry and wet conditions. The Trail Country EXP remains pretty dependable and stable if you don’t expect too much from it. Handling is not this tire’s strongest side. Even though it’s not the worst responding tire on the market, you may get a bit better one with some of its competitors.
In the winter, performance in snow is usable, but as an M+S rated, don’t expect it to replace a proper winter tire. You should be fine in lighter conditions, as the tire can deliver decent traction and grip.
As a hybrid tire, the Trail Country EXP delivers very good performance in almost all conditions ranging from dirt roads to rock crawling.
Comfort and noise levels are nothing spectacular and are just as you’d expect an off-road capable tire to be. The Trail Country EXP can deal with bumps decently well while providing acceptably low noise levels.
The warranty is a welcomed addition, especially when you consider that some of its competitors have no treadwear warranty. Plus, you get this at a price that is quite affordable.
Overall, the Trail Country EXP is a no thrill, no fuss off-road capable tire for people that aren’t looking for the most extreme performance.
What Vehicles Will the Dick Cepek Trail Country EXP Fit?
Here’s a sample list of cars that the Dick Cepek Trail Country EXP will fit:
- Chevrolet Colorado, Avalanche, Silverado
- Dodge Dakota, Durango, Ram Pickup
- GMC Acadia, Canyon, Envoy
- Jeep Cherokee, Commander, Wrangler
- Land Rover Discovery, Range Rover
- Mitsubishi Outlander, Raider
- Nissan Armada, Frontier, Pathfinder
- Toyota 4Runner, FJ Cruiser, Land Cruiser, Hilux
Tire Sizes for Dick Cepek Trail Country EXP
- LT265/75R16 (32X10.50R16LT)
- LT285/75R16 (33X11.50R16LT)
- LT305/70R16 (33X12.50R16LT)
- LT315/75R16 (35X12.50R16LT)
- LT265/65R17 (31X10.50R17LT)
- LT265/70R17 (32X10.50R17LT)
- LT285/70R17 (33X11.50R17LT)
- LT305/65R17 (33X12.50R17LT)
- LT295/70R17 (34X12.00R17LT)
- LT315/70R17 (35X12.50R17LT)
- LT265/60R18 (31X10.50R18LT)
- LT275/70R18 (33X11.00R18LT)
- LT285/65R18 (33X11.50R18LT)
- LT305/60R18 (33X12.50R18LT)
- LT295/70R18 (34X12.00R18LT)
- LT305/70R18 (35X12.50R18LT)
- LT285/55R20 (33X11.50R20LT)
- LT305/55R20 (33X12.50R20LT)
- LT275/65R20 (34X11.00R20LT)
- LT325/50R22 (35X13.00R22LT)