The Kenda Klever RT and Nitto Ridge Grappler are hybrid tires. Both these models have a deeper tread pattern than regular tires to allow for enhanced traction on loose or uneven surfaces. As such, they perform reliably on mud, slush, snow, and even rock.
Kenda Klever RT
Nitto Ridge Grappler
The duo also features (almost) equally wide spacing between their tread blocks. This helps prevent mud or debris from clogging up the tread and hurting traction. They also have reinforced sidewalls for better protection from cuts, chips, punctures, and blow-ups.
Another similarity between these models is that their lugs are larger and more aggressive than what you get on regular tires. This is done to make sure that when the going gets tough, which it often does during off-roading, these tires don’t lose their road contact.
If the above paragraphs have you thinking that these tires are similar in what they offer, you’re not entirely wrong. However, as we’ll show in this guide, there are more differences between the Kenda Klever RT and Nitto Ridge Grappler than what their features convey.
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Kenda Klever RT
The Kenda Klever rugged-terrain tire mixes the on-road strengths of all-terrain tires with the off-road qualities of mud terrains. It is available in 21 configurations for 16-to-22’’ wheels. Compatible vehicles include RAM 2500, Chevy Silverado, Ford F-150, among others.
In designing the Klever RT, Kenda made sure that this tire would stick to its guns on rocks while holding its own in slush, mud, and thick snow. This model can also meet the demands of gravel. And thanks to its bold lettering and sidewall, it will look sharp while doing all this.
That is not to say that it doesn’t have any flaws. While it excels at deep snow driving, the absence of the Three Peak Mountain Snowflake (3PMSF) symbol indicates that this tire might offer limited utility in light snow. Also, you shouldn’t expect this model to keep things quiet.
Overall, the Kenda Klever RT performs reliably on wet and dry grounds and offers excellent off-road capability, thanks in no small part to its three-ply sidewalls. If you’re looking for a reliable rock crawler, chances are that you will never go wrong with this hybrid tire.
Nitto Ridge Grappler
Nitto Ridge Grappler also strikes the sweet spot between all-terrain and mud-terrain tires. However, it’s available in far more sizes than the Klever RT. It comes in 80 different sizes ranging from 16 to 24 inches and can easily fit most SUVs and light trucks on the road.
As with any rugged-terrain model, the Ridge Grappler has what it takes to handle different terrains, including slush, gravel, mud, snow, and rock. Whether you’re climbing steep rocks or going through deep mud, the Nitto Ridge Grappler will rarely, if ever, get stuck.
What about hardpacked surfaces? That is where its lateral Z grooves will come in handy. These sipes give this tire added traction on asphalt roads and paved trails. Plus, due to its reinforced block foundation, you can count on this model to tow and haul heavy stuff.
All of this isn’t to imply that the Ridge Grappler is faultless. Like the model with which we will compare this model with, it also has its fair share of (potentially) deal-breaking flaws. The most notable of which is its tendency to wear quickly if regularly pushed to its limits.
What Are The Features Of The Kenda Klever RT?
The Kenda Klever RT features a unique tread design. It has four rows of lugs (tread blocks) with plenty of voids to help this tire offer enhanced traction on loose surfaces. The lugs are of alternating sizes to extend the Klever RT’s utility to mud, slush, snow, and gravel.
An all-season tread compound means that this model has the firmness needed to handle dry conditions as well as the flexibility for wet roads. Plus, while it doesn’t come with the 3PMSF symbol (this tire only has a 3PMSF rating), its snow performance is quite good.
Another essential feature is the 3-ply sidewall, which enhances this model’s durability by making it super-resistant to cuts, chips, and punctures. The sidewall also deserves the credit for why you can repeatedly air up/down this model without hurting its integrity.
The sidewall doesn’t just make this model incredibly durable. Its stiffness is also a game changer in steering response and cornering performance.
What Are The Features Of The Nitto Ridge Grappler?
The Nitto Ridge Grappler features a dual sidewall design to provide you with the best of both worlds. The sidewall’s outer side is aggressive enough to keep this model stable during off-roading. Its inner side, meanwhile, has the flexibility needed for reliable snow driving.
A wide groove design helps this model keep hydroplaning at bay, excellent news for drivers who experience more than their fair share of snow. Plus, thanks to built-in stone ejectors, the tread area will stay clear of rocks, stones, mud particles, and other nuisances.
To further sweeten the deal, Nitto has reinforced this model’s block edges. This has been done to enhance this model’s ability to withstand heavy loads. Small wonder, then, that many light truckers and SUV owners use the Ridge Grappler to tow and haul the heavy stuff.
Thanks to all these features, the Nitto Ridge Grappler is among the best hybrid tires on the market.
Kenda Klever RT Vs Nitto Ridge Grappler: Main Differences
The Kenda Klever RT and Nitto Ridge Grappler appeal to off-road enthusiasts who want something far more aggressive than average A/T tires but that stops short of M/T tires. However, just like any two tires on the market, these models have their fair share of differences.
Kenda Klever RT Vs Nitto Ridge Grappler: Off-Road Performance
Although both these tires are excellent choices for off-road enthusiasts, three key differences may make one of them a better off-road tire for you.
One key difference is the type of tread pattern used. While the Kenda Klever RT features large, bulky lugs, the Ridge Grappler has smaller, more densely packed tread blocks. As such, the Klever RT is better suited for muddy conditions, while the Grappler is a better candidate for driving on rocky terrains.
Another difference is the type of tread compound both these tires have.
The Ridge Grappler has a more advanced rubber compound than the Klever RT. One that stands a better chance of resisting punctures and withstanding wear and tear. So, if you frequently drive on rough terrain where the risk of cuts is considerable, opt for the Ridge Grappler.
Winner: Nitto Ridge Grappler
Kenda Klever RT Vs Nitto Ridge Grappler: On-Road Performance
Given that both these tires strike an optimal balance between all-terrain and mud-terrain models, don’t expect too much from either on the highway. In fact, if you do most of your driving on paved roads, a set of all-terrain tires might be a better fit for you.
Still, if you are hell-bent on using one of these on the highway, opt for the Klever RT. This model’s tread pattern offers improved traction on dry and wet roads than the Ridge Grappler’s, while offering much higher fuel economy.
In contrast, the Ridge Grappler’s tread pattern was designed with only one thing in mind: maximum off-road traction.
Winner: Kenda Klever RT
Kenda Klever RT Vs Nitto Ridge Grappler: Snow Performance
Both these tires have what it takes to perform exceptionally on snow, which is surprising given that neither comes with the Three Peak Mountain Snowflake (3PMSF) symbol.
Thanks to its aggressive tread design, the Kenda Klever RT can easily bite into snow and ice. Multiple design elements, like the unique tread pattern, help with quick water evacuation, reducing the risk of hydroplaning and shortening braking distances in harsh wintry conditions.
On the other hand, the Nitto Ridge Grappler comes with a specialized rubber compound that maintains its flexibility in sub-zero temperatures. Like its counterpart, this model also has the biting edges needed to dig into snow and ice.
Winner: It’s a tie
Kenda Klever RT Vs Nitto Ridge Grappler: Treadwear and Durability
Both these tires have adopted a similar approach to help them wear evenly.
In addition to having two steel belts in their carcasses, these tires have tread compounds with a bigger-than-usual contact patch. The contact patch’s large size helps these tires evenly distribute the pressure forces they will be subjected to, ensuring they do not suffer uneven wear.
That is not to say that both of these tires won’t suffer any wear for years to come. Instead, thanks to their contact patch and sturdy internal construction, these models will last much longer than your average hybrid tires. However, don’t expect them to beat A/T tires in durability.
Winner: It’s a tie
Kenda Klever RT Vs Nitto Ridge Grappler: Comfort
Since the Recon Grappler and Ridge Grappler are both designed for extreme off-roading, it would be foolhardy to expect either to be super-comfortable on the highway.
Still, you can count on the Ridge Grappler to be slightly more comfortable on paved tracks. That is because this model has more densely packed lugs than the Klever RT, whose shoulder blocks have massive spaces in between for enhanced traction on mud and sand.
Winner: Ridge Grappler
Kenda Klever RT Vs Nitto Ridge Grappler: Price and Warranty
Although neither of the tires comes with any treadwear warranty, they are backed with uniformity and replacement warranties.
Kenda will replace this tire free of charge if it’s found to be defective within the first 2/32-inch of tread life. Even after that period has passed, Nitto will replace defective models on a pro-rated basis, unless more than five years have passed from the date of manufacture.
On the other hand, Nitto offers to provide a free replacement of the Ridge Grappler if its tread uniformity suffers issues during the first 1/32 inch of original usable tread. For this warranty to be applicable, less than five years must be passed from the tire’s purchase date.
As far as price is concerned, there isn’t much distinguishing between the two tires. However, depending on where you live and/or order your tires from, that may not be the case.
Winner: It’s a tie
Kenda Klever RT Vs Nitto Ridge Grappler: Pros and Cons
Kenda Klever RT Pros
- Proves marvelously in extreme off-road conditions
- Has acceptable noise levels on the road
- Highly useful in snow conditions
Kenda Klever RT Cons
- Ride can be harsh at times
Nitto Ridge Grappler Pros
- Combines the qualities of an all-terrain and mud-terrain tire
- Can safely carry you from point A to point B in harsh wintry conditions
- Is a reliable rock crawler
Nitto Ridge Grappler Cons
- Relatively worse on-road performance
Kenda Klever RT Vs Nitto Ridge Grappler: Which Tire to Choose?
If you regularly drive on muddy terrains, the Kenda Klever RT is a no-brainer. Thanks to its wide lugs, aggressive sipes, and self-cleaning design, this model won’t get stuck in the sticky substance. However, the Nitto Ridge Grappler might be a better bet if your off-roading exploits involve rock climbing.