- Durable and long-lasting
- Excellent off-road performance
- Decent on-road performance
- Not the best option for extremer off-road scenarios
- Average braking distances
The automotive world is full of vehicles that come in various shapes and sizes. Having this diversity means that there is a specific type of car for every owner’s needs.
Take people that want some non-paved action. To be able to go on an off-road expedition, you need two things – a car capable of that and a proper set of tires.
People needed two sets of tires for a long time – one for paved road and the other for off-roading. Manufacturers found ways to combine both worlds into a single option as the industry progressed.
All-terrain tires are a combination of highway and mud-terrain ones, with a few slight drawbacks. With these types of tires, you can expect to get slightly worse performance in the most extreme conditions. Despite that, it’s an excellent combination that would be plenty for most people.
In this market, there are loads of brands that have these kinds of tires, and the one I have in mind is from an affordable brand. Travelstar is a brand that operates under the Unicorn tire manufacturer, providing tires with decent performance at an affordable price.
The tire for today’s review is the EcoPath AT, an all-terrain all-season tire designed for SUVs or light trucks, capable of providing decent performance on and off-road.
What are the features of the Travelstar EcoPath AT?
One of the main features that an off-road has is the tread pattern. The EcoPath AT is designed with an aggressive tread pattern with larger blocks and deep grooves. Like most all-terrain tires, the design’s goal is to provide grip over loose surfaces.
Among the many features that the EcoPath AT has is the rubber compound. It is in charge of providing usable performance in winter conditions and traction on wet roads. The larger void should also help the tire remain stable when driving in deeper patches of water.
Several factors back the road performance. Travelstar went with an alternating pattern design for the external blocks and a link on the inside. This approach aims to improve traction and give the tire better handling properties.
Travelstar paid additional attention to how the EcoPath AT behaves. The central ribs of the tire are tweaked to improve the dynamics and enable the tire to be more responsive.
How does it behave on dry tarmac?
In dry conditions, the EcoPatch AT delivers decent levels of performance. Despite being a cheaper tire, it still manages to deliver surprisingly well performance.
The levels of grip and traction are pretty decent, enough for everyday driving on paved roads. It won’t say that it would be impossible for the EcoPatch AT to break traction, but you shouldn’t have any problems as long as you’re civilized.
Lateral grip is acceptably decent as well and will keep you safe. The EcoPatch AT isn’t a tire that likes to be pushed into a corner, so avoid that, and you’ll have a safe experience.
In terms of the braking distances, the EcoPatch AT isn’t industry-leading. The stopping distances are above average for its class, but not the best I’ve seen.
The biggest surprise was in the handling department. Travelstar’s tweak to the central rib results in an all-terrain tire with some pretty good responsiveness.
How does it behave over wet and slippery roads?
Performance in wet conditions is good, but not as good as on dry roads. The EcoPatch AT will still be very usable, but like in other cases, it’s not a tire that should be pushed hard.
The traction and grip levels are usable, and the tire will keep you safe, provided that you avoid going overboard. Even though you will get a safe driving experience, the EcoPatch AT isn’t a tire that will handle being driven on the limit. As long as you drive within the speed limit, the tire will be stable and easy to handle. In this area, the Continental TerrainContact A/T would be able to deliver much higher levels of performance.
Tires with larger grooves tend to be better at aquaplaning resistance. The EcoPatch AT isn’t terrible, and despite remaining stable in water patches, the tire is decent.
How is it over snow?
Like most M+S rated tires, the EcoPatch AT will provide you with usable performance in snowy conditions.
The most important thing is to keep in mind that you’ll be getting that performance in lighter conditions. In these cases, the EcoPatch AT is usable enough. With that said, you can get this performance as long as you drive in lighter conditions and over unpaced snow.
Things take a turn for the worse over packed snow where the EcoPatch AT isn’t particularly usable.
Is it comfortable and refined?
All-terrain tires are designed to be more refined than mud-terrain ones on the road. The EcoPatch AT manages to achieve that to a point, but it’s far from the best in this regard.
Comfort isn’t too bad with the EcoPatch AT, considering it’s an off-road capable tire. It can iron out a decent amount of bumps and imperfections in the road, making it acceptably comfortable. Hitting a bump will transfer some of the vibrations in the cabin, but it’s not too bad.
When it comes to noise, things aren’t so great. The EcoPatch AT is far from the quietest all-terrain tire on the market. Around town, the noise levels are acceptable and won’t down out the cabin. On the highway, the noise increases, and over some areas, you may notice some whine.
Is it good for off-roading?
The point of an all-terrain tire like the EcoPatch AT is to be used in off-road scenarios as well. In these conditions, it won’t be a replacement for a mud-terrain tire but will be usable in non-extreme scenarios.
Over dirt and gravel roads, the EcoPatch AT will deliver very good levels of traction. Thanks to the tread pattern, the tire can dig in the loose surface and provide traction.
On muddy surfaces, the M+S rating of the EcoPatch AT is here to help it deliver decent performance. If you end up in a deeper patch, it will get stuck, so you can expect it to perform in lighter conditions.
Going for something more extreme like sand or rock crawling isn’t exactly advisable.
Is the Travelstar EcoPath AT ideal for sporty driving?
There is an aspect of the EcoPatch AT that should make it acceptable for sporty driving. With that said, the rest of the requirements aren’t there, so that would make it a poor choice.
The positive side of the EcoPatch AT is its responsiveness. As far as affordable all-terrain tires go, this one is decently responsive.
On the negative side of things, you have all of the other elements. The grip and traction levels are not very high, meaning that you can’t lean too much about it. You will also notice a bit more sidewall flex than you’d like, so if you’re an enthusiast, the EcoPatch AT is not a good choice for sporty driving.
Travelstar EcoPath AT Warranty
There are some things that go in favor of the EcoPatch AT, and the warranty is one of them. The tire comes with a 50,000-mile treadwear warranty which is as much as some of the premium options. Essentially, you get the same warranty as you’d get with the BFGoodrich All-Terrain T/A KO2.
Travelstar EcoPath AT Pricing: Is it worth the money?
Travelstar makes very affordable tires, and the EcoPatch AT is no exception. The prices start from around $110, putting it in the ballpark of the Laufenn X Fit AT.
Should I buy the Travelstar EcoPath AT?
The EcoPatch AT is not a bad tire, and with it, you get what you pay for.
On the road, the tire delivers a very usable performance that should satisfy most average users. The EcoPatch AT is well-mannered and will provide you with a decent amount of grip and traction. In rainy conditions, they tend to drop a bit, so if you decide to purchase it, avoid pushing it.
Winter performance with the EcoPatch AT isn’t particularly good, which is its biggest weakness. The tire will be usable over shallow unpacked snow, but anything more than that would be asking too much.
The EcoPatch AT is an all-terrain tire, meaning that you will get very good off-road performance. For the most part, you can expect superb performance in lighter conditions, but the tire will struggle in harsher ones.
On the refinement side of things, the EcoPatch AT delivers respectable comfort levels. As for the noise levels, the EcoPatch AT isn’t a particularly quiet tire.
When it comes to warranty, the EcoPatch AT is a tire that will last a long time. Thanks to the 50,000-mile treadwear warranty, you can expect the tire to last as much as some of the premium options.
Travelstar’s main selling point is the price. The combination of affordable price and decent performance means that the EcoPatch AT is a good choice.
To be honest, the EcoPatch AT isn’t the perfect all-terrain tire on the market, but it’s a decent choice if you’re on a tighter budget.
What Vehicles Will the Travelstar EcoPath AT Fit?
Here’s a sample list of cars that the Travelstar EcoPath AT will fit:
- Chevrolet Avalanche, Silverado
- Dodge Dakota, Durango, Ram Pickup
- Ford F150, Explorer
- GMC Sierra, Envoy
- Jeep Gladiator, Wrangler
- Mitsubishi Outlander, L200
- Nissan Titan Pathfinder
- Toyota 4Runner, Land Cruiser, Hilux
Tire Sizes for Travelstar EcoPath AT
Maybe I did get one bad tire out of the 5 I bought.
At 96 miles after mounting it and 84 miles on paved roads I did approximately 10-12 miles on a graded smooth dirt road, the “Loop Rd.” in the Big Cypress Preserve in south east Florida.
I stopped to take a photo through the window. As the Great Blue Heron moved I needed to back up for a clear picture. As soon as I moved 2 ft. I heard hissing- I thought it was an alligator that came up to get the sunlight hissing at me. I stopped rather suddenly, checked the mirrors and saw no gators, but I wasn’t getting out to look either! I backed another foot and saw the dust blowing up from the air escaping and felt the vehicle lean over.
The sidewall had ruptured on an improved dirt road.
96 miles from new.
Do I trust these tires on an unimproved dirt road really far out from paved roads. No!
Looking for another tire now.