Top 5 Best Tires For Gravel Roads [2022 Review]

By Tire Expert, Joe Steffen
By Tire Expert, Joe Steffen

Anyone looking for a tire that performs well on gravel roads knows how difficult it is to drive on them. You can’t accelerate too quickly, or you may find yourself digging some new holes in the ground.

From driving on farms off-road to having a gravel driveway, there’s no easy way to get around driving on gravel. This is why I have compiled a list of the top five best tires for gravel roads.

I have over nine years in the tire industry and have driven on all kinds of surfaces. I know what you are looking for in a tire.

Keep reading to see why I hand-picked these five tires for you.

Our Top Pick
Falken WILDPEAK A/T TRAIL All-Terrain Radial Tire
Falken Wildpeak A/T Trail
3.5/5
3.5
Best Budget
Atturo Trail Blade A/T
Atturo Trail Blade A/T
3.0/5
3.0
Best All-Terrain
Continental TerrainContact A/T
Continental TerrainContact A/T
4.0/5
4.0
Best Mud-Terrain
Goodyear Wrangler Duratrac
Goodyear Wrangler Duratrac
3.0/5
3.0
Best Highway Tire
Firestone Transforce HT2
Firestone Transforce HT2
3.0/5
3.0

Updated as of December 2, 2022

Falken Wildpeak A/T Trail

Falken WILDPEAK A/T TRAIL All-Terrain Radial Tire
Our rating:
3.5/5
3.5/5

Pros and Cons

Ratings

Wet Traction:
4.0/5
Ride Handling:
3.0/5
Dry Traction:
4.0/5
Ride Noise:
3.5/5
Snow Traction:
4.0/5
Ride Comfort:
3.5/5
Tread Life:
3.5/5
Value For Money:
3.5/5

I’m not a huge fan of Falken as a whole, but when it comes to all terrains, they know how to make a great tire. I have run the Falken Wildpeak AT3W on my SUV and the Wildpeak A/T Trail on my sedan. Both of these tires were great.

I chose this tire because of the less aggressive tread design. For driving on gravel roads, I have found that having a tire with less spacing in between tread blocks allows the tire to roll over the gravel rather than grab and sink into it.

I have these on a 2011 Cadillac CTS and live in a town in the middle of a rural area. My wife and I often visit family on their farms, and rather than having paved driveways, they use gravel. We never had to worry about getting stuck or sliding down the sloped parts of the driveway.

What makes the Falken Wildeapeak A/T Trail a “top pick” is its all-season traction and longevity.

Driving on wet, dry, or snowy roads, you will have no problem maintaining traction as the unique all-terrain tread is mixed with the design of an all-season tire. All while having a sixty-thousand-mile treadwear warranty.

They come with a three-peak mountain snowflake rating, making them an excellent option for winter tires. I was on a road trip and drove through North Lake Tahoe after they had received nine feet of snow, and we didn’t slip or slide once.

Since this is not a true all-terrain with overly aggressive tread blocks, it provides very high ride quality. You won’t notice the familiar drone that an off-road tire has.

I recommend the Wildpeak A/T Trail to anyone who has to frequent gravel roads.

NOTE: This tire is mainly made in sizes for passenger cars and crossovers. If you need a tire for an SUV or Truck, continue reading.

Atturo Trail Blade A/T

Atturo Trail Blade A/T
Our rating:
3.0/5
3.0/5

Pros and Cons

Ratings

Wet Traction:
2.5/5
Ride Handling:
3.0/5
Dry Traction:
3.0/5
Ride Noise:
2.5/5
Snow Traction:
2.5/5
Ride Comfort:
2.5/5
Tread Life:
3.0/5
Value For Money:
3.5/5

You may be wondering what an Atturo is, but if you are looking for the lowest price option, the brand shouldn’t matter.

Atturo is what I like to call an off-brand tire. These off-brand tires typically will use tread designs from older model name brand tires that have been discontinued. You will also find that they are harder to find as they are only sold through a handful of tire dealers (Discount Tire, SImpleTire, and PriorityTire).

The Trail Blade A/T was selected as the best budget gravel tire for its tread pattern that prevents gravel from getting locked up in the channels. When too much stone gets stuck within the tread, it can cause sliding from rock-on-rock slippage.

This tire provides many benefits, with the price being the best.

Traction on these budget-friendly tires will be safe enough to keep you on the road in the wet and dry. I recommend using safe driving practices at high speeds in wet conditions because the hydroplaning resistance is not the best. You don’t want to end up sliding right into oncoming traffic.

They also come with a treadwear warranty of fifty thousand miles which you can reasonably expect to receive. It is uncommon to see a cheap tire come close to their warranty offerings which is another reason this is a great budget option.

In my experience, those looking to buy a low-priced option typically won’t have the means to purchase another set of tires within a year after buying their original ones. Don’t worry this will not be the case with the Atturos.

The Atturo Trail Blade A/T is made in various sizes to fit any Truck or SUV. They are also made in light truck tire sizes to fit heavy-duty pickup trucks.

Anyone looking for the best budget tire for gravel roads will find this in the Atturo Trail Blade A/T.

Continental TerrainContact A/T

Continental TerrainContact A/T
Our rating:
4.0/5
4.0/5

Pros and Cons

Ratings

Wet Traction:
3.5/5
Ride Handling:
4.0/5
Dry Traction:
4.0/5
Ride Noise:
4.0/5
Snow Traction:
3.5/5
Ride Comfort:
4.0/5
Tread Life:
4.0/5
Value For Money:
3.5/5

The Continental TerrainContact A/T has made its way into several of my top five picks for a good reason.

On gravel roads, this Continental is the best all-terrain on the market. Since it is not designed to be tested in extreme off-road conditions, it provides excellent on-road performance.

I mentioned that the tread’s ability to keep rocks from entering the tread channels makes a tire perform on gravel roads. And this tire does precisely that. I would dare to say you could even drive like a maniac on gravel with these wrapped around your rims.

It uses traction plus technology to make the tread compound chip resistant, so flying on those rocky roads, you won’t have to worry about them getting cut up. The technology in this tire will provide optimal performance on loose surfaces.

I don’t recommend taking them through severe conditions like thick mud. The tread blocks don’t provide enough knobs and channel clearing to handle mud.

If you were worried about how it will perform on paved roads, I could put your mind at ease. It has a quiet and smooth ride on city roads and highways.

You will find great value in the warranty they come with. Continentals Total Confidence Plan comes with a free replacement road hazard, flat tire roadside assistance, and a ride satisfaction trial. All of these things make it a high-value warranty package.

Almost forgot that it is backed by a sixty-thousand-mile treadwear warranty! I have seen this tire exceed that rating on multiple occasions.

The one complaint I have received about this product is the wet weather traction when it starts to wear out. It doesn’t have full-depth siping in the shoulder of the tread, so I can see why this would happen.

Take out that one complaint, and the Continental TerrainContact A/T is the best all-terrain for gravel roads.

Goodyear Wrangler Duratrac

Goodyear Wrangler Duratrac
Our rating:
3.0/5
3.0/5

Pros and Cons

Ratings

Wet Traction:
3.0/5
Ride Handling:
3.0/5
Dry Traction:
3.0/5
Ride Noise:
2.5/5
Snow Traction:
4.0/5
Ride Comfort:
3.0/5
Tread Life:
3.5/5
Value For Money:
3.0/5

Goodyear is well-known for offering kevlar-infused sidewall plies in select tire options. Using kevlar in the sidewalls makes the tire offer puncture protection from off-road terrain like rocks.

The Goodyear Wrangler Duractrac is not a true mud-terrain, but it is not an all-terrain either. It falls into a hybrid type of tire category. The tread depth on the Duratrac is the same as a mud-terrain but has excellent traction on paved and dirt roads.

The open tread channels and wide contact patch of the tread blocks make it such a great tire for gravel. Compared to a tire like the BFGoodrich All-Terrain T/A KO2, it is less likely to have smaller pebbles get stuck in the tire. Besides losing traction on gravel, when little rocks get stuck in the tread, they will fly out driving at high speeds and potentially damage your vehicle.

The best part about the Duratracs is the snow traction. Traditionally mud tires have horrendous winter traction, but the Duratrac will come with a three-peak mountain snowflake rating in most sizes. How that benefits the tire is when temperatures drop below forty degrees, the rubber compound won’t become stiff and lose performance.

Road noise will be loud as is with most aggressively designed tires. I had installed a set of the Duratracs on my Toyota 4Runner, and immediately driving off, I could notice the noise level, especially when I started to go faster.

If you are concerned about gas mileage, stay away from mud tires. They have a much higher rolling resistance. A tire with higher rolling resistance requires the vehicle to generate more power to push it forward.

Off-road capability is where you will get the most bang for the buck.

They have better traction than an all-terrain while also providing better handling around corners than a mud-terrain.

If you frequent gravel and extreme terrains, the Goodyear Wrangler Duratrac is the best option because of its puncture resistance and ability to handle any terrain thrown its way.

Firestone Transforce HT2

Firestone Transforce HT2
Our rating:
3.0/5
3.0/5

Pros and Cons

Ratings

Wet Traction:
3.5/5
Ride Handling:
3.5/5
Dry Traction:
3.5/5
Ride Noise:
3.5/5
Snow Traction:
3.0/5
Ride Comfort:
3.5/5
Tread Life:
3.0/5
Value For Money:
3.0/5

Not everyone wants an all-terrain tire to handle frequent trips over gravel roads. I chose the Firestone Transforce HT2 for this exact reason.

Firestone is a tire company owned by Bridgestone. It is well known for its Dueler line of tires, such as the Bridgestone Dueler A/T Revo 3.

You will see this popular option come on vehicles like the Ram 3500, a truck that is built for towing heavy loads.

What makes this Firestone the best highway tire for gravel roads is its ability to keep the small pebbles from locking in the tread. Aside from having a good grip on gravel, it has excellent on-road traction.

Wet weather conditions will be no problem as it will efficiently evacuate water from underneath the surface of the tread. It will not be the best snow traction since it is a highway terrain. If you live in an area with cold, snowy winters, I recommend getting a set of snow tires.

The one area I think it could improve is tread life. Being a highway terrain tire, you would expect it to last around sixty thousand miles. Still, on average, I see it get around fifty thousand miles.

I almost selected the Michelin Defender LTX M/S for this category, but whenever I would see the Michelin come in for service, there were always tons of little rocks stuck inside the tread. Also, I have had a few customers tell me they slip badly on gravel.

Since the Firestone Transforce comes as a factory tire on trucks, I have received much feedback. The feedback, for the most part, is optimistic. Most customers didn’t realize they weren’t all-terrains until I told them.

The overall ride quality and traction on off-road gravel earned the Firestone Destination HT2 a spot in the top five.

What To Look For When Buying The Best Tires For Gravel Roads?

You want to look for a few things for the best tires on gravel roads. In my experience, I found the items I have listed below are the most important.

Tread Pattern

The tire’s tread pattern is essential for preventing rocks from being lodged in the tread. If you look at the tread, and it seems the amount of space between the tread blocks is a perfect size for rocks to get stuck in, you want to stay away.

You don’t want a tire that will get all sorts of little gravel rocks stuck in the tread for a few reasons.

When rocks accumulate in the tread, it prevents the tire from gripping the surface on paved roads. All the little stones sticking out could cause you to lose traction when accelerating or coming to a stop. The rocks will act almost like skates when they contact the road.

Another reason you don’t want rocks stuck in the tread pattern is that they will fly out with high velocity when traveling at high speeds. The stones that fly out could damage your vehicle or even crack someone’s windshield behind you. 

Where I live, this happens all the time. You can tell when someone isn’t from the area if they don’t have a crack in their windshield.

Strong Rubber Compound

Driving over gravel can cause a lot of wear and tear on your tread in the form of rubber chunks being cut out. High-quality manufacturers will provide stronger, durable rubber compounds.

There is a safety concern when chunks are missing from the tire.

When a tread block is missing a portion, it will cause the tire to not perform as designed, whether in the form of wet weather traction or handling. Suppose you turn a corner on pavement and the tire doesn’t have proper contact with the road. In that case, it will slip and potentially lead you to lose control of the vehicle.

Deep Tread

Deep tread is vital for getting longer tread life and ensuring that gravel can’t bottom out and potentially puncture your tire.

If you think rocks can’t cause punctures, you are mistaken. Over the years, I have had to replace many tires due to holes from gravel rocks. Aside from puncturing, if a rock bottoms out, it can cut open the rubber exposing the steel belts.

Steel belts will rust and corrode when exposed to the elements. Disintegrating steel belts over time will fail catastrophically. And if you didn’t know, tires always have impeccable timing, failing at the most inconvenient time for you.

How Much Do Tires For Gravel Roads Typically Cost?

Cost is always an important factor when making a purchase decision. I shopped around and compared prices from retailers like TireRack, Amazon, and Discount Tire.

Here is what I found.

Four New Tires

When replacing all four tires on your car, you can expect to pay between $400 and $1500. This is a wide price range due to there being multiple vehicle fitments.

Two New Tires

If you only need to replace two of your tires, you can expect to pay between $250 and $750.

It is always recommended to replace your tires in sets of four to get the most extended tread life and even wear.

Single Tire

If you only need to replace one of your tires for whatever reason, you will pay between $125 and $450.

At a minimum, you want to replace your tires in pairs to prevent one tire from wearing out unevenly and prematurely.

Are Gravel Road Tires Worth It?

Since there are no tires designed explicitly for gravel terrain, you will want to ensure you consider all your tire needs. The tires I picked offer great traction on gravel roads but also have other benefits.

To make your tire purchase worth it, you want to consider tread life, traction, handling, and ride quality.

If you buy a tire purely because it does well on gravel, you will be disappointed when it either wears out quick, handles like crap, has poor traction, or is louder than all get out.

How Long Should Gravel Road Tires Last?

There is a wide variety of tires that will perform on gravel roads. The average mileage I see on a tire is between forty-five and sixty thousand miles.

Remember that you will never receive that kind of mileage if you don’t maintain your tires properly. Routine tire rotations, air pressure checks, and wheel alignments will ensure your tires get even, long tread wear.

I have listed how frequently you want to perform these tire maintenance below.

  • Tire Rotations – Five to Seven thousand miles
  • Air Pressure Checks – Once a month
  • Wheel Alignments – Once a year

Does the Year of Your Vehicle Matter When Buying New Gravel Road Tires?

Nope! You can put tires that perform well on any vehicle. I always recommend considering the age and how long you plan to keep a car before pulling the trigger on a set of new tires.

For example, I had a customer buy a brand new set of Michelins (one of the most expensive tire brands) on their 1995 Honda Civic. I triple-checked that he wanted to spend the money on a car that had over three hundred thousand miles. He was adamant about the Michelins.

Three months later, the motor blew, and he came in asking if he could return the tires. The answer was no, and he told me he should have thought about the age and condition of his car before spending eight hundred bucks on tires.

Anything Else Worth Knowing When Buying Gravel Road Tires?

If you follow everything in this buying guide, you will make the best decision possible for your vehicle. Just remember that there is no specific tire for gravel there are just certain aspects that make a tire perform better on gravel.

Those aspects were tread pattern, strong rubber compound, and a deep tread.

Now that you are just as educated as me on tires for gravel roads, get out there and buy some new tires.

Frequently Asked Questions
You can try to use road tires on gravel roads. Remember that certain tires will not hold up from the uneven and rough gravel terrain.
It is recommended to replace your tires when worn down to 4/32nds of tread or six years of age. 4/32nds is when a tire will suffer the most traction loss and six years of age is how long the rubber compound is designed to hold up.
The minimum tire width I recommend for driving on gravel roads is a 205mm wide tire. The tire width can be found in the first number of a tire size.

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