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Nitto Ridge Grappler Vs. Toyo Open Country A/T III: Which is Best For You?

8/16/2021

You’re the type of driver who likes to take their vehicle off the well-traveled road, maybe even onto a road not traveled at all. 

This isn’t a hobby for the casual enthusiast. You need to know about the best products available on the market.

You don’t want to find yourself literally stuck in the mud because you bought tires that couldn’t keep up with you.

At Rent A Wheel, we offer the Nitto Ridge Grappler and the Toyo A/T III. Both are excellent hybrid wheels for the driver that loves cruising on and off the road. 

These both come from the same highly-regarded parent company, Toyo Tire Company. Toyo tires will get you down the street and up the mountain. 

Curious about the Toyo difference? Are you wondering which pair is the perfect fit for you? You can always chat with our tire experts through our online chat service, but we know it’s important for you to research on your own, too. 

We’ve collected data on both of these tires so that you can decide which set is going to fit you, your vehicle, and your lifestyle the best. 

Toyo Open Country A/T IIIs

Let's start with the Toyo Open Country A/T IIIs. The Toyo A/T series has always been considered top of its class. A beast amongst hybrid tires, it’s able to take whatever you throw at it off-roading and smoothly get you home down the freeway. 

So, what exactly do the A/T IIIs bring to the table that the Ridge Grapplers don’t?

Size

A big factor when buying new tires is making sure it fits your vehicle. You might already have killer rims, so you need to find a set to match. 

The A/T IIIs have the same mid-range sizes as the Ridge Grapplers. However, they lean towards the smaller side of the scale than their competition. 

The smallest available option for the A/T IIIs is 27.6”, so if you’re looking to fit a midsize truck, you’ll have an easier time finding the right size. 

If you’re looking to put some rubber on your massive, tricked-out SUV, the A/T IIIs only jump up to 35.1” in size. These will suit most truck enthusiasts, but if you’re pushing the limits, you might not find what you need. 

Tread

Both tires have Hybrid Tread Design. This means that the creators tried to keep strong aspects from off-roading tires and commercial tires in mind so that the treads could handle both sides of the pavement. 

The A/T IIIs differ from Ridge Grapplers by having a wider tread design, meaning there is much more room between tread patterns. 

This gives the A/T IIIs more grip in the mud and snow by putting more rubber down while allowing water and debris to exit the tread in extreme conditions. 

The tread design on the A/T IIIs is more off-road friendly. They still run smoothly on paved roads, but you may notice a bit more road noise.

Snow Rating

The tread design on the A/T IIIs also includes a Three Peak Mountain Snowflake rating for snow conditions. 

This is something that the Ridge Grapplers do not have, making the A/T IIIs the superior choice if you’re driving somewhere with more ice and snow. 

If you happen to be reading this in Europe, you’ll be happy to know that the Three Peak Mountain Snowflake stamp means these A/T IIIs follow year-round European tire regulations. This is great news! It means no more switching tires every winter and taking up valuable garage space with the off-season options. 

Nitto Ridge Grapplers

Now, onto the Nitto Ridge Grapplers. As mentioned before, both the Grapplers and the A/T III tires hail from the same parent company, Toyo Tire Company. 

Both of these tires are also extremely well received by critical enthusiasts. 

However, the differences between these tires determine which will fit your driving habits best, not to mention your vehicle and wallet. 

The Ridge Grapplers are going to set you back a bit more per tire than the A/T IIIs, anywhere from a $50 to $100 difference. 

That extra cost isn’t just for clout. Their strengths may be enticing to drivers with particular priorities.

Size and Cost

The A/T IIIs have the advantage for smaller vehicles, but the Ridge Grapplers points home for those of you who need massive tires.

The biggest option available is a whopping 38”, so the Ridge Grapplers encapsulate the motto “go big or go home.”

The Ridge Grapplers can also be as small as 29”, and they have plenty of options in between. The size differences aren’t going to impact most drivers. Still, if you’re looking for tires significantly larger or smaller than the average truck size, the Ridge Grapplers’ options will come into play. 

Tread

The Ridge Grapplers have a tighter, deeper tread pattern design than the A/T IIIs. This does lead to some noticeable differences.

While the A/T IIIs shine in the mud and snow, the Ridge Grapplers are much quieter on the freeways and paved roads. Not to mention, their deep tread design resists hydroplaning well. 

While road noise on the freeway might not immediately seem important compared to their lack of snow control, you need to consider your driving behavior and where you drive. 

Having an extra smooth ride on your journey to the off-roading site might be worth the compromise, especially if you live in a drier climate. 

Snow Rating

While the Ridge Grapplers’ tighter tread pattern helps reduce road noise, it does come at another cost. The A/T IIIs are top of their class for snow control, but the Ridge Grapplers fall a little short.

They won’t be slipping around like a cartoon character if it starts snowing a little. They just won't be as confident in the extreme conditions where the A/T IIIs thrive. 

The Ridge Grapplers do not pass the intense winter regulations that our European readers have to follow. While they will be awesome in the summer and fall, you will have to use a pair of winter tires once it starts getting cold. 

Takeaways

Honestly, neither of these tires will let you down. They’re both designed for off-road enthusiasts, and they’re both powerhouses that will get you where you need to go. 

Their strengths are different, but these tires are ahead of the curve for escaping the paved roads.

Nitto Ridge Grapplers are a perfect fit for drivers that enjoy their time on and off the road, especially if their truck is exceptionally large.

The Toyo A/T IIIs will put a smile on the face of a driver who cares about driving on pavement but loves going off-road on the weekends. The wider tread design and intense snow rating mean these tires won’t be stopped by much.

It isn’t that the Nitto tires are for a casual driver. They just fit someone a little short of extreme. If you don’t plow through the snow every winter, the A/T IIIs might be a little overkill. If the heavy-duty design isn’t something you need, it probably isn’t worth sacrificing the lack of road noise and general comfort. 

At Rent A Wheel, we make it easy and affordable to pick either tire. With our affordable, flexible payment plan, it’s never been easier to equip your sweet ride with the best tires in the business for a reasonable monthly price.

Still having a hard time deciding? Our team of professional tire experts is more than happy to help determine exactly what you’ll need to fit your driving habits. 

At Rent A Wheel, we want you to drive into the sunset knowing that your vehicle has the proper wheels and tires to perform at its full abilities.



Sources:

The 'Best of Both Worlds' for Weekend Off-Road Warriors | R/T Tires

Three Peak Mountain Snowflake Tires: What they can -- and can't -- do | Hagerty

Why Do My Car Tires Sound Loud? | UTires