Exploring the wilderness has become very popular lately, increasing the demand for rugged SUVs and trucks, but also for off-road-capable tires.
When it comes to tires, you can choose between two broad categories – all-terrain and mud-terrain (off-road). The former offers a balance between on-road and off-road traction, while the latter is more geared toward uneven terrains.
The Toyo Open Country M/T is a very popular mud-terrain tire, especially in the off-road community.
Is it any good, though? That’s exactly what we are going to find out in my in-depth Toyo Open Country MT review, where I’ll focus mostly on off-roading but cover all other categories as well. Let’s dig in!
- What are the Specifications and Maintenance Indicators?
- Features and Performance of the Toyo Open Country M/T
- Comfort and Road Noise
- Should I Buy the Toyo Open Country M/T?
- List of the Toyo Tires Review
What are the Specifications and Maintenance Indicators?
The Toyo Open Country MT is an off-road/mud-terrain tire that comes in many sizes, ranging from 16-inch to a massive 26-inch wheel diameter.
Notably, it also comes in sizes popular among owners of lifted SUVs and trucks, including 31-inch, 33-inch, 35-inch, 37-inch, 40-inch, and 42-inch!
All sizes also come with very high load ratings, making the Open Country M/T one of the toughest mud-terrain tires on the market.
The tire comes with the industry-standard TWIs, which show you when the tread reaches its minimum depth.
However, since this is a mud-terrain tire, you will undoubtedly want to replace the tires sooner, as the minimum tread depth won’t be enough for off-road shenanigans.
Fortunately, you won’t be thinking about replacing the Open Country M/T soon. It doesn’t come with any treadwear warranty, which is normal for the category, but regardless, owners report very good treadlife.
From what I learned, you can get 40,000-miles out of these, pretty good for the category.
Features and Performance of the Toyo Open Country M/T
Toyo designed the Open Country M/T with off-road traction in mind but without sacrificing on-road performance.
What does it mean? Well, let’s see what technologies it used to do that and if it makes a difference in the real world in our Toyo Open Country MT review.
1. Off-Road Traction and Durability
Toyo designed the Open Country M/T as an off-road tire first and foremost, and that’s immediately noticeable when you look at it.
Notably, it features open, scalloped shoulder blocks, which provide a much larger surface area on uneven and soft surfaces, such as gravel, mud, snow, and rocks. This improves traction, helping you get out of trouble.
The Japanese tiremaker also used an over-the-shoulder tread design, which further helps with traction, especially during cornering in hard turns, which you will do a lot in the forest.
Lastly, the tread compound features a high turn-up polyester construction, providing excellent durability and toughness – especially important for off-roading.
But the real question is – do all of these technologies help? Let me start with the most obvious off-road terrains – dirt and gravel.
When most SUV and truck owners think about off-roading, they usually think of dirt and gravel, a.k.a. hardpacked surfaces.
And when it comes to dirt and gravel, the Open Country M/T is more than up to the job. It provides excellent longitudinal traction, handles the corners well, and stops in no time.
However, if you mostly drive on hardpacked roads, I think you’d be better off with all-terrain tires. These tires provide similar traction on dirt and gravel, handle even better through the corners, and give you much better on-road drivability.
Still, mud is something that most all-terrain tires struggle with and a huge reason why real off-roaders opt for real off-road tires.
But, how much more traction do you get? Well, if we take the Open Country M/T as an example, a lot! I was impressed by how much traction this tire provides in deep mud, especially since it’s an older model.
Thanks to the large lugs, the tire will keep you out of trouble and won’t leave you stranded in the mud. Even better, it will handle through the corners with little side movement, even when your truck or SUV is loaded to the max.
Thus, if you are into overlanding and often visit forests, this tire is an exceptional choice.
But what about rock crawling? This is where most tires struggle, but not the Open Country M/T. It might not be the best tire for enthusiast rock crawlers, but it’s still plenty good enough for most people.
I’m not a rock crawler myself, but on the rocks where I tried this tire, I can say that it handled admirably.
Now, the Open Country M/T comes in higher load ratings, meaning the sidewall is stiffer than its competition. This makes it stronger and better for towing large and heavy trailers but worse for sand.
Why? Let me clarify; since the sidewalls are stiffer, you’ll need to deflate the tires much more than the competition to get the same traction. When you do that, the possibility for the bead to come out is higher.
This won’t be an issue on bead lock wheels, sure, and in that case, the Open Country M/T might be even better than the competition.
However, most SUV and truck owners, even those that venture off the beaten track, don’t own expensive bead lock wheels.
Hence, if you often visit the desert and have regular wheels, I’d recommend purchasing different off-road tires.
Okay, so we clarified that the Open Country M/T is a monster in mud, works well on hardpacked surfaces and rocks, and less so over sand, but what about its durability?
Well, it’s still one of the toughest off-road tires on the market. I won’t worry about punctures with this tire, as the casing looks very stiff, while the tread pattern is very good at ejecting stones.
2. Dry Grip and Traction
Off-road enthusiasts care more about how good the tires will perform on unpaved terrains, but on-road performance is still hugely important for safety.
After all, even the most seasoned off-roaders do more than 50% of on-road driving with their SUVs and trucks.
With that said, the Open Country M/T is quite good on paved roads, although not class-leading.
Notably, the traction is excellent, the cornering grip is okay, and the stopping distances are short for the category. You wouldn’t win any race, but they will do the job just fine.
However, thanks to the stiffer sidewalls and higher load ratings, this tire is excellent for towing large trailers and carrying heavy cargo.
Thus, if you are an overlander or camper, you can carry all of your gear with you and not worry about safety.
3. Wet Grip, Traction, and Braking
However, that’s only half of the story when it comes to wet traction, as the tread compound and contact area play an even bigger role.
Now, this tire isn’t bad for rainy days, but certainly not as good as some newer competitors.
The longitudinal traction and braking are good, but the tires wander a bit in the corners. Suffice to say; I would be more careful on wet tarmac than with other off-road tires.
4. Snow and Ice Traction
You must be looking at the aggressive tread pattern of the Open Country M/T and imagine that it will be a beast on snowy surfaces. And you’d be right, but only 50%.
Let me make it clearer for you. See, snow changes its properties with temperature, but also with compression.
For instance, if many cars have driven over the snow, it will become denser – we call that packed snow.
Meanwhile, if you are the first to cross over a snowy surface, it is known as unpacked snow.
Since the Open Country M/T has large lugs on the tread, it can easily dig through unpacked snow, providing you with outstanding traction. Thus, if you want to reach that mountain peak in the winter, it will do the job.
However, packed snow – the one that you’d often find on public roads, is where this tire stumbles.
Notably, it doesn’t provide much traction, nor does it drive well through the corners. And it’s the same story with ice.
Therefore, if you live in areas with very harsh winter weather, a set of real winter tires is probably your best bet.
Comfort and Road Noise
Mud-terrain tires usually sacrifice comfort for off-road traction, but some recent models balance that very well.
The Open Country M/T isn’t very new on the market – it’s actually over a decade old – but it’s still pretty good for comfort.
Specifically, the noise levels are similar to other off-road tires, and the ride quality isn’t very bad. Still, if you come from all-terrain or highway tires, be prepared for more noise and a wobblier ride.
You can see more Toyo Open Country MT review here: Video created by Ronny Dahl
Should I Buy the Toyo Open Country M/T?
The Toyo Open Country M/T is an old tire by now, but it’s also very popular among the off-road community.
After all, it’s an outstanding off-road tire, both in terms of traction and durability, so it’s not surprising it’s so popular.
Should you buy a set, though? Well, that’s a tough question. I’ve had a great time with it, but in my eyes, the brand-new BFGoodrich Mud-Terrain T/A KM3 is a better tire overall while also costing more or less the same.
Still, if you value off-road prowess and can find the Open Country M/T at a discount, I’d say go for it!