And why you should really consider all-terrains for your next tyres…
I’m a big fan of mud-terrain tyres for my Defender. There isn’t much in the way of quiet driving and on-road performance to protect, so you might as well go all-out on something aggressive. In for a penny, in for a pound. With that in mind, I wasn’t sure how things would go with some all-terrain tyres mounted up onto the steelies. The tyres I’m trying out are Mickey Thompson Deegan 38 All-Terrains. These don’t have the same thick sidewalls of the Baja series of Mickeys, but don’t write them off instantly for that. Softer sidewalls mean the tyres respond much quicker to airing down, increasing your off-road footprint for that all-important traction. Lighter tyres put less strain on your vehicle as well; and they’re easier to rotate, steer and balance. These tyres will be cheaper too.
On the road, these tyres are great. They are quiet, grippy and compliant. Taking off some half-worn, hard-life Mud-Terrains from the Defender, I was really impressed with the improvements fresh rubber made to the on-road characteristics.
Off-road, the performance of these tyres has also been impressive. The rubber feels soft, and the light sidewalls allow the tyres to conform to the tracks quite well. A big, square shoulder on the tread design means I’ve got plenty of rubber hitting the ground.
The only reservation is with thick mud and slippery clay performance – where only aggressive mud-terrains reign supreme. But that comes at the expense of other desirable characteristics. These tyres don’t offer much in the way of sidebiters, and the voids aren’t gigantic. But the sharply square shoulder design definitely helps.
If you’re looking for a tyre for some serious remote country touring in some seriously harsh conditions, then something a bit heavier and more aggressive might fit the bill. That being said, my Defender is a heavy rig… and these tyres have handled it well so far.
If you want rubber for a rig that loves beaches, rocks and hilly hinterland driving, these Mickey Thompsons would be a great fit. You get good off-road performance, coupled with very compliant bitumen driving. Modern 4WDs are quiet, smooth and cosseting on the road these days; and all-terrain tyres like these Mickeys do allow you to keep that advantage, while also improving great off-road performance compared to OEM rubber.
I’ve taken on steep, shaley descents and climbs with this rubber, along with some rocky river crossings and soft sand beach driving. I tend to air down more than most for off-road grip, and I’ve found the tyres to perform well.
WHAT WE LIKED
Good mix of off-road performance and on-road silkiness.
Softer, lighter construction responds to airing down very quickly.
WHAT WE DIDN’T LIKE
Heavier-construction rubber would suit more extreme applications better.
Cannot compete with aggressive tread patterns on mud and clay (there are other options in the range for that).
For more information, go to: mickeythompsontires.com.au