For me, I was after a touring. So that meant that it was aggressive enough to not get me bogged or give me grief while touring, quiet on the road, handle well, not vibrate at low speeds like a typical muddy and have a tough carcass to hold loads and resist puncture.
The short list for me at the time was the Cooper ST, Goodyear MTR, Micky Thompson MTX. These were the "All terrain" tyres that were on the market that were not simply glorified highway tyres.
I didn't really include the BFGoodrich AT tyre as its tread design leaves a lot of "edge" to hold mud which makes them a bit useless in the slush from what I have seen of those that I 4WD with. They reportedly wear extremely well though.
The Cooper ST I didn't get as I have had problems with these tyres in the past damaging lugs and will probably never buy another Cooper tyre again as a result. I think their tread designs are generally good, and if another manufacturer produced them, then they'd be a brilliant tyre - but there seems in my opinion to be some serious quality problems there. The other concern I have, is the ST seems to have flexible sidewalls. Something I did notice is that the pressures needed to be at least 36psi otherwise the lateral stability was compromised - I equated this to thin sidewalls and puncture susceptability.
The Mickey Thompson MTX I thought seemed to be a good tyre. It reportedly provides good traction on all surfaces and the significant sipping I thought was particularly good, especially for wet roads. The tread blocks seem to be solid and the tread pattern looked like it would be reasonably quiet - which it apparently is. I don't know what the carcass is like, other than a ply rating which doesn't really tell a great deal without knowing the ply thickness. The good thing about the Mickey Thompson tyres also, especially if you run 7" rims, is they seem to be able to fit wider tyres onto narrower rims.
The Goodyear MTR is the tyre that I ended up getting. I think the things that clinched it for me were that it was a proven open pattern tyre that had outer lug that had been set at an angle to prevent the typical muddie low speed vibrations. That should also reduce road noise, but its still a relatively noisy tyre. The pattern would provide good traction offroad, and the Silica rubber compound provides good traction on road. The carcass on that particular tyre is also a strong one which was also really good for reliability. When I go touring, I really don't want to lack traction or have tyre problems, and this seemed at the time to be the best tyre.
I think today that the Cooper STT may also be a contender, but again, after seeing some pictures of these tyres failed already, I will sidestep that brand. The FC-II may also be in there also, though I haven't done any research on them.
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