Falken Wildpeak AT3W vs AT3WA

Both come from the same manufacturer and are all terrain tires. AT3W has an open tread design that’s why it performs better on mud, snow and sand while its rival, AT3WA has a relatively closed pattern which enables it to provide exceptional on road grip with excellent steering response.

Though AT3W does not provide efficient wet traction on road but it is the best when it comes to resisting hydroplaning, further details have been shared in the on-road section.

 AT3WAAT3W
Tire typeAll-terrainAll-terrain
UsageOff-road, on-road, all-weatherOff-road, on-road, all-weather
 Mountain snowflake ratings (3PMSF)yesyes

Tread Pattern

The shoulder lugs of AT3W are of almost similar width, the only clear difference is their shape and length. The central area has Z and C shaped tread blocks. All the lateral and longitudinal grooves are of same width and all the grooves are well connected. Sipes are present all over the tread while stone ejectors are missing from this tire.

AT3WA has a relatively compact tread pattern. The tread blocks are well organized in a directional pattern. The shoulder lugs are very closely placed with each other, they have very narrow grooves in between them. Central part is sandwiched between two wide longitudinal grooves. Blocks in the central part are closely placed in the form of a rib. The block row in the center has long tread blocks while other two rows have broad blocks separated by narrow lateral grooves. Small stone ejectors are placed between the shoulder lugs.

On Road Dry Traction

The dry traction of AT3WA is unmatched due to its compact tread design. This design enables higher contact area with the road and as a result the grip is enhanced. Similarly, the handling of this tire on dry roads is also extraordinary due to closely placed shoulder blocks that provide high contact area with the road when the vehicle is cornering, enhancing the handling experience.

AT3W also provides good dry traction but it can’t beat its rival. As this tire has a lower contact patch comparatively, which allows lower grip moreover the handling is also not that good due to open shoulder design that decreases shoulders contact with surface while effecting the handling performance.

 AT3WAAT3W
Dry on-road GripHighModerate-high
Dry on-road handlingHighModerate-high

On Road Wet Traction

The wet traction requires more contact patch and frequent sipes as AT3WA excels in both these things so it’s wet performance is excellent as well. The grip is enhanced by increased contact area and more sipes that wipe away the water and help the tire to move forward smoothly. Handling is made best by closely placed shoulder lugs with deep sipes engraved on them. These sipes work with lateral and longitudinal grooves to wipe away the water and provide high wet handling and grip. The hydroplaning resistance of this tire is not as good as its opponent, this is due to lower void ratio. The less grooves allow lower volume of water to pass from them increasing the chances of hydroplaning.

AT3W also provides good wet traction but it can’t beat its competitor, again due to the same reason, less contact patch plus lower amount of sipes. The less contact patch both from central and shoulder area decreases grip and less sipes aren’t able to wipe water efficiently resulting in lower traction compared with its counterpart. But hydroplaning resistance is the thing where this tire is on lead. This is due to its higher void ratio and interconnected grooves that allow maximum volume of water to pass through them and make sure that the tread stays in contact with the surface.

 AT3WAAT3W
Wet on-road GripHighModerate-high
Wet on-road handlingHighModerate-high
Aquaplaning resistanceModerate-highHigh

Off-Road Traction Comparison

 AT3WAAT3W
Mud tractionModerateHigh
Snow tractionModerateHigh
Ice tractionModerateModerate
Rock tractionHighLow-moderate

Mud Terrain

The mud traction of both tires is good but AT3W takes the lead due to its higher void ratio. The wide grooves of this tire have higher ability of grabbing mud particles and throwing them backwards. So, the grip of the tire always stays firm with the road. The handling on mud is improved by wider voids in the shoulders that evacuate mud effectively when the vehicle is cornering. As a result, the overall traction of this tire on mud becomes better than its competitor.

AT3WA cannot beat its competitor on muddy tracks. This is because it has lower void ratio thus less ability of grabbing and throwing the mud particles backwards. Its grip is way better if we compare it to its handling on mud. The handling of this tire is not impressive at all due to very closely placed lugs in the shoulder, they lessen the space for evacuation of mud. The tire can be stuffed with mud and lose grip if taken in heavy mud swamps.

AT3W is better than AT3WA but still it can’t be taken in deep mud as it doesn’t have enough evacuation ability as a mud tire has, so it will lose grip and will get stuck.

Snow Terrain

The snow traction of AT3W is way better than the competitor this is due to its wide grooves and interconnected lateral and longitudinal grooves. They work together to bite the snow and throw it in the opposite direction. This motion helps the tire to move smoothly without losing grip. The open shoulders evacuate snow affectively and improve the handling experience. When we talk about ice then this tire loses again due to lower contact patch and less sipes, the low contact patch results in bad grip and less sipes means that tire will surely slip.

AT3WA can’t win in the snowy areas due to its closed design. The closely placed blocks decrease void ratio and the ability of the tire to evacuate snow so the grip isn’t that good. The handling is even bad compared with grip as the shoulder lugs are very close to each other giving no or very less space for the evacuation of snow particles. Though this tire performs low on snow but it wins on ice, this is due to its increased contact patch plus frequent deep sipes. The contact patch increases the grip and sipes work with voids to wipe away the water from the surface of the tire.

Rock Terrain

The rock traction of AT3W is surely better compared to its rival this is due to the wide grooves that provide more biting edges and improve the biting ability of the tire. Though this tire doesn’t have any stone ejectors but due to its biting ability it crawls well on rocks. But due to the absence of ejectors the rocks/pebbles can get stuck in the grooves while damaging the tread.

AT3WA has a very low biting ability due to closely placed tread blocks, they limit the biting surface area and tire faces problem while crawling on rocks. This tire can move well on pebbles due to the presence of stone ejectors in the shoulders plus the compact design. These properties will help it to move confidently on pebbles.

Comfort

The on-road comfort depends upon noise production. Noise is produced by air particles as they move into the grooves and hit the walls of the grooves and as a result noise is produced. So more the void ratio more noise will be produced. AT3WA provides higher comfort on road as due to its lower void ratio it produces less noise relatively, while its opponent due to wider grooves produces more noise.

Off road comfort provided by AT3W is better as it has more wider grooves which provide the feel of lesser inflated tire and work as a suspension, absorbing the effect of jerks. And as AT3WA has low void ratio it feels like a rigid tire and if we compare the comfort of both, then the difference is clear and the winner is AT3W.

Rolling Resistance

The rolling resistance of AT3W is lower compared to its rival, which means it requires less force to roll so it is fuel efficient tire and its treadwear is also lower. While AT3WA has higher rolling resistance due to higher contact patch which results in its lower fuel efficiency and its treadwear is more as well.

Quick Summary

Both are all terrain tires.

Falken Wildpeak AT3W:

  • Has higher void ratio.
  • Has better capability of resisting hydroplaning.
  • Provides good traction on mud and snow.
  • Crawls better on rocks.
  • Provides better off road comfort.
  • Has lower rolling resistance.

Falken Wildpeak AT3WA:

  • Has higher contact patch.
  • Provides higher traction on wet and dry roads.
  • Performs better on ice.
  • Has better stone ejection ability.
  • Produces less noise.