Both these All-Terrain tires allow you to drive confidently no matter what time of the year it is because their all-season tread polymer resists weather-induced changes and provide traction in both hot and cold weather.
Here the famous BFGoodrich with it’s tough inner construction stands out of the crowd but does it really justify it’s price tag when compared with other some seemingly great AT tires like the Firestone Destination X/T?
Well, we are going to find this out here.
Let’s start off with their Tread Pattern:
When it comes to Destination XT, the America company really enhanced the rubber composition with this one. It’s now optimized with company’s patented technologies, which provide a more stable traction and better fuel efficiency (compared to it’s predecessor).
In the middle of the tire, Destination XT shows a rugged look characterizing three rows of multi-edged, independent blocks with prominent lateral and longitudinal spaces among them.
And although, the company tired to make it’s central blocks look like “F” and “S” shaped as in abbreviation for “Fire Stone”, they look more like C and S shaped.
The central S shaped blocks are surrounded with others marked blue with their edges saw-toothed, providing an enhanced biting ability.
These edges face the zig-zag circumferential grooves dividing the shoulder blocks where the siping pattern differs a bit. Where on the central blocks it’s wave like and on sides, it rectilinear.
Both these sipe patterns go all the way deep to the tread’s base, diving these blocks further.
Firestone’s patented mechanism for tread designing make these sipes 3D, as well, and they interlock below the surface, increasing block stiffness and contact patch of the tread.
On the other side, the BFG KO2 features a very uniform central design. It features 3 ribs which looks very similar to each other. The central blocks are wrapped with the outer two, and this forms an interlocking design.
These elongated blocks also have traction notches on their inner sides which munch on the rugged terrains.
The blocks are also equipped with deep rectilinear siping, and although, it may not be visible here, there’s a tiny zig zag pattern in them. And they also go all the way deep just like the Destination XT.
Other than this, you may have also noticed triangular shaped stone ejectors, strategically placed on the outer margins of these blocks (besides shoulders).
This is missing in the other tire.
In fact, the Firestone Destination XT does not even feature stone ejectors between shoulder blocks.
Both of it’s shoulder blocks also look very similar to each other. But they are still staggered, where one barely makes a scoop in it.
These shoulder blocks also have deep open slots on their outer edge, as shown.
This design feature not only makes the tire look aggressive but also allows it to dig deeply into snow and mud, resulting in proficient steering management.
Other than this, its blocks are separated from sidewall lugs, which give the tire some protection.
These lugs look very stale when compared to KO2, where they are bulkier, slanted, and pasted on a larger surface area of the sidewalls.
And where the Firestone XT presents a very minimal design, KO2 features a lot of stuff.
It’s shoulder blocks are strikingly serrated, with very visible scoop on on of its block, while other block makes a sharp edge.
Both blocks have deep incisions in them, where one is lateral and the other is slanted. And this further adds to their distinctive shapes with bold stone ejectors in between all it’s shoulder blocks.
And where they differ so much from each other, they still carry same rectilinear siping which is also common with its central blocks, though they are not as deep here.
Other specs of these tires:
|Firestone XT||BFG KO2|
|Weight Range||47.5 lbs||55.3 lbs|
|Tread Depth||14 to 17/32″||15/32’’|
|Available sizes||15 to 20″||15 to 22″|
|Sidewall Construction||2 ply||3 ply|
|Load Rating Range||C to E||C to F|
As you can see here, the Destination XT is lighter of the two, has less tread depth and load rating only up to E.
How are these tires on road?
The Firestone Destination XT performs quite impressively on on both dry and wet paved surfaces and stops at a shorter braking distances, in comparison.
Its high grip is also evident if we take a look at its tread features like 3D interlocking sipes, saw-toothed block edges, and overlapping central ribs.
Its aggressive block design provides numerous biting edges and compact rib placement along with interlocking sipes optimizes rubber-to-road contact of the tire, so both these features ultimately lead to enhanced road grip.
On the other side, with KO2, although dry grip is on par, wet traction is not as impressive.
The tire does not give you a predictable response and it under-steers more in comparison. (traction control had to jump in, several times).
Its poor wet traction has to do with its stiffer sides and minimal siping.
So with stiffness the sipes need more force to squeeze and suck the water particles, where the sipes aren’t too many to begin with.
The tire also gets worse with wear. It has softer rubber on top of harder compound. And once that wears off, the stiffer compound underneath makes the wet handling poorer.
But still, the tire provide you with promising resistance to hydroplaning with the help of wider grooves.
Firestone lacks slightly, showing more float speeds as it’s less wider grooves are not able to pass out as much volume of water.
But still overall the tire is better in wet.
Other than this with its its exclusive all-terrain rubber and sturdy carcass, it also shows better rolling stability and reduced frictional wear (leading to a long tread life).
Nonetheless, both tires offer you with the same 50k miles warranty.
What about Rocky Terrain?
Well, time for BF Goodrich KO2 to shine. Where these tire lacked a little on streets, nothing can beat them off road.
You can throw anything in front of these tires. And they would simply crawl their way out with no trouble.
It’s locking pattern makes a wide combination of lateral and circumferential soup of traction, so the tire is better able to climb rocks, and handle gravel/dirt in a much better way.
Firestone Destination XT, here only has one advantage over KO2. It offers softer silica compound which sticks better on rocks.
Other than this, the tire also features traction notches on the lateral edges and saw-toothed texture on the longitudinal edges, and give it a good enough biting ability.
But its sides and bulkier lugs are no match compared to BFG KO2, where you get deep cuts in shoulder blocks and slanted sidewall lugs which during “sidewall flexing” hug the rocky surface in a much better way.
The tire also features 2 different kinds of stone ejectors that expel out the debris as they move forward. So, they offer greater performance on gravel (on high speeds).
Firestone on the other side, provides a good steering response on gravel but without stone ejectors the tires feels a bit jittery in comparison.
Furthermore, with less durable inner construction the Destination XT is also more prone to get punctured on sidewalls.
It features only 2 polyester casing where the sidewalls are not covered with nylon.
BFG KO2 on the other side, features 3 ply polyester casing with 2 steel belts, and all this is spirally wound with 2 layers of nylon.
So these tires bring a lot of durability. (BFG claims it’s their toughest tire ever, and the tire so far is the toughest when it comes to All Terrain category).
On snow, although both tires are rated with 3 Peak Mountain Snowflake rating, the Destination XT has a tiny bit of a upper hand.
Its tread specifies a dual siping pattern as the central blocks have zigzag sipes and the shoulder lugs are marked by multiple linear sipes.
So it’s “Trationtech 3D sipes” as they call it, and saw-toothed block edges result in a firmer grip on the snowy surface.
These edges (as shown in the image) help bite into the surface of the snow.
Furthermore, the tire’s deep slots in the shoulder blocks traps in the snow in a much better way.
The trapped snow sticks better on snow (as ice crystals have inter-mingling design).
Other than this, as this tire has a softer compound, it does not stiffen up as much as the BF Goodrich KO2.
The KO2 on the other side, is better with deeper snow with it’s more wider grooves and tread depth.
Where it’s more staggered margins result in precise handling, by scooping the snow out of it’s way.
Can these tires handle Mud?
Both tires can not perform too well, being AT, but still, out of the two, BFG KO2 shows overall better efficacy.
It’s shoulder blocks have relatively more aggressive design with wider space in between them, equipped with stone ejectors.
And although the tire does not make proper channels, these wider shoulder blocks still provide better cleaning abilities compared to Destiantion XT.
Another advantage for KO2 is it’s bigger scoops and bulkier sidewall lugs.
Both of these act as traction spoon and they dig, in a better way, especially when the tire is aired down deep in mud.
The less aggressive shoulder design on Destination XT would not be able to self clean very easily and tire would get packed quickly.
Side Note: Destination XT, being a lightweight all-terrain tire, it is a better choice for crawling on sandy beaches (but do remember to air it down a bit).
What’s the Verdict?
Well both tires are simply great.
In case of Firestone Destination XT, the tire provides you with an improved biting ability on the paved road as well as on off-road terrains like snow, mud, and rocky paths.
Where you also get better fuel efficiency on asphalts and superior snow traction with 3PMSF rating.
But with no stone ejectors, less aggressive shoulder blocks, and overall less wider grooves and tread depth, the tire simply can’t out perform KO2, when it comes to harsher off road terrains.
So if you need a more aggressive/durable tire, go with KO2 (which is also still comfortable on road, considering all other tires).