Falken Wildpeak AT3W vs Nitto Ridge Grappler

Both these tires show good tread abilities for optimized driving experience on the road as well as hassle-free traction in rugged terrains. Especially, deep tread channels enable these tires to deal effectively with mud, snow, and debris when you go off-road.

Wildpeak AT3W comes from the line of all-terrain tires, having both on-road and off-road abilities. It stands reliable during rainy conditions with a deeper tread as it prevents slipping off due to the water layer beneath the tire and tread. Moreover, as this tire is rated for severe winter usage, it would allow you to travel conveniently during winter conditions despite a snowfall.

Ridge Grappler is a hybrid tire with a compact tread design and aggressive look. It also shows optimized traction on paved surfaces, icy pathways, and over the mountains. Moreover, you get quieter rides and a comfortable driving experience while travelling on these tires.

In comparison, Ridge Grappler shows better performance on the dry paved surface, offers optimized ice traction, provides enhanced experience in rock terrain, makes lesser noise, and comes cheaper, while Wildpeak AT3W specifies high aquaplaning resistivity, works efficiently in mud and snow terrains and lasts longer than its competitor.

 Ridge GrapplerWildpeak AT3W
BrandNittoFalken
Tire typeHybrid terrainAll-terrain
UsageOff-road, on-road, all-weatherOff-road, on-road, all-weather
 Mountain snowflake ratings (3PMSF)Noyes
Tested sizeLT265/75R16   LT265/75R16   
Tread depth16.4/32’’17/32’’
Section width10.51’’10.4’’
Maximum inflation pressure80 psi80 psi
Maximum load capacity3415/3085 Ibs3415 Ibs
Load/ speed rating123/120Q E123/120S E

Tread pattern

Nitto Ridge Gappler

The rugged tread of Ridge Grappler characterizes large-sized triangular blocks arranged in the central portion. These blocks have reinforced foundations and stepped edges, providing rigidity and additional biting ability. Lateral Z-grooves, zigzag circumferential channel and linear siping overall tread blocks provide effective evacuation abilities.

However, the depth and width of the grooves are lesser than the competitor. Its shoulder blocks are staggered and closely arranged. Prominent rectilinear stone ejectors are engraved in the lateral shoulder voids. Moreover, its sturdy sidewalls are aggressively designed, and both sides show distinct designs.

Falken wildpeak at3w tread pattern

Wildpeak AT3W is an aggressive-looking, all-terrain tire with three ribs of interlocking angular blocks, making the longitudinal grooves wave-like. Its tread channels are deeper and broader than the competitor. Its blocks are stepped at some points to provide additional biting edges and stone ejection properties. Its shoulders are also compact and have stepped edges.

An advantage it has over the competitor is the presence of 3D zigzag canyon sipes, which increases its hydroplaning resistance.

However, it lacks specialized stone ejectors, and its sidewalls are not as aggressive as the contestant, but these are designed to diffuse out heat, providing a thermal cover to internal parts.

On-Road Dry Traction

Nitto Ridge Tread Pattern
Ridge

Ridge Grappler shows enhanced dry traction in comparison owing to the benefit of its compact tread pattern. As its tread specifies a larger contact patch, it firmly grips over the dry paved surface. However, its steering efficacy is the same as its competitor because both have bulky shoulders that maintain stable traction as the load comes on them while taking turns.

Falken AT3w on jeep
Falken at3w

In contrast, Falken stands below the competition due to its high void ratio. When the tread has a lesser contact patch, its biting ability on a paved road is reduced; thus, it provides decreased grip. Nevertheless, it ranks the same for its handing efficiency because its shoulder lugs are also compactly arranged as its competitor.

 Ridge GrapplerWildpeak AT3W
Dry on-road GripHighModerate
Dry on-road handlingModerate-highModerate-high

On-Road Wet Traction

Both tires come at par when analyzed for wet grip. Wildpeak has the advantage of better hydroplaning resistance as its deeper grooves, and 3D canyon sipes accommodate water more efficiently. However, its contact patch is comparatively lesser, which limits its wet grip. When taking turns, its efficiency becomes higher because its shoulders have a similar profile as that of its competitor, but its hydroplaning resistivity is higher.

On the other side, Ridge has a larger contact patch for biting over the paved surface, but its siping technology is less efficient, so the overall grip becomes similar to the competitor. Nonetheless, it gets lesser points while steering because nearly the same surface area of its shoulders is connected with the surface and its sipes are comparatively less efficient.

 RidgeWildpeak AT3W
Wet on-road GripModerate-highModerate-high
Wet on-road handlingModerate-highHigh
Aquaplaning resistanceModerateHigh

Off-Road Traction Comparison

Wildpeak at3w tread pattern
Falken AT3W
 RidgeWildpeak
Mud tractionModerateHigh
Snow tractionModerateHigh
Ice tractionModerateModerate
Rock tractionHighLow-moderate

Mud Terrain

Mud Traction of tires

Ridge Grappler can reliably move in mud terrain because its grooves evacuate mud from the tread as it moves forward, and reinforced blocks take advantage of their biting edges to provide reliable mud traction. However, its performance ranks comparatively lower than the contestant due to relatively shallow tread, which lowers its mud evacuation ability.

Conversely, Wildpeak scores more points for its enhanced mud traction due to its relatively high void ratio and increased tread depth. Mud is effectively thrown out from the tread channels when it rolls forward because deep and wide grooves have a massive vacuum. Its raised, angular blocks present optimized biting abilities on mud-covered pathways. Moreover, lateral shoulder channels effectively wipe off the mud to ensure a firm grip while taking turns in the mud terrain.

Snow Terrain

Falken AT3w on snow

Ridge shows comparatively lesser performance in the snowy area because its lower void ratio and limited tread depth lead to a lesser snow evacuation capacity in comparison. Moreover, it is not rated for severe snow service and does not carry a 3-peak snowflake rating or mud-snow performance rating (M+S). On iced pavements, its performance is optimized because a higher contact patch leads to a firm grip over the surface, but overall traction is limited by lesser hydroplaning resistivity due to shallower tread.

Falken AT3W takes the lead over its competitor for snow performance because its deeper tread shows more biting ability over soft snow than its competitor. Its evacuation capability is high in comparison as snow is effectively thrown out in the backward direction, which saves the tread from snow choking and a gradual loss of traction. But when it comes to ice traction, its efficiency becomes equal to its competitor as although its canyon siping provides better aquaplaning resistance yet, the lower contact patch of its tread shows lesser grip on the rigid icy track.

Rock Terrain

In Rock terrain, Ridge shows better traction abilities than its competitor. Its compact design accounts for its enhanced grip while rock climbing as the increased contact patch and edged blocks strongly bite over the hard rocky surfaces. Moreover, its stone ejection technology is superior due to its prominent, bumpy, rectilinear stone ejectors embossed in its lateral grooves and more aggressive sidewalls that bounce back striking gravel particles, protecting the tread from gravel-choking and stone punctures. Strengthened sidewalls and shoulders also enhance lateral stability necessary for driving on steep slopes and tricky mountain turns.

On the other side, Wildpeak presents lesser proficiency in rock terrain as its open tread provides decreased traction on hard surfaces. Moreover, it lacks specialized ejectors, and only the stepped shoulder lugs provide a little stone ejecting ability.  Its sidewalls account for lesser lateral stability because they are less aggressively textured.

Comfort

Ridge stands more comfortable on dry pavements and also produces lesser noise. A high contact patch of tread is responsible for its better driving experience on highways. The Variable Pitch technology is employed for its design, making the void limited for reflection and resonation of sound waves. As a result, it ranks as a quieter tire in comparison.

On the other hand, Wildpeak is a more comfortable option for driving in rainy conditions due to its efficient slip resistivity, but it makes more noise. Its grooves are broad and deep, offering a full vacuum for air circulation. Resultantly, tire noise is comparatively louder.

Durability and Treadwear

Wildpeak takes the lead over its competitor for longevity as advanced technologies are employed for its construction. It is moulded from an enhanced silica tread compound that resists wear and tear, lasting longer. Likewise, it has outer apex sidewalls constructed according to Heat Diffuser technology. This feature shields the internal tire components from heat damage. In addition to improved composition, its tread pattern also accounts for its durability as it encounters lesser rolling friction; it is consumed relatively slowly during hysteresis. Its longer tread life is also evident from the manufacturer’s 55,000 miles treadwear warranty.

Ridge Grappler also ranks fairly durable due to twin steel internal structuring and hybrid tread polymer, but it lacks silicated enhancements and heat diffusing properties, so it gets lesser points than its competitor. Its compact design is also a reason for its faster wear as it needs to overcome high friction for rolling ahead; hence, its tread is consumed faster in this process. Nitto does not provide a tread life warranty; however, it comes with an assurance for uniform wear and material/workmanship accuracy.

 Ridge GrapplerWildpeak AT3W
 DurabilityModerateHigh
Treadwear  mileage warrantyNo warranty55,000 miles/ 5 years
Uniformity warrantyFirst 1/32’’First 2/32’’
Workmanship warranty5 years (only for Original equipment tires)5 years

Price

Falken Wildpeak comes for a higher amount than its competitor, but it shows enhanced performance in mud and snow terrain and also provides the long-term benefits of longer tread life. Its price value varies from $300 to $370.

In contrast, Ridge Grappler costs relatively lesser, but you can enjoy improved on-road traction and superior performance while hiking on the rocky trails. Its purchasing cost ranges from $270 to $330.

Quick Summary

Nitto Ridge is a hybrid, while Wildpeak AT3W is the all-terrain tire.

Falken Wildpeak AT3W…

  • Has deeper tread and higher aquaplaning resistivity.
  • Shows better performance in mud and soft snow.
  • Specifies more durable tread and carries a longer warranty.
  • Resists thermal changes more effectively.
  • Carries (M+S) and (3PMSF) ratings.

Ridge Grappler…

  • Provides better traction on the dry pavement.
  • Shows enhanced abilities for rock climbing.
  • Ranks higher for its ice traction.
  • Is comparatively a quieter tire.
  • offers a more comfortable driving experience.
  • Comes for a lesser price.