Nitto Recon vs Ridge Grappler

Recon is an all-terrain tire that gives a balanced performance on road and off road while Ridge is a hybrid terrain tire providing a supreme off-road experience.

Wide spacing of tread lugs makes Ridge Grappler efficient in mud, stone ejectors help it roll through gravel easily, and deep biting tread blocks hold on various surfaces, firmly.

Over the highways, higher contact patch of Recon makes it stable and angled placement of central lugs make it quieter. Both of these tires have good averages of tread wear. Further details about their performance and durability are shared below.

Comparing Nitto & Recon

Nitto Ridge Grappler


Nitto Recon Grappler A/T

Aggressive tread of Ridge Grappler is characterized by raised angular blocks, huge zigzag longitudinal grooves combined with moderately wide lateral voids, sharply tapered lugs over the shoulders and sidewalls, stone ejectors embossed in grooves and central siping across all the grooves. High void ratio limits contact patch of tread decreasing on road traction, as a result.

Nitto Ridge Grappler on RAM
Nitto Ridge On Road

But these massive channels provide self-cleaning ability to tire while roaming across off road paths, they easily evacuate mud, clay, slush and gravel off from the tire. Sturdy sharp textured shoulders help in handling while taking turns over difficult corners. Prominent Stone ejectors make trail hiking possible as they knock out stones, hard fragments and tiny rock particles and do not let them drill punctures or choke the grooves.

Nitto Recon exhibits a versatile tread pattern with zig-zag grooves, siping variation, edged blocks, bulky shoulders and aggressive sidewalls. It has low void ratio; more area of tread comes in contact with ground resulting in great grip on road. Large staggered shoulders improve traction by providing smoother handling. All blocks are sipped to wipe away water to improve wet traction. Central lugs have variation of thin and wide sipes, which further increases hydroplaning resistance. Its lateral zigzag grooves are similar in shape to its competitor but lesser in width and depth. Closed placement of blocks is troublesome when it comes to dealing with mud and snow, as narrower grooves do not effectively evacuate mud, clay or snow. These tires also do not have stone bumpers to safeguard tread from stone filling and puncture drilling. Hence, these tires are not marvelous for off road trips. Recon is more durable than its competitor, its nylon rubber tread wears down slowly and evenly. It is even backed by a tread wear warranty by its manufacturer.

On-Road Traction Comparison

On road performance of Ridge Grappler is lesser than its competitor due to its high void ratio. Traction over the roads is not good due to wide grooves. Contact patch is decreased due to its broad and deep grooves and tire cannot grip on the surface tightly. Wet traction is reliable however due to dense siping all around. It resists hydroplaning as water is quickly wiped off through grooves and sipes present circumferentially over the tread.

Good on road performance of Recon is credited to increased contact patch of tread as its blocks are broader and placed closer to each other. Deep biting lugs grip the surface firmly and staggered Shoulders provide better steer handling. Recon shows good wet traction due to its siping pattern. It is sipped circumferentially and central blocks have varied siping, these slits allow water to squirm away, making the wet traction better.

Off-Road Traction Comparison

Mud Terrain

Ridge Grappler shows superior mud traction in comparison owing to its open tread. Dirt and mud quickly find a way out through its massive grooves. Hence, the tire automatically cleans itself while navigating through mud. Staggering of shoulder lugs further enhances the capacity of mud evacuation.  Smooth handling during turns is provided by these scooped shoulders and raised sidewall lugs.

As an all-terrain tire mud traction of Recon is appreciable but it is definitely less than its RT competitor. Relatively narrow grooves do not provide enough space for complete removal of mud from the tire. Its voids will get choked on encounter with heavy mud. It can roll easily through mud puddles but it may get stuck in boggy surfaces with loads of mud due to the narrow grooves.

Snow Terrain

Ridge can navigate through soft snow easily as increased width and depth of its grooves evacuates the snow quickly and clears its pathway as well.  Self-cleaning property enhances biting ability leading to good traction over snow. Over icy surfaces, these tires face troubles due to higher void ratio and lesser contact patch as grip is markedly diminished.

Recon has a disadvantage in snowy terrain, its grooves are less wide and do not have capacity to throw back soft snow while rolling. Voids may get filled up with snow and traction is lost. On icy surfaces however this tire shows good traction due to more contact patch, its siping pattern helps to grip the surface by wiping off the water.

Rock Terrain

Ridge Grapplers are wonderful for trail ventures. Aggressive tread has deep biting ability and holds on the surface strongly while rolling up the heights. Staggered design of shoulders account for additional handling support, even on tricky turns. It has bold stone ejectors placed in its grooves to kick off any bombarding hard particles like stones or pebbles. This tread element combined with thicker tread reduces chances of puncture and scratches.

Staggered shoulders and edged blocks give deep biting ability to Recon, hence its surface traction over the slopes is good. Moreover, bulky shoulders steer along difficult turns with full control. Over the rocks this tire lacks in stone resistance. It does not have any stone ejectors; hence, stones and small fragments may get stuck in grooves and drill holes causing punctures.

Driving Comfort Comparison

Massive voids of Ridge Grappler make it a louder tire over hard paved roads. The increased depth and broadness of grooves allow free wind circulation and resonation causing noise. Lower contact patch make rides on road less comfortable comparatively as dry traction is decreased.

Recon’s grooves are designed to minimize noise. Its narrow and shallow grooves present lesser space for wind resonation. Moreover, zigzag pattern of longitudinal grooves and angled central lugs cause cancelation of sound waves. Low void ratio, bulky shoulders and strengthened sidewalls provide a comfortable ride with smooth handling and firm grip over the road.

Durability and Tread wear

Although it is fairly durable among other RT options yet Ridge Grappler wears out faster than its competitor. It has a UTQG tread wear rating of 500. Its average mileage has been reported 40,000 to 50,000 miles, which shows its wonderful durability.

Recon has a better tread composition in comparison, it comes with a tread wear warranty of 55,000 miles from Nitto Tires. Nylon rubber composition makes it resistant to punctures, chips and abrasions, making the tire last longer.

Price Comparison

Recon Grapplers cost slightly lesser than its competitor, they also have the financial benefit of warranted longer tread life. Supreme off roading advantages of Ridge Grappler cost some more money in return!

Quick Summary

  • Nitto Ridge Grappler is a hybrid terrain while Recon is an all-terrain tire.
  • On road traction of Recon Grappler is superior in comparison.
  • Ridge performs outclass on mud, gravel and soft snow.
  • Recon presents quieter and more comfortable ride on road.
  • Durability and tread wear resistance of Recon is better.
  • Ridge Grappler is priced a bit higher than Recon.