All terrain tires are the best of both worlds, they have the knobby design to get you through tough terrains and their optimized shoulders make sure that you still get a quieter ride.
Speaking of all terrain, both Falken Wildpeak and the Toyo AT3 took things to the next level with their flagship AT tires.
When it comes to Wildpeak, the company’s three main objectives with this tire were winter, wear and wet performance. That’s why they named this tire the 3 W. So was this tire able to achieve this?
Well, the answer to this question lies in their design.
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Design Differences of Both Tires:
Starting with the Toyo AT3.
The Toyo company designed it’s all-terrain rugged tire without compromising on road traction at all. (well, atleast not dry traction). With the new tire, it uses synthetic blend compound (a bit stiffer) and a new 2 way circumferential groove design (from its predecessor Toyo AT2 which had 4).
Toyo AT3 has a very blocky shoulder design, where very minimal siping is seen in comparison. The blocks are staggered with one of them having a scoop and the other just rolling in to the sidewall lugs.
The sidewall of the tire is also less bulky in comparison. (Now they are getting dual sidewall design like in the Nitto Ridge Grappler).
Still, the stone ejectors (between shoulder blocks) combined with scalloped shoulder lugs allows this tire to have amazing traction values overall.
In the center, the Toyo AT3 features the prominent S shaped block, which to be honest looks like a rip off from a Superman’s logo, or maybe its just me, oh well…
These blocks show sharp edges and are further surrounded by others with incisions in them. These incisions or cuts whichever you prefer, face in all directions allowing this tire to hug the surface firmly.
The 3D wave-like sipes along with the sharp biting edges of the tread blocks allows this tire to cut through mud and snow. (It’s also 3 Peak Mountain/Snowflake certified).
Overall, the tire design (of both tires) remind me of hybrid tires. As you can see the central blocks and the shoulders being separated by the circumferential grooves like you see in rugged terrain tires.
Falken Wildpeak’s Design:
With this tire, the Falken (company) used a special silica based compound which has a softer material/rubber in comparison.
The tire has the flipped Z shaped central blocks. They are bigger than others, and have a whole staircase on their sides besides already having sharp edges to them.
They are further surrounded by C shaped blocks with notches in them facing in all directions.
All of these blocks have 3d rectilinear siping with strong edges (comparatively).
They are also a bit smaller too, so the tire doesn’t contact as much with the road as Toyo AT3 does.
Coming to the shoulders, they are not staggered here like we saw above. But they again have a more aggressive stepping to them along with deep notches. (You can see them in every other shoulder block).
With the tire’s optimized shoulders blocks, with differing lengths and widths, Falken Wildpeak creates a very biting zig zag longitudinal grooves that separates the tires central area.
If we talk about their construction, both tires have 2 running steel belts covered with 2 plys of polyester wrapped with 2 layers of nylon. Which is pretty much the standard with these all terrain tires.
Still, the Falken Wildpeak provides more safety to the most vulnerable part of an all terrain tire.
Besides having a bulky sidewall lugs, the Wildpeak also has 2 extra layers of poly-amide running around its bead.
So here you get a 4 layer sidewall construction instead of Toyo’s just 2 layers.
This means that the Falken Wilpdeak would provide better protection from harsher terrains, especially from sharp rocks.
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Other Info About these tires:
|Toyo AT3||Falken Wildpeak|
|Avg. Weight:||48.1 lbs||55.4 lbs|
|Avg. Tread Depth:||15/32″||16.4/32″|
Mud Terrain Traction of Both Tires:
Let’s start of with the Toyo AT3 again.
Toyo with it’s two prominent circumferential grooves form a zig zag pattern on the tire with which it’s able to cut through the soft mud efficiently.
They along with the lateral grooves form a web for the mud to channel it out of the tire.
The staggered shoulder act as traction scoops here, picking up mud in front and throwing them backwards.
Similarly the central stepped blocks allow the tire slit through the mud with ease and maintain the friction needed.
Coming to Falken Wildpeak. The tire performs better here overall.
On this tire, you get more tread depth (almost 1.6 mm more on average). So it is able to scoop more volume of mud out of the tire at a given time.
The tread blocks are also little bit smaller here and they also have more prominent and aggressive edges to them.
That’s why this tire is superior in its ability of biting the mud.
The shoulders here are not staggered but that’s not an issue for them as their stepped blocks are more edgy in comparison. They slice and scoop up the mud pretty nicely.
The sidewalls are also more prominent here, and because of this the tire holds pretty well when its aired down deep in mud.
In other words this tire would suit you better if you are stuck in a tough muddy situation.
FYI:Off-road enthusiasts should also check out the extreme versions of Toyo and Falken as well: Toyo Open Country MT vs Falken Wildpeak MT.
Their traction on Rocks:
On Rocks the Falken Wildpeak again takes the cake with its softer material and better biting capability.
The notches/stepped edges of the shoulders combined with that of central blocks allow this tire to have a better traction overall.
The deeper tread also allow the blocks to move more independently. And this combined with it’s softer material produces a sticky effect with the rocks.
On the other hand, due to Toyo AT3 has a less aggressive shoulder design where the staggered blocks are still not edgy enough.
The tire is missing notches on the shoulders.
The central part of AT3 also contains single step on block unlike the Wildpeak.
The tire side wall is also 2 ply where its 4 ply for Wildpeak so you get lesser protection from sharp rocks too.
Side Note: We got a few no. of complaints regarding the P metric sizes of Toyo AT3 where their sidewalls were damaged.
Traction comparison on Snow Terrain
When it comes to snow, both tires performed great with their 3 Peak ratings.
Both tires provide ample siping along with lateral grooves and biting edges. (A recipie for amazing snow traction)
But overall, we found the Toyo AT3 to perform better on icy highways. And Falken Wildpeak with deep snow.
In case of Toyo AT3, the lesser contact patch allows it to have shorter braking distances on snow covered road. (as the tire gets to have more grip)
The tire is also better in overall siping, where you see the same wave like pattern every where. These 3D sipies allows the tire to hug the snow better.
(On Wildpeak’s central part the sipes are straight lines).
With Falken Wildpeak we saw a bit of more slippage here.
But in case of deep snow due to Wildpeak’s more tread depth and aggressive shoulder lugs, it is better with deep snow.
On Road Traction and Comfot of these tires:
Toyo AT3 is better here overall. With more contact with the road and firmer material, the tire simply has higher grip.
The steering response was also better here (it felt stiffer on Wildpeak).
But same can’t be said about the wet grip of these tires.
The tire’s 3D sipes are very effective in snow but they still weren’t able to present the same in rainy conditions (wet asphalts).
On the other side, the Falken Wildpeak had shorter braking distances in wet with more average g forces on curves proving enhanced lateral traction as well.
In terms of comfort, the Wildpeak provided better off road comfort due to it’s softer silica compound which act as a cushion to bumps. Here the Toyo AT3 felt more bumpy overall.
In terms of noise on road, both tires had almost similar levels.
Which tire would weigh less on your wallet?
Although the tire is 7 lbs lighter (on average), when it comes to the price, the Toyo AT3 is priced higher.
Which makes the deal for Falken Wildpeak even Sweeter.
(We calculated the Average weight of all their sizes and here the Wildpeak has 55 lbs compared to Toyo’s 48.5).
As with lesser price you are still getting better off road traction, rocky traction, more durability and almost similar performance on snow.
But paying a little more does gets you more on road comfort overall.
So the Verdict?
Well if you are planing on staying on road most of your time. Or in other words, you are a casual off roader. Then Toyo AT3 is for you.
Other wise, with better off road capabilities as well as wet on road traction, Wildpeak is a great catch.
Compare Falken Wildpeak AT3w with other competitors:
- BF Goodrich KO2.
- Nitto Ridge Grappler.
- Hankook Dynapro.
- Cooper Adventurer A/T.
- General Grabber ATx.
- Continental TerrainContact A/T.
- Goodyear DuraTrac.
- Cooper AT3 XLT.
Compare Toyo AT3 with others: