Where the rubber hits the road
We drive a lot, both on pavement, snow and dirt. Our vehicles offer us the opportunities to experience different places as well as quiet time together. They help fulfill our goal in life which is to spend as much times as possible as a family pursing outdoor activities such as skiing, camping, hiking, climbing and swimming in mountain lakes.
Our vehicles are used both off-road and for highway driving so we needed to choose a tire that would perform well on pavement and terrain. Choosing the right tire for you is a personal choice but there are some products that are just made better. We are sharing our preferences to hopefully make your decision easier.
Testing Off-Road Driving Skills and Tires
With our vehicles being such a big part of our lives we try to take care of them and research when we have to purchase things to help ensure we are getting the best we can (for the budget we have). We have researched tires extensively for all our vehicles, largely out of interest and of course practicality because a good pair of tires is going to make your trip more comfortable and safe. We have summarized summer and winter tire decisions for our Land Rover Discovery, Subaru Forester and Toyota Rav 4. We definitely have a favorite tire brand.
Our summer tires are Cooper Discoverer ST Studdable 265/75/R16. No modifications are required to fit these large tires with a 2” suspension lift.
Our Land Rover winter tires are Nokian Hakkapeliitta LT2 Studded 265/75/R16. Big fan of Nokian tires have them on our Subaru too. Very good quality. Best winter tire out their in our opinion!
Off-Road 4x4 Adventures
To provide a comparison to our Land Rover tires we will talk a little about the tires we currently use on our Subaru and Toyota.
For winter we have Nokian Hakkapeliitta 8 SUV studded tires on our 2012 Subaru Forester xt. I am not sure if this vehicle has less insulation but they sound significantly louder on pavement than our Land Rover. If there is no music on it sounds as if there is a quiet popcorn machine in our vehicle. Although these tires are a little noisy they provide a very confident driving feel with no vibration at any speed. They are great on ice and on dry pavement. 5 out of 5. We can live with the noise of studs for the performance they provide.
Our 2010 Toyota Rav4 Sport V6 has Michelin X-ice tires. Contrary to their name these tires aren’t great on ice but I’m comparing them to Nokian Studded Hakka’s. Decent on dry pavement and they have worn very well over the winter seasons of 122000 KMs.
Before jumping into what wheels we have I’ll run through a quick comparison of steel vs aluminum wheels. Steal wheels are common for off-road vehicles as they are cheap and easily available to purchase. Steal is heavier than Alloy but won’t crack or break as Alloy will. Steal will dent on high impact but you can hammer it out if you choose. Alloy 4x4 rims are stronger than steal but can’t be repaired if damaged. A plus is they are lighter so easier to change. Alloy rims are significantly more money. Both do the job and are up to budget, look, do you think they will get bashed around, etc.
Our summer wheels are Range Rover P38 OEM punctured 5 spoke, Alloy. We wanted to give them a new look so we painted with a Dupli-color wheel paint and clear coat system and it worked really well. We painted the wheels when the tires were already on, it would have been easier if they were off but we wanted to get them done and not wait to remove them. Our two year old at the time thought taping the tires was a fun activity. We likely used double the tape but the whole family could be in the garage to help.
Prep For Painting Wheels
Painted Wheels with Dupli-color, Looking Shiny and New
Our winter wheels are the original Land Rover Discovery wheels, Alloy. We decided to give them a fresh look and painted them with the Dupli-color system which worked really well. After using the system I would say it is quite important to use the clear coat within the time recommended relative to the application of the color. The clear seems to dissolve slightly into the color making for a high quality look. If you wait too long to apply the clear it may not provide the same depth of clear.
We have not been sponsored by any products mentioned in this post, we just want to share what has and has not worked for us to hopefully save others time and money.