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The 10 Quietest Mud Tires Reviewed – Leave Your Ear Plugs at Home

Getting stuck in mud sucks, but being stuck with noisy mud tires on a long road trip sucks even more. You might be wondering – is it even possible to have both off-road traction and on-road quietness?

Well, it turns out it is!

Loads of mud tire manufacturers are starting to put more focus on noise reduction. Surprisingly, that doesn’t mean that mud tires are sacrificing off-road traction, it’s quite the opposite actually – they are both grippier and quieter than they’ve ever been.

So, forget your tow rope and your ear plugs; here are the top ten quietest mud tires on the market right now:


Top 10 Quietest Mud Tires


1. KUMHO ROAD VENTURE MT51

The MT51 has barrowed the best features of the Road Venture MT KL71 (Kumho’s other mud-terrain tire) and tweaked them to make the tire more civilized and quiet.

Traction & Durability

The MT51 performs great both on and off-road. It has a symmetric cut and chip resistant tread compound with a slightly less aggressive tread pattern than the Road Venture MT, which is a hardcore mud-terrain tire.

The tire features a wide tread block design for improved on-road contact, with notched tread lugs that bite down on mud and dirt. The tread blocks are supplemented with segmented stone ejectors and full-depth zig-zag grooves.

Even though the tire is not rated for severe snow applications, it performs well on light-to-moderate snow thanks to the reasonable amount of sipping. 

Rock crawling shouldn’t be a problem with the MT51 as the tire performs great when aired down. The 3-ply sidewall is reinforced to hold up against tears and punctures.

Noise & Comfort

Being a less aggressive mud-terrain tire, the MT51 rides very well on highways. The less aggressive tread pattern allows for a significant reduction in noise when compared to most mud-terrain tires and improved on-road stability, thanks to the larger contact patch.

The only downside of the MT51 is that it sacrificed performance in severe snow, ice and deep mud to ride more civilized on the streets. If you mostly drive on light mud and don’t plan on taking your 4×4 to really hardcore mud tracks – this is the tire for you, otherwise, you should go with the more aggressive Road Venture MT.

Pros
  • Good treadlife
  • Great traction off-road
  • Great value
  • Good grip in both wet and dry conditions
Cons
  • Traction in deep mud needs more improvement

2. ACHILLES DESERT HAWK X-MT

Don’t be fooled by the aggressive-looking tread – the Desert Hawk X-MT is civilized and reasonably quiet on the streets.

Traction & Durability

If the tread pattern on the MT51 above is not aggressive enough for you, the Desert Hawk X-MT should get your attention. The aggressive tread pattern is made from a tough, cut, and chip resistant tread compound, making the tire a very capable choice for all types of harsh terrain.

The aggressive tread blocks are self-cleaning and feature segmented stone ejectors, while the shoulder lugs extend far down the sidewall to maximize soft surface traction and provide the much-needed bite when rock crawling.

Speaking of the sidewall and rock crawling, the Desert Hawk X-MT features Achille’s unique X-Protection sidewall design which protects the tire from tears and cuts while rock crawling, while also providing additional grip.

Noise & Comfort

Even though the Desert Hawk X-MT is an aggressive mud-terrain tire, it’s reasonably quiet on the highway. Of course, you shouldn’t expect that it rolls completely silent – no mud-terrain tire does, but it’s tame enough to not annoy you on long highway trips.

Pros
  • Good price
  • Good treadlife
  • Impressive traction off-road
  • Great puncture and cut resistance
Cons
  • Wet traction needs improvement

3. BFGOODRICH MUD-TERRAIN T/A KM2

While the first two tires on this list we’re civilized, this one could be described as barbaric, but don’t worry – we’re still sticking with the quiet theme. The KM2 is still a reasonably quiet hardcore mud-terrain tire.

Traction & Durability

The KM2’s are without a doubt one of the best performance mud-terrain tires on the market. They are designed for hardcore mudders with maximum traction in mind.

One of the main reasons why the KM2 performs so well on mud is the large voids between the tread blocks.

When you’re off-roading, mud sticks to the tread of the tire and fills in the voids between the tread blocks, essentially turning the tire into a slick. To combat that, BFGOODRICH fitted the KM2 with very large voids, which allow the tire to self-clean and fling away any caked-up mud.

However, the obvious disadvantage of large voids is that they create more noise on the pavement. Moreover, the spacing of the tread blocks decreases the tread life of the tire – these are some of the trade-offs of a high-performance mud-terrain tire.

In addition to self-cleaning, the KM2 has linear flex zones – they allow the tire to conform around the uneven terrain which gives great traction, especially when aired down.

The sidewall of the KM2 is very thick and durable. One of the most common places for punctures tends to be the shoulder and sidewall area, however, the KM2 gives the driver full confidence because the tire has a 3-ply sidewall with thick sidewall lugs. In addition to thickening up the sidewall, these sidewall lugs add a considerable amount of traction when rock crawling and traversing soft terrain.  

When it comes to traction on wet pavement and ice, the KM2 is not the best choice. They are good on dry pavement but the small amount of sipping and the relatively small contact patch means that these tires will lose grip at times.  

Noise & Comfort

As you might expect, the KM2 is noisy on pavement, but it’s really not that bad – especially when you consider how extremely well they perform off-road.

Now, BFGOODRICH did everything they could to make the tire quieter and more comfortable without sacrificing too much performance. The KM2 has a single-strand bead – it improves the tire’s uniformity and promotes a smoother ride. Lastly, the tread blocks were designed to minimize road noise, so the noisiness of the tire is really not that bad. 

We believe the KM2 is hands down one of the best (if not the best) mud-terrain tires on the market right now, however, it might be an overkill if you’re 4×4 rarely sees any mud.

Pros
  • Outstanding off-road traction
  • Excellent treadlife
  • Great treadwear
  • Good traction on asphalt
Cons
  • Traction on snow and ice could have been better

4. HANKOOK DYNAPRO MT (RT03)

The MT RT03’s are a popular choice for a good reason – they maintain a great balance between off-road performance and on-road comfort, while staying affordable.

Traction & Durability

The Dynapro MT RT03’s perform great on all types of terrain – even snow (which is rare for mud tires). The tread pattern is made up of v-shaped tread blocks, separated by large voids. Just like the KM2 above, this tire will clean itself of any caked-up mud and will maintain optimum traction on soft terrain.

Moving on to the sidewall, the MT RT03 has a traction-improving zigzag shoulder lug pattern that is fortified with an under-groove protector. Tire shoulders are the most vulnerable part of the tire, therefore Hankook added additional protection in order to soften external shocks and prevent damage from any protruding objects that tire might encounter while off-road. Of course, the MT RT03 has sidewall protection from sidewall lugs, which also aid in soft terrain traction and rock crawling.

One of the most surprising things about this tire is that it actually performs very well in snow, mainly because of its densely packed v-shaped tread blocks as there is no sipping in the tread. Winter performance can be increased even further because the MT RT03 is studdable, however wet traction isn’t too good.

Noise & Comfort

When it comes to noise and ride comfort, the RT03 is a winner. It rides well on pavement and the noise is surprisingly quiet, largely thanks to its unique tread design.

It’s a great mud tire overall and might be the best choice if you’re on a tight budget.

Pros
  • Great value for money
  • Good treadlife
  • Excellent off-road traction
  • Good traction in snow
  • Studdable
Cons
  • Wet traction needs improvement

5. PIRELLI SCORPION MTR

The touring tire inspired Scorpion MTR is a great choice if you don’t mind the rather steep, but well justified, price.

Traction & Durability

The tread pattern of the Scorpion MTR is aggressive yet still mild-mannered at the same time – it looks like Pirelli might just found the perfect balance between off-road grip and on-road stability.

Off-road, this tire grips the terrain like mad. The large tread blocks, separated by transversal grooves do a good job of cleaning the tread of any caked-up mud, readying the tire to quickly get a grip back on the terrain.

Another thing to note is that the Scorpion MTR is reasonably sipped, giving the tire a M+S rating, which means traction in unpacked snow won’t be a problem.

The sidewall of the Scorpion MTR is reinforced to provide protection against tears and cuts – a very useful rock-climbing feature. To further increase the safety and durability, Pirelli fitted an additional rubber layer around the beads which protects the rim well.   

Noise & Comfort

Pirelli’s experience in producing outstanding touring tires is definitely reflected in the Scorpion MTR – it’s one of the most comfortable mud tires available right now.

The two-ply polyester casing really makes a difference when it comes to reducing road vibrations and increasing overall comfort, while the tread pattern does a great job at promoting a silent drive. Of course, you shouldn’t be expecting miracles – it’s a mud tire after all.

Pros
  • Outstanding off-road grip
  • All-season
  • Great traction on snow
  • Comfortable ride
Cons
  • On the pricy side

6. KUMHO ROAD VENTURE MT KL71

The KL71’s are a great bang-for-your-buck mud tires. Apart from being very affordable, they have along tread life, good grip and are pretty quiet on the road.

Traction & Durability

Released in 2009, the KL71 has stood the test of time and solidified its place among off-roaders.

The symmetrical and directional tread pattern of the KL71 provides excellent grip on mud, sand, and other soft terrain, while the tough rubber compound gives this tire a great tread life. While the self-cleaning and stone-ejecting tread pattern is great, we really liked the addition of alternating width shoulder lugs, which provide additional biting edges to an already great tire.

Speaking of additional biting edges, the sidewall of the KL71 is fortified with aggressive sidewall lugs. The inside of the tire is strengthened with twin tensile steel belts, which are further reinforced with a jointless nylon cap ply and a polyester cord body – in addition to strength, they play a key role in noise reduction.

When it comes to snow traction, the KL71 has no problems overcoming fresh unpacked snow. On the other hand, hard-packed snow is something that the KL71 struggles with, but that is to be expected – almost all mud tires struggle in hard-packed snow and ice. 

Noise & Comfort

One of the things that KL71 owners tend to agree upon is that for a mud tire – the KL71 is surprisingly comfortable and quiet.

This means that Kumho did a really good job in reducing noise, largely thanks to the addition of the tire’s unique packed center blocks. Moreover, Kumho used a special rubber compound between the tread and the belt to dampen road imperfections and improve ride comfort.

All-in-all, Kumho’s Road Venture MT KL71 is a solid choice if you’re on a budget as they’re tame on pavement and extremely grippy off-road – you won’t need a tow rope when running the KL71’s.

Pros
  • Great traction on all terrain types
  • Affordable price
  • Good treadwear
  • Decent traction on wet asphalt
Cons
  • 2-ply construction is a bit outdated

7. TOYO OPEN COUNTRY M/T

Toyo’s Open Country M/T is the tire of choice for some Baja and Dakar Rally teams – if they’re good enough for professional racers, they’re more than enough for a light truck.

Traction & Durability

As you might have expected from the intro, when it comes to performance off-road, the Open Country M/T is a clear winner.

Apart from the very aggressive tread, the most noticeable thing is the hook-shaped tread blocks. Combined with very large voids between the blocks, you can bet that this tire has self-cleaning capability you’ve never seen before.

The tire’s scalloped shoulder blocks provide additional grip in both soft and hard terrain, such as snow, mud, and rocks. Another thing that we really like about Toyo’s Open Country M/T is the addition of a healthy amount of deep sipping. Not only does it increase traction on wet surfaces, but it also plays a big role when driving over snow.

As for the sidewall, it’s covered with chunky lungs that provide addition protection and much needed grip on soft terrain. Inside the Open Country M/T you’ll find a high turn-up 3-ply polyester casing.

Traction in snow is pretty good with the Open Country M/T – again, snow and wet traction is something that all mud tires struggle with, but this tire is one of the best handling mud tires in snow.

Noise & Comfort

As far as noise & comfort go, the Open Country M/T is a reasonably quiet mud tire – that’s what a lot of buyers think too. One thing you should note is that these tires are very tough but also stiff. This means that you’ll need to release more air pressure than on other tires.

Other than that, they are certainly one of the best performing mud tires available.

Pros
  • Outstanding traction on all types of terrain
  • Long treadlife
  • Available in lots of different sizes
  • Decent traction on snow
Cons
  • The tire is rather stiff

8. Falken Wildpeak M/T01

You can throw your ear plugs and your tow rope in to the trash when you’re running the Falken’s Wildpeak M/T01’s!

Traction & Durability

Considering that the Wildpeak M/T01 was built for hardcore off-roaders, it’s not surprising that the tire is almost unstoppable.

The aggressive tread pattern is made up of rigid tread blocks with step-down supports that provide additional rigidity to the blocks, in turn providing better handling and stability, while also working as stone ejectors.

This time, Falken used a softer tread pattern to provide a better grip on all surfaces. Obviously, a softer tread compound is great for grip but not so good for tread life – to compensate, Falken went with taller tread blocks to have more meat on the tire (that’s also one of the reasons why they added step-down rigidity supports).

The large voids between the tread blocks do a great job of shedding away caked up mud; however, having large voids between the blocks exposes the base of the tread to rocks that could cause punctures. That exactly the reason why Falken added strips of additional rubber in order to protect from punctures while preserving the great self-cleaning capability.

Moving on to the shoulders, the Wildpeak M/T01 utilizes offset shoulder blocks that give excellent traction when aired down. Falken’s DuraSpec 3-ply sidewall, combined with aggressive sidewall lugs gives the tire all the protection you’ll need even for the most punishing off-roading conditions.  

As for on-road wet and snow traction, the Wildpeak M/T01 performs great for a mud tire – definitely better than most competitors. One of the reasons why they do so well on the pavement is thanks to their heat diffuser technology. Heat diffusers in the lower sidewall keep the tire relatively cool and increase stability when carrying heavy loads or towing.

Noise & Comfort

Falken is one of those brands that always seem to outdo themselves and it’s certainly the case with the Wildpeak M/T01. To reduce as much noise as possible, they optimized the tread pattern by using variable pitch tread blocks and it certainly worked – it’s certainly one of the quietest mud tires on the highway.

All in all, the Wildpeak M/T01 is hard to beat, especially at such a low price.

Pros
  • Excellent off-road traction
  • Good value
  • Good puncture/cut protection
  • Impressive wet and snow traction
Cons
  • Tread life is not that great

9. FIRESTONE DESTINATION M/T2

If you’ve liked the Destination M/T (a lot of us did), you’ll love its new and improved version – the Destination M/T2.

Traction & Durability

What Firestone did, is they took all the best features from the already great Destination M/T and improved on them to get the best off-road grip possible.

Of course, the most noticeable change from the M/T is the tread pattern. This time, Firestone went with 23-degree attack angles – this idea was born due to the brand’s long time experience in agriculture. This design uses a 23-degree angle between the lugs, which is the optimal angle for achieving maximum pulling power, according to Firestone.

In addition to pulling power, Firestone found that having 23-degree attack angles helps to prevent lug tearing when subjected to extreme forces. Speaking of extreme forces, the Destination M/T2 does a great job in dampening them as the sidewall is fortified with a strong 3-ply construction and sidewall lugs for even more protection and traction. In addition to that, inside the tire, you’ll find two high-tensile steel belts that are further reinforced with nylon.

When it comes to on-road traction, the Destination M/T2 does not disappoint. Firestone’s engineers knew exactly what the tire needs on pavement – they added 20% more biting edges and added sipping. That, and the ability to add studs makes this tire a great performer on wet pavement, snow, and ice. That’s exactly why the Destination M/T2 is M+S rated. 

Noise & Comfort

Noise is definitely not an issue with the Destination M/T.2 While no mud tires are completely noise-free, the Destination M/T2 is quieter than the average.

It’s actually similar to the previous Destination M/T in noise level, however, it has a different tone due to the different tread pattern. 

Pros
  • Affordable
  • Impressive traction on snow
  • Great overall off-road traction
  • M+S rated
  • Studdable
Cons
  • Wet traction needs more work

10. MASTERCRAFT COURSER MXT

Last but not least, we finish our top 10 list of the quietest mud tires strong with one of the most popular choices – the Courser MXT.

Traction & Durability

The Courser MXT does a great job at overcoming every obstacle you throw at it.

Apart from making the tire look great, the wide shoulder grooves do a great job of cleaning the tire of any caked-up mud. Similar to Falken’s Wildpeak M/T, the shoulder grooves on the Courser MXT have an additional strip of rubber for protection because the shoulder is the most common place for punctures to happen.

The alternating scooped shoulder block design is another feature that we really like – it gives the tire a more aggressive look, but also provides more biting edges for increased lateral grip. The sidewall is covered in large sidewall lugs that are very important when traversing soft terrain.

It’s nice to see that Mastercraft didn’t forget that we spend a lot of time on-road because they optimized the size of the contact patch to be more wet-pavement-friendly.

To further increase traction and stability on wet pavement and snow, Mastercraft added deep sipping to the tread, meaning that the sipping will still be functional even after the tire is worn. The Courser MXT is an M+S rated tire and it can even be studded.

Noise & Comfort

When it comes to noise, the Courser MXT is decent. It’s certainly there, but it’s not loud enough to annoy you in most cases.

The price of the Courser MXT is good, it performs really well on the off-road and does a great job on wet pavement and snow for a mud tire. If you’re not a hardcore off-roader and more of a weekend enthusiast, the Courser MXT is a solid choice.

Pros
  • Great price
  • M+S rated
  • Studdable
  • Good overall traction
Cons
  • Treadlife is rather short

What to Look for When Buying the Quietest Mud Tires


Now, not all mud tires are made equal, therefore some tend to produce much less road noise than the others. Here are a few factors that influence the road noise of a mud tire:

Smaller Voids Between Blocks

The reason mud-terrain tires do so well off-road is mainly due to the large voids between the tread blocks. They essentially work like paddles – that’s why heavy-duty agricultural machines that only drive on mud have extremely large spaces between the “tread blocks”.

These large voids are the main reason why all mud tires are significantly more noisy than all-terrain tires.

When you’re looking for the quietest mud tires, make sure you check the size of the voids.

Remember: the larger the voids – the louder. Try to find the right balance between road noise and off-road grip.

Varied Tread Blocks/Lugs

They are the second most important factor when it comes to tire noise.

What tire manufacturers found is that identical tread blocks create a whining noise of the same pitch, which gets amplified due to resonance.

To combat that, manufacturers started using different size and shape tread blocks that create noise at different pitches – opposing pitches to be exact. When directly opposite frequency sound waves hit each other, they cancel each other out.

Make sure that the mud tires you’re getting features varied tread blocks.

Softer Rubber

Soft rubber compound tires are pliable and mold more softly to the road. They will roll over sticks and small rocks softly and any crunching sound will be muffled.


Mud Tire Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)


Are mud tires good in rain?

No, mud tires are pretty bad in rain. That’s because their tread pattern is optimized for maximum pulling power in mud – this reduces the contact patch and makes the tire pretty bad at displacing water.

Are mud tires good for highway?

Mud tires are street legal and are OK on highways, but they’re certainly out of their element there.

Mud tires are primarily off-road tires; therefore, they have big tread lugs with large voids in between. These large voids are excellent for griping mud but bad for highways because they reduce the contact patch significantly.

Have you noticed that F1 cars run completely smooth tires (slicks)? They are the reason why F1 cars can corner at such high speeds – it’s the large contact patch.

Mud tires are the complete opposite of slicks, therefore they don’t perform so well on pavement. They are noisy, bad for mpg, wear really fast, decrease stability, and increase braking distance.

Do mud tires decrease mpg?

Yes, mud tires do decrease the mpg, but only by a small amount.

Mud tires use a softer tread compound for better grip off-road and rock crawling. A softer tread compound increases friction, which means the engine of your vehicle will face a tiny bit more rolling resistance from the wheels, making the engine work a tiny bit harder and use a tiny bit more fuel.

Do mud tires wear faster?

Yes. Again, it comes down to the softer tread compound. A softer tread compound increases friction and friction increases heat, which in turn increases wear.

Are mud tires good for daily driving?

It depends on your tolerance to noise and handling. There are lots of people that run mud tires on their daily drivers without any problems.

If you don’t mind more noise and less traction on wet pavement in order to never be stuck off-road again – mud tires are probably the right choice for you.

Otherwise, look into getting all-terrain tires – they’re also great off-road but significantly better on-road.

Are mud tires noisy?

Mud tires are noisier than any other tires. They are noisier because of their unique tread pattern and large voids between the tread lugs.

Should I get mud tires or all-terrain?

If you want the best off-road traction possible at the expanse of noise and on-road handling – go for the mud-terrain tires.

On the other hand, if you’re mostly driving on highways and paved roads, get the all terrains. Mud tires are made for hardcore off-roading and are inferior on the pavement when compared to all-terrain tires.

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