Difference Between AT and HT Tyres – Which is Best in 2024

You want tires that take you places? Forget Grandpa’s advice, this guide is bursting with new information, special features, and everything you need to find the absolute best tires for your next trip. Whether you crave the excitement of off-roading or the peaceful calm of the highway, we’ve got you … Read more

Photo of author

Written by: Mohammad Sameer

Published on:

You want tires that take you places? Forget Grandpa’s advice, this guide is bursting with new information, special features, and everything you need to find the absolute best tires for your next trip.

Whether you crave the excitement of off-roading or the peaceful calm of the highway, we’ve got you covered. The right tires can completely change how you enjoy driving, and this guide is your map to finding the perfect ones.

Ready to step on the gas for better performance, better mileage, and overall happiness?

A study by Apostolopoulos et al. investigated the effect of tire design on mobility and steering in robotic vehicles on natural terrain. The results indicated that pneumatic tires, which are similar to AT tires, have a lower power draw than rigid tires for turns with a radius greater than 4 meters, suggesting better efficiency in certain off-road conditions (Apostolopoulos et al.).

Difference Between AT and HT Tyres

AttributeAT TiresHT Tires
PerformanceFocus on off-road performance and an aggressive appearanceFocus on smooth and quiet ride
AppearanceMore aggressive appearance with larger blocks and deeper treadLess aggressive appearance with a more touring-like appearance
Noise and RideLouder and rougher ride due to deeper tread and larger blocksQuieter and smoother ride due to shallower tread and smaller blocks
Tread WearShorter tread life due to deeper tread and aggressive patternLonger tread life due to shallower tread and less aggressive pattern
Snow PerformanceMay not have the Three-Peak Mountain Snowflake designationMay have the Three-Peak Mountain Snowflake designation for winter driving
Fuel EfficiencyGenerally less fuel-efficient due to higher rolling resistanceGenerally more fuel-efficient due to lower rolling resistance
AestheticMore aggressive appearance with larger blocks and deeper treadLess aggressive appearance with a more touring-like appearance
Market ShareAccounts for about 40% of the market, with HT tires representing 60%

Historical and Future Trends

Historical trends show that both AT and HT segments have seen steady growth over the years, with the market share between the two remaining constant. As of 2024, AT tires account for about 40% of the market, while HT tires represent 60%. This trend is expected to continue, with the market for both types of tires likely to grow in the coming years.

Future trends suggest that there may be a shift towards hybrid tires, which combine elements of both AT and HT tires. These hybrid tires are designed to offer better on-road performance while still providing some off-road capabilities. This trend is driven by the increasing number of drivers who use their vehicles for both on-road and off-road activities.

What is the main difference between AT and HT tyres?

image of What is the main difference between AT and HT tyres?

the real difference between these All-Terrain and Highway-Terrain tires is where are you gonna be driving. The All-Terrain ones are made for going off-road with their deep, rugged treads that grip the dirt and rocks really nicely. They are perfect for your 4×4 trucks and SUVs that need to get muddy sometimes.

The Highway-Terrain tires though, they made for sticking to the streets. They are quiet with a smooth ride and grip wet roads good because of the way they are designed with good speed ratings and whatnot.

Get these if your ride spends most of the time cruising on pavement instead of trails and mud pits. One for off-road beasting, the other for just chilling and commuting.

Understanding AT (All Terrain) and HT (Highway Terrain) Tyres

FeatureHT TiresAT Tires
Primary UseOn-roadOn-road and moderate off-road
Tread DepthShallowDeep
Tread PatternSmooth, less aggressiveAggressive, with larger tread blocks and wider grooves
On-road PerformanceExcellentGood
Off-road PerformancePoorGood
Noise LevelQuietNoisier
Fuel EconomyGoodDecent

All-Terrain (AT) Tyres: The Versatile Warriors

They are the real deal for all you UTV riders out there. They have three flavours – the AT Warrior for hitting the roads smoothly, the RT Warrior for getting gnarly on the rocks, and the XT Warrior which is like a hybrid of both.

The AT one has tight lugs and a decent 3/4 inch tread for gripping pavement and giving a chill ride. The RT though, that’s the monster with 1-inch deep treads and spaced-out lugs to clutch onto any kinda crazy terrain you throw at it.

Then the XT Warrior is like the best of both worlds – it is aggressive but still decent on roads too. All these Warriors got this special tapered lug design and another fancy schmancy tech that helps them tires grip and self-clean in the mud and whatever.

The different tread patterns are what make these Warrior tires so clutch for handling any surface, whether you blasting through the woods or just cruising backroads. Any real UTV head gonna want a set for sure.

Highway Terrain (HT) Tyres: The Smooth Operators

  • Highway Terrain (HT) tyres, also known as Smooth Operator, offer big improvements in fuel economy and greenhouse gas (GHG) emission reduction for heavy-duty vehicles.
  • Low rolling resistance tyre is a key contributor to the mature market for aerodynamic technology in North America, with a 50% adoption rate for dual-size tyres and nearly half of the new box trailers sold having trailer side skirts.
  • SmartWay program and California Tractor-Trailer GHG regulation drive technology development, cost reduction, and increased adoption of aerodynamic technology, including low rolling resistance tyres.
  • Tyre accounts for 2% of the total cost of operating heavy-duty vehicles, making it a significant factor in overall operating expenses.
  • European Union implement design-base standards for non-box trailers and non-aero box vans, requiring they meet or exceed tyre rolling resistance measures.
  • Use of advanced technology like a 5G network can impact data transfer and increase the accuracy of visualization and quantification of truck payload volume and fuel consumption.
  • Implementation of automated volumetric measurement of truck load through multiview photogrammetry and 3D image processing software can improve the accuracy of payload volume calculation and support the development of autonomous shovels in open-pit mining operations.
  • Use of a tyre pressure monitoring system (TPMS) and automatic tyre inflation system (ATIS) can help maintain optimal tyre pressure, reducing rolling resistance and improving fuel efficiency.
  • Adoption of low rolling resistance tyres, combined with other aerodynamic technology, can lead to a significant reduction in fuel consumption and GHG emission for heavy-duty vehicles.

Optimal Driving Conditions for AT and HT Tyres

Highway Terrain (HT) Tyre

  • HT tyre is designed for on-road use and ideal option for a driver who uses their 4WD or SUV more on seal roads.
  • They provide smooth and comfortable driving with a quiet and balanced ride, thanks to their high-speed rating, low load index, and excellent grip and wear property on wet roads.
  • HT tyres are built to handle high speed for extended periods without overheating, making them suitable for long-distance highway driving.

All-Terrain (AT) Tyre

  • AT tyre is a versatile tyre that can be used in a wide range of driving conditions, including on and off-road terrain.
  • They can typically handle a good mix of seal and rocky surface, providing a combination of speed and load capacity, with thicker sidewalls and deep, rugged tread patterns.
  • AT tyres offer a good riding experience on the road, making them suitable for drivers who often alternate between highway driving and moderate off-roading.
  • They offer a combination of decent highway manners, lower noise, and good traction on a variety of surfaces such as gravel and dirt, making them a popular choice for drivers who occasionally venture off the beaten path.

Durability, Performance, and Fuel Efficiency

Choosing between AT and HT tyres isn’t just about where you’ll drive, but also how these tyres will perform over time.

Let’s weigh the pros and cons of each, focusing on durability, performance, and fuel efficiency.

All-Terrain (AT) Tyres: The Rugged Trailblazers

AT tyres are built tough, but their very strength on rough terrains can be a double-edged sword on smoother surfaces.

  • Durability on Diverse Terrains: Designed with thick, robust rubber, AT tyres can withstand the challenges of off-road driving, from rocky paths to muddy trails.
  • Trade-off on the Tarmac: However, the aggressive tread patterns that make them champions off-road can lead to quicker wear on regular roads, especially when exposed to constant high-speed driving​​.

Highway Terrain (HT) Tyres: The Efficient Highway Companions

HT tyres, on the other hand, are the epitome of longevity and efficiency on highways, but they come with their own set of considerations.

  • Fuel Efficiency at Its Best: Thanks to their optimized tread design and rubber compounds, HT tyres offer lower rolling resistance, translating directly into better fuel economy. This can lead to significant savings, especially for vehicles covering long distances regularly​​.
  • A Smooth Operator’s Choice: With their design focused on reducing road noise and enhancing comfort, HT tyres ensure a serene driving experience on highways. But remember, while they handle wet roads well, they might not be the champions in deep snow or rough off-road conditions​​.

Studies have shown that the fuel savings from HT tyres, due to their lower rolling resistance, can be substantial over time. For instance, a truck with HT tyres driving 24,000 km annually can save over $100 in fuel costs compared to one with AT tyres​​.

Top Recommendations: AT and HT Tyre Brands and Models

When it comes to tyres, the brand and model can make all the difference in your driving experience.

Here are some top recommendations for both AT and HT tyres, known for their quality, performance, and reliability.

All-Terrain (AT) Tyre Recommendations

  1. BFGoodrich All-Terrain T/A KO2:
    • Robustness Redefined: Known for its durability and strong sidewalls, this tyre is a favourite among off-road enthusiasts.
    • All-Weather Ready: With the three-peak mountain snowflake symbol, it’s prepared to take on challenging weather conditions.
  2. Goodyear Wrangler All-Terrain Adventure:
    • Versatile Performer: Offers a balanced performance on and off the road, making it a versatile choice for various driving conditions.
    • Kevlar Reinforcement: Ensures added strength and puncture resistance, boosting its durability.

Highway Terrain (HT) Tyre Recommendations

  1. Michelin Defender LTX M/S:
    • Longevity Leader: Renowned for its exceptional tread life, ensuring long-lasting performance.
    • Fuel Efficiency: Its design focuses on reducing rolling resistance, which translates to fuel savings and a smooth ride.
  2. Continental CrossContact LX20:
    • Quiet Comfort: Engineered to minimize road noise, providing a comfortable and quiet driving experience.
    • EcoPlus Technology: Offers improved fuel economy and wet braking performance, making it a well-rounded choice for highway drivers.

Recent consumer reviews and tests have highlighted the BFGoodrich All-Terrain T/A KO2 and Michelin Defender LTX M/S for their outstanding performance in their respective categories, earning them a place among the top-recommended tyres.

FAQ: Understanding AT and HT Tyres

What are AT tyres and where do they perform best?

AT (All-Terrain) tyres are versatile tyres designed for a variety of driving surfaces, from regular roads to challenging off-road conditions like mud and snow. They perform best in diverse driving conditions where robust treads and durable design are essential​​.

What are HT tyres and where are they most suitable?

HT (Highway Terrain) tyres are optimized for highway driving, offering a quiet, smooth ride with a focus on fuel efficiency. They are most suitable for well-paved roads and are designed for drivers who prioritize comfort and economy during highway drives​​.

What is the main difference in tread design between AT and HT tyres?

AT tyres feature aggressive, robust tread patterns designed for off-road grip and durability, whereas HT tyres have smoother tread patterns with straight grooves (sipes) for water dispersion, maximizing road contact and stability on highways​​.

Do HT tyres offer better fuel efficiency than AT tyres?

Yes, HT tyres offer better fuel efficiency due to their lower rolling resistance compared to AT tyres. This design feature can lead to significant fuel savings, especially for vehicles that cover long distances regularly​​.

Are AT tyres noisier than HT tyres on highways?

Yes, AT tyres tend to be noisier on highways due to their large, square tread blocks which produce more vibration and road noise. HT tyres, conversely, are designed to minimize acoustic effects, offering a quieter ride on highways​​.


AT tire is designed for off-road driving and provides good traction on rough surfaces. HT tire is designed for on-road driving and provides a smoother, quieter ride.

They also get better gas mileage. The best tire for you depends on where you will be driving most of the time.

Leave a comment

About Mohammad Sameer

My name is Mohammad Sameer and I have over 3 years of hands-on experience repairing cars, motorcycles, and trucks. Ever since I operated on my first engine in 2018, I’ve been passionate about all things automotive. In 2021, I launched my blog “Motoring Mastery” to share my knowledge with car enthusiasts and DIY mechanics.