Cooper Discoverer AT3 XLT vs Falken Wildpeak AT3w


The Cooper Discoverer AT3 and Falken Wildpeak AT3w, are designed very differently, although they come in all-terrain (A/T) category, they deliver very distinctive and unique performance values. Both of them are designed for full sized SUV, light and heavy trucks. Let’s check them out in more details.

Cooper AT3 sidewalls
Cooper Discoverer AT3 XLT offers most aggressive sidewall lugs compared to AT3 4s and AT3 LT.

The Cooper Discoverer AT3 (XLT) is a great on road oriented tire, which renders stable all season traction, with its better footprint. I personally like its responsiveness of steering, and lateral traction, on both wet and dry pavements. The Falken Wildpeak AT3w on the other side, is a little off on highways (by a very less margin, I should add), but the tire is much more capable off road in all sorts of rugged terrains including snow, though both of them are branded with 3 peak mountain snowflake rating.

Tire Sizes (Info)

Starting with Wildpeak, the Falken AT3w supplies you with 15 to 22 inches total sizes, where most of them are offered in 17 inches (these are rim sizes by the way).

Load rating goes from C to F for this tire, where the tire weighs a lot (for an A/T tire), going from 35 to 79.4 lbs).

But still larger weight does not limits it’s on road grip, and it comes with speed ratings going up to H, where other sizes are also variable in Q, R, S, and T.

Learn speed rating:
Learn load rating:

For tread depth, you get one of the deepest values, where it goes up to 19/32″ (starting from 12/32″), where most of the sizes get to have 17/32″.

On the other side, the Cooper Discoverer AT3 comes in just 32 total sizes, ranging from 15 to 20 inches.

And although it’s load range is similar to Wildpeak (C to F), it’s speed rating is only available in either R or S.

Moreover, weigh of the tire goes from 44 to 70 pounds and tread depth is seen to be either 16.5 or 17/32″ in all sizes.

Tread Appearance

Looking at the tread pattern of both tires, it can be seen why one is better on highways than the other.

Cooper Discoverer AT3
With 4 conventional circumferential aqua channels, the Cooper Discoverer AT3 features a more on road aligned design.

The Cooper Discoverer AT3 basically comes in 3 variants, the 4S, the LT and the XLT, & the one I am discussing here is XLT, as it’s most comparable to Wildpeak AT3w.

This is because it’s the most aggressive variant, which consists of thicker sidewall lugs and larger tread voids, and it’s still not aggressive enough.

The tire features conventional 4 longitudinal channels which contains box shaped blocks which run in pairs (joined with reinforced foundations underneath).

The inner 2 circumferential channels are thinner and not as rugged, and the outer are more zigzag and have numerous biters (that come from the sharp edges of the blocks).

On the sides, its tread features staggered shoulder blocks which extend on sidewalls and make good enough lugs, though not as thick in comparison.

Also worth reminding, all blocks have full depth 3D interlocking siping.

On the other side, with a more aggressive design, the Falken Wildpeak AT3w provides powerful biters on sides, where each block is serrated on itself, and they form slanted U shaped chunkier lugs.

Falken Wildpeak AT3w All Terrain
Falken Wildpeak (AT3w) wears out pretty evenly.

The shoulder blocks are also bigger and carry more biters in the form of stepped edges and notches.

These blocks then get divided by longitudinal channels which are wider & deeper in comparison, separating them from middle ribs.

The central ribs consist of Z shaped blocks surrounded with others. And all of them carry similar features (as seen on shoulders), such as stepped edges and notches.

But the siping does differ here, as it’s not as wave-like as seen on sides.

Also one more thing folks, as most of the real estate of the tread is taken over by its elongated shoulder blocks, with better siping here, the tire provides one of the best wet traction compared to all other all terrain tires.

Tread Wear

Both of these tires although, offer tread with computer optimized design which enhances even wear throughout and supply these tires with lower rolling resistances, the Falken Wildpeak AT3w wears faster, as it has more weight and it’s rubber compound is soft.

More weight puts more pressure on the surface, and soft rubber with that pressure gets burned off quicker.

But still the tire gets saved by its tread depth, (it features one of the deepest tread in the category), so with this, it still takes almost similar time to wear off, relatively.

On the other hand, the Cooper AT3, does great with wear, with it’s more on road oriented design which offers less biters (combined with chip resistant rubber) and less overall weight (with less durable inner make).

Dry Performance

All terrain tires have to limit their on road traction for off road performance. But in case of these two the compromise is very little, as both supply with a very well optimized tread which offers a decent rubber to road contact.

The Falken Wildpeak AT3w provides summer sipes in the middle, and these rectilinear sipes reduce stopping distances while braking (as they grip on a micro level).

The tire also has very compact shoulder blocks which (as I discussed in the tread section), cover most of the tread’s area and provide ample dry handling.

But still comparatively, the tire shows less overall traction values. That’s because Cooper Discoverer provides a better contact with the road as it’s blocks are more closely packed.

Moreover, all it’s blocks have strengthening supports under them, and even with a softer rubber, the tire’s handling and braking stability stays in tact.

Wet Traction

Wet traction is a little different, and here you can’t really tell one tire over the other, as they are both equally great.

But it’s still amazing for Wildpeak, as it’s more aggressive, and doesn’t compromise as much off road for highway traction compared to Cooper Discoverer.

Falken AT3w actually features dual siping, where these sipes are most effective on the shoulder blocks (which play a huge role in the handling department).

And as the shoulder blocks cover most of the tread’s area, the tire is able to bring some fabulous results in wet traction, where it’s feedback is very alert, reacting to minor changes on steering wheel very quickly.

On the other hand, the Cooper AT3w is also great, and it also offer interlocking sipes throughout its tread, so it’s able to provide similar results.


Toughness is a must have for an all terrain tires, but with more durability a tire also increases it’s weight exponentially, which limits the steering response on highways.

So the Cooper Discoverer taking a more on road oriented route, provides less no of polymers in it’s inner architecture.

It consists of 2 ply polyester casing, which has 2 broad steel belts running on it, which are then piled on with a single ply nylon.

The Falken Wildpeak AT3w on the other side, provides thicker construction, with although similar 2 ply polyester carcass and 2 steel belts, but it has 2 layers of nylon on top, and 2 more layers of polyamide which cover the sidewalls.

So the tire makes 4 ply sidewalls in a way, where Cooper AT3 provides you with only 2.

Moreover, Falken Wildpeak AT3w gets further protected on the sidewalls with it’s thicker lugs, in comparison, which push away a sharp unwanted objects off road and adds a thicker rubber layer on top.


Noise depends on the groove voids, as tread with larger gaps provides more area for air to move in and hit the walls, and most of that air comes in (and goes out) through shoulder voids.

Out of the two, the Cooper Discoverer AT3 provides better efficacy here, as it’s shoulder blocks are closely packed together and the small spaces left behind are covered with ridges, which restrict the flow of air.

On the other hand, the Falken Wildpeak at3w offers a tread which is more acoustics and spacious, so air moves freely and hits the walls with more force.

That’s why on roads with higher speed, you are going to hear a slight hum with these tires, (but worth noting, it’s still not a lot compared to other similar looking aggressive AT tires out there).

One more thing, I’ve seen that D rated sizes in Wildpeak does so much better with overall noise, compared to E and F, so if you don’t need as much load rating, you can opt for that.

Ride Comfort

Falken Wildpeak AT3w where it lacks slightly in the noise department (one of the factor of comfort), does very well with absorbing bumps on the roads (both on smooth and rough surfaces).

It’s considerable performance here is credited to it’s silica rich rubber which offers a very spongy tread, which dampens the bumps nicely.

Moreover, as the tire also offers deeper tread voids, there is more area of rubber to dissipate the shocks of the bumpy roads.

The Cooper AT3 on the other side, also provides you with similar performance, and although its tread depth is lower, it makes up for it with it’s less no. of plies in its internal construction, so its overall composition is not stiff.

Furthermore, it’s rubber is enriched with high density of silica as well, so it’s also cushiony enough to suck up the imperfections of the road effectively.

Fuel Efficiency

Fuel consumption of the tire depend on the rolling resistance, where more of it means, more energy required to move.

And there are a lot of things that affect rolling resistance, and in them include, the overall tire’s structure/design, including weight, biting edges and grip.

Out of both tires in question here, the Cooper AT3 provides you with less fuel consumption on roads. The tire’s overall weight is significantly lower relatively, and it also does not offer as much biters in its tread, both of these factors lowers the rolling resistance on this tire, and as a result improves fuel economy.

On the other hand, the Wildpeak AT3w’s softer rubber sticks on the surface with more pressure, which is also enhanced by its larger weight. This increases the resistance to roll for this tire and hence it consumes more fuel in comparison.

Recommended Read: Do all-terrain tires show worse gas mileage?

Snow Traction

Winter performance of the tire is dependent on a lot of factors and all of these are seen better on Falken Wildpeak AT3w, though both tires here are 3 peak mountain snowflake rated.

Falken Wildpeak AT3w, simply provides all the features needed for amazing snow traction values.

With larger grooves, it can handle deeper snow, where it’s sharp shoulder blocks cut through the snow and it’s deep notches grip snow from all sides.

These notches, seen on the Z and C shaped blocks on the tread in the form of ramps/stepped edges and ridges also provide great traction with lighter snow.

With more weight, Wildpeak’s tread puts more pressure on the snow, trapping it between it’s ribs. And with this, it makes better snow to snow contact (required for better performance).

On the other side, although the Cooper Discoverer supply you with snow biters (on shoulder blocks and on following ribs), these are still not as efficient at grabbing (snow) as the Falken Wildpeak at3w.

For Your Info: Speaking of aggressive off road tires, one of the best for snow is Mickey Thompson Baja Boss A/T (review in link).

Off Road Performance

Off road, there are 2 main terrains to consider, mud, and rocks.

Let’s discuss both of these.

Muddy Terrain

AT tires are infamous for getting stuck in mud, but still Falken Wildpeak AT3w does things a little better here.

It features biters and chamfered edges in the middle which break down the mud particles, and the slashed mud is able to pass through its block valleys, which are deeper in comparison as well, so more volume escapes through.

Wildpeak AT3w also offers U shaped lugs on sidewalls which acts as mud spoons, throwing thick mud backwards and providing forward momentum, meanwhile its sharp edges on shoulder blocks provide a great balance between digging and pulling forward.

The Cooper Discoverer AT3 on the other hand, although provides with mud scoops as it’s shoulder blocks are prominently staggered (unlike the Falken Wildpeak), it’s missing thick lugs on sidewalls, and with closed up tread, mud is not able to escape out efficiently.

Rocky Terrain

Rocky terrain demands durability, which this is not great in case of Cooper AT3, as we have learned, so with these tires, traction aside, you are not going to get the confidence needed to move on rugged areas.

On the other side, the Falken Wildpeak AT3w keeps your sidewalls protected with 2 ply polyester carcass and 2 more plies of polyamide reinforcements. And this combined with stronger rim locks, the tire is able to withstand rougher terrains much more effectively.

These rim locks keep the tire in tact when you air down the tire, and its sidewall lugs provide larger footprint and climbing power on rocks, as well as great lateral traction.

Take Home Points

Overall it’s pretty evident now, that the Cooper Discoverer AT3 is better suited when it comes to highway stability, and although its grip is on par with Wildpeak in wet, it provides better dry traction along with fuel consumption and overall comfort.

But tire lacks off road and that’s where Falken Wildpeak AT3w comes in with it’s durability and aggressiveness.

The tire’s also better in snow, despite both of them awarded with 3 peak mountain snowflake rating.

Going away note: Enjoyed this comparison review or have any opinion? I encourage you to voice it in the comments!

4 thoughts on “Cooper Discoverer AT3 XLT vs Falken Wildpeak AT3w”

  1. Thanks for all your reviews, I’m looking at new tires for a full size SUV that will be 90% highway but see moderate offroad duties for camping and hunting in the mountains.

    I was strongly considering the Cooper AT3 XLT but when I found them in my size they are not actually 3PMSF rated at least in my size (275/60/20). It looks like the the regular AT3 4S does have the 3PMSF rating. Something to note as it takes the Cooper out of the running for my year round use.

    • Thank you for your feedback, Christian. It’s definitely important to check the 3PMSF (Three-Peak Mountain Snowflake) rating if you need a tire suitable for snowy conditions. Also note that some sizes of Cooper AT3 XLT are missing with this rating.

      Moreover, the regular AT3 4S is indeed a good alternative if you need a year-round tire, though its not that aggressive…

      For your use case, you might want to consider Falken Wildpeak AT3w or Baja Boss A/T. Both tires are suitable for a wide range, including highway driving while also providing good off-road capabilities.

  2. I have the Cooper Discoverer AT3 XLT (285/75/17) and can also confirm that the XLT is NOT a 3PMSF tire. Look elsewhere if you want that designation.

    • Yes that’s right. The 3pmsf rating is not available in some sizes on Cooper at3 xlt. Basically this rating highly depends on the section width of the tire. And typically, narrower tires are more likely to receive this rating. This makes sense from a physics standpoint, as a skinnier tire can exert more pressure per square inch on the road, allowing for better traction in snowy conditions.


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