Mickey Thompson Baja Boss A/T vs Falken Wildpeak AT3w

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Mickey Thompson Baja Boss A/T and the Falken Wildpeak AT3w are although both all-terrain tires the Baja Boss A/T is actually a rugged terrain, (you can say a hybrid). Such tires come in between all-terrain and mud-terrain as their tread features are more aggressive to be included in A/T.

Mickey Thompson Baja Boss A/T
I am in love with sidewalls, the Mickey Thompson Baja Boss A/T gives, though they are not just for looks.

Being a tire engineer, from my perspective, the Mickey Thompson Baja Boss A/T although perform better off road, its really surprising how comfortable it is on pavements as well. But on roads, the tire lacks to it’s competitor in all sections (with a minor margin should I add). Though the highlighting performance feature of this tire is its snow performance. The Falken Wildpeak AT3w on the other side is one of the top performing aggressive tires for wet roads (especially), though the tire is simply great in other on road factors as well. And off road, things aren’t too far off either.

  • For detailed Review of Mickey Thompson A/T click here.
  • For detailed review of Falken AT3w, click here.

Must-Know Facts

Let’s start things off with Mickey Thompson Baja Boss A/T.

So folks, this tire comes in 59 total sizes, and they come in 15 to 24 inches (rim diameter).

(Ill update if anything changes).

All these tires come with speed ratings of either Q or T, which is okay, but not great. To give you an idea, mud-terrain tires have that kind of rating. (I discussed this all in the speed rating article that you can find using search).

The load ratings of the tire are seen in SL, XL, D, E and F only, so the weight range is wild, where the lightest tire weighs about 36 lbs, whereas the heaviest goes up to 90 pounds.

Also, tread depth stays in either 16/32″ or 18.5/32″ on all sizes.

Lastly talking about tread wear warranty, LT sizes come with 50k miles, while the P metric ones get to have 60k miles.

On the other side, the Falken Wildpeak AT3w comes in more total sizes, 76, though they come in 15 to 22 inches.

Speed ratings are also better here where some sizes go up to H (this rating is mostly seen with passenger tires), other available ratings are Q, R, S and T.

Talking about load range, its available in C to F so weight goes from 35 lbs to 79.4 lbs.

Moreover, the tire offers very deep tread voids, it’s tread depth although ranges form 12/32″ and goes up to 19/32″, most sizes you’d find would have depth of 17/32″.

Lastly all sizes have 55k miles warranty and all of them have 3PMSF and M+S ratings.

Tread Design

The Falken Wildpeak AT3w has an easier to understand tread, so let’s start with this tire.

Falken Wildpeak AT3w
Falken Wildpeak AT3w

In the middle the tire offers Z shaped lugs, see if you can find stepped edges on them, they bite off road with great frictional forces.

The surrounding C shaped lugs are also very biting as they are all equipped with notches (which is actually giving them this C shaped look).

All these ribs in the middle make an interconnected groove pattern and they join the outer longitudinal voids which are slightly wider.

Moving towards it’s sides, things are pretty interesting.

These lugs are very big in comparison, and they cover a good majority of the tread.

All these lugs have stepped edges and notches towards inner margins, and towards outer, they get to have sharp edged design.

Some folks confuse them with staggered shoulders, they are not that, but you can say each of it’s lug is serrated on itself.

On the other side, the Mickey Thompson Baja Boss A/T yields a more powerful design.

Baja Boss AT
Mickey Thompson Baja Boss A/T

This tire clearly makes more biting shoulder lugs and sidewalls notches, though like the Wildpeak, the lugs are not properly staggered.

The lugs are equipped with interlocking siping and have notches towards their inner edges.

And they make wider lateral gaps which have multiple stone ejectors in them (each lug has 6 of these).

Moving towards the middle, the tire make 2 ribs making 3 longitudinal channels.

One rib is more aggressive as it has lugs with lateral and longitudinal notches in them.

The other is not so much, though it still have the rest of the features like the full depth siping, sharp edges and foundation supports (which also act as dirt cleaners).

Together both block sections connect the outer circumferential grooves laterally.

Internal Construction

All-Terrain tires are made tough because of their inner construction and the composition of rubber on top. Almost all of them have cut/chip resistant rubber but when it comes to internal make-up things differ from one tire to another.

Mickey Thompson Baja Boss A/T is one of the most powerful tire you can get, as it features 3 ply polyester sidewalls.

This basically comes from 3 ply polyester casing having 2 steel belts on top and a 2 ply nylon covering just below the tread’s rubber.

On the other side, the Falken Wildpeak AT3w only offers 2 ply polyester carcass with similar 2 ply nylon and steel belts.

But it’s sidewalls are still not weak as it’s 2 ply polyester has 2 more layers of polyamide protecting the bead area.

So, although, Mickey Baja Boss A/T is stronger, Wildpeak AT3w is tough enough where it matters the most off road, the sidewalls.

Highway Traction

When it comes to highways there are a few things required to have optimal performance, these include dry grip, handling stability and steering feedback, let’s discuss them all.

Dry Grip

All-terrain tires have ample biters which allow them to have satisfactory grip. But still, one tire does better here.

Falken Wildpeak AT3w has Z and C shaped lugs in the middle which are quite closed up, so it’s rubber to road contact produces larger gripping values, allowing it to stop quickly (shorter braking distances) and accelerate faster.

Though the difference between both tires in terms of stopping distances is only 1 feet.

Handling Stability

Mickey Thompson Baja Boss A/T tread is not as optimized for on road stability as Falken Wildpeak. That’s why this tire has speed rating going up to T, whereas Wildpeak AT3w gives you H (the best you can get in A/T tires).

This is because it’s lugs are more stable, packed together and offer less stiffness with 2 ply construction.

Steering Feedback

With better continuity of lugs, steering response gets improved, that’s why Falken Wildpeak with less voided design does better.

Mickey Thompson Baja Boss A/T breaks its continuity with huge gaps especially between the shoulder lugs, so the steering is not as smooth.

Wet Performance

Wet performance consists of two, wet grip and hydroplaning resistance. And let me tell you it’s very hard for off road tires to achieve better values here.

Grip on Wet

Mickey Thompson Baja Boss A/T could use some wet traction, comparatively, though its not so bad overall, (to give you an idea, its wet grip is almost equal to Toyo AT3).

Whereas the Falken Wildpeak AT3w is one of the best performers in this area. That’s because it does one thing right. Siping.

It’s sipes have dual pattern, where it’s rectilinear in the middle and interlocking on shoulders, and this combination produces amazing results.

Hydroplaning Resistance

Hydroplaning resistance is very significant as it protects the tire from losing connection with the road. Here speed is the main culprit, meaning with higher speeds, chances of hydroplaning increases.

So to avoid hydroplaning, tread needs fast water evacuation capability. And that not a problem here.

Mickey Thompson Baja Boss A/T is very good at it as it’s tread is pretty bald, so water has a lot of area to leave out.

And Falken Wildpeak AT3w on the other side, is not that voided, but it’s tread design is just as great in escaping water as any.

Fuel Efficiency

Fuel depends on the tire’s rolling resistance, and that depends on weight and tread composition.

The Falken Wildpeak AT3w offers a more stable design and it’s not that soft, so it’s lugs don’t waste energy in flexing themselves, instead they focus on moving the tire as a whole.

In comparison, Mickey Thompson A/T is slightly heavier and with deeper voids and softer composition, it hard to get removed off the surface, so it uses more fuel as a result.

Off Road Capability

Off road, you need tires which don’t hold stones, can handle rough crawling, have powerful LT sizes with thicker lugs, and self cleaning capabilities.

Let’s check all of these of different terrains.

Muddy Terrains

Tires with more lugs and narrowed gaps don’t do good on mud as they don’t offer proper evacuation to it’s thick material.

Mickey Thompson Baja Boss A/T offers very wide shoulder grooves, in fact, it’s design is very different from other off road tires, where the longitudinal grooves are wider than the lateral ones between the shoulder.

So it allows mud to leave out very easily with enhanced sideways evacuation capabilities.

Moreover, as the mud get to be in contact with it it’s tread, the multiple triangular stone ejectors break down the particles so they can pass on easily, and the thick sidewall lugs, provide the needed scooping.

Falken Wildpeak AT3w on the other side offers a good enough tread depth and it can take on a lot of mud, but compared to beast of a tire, Baja AT, it’s not as efficient, even with it’s sharp biters everywhere.

Rocky Terrain

On rocks you need powerful sidewalls, both from inside and out, you need biters, a lot of them, and you need very strong lateral traction.

Mickey Baja Boss A/T is superior in all these section, it’s 3 ply sidewalls have powerful biting lugs on top, which simply chew on all types of rocky surfaces, especially when it’s pressured down to a lower PSI.

The Falken Wildpeak AT3w on the other hand, is a close second, you can say, it’s sidewalls have 2 dedicated layers protecting the bead, and it’s lugs on top offer good enough lateral traction.

Desert Performance

Desert is a tricky terrain, here you need wider tires with smooth edges so they don’t dig in.

Both tires don’t have staggered shoulder lugs, like you usually see on off-road tires, instead each blocks has sharp edges, or you can say each lug is staggered on itself.

But still with less weight overall, the Falken Wildpeak AT3w digs less in comparison so it provides better traction in comparison.

Gravel and Dirt

Roads filled with small rocks and dirt need self cleaning tread, otherwise these tiny sharp objects can get filled up in the tread voids, mostly on tires that do not have proper stone ejectors.

Mickey Thompson Baja Boss A/T has a lot of stone ejectors. Let me say this again. A LOT. All its’ shoulder lugs have 6 of these ejectors where 2 are arrow shaped and the rest are of triangular shapes, and they are all very efficient in keeping the tread clean.

Falken Wildpeak AT3w on the other hand, does not come with any ejector, so it’s not surprising that the tire can’t outperform Baja Boss A/T in this section.

Ride Quality

Ride quality depends on two dimensions, noise and tire’s ability to absorb the bumps. And both these sections are excelled by Falken AT3w.

Mickey Thompson Baja Boss A/T is actually very loud. It’s grooves are very wide and air have all the room to move every which way and hit the walls of the tread with full force, producing noise.

Falken Wildpeak AT3w on the other hand, with packed up lugs provide better efficacy, in comparison.

It also produces better pitch sequencing, creating multiple pitches which cancel out each other.

However, the tire can’t absorb the vibrations of the road in a better way.

And that’s where Baja Boss A/T comes in.

It’s spongy rubber tune down the imperfections of the road and bumps get dissolved in it’s tread nicely.

Winter Traction

Both of these tires are branded with 3 Peak Mountain Snowflake (3pmsf) and M+S ratings.

But still Mickey Thompson Baja Boss A/T is a better snow tire on all types of terrains, deep snow, on road snow, ice, you name it. In fact I rated this tire the best for snow traction in my list of all time top A/Ts.

It’s tread is actually very narrow which allows its biters to put more pressure on the snow and enhance the traction (tread width is an important factor, that’s why Baja Boss having width above 12.5 inches don’t have 3pmsf rating).

Falken Wildpeak AT3w on the other side, although is not too far off, is not able to make a better snow to snow contact in comparison.

Winding Up

Mickey Thompson Baja Boss A/T is simply amazing on both worlds (on and off road), there’s very little this tire compromises on.

It’s on road performance is although not so great in comparison here, it’s still pretty awesome. To give you an idea, it’s traction on both wet/dry is on par with Toyo AT3.

Falken Wildpeak AT3w on the other hand, shines in all sections, and although it lacks to the beast of a tire Baja Boss A/T, it’s still pretty good there too.

4 thoughts on “Mickey Thompson Baja Boss A/T vs Falken Wildpeak AT3w”

  1. Used both MT Baja Boss AT and Falken Wildleak on my Gladiator Rubicon The MTs are a great tire but noisy over 50 MPH and suck fuel (lost about 3-4 MPG) vs the Falken. The Falken rides better on highways and feels like a much softer ride IMO. I plan to stick with the Falken from now on.

    Reply
  2. Hey Ozmen, great site, thanks very much! I have driven extensively the P265/70/17 Wildpeak and LTE Baja ATZP3 in the same size on my 4Runner. I have taken the P-Wildpeak to Moab+Maze, all of Arizona, and Montana. I have taken the LTE ATZ P3 to southern Utah but not Moab, Ouray-Silverton, the Canadian Rockies, and all of Arizona.

    I owned 7 P-metric Wildpeaks over 30k (they were 140 each back then) and I discovered something I really hated. Over the first 5,000 miles or so, they were INCREDIBLE everywhere. Best tire ever! But tread disappeared in no time so after 5k performance began to deteriorate, after 10k they were just another tire, and after 15k it was back to thinking about tires. The P metric survived Utah and even the sticks/fallen branches in Montana, and also all Sedona trails. But it logically failed badly in the Sonoran desert, which is why I had 7 total tires. That is ok, but the fact that the P-metric only shines for about 5k is not. I do know that the LT version is very different and lasts better and longer. But I felt duped by how quickly the P version deteriorated.

    The ATZ P3, by contrast, have continued to impress me throughout their lifespan. At 8/32 and 33,000 miles, they will last me through next spring. Here is how the performance of the two compares for me:

    1/ Offroad: the ATZ p3 shines everywhere with LTE being the only limitation on a lighter vehicle like my 2018 4Runner. It just does not even try to flex until you go down to 18 psi. But while I have not tried it on Moab ledges, for the rest it excels at everything offroad from the Mexican border to well into the Canadian Rockies. Did extremely well in Colorado, too. I generally avoid mud but it has got me through a few unavoidable mud holes with no drama.

    As for the Wildpeak, it was surprisingly strong outside the AZ desert in P-metric. Traction on rock was outstanding when the tire was new as you get all the flex you can ever want at 28 psi (and below that sidewalls go out on the P metric as I learned). Minor mud was easy. Only minor complaint was subpar desert gravel and sand performance as it tended to dig me in while the flat big tread blocks of the ATZ p3 keep me on top. Again, outstanding overall…for about 5,000 miles.

    2/ On road. Here the Wildpeak was like a good street tire and being P metric that makes sense. The ATZ P3 has not let me down in rain or anything else. However, it does make me more thoughtful when taking highway corners. The Wildpeak for all its winter rating was miserable the one day I drove it in slush in town but that is likely on the 4Runner. It did very well in packed snow on trail around Moab.

    Overall, I am bummed that the ATZ P3 was discontinued and that the Baja Boss looks substantially different. I am now thorn between Baja Boss AT and Baja Legend MTZ in 265 70 17 as well as between those two and the 255 80 17 Cooper Discoverer Maxx. I have had LTD KO2 previously on another vehicle as well as Toyo AT II, Geolanders, and Conti ATs. So the LTC KO3 in 285 70 is mildly intriguing but I was too unimpressed by the KO2 on and offroad to consider the KO3 seriously.

    Any thoughts on Baja Boss AT vs Baja Legend MTZ vs “pizza cutters” 255 80 Cooper Discoverer Maxx are GREATLY appreciated! And about the dark horse KO3….I would like to try LTC…. Thanks!

    Reply
    • Thank you for sharing your experiences with the Wildpeak and ATZ P3 on your 4Runner.

      – The P-metric Wildpeak had great initial performance but wore down too quickly.
      – The ATZ P3 consistently impressed throughout its lifespan, both on and off-road.

      For your current considerations:

      – Baja Boss AT vs. Baja Legend MTZ: If you’re more off-road, consider the MTZ for its aggressive tread. For a balance between on-road comfort and off-road capability, go for the Boss AT.
      – 255 80 17 Cooper Discoverer Maxx: Good for snow and mud due to its “pizza cutter” design. Could be a top pick if these terrains are common for you.
      – KO3: Despite past reservations with KO2, the newer model might be worth a look.

      I’d recommend the Baja Boss AT for versatility, but if specific terrains like snow and mud are more frequent, the Cooper Discoverer Maxx might be the way to go. Safe travels!

      Reply

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