Mickey Thompson Baja Boss A/T vs Toyo AT3

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Mickey Thompson Baja Boss A/T and the Toyo Open Country AT3 are both all terrain tires, though the Baja Boss is slightly heavier to be in this section. It’s design tells me that it lies in rugged terrain category, because of it’s hybrid structure. It’s shoulder lugs look very similar to an average MT tire, whereas it’s central blocks are arranged like any common A/T.

Toyo Open Country AT3

Being a tire engineer, in my opinion, the Toyo Open Country AT3 is a great tire to have if you are mostly staying on highways, specifically on dry roads, as the tire is just average in wet, but still better comparatively here. Moreover, it’s also great in other aspects of highways as well, such as noise, fuel economy and wear. On the other side, the Mickey Thompson Baja Boss A/T is although not better on pavements, it’s still very surprising as it’s performance wont disappoint at all. And off road, the tires a rock star.

Important Info On Sizes

Talking about Toyo Open Country AT3 first…

  • The tire comes in 148, ranging form 15 to 22 inches.
  • Load ratings available are: C to F.
  • Speed ratings available are: Q, R, S, T and H.
  • Weight range: 30 lbs to 72 lbs.
  • Tread depth range: 12.7/32″ to 17/32″.
  • All sizes have 3pmsf ratings
  • All sizes have tread wear warranty of 65k miles.

By the way check out Toyo AT3’s detailed review here: https://tiredriver.com/toyo-open-country-at3-review/

On the other side, the Mickey Thompson Baja Boss A/T has sizes with following specs.

  • They are 59 in number and come in 15 to 24 inches.
  • They have speed ratings of either Q or T
  • Load ratings of the tire are seen in SL, XL, D, E and F
  • Weight range is 36 lbs to 90 lbs.
  • Tread depth: 13 to 17/32″, majorly sizes have 16/32″ (smaller on average).
  • All sizes have 3pmsfr except for those which have section width above 12.5 inches.
  • LT sizes get tread wear warranty of 50k, while others have 60k.

Detailed review of Baja Boss AT: https://tiredriver.com/mickey-thompson-baja-boss-at-review/

Learn speed rating: https://tiredriver.com/speed-rating-on-tires/
Learn load rating: https://tiredriver.com/load-index-range-and-ply-rating/

Tread Appearance

Let’s start with Toyo Open County AT3.

Open Country AT3

This tire gives you a pretty straight forward design of S shaped lugs in the middle surrounded with others which may look like F-shaped to you.

These shapes are made because of their notches placement, they face in all directions to provide grip from all sides. Yet the tire is still not as aggressive compared to Baja Boss A/T.

Moreover, all lugs have interlocking full depth sipes and reinforced foundations for maximizing on road stability.

The shoulder lugs of the tire are divided by prominent circumferential grooves, and the are even more closely packed together as all of them have ridges place in between.

These ridges also act as connectors and join the lugs with each other to enhance handling capabilities.

For further supports these lugs also have foundational secondary layer of rubber underneath as well, making Toyo AT3 very on road oriented, though the shoulder lugs are still staggered towards outer edges.

On the other hand, the Mickey Thompson Baja Boss A/T clearly offers a more powerful looking design.

Mickey Thompson Baja Boss A/T
Mickey Thompson Baja Boss A/T

The grabbing biters on the sidewalls combined with asymmetric shoulder lugs on both sides offer a much more off grip compared to Toyo AT3.

These shoulder lugs are although not serrated, each lug is still staggered on itself.

They have full depth siping and wider lateral gaps compared to longitudinal channels they make (outer two).

The two ribs in the middle run with similar looking blocks having notches, sharp chamfered edges and similar siping.

But one of the rib is further made more random and aggressive by adding lateral and longitudinal incisions in them.

They further make additional circumferential channel in the middle with more ruggedness to it.

All these channels also have multiple triangular shaped stone ejectors where they are bigger towards sides.


The tire’s sidewall are the weakest when it comes to overall durability, this is because almost all off-road tires already have steel belts and cut resistant tread in the middle which protects a good deal, whereas underneath sidewalls there’s just a polyester casing.

Here the Toyo Open Country with 2 ply construction takes the back seat especially in front of it’s competitor.

As Mickey Thompson Baja A/T has 3 ply polyester casing (made with heavier 3rd spirally wound cord). So this tire offers much more stronger sidewall lugs.

Moreover we saw how it’s thicker lugs covering the bead further makes sidewalls stronger

The tire is also stronger form the middle where it offers 2 nylon cap plies instead of just 1 in Toyo Open Country AT3.

Highway Traction

There are two important factors to consider on roads, grip and handling. Let’s discuss both.

Dry Grip

The footprint of the tire is how much of it’s rubber meets with the road, and it’s the most important in calculating the overall dry grip

Mickey Thompson Baja Boss A/T although has a lot of rubber compromised to grooves (running in every which way), the tire is still pretty decent.

It performs on par with Toyo AT3, (if not more), as sometimes when you compare these tires (on same sizes of course), you get similar braking distances.

Lateral Traction

Handling of the tire is dependent on it’s shoulders and sidewalls. And here the same things happening with Mickey Thompson AT, as it shows up with similar handling times compared to Toyo AT3.

So which one to pick for on roads? Well, there’s one more factor and that’s steering response, and although the Baja Boss AT does well on (if not on par), if lacks a little in that area.

Steering Response

Steering response is basically steering sensitivity and its an important on-road performance metric which is often underrated. This basically tells you about the difficulty level to maneuver the tires.

So Mickey Thompson Baja Boss A/T with 3 ply polyester casing and extra cap plies yields more weight in comparison, so on corners, it tends to lag a little after the steering input is given and that often lead to over-steering.

That’s why Toyo AT3 has speed ratings going up to H (which is the best you can get in A/T category).

Wet Performance

Wet performance is divided in to two parts, where one is the wet grip which depends on the tread’s construction and the overall siping.

And the second, is hydroplaning resistance, which depends on tread voids. Let’s talk these both.

Grip on Wet

On wet tar, sipes have a major role to play. These sipes basically wipe off the water by soaking.

Here, Mickey Baja Boss AT offer you with full depth interlocking sipes which are better in comparison (check out the tread section above).

So is this tire better?

Well, not really, because the tire is pretty aggressive, and with a lot of grooves placement, and weight, the stopping distances and handling times are limited here as well, but its amazing how little it compromises though.

As Mickey Baja Boss A/T is just 2 feet shorter here. And my results match exactly with Tire Racks finding on this.

in comparison, Toyo Open Country AT3 sipes are good enough, they are slightly interlocking and they go all the way deep, but the tire is bad at hydroplaning and this affects the overall performance.

Let me explain why in the following section.


Hydroplaning happens when a tire starts to float on water, or you can say when a tire is not able to evacuate water out in time, with the help of grooves.

Now looking at Toyo Open Country AT3 although you get a lot of linked channels in the middle with S and F/C shaped lugs, the shoulder lugs are packed together. And so water can’t get removed sideways.

When this happens the curved aquaplaning resistance of the tire is compromised, meaning, water can’t be removed effectively during handling.

The less water gets removed, the more water is there for sipes to sit on, so overall grip is compromised.

That’s why Mickey Thompson Baja Boss A/T (although lacks a hair) is pretty awesome given it’s rugged design.

Fuel and Tread Usage

The more the rolling resistance the larger the fuel consumption. So this is an easy one to figure out.

Mickey Baja Boss with 20 lbs heavier construction (comparing heaviest sizes), just uses more fuel to roll. It’s rubber is also silica rich, so it just sticks, this is where it gets it’s grip form off road (for the most part).

In comparison, Toyo Open Country AT3 is lighter in weight, and it leaves off the surface more easily, despite it’s a lot of notches and groove biters everywhere.

To put it in another way, it simply puts less pressure on the lugs it has, so that combined with stiffer rubber and similar tread depth range (in comparison), the tire shows better results with tread longevity.

And it backs it up as well, with 65k miles warranty.

Recommended Read: Do A/T tires wear faster?

Ride Quality

The overall ride quality of the tire depends on noise and comfort.

Here comfort tells how well a tire is able to flex when it meets with the vibrations, whereas noise has to do with air, the more voided the tire, the more air is able to flow everywhere and hit the walls of the tread to produce unwanted sounds.

That’s why the Mickey Thompson Baja Boss A/T is pretty loud in comparison. Though with asymmetric design and vigorous geometry of lugs it dampens the noise a lot with the help of pitch sequencing.

For example if you look at its shoulders, they vary in width throughout the tread, so each lug, when air hits on it, creates a different pitch sounds and those sounds don’t get synced up too much.

Toyo Open Country AT3 don’t allow noise to come in through the shoulder in the first place, as if you consider the tread again, its lugs are packed together, and cherry on top is that it also produces very effective pitch sequencing pattern, and with stiffer rubber, there is very less groove resonance as well.

Off Road Traction Performance

All-terrain tires differ a lot form each other, and to put simply, some times are better off road, while other do well on pavements. Lowering one performance capability down would increase other and vice versa.

So manufacturers have to make a balanced compromise between these both worlds.

On Sand

On sand you need a softer (on the edges) tire which would not dig in. As with digging you get stuck, you need to move forward. So for that, you need a smoother-on-sides tire which is lighter in weight and has more contact patch to offer.

Mickey Thompson Baja Boss A/T is very sharp on sides, it does not make staggered shoulders, and instead each of its lug is serrated on itself.

So this combined with it’s powerful inner construction and extra cap plies, it’s very difficult to maneuver even with extremely low pressure (and you’ll see this more on slopes).

Toyo AT3 on the other side, provide smooth concave shaped scoops on sides, and even though it’s a harder compound, it offers a good ratio of traction with it’s lighter weight.

On Rocks

On rocks, durability, sidewalls, tread’s composition and overall biters are considered.

Mickey Thompson Baja Boss A/T checks all these boxes.

It’s durable, as I showed you how it’s 3 ply ply polyester casing is just as tough as any M/T out there, and it’s tread compound is softer which grabs in and allows it’s lugs to flex on them.

Similarly if you check out it’s sidewalls again, you can see there are so many biters over there, and with lowered air pressure, your tire is not going anywhere.

Toyo Open Country AT3 on the other side, can not offer as much grip, it’s biters are not that flexing, it’s sidewall lugs are non existent, and it’s 2 ply sidewalls are very prone to get punctured.

On Mud

Mud is A/T tire’s biggest enemy but that doesn’t go for Mickey Thompson Baja Boss A/T, as this tire is much more aggressive to be considered all-terrain, it’s a hybrid with mud terrain shoulder lugs.

So with such chunky lugs on sides surrounding with bigger gaps the tire is able to escape “A LOT” of thick mud out of the tire.

Toyo AT3 with packed up blocks on sides with rides simply don’t allow as much dirt and thick slimy mud to leave out easily.

Winter Capability

3 Peak Mountain Snowflake rating symbols on both these tires tell us about the directional grip, though it’s not related to other performance factors.

Mickey Thompson Baja Boss A/T is simply great in all other factors here. In fact there are a few tires, that I wanted to rank on top for this section, and I was stuck between this one and the General Grabber A/Tx (review it here), and so after considering all, I ranked Mickey Baja Boss on top.


Well, because, this tire is basically doing everything right. It has narrow tread, a lot of biters to grab the snow and its tread is soft.

With narrow tread, it puts more pressure on the snow, and with notches, it grabs in the snow particles and make better surface meetup (it’s the key ingredient for traction on snow).

Similarly, its softer than Toyo AT3, so it’s less prone to get stiff with negative temperatures (FYI, that’s the reason why dedicated winter tires are so spongy).

Take Home Points

So both tires are great, but Mickey Baja Boss A/T is definitely very impressive, as it’s rugged design is much more capable off road, and at the same times, its almost just as good as Toyo AT3 on pavements.

Though Toyo AT3 offers better mileage, road noise dampening and fuel economy.

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