Nokian SeasonProof vs WeatherProof

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The Nokian SeasonProof, as the successor to the WeatherProof, set the benchmark as a grand touring tire with its excellent winter noise, and comfort performance. But how well it performs in other key areas? Well, let’s find out.

Nokain SeasonProof on Ford Edge.
Nokain SeasonProof on Ford Edge.

Main Takeaway

So overall, the Nokian WeatherProof excels in:

  • Enhanced wet traction and hydroplaning resistance.
  • Superior dry performance and handling.
  • Improved fuel efficiency due to optimized contact patch.

Whereas SeasonProof excels in:

  • Exceptional winter traction and snow handling.
  • Reduced road noise and comfortable ride.
  • Better absorption of road imperfections for smoothness.

Construction Features

The Nokian SeasonProof is equipped with a tread design which is actually very similar to most of the winter tires, out there.

Nokian SeasonProof
Nokian SeasonProof

This tire showcases a directional tread pattern characterized by V-shaped lugs that form pronounced, curved channels along its edges.

Segmented towards the shoulders, these lugs maintain their structure through reinforced bases, with an additional rubber layer.

This innovative design not only creates interconnected lateral grooves to enhance hydroplaning resistance and enhance water evacuation but also maintains the tread’s structural integrity for consistent handling.

Additionally, the lugs feature zigzag, serrated edges, known as snow vices, and reverse-oriented notches, significantly boosting the tire’s performance in winter conditions.

Other than this, the tire offers linear sipes, that typically stiffen and under-perform.

Shifting focus to its predecessor…

Nokian WeatherProof
Nokian WeatherProof

Moving towards its predecessor.

The Nokian WeatherProof, while also directional, features a design with more voids, especially in the central region.

Its central lugs showcase wave-like siping and in-groove notches.

These lugs are underpinned by reinforced foundations that connect via a secondary rubber layer beneath, which also links to the shoulder lugs.

The shoulder lugs themselves are designed with longitudinal and lateral notches, along with more pronounced interlocking sipes, closely resembling those of the SeasonProof.

Internally, the tire offers 2 ply polyester, dual steel belts and a nylon cap ply (unlike its successor, which offers 2 cap plies).

Available Tire Sizes

Nokian SeasonProof comes in 63 total sizes in 14 to 19 inches rims, and they have the following specs.

  • Speed ratings: T, H, V, W and Y (with Y being the maximum, you can get, usually seen on high performance touring tires).
  • Load ratings: SL/XL, (though majority of sizes are XL).
  • Weight range: 19 to 32 lbs (relatively heavier compared to most of its grand touring competitors).
  • Tread depth: 10/32″ on most (some also have 9/32″).

Review this tire in greater detail: https://tiredriver.com/nokian-seasonproof-review/

On the other side, the Nokian WeatherProof currently is offered in 13 to 19 inches rims, with following specs.

  • Speed Rating: T, H, and V.
  • Load Rating: XL and SL.
  • Weight Range: 18 to 30 lbs.
  • Tread depth: 10/32″ on all.

Wet Performance

Primarily, a tire’s aptitude in wet conditions is reflected in how well it can expel water from its route. This capability is essential for improving its defense against hydroplaning and for enhancing overall wet grip and stability.

Let’s review these vital factors in further detail.

Wet Traction

So why wet traction is all about getting that water out of your tire’s tread effectively? Well, this is because water can’t be compressed.

Meaning, if water doesn’t get cleared out fast enough, it’ll sneak in between the tire and the road, leading to a slippery situation or even hydroplaning (which I’ll get into a bit later).

Now, those grooves in your tires do the heavy lifting in getting rid of most of the water, but they tend to leave a bit behind, right under the lugs.

And that’s where those tiny slits in your tire, known as “sipes”, come into play. Think of them as little heroes sucking up the remaining water, making sure your tire keeps a good grip on the road.

Here’s where the Nokian WeatherProof really shines. It’s not just about having a bunch of sipes; it’s about having the right kind and enough of them.

More siping mean better water clearance, and the WeatherProof has them in spades.

But it’s not just quantity over quality; these sipes are designed to stay flexible and not stiffen up, even when you’re making those sharp turns or sudden moves.

Plus, the older variant has another trick up its sleeve with better-connected grooves. This means it gets rid of more water right from the start, easing the load on the sipes, enhancing traction further.

Aquaplaning Resistance

Hydroplaning is when things get a bit hairy. It happens when a tire can’t shove the water out of the way fast enough, through “grooves”, and the tire ends up surfing on the water instead of the road.

So yes, you can say surfing/gliding on water is same as hydroplaning.

When this goes down, you’re basically in a no-grip zone, which is as risky as it sounds.

Now, this is where the older variant really steps up its game with a groove design that’s more about action than looks.

It’s designed to move water out of the way efficiently, giving you a better shot at staying grounded.

Now, while both boys here come with V shaped grooves, the WeatherProof’s design is a bit more clever. It connects these grooves together effectively, which means it’s better at keeping you glued to the road and less likely to float away when things get wet and wild.

Now I know you must be thinking, isn’t the newer tire suppose to be better here. Well the thing is, first off, there’s isn’t too much difference in performance, and two, SeasonProof focuses more winter traction. See below.

Winter Traction

Winter driving throws a curveball with its own set of challenges, demanding tires that can handle snow braking, slick maneuvers, and quick acceleration.

In this arena, the Nokian SeasonProof really shines, especially when we’re talking about grand touring all-season tires. I’ve put this to the test and done my homework, and it really stands out.

In fact its the only reason I ranked this tire as the best for winter performance in my list of touring tires. See the list here: https://tiredriver.com/best-grand-touring-all-season-tires/

Now, the magic of the SeasonProof is in its knack for creating snow-to-snow contact. This is key because, believe it or not, snow actually grips snow better than rubber does. This means you get a lot more traction when you need it most.

It’s not just about making contact, though. The tire is also a pro at kicking out the extra snow, which boosts its grip game even further.

Plus, it’s packed with features you’d usually only see on tires dedicated to winter.

We’re talking deep interlocking sipes, beefy grooves along the edges, and these cool little snow claws. Put them all together, and you’ve got a tire that’s ready to tackle winter head-on, keeping you steady and on track.

Dry Performance

Dry performance depends on tire’s dry or directional grip and handling (which covers lateral traction, and steering feedback). Let’s talk all these elements one by one.

Dry Grip

In the tire industry, “dry grip” refers to a tire’s ability to maintain a consistent grip in a straight line, primarily evaluated through its braking effectiveness. This capability is crucial during straight rolling, where the weight is predominantly concentrated in the middle, highlighting the importance of central lugs.

The predecessor, the WeatherProof surprisingly exhibits superior performance in this aspect.

Why? Well this is due to its more (dry-roads) optimized contact patch and numerous laterally arranged biting elements. These features enhance the tire’s stopping power significantly.

Conversely, the Nokian SeasonProof is designed with a focus on winter conditions. Simply put, this tire features larger tread voids and a relatively narrower section width.

While these characteristics improve winter traction, they reduce the amount of rubber in contact with the road, diminishing the tire’s dry grip.

Additionally, the tire’s increased weight enhances its performance in snow (will discuss it more in winter performance section). However, this also makes it more challenging to stop (with greater momentum inertia), reducing its directional grip in dry conditions.

Overall Handling

The performance of a tire’s dry handling is critically dependent on the shoulders’ ability to maintain a “good” contact with the road.

In other words, optimal handling requires the shoulders (or tread edges), to not only form a strong bond with the road but also to minimize flexing.

And here again, you see slightly better performance on the predecessor.

The WeatherProof offers greater contact patch, and a lighter weight, which together decrease the tendency of its lugs to flex excessively.

Basically, this design contributes to improved steering responsiveness, finely balancing the risk of understeering and oversteering.

The explanation for this is straightforward: when lugs bend, they need time to revert to their original shape. This delay between steering input and the wheels’ actual movement can affect driving precision.

On the other hand, the Nokian SeasonProof encounters challenges due to its heavier weight and a softer, thermally adaptive rubber composition. This makes its lugs more prone to bending, which impacts steering accuracy and response times.

Overall Ride Comfort

A smooth ride is inherently connected to a tire’s skill in lessening the impact of road bumps and cutting down on noise. Let’s dive into both these aspects.

Noise Comfort

When it comes to keeping things quiet, the SeasonProof is a real standout in its category of tires, showcasing relatively smaller readings on the decibel scale.

This quiet ride is all thanks to its smart, well-thought-out design, which includes a bunch of features specifically aimed at turning down the volume.

Noise in tires is mainly from air smacking against the tread walls. And the SeasonProof counters this by sporting more compact shoulders, effectively blocking where most of the air tries to sneak in as the tire rolls.

Moreover, the tire also uses a variable pitch pattern, thanks to its subtly inter-changing lugs (geometrically).

This clever design means air hits different parts of the tread at different angles, creating a mix of sounds that basically cancel each other out.

So, instead of one loud noise, you get a bunch of little sounds that keep things much quieter.

Plus, the rubber of this tire is infused with polymers that offers better absorption of sound waves, knocking down that in-groove echo you hear on WeatherProof.

Road Smoothness

The SeasonProof also makes its mark when it comes to vibration comfort, which boils down to how well a tire can smooth out those bumps and jolts from the road while keeping things steady.

Sure, everyone’s got their own take on what “feels” good, but in my books, this updated Nokian tire offers a ride that’s likely to please most folks, especially when you stack it up against its predecessor.

Why do I think so? Well, my take on it is all about how it handles both the small and big imperfections you’ll find on any given road, even those pesky cracked ones.

And for SeasonProof, it’s got this extra nylon cap ply that’s all about spreading out and softening the impact of road bumps.

On the other hand, while the WeatherProof does have a softer rubber mix, it doesn’t quite match up in controlling those vibrations and bumps like its successor does.

Fuel Efficiency

When it comes to fuel efficiency in tires, rolling resistance is a big deal. And it’s all about how much effort your car needs to keep those tires turning.

Between the two, the SeasonProof has a bit of a struggle on its hands, where its heavier weight and smaller section width mean more friction as it rolls, which can nudge up your fuel consumption.

Meanwhile, the WeatherProof takes the lead as the more fuel-friendly option.

Its design features a more optimized contact patch, which basically does a better job of spreading out the tire’s weight more evenly.

This means each lug takes on less strain, and there’s more rubber smoothly meeting the road. All of this helps cut down on rolling resistance, which of course, is a good news for your fuel gauge.

But here’s the thing, while the Weatherproof is a bit easier on your fuel, its more open tread design means it might not hang around as long as the SeasonProof. So, you’re trading a bit of tread life for better fuel efficiency.

Though this goes especially when you compare the SL sizes (instead of XL).

To Conclude

So overall both tires have a lot going on here, but to simply things,

The Nokain Weatherproof excels when it comes to wet conditions, as the tire offers better ability to efficiently expel water, ensuring stability, superior wet grip, and resistance to hydroplaning.

Moreover, the tire also takes the lead in dry conditions, mainly due to its smaller weight.

In contrast, the Nokian SeasonProof focuses more on winter traction, boasting features that enhance its grip and handling in snowy conditions. And yes, it also offers a relatively quieter ride, and superior comfort, effectively absorbing road vibrations.

Though it can use some help in terms of fuel economy.

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