Pro Comp AT Sport vs Nitto Ridge Grappler

Leave a comment

Both the Pro Comp AT Sport and the Nitto Ridge Grappler are capable of delivering a powerful off-road traction with a smooth ride on the road. But which one comes out on top when compared side-by-side? Well, lets find out!

Nitto Ridge Grappler
Nitto Ridge Grappler 4 triangular blocks in the middle allocate it’s tread with grip at multiple angles.

Being a tire engineer, from my perspective, The Pro Comp A/T with it’s less aggressive design features a superior on-road performance in terms of comfort, noise, fuel, tread-wear and traction. Whereas the Nitto Ridge Grappler shines off road with it’s superior grip on rocks, sand, dirt-filled and muddy terrains.


Rough terrain and sharp objects call for tougher tires, that’s why off-roaders are equipped with powerful plies internally.

Having said that, both tires although allocate 3 ply polyester casing, and 2 wide steel belts on top, the Pro Comp AT Sport only has a single reinforcing cap ply on the very top, whereas on Nitto Ridge, there are two of those.

Nitto Ridge Grappler
Nitto Ridge Grappler features foundational supports to it’s lugs in the middle.

Furthermore, since the Ridge Grappler also features bulkier sidewall lugs, it also adds reinforcements to the weakest part of the tire, so out of both tires it gets to be more resistant to punctures.

Fuel Consumption

How much fuel a tire uses although depends on a lot of factors, and considering all it makes sense why the Pro Comp AT Sport is a better tire here.

The tire has a very packed up tread pattern, with continuous running central most rib, and very compact shoulder blocks with little to no lateral gaps in between.

This allows the tire to stay stable and firm with the ground when rolling.

The Nitto Ridge Grappler on the other hand, with a larger weight, and greater tread depth, causes its lugs to bend more, comparatively, and this wastes the energy that could have consumed in to the rolling of the tire. So overall you get a less fuel efficient tire here.

Detailed Review of Nitto Ridge:

Tread Life

Tread longevity is a result of the balance between rolling resistance, tread depth, and composition. Tires with deeper tread voids and a stiff composition will experience slower wear.

Pro Comp AT Sport although has a softer compound, it still wear slower, thanks to it’s low rolling resistance, as discussed in the above section.

Pro Comp AT Sport
Pro Comp AT Sport has continuous running central most rib.

Whereas, the Nitto Ridge Grappler although has a harder compound which fights the faster wear, it’s weight is quite heavier, and it pressurized it’s tread to rub (with more force), with the ground, so overall, it’s not surprising, that it doesn’t come with any tread wear warranty.

Highway Performance

An all-terrain tire’s dry performance can be best evaluated by considering its traction, steering, and cornering abilities. Let’s take a closer look at each of these critical elements in more detail.

Directional Grip

Dry grip is determined by various factors, including rolling resistance, weight, rubber composition, and tread pattern.

But since I am talking about “directional grip” here, which has to do with tire’s central area, it makes sense why the Pro Comp AT Sport provides shorter braking distances and faster acceleration performance.

It’s central most rib is made continuous, with slanted Z shaped lugs joined up from underneath, so the tire connects with the road without any hurdles, providing greater grip.

Moreover, these lugs have a longitudinal orientation, so they are more streamlined in to rolling straight, and it adds to that.

The Nitto Ridge Grappler, the wide lateral grooves break apart the connection with the road consistently, and so the tire lacks here a little bit.

Dry Handling

Lateral traction, or a tire’s cornering ability, relies mostly on the shoulder lugs. And how better they connect with the road is very crucial to note here.

Here again the Pro Comp A/T gets to have an upper hand with it’s much closer lugs placements. If you consider it’s tread again, you’d note that the lugs barely make any lateral grooves, and even those have connectors in between them.

The larger shoulder footprint of the tire provide better rolling friction, and ridges (b/w lugs), combined with reinforced foundations provide superior steering response, so overall lateral traction is seen better here.

The Nitto Ridge Grappler on the other hand, can’t make as much connection with the road, with it’s wider lateral shoulder voids, and, even though it’s lugs have secondary rubber layers underneath (supporting), they are still more prone to bending, which causes a delay in steering feedback.

Wet Performance

Both of these tires although lack a lot when it comes to wet traction, you can still rely on Pro Comp AT Sport more out of these two.

The tire features a combination of rectilinear and interlocking sipes throughout the tread, and they trot out much better wet gripping in comparison.

Moreover, with better flexibly of the tread (as the tire features a softer compound), these sipes are better able to expand/contract, and proved better water wiping abilities.

In comparison, the Nitto Ridge Grappler not only lacks in providing ample siping, but with a harder compound, those slits aren’t’ able to create proper suction for the water particles coming underneath, and so overall wet grip suffers.

Though with a better combination of lateral and longitudinal (interconnected) grooves, the tire does run by ample hydroplaning resistance.

On/Off-Road Comfort

The general ride quality depends on two elements: the tread noise and the tire’s ability to absorb road imperfections. And considering both the Pro Comp AT Sport is a better tire here.

It features a softer compound which settles the bumps much more nicely, and with its more closed up lugs arrangement, it doesn’t allow the air particles to come in and hit around, generating noise.

Nitto Ridge Grappler on the other hand, is balder, and comes with a stiffer compound composition, so it lacks in both areas, comparatively.

Winter Traction

A tire’s capability in snowy conditions is evaluated by its ability to perform in all types of snowy terrains, including ice, deep, and shallower snow.

And out of both tires, although they don’t carry sever winter ratings, you’d see a better traction on Pro Comp AT Sport. Let me explain why.

Basically winter performance requires a couple of things, you need a narrower tread, greater weight (yes, that helps), and biters to grab the snow.

All of these things allow tires to pick up snow particles and make contact with the ground with those, as rubber to snow contact is not as efficient.

The biters hang on to the snow, and the greater weight + narrower section width puts more pressure on the ground, lodging snowflakes in the tread more effectively.

Nitto Ridge Grappler although has weight to its advantage, its wider tread is not that capable of assigning the same winter traction here.

Off Road Traction

The difficulties of off-road terrains can range from mud being particularly demanding, to gravely roads being easily managed. That’s why I’ve chosen to examine each terrain closely.


To handle mud effectively, tires require wider grooves and self-cleaning capabilities. This design helps to evacuate mud quickly, improving traction and stability.

That’s why out of both, the Pro Comp AT Sport with a crowded-lug design gets packed up quickly on mud, and is not able to outperform its competitor.

Moreover, its longitudinal arrangement of the lugs, with continuous running central rib, and pretty packed up shoulder lugs, restrict mud to escape out laterally, and this limits the overall traction.

Nitto Ridge Grappler on the other hand, is pretty great here, as it’s map of grooves, connecting each part of the tread allows mud to leave out at various angles without any hindrance. Moreover the tire also features thicker sidewall lugs with powerful mud scoops on shoulders, and thy both add to the overall paddling on the thick muddy terrain.


On rocks, you’d find yourself better with aggressive sides, biters, and durable inner composition.

Both of these boys although have similar durability, allocating 3 plies to the sidewalls, the Nitto Ridge Grappler takes the upper hand with it’s bigger groove mouth, which renders larger grip, with it’s saw toothed edges from its angled triangular lugs.

The Pro Comp A/T on the other side, although assign decent biters, with closed up blocks arrangement, they can’t glue to the ground as much as the other beast (Nitto).


Although air pressure of the tire plays a crucial role, when it comes to sand performance (as it allows the tire to float better), there are some tread features which further add to the tire’s floating abilities.

And considering those, it makes sense why the Nitto Ridge Grappler offers a better grip on all types of sandy surfaces, including deeper dunes.

The tire for one, has greater section width, and with thicker sidewall lugs, pasted on a larger surface area, they spread out more with lowered air pressure, further enhancing that width, and delivering the tire with better floating abilities.

Pro Comp AT Sport on the other side, although features a spongy compound, that molds over sand in a better way (with lowered PSI), it’s skinnier sidewall lugs don’t dispense off similar traction efficacy, as the Ride Grappler.

Dirt Roads

On dirt filled roads, tires need powerful stone ejectors which clear the tires tread with sharp stones which can sink in, and causes damage combined with loss of traction (even though almost all off-road tires have a chip resistant rubber).

Nonetheless, with a harder compound, the Nitto Ridge lasts longer on gravely roads, and it’s bolder stone ejectors and wider grooves provide effective self cleaning of the tread.

Pro Comp AT Sport on the other side, does not provide any kind of stone ejectors, so the tire lacks here overall, with it’s limited self cleaning capabilities.

To Sum Up

Out of both tires, the Pro Comp AT Sport provides better highway performance in terms of noise, comfort, fuel and tread life as well as traction.

On the other side, the Nitto Ridge Grappler provides superior off-road grip on rocks, sand and mud filled tracks.

So its basically better overall off-road, and I guess you saw this coming, right?

Leave a Comment