Yokohama Geolandar X-AT vs Nitto Ridge Grappler

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The Nitto Ridge Grappler and the Yokohama Geolandar X-AT are both aggressive all-terrain tires, where some even consider them as hybrids. They are designed for off-road vehicles like Ford F-150, Ram, Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra, and provide top-notch performance on rougher terrains, without limiting too much of on-road abilities.

Nitto Ridge Grappler
Nitto Ridge Grappler offers better lateral traction with its better on/off road optimized shoulder lugs.

From the perspective of a tire engineer, I can tell that the Nitto Ridge Grappler is a superior tire for rock climbing, gravel handling, and dirt high-speeding. And on road, the tire also does better when things are dry. The Yokohama X-AT on the other side, is a superior tire for wet roads, and snow traction. It also provides you with a more comfortable ride and better tread life as well.


To make an off-road tire strong and durable, its internal construction must be engineered carefully.

This includes the use of cut resistant rubber which both tires have, as well as strong sidewalls with a polyester casing, where both offer 3 plies.

But with one extra cap ply on Nitto Ridge Grappler, the overall durability is still enhanced there.

On the other side, the Yokohama X-A/T G016 although, comes with similar 2 wide steel belts (of equal toughness), it’s limited single cap ply of nylon, makes its structure a little weaker comparatively.

Available Sizes

Starting things off with Yokohama X-AT, this tire comes in 15″ to 22″ (rim sizes). And all of these sizes have limited speed ratings of Q.

Though the load ratings are seen average, where they range from C and go up to F.

And that makes weight of the tire go from 40 lbs to 83 lbs.

Additionally, trad depth ranges in between 16/32″ and 19/32″, where you are going to see most of the sizes with 19/32″. And tread wear warranty is given with 45k miles.

On the other hand, the Nitto Ridge Grappler offers 98 sizes going from 16″ and up to 24″ (so you are getting more sizes here).

Speed ratings are also better where sizes also have T along with Q.

Weight of the tire has slightly bigger range, 36 to 91 lbs.

But tread depth is smaller, where its range is 13 to 18/32″ and you see majority of the sizes with 16.4/32″ (to be exact).

And worth reminding, this tire does not come with any kind of mileage warranty.

Tread Pattern

Yokohama Geolandar X-AT being a hybrid has prominent shoulder lugs on sides, surrounding with wider tread voids, compared to the blocks in the middle.

Geolandar XAT
Yokohama X-AT

The center section of the tire has L and S shaped ribs, both of them have notches, and full depth sipes, which become thicker towards the edges.

(The thinner sipes are basically for water and thicker ones do better with snow evacuation).

4 of these ribs combined, make a very straight forward lateral grooves connecting the outer more open voids of shoulder lugs.

And this makes it’s tread very self cleaning.

Speaking of which, the shoulder lugs are surrounded with stone/dirt ejectors from all sides, even in the open circumferential channels they make, and adds to the cleaning abilities of the tire.

These lugs have similar siping pattern, and they extend towards sidewalls forming sharp edges there.

(Though, worth noting, that they are not equipped with any kind of notches).

In comparison, the Nitto Ridge Grappler offers a similar open voided design but with bigger ribs in the middle.

Nitto Ridge Grappler
Nitto Ridge Grappler

The central lugs basically form rectangular shaped grooves with X/Z pattern voids in the middle, forming an equally self cleaning tread.

These are built by 4 triangular ribs, where all of them carry rectilinear siping, offsets, and sharp edges, which yields better biter off road.

(The two lugs also have sideways facing notches).

To enhance on-road stability, all these middle lugs also have foundational secondary layers underneath them, where the two lugs are are connected with the shoulders for directional acceleration, (that’s why you also get better speed ratings here as well).

Towards edges, the shoulder lugs are also more aggressive in comparison, they have bigger mud scoops on their staggered design and with dual sidewall design, each side of the tire offer chunkier lugs creating stronger off road traction.

Fuel Usage

When it comes to fuel consumption, although you can’t expect too much from aggressive off road tires, its still important to consider where they stand.

In order to analyze that, the rolling resistance has to be considered, and this depends on various factors, including weight of the tire and tread composition (being the most significant two).

And considering both, its understandable why Yokohama Geolandar X AT contributes to rolling resistance more, comparatively.

The tire is simply heavier, and has a stickier tread composition with higher silica density, so its lugs flex on it’s place and don’t move the tire as a whole effectively, wasting more energy.

The Nitto Ridge on the other side, has smaller tread depth and firmer blocks, which give a more direct response on roads, so less energy is wasted here.

Tread Wear

Rolling resistance also contributes to tread life, but since there are other factors involved, it can be explained why Yokohama X AT lasts longer despite having a softer composition.

Its soft, but elastic, or you can say stretchable, allowing to be resistant to wear.

Moreover, the larger tread depth takes more time to burn off. That’s why it offers 45k miles warranty, whereas Nitto Ridge doesn’t offer any.

Winter Capability

The versatility of all-terrain tires allows them to handle a range of winter conditions, including ice, deep snow, light snow, and hard-packed snow.

Ice and hard packed snow needs more biters/sipes, so both these tires are going to be a disaster there.

However, on fluffy snow, the Yokohama X AT offers good enough results, especially compared to Ridge Grappler, as the tire’s supple compound stays soft and does not freeze up with negative temperatures, and the more in number siping (comparatively) offer better snow bite.

Dry Traction

The contact patch of a tire, or its footprint, plays a major role in how much grip it has.

It’s all about the tread composition and structure, where the middle area of the tread determines the directional grip, which is calculated with braking distances, and the shoulders tell about handling times (lateral traction).

These are two parts of dry traction by the way.

And both of these are seen better on Nitto Ridge Grappler, as it offers more stability.

The tire basically offers less tread depth on average, and all its lugs have secondary rubber layers underneath, which support them. That’s why its speed rating is available up to T.

On the other hand, the Yokohama X AT only offers up to a limited speed ratings of Q, and it’s compromised traction has to do with it’s lugs being more sloppy in nature.

It actually offers a silica rich compound, and this combined with a lot of tread depth (reaching up to 19/32″), the tire wastes a lot of it’s energy into flexing these lugs instead of building tire’s momentum.

So this results in larger braking distances/handling times, and a lot of lag in steering feedback.

Wet Traction

Wet traction has to do with fast water removal, and that is achieved with some tread features including sipes and grooves.

When it comes to wet grip, sipes are key. You want as many of these little slits as possible, and they have to be effective.

These sipes basically work, by sucking in water particles by expanding and contracting, so flexibility is important here too. That’s why the Yokohama Geolandar X-AT, providing these features, has the upper hand here.

In comparison, Nitto Ridge Grappler is built with a stiffer rubber and so it’s sipes have a hard time to flex, and there aren’t many sipes on its tread to begin with.

Though the tire does okay in another part of wet traction, hydroplaning, as it provides multiple interlinked channels (like the Yokohama X AT), which evacuate water out in a quick way.

Off Road Performance

All-terrain tires need to have a good balance of both on-road and off-road traction to navigate various terrain types effectively.

Mud Tracks

Self-cleaning tires are ideal for driving on mud, as they can effectively clear muddy debris from the tread.

And although both of these rugged terrain tires are hybrid, meaning they contain shoulders similar to mud-terrain, the Yokohama X-A/T still does better.

That’s because if you consider its tread above, you’ll notice that it’s more voided and has a more open design without any hurdles.

Moreover, it also offers deeper voids comparatively, so you get to see a greater and more impactful mud evacuation from it’s tread compared to Nitto Ridge.

On Rocks

Nitto Ridge Grappler is specially designed for rocks, so its no surprise that it outperforms even some of the rugged mud-terrain tires as well.

The tire offers a great combination of all gripping angles. Meaning there’s longitudinal traction (or you can say directional grip), and there’s lateral grip as well, but this tire also targets all the other angles coming in between.

As that is achieved with it’s X shaped grooves in the middle, where the triangular lugs with sharp edges, biters and side-teeth offers tremendous biting power.

Moreover, its dual sidewall design offering bulkier lugs on each side, provides better gripping with lowered air pressure, so climbing rocks is a piece of cake for this tire.

Yokohama Geolandar X-AT on the other side, offers a great directional grip, but suffers with it’s limited sideways traction, though with lowered air pressure it gets a lot better (but this is more effective on sand).

On Sand

Have you ever wondered why it’s so important to lower the air pressure in tires when driving on sand?

Well, it all for increasing the tread print, and with that, the tire does not dig in the sand too much.

So it’s all actually linked with digging. And on sand you don’t want that, you need forward motion.

That’s why the Nitto Ridge Grappler offers better results. It offers stronger bead locks so you can really lower the pressure down on this puppy.

And with it’s thicker sidewall lugs you enhance the footprint a lot.

In comparison, the Yokohama X A/T has narrower section width (on average), and less aggressive sidewall biters.

Moreover, it’s shoulder are sharper too.

All of these things basically invite the digging part on the sand.

On-Road Comfort

The comfort of a ride isn’t just about the suspension, here tires play a crucial role absorbing the bumps on/off road, it also has a lot to do with how much noise the tires make.

Both tires here, have wide tread voids that give plenty of room for air to move around, but the Nitto Ridge Grappler is still the quieter option.

How? Well, the noise hitting this tire’s lugs creates different tones (at different locations) that don’t sync up, so it’s dampened out. Nitto calls it Variable Pitch Technology.

The Geolandar X A/T, in comparison, tries to minimize noise in a similar way, but its groove resonance is just too high, and so the noise reflects off the tread lugs more.

But the plus for this tire is it’s silica rich compound and thick rubber layer of 19/32″ (tread depth), which allows effective dampening of the imperfections of the road.


Let me save you some time.

Nitto Ridge Grappler is a great pick on rocks, and sand, but lacks in muddy terrains in comparison. Moreover, on roads, it does better with dry traction, and noise reduction, but lacks in tread wear.

Yokohama Geolandar X-AT on the other hand, is a great tire for wet (in hybrids, I mean), it’s snow traction is also superior, but what really sets this tire aside is it’s comfort capability.

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