Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: Western, WA
There have recently been several threads discussing this at this forum and at many other forums.
I recently started a thread about BFG AT vs Grabber AT2 (new version came out 8 months ago) vs Cooper AT3.
I have owned 2 sets BFG AT and now own a set of Grabber AT2 (the new version) and am considering getting Cooper AT3 after much research into AT3.
I used the 2 set of BFG AT in all conditions and was happy with them, except a bit disappointed with mud performance, but it's an AT. I have not owned Grabber AT2 long enough to have tried them in all conditions. So what I say about Grabber AT2 is based partly on my experiences using it, and partly on posts at various forums by people using it. I have not yet owned Cooper AT3, but have read many reviews and posts from people using it.
BFG AT set the standard for good AT for decades. Great on road tire, except it hydroplanes easily on wet highway at 65+ mph. Slight buzz at some speeds, but not annoying. Rides very smooth-soft for an AT. Sidewalls tough enough for normal (intermediate) off roading. Good traction on all terrains, except mud. Struggles in mild mud. If mud more than mild, it gets stuck. BGF AT has annoying habit of picking up gravel between treads and retaining it. So not so great on gravel roads, IME. BFG AT is excellent on Winter roads.
Cooper AT3 sets the new standard for good AT. Great on road tire, and doesn't hydroplane on wet highway. AT3 is very quiet on road. Quieter than BFG. Rides very smooth-soft for an AT. Rides as smooth-soft as BFG AT. The AT3 sidewalls are tougher than BFG AT sidewalls. Cooper AT3 has good traction on all terrains, including some mud traction. Handles mild mud easily, struggles in medium mud. If mud more than medium, it gets stuck. Cooper AT3 does NOT pick up gravel between treads. AT3 excellent on Winter roads. The Cooper AT3 is currently the best AT made, IMO.
Old version General Grabber AT2 was very similar to BFG AT, but old version AT2 was slightly better, IMO.
About 8 months ago General released a new version of Grabber AT2, which is a lot more aggressive.
The new version Grabber AT2 is an excellent hybrid tire, IMO. Yes hybrid. It's to aggressive for me to call it an AT. I think the new Grabber AT2 is one of the best hybrid tires, and rivals Duratrac IMO.
The new version Grabber AT2 sets a new standard for good hybrid, IMO. Good on road tire, and doesn't hydroplane on wet highway. AT2 has slight growl on road between 30 to 35 mph. About same amount of slight noise as BFG, but different sound. BFG has slight buzz. Grabber has slight growl, but not enough to be annoying. The AT2 rides a little rough on road. It is not a comfort ride. The AT2 sidewalls are very tough. Much tougher sidewalls than BFG AT or Cooper AT3. Grabber AT2 sidewalls are tough enough for extreme off road use. AT2 has very good traction on all terrains, including respectable mud traction. Handles mild and moderate mud easily, struggles in extreme mud. If mud extreme, it might get stuck. AT2 picks up some gravel between treads, but it ejects most gravel at 10 to 20 mph, any remaining gravel ejects at speeds above 25 to 35 mph. So although it retains gravel at low speeds, it self cleans as speed increases. AT2 is very excellent on Winter roads. I think AT2 beats any other tire on Winter roads. Th
Grabber AT2 the best of whatever it is. It's a new class of tire, IMO. It's between an AT and a hybrid. It's a great choice for a tire that is good on road and excellent off road. For Winter conditions I think Grabber AT2 beats Duratrac and all others.
I don't think the new version Grabber AT2 is comparable to other AT because it is as much, or more, hybrid than AT. It is either a hybrid that competes with (and possibly beats) Duratrac, or perhaps Grabber AT2 is between AT and hybrid. It is an excellent tire for serious off roaders who want a tire that is decent on road. Most comparable to Duratrac IMO.
Grabber AT2 has soft tread rubber for more grip (yet has 50K warranty), lots of tread blocks and sipes, moderately large voids, and more self cleaning ridges between inner and outer treads than any other tire I've ever seen. It's an amazing tire. Made to excel in Winter conditions and do OK in mud, and made to excel on all other terrains.
I prefer Cooper AT3 because rides softer, quieter, better gas mileage, and adequate for my off road needs. For those priorities the Cooper AT3 rules.
If you want more off road performance, and are OK with a firm ride, a tiny bit of noise, and a bit less gas mileage, the Grabber AT2 is for you. The Grabber AT2 is a lot more civilized on road than any mud tire, and Grabber AT2 great on Winter roads.
BFG AT is still great, but is obsolete. Replaced by Cooper AT3 as best AT.
Grabber AT2 (new version) is gunning for best hybrid. It's competition is Duratrac. I think Grabber AT2 is a better hybrid than the Duratrac. IMO
If you like hybrid tires, also have a look at Cooper ST. It's a great hybrid, if you add extra sipes to center treads. I owned Cooper ST (not STT or ST Maxx). With extra sipes added to center treads, it's a great hybrid tire.
My tire store says the Grabber AT2 and Cooper ST have much tougher sidewalls than BFG AT, and maybe tougher than Duratrac. They sell all 4 tires. I'm not sure how tough Duratrac is. I know AT2 and ST are tough (but rough riding on road).
Another great thing about these tires is they are available in 30 x 9.5 R15. Whoowhooo for XJ owners!
Warning: I'm notorious for making a post, then editing same post several times, adding info each time, or correcting typos.