I've gotten several pm's lately asking for help in picking out the ideal tire.
First watch out for how many email that you have in your basket. Those that have the free membership are limited to just 5 emails and if you've reached your limit I can't respond to your questions. An easy fix is to upgrade your account
or keep your mailbox cleaned out.
Next, they're is no perfect tire for all occasions. Whether it's snow, sand or mud you need to determine if you want to ride on top of it or dig down into it and that will be based on how soft or firm it is. Tread pattern is more important than height or width but I am a firm believer in not going too tall and killing your bottom end. My preference is to get as close to a 28" tire in the appropriate tread pattern as you can. Remember too that knobby tires are usually
kinda noisy on the pavement but poor street tires can be just as bad.
If you're running in rocky terrain, loose shale or some combination of the different surfaces you'll have different priorities in selecting tires.
They do make special Snow and Ice tires which are also a great improvement over even All Season tires in those conditions but they also have a different rubber compound that makes them wear out more quickly when running them as a summer tire. There is no really great tire for running on ice other than studs or chains but the Snow and Ice tires will help.
A little story of two completely different tires doing the same job equally as well, running in the washs (dry river beds) in S. AZ.
A nearly stock '30 Ford Model A with 4.75 X 19" stock tires. Running down into the washs and back out was no problem. One day in one of my little escapes I passed a dummy with a pre '70 'Vette with huge street tires digging a hole in the sand but going no where really fast. That was a good laugh!
A typical VW powered rail dune buggy with monster flotation tires that would also just cruise every where we wanted it to, up and down the banks as long as it wasn't too steep.
For a good off-road machine I do recommend getting some 16" wheels from a Patriot or something else that fits. With the availability of different sizes and tread patterns I feel that you should be able to find something that's right for needs. The 17" wheels also have a pretty good selection too but the 18" are really limited because most of the offerings are just to tall for our torque curve and fitment in the wheel wells.
Right now I have Kumho 235/60R18's. They are a pretty good tire in the snow after you get some miles on them to get the molding chemicals run out. They also appear to be wearing like iron and the noise and ride is much, much better than the original Firehawks. When they wear out I will be going to my Patriot wheels and running Pirelli 225/70R16 ATR's.
I have Firestone Destinations A/T's on the wife's GC and she loves them. I put Dunlop Rover RVXT's on the Daughters Libby and she likes them too. In both cases their previous tires were well worn out and anything may have seemed like an improvement. There are others in our group that are running the Destinations on a 17" wheel and seem to like them also.
You may want to check with your local tire dealers, Sears, Wards, etc for a private label or local tire. You can find some good buys there too.
Really sorry that this got so long winded!