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Golf Cart Tire Comparison: All-Terrain Tires

Golf Cart Tire Comparison: All-Terrain Tires

If you’ve been searching for new golf cart tires, you may be at an all-too-common roadblock-- Commit to street/turf tires, and you’re limited on how far off-road you can take your golf cart. Invest in full beast mode tires and risk damaging delicate driving surfaces– like golf courses or your lawn.

If you feel like you don’t quite fit into either category enough to sacrifice the benefits of the other, we’ve got the Goldilocks of collections to present to you. All-terrain golf cart tires boast the perfect balance of features: turf-sensitive, street-legal, and increased traction on unpaved terrain. 

 

What We Looked At 

We compiled all of the essential tire specifications and information to help you decide what type of all-terrain tire will work best for your golf cart and driving environment.

Tread Design
Tread Width
Tread Depth
Ply Rating
Tire Max Load
DOT Approval
Ideal Application

These specs will give you a general idea of what you can expect from each tire and helps you make better purchasing decisions based on your unique needs.

Before We Begin...

Before we get into all the nitty-gritty, let's get a few overlying points out of the way:

First, this is by no means an exhaustive list of the all-terrain golf cart tires available to purchase. This review will cover a small sampling to show you the range of features available within the all-terrain golf cart tire category. 

Second up is that golf carts are low-speed vehicles (or LSVs). Being a low-speed vehicle means that although things like tread depth and width, ply rating, and the other technical points we cover are important, they are not crucial to the same degree they are when considering automotive tires.

Doing 70 miles an hour down the highway over hundreds of miles is a lot different than driving your golf cart through the campground or playing a round of golf.

Third, all of the tires we used in this comparison are 20” or 22” tall and compatible with 10" wheels. All measurements were taken without the tires being mounted and inflated.

Small Disclaimer Most of the tires in this comparison are available in larger diameters for larger wheels, and taking measurements on those larger tires or when the tires are mounted and inflated may produce results that are slightly different than what you see below.

 

All that said and out of the way, we’ll start digging in. The information below is intended to provide greater insight into these specific tires (and golf cart tires in general), in turn giving you more decision-making and buying power. 

Comparison Points

Before we jump into the specifics of each tire, let's quickly discuss what each of the above topics means and how that impacts your golf cart tire.

Tread Design

Tread design is just that-- the design made by the combination of tread blocks and channels that make up the face of the tire. 

Is the tread pattern smooth and flowy, or blocky and aggressive? Are the channels shallow or deep? Is the function of the tread design primarily to increase traction or produce a smooth, comfortable ride? 

Tread design, is an important consideration when it comes to all-terrain tires. Since these tires are intended for travel on a range of driving surfaces, this category has the widest variety of tread design as well-- some closely resembling street/turf tire tread patterns, and some leaning more towards off-road.

The tread is also one of the most contributing factors affecting both the comfort of the ride as well as how much battery power or fuel is consumed when driving your golf cart.

Tread Width and Depth 

Tread width refers to the space between the tread blocks (the width of the channels), while tread depth refers to how deep the tread channels are on each golf cart tire.

Wide tread widths allow for water or dirt and small gravel to easily escape, but can create a bit of "road noise" when traveling on pavement. Narrow tread widths are primarily for use on paved surfaces or turf.

This is the most significant measurable difference between Street/Turf Tires and All-Terrain Tires. Both widths and depths are around double on the all-terrain tires than they are on the street and turf tires.

*For a full comparison on Street and Turf Tires, check out our previous blog post here!

Ply Rating

Tires are not like toilet paper... did you know?

Let me explain: When we hear the word "ply," we think of how many layers of material are used to make something. While that is true when choosing your favorite bathroom paper product, tires actually aren't even constructed in layers (anymore).

 

So what is it? If you're familiar at all with automotive tires, you may recognize the terms "Load Range" or "Load Index" and their corresponding letter designations. Ply Rating is the golf cart tire equivalent of this general measurement of overall tire strength. 

It's really pretty simple: The higher the ply rating number, the stronger the tire will be. Keep in mind this also increases the stiffness of the tire and the ride experience. 

All but one of the all-terrain tires compared below is rated at four-ply (similar to street and turf tires). You will start seeing 6-ply tires more regularly when we get into Off-Road Tires. 

Tire Max Load

This measurement refers to how much weight each tire can support (with proper inflation and healthy tread life). The All-Terrain Tires below have a max load range of 468-lbs. to 700-lbs. per tire.  

DOT Approval 

Certification by the Department of Transportation (DOT) stating that the tires are approved for use on roadways, this marking is less important for recreational vehicles such as golf carts than it is on standard road vehicles, but could be a requirement in some states for a golf cart to be considered a Street Legal Low-Speed Vehicle (LSV). There is also a lot of other information hidden in plain sight on the DOT marking - such as date and location of manufacture, as well as tire ratings. 

Ideal Application 

All-Terrain tires are, by name, a hybrid-use tire intended to transition seamlessly from the gravel to turf to road without a loss in performance.

Within this category, though, are tires that lean more towards the off-road style, and others closer resembling street tires, so your primary use is one of the more significant deciding factors when considering all-terrain tires.

Looking for the biggest and baddest golf cart tires you can buy? Check out our post on off-road golf cart tire treads!

The Tires

Excel Street Fox (20x10R-10)

  • Tread Design:  Unique wavy tread pattern that is smooth and quiet on the roadway and gentle enough for the turf. Outward-flowing, wide-set channels allow for water and dirt to escape easily. 
  • Tread Width: 9mm - 19mm
  • Tread Depth: 5.8mm 
  • Ply Rating: 4
  • Max Load: 700 lbs/each at 20 psi
  • DOT Approved?: Yes
  • Ideal Application: Hybrid - High performance on gravel and unpaved driving surfaces, but gentle on turf. So, what gives? This tire literally has “street” in its name, but it’s in the all-terrain category? Touché. While this tire does land at the very baseline of what we would classify as “all-terrain,” the combination of wavy tread with deep and wide channels gives it more traction on unpaved driving surfaces and protection for turf, Boosting it just high enough to qualify for the all-terrain category. 

Arisun Lightning (20x10-10)

 

  • Tread Design: The Arisun Lightning tire features a unique non-directional tread pattern that provides excellent traction without the damage of smaller knobby tread styles. The large, flame-like tread design flows with the cart's movement, so it will not damage your yard like a more aggressive tire could. This Arisun tire is made with a long-wearing rubber compound, providing durability, performance, and good looks.
  • Tread Width: 11mm - 22.8mm
  • Tread Depth: 6mm
  • Ply Rating: 6
  • Max Load: 520 lbs/each at 20 psi
  • DOT Approved?: Yes
  • Ideal Application: Hybrid - High performance on gravel and unpaved driving surfaces due to deeper, wider tread and equally gentle on turf thanks to the tread pattern. 

GTW Timberwolf (22x10-10)

  • Tread Design: The Timberwolf by GTW features an interlocking block tread design with relatively narrow channels throughout, opening up to wide escape routes at the tire walls, allowing dirt and water to flow out. The closely-grouped, large flat tread blocks create excellent surface contact, and the small sipes on top of the tread allow the blocks to flex even more for additional grip strength on wet or uneven surfaces. 
  • Tread Width: 8.1mm
  • Tread Depth: 9.3mm
  • Ply Rating: 4
  • Max Load: 468 lbs/each at 14 psi
  • DOT Approved?: Yes 
  • Ideal Application: Hybrid, with more off-pavement ability. Large, flat treads make solid, flat contact on turf, while the deep, narrow channels allow for flexibility across wet, unpaved, and/or uneven terrain. 

Wanda All Trail (20x10-10)

  • Tread Design: With the most aggressive tread design in the all-terrain category, the Wanda All Terrain can’t be overlooked. The more defined, deeper, wider-set treads provide the best traction on trails, dirt, gravel, campground and hunting applications while still providing a good ride on hard surfaces, even in wet conditions. 
  • Tread Width: 10.2mm
  • Tread Depth: 11.5mm
  • Ply Rating: 4
  • Max Load: 500 lbs/each at 20 psi
  • DOT Approved?: Yes
  • Ideal Application: Hybrid - Perfect for those traveling more off-road surfaces than turf or street, these tires will give you all the benefits of a true off-road tire while still providing a comfortable ride on hard surfaces. This tire may produce a bit more road noise or damage to delicate turf than others in the all-terrain category, but its performance on challenging terrain cannot be matched. 

Final Thoughts

After reviewing this selection of all-terrain tires, a few things have become clear:

1. All-Terrain tires truly are the perfect combination of unpaved performance, street comfort, and turf protection-- all in one. 

2. The tire with the deepest tread depth is the Wanda All-Trail, and the tire with the widest tread spacing is the Arisun Lightning. 

3. The Arisun Lightning is the stiffest tire in this selection, rated at 6-ply, compared to the others, which are all 4-ply. 

4. The Excel Street Fox boasts the largest max load capacity at 700 lbs. per tire

While all of these factors are important and should be taken into consideration before making a purchase, perhaps the most significant factor to consider is the tread style. 

Tread style will significantly affect how your golf cart feels and how well your golf cart performs on various terrains.

Driving down the street with aggressive tread can make riding on your cart rough and loud. Alternatively, going off-road with street tires won't give your cart the proper grip it needs to perform well.

So, think carefully about where you drive your cart most often and what you want your cart to do for you; then, you will more easily be able to narrow down the all-terrain tire options available to you. 

Well, friends, we hope this has been helpful and allows you to better evaluate your golf cart tire needs and to make an informed decision when it's time to upgrade. 

Leave us a comment below with any questions, share this article with your Golf Cart Groupies, and keep an eye out for our next blog: OFF-ROAD Golf Cart Tire Comparison....

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Here for the Ride

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