When I decided I was going to buy a Jeep, I knew I wanted to build it up right away. I did some intense budgeting to find ways to go straight to 37's with Dana 60's within days of picking up my Jeep. I wanted to do it immediately to maximise the resale value of the parts I was taking off. No mater how I worked the numbers I couldn't make ends meet. To make my Jeep a reality I had to find an area of the build to save some money. I didn't want to cut corners on the fundamental components like the axles, suspension, or the Jeep itself (like giving up the 4:1 tcase by going with the cheaper Sahara). I learned that one of the easiest places to save several hundred dollars is with the tire I selected. Tires are short term investments since they have to be replaced every few years anyways, so I felt it was a good place to cut some fat. I found several options which you can read about here. I picked the Kanati Trail Hog.
Kanati Trail Hog
The Kanati Trail Hogs won out over similar tires because of the addition of siping. Before I found the Trail Hog I was going to get the Federal Couragia M/T but the extensive siping of the Trail Hog should provide a noticeable difference in snow and ice performance. Even though Kanati considers the Trail Hog an A/T it as aggressive as many other brands of M/T, including the Couragia and the ever-popular BF Goodrich Mud Terrain tires. The tread pattern of the Trail Hog looks like that of the Goodyear DuraTrac but with slightly larger voids.
Goodyear Wrangler DuraTrac Tread
Kanati Trail Hog Tread
I bought 5 Kanati Trail Hogs 37x12.50R17s for just under $1,250 total delivered, which is hundreds below the best price I've ever seen for a set of name brand tires. In fairness I also ordered my Method 105 beadlock wheels at the same time from the same company to help get the best deal I could. I ordered them on 4/4/16 and received them 4/14/16.
Seeing them in person they are more aggressive than I expected, which isn't a draw back provided they are not super loud. On the down side the siping looks pretty superficial, the grooves appear to be only about an 1/8" of an inch deep meaning I'll most likely have lost the snow and ice performance before the second winter, and be left with a tread more like a mud-terrain. [UPDATE: I was wrong about the siping, see review below for more details] If they are real crap in a couple winters I'll probably look into siping them myself.
600 mile review
I've been driving with the Trail Hogs long enough to give some initial thoughts, so here they are...
The Kanati Trail Hogs are quieter then I expected. At "in town" speeds they are nearly inaudible when the top and doors are on, incredibly they are nearly on par with the sound of the stock 32" Mud Terrains. At "highway speeds" they make a gentle hum, louder than the Mud Terrains, but again, less than I was expecting. Running them at 30 PSI I'm very happy with them in this area.
The tread looks to be excellent. My initial assumption about the siping was wrong, the siping is more than superficial, it extends down into the tread blocks a fair distance, however they do not extend the full depth of the tread block, perhaps 2/3's of the way.
This is the first concern I am having with the Trail Hogs. When I got the tires back after having them mounted and balanced they had about 36 psi of air in them and they looked like donuts and rode like cement. I have since been gradually lowering the tire pressure looking for the sweet spot, a point where the ride is nice, the tires have a good contact patch for even wear, yet they don't roll side-to-side under the Jeep.
I've worked my may down to 30 psi and I think I've found the spot where the ride is outstanding and there is almost no roll, however the contact patch is not great.
Kanati Trail Hog Contact Patch at 30 psi on stock wheels
As you can see, at 30 PSI the outside 1"- 1 1/4" of the tread doesn't touch the road. I am amazed that I will need to go lower than this for a 5,000 pound Jeep to push the tires down fully. However, the suggested wheel width for these is 8-1/2" and I have them mounted to the stock wheels which are narrower than that so that may be the cause.
I have no complaints about the handling of the tires at 30 PSI. They don't follow seams in the road, they don't roll side-to-side under the Jeep when turning, and they ride very nice.
It's been 9 months and I have been thuroughly satisfiied with the Kanati Trail Hogs. I've got them mounted on the Method Racing 105 true beadlock wheels which are 17x8.5". These wider wheels have solved the contact pact problem I was having with the stock wheels. I have settled on 28 psi as the best tire pressure for these tires on my Jeep. At 28 psi the contact patch is good, the noise is relatively mild, they've been wearing evenly, and they ride nice.
Rain, Snow, and Ice Performance:
Winter has hit Wisconsin so I can give these tires an honest review about their performance on roads covered in snow and ice and they have been great! Their performance on snowy roads is as good as any tire I've owned. Over the years I found that large "mud terrain" tires can be horrific on snow, floating up on top and offering no connection to the road surface below. The Kanatai's are rated for snow and ice and they bite onto the road surface very well, providing confident braking and cornering. Winter performance was the main reason I went with the Trail Hog over other tires, they claimed excellent snow and ice performance and I'm relieved to say the Kanati's deliver.
This is the most worn tire of the 5.
OK, It's been a little over 2 years and I have a little over 30,000 miles on the Kanati Trail Hogs. I've had no trouble with them in that time. Now that the tread is getting low they are getting louder, but I think that is a common occurance with aggressive tires. I fell behind on rotating them and that has accelerated their wear so I estimate they could have lasted about 45,000 miles before they would be down to the wear bars, however I'm going to pull the plug on mine at 35,000. These are nowhere near bald and I expect to be able to sell them as a used tire for a few bucks. The reason I'm pulling these tires a little early is that I'm going on an 3,000+ mile off-roading road trip in August and I want fresh rubber for the adventure. For my new new tires I strongly considered getting another set of Kanati's but Cooper's Discoverer STT Pro tires, which are under $300 each and are MADE IN AMERICA, have tempted my tummy so I've decided to give them a try.
All-in-all the Kanatis where a good purchase and I can only hope that the Coopers perform as well in the snow and ice as the Kanatis did. I learned that running big tires on a daily driver requires regular tire rotation and I didn't do that nearly often enough. Hopefully I'll do better with my new set of tires.
I've posted some pictures of the Cooper Discoverer STT Pro next to my Kanati Trail Hogs.
My worn Trail Hogs next to new Cooper Discoverer STT Pro
© Mike Riley 2018.