Off-roading became very popular in the last decade. You can see many SUVs and trucks battle on sand dunes or rocky terrain, and people that are very enthusiastic about the stuff. If you want to enter the off-road world, the first thing you need is a proper SUV or truck. Preferably, one with 4×4 powertrain and crawling gear.
But by purchasing a suitable vehicle, you’ve only done half of the job. To truly master various types of terrains, you will need a proper set of tires. And, as far as off-roading goes, you can get the best performance from maximum-traction off-road tires. The thing is, until recently, the market for these tires was limited to a handful of models. Now, though, you can even purchase cheap off-road tires, such as the Milestar Patagonia M/T.
Milestar is the brand name behind the Tireco company, based in California. So, yes, Milestar is an American, not a Chinese product. Nonetheless, the company prides itself on producing low-cost tires. Are they any good? Well, in my experience thus far, touring and high-performance tires from the brand aren’t particularly good. The grip and traction levels are lower than on tires from reputable manufacturers, and the tread wears very quickly.
But things might be different in Milestar’s off-road lineup, right? Well, maybe. Tireco’s brand has been very competitive in the off-road segment. The company still positions the Patagonia M/T lower than the competition, but in this case, the price difference isn’t that high. For that reason, my expectations from this tire are a tad higher.
And, Milestar faces a very stiff opposition this time. Industry-leading tires like BF Goodrich Mud-Terrain T/A KM3 and Goodyear Wrangler MT/R with Kevlar are very hard to beat. Meanwhile, the Cooper Discoverer STT Pro offers outstanding performance for the money, and the Firestone Destination M/T2 is no slouch either.
Now, I don’t expect that the Patagonia M/T will beat those tires, especially since the price is lower. However, it still must satisfy the basic needs of off-roaders. Those are excellent off-road traction, safe on-road handling, smooth operation, and longevity, and durability. Well, that’s at least what off-road enthusiasts want.
To cater to the needs of most enthusiasts, Milestar offers the tire in a wide range of sizes. You can have the Patagonia M/T in 15-inch to 22-inch wheel diameter, and 31-inch, 33-inch, 35-inch, and even 40-inch off-road dimensions. Besides, all sizes are LT-metric, which means that the Patagonia M/T is ready for the heaviest and most powerful SUVs and trucks out there. You can purchase a set of these tires through some popular tire retailers as well, which isn’t the case with other cheap brands.
So, how does the tire handle tough terrains and daily driving? To help you find out, I prepared a detailed Milestar Patagonia M/T review. Below, I’ll uncover how this product handles various conditions, including off-road and street driving. Before we jump to conclusions, though, let’s see what features Milestar included in its product to make it stand out from the competition.
- What are the features of the Milestar Patagonia M/T?
- What are maintenance indicators?
- How does it behave on a dry tarmac?
- How is it over wet and slippery roads?
- With that being said, how is it on snowy roads?
- Is it suitable for off-road driving?
- Is it comfortable and refined?
- Should I buy the Milestar Patagonia M/T?
What are the features of the Milestar Patagonia M/T?
Milestar states that the Patagonia M/T is a tire designed to “dominate harsh terrain.” More precisely, the firm states that the tire is “designed to be at home rock crawling, exploring the desert, mud bogging, playing in the dunes, or a casual drive through the mountain trails, the Patagonia M/T has all the attributes to overcome any terrain.”
To achieve all those superlatives, Milestar utilized an off-road focused, cut, and chip-resistant tread compound, built with durability and toughness in mind. The compound is molded into a very aggressive tread pattern with high void areas. This design should provide the driver with much better traction on slippery surfaces, such as mud or rocky terrains. Besides, thanks to the high-void area, the Patagonia M/T has self-cleaning capabilities, including stone ejectors.
Furthermore, the staggered off-center tread blocks provide increased traction for off-roading, but also improve the on-road dynamics and stability. The center blocks are also angles, which creates even more biting edges for increased traction on slippery surfaces. Milestar also opted for siping inside the tread blocks. The small sipes aren’t very helpful for off-roading, but they can greatly increase traction over wet surfaces.
The internal construction of the Patagonia M/T seems very solid. The manufacturer utilized a 3-ply sidewall, which provides protection against impact damage and punctures. The stiff sidewall also lets the owner use these tires at lower psi’s for driving over sand dunes or rocky terrain.
Ultimately, Milestar offers white lettering on the sidewall, which looks outstanding next to the super-aggressive tread pattern.
What are maintenance indicators?
Like most mud-terrain or off-road maximum-traction tires, the Milestar Patagonia M/T doesn’t have any wear indicators. However, like any serious off-roader, you might want to invest in a tread depth gauge. That’s because these tires start to perform worse sooner than other tires, especially for off-roading.
As for tread depth, the Patagonia M/T is usable up to 5/32-inch. When your tires reach that point, I recommend replacing them with a new set.
And, you’ll be replacing these tires more often than others. The Patagonia M/T has a very soft tread compound, which means that the treadlife isn’t very impressive. Actually, this tire won’t last nearly as long as premium off-road tires.
Moreover, many drivers complain that chipping and cuts appear on the tread blocks. This issue is not exclusive to this tire, but it happens more often.
How does it behave on a dry tarmac?
The Patagonia M/T feels very good behind the steering wheel, especially considering the price of the tire.
Handling isn’t very cumbersome, there is a decent amount of grip in the corners, and the braking distances aren’t overly long. Directional stability on the highway is decent as well – no issues there at all.
Now, sure, premium off-road tires handle even better, but you still get a safe driving experience here. And, in our book, that’s the most important thing in a tire.
How is it over wet and slippery roads?
The sipes inside the tread blocks seem to work very well in wet conditions. Again, I must stress that premium tires will be better here, but that’s expected.
Considering the price, Patagonia M/T provides a very good level of traction on wet surfaces. Handling is predictable enough, and the braking distances aren’t overly long. Also, thanks to the high-void area, the hydroplaning resistance is excellent.
With that being said, how is it on snowy roads?
Not as impressive as some, but still excellent for the price. Traction in unpacked snow is actually outstanding – the large tread blocks seem to provide enough biting edges. Braking is also very good, while handling feels safe.
Performance on packed snow is slightly worse, but the Patagonia M/T remains usable. Nonetheless, ice traction is where this tire really suffers. For that reason, if you live in an area with harsh wintry conditions, consider installing a set of winter tires.
Is it suitable for off-road driving?
Well, that’s the whole reason why you’d buy this tire, isn’t it? And, overall, I must say that I am pleased with the performance of the tire. Well, at least while it’s new.
Probably thanks to the softer tread compound, the Patagonia M/T impresses with traction on most surfaces. Mud doesn’t pose a big issue for the tire, and I found it to be particularly impressive for rock crawling. Also, handling on hardpacked surfaces, such as dirt and gravel, is really good.
That said, the off-road traction of this tire degrades faster than on premium tires. Some owners report that they lose traction even after 1,000-miles, which is certainly not something that Milestar should be proud of.
Is it comfortable and refined?
I was surprised at how quiet these tires were. I would go as for as to say that they are probably one of the quietest off-road tires you can buy.
Sadly, though, I can’t say the same about the ride quality. The stiff sidewalls make the ride bouncy, especially when you drive on the manufacturer-recommended tire pressures.
You can see more Milestar Patagonia M/T Review here: videos created by JL LIFE OFFROAD
Should I buy the Milestar Patagonia M/T?
The Patagonia M/T impresses on off-road surfaces, and it drives well on the road, too. On top of that, it’s one of the cheapest off-road tires on the market.
However, this tire doesn’t last nearly as long as the competition. And since you’ll have to replace it more often, it might be more expensive in the long run.
Still, if you want to upgrade the off-road traction of your truck or SUV, and you don’t have a lot of money to spend, the Patagonia M/T might be a good choice.
LIST OF MILESTAR TIRE REVIEWS