Nitto Trail Grappler VS Nitto Ridge Grappler

Nitto Trail Grappler will show better performance for off-roading thanks to its deeper tread depth and the wider void. Whether you are driving through muddy terrain or crawling through rock, Trail Grappler will show good results. Furthermore, Ridge Grappler will be better for on-road performance and can give you a quieter and more comfortable ride. 

The difference here shows the significance of choosing an all terrain and a mud terrain tire. Of course there are some key differences and you need to know the specific conditions where both of the tires will have good results. So, to know more about it all let’s dive straight into the discussion. 

Nitto Trail Grappler VS Nitto Ridge Grappler: Quick Difference

Alright so let’s get straight into answering what is better between Nitto Trail Grappler and Nitto Ridge Grappler. The table below shows the factor that is used to compare Trail Grappler and Ridge Grappler. 

FactorsNitto Trail GrapplerNitto Ridge Grappler
Muddy Terrain PerformanceBetter Muddy Terrain PerformanceGood Muddy Terrain Performance
Rock Crawling PerformanceBetter Rock Crawling PerformanceGood Rock Crawling Performance
Snow Driving PerformanceSlightly Less Moderate Snow Driving PerformanceModerate Snow Driving Performance
Hydroplaning ResistancePoor Hydroplaning ResistanceSlightly Better Hydroplaning Resistance
On-Road PerformanceModerate On-Road PerformanceBetter On-Road Performance
Noise & ComfortModerate Noise Resistance & ComfortGood Noise Resistance & Comfort
Tire Wearing ResistanceGood Tire Wearing ResistanceBetter Tire Wearing Resistance
Tread Life Warranty20,000 – 30,000 miles40,000 to 50,000 miles
Average Weight33.14 lbs – 115.59 lbs39.34 lbs – 91.49 lbs
Average Tread Depth19.50 17.35
Size Options15 to 26 inches16 inches to 24 inches
Cost$300 – $500*$270 – $600*

*The cost may vary depending where you live, vat and tax.

The table above shows the key difference between Ridge and Trail Grappler. Let’s get into the discussion now. 

Nitto Trail Grappler VS Nitto Ridge Grappler: Detailed Description

So, now we need to get into the details of what makes the performance difference between Trail and Ridge Grappler. 

Muddy Terrain Performance

Let’s start with comparing the muddy terrain performance between Trail and Ridge Grappler. Nitto Trail Grappler is a mud terrain tire which means it is better for muddy terrain performance.Trail Grappler comes with large grooves and wider void ratio which makes for easy expelling of the mud from beneath the tire. 

Nitto Ridge Grappler also shows decent performance when it comes to mud terrain. Its tread design includes a shoulder groove that has been set to alternating lengths and widths to clear out the mud and ensure better grip. 

Now although Ridge Grappler will show excellent grip on mud, Trail Grappler will still be the overall better option for muddy terrain since it has been built solely for that purpose.


Go for Nitto Trail Grappler instead of Nitto Trail Ridge Grappler if your main priority is optimal performance on muddy terrain. 

Rock Crawling Performance

The main problem in rock crawling is withstanding tiny stones that can cause punctures on the tire. So, normally a tire that has good rock crawling performance will mean that the tire will have good durability. 

Nitto Trail Grappler is made with the 3-ply sidewall that makes it more rigid and durable against stones. Beyond that, it has the high void ratio and reinforced shoulder grooves which ensures stone ejection and good performance for rock crawling. Once again, its high void ratio makes Trail Grappler the outstanding choice for rocky terrain. 

Nitto Ridge Grappler is also a good contender for rock crawling. Like Trail Grappler, it is also made with 3-ply sidewall which makes it resilient. One of its features is having the stone ejector and textured ribs, which protects the grooves by avoiding the stones from getting stuck and making a puncture. Beyond that its staggered shoulder lugs also make for optimal performance on rocky conditions.


In terms of rock crawling, you will get the best performance from both Nitto Trail Grappler and Ridge Grappler.  

Snow Driving Performance

Let’s compare the tire performance in snowy conditions. Trail Grappler has a wide and deep groove which means that it will be able to evacuate the ice and maintain traction efficiently. However, the main problem is when there is deep snow or large blocks of ice. In such situations Trail Grappler is unfortunately not so efficient. 

On a similar pattern, Ridge Grappler thanks to its high void ratio and multitudinous biting edge get good traction on snowy conditions. It is also slightly better than Trail Grappler, due to its shorter braking distance. But the main problem is again driving through deep snow.

Since neither of these tires are actually winter tires, you won’t get the best performance from either of them. It is better if you look for winter tires more suited for using in deep snow. 


Nitto Ridge Grappler will show slightly better grip on snowy conditions. However it is recommended to look for a designated winter tire if you live in an area where it snows a lot. 

Hydroplaning Resistance

Let’s go with hydroplaning resistance. This is the ability of the tire to avoid accumulation of water beneath the tire surface and stop slipping. 

Tire tread design will show how much hydroplaning resistance it will have. Normally, deeper tread depth means that the tire will have more hydroplaning resistance since a deeper groove allows for efficient flow of water. 

Nitto Trail Grappler is a mud terrain tire and you would expect to perform the best on off-road conditions. However, it has the zig zag patterned Z grooves and central sipes that help in the flow of water but the problem is in its overall tread pattern and the void ratio that shows problem in the hydroplaning resistance, making it overall less efficient.

With Nitto Ridge Grappler it doesn’t get any better. Although an all terrain tire with zig zag patterned Z grooves as well, this tire is also not well suited for hydroplaning resistance. Although its weight helps it to perform relatively better than Trail Grappler, in an overall sense you would still need to look for better off-road tires.


In terms of hydroplaning resistance, Ridge Grappler is slightly better than Trail Grappler. But you need to look for other options if you strictly look for tires with good wet traction. 

On-Road Performance

Trail Grappler has deeper and wider spacing between the treads since it is a mud terrain tire which makes it more compatible for off-road performance but for on road performance it is better to have shallower tread depth and narrower grooves.

This is where you can expect the all terrain tire to shine. Rightfully so, Ridge Grappler tires have it better with multiple sipes and narrower grooves which assist in maintaining the grip and comfort while driving the vehicle on road. 

Again, the performance is definitely not compatible with your typical passenger tires, but just that it is better than Trail Grappler. 


Choose Ridge Grappler tires instead of Trail Grappler if you want to have a tire with better on road performance. 

Noise & Comfort

To tackle the noisiness from typical mud terrain tires, the engineers have designed the tread pattern by adjusting the size, shape and the position of the tread blocks. Despite all this, one of the most common issues with Trail Grappler is its noisiness. The issue is so dire that even the manufacturer themselves rate it a 2.5 out of 5 in terms of quietness.  

On the contrary, you get a much quieter ride from Ridge Grappler tires and the manufacturers rate it 4 out of 5 for a quiet ride. Thanks to its angular design tread pattern that helps to block the loud noise and maintain optimal comfort. 

However, both of the tires have been simulated on a computer to study the tire acoustics while riding. 


If you want to have a quieter and comfortable ride then choose Nitto Ridge Grappler. 

Tire Wearing Resistance

Trail Grappler is built with thick rubber tread compound along with jointless cap ply construction which makes it durable and have good wearing resistance. 

Ridge Grappler tires have more rigidity thanks to its reinforced block foundation that reduces flex on the tread blocks. Less flexing makes the tire more durable and stronger.


Go for Nitto Ridge Grappler instead of Nitto Ridge Grappler if you want to go for a more durable tire. 

Size Options

Both Nitto Trail and Ridge Grappler come with a diversity of size options. Let’s follow the table below to see the product list for each size option available.

Size OptionsNitto Trail GrapplerNitto Ridge Grappler
15 inches01 N/A
16 inches0407
17 inches1320
18 inches26
20 inches 1928
22 inches1014
24 inches54
26 inches2N/A

The table shows that even though you get more size options from Trail Grappler, you will get more product lists from Ridge Grappler. 


Trail Grappler has more size options and Ridge Grapplers has more products in its list. 


Does Nitto Ridge Grappler Come In E Load Rating?

Yes, Nitto Ridge Grappler comes in E load rating. In fact, you will get around a total of 99 tire sizes that have the load rating of C, D, E and F. So, you have a lot of options if you want to choose Nitto Ridge Grappler.

Are Nitto Ridge Grapplers Good For Highway?

Yes, Nitto Ridge Grapplers are good for highway performance. The speciality of Ridge Grapplers is being an all-terrain tire. The best part about an all terrain tire is that it shows optimal performance on both off-road and on-road and that’s why you can expect a quieter and smoother ride even after 20,000 miles. 

Is Nitto Ridge Grappler Snowflake Rated?

No, Nitto Ridge Grappler does not have the three-peak mountain snowflake rating. This is why it is not the best option if you live somewhere where it snows a lot. Because the tread pattern of Ridge Grappler is tight which makes the tires more slippery, unable to grip effectively and therefore not optimal for winter performance. 


That should clear out everything you needed to know to compare between Nitto Trail Grappler VS Nitto Ridge Grappler. Keep the relevant tire factor and the tire cost in mind before you make the decision. Finally, try not to mix the two tires to avoid problems related to control and durability.

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