Tires are arguably the single most important part of your tow rig, but more often than not, we take those 25 square inches of contact patch for granted. Good, bad, or indifferent, it’s a fact, and so it helps to have a tire that’s competent enough to safely be forgotten.
Enter, the Vredestein Pinza AT. Vredestein is a Dutch tire company that has been around since 1909 and was purchased by Apollo Tire of India in 2009. The Pinza AT is Vredestein’s salvo into the American all-terrain tire market.
I installed four Vredestein Pinza ATs on my 2017 Chevrolet Suburban Premier. While I was at it, I stepped down from the Premier’s stock 22-inch rims to a set of 18s. I’m fully on #teammoresidewall. The Vredesteins are the third set of brand-new all-terrains I have put through their paces in my off-road lifetime, behind sets of BFGoodrich KO2s and Toyo Open Country A/T IIIs.
Compared to the icons of all-terrain tires, the Pinza ATs are a dream on the road. They have handled every element of city and suburban life admirably. The added sidewall has let me be perhaps a little too cavalier when it comes to curbs, ditches, and potholes around town.
The drone of all-terrain tires on the interstate can become unbearable. But the day after the wheels and tires were installed, we drove to up to 9,000 feet in the Colorado Rocky Mountains and immediately into 3 inches of snow. The Pinzas ate up the interstate miles with almost no added noise over the stock highway rollers. I was impressed. They are quiet as a set of all-season tires. I always assumed that people invested so much into the stereos of their off-roaders to drown out the drone of their all-terrain tires. But with the Pinza ATs, there’s no need for that. All four of our kids were able to enjoy their movies, games, and Kindles the entire ride without the normal deafening hum of burly all-terrain rubber.
The first challenge for our set of Pinzas was in the mountain snow. We’ve since put them through their paces on rainy roads. The Suburban was happy to navigate wet roads in two-wheel drive with no issue. The Vredestein Pinza AT carries the three-peak mountain snowflake—or 3PMSF—symbol, which means their rubber compound is suited to colder temperatures. Maybe it helps that they have the weight of a 5,600-pound full-size SUV on top of them, but the Pinzas have handled the rain and snow with ease.
In Colorado, the mountain rating with the snowflake came into play immediately. We drove into the snow near the Eisenhower Tunnel, and while I-70 was mostly clear, we drove through between 2 and 6 inches of snow as soon as we left the highway. Between the weight of the Suburban and the cold-weather-rated Pinzas, we felt sure-footed despite the slick conditions.
The Pinza’s ability here is limited by my SUV. When we made the switch to the Suburban, there was only a Premier trim available near us. I am always ready for a road trip to purchase a vehicle, especially if the new vehicle is older, classic, or interesting (like, say, a Lada Niva). But we needed a Suburban quickly, and at the time the highest trim level, with its magnetic ride control dampers, was the only one available. Suffice it to say, ours gives up something to the Z71 Off-Road trucks.
But we did get to test the Pinzas in a semi-off-road setting recently at my buddy’s farm. Tasked with towing a John Deere Gator between fields, the Pinzas made short work of dirt roads and slick, grassy inclines.
But on anything more technical than that, the Suburban is going to struggle because of its low ground clearance and ride height.
Our Pinza ATs are E load rated, which means they’re built to handle heavy loads. That rating is limited to the LT versions of the tires, which is what I put on the Suburban. Saddled with a trailer loaded with a Gator, the Pinzas continued their solid performance. They didn’t flinch at the extra weight on the road, and off-road the added weight on the rear axle only aided traction.
Vredestein Pinza ATs are not as aggressive as the icons of the all-terrain tire segment. Had the farm roads we used been wet, the Pinzas would have struggled with the mud. But asking all-terrains to tackle mud is a lot like bringing a pickle to a nunchuck fight. Regardless of the brand, all-terrains tend to struggle with mud.
But the Pinza ATs are slightly cheaper and slightly less aggressive than the veteran names in the segment, and they can be had with a load rating of E with the LT versions. Added to that, they’re quieter than much of the competition, and they’ll easily handle 80 percent of the scenarios on and off-road as their more expensive equivalents.
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