Nokian Tyres Battle Mother (Gnar)ture’s Fury

Staring at the Doppler in the early morning light, Alex Howard knew he was in for a rowdy drive. Only hours from embarking on a 1,200-mile road test of the Nokian Tyres Outpost nAT, the forecast was about as bad as possible.

Bright red, green, and yellow filled the radar, showing the fingers of Category 4 Hurricane Hillary rolling up the Baja coast.

Howard and his creative team at Seaweed Cowboy were about to drive from their home in SoCal to Overland Expo in Denver. Over the following week, the crew would navigate every condition imaginable — highway miles, dirt, mud, river crossings, floods, outrunning a hurricane — and the Nokian Tyres held their own.

Despite the gnarly conditions, “the tires performed exceptionally well,” Howard said.

Hurricane Hillary trying to spoil the Seaweed Cowboys’ road trip plans; (photo/Seaweed Cowboy)

What Are Nokian Tyres?

Made in the USA, Nokian Tyres are designed to negotiate America’s toughest topography.

On their trip, Howard and the Seaweed Cowboys were testing Nokian Tyres’ Outpost line of overlanding tires — ideal treads for tackling the road less traveled. The line includes an all-terrain tire for dedicated off-road use and an all-purpose tire for those who want a tire to hold up to lots of highway miles and rougher conditions.

The Outpost APT is for all-purpose use, balancing off-road traction with street performance. All-purpose tires are suited to drivers whose weekly miles combine pavement and rougher terrain.

Alternatively, the Outpost nAT is an all-terrain tire made to tackle off-road and overland conditions. Its rubber compounds and aggressive tread are specialized to tackle obstacles and cut through sticky mud or slushy snow.

Shop Nokian Tyres Outpost Line

(Photo/Nokian Tyres, Seaweed Cowboy)

Nokian Tyres Outpost Line

Both Outpost tires are all-terrain, all-weather tires for sport utility vehicles, crossovers, and light trucks (including EVs). The treads are versatile enough to perform in cold conditions and still have the high-mileage warranties you’d expect from some traditional road tires.

Additionally, the Outpost nAT and Outpost APT tires are rated for severe snow (3PMSF) and bear the three-peak mountain snowflake branding.

Both Outpost tires have reinforced sidewalls and a tread built to withstand the abuses of off-road terrain (and surprise potholes). They’re all made exclusively American-made at Nokian Tyres’ factory in Dayton, Tenn.

So, where do they differ?

(Photo/Alex Howard, Seaweed Cowboy)

Aramid Tough Shield Technology

Nokian Tyres added Aramid fibers to its tread and sidewall compounds to bolster the Outpost tires’ resistance to punctures and improve overall durability. Those fibers can reduce the hazards of rocks, ruts, and potholes. Nokian Tyres stands by its products’ toughness enough to offer a Pothole Protection warranty.

Meanwhile, reinforcements to the tread belt act as gravel guards to protect from hazards like rocks and ruts. Such a sturdy build gives the tires a high load capacity, too.

The protective tread designs and puncture resistance combine to offer a long lifespan. Nokian Tyres Outpost nAT tires come with a 60,000-mile treadwear warranty.

Nokian Tyres: All-Terrain or All-Purpose?

Broadly speaking, all-terrain tires trade the quiet, grippy ride of a street tire for off-road prowess. On the flip side, all-purpose tires are less specialized, offering some blocky tread for off-road terrain and slushy conditions, but also more road-friendly tread.

The main difference is that the Outpost nAT is geared toward off-road prowess and gives up some of the quiet, grippy feel you’d find in a pure street tire. The Outpost APT balances off-road and on-road performance, which makes it a do-it-all tire, but master of none.

In general, we’d say lean toward the Oupost nAT if you have an adventure rig or you routinely travel on off-road terrain. If your daily life includes city or highway miles, you may want to maintain more pavement performance (and lifespan) with the Outpost APT and rest easy knowing they can still tackle rocky terrain and mud when needed.

Nokian Tyres Outpost nAT

(Photo/Nokian Tyres, Seaweed Cowboy)

All-terrain traction is the main focus of the Outpost nAT. That includes a stable ride in all weather conditions with the Aramid tech mentioned above for Nokian Tyres’ greatest durability and puncture resistance.

These are the specialized tires you want if you have a dedicated adventure rig or a pickup truck that spends as much time off road as on.

The Outpost nAT is an upgrade to the original Outpost AT and now sports a more aggressive tread and summit sidewalls. They’re made to work with shoulder notches and offer sturdy lateral grip on soft surfaces — while the tires’ Dual X Canyons grooves provide sturdy handling on unpredictable terrain like mud, snow, and sand.

Nokian Tyres Outpost nAT tires are available in the following sizes: 15″, 16″, 17″, 18″, 20″, and 22″.

Shop Outpost nAT

Nokian Tyres Outpost APT

(Photo/Nokian Tyres)

You can think of the Nokian Tyres Outpost APT as an endurance tire, made for the long haul through any weather conditions (including snow) and most surfaces.

This is the choice for a truck or SUV that spends weekends on off-road adventures but has to drive lots of city or highway miles. These tires can handle choppy terrain and mucky conditions while maintaining a smooth, fairly quiet ride on pavement.

The tires include an innovative silica compound to last miles upon miles as well as a low-rolling-resistance rubber compound that can withstand abuse on rougher terrains. These compounds smooth out the ride on pavement and off it, which translates to better fuel efficiency and fewer emissions.

The four-season tires have sharp edges and wide siping to navigate snowy roads. Likewise, the tread grooves are shaped to provide stability and grip through snow and standing water.

Nokian Tyres Outpost APT tires are available in the following sizes: 16″, 17″, 18″, 19″, and 20″.

Shop Outpost APT

See the Outpost nAT in Action

Howard, Seaweed Cowboy’s chief of creative, explained, “Overlanding is about getting out in nature, testing how capable your vehicle is. … We wanted to go out on an authentic adventure and put certain products to the test.”

During their recent trip outrunning Hurricane Hillary, the crew outfitted their rigs with Nokian Tyres’ Outpost nAT tires for a 1,200-mile drive en route to Overland Expo’s Mountain West. It was their first time testing any Nokian Tyres. And they weren’t disappointed.

Howard served as the lead on the trip, and although he tests a ton of amazing overlanding gear, he was impressed with the Nokian Tyres Outpost line.

“At every turn, the Outpost nAT came out on top,” he said. “As you can see in the video, there were other flipped vehicles on the highways due to hydroplaning and flash floods in the Moab area, and these tires performed exceptionally well in the worst conditions.”

Next, the Seaweed Cowboy crew along the Baja Coast, where they lived up to their namesake, riding waves on remote beaches. There were plenty of unkept roads, sketchy trails, and sandy beaches along the way to flex their treads.

Howard said each vehicle was loaded beyond its Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR), adding to the challenges of traversing sections of jagged rocks along the Baja 1,000.

There was a high likelihood of a tire blowout, Howard said, “But again, the Outpost did a tremendous job handling the terrain and making it another successful trip. All in all, I’m excited to keep testing Nokian Tyres and bringing that insight to viewers.”

Nokian Tyres Are Guaranteed

Nokian Tyres are capable of romping through all kinds of conditions. As for long-term durability, as mentioned above, Nokian Tyres backs up its products with a 60,000-mile treadwear warranty and Pothole Protection warranty.

So the real question is whether you want your adventure rig to run on all-terrain tires or all-purpose tires. Regardless, the Outpost line can get you to where you’re going — no matter how rough the adventure gets.

Shop Nokian Tyres Outpost

(Photo/Nokian Tyres, Seaweed Cowboy)

This post is sponsored by Nokian Tyres. Find out more about its Outpost and other tires online.