Help me choose which tire to get?

Which tire?

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Apr 29, 2015
Portland, OR
My FJ62 is located in the Pacific NW and most of my driving is on pavement. But when I'm off road, I'm typically on deeply rutted forest service trails and occasionally run into snow / light mud. I'm definitely not mud bogging, running sand dunes, nor climbing moab obstactles.

I love the look of the skinny 9.5" BFGs and I'm pretty sure I have a way to buy 5 of them right now. These tires are lighter than the rest and are easier to turn than wider counterparts.

However, I've been reading here that 10.5" BFGs handle curves better and will allow you to air down if needed.

On a previous truck, I ran Duratracs which I consider to be a much more offroad capable tire that happens to run pretty smoothly on pavement. The problem is that I don't think Duratracs look good on a 60 series.
Similar mix of roads & snow in the north cascades (wa state) and I've enjoyed running a duratrac 235/85r16. The tire gave me a bit more functional height off the ground and this size was "severe winter weather" rated as a snow tire. Looks like I've gone skinnier and taller than the size proposed above.

Pictures toward the end of this gallery will show this tire set up: Land Cruiser Revival - Richard
How old will those 9.5's be? Tires don't last forever, new tread or not. We just replaced the Toyo's on the 4Runner (manufactured in 2009) not because the tread was wore out, but because they were starting to dry rot and had little cracks all over.

I will second NW_fj62's comment, I run 235/85's on my '62 and really like the size. Mine are Mastercraft courser LTR's which most wouldn't even consider an "AT" tire, but they have constantly surprised me, most recently running around Evans Creek in the rain over rocks and some snow. Totally quiet, cheap (less than $500 a set), last good, and are some of the lightest 235/85's around (38 lbs). Around 6" across the tread so very narrow even compared to other 235/85's.

I had 33X9.5/15 BFG AT's...awesome on road tires, and off road also, at full pressure. Aired down, they rolled sideways. 10.50's worked way better. The BFG KO2 have great reviews, and sound perfect for what you do. Not sure your budget, but 255/85/16's and similar look and perform great on cruisers used like yours.
@nw_fj62: Your rig looks great and I didn't realize that Duratracs were available in skinnier look! Do you have an aftermarket lift though? I am planning to buy these tires around the same time as my OME lift so I was hoping to move up to 33".

@Kleatus: The BFG 9.5" tires would be new. It could turn out that the retailer is actually out of stock, but they claim to have them in stock. I know that this size of tire has been very hard to find lately.

@lovetoski: I am super excited about a tire that fits 255/85/16, but it looks like BFG has only the KM2's in this size and my Jeep rubicon buddy has nothing but terrible things to say about these tires. Is there a specific brand that you would recommend in 255/85/16?
@nw_fj62: Your rig looks great and I didn't

@Kleatus: The BFG 9.5" tires would be new. It could turn out that the retailer is actually out of stock, but they claim to have them in stock. I know that this size of tire has been very hard to find lately.

I was pretty sure those 9.5's had been out of production for a number of years. I'd definitely want to check th date codes prior to plopping down any cash for them.
Seriously doubt those 9.5s are available, retailer is mostly likely out of stock. Even if they are, they are quite old. The last batch of those KOs had sidewall issues, and if you puncture one, you won't have anything to replace it with. KO2s all the way.
As mentioned, 255/85r16 are closer in size to the 33x10.5 or 9.5 in your first post. 285/75r16 are a lot fatter--which can be good or bad depending on your needs.

There are plenty of tires that come in a 255 flavor, but Cooper SST or ST Maxx seem to be a popular choice.

I have heard a lot about and personally witnessed one Duratrac sidewall failure. Punctured by a ~1/2" diameter stick in the trail. For that reason, I would probably avoid the Duratracs, but there are plenty of other brands and options out there.

Assuming that you've already got 15's, I would just get the 33x10.5 and call it a day.
Thanks for the advice, everyone. I've narrowed my search down to two tires:

  • BFG AT KO2 33x10.50 r15
  • Cooper Discoverer ST Maxx at 255/85 r16

Budget is not really a problem since I was planning on buying a new a set of wheels anyway.

In case there is anyone who reads this who is looking for BFG AT KO 33x9.50 r15's, the supplier I found was actually Walmart: Walmart: BFGoodrich All-Terrain T/A KO Tire 33x9.50R15/C 113R

Talked to customer service today and it seems like they have around 12 in stock. Unfortunately, they couldn't tell me the production date on them so you won't find out if they are a decade old until you plop down the money for them.
HI, I just bought 2 sets of the KO2. Really like them. Last set of 9.50 I got were from Big O ,that was over 5 years go and they still are going strong. Mike
I have BFG 255. I personally prefer the 255 over the 33x10.5 because the 255 is rated E and the other, C.

As an Overlander, this is where I put my confidence.

But I may like reading opinion on that...
I'm currently running 33x10.50r15 bfg k02s on my 62 with no lift. I can basically go anywhere I want, traction doesn't hold me up, ground clearance does. Also they are very well behaved on the pavement, and wear like iron. Can't recommend them enough, another bonus is they look awesome!
@David*BJ70: Is that the BFG KM2 in 255? How are they on the highway and wet pavement?

I am very satisfied with these tires. Across all conditions, they are very good. As good I might expect of a MT tires.
@Trapper50cal: That's a reasonable question.

My truck currently has Toyo Open Country MT's in 31x10.50 r15 and I haven't been too impressed with the vibration / road noise. They feel very stiff offroad and they got pretty slick when crossing a snow bank last weekend. Since they came with the vehicle, it's possible that they are simply worn out or that I am misattributing the vibration problem to the tires when the root cause is actually something in the driveline or suspension.

Toyo has a reputation for making a very robust tire and I've heard some people claim that the Open Country MT is highly chip resistant. If it were between the Cooper Discoverer St Maxx and Toyo Open Country MT in 255/85 r16, which would you choose?
I run the 33x10.5 r15 Toyo OC MT's

I've experienced a little noise now that they are almost dead but I found them
very good for everything but pack snow. I thought they aired down really effectively
and that the stiff sidewalls (that defy puncture) actually work well at low pressures.

But I can't speak to the Cooper with any actual experience.

Love the 255/85 r16 size though.

If I were going into it being "budget conscious", I'd get the KO2
If I were looking to set myself up for a while, I'd get another set of OC MT's
I have the BFG 33x9.5s. They've always felt a little squirrely in terms of road handling, like they turn too easily. And there's not a lot of mud here in CA to be cutting though. As said above, when you air the down they get weird.

The one positive has been that the spare tucks up nicely underneath.

They're old and will be replaced soon, most likely with 33x10.5 or 31x10.5 (as I had before).

10.5 or its metric equivalent seems like a good width for these trucks and the stock wheels.

If I was you, I'd get the 33x10.5s.

I ran 285/7 0/17 (33x11.5) KM2 MT on my 60 for years. The sidewall felt very solid and they handled great on the road. I think a skinnier tire would be squishier. AT would handle even better and last longer. Here's how they looked.
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