Best Tire Size for Overlanding: All You Need to Know

The right tires are essential for a safe and fun overlanding experience. And while tires come in different sizes, not all tires are meant for overlanding.

The best tire size for overlanding is between 31 inches and 40 inches. The right size and type of tire for you will depend on the length of the trip, how much noise it makes, and how it wears. The cost can also play a role, especially for longer trips where you might have to replace the tires.

Whether you’re new to overlanding or need to replace your current tires, consider the size. Not only do the tires need to fit your vehicle, but they should be able to handle what you will throw at them. This article will discuss everything you need to consider when choosing the best tire size for your overlanding trip.

Factors That Affect Your Overlanding Tire Size

Overlanding is a way of travel and explorationOpens in a new tab. that involves traveling over land. However, it’s not quite the same as your typical road trip. Rather than focusing on one or more destinations, overlanding focuses on the journey.

Because of that, you need to use the best gear that you can to improve your experience. If you don’t have the right tires, for example, you may not be able to maneuver your vehicle where you want to.

Your Vehicle

Over all other factors, the best tire size for Overlanding will depend on your vehicleOpens in a new tab.. You should choose tires that fit your vehicle’s wheels, but there are other factors at play.

Travel Distance

One of the things you should consider when deciding on the best tire size for overlanding is how far you plan to travel. If you want to go overlanding within your country and for a few months, you won’t need much.

However, if you plan to make this a multi-year journey, you need to account for that. Tires of any size and type will wear down eventually, and you will need to replace them.

If you start with a short travel distance, you probably won’t have to worry about replacing your tires. You also probably won’t have to worry about changing the tires. In this case, you can get a set of tires at home and not have to worry about finding similar ones on the road.

You should consider the weather conditions and tire sizes available in the country or continent where you will be traveling.

Travel Conditions

You should also consider the weather conditions for the foreseeable future. If you are Overlanding for a few months, you can get a good idea of the climate for your whole trip. But if you plan to do this for a few years, you may not be able to predict the weather.

As you go through your trip, you can check the weather in your current location and any future stops. That way, you can make sure that you have the right type of equipment for your vehicle.

While winter tires are somewhat bigger and thicker than other types, they are wonderful for driving in the snow. If you don’t have the best vehicle, winter tires can make it much easier to navigate through snowy and icy conditions.

Standard tires can work in various climates, so you can use those when traveling during the warmer months or in warmer areas. However, you should make sure the tires you choose can handle things like gravel and dirt, even in the heat of the summer.


Another thing you may want to consider is how quiet or loud the tires are. In most cases, you will probably want quieter tires for overlanding. As you drive down smaller, rural roads, you may not want to disturb the locals.

Noisy tires can also affect you over long periods of driving. You could be having the best experience, but if you hear nothing but your tires rolling over the ground, that could ruin the mood.

You may also find that your tires become noisier as they start to wear down. They could also become louder on certain surfaces, especially if the tread isn’t great. And if the tires aren’t the best size for your vehicle, they won’t fit right, and they could shake.

Wear and Tear

As you drive your vehicle on your overlanding adventure, you’re bound to encounter some wear and tear. Your tires can break down, but so can the various parts of your wheels and vehicle.

When the axles start to break or have issues with the wheels, you might notice some problems with your tires. You may need to get a different size for overlanding, but you may need to replace the tires you have with a new set.

The best tire size for overlanding is the one that won’t hurt the rest of your vehicle. Sure, you may drive over something that causes air to leak. But you don’t want your tires to be the culprit for overlanding issues.

Tire Ply Rating

The best tire size for Overlanding can also relate to a tire’s ply rating. Bigger tires usually can hold more weight, which means they have higher ply ratings. Most tires have one or two body plies, and some heavy-duty tires have three plies.

A higher ply means that the tire can support more weight. If you have a large vehicle or plan to take a lot of stuff, you’ll need tires with a higher ply rating. And in most cases, this means you’ll need bigger overlanding tires.

If you decide to switch to a new type or size of tire, make sure that it can hold at least the same weightOpens in a new tab. as your current set. That way, you won’t have any weight-related problems once you hit the road.

Fit to Vehicle

While all of the previous factors can help you decide on the best tire size for overlanding, they aren’t as important as the fit. If you choose tires that are too big or too small for your vehicle’s wheels, you won’t be able to use them properly.

Before you select a set of wheels, consult a mechanic or another professional. They can suggest tires that would be good for overlanding and your car or truck. Perhaps one tire size works well for one vehicle, but that doesn’t mean it will work for yours and vice versa.

You can also use a chartOpens in a new tab. or another guide to tell you a range of tire sizes based on your vehicle’s wheelbase. The bigger the wheelbase, the bigger your tires should be. Smaller wheels will need tires that are about 31 inches (79cm), while the biggest wheels will need tires over 40 inches (102cm).

Always test the fit of the tires with the vehicle you plan to use for overlanding. Then, you can make sure the tires work well for various road conditions.


The last factor to consider when deciding on the best tire size for overlanding is the price. If your trip is a few weeks or months, you may be able to use a set of cheaper tires. But if you will be on the road for years, you need to invest in the best tires possible.

Consider how much you’re willing to spend on a set of tires before you go shopping. You can ask the salesperson for recommendations within your budget so that you don’t have to spend too much. But you should prepare to shell out a little bit of cash.


The best tire size for Overlanding could be small or large, and it all depends on the size of your vehicle. Your trip’s duration and destinations can also affect the best tire size. Consider all of these factors and more when deciding on the right tire size for your next Overlanding adventure.

Jeremy Hoxie

Born and raised in beautiful Northern Michigan, I've have spent two decades enjoying everything the outdoors has to offer. When not working on RigForge, I spend my time Overlanding and tackling off-road trails while sharing my experiences and testing gear along the way. My current rig is a 2013 Jeep JKU Moab.

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