Sumimoto’s Encounter AT is a tire that offers excellent value and a competitive performance despite being an entry-level tire. When it is time to go for an adventure, you need a tire that can withstand any surface and capable of whatever you request from it.
For most all-terrain tires, you will get large, aggressive tread blocks with a good grip on loose grounds such as sand and mud. Still, it has a soft compound that ensures good wet traction and less noise on dry roads.
Sumitomo is a company based in Japan, and it is a tire company that has been around for a long time, up to 100 years. The quality tires they produce have been a significant player in the tire industry for many decades.
The Encounter AT is a tire built to offer the level of traction that off-road and casual devotees need. Its tread patterns are large and are made from a specialized compound. The large groves in the middle of the tire ensure that channel water doesn’t get underneath the tire and helps reduce the risk of hydroplaning.
The Sumitomo Encounter AT tire has biting edges that help on slippery surfaces through the lateral grooves and 3D sipes so it can go anywhere and do anything in your vehicle. The sidewall tread helps keep the rocks and stones from getting caught up between the treads.
How well does Sumitomo Encounter AT perform?
The Encounter AT slightly differs from off-roading and pure-mud tires. It is a tire that focuses on performing across all terrains. It has got a good tread pattern that is not as harsh or as deep as that of the pure mudding tires. And this helps to reduce noise that is generated when moving on the highways.
The Encounter AT has found a way to balance everyday driving with off-road capabilities, and it offers good value in this regard. It has deep tread grooves that are molded into an asymmetrical tread pattern – this helps it fight against wear and provide an improved and comfortable ride.
The tire has four large groves across the circumference. This creates deep channels between the large tread blocks and ensures adequate water drainage from the tire’s bottom. The lateral grooving present also means water is forced out through the sides while the tire rubbers move on hard surfaces. The effects of hydroplaning can be reduced when the rubber contact stays on hard surfaces, as the tire keeps grip.
Three tread strips form the inner blocking, resulting in a continuous, wide footprint being created on the road. The pattern designs help reduce noise from the tires when on hard surfaces and offer more grip when on loose surfaces such as sand, gravel, or mud.
Let's talk about durability
The small, zig-zag grooves offer extra flexibility to the tread. They pinch into loose terrains like sand, snow, or mud, acting as different grab points for treads; this allows for better traction when moving on off-road surfaces or some softer surfaces. The tread in the Encounter AT does well in snowy conditions, even though it is not a winter tire. It fulfils the requirements for the three-peak mountain snowflake symbol. It offers decent snow traction and does well in cold weather. Stones and rocks are kept from getting stuck by the shaped treads along the shoulder of the tire.
Internally, there are the steel belts wrapped in nylon, which reinforces the tire structure. In a less ideal terrain, the strengthened tires will maintain shape, transferring vehicle weight. The rigid side walls also boost ride quality, especially when the tire has to resist heavy loading.
How is their tire warranty?
Sumitomo offers one of the best warranties in the tire business. For the Encounter AT, there is a 60,000 mile or four-year tread warranty. You are guaranteed tire uniformity for the initial 2/32 inch of wear.
You will also get a warranty on the manufacturer’s defect for six years from the manufacturing date or five years from the purchase date. You are covered for the first 2/32 inch of the fault, and you can get a replacement until 2/32 inch remaining. You will also get a one-year warranty or initial 2/32 inch wear for a road hazard.
There is a 2-year roadside plan with the Encounter AT, and a 30-day test drive guarantees after the purchase.
Tire sizes and specifications
Sumitomo Encounter AT tires is available in 15 to 20 inches sizes for a wide range of SUVs and light trucks.
Here is the list of available sizes for the Encounter AT:
Should you buy these tires?
Overall, due to the value offered by the Sumitomo Encounter AT, they have become quite popular among customers. The level of performance and quality of the ride is a significant factor that has convinced customers. The Encounter AT can work in every weather due to its ride stability, performance and road strength most especially on snow mud even with heavy size load running on several miles. The deep treads present in the tires make them great for wet conditions, with high resistance to hydroplaning while at high speed.
Sumitomo Encounter AT Customer Review
They have reported some irregular wear issues early in the shelf life in rare cases, and the warranty ensures quick replacement showing great customer service among other things. On a general note, the Sumitomo Encounter AT has gotten many reviews, rating, and from several descriptions, most customers recommend them.
If you are a light truck driver or you own a light truck SUV and have an interest in off-roading, you will need a tire as versatile as the Sumitomo Encounter AT. This tire offers good traction in dry and wet conditions. It has a 3D sipes technology that helps the tire grip the surface better, resulting in improved braking performance and better traction on different terrains.
The Sumitomo Encounter AT has the three mountain peaks snowflake symbol after being tested and trusted to offer good traction in too snowy conditions.
The circumferential grooves and symmetrical tread removes standing water underneath the tire, which leads to better grip.
It is a tire capable of going anywhere in any condition—fulfilling expectations of an all-terrain tire.
What vehicles is the Sumitomo Encounter AT good for?
The Sumitomo Encounter AT is designed by Sumitomo for on and off-road terrains and is suitable light truck tires for drivers of crossovers, SUVs, and pickup trucks. These tires can go anywhere and are durable with good traction in all seasons, even in the snow.