Ridge Grappler Hybrid Terrain Tire Review: The Best of Both Worlds
There are few vehicles that garnered as much excitement on their release as the Jeep Gladiator. While the off-road capability of Jeep’s Wrangler continues to be celebrated, its utility as a daily driver was always somewhat limited by the wheelbase of a small SUV. For owners that wanted a 4WD vehicle, but also needed the hauling and towing ability of a pick-up, many buyers had to compromise with a truck that was simply not a Jeep. In 2019, Jeep answered those customers and released the Gladiator as their competitor in the ring of the midsize truck market.
The Return of the Jeep Pickup
Owner Adam Christopher was one of those people, trading in his Sierra Elevation for the newly released Gladiator. He had off-road ambitions and soon began modding the pick-up with the basics of any beginner Wrangler build. In the first step he replaced the stock rollers with a set of Fuel Hardline wheels in 18x9 +1 sizing. Since the Jeep is primarily a daily driver, Adam needed a set of tires that could perform well on the pavement, while also having the capability and looks to match his weekend plans for the Gladiator.
Nitto’s hybrid terrain Ridge Grappler tire fit his needs perfectly. He knew that he wanted 35s, and although 35’s can certainly fit on the Gladiator without modification, but with wider 35x12.5R18 size, he felt a little more comfortable with a two-inch level on the front. While the truck looks great at stock height with the big 35s, no one will complain about the new leveled stance with the aggressive looking tire fitment.
As a resident of Georgia, most of the obstacles he tackles on the trail are mud and clay. Shoulder grooves are arranged in alternating sizes to prevent caking and maintain traction in the toughest circumstances.The zig-zagged Z-shaped grooves help with the process as well, inspiring even more confidence in the driver and the ability of the pick-up.
Although the east-coast doesn’t have the number of stone and rock obstacles as the West, the problem of rock retention and stone drilling is still a concern for owners. The Ridge Grappler has built-in stone ejectors that ensure that whatever rocks and gravel Adam ran into off-road, doesn’t stick around for the drive home, eating and wearing away at his tread.
Well Mannered On-Road
With the majority of the Jeep’s life spent on-road, Adam’s primary concern was that the Jeep remained road-worthy through the modifications. By design, the Ridge Grappler was created for that very purpose. Nitto used advanced sound equipment to ensure that the on-pavement ride was smooth, and also quieter than other aggressive mud-terrain tires.
Adam has had the Nittos mounted and in-use for several thousand miles, and affirms all of the same recommendations that were given to him for the Ridge Grapplers. The tires truly exhibit a best-of-both-worlds performance that coincidentally echoes the same design goals of Jeep’s Gladiator pickup. The Ridge Grappler enhances every aspect of the Jeep truck, and is an ideal choice for any Gladiator build.
More From Driving Line
- While the level on this rig looks great, the Gladiator can fit 35s with no lift at all!