Nitto Recon Grappler vs. Mickey Thompson Baja Legend

August 15, 2022

At the beginning of the year, we introduced the newest tire from Mickey Thompson's lineup, the Legend EXP Hybrid All-Terrain - maybe just a few months before that, the Nitto Recon Grappler All-Terrain was released, and the two tires have quickly become top competitors for each other. Both have very similar tread designs and fit within the hybrid all-terrain tire designation, and both come from highly reputable companies with years of outstanding performance from their tires. So, if you're in the market for a new, all-purpose off-road tire, which one is better?

Today, we'll be taking you through the specifications of the Mickey Thompson Baja Legend and Nitto Recon Grappler to help you determine which one is better for your needs - check it out today and grab the best set of tires for your off-roader!


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2021 Toyota 4Runner with Nitto Recon Grappler tires

Pricing and Warranty Differences Between the Mickey Thompson Baja Legend and Nitto Recon Grappler

If you're looking for a good hybrid tread design that doesn't have to be on a three-peak mountain snowflake rated tire, and you really liked the looks of these two tires, you could easily narrow down your search to both the Baja Legend and Recon Grappler. For starters, if the determining factor for your purchasing decision is cost, the Baja Legends do average a bit less money than the Recon Grapplers.

There are a few more differences to go through, however, like the treadwear warranty that both tires offer. The Baja Legend offers a 50,000 mile warranty and the Recon Grapplers offer a 55,000 mile warranty, and it may sound corny, but that extra 5,000 miles of coverage could go a long way.


Read More: Mickey Thompson Baja Legend MTZ Off-Road Tire Review


2022 Ford Bronco Badlands Edition with Mickey Thompson Baja Legend tires

Tread Design Differences Between The Mickey Thompson Baja Legend and Nitto Recon Grappler

Noticeably different, though, is the design of the center tread patterns. The Recon Grapplers do offer a little bit more space in between the lateral spaces of the tread blocks, giving more room for water or snow to evacuate. However, the Mickey Thompson tires offer a bit more tread depth, measuring 18.5/32" compared to the 16.9/32" measurements on the Recon Grappler.

One other noticeable difference on the tread itself is that the Recon Grappler does have quite a bit more sipes in additional tread voids that vary in shape, size and depth compared to the Legend EXP, and that's a good indication that the all-weather performance will be just a little bit better than the less good tread blocks on the Baja Legends, even though they do have zig-zagged shaped sipes to help with poor weather conditions on the Legend EXPs.

Another point for the Recon Grappler is that it has the base of its tread blocks reinforced, in order to help aid in preventing those blocks from moving around under heavy pressure when cornering, accelerating, braking, and handling in harsh off-road conditions. Less movement of the tread blocks wanting to shift will help keep them firmly planted to pavement, dirt, and rocks to help the tread last longer. The Legend EXPs don't have the same tread block stiffness for rigidity, but the center tread lugs are slightly closer together and may not be needed, because both tires have sidewall cleats and treads to help with aired down traction in mud, snow, and ruts.

2021 Ford F-150 with Nitto Recon Grappler tires

Is The Nitto Recon Grappler or Mickey Thompson Baja Legend A Better Tire For Your Build?

After going through the various differences between the two models of tires, we learned two things along the way that can help you decide which one to pick. The first thing is that if you're on a budget and trying to keep the overall cost as low as possible, we'd go with the Mickey Thompson EXP, especially if you're in an area that's mostly dry during the year or doesn't get a ton of snow. It's also a great bet if you live in an area that rarely gets below 40 degrees Fahrenheit and you don't do a ton of aggressive off-road driving.

The second thing is that for an extra 5,000-mile treadwear warranty, the extra reinforcement of the tread blocks, along with more tread voids in between the tread blocks, help the Nitto Recon Grappler be a great choice, particularly if you live in places that get crappy weather and some snow. You'll want that extra bit of traction for off-roading to go along with your daily driving, and the extra money that the Recon Grappler might cost you is absolutely worth it for the added peace of mind it provides.


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Shop Aftermarket Off-Road Tires For Your Rig at TrailBuilt Off-Road

The Nitto Recon Grappler and Mickey Thompson Baja Legend are two well-built, well-designed, and high-performing tires, so no matter which one you go with, you can be sure that you're getting some of the best that the market has to offer. We offer the Recon Grappler and Baja Legend in our inventory right now, so check out our selection and add your favorite tires to the cart today. Don't forget that we offer free mounting, balancing and shipping if you package your tires with new off-road-ready wheels - get yours today, and we'll see you out on the trails!

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