Which tires for snow?
I have a '00 4runner on Bilstein 5100s @ 2.5" with a revtek top out up front w/ a diff. drop, and OME 890 coils in the back. I'm currently running some 265/75R16 Toyo ATs, which have been great to me over the past ~40k. Well, it's time for some new shoes. I know that I can clear a 285 without rubbing (except just a hair on the upper a-arm when fully stuffed), because I've had a set of 285/75r16 BFG ATs on my 4runner before. For the MPG junkies, I have 4.30 stock gears in my 4runner and typically see ~17 with mixed driving of highway/ mountain passes.
My question is... would another set of 265s, 285s, or 255s be best for snow? I realize that 285s have the most flotation, but it seems like that may not be the best for my application because of the amount of snow I would be driving in (no more than 12"). On the other hand, the 255s have more PSI per contact patch, which is nice for getting down to the ground but it seems like a 285 would have more of a "safety zone" for when I lose traction and not sliding around so much. I do need the tires to be streetable as I do a good bit of street driving as well. Something in the all terrain flavor seems to be desirable as they typically perform better in snow than MTs, although I do have a tendency to like more aggressive tires, as I do a good bit of exploring in the warmer months.
My choices at this point are: 285/75R16 in either the Toyo Open Country AT or Nitto Terra Grappler AT, as I have ran the Open Country thus far and had excellent results <<< great tire for snow. I'm looking for a little more height than the 265s allow because they look kinda small on my 4runner, which makes me look at the 285 or 255. Of the 255 choices, the Maxxis Bravo AT, Toyo Open Country MT (slightly out of my price point), or Cooper S/T seems to be the most snow worthy of the available choices. These tires will be going on my stock wheels.
Any input from the mega tire gurus for which is better in the snow? I'm looking for a new set of shoes within the next 2-3 weeks as winter seems to be starting a little earlier than normal this year.
The DD - 2012 Tundra.
Wheeling rig - 1994 YJ, 4.0, HP30/ chromos+300Ms, D44/ chromos, 35" KM2s & 32 bolt beadlocks, Atlas 4.3, geared, locked, slammed.