Cosmo Tires invited me out to Moab to torture-test their new Mud Kicker tire. Here’s my honest review:
Moab, Utah offers some of the best rock crawling trails in the United States, so it’s no surprise that companies use the harsh terrain to battle test their products. Not only do automakers such as Jeep and Ford use Moab as a proving ground for their respective off-roading SUVs, but numerous automotive-related companies also use Moab to test various parts. Cosmo Tires is one such company, and I got to check Moab off my bucket list when the Miami-based tire company invited me out to test and review its newest tire, the off-road capable Mud Kicker.
This excursion consisted of a small group of automotive writers as well as the Cosmo Tires team where we spent a half day tackling some of Moab’s intermediate-level trails on a tour guided by Outlaw Jeep Adventures. We were behind the wheel of Jeep Wrangler Rubicons that had been lightly modified, each equipped with a three-inch lift kit, added underbody protection, aftermarket bumpers and a winch. Of course, the biggest modification made to these Jeeps was the Mud Kicker tires, all sized 35×12.50R17LT.
Cosmo Mud Kicker
Mud terrain tire
Designed for Jeeps, light trucks, SUVs
Tough, deep tread for solid traction
From the Bathtub to the Staircase
Our day started on the easier Fins N Things trails to get a feel for the tires while enjoying the beautiful sunrise over Utah’s red rocks. We spent about an hour testing the Mud Kickers in loose sand and doing some light rock crawling before moving to the more challenging Hell’s Revenge trail. This is where the tires would get their biggest workout of the day traversing obstacles like the Bathtub (shown below) and Staircase, which all pushed the limits of traction and driving skill.
These tires performed flawlessly in all of the challenges offering excellent traction on even the slickest and steepest of rock surfaces. As an avid off-roader, I was most impressed by how well the side walls held up. Having experienced rock crawling at trails in California, Texas, and Alabama, I’ve seen firsthand how continuous contact with rocks can chew up the tread shoulders, sidewalls, tire beads, but the Mud Kickers survived the day with no damage and only minimal sidewall scuffing, which was only noticeable due to the orange paint (added for this event) that had rubbed off.
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Looks To Back Up The Cool Name
In terms of the overall design, the Mud Kickers look as good as they performed. The name alone might be a little lighthearted, but that’s how Cosmo Tires approaches all of its tire names such as MuchoMacho, El Tigre, and El Jefe. And if you think font used on the sidewalls is entertaining, check out the advertisement created for the Mud Kicker:
One of the coolest parts of this tire design is that while other tire manufacturers have raised lettering on both sides (with white and black letters on each side), the Mud Kicker has raised lettering on one side and indented lettering on the other side. This unique indented lettering is ideal for hardcore off-road rigs to avoid the raised rubber from being ripped off on extreme climbs. Cosmo Tires designed the Mud Kicker to perform as good as it looks with added tread on the sides of the tires along the tread shoulder, which is beneficial for added traction in the mud and snow.
Mud Tires At Moab??
With all the rocky terrain at Moab, you might be asking yourself why even test mud tires here. The answer is simple. While the meatier tread of a mud tire lets the tire dig through deep mud, it also acts like the fingers of a rock climber scratching and clawing for every bit of traction as the vehicle is driven over rocks. One of the most extreme trails we experienced (shown below) featured a 40-degree decline, and like every other trail, the Mud Kicker tires made easy work of the rocky terrain.
For even better traction (in sand, rocks, or mud) and sidewall flex, airing down creates a wider footprint for the tire, and for this excursion, the tires were running just 15 psi, which is less than half of the tire pressure recommended for driving on the street. Since the trails were only a short distance from Outlaw Jeep Adventures’ location, we drove the whole way on the underinflated tires. This meant I wasn’t able to experience the Mud Kickers at full pressures for normal street driving, but I was still impressed with the lack of tire noise at these low speeds under 40 mph.
What Is Cosmo Tires?
If you haven’t heard of Cosmo Tires yet, it’s ok. This company has established a name for itself selling passenger and commercial tires in Latin American markets, but it has only recently broken into the U.S. tire market with a focus geared more toward grassroots events such as drifting and autocross. Cosmo Tires continues that enthusiast focus with the brand’s first-ever mud-terrain tire competing against established brands such as Mickey Thompson, BFGoodrich, and Goodyear, as well as tire companies also emerging into the off-road tire market such as Falken, Nitto, and Toyo.
Where Can I Buy The Cosmo Mud Kicker?
Currently, you can pick up a set of Cosmo Mud Kickers for your off-road vehicle at online retailers such as SimpleTire or if you prefer in-person shopping, they are sold at a handful of tire stores across the U.S., mostly located in the South and the Pacific Northwest. The Mud Kicker has an affordable entry price starting at just $177/tire, while the 35×12.50R17LT tires we tested in Moab were priced at $268/tire. In comparison, here are the prices for some of the more popular mud tires in the exact same size:
- BFG Mud-Terrain T/A KM3: $473
- Toyota Open Country M/T: $443
- Falken Wildpeak M/T: $441
While Cosmo Tires is trying to position the Mud Kicker as a value tire, such aggressive pricing may help sway tire buyers who are otherwise just shopping by brand name only.
Lifelong automotive enthusiast with a soft spot for offroading. Wrencher turned writer, but I still love to tinker on just about anything with an engine. Dream car: tie between a ‘71 Hemi ‘Cuda and a ’91 GMC Syclone. #GirlDad #SaveTheManuals