The Sumitomo brand has been providing affordable, quality tires to the industry since 1919. Headwaureted in Japan, the Sumitomo brand is known as one of the top five tire manufacturers in the world.
As a renowned rubber industry magnet, Sumitomo offers several distinct tire models. One of which is the Sumitomo Encounter AT. Sumitomo labels the Encounter AT as, “the go-anywhere, do-anything all-terrain tire for CUVs, SUVs, and Pickups.”
Don’t have time to read everything? Here’s a quick summary of our review as well as pros & cons listed.
The Sumitomo Encounter AT tire is most certainly worth looking into. The Sumitomo brand is a great all-around tire that will fit most people’s needs. Most terrain can be handled decently and its features are nothing to scoff at.
The tire's patterns, edges, and blocks add to its reliability in the long term. They can be great tires but they are limited in their versatility as they will only work for larger vehicles. They also can be a tad noisy at times.
The Sumitomo Encounter AT or A/T is built for light trucks and SUVs as an all-terrain (AT) tire. Its AT classification means that the Sumitomo Encounter tire will perform all of its functions no matter the road type or weather conditions.
All-terrain tires are constructed for on and off-road driving in dry or inclement weather like harsh rain, sleet, and light snow.
Sumitomo tires are known for their specialized patterns and unique tread and grip technologies. These features set the brand of the tires apart. They also help provide the quality and value consumers look for when they shop Sumitomo.
Sumitomo Encounter AT Construction, Technology, and Performance
Sumitomo Encounter AT tires are built to last. That is the promise of the Sumitomo brand. Sumitomo used premiere construction, technology, and performance features to build a top-notch tire.
Four layers of construction complete a fully manufactured Sumitomo Encounter AT tire. Each layer is designed to hold its layer of the tire. It also builds onto the next layer.
The innermost layer provides the bones of the tire to ensure reinforcement when necessary. Next, the second layer provides a casing.
The casing works to produce a smooth drive. The third layer encompasses the stability of the tire. Stiff steel belts are added to the third layer of the Sumitomo Encounter AT tire. The belts ensure stiffness and proper handling. The fourth layer works to stabilize the load distribution of the vehicle to produce an optimal and smooth driving experience.
- A non-directional, 5-rib tread design.
The 5-rib tread design provides stability while driving. Its one-of-a-kind design also protects the tire from irregular wear and tear.
- Deep circumferential grooves:
The specialized grooves of the Sumitomo Encounter AT tire enhance the grip and performance of the tire.
- Optimized tread pattern:
The characteristics and technology of the tread pattern create balance for the vehicle. Balanced vehicles produce a flawless driving experience. This increases top-tier responsiveness for steering and handling.
- Variable-width shoulder lugs:
Customized lugs remove debris found in the tread of the tire. Debris can include rocks, sand, etc. Clean treads create a superior grip. Grips help with balance, smoothness, and stability. This is where the all-terrain experience is formed.
- 3D wave sipes:
Traction and performance in varying weather conditions and terrain types are optimized by 3D wave sipe technology in Sumitomo Encounter AT tires.
Tire performance measures the quality and value of the tire. Traction, tread life, and handling are each key performance indicators for a tire’s ability to add value quality to the vehicle and value to the driver. Sumitomo Encounter AT tires are highly rated in all areas of performance.
The Sumitomo Encounter AT tire is rated 10 out of 10 in off-road traction. Consumers also rate the tire 10 out of 10 for snow and ice traction.
Tread performance is integral in tire performance. The Sumitomo Encounter AT tire has received a score of A+ or 9 out of 10 in tread life performance. Sumitomo Encounter AT tires have an average treadwear score of 600. The high score qualifies Sumitomo Encounter AT tires as being six times more likely to last than standard tires.
Traction and Wet Performance Handling
The Sumitomo Encounter AT tire has an A rating for traction and wet performance handling. It scored 9 out of 10 for slippery terrains or wet weather.
Eight out of 10 drivers recommend the Sumitomo Encounter AT tire for its overall smoothness and durability while riding.
Sumitomo Encounter AT Features and Benefits
The Sumitomo Encounter AT tire boasts an exclusive tire tread, rugged and open in design. A closer look a the tread design displays jagged center blocks and open shoulders. These features allow the tire to obtain more traction in varying terrains and create quality stability for increased smoothness.
The wide grooves within the tire allow for the efficient removal of excess water. Irregular sipes increase grip for added traction in snow and rain conditions.
The Sumitomo Encounter AT tire can hold a maximum of 2,094 lbs. At its maximum weight, all features and benefits of the Sumitomo Encounter AT tire stay true. Quiet drives, good traction, and a strong grip will not fall to the wayside due to a heavy load.
Sumitomo Encounter AT Reviews
Consumers have a lot to say about the Sumitomo Encounter AT tire. The most notable feature of this particular tire is the price. Sumitomo’s brand boasts quality produced tires for no more than $160.
First-time buyers assume that the low price of the Sumitomo Encounter AT tire disqualifies it from being a long-lasting product. Reviewers are happy to admit they were wrong.
Even with a lower price point Sumitomo Encounter AT tires are durable and strong. Some consumers report only purchasing the Sumitomo Encounter AT tire for a specific season, anticipating the need for replacement tires, and being mistaken.
Customers have also reviewed the driving experience with the Sumitomo Encounter AT tire. Because the Sumitomo Encounter AT tire is for all terrains, many customers believe the tire will be a little noisy.
After driving with the Sumitomo Encounter AT tire, customers have noted an unremarkable silence when driving, even on harsh roads.
Durability is a key component of consumer reviews and satisfaction for the Sumitomo Encounter AT tire. Poor roads and inclement weather can flounder any tire.
Customers have found that the Sumitomo Encounter AT tire has stood firm. The tire itself is quality and is not easily broken and worn down by the factors of the road.
For all the positives of the Sumitomo Encounter AT tire, there are negatives as well. Users have reported experiencing more difficulty with the Sumitomo Encounter AT tire in muddy conditions.
However, all other conditions, rain, snow, sand, and trails, have been tested and found to work well.
Are Sumitomo Encounter AT Tires for Me?
First things first, if you are driving a sedan, the Sumitomo Encounter AT tire may not be for your vehicle. The Sumitomo Encounter AT tire is specific to CUVs, SUVs, and small pickup trucks. However, there may be alternate Sumitomo models that can fit a small vehicle’s needs.
Other than that caveat, the Sumitomo Encounter AT tire is worth looking into. The Sumitomo brand prides itself on being an all-around tire.
Consumers have agreed. It fits most terrains and its features are noted to provide quality and excellence. Its unique creation of the tire’s patterns, edges, and blocks add to its features and benefits. The sustainability of the Sumitomo Encounter AT tire is unmatched.