High Gear: Cooper Discoverer M+S tire review
Special to the Daily
Cooper Discoverer M+S tires, $98-$160
Size: LT215 to LT 285
Rim width: 5.5 to 9 inches
Section width: 9.1 to 11.4 inches
Overall diameter: 28.82 to 34.17 inches
Tread width: 5.91 to 9.02 inches
Tread depth: 17 to 19 (1/32 inches)
Max load: 1,985 to 3,750 pounds
Sidewall: Black (all)
The Cooper Discoverer M+S tire is a studdable SUV and light truck tire designed for traction on snow and ice. For more info, including complete specs and a list of Summit County retailers, see us.coopertire.com.
Last December, I was prepping for a winter road trip and needed new tires. I went to Discount Tires in Denver and hooked myself up with a pair of Cooper Discoverer M+S tires and I’m glad that I did. I chose them based mostly on price, which is very reasonable as far as snow tires go. They are rated as “M + S,” or mud and snow, but since they are made to be studded they were snow tires to me. During the first stretch of my road trip they managed the snowy interstates — and then some.
Living in snow country requires the right tools, and snow tires or all-terrain tires are a requirement for getting around. (They’re also good for safely avoiding visitors that don’t have the required equipment.) We get a lot of storms across the Colorado Rocky Mountains and CDOT doesn’t always smooth the way, so being able to reach the freshies demands an investment — even if the nearest chairlift is only a 10- or 15-minute drive away.
Colorado also has a new law that requires snow tires, chains or four-by-four capabilities when the snows pile up on the roads, and after a solid season of driving on snowy roads, these tires proved their worth. The tread helps shed snow to increase grip on both flat and uneven terrain.
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Good in winter, better in summer
I opted to pass on the studs and I’m glad I did — the surprise I got this summer made it worth it. If I had studded my tires, I probably would have also bought a set of AT (all-terrain) tires. But, since the Discoverer M+S weren’t studded, I just left them on my truck and kept driving when the snow melted.
I hit a lot of backcountry trailheads this spring and summer. I did very difficult four-by-four trails across the state, and the tires weren’t just good — they were great. The first time I drove Coney Flats Road outside of Boulder was in the rain on a down day, and the tires managed every turn and surmounted every rock I crawled.
I upped the difficulty on Middle St. Vrain Road and the connector trail near Lyons, where I got stuck a couple of times due more to my driving errors than the tires. These roads are comparable in difficulty to Wheeler Lake Road above Alma.
I often talk about a “quiver of one” when it comes to tents or packs or skis, and that is the goal, isn’t it: to find something that works well for all applications? A quiver simplifies the experience and helps you save your money for winter road trips. The next time I need a set of tires for a winter road trip, I’ll be putting another set of Cooper Discoverer M+S on my wheels.
Fritz Sperry is a skier, author, photographer and artist who has skied extensively in the Colorado backcountry. He’s the author of: “Makingturns in the Tenmile-Mosquito Range,” and “Makingturns in Colorado’s Front Range, Vol. 1,” both available from his company, Giterdun Publishing.
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