5th Gen Mods, Off-Road, Overland, Reviews, Trail Tested

Cooper STT Pro Vs. Cooper Evolution M/T

Updated 4/7/21 / Read Time: 9 mins

Cooper Discoverer STT Pro Review

Cooper STT Pro 295/70R17 + Relations Race Wheels RR5 0 offset Gun Metal Gray + Spidertrax 1.25″ Spacers

Cooper Discoverer STT Pro Compared to the Cooper Evolution M/T – Battle of the Two Most Impressive M/T Offerings from Cooper

After running the Cooper Evolution M/T for just over 5000 miles, I was eager to see how the STT Pros stacked up.

I have read many great reviews about them, and have had some great conversations with guys on Instagram about them as well. I see countless 4Runners, Tacomas, Tundras, and many other off-road platforms running them. So what is it about these tires that everyone likes so much?

Could it be? Finally, an M/T that people love more than the infamous KO2 A/T? No way!

Why STT Pro?

Cooper Discoverer STT Pro Review

At first glance, I can see why an entire off-road community is drawn to the STT Pros. The sidewall, shoulder, and tread pattern all look super aggressive. More so than most mud terrains on the market. The lugs are beefy and the shoulder has impressive looking cleats with deep scoops giving the appearance that it would destroy anything in its path. On top of its looks and well-trusted off-road performance, it has a 5-star reputation for having well-manned on-road performance specs as well.

This almost sounds too good to be true… a high-performance mud-terrain tire with outstanding off-road performance specs that doesn’t scream at you on the highway? A true lady in the streets and a freak in the sheets… well, a beast in our case. Ok, that sounds weird.

STT Pro Features: 

  • Hybrid 3-2 Tread: Reduces noise and increases stability
  • Alternating Shoulder Lugs: Enhance traction in mud and soft surfaces.
  • Anti Stone Retention: Resists stone retention which helps to increase the life of the tire.
  • Mud Release Dimples: Aid in keeping the tread pattern free of loose soil.

What about the Evolution M/T?

Cooper Tires EVO MT 35s on 5th Gen 4Runner

Cooper Evolution M/T 35X12.5 + Fuel Wheels Anza -6 Offset Bronze + Spidertrax 1.25″ Spacers

So here is where I was confused. The reviews of the STT Pro were really starting to sound like the Evolution M/T: great on and off the road. If you have not read our initial impressions of the Evolution M/T, go check that out for a detailed look at them.

In short, our initial impressions of the Cooper Evolution M/T were great. They look awesome, perform well on-road, and have also continued to prove themselves off-road through the snow (yes, snow), mud, rock, sand, gravel, and pretty much anything else we have thrown at them.

Evo M/T Features: 

  • Earth Diggers: Tackle tricky terrain with large blocks with alternating mud scoops
  • Mud Slingers: Get extra grip from the deep, wide trenches
  • Trail Grip Sidewall: Aggressive “climbers” that grab onto rocks and sticks
  • Stone Barriers: Protect against damage from sharp rocks and expel lodged stones

How are they different?

Cooper STT Pro M/T Tires on 4Runner

Let’s jump into the two tires, looking at a few different categories in order to determine how they differ. After running the STT Pros for about 3000 miles, we have come to some pretty basic initial impressions. Granted this is not a full 20K to 50k mile review of either tire. This is only our initial look at the two tires, and our experiences with them so far with 3000 miles on both tires (two different 4Runners). I have had many questions about the differences between the two tires so far on Instagram, so I thought I would throw together a post overview.

Find them online: 

On-Road Performance

Cooper EVO M/T Review On-Road

WIN: Evolution M/T

Both of these tires are great on-road; they both track straight when balanced and aligned so no complaints on either tire there. Generally, both of these offerings from Cooper have pretty great road manners for Mud Terrains. But the EVO M/T shapes up to a better daily driver tire.

To start, the road noise of the EVO M/T is more mellow than the STT Pros. On a scale of 1-10 (with 1 being loud and 10 being mellow), I would rate the STT Pro a “4” and the Evolution M/T a “7”. The one area where the EVOs shine over the STTs is the ice/snow when on-road.

When out in El Dorado County snow-covered and ice-covered roads, the EVOs did incredibly well for an M/T. I was genuinely shocked as M/Ts typically have a bad rep on the ice. Throughout the spring and summer, they performed very well. Through Lake Tahoe winter over the summit and into winding dark roads where runoff and ice are present, these EVOs far surpassed what I expected them to do. Not once did my slip indicator come on through some corners where I thought for sure they would break loose. We went through pockets of ice, thick slush, wet corners around Lake Tahoe more than a handful of times all winter.

The on-road performance of this tire is killer. Beyond impressed.

Off-Road Performance

Cooper STT Pro Tires

WIN: STT Pro

After wheeling the rocks, sand, mud, snow, and everything in between on both tires, we definitely have experienced what off-roading on the STT Pros is all about, and man—this is one seriously impressive off-road tire. This tire has absolutely dominated dry surfaces with its sticky rubber compound, more so than the EVO M/T. The STT grabs harder and pulled up the face of rocks better. Dry surfaces, rocks, mud, and sand are where the STT shines. The STTs make you feel invincible. The EVOs will still take you there but the STT tends to stick, grab, and pull with more control.

A couple of downsides to off-roading with the STT pros are in the snow and wet surfaces. When aired down in the snow, they do very well with momentum, but if you are running full PSI or slow crawling, they will dig and dig pulling you deeper into the snow. Regardless of that, these tires are such a beast off-road that they straight dominate this category.

One thing to consider is if you are a huge fan of snow-wheeling or see icy roads often, this might not be the best tire for you.

Mud

Cooper STT Pro Tires Review on 5th Gen 4Runner

WIN: STT Pro

If you see mud or sand frequently, this is a tire you want to consider. As long as the beefy lugs on the STT Pro have something to grab onto, they will pull your rig through anything in its path. We pushed these tires through sand-heavy mud pockets and when I thought they would give up, they just kept turning and pulled us through. This tire has crazy off-road confidence and just destroys anything in its path.

Wet/Ice

Cooper Evo MT Snow Tires

WIN: Evolution M/T

When compared directly to the Evolution M/T in this category, the STT Pro comes up short. After putting roughly 3,000 miles on the STT Pros’, we really got to know their poor performance on wet/ice roads. We tested the Pros on dark canyon roads where ice patches, snow, and snow run-off were consistent. Pulling out onto these roads really showed the STT Pros’ weakness as the tires broke loose more than a few times. The Pros even manage to break loose a few times when throttling out of sharp corners triggering the slip indicator more than once. If you arent hammering on the skinny pedal, you will be able to control the massive lugs. It really depends on your area but the lack of siping may just be enough for your driving style.

The EVO M/T on the other hand has pulled us through Lake Tahoe’s blacktop winding roads with ease. Not once have I been concerned about these tires breaking loose. Even though they don’t appear to have a ton of siping, the siping on these tires sure does their job. Also, this is a studdable tire so if you wanted to stud the EVOs, you can.

Snow

Cooper Evolution Snow Tires

WIN: Evolution M/T

Mud terrains are typically not great in the snow. The Evolution M/T, however, performs quite well over the STT Pros. If I had to pick one tire to go snow wheeling with, it would be the EVOs. Every time I have hit the snow with the EVOs, they provide the confidence I need when heading up the hill or coming back down. STT Pros, however, seem to be lacking the confidence the EVOs have. The STTs still got us through a day of wheeling around on the snow when aired down just fine but nowhere near close to the level of performance the EVOs offered.

This was a close one because once the STTs and EVOs are aired down – they both provide great flotation, and performed just fine. 

Looks

Cooper STT Pro on 5th Gen 4Runner - Review & Overview

WIN: STT Pro

This one could come down to either tire, depending on your preference, but I think most of you can agree that the STT Pro looks better. It has deeper, more aggressive tread blocks, more aggressive alternating shoulder scoops, and the sidewall has an unmistakable directional tread pattern. No, it doesn’t look like a MAXXIS Trepador but the STT Pro is one seriously aggressive-looking tire. Let’s not count out the EVO M/T though; it’s also a great-looking tire but the STT has that “destroy everything in its path” written all over it.

Weight

Cooper Tires EVO MT 35s on 5th Gen 4Runner

WIN: Evolution M/T

In all sizes, the Evolution M/T is lighter. Lighter is usually better when it comes to our builds but not always. You may be the type that needs the strongest carcass possible and in that case, a heavy tire might be ok for your build. When you look at increasing your tire size, it all ends up as unsprung rotational mass, which ultimately goes against your MPGs and general on-road performance. It’s not a huge performance indicator given the weight differences between the two here, however, weight is definitely something to consider as it all adds up.

Example Weight

  • 285/70R17
    • STT Pro: 62
    • EVO  M/T: 57

Random Fact: STT Pros are offered in a wide range of size options but they don’t come in a 35″ whereas the EVO M/T does.

Price

Cooper EVO M/T Tires on the Rocks with 5th Gen 4Runner

WIN: Evolution M/T

The Evolution M/T is substantially less than the STT Pro. Because of this, I give the Evolution M/T a win. Cooper Tires offers a great brand of tires and if you can afford a set of tires similar to the Pros for substantially less, I say go for it – and don’t look back. It’s hard to find well-priced tires that perform well both on-road and off-road.

Trail Takeaway

STT Pro Tires - Snow Review and Overview on 4Runner

I was curious to see what it was about these notorious STT Pros that everyone keeps talking about. I get it now. They are flat-out impressive in almost all areas.

In my opinion, the STT Pro is a level above the EVO M/T for me personally and that’s only because most of my driving is done in short distances to and from work and I live in an area that doesn’t get much snow/ice build-up on the road. I don’t commute long distances so I’m rarely on the road for long periods of time unless I’m heading to the trail. I also like the more aggressive look on the STT Pro.

If you are a daily driver who commutes or someone who sees snow/ice on the road often, I would opt for the Evolution M/T. If you are more focused on general off-road performance over road-noise, and snow/ice performance, then definitely look at the STT Pros.

What’s for you?

Cooper STT Pro Tires in the Snow - Review

It’s a really simple decision at the end of the day; the STT Pro features a more aggressive tread pattern, and it’s going to perform a bit better off-road in general. However, the STT Pros will give you a little bit more road noise over the Evolution M/T and they don’t perform as well on wet/ice surfaces well.

Questions or Comments? Leave them Below!

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Dave Rich
Dave Rich
5 days ago

Dude, this SST Pro’s look sick and Jade is lookin good. I was looking at Jade’s awesome front on pics and noticed no winch. I don’t do a ton of offroad now. I’m planning on doing some Overlanding out west this summer. Have you found a need for a winch on Jade? I’m trying to decide whether or not to spend the money on a bumper and winch.

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