There are two things you should never cheap out on: mattresses, and tires. Or that’s how the conventional wisdom goes, anyway. The idea persists that if you’re not dropping money on tires from one of the big-name brands – Michelin, Pirelli, BFGoodrich, Continental, Goodyear, and the like – that you’ll pay a price in the form of subpar performance and compromised durability.

Some years ago, there might have been some real truth to the claim. But today, lesser-known manufacturers like Sailun are proving that you don’t have to scrimp and save for expensive premium rubber to be safe and have fun on the road or the trail. Leveraging its vast R&D resources, access to global factories, and worldwide distribution network, Sailun is on a mission to prove that a value-minded tire can in fact keep up with the big guys, at a significantly lower price point.

With that, here are five reasons you don’t need to overpay to get quality tires.

A Tire Is Only As Good As Its Mold

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And Sailun, despite its budget-friendly positioning, knows what it takes to design a great mold. Every tire, whether a rugged all-terrain or an everyday touring tire, is really little more than so many layers of molded rubber, steel cords, and belts, bonded together during the manufacturing process. Quite often, the thing limiting performance is the design itself.

But it doesn’t really cost any more to mold a good tire than a middling one; it just requires a bit more R&D. That’s no trouble for the likes of Sailun, which has integrated R&D with its production operations and receives plenty of technical support from the industry and the Qingdao University of Science and Technology. That expertise shows up in tires like the Sailun Inspire Touring, which delivers performance almost indistinguishable from more expensive options thanks in large part to its three-dimensional siping and the clever “staggered” tuning and variable pitch sequence of its “SilentTread” design.

And The Stuff It’s Molded From
Remember the Qingdao University of Science and Technology, which provides technical support to Sailun’s operations? Originally, the school was founded with a focus on chemistry – and specifically, the rubber industry. It’s a more broadly focused school today, but nonetheless, the Qingdao University continues to produce some of the best, most technically competent professionals in the global rubber industry, and Sailun Tires, located just a stone’s throw away, has a direct pipeline to that talent.

That know-how shows up in tires like the Sailun Inspire Touring and its advanced proprietary SertaGrip compound. It’s engineered to provide outstanding traction in both dry and wet conditions, with excellent longevity thanks to its highly wear-resistant proprietary compounds.

They’re Available In All Sorts Of Styles

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It’s not just touring tires for commuter coupes and sedans that Sailun manufactures. Between its plurality of brands, the Sailun Group produces tires in just about every style under the sun, from ultra high-performance all-seasons, to rugged all-terrains, to winter tires, each one expertly engineered for the task at hand.

Take the Terramax HLT, for instance. Developed specially for SUVs, crossovers, and pickup trucks, the Terramax HLT is tailored to those vehicles with a bit more tread depth and higher load ratings, with a multitude of sizes that cover pretty much all of the most popular OE wheel sizing options. Sure, it shares some similarities with the Inspire, like the four big main water-expelling channel grooves and the variable-pitch tread design. But on the whole, it’s a tougher, higher ply-rated tire developed for an entirely different sort of vehicle.

And Are Often Backed By Some Exceptional Warranties
We like to think of a warranty as a vote of confidence in the product, from the manufacturer. So when, say, Sailun comes along and sells the Terramax HLT with an 80,000 km/60 month limited tread protection warranty, we take that as an indication that Sailun has done the work necessary to develop a dependable, durable tire, and to manufacture it to the level of quality necessary to support 80,000 kilometers of use.

And it’s not just the Terramax HLT; Sailun offers an even more impressive 120,000 km/60 month limited tread protection warranty on the Inspire Touring, and even a 30-day risk-free trial. That sort of confidence goes a long way.

You Get On-Par Performance And Great Longevity For Much Less

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There are times when being “best-in-class” matters – spelling bees, for example, or peddling a halo car model that costs thousands more than the next-closest competitor. Sailun is an underdog that will continue to utilize their technology to provide quality products that are backed with warranties that can be trusted at a price point substantially lower than the major brands.

With tires like the car-focused Inspire Touring and the SUV- and light truck-friendly Terramax HLT, Sailun has made good on their mission to offer excellent tires for a price the major manufacturers can’t afford to touch, proving that you don’t need to overpay to get a good set of tires.