Outdoor Equipment Reviews

Best Riding Lawn Mower for Rough Terrain in 2022: Complete Reviews With Comparisons

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Nothing looks better than a perfectly trimmed lawn, but mowing sloped terrain is another thing.

Using the best riding lawn mower for rough terrain is the most effective way of cutting the grass along a sloping garden or hill.

It’s powerful enough to trim a large lawn while minimizing the work and energy required to complete the task.

Use a leaf blower to complete the picture-perfect aesthetic of your garden by moving fallen leaves and other debris out of the way.

Best Riding Lawn Mower for Rough Terrain Reviews

1. Husqvarna YTH18542 Riding Mower

Husqvarna produces outdoor power tools, including this consumer-grade riding mower that performs professionally.

Its compact size and remarkable design make it convenient and straightforward to handle.


The Husqvarna YTH18542 is among the leading models of riding lawnmowers today.

This is thanks to the fact that it comes with a powerful motor and other excellent features for your convenience.

You can use it on rough terrain, and its size and fuel efficiency make it suitable for mowing medium to large-sized lawns.

  • Deck Size

What the deck size does is tell you how much grass the lawnmower can cut in each pass.

Basically, the larger its size, the bigger its scope, and the faster you can finish the job.

This Husqvarna riding lawn mower features a 42-inch reinforced cutting deck made of flat stock steel, ensuring durability.

In addition to its expansive cutting deck, it also features six cutting heights, which range from 1.5 to 4.5 inches.

Setting it according to the turf’s growth produces a better mowing result.

Moreover, this riding lawn mower uses air induction mowing technology, improving the airflow through the deck for a more consistent cut and power.

  • Design and Comfort

The machine’s easy step-through design offers comfort to the user. With this, you’ll find it easier to operate this riding lawnmower.

Its medium-height backrest measures 13 inches, which you can adjust according to your preferred tallness.

For security, there is a safety switch under the seat; it automatically turns off the motor as soon as you stand up.

The durable vinyl material of the seat makes it easy to clean and maintain before storing after use.

Another feature that focuses on comfort is its ergonomic steering wheel, providing a good grip for added efficiency.

It also comes with dual anti-scalp wheels with durable rolls you can depend on for a long time.

  • Engine and Transmission

With its 18.5 horsepower Briggs & Stratton Intek engine, you can be sure of a powerful performance.

The Husqvarna YTH18542 can cut the grass with speed and productivity.

Not to mention, its fuel tank can hold up to 2.5 gallons of gas, ensuring sufficient support for long working hours.

The hydrostatic and pedal-operated transmission allows you to control the speed and direction while keeping your hands on the wheel.

The engine and transmission provide an impressive speed of 2.5 miles per hour. It also features a reverse operating system as fast as three miles per hour.

  • Maneuverability

This riding lawn mower features a 16-inch turning radius, allowing you to maneuver inclines, small hills, and other obstacles safely.


  • Compact
  • Easy to control and maneuver
  • Consistent cut
  • Powerful engine
  • Has safety and reverse features


  • Small fuel tank
  • Lots of issues not covered by warranty

2. Ariens IKON XD 915267 Mower

The Ariens IKON XD 915267 offers excellent power and performance.

From a powerful engine to a durable deck, you can’t deny that it is a rugged riding lawn mower built to perform effortlessly.


If you are looking for reliability and speed, then it’s time to invest in this 52-inch zero-turn mower from Ariens.

Let’s take a closer look at its many impressive features to determine if it’s a suitable model for you.

Cutting Deck

The Ariens mower boasts a three-bladed 52-inch expansive cutting deck.

It also comes with an 11-gauge steel platform that lets you cut up to six inches of grass at once.

Depending on your preference, you will have 13 cutting height options to choose from.

Pick a cutting height from 1.5 to 4.5 inches, adjustable in quarter-inch increments by simply turning a dial.

Ease of Use

The Hydro-Gear EZT Transaxles offers smooth and effortless forward and reverse responses of seven and three miles per hour, respectively.

This commercial-grade hydrostatic transmission comes with a parking brake that automatically stops the blades when the mower’s operator is absent.

The double-triangle hitch combined with the four-point suspension system powers the blades to cut the grass evenly.

High-Back Seat

The adjustable high-back seat comes with standard padded armrests, providing excellent comfort for the user.

Its several adjustment options allow you to complete the job without any signs of fatigue or discomfort.

Powerful Engine

Another crucial feature of this riding lawn mower is the powerful 23 horsepower 726 cc V Twin Kawasaki engine.

It’s a commercial-grade four-stroke double-cylinder engine with a suspended V valve and 90-degree V notch.

You can always expect consistent efficiency from its automatic compression release feature combined with its internally ventilated carburetor.

The engine uses a pressure lubrication system and comes with instant electronic spark ignition, ensuring flawless operation at all times.

Additionally, a single-stage air filtration system pulls air under the deck. It improves grass movement for a cleaner cut while preventing engine clogging.

Also, it comes with a swivel metal screen and weatherproof and durable cast iron cylinder liners.

The engine’s ultimate power of 3600 RPM and 2200 RPM torque produces a speed of up to 11 kilometers per hour.

It has a fuel tank capacity of 2.8 gallons, allowing you to complete the job without refueling.


The Ariens mower comes with larger tires, with the front caster measuring 11 inches, while the rear is at 20 inches.

The front and rear tires provide more traction and an overall smoother and better ride.

Even on uneven terrain, you can use each tire’s control lever to get the job done.


  • Well-built and reliable
  • Three-year warranty coverage
  • Powerful engine
  • Perfect for big yards
  • Comfortable to use


  • Requires driving learning curve
  • No fuel indicator

3. Craftsman 17ARFACT091 Hydrostatic Mower

For the ultimate mowing experience, check out this zero-turn riding mower from Craftsman.

The Craftsman 17ARFACT091 boasts a powerful engine that provides a reliable and straightforward starting system.

In turn, you can expect exceptional performance when mowing flat or uneven yards.


This Craftsman mower offers exceptional support, comfort, and performance as you ride through your lawn.

It doesn’t matter if yours is flat and level or uneven and sloped; the Craftsman 17ARFACT091 has got you covered.

Comfortable Ride

The sleek design of the roomy cabin and the padded high-back seat of this Craftsman mower ensure you get excellent comfort and support.

As a result, you’d be able to mow medium- and large-sized lawns without getting fatigued. In fact, you might even enjoy the whole experience.

Cutting Deck and Heights

The mower has an expansive cutting deck that is 42 inches wide, suitable for easy mowing medium-sized lawns.

It has a variable cutting height from 1.25 to 3.75 inches, letting you choose based on what’s required at the time.


The Craftsman hydrostatic mower has a robust steel frame for an improved mowing experience.

Even when exposed to different kinds of elements, you can trust that this frame will remain durable.

That said, it’s still best to store this machine in a shed or garage to prolong its service life.

Excellent Maneuverability

Experience excellent maneuverability and stability with the mower’s zero turning radius and smooth levers.

What this does is allow you to make easy speed and directional changes while mowing your lawn.

With the dual hydrostatic transmission, you can boost the mower’s control and traction, providing you with excellent machine command.

Powerful Engine

The powerful Kohler 23-horsepower twin-cylinder engine has a dependable easy-start system without the choke and primer.

It’s powerful enough to run up to 6.5 miles per hour.

You’ll also find that it comes with a 3.5-gallon fuel tank, enough to complete your mowing task without the need to refuel.


  • Powerful engine
  • Well-built
  • Easy to change the oil
  • Adjustable handles
  • Efficient performance


  • Not suitable for slopes of 15 degrees and higher
  • Requires learning curve to use

4. Troy-Bilt Premium Riding Lawn Mower

For more than seven decades, Troy-Bilt has continued to make affordable but quality riding lawn mowers.

In all that time, it has been proven again and again that Troy-Bilt’s creations last a long time.


This Troy-Bilt model offers the wide cut size of a walk-behind mower and the benefits of a riding lawnmower.

That said, is it something that you need in your arsenal? Let’s find out.

Comfort and Ease of Use

Compared to its counterparts, there’s no denying the ease of use and comfort that this riding mower offers.

For instance, sitting on its padded mid-back seat is comfortable even for long periods or when moving at a higher speed.

Also, using the clutch to change gears adds to its comfort and ease of use, while the reverse option allows you to go back to a missed spot.

Then, there’s the convenient fuel window, which lets you see the amount of gas you have left, so you know if it needs refueling.

Cutting Deck

This model has a 30-inch cutting deck with five adjustable settings, combining the features of everyday riding and walk-behind mowers.

Plus, the manual power take-off makes blade engagement fast and easy, resulting in clean, consistent, and even cutting quality.

What’s more, the mower effectively mulches and discharges its clippings on the side.


The 340-pound body of this Troy-Bilt mower uses a 14-gauge steel material packed with all the necessary hardware.

With this construction, you can expect nothing less than an admirable performance.


This Troy-Bilt mower has a six-speed transmission and a single-cylinder 382cc OHV Auto-Choke engine.

Impressively enough, it has a forward speed of up to 4.25 miles per hour.

It’s a responsive and reliable engine that fires up with the turn of the key, making it easy to use every time.


Some parts of the Troy-Bilt riding lawn mower will require installation upon delivery.

Fortunately, you’ll only need an hour to install the seat, rear engine cover, steering wheel, and column.


This Troy-Bilt riding mower’s durable front and rear wheels measure 13 x 5 and 16 x 6.5 inches, respectively.

With its 18-inch turning radius, you get agility in tight corners, making it easy to control and maneuver across sprawling flat terrain.


  • Easy to assemble
  • Excellent cutting performance
  • Adjustable seat
  • Compact
  • Easy to handle


  • Noisy
  • Wobbly on slopes

5. Husqvarna MZ61 Riding Mower

Husqvarna riding mowers are famous for providing superior performance. One of its proud creations is this MZ61 model.


The Husqvarna MZ61 has features that can handle residential and light commercial lawn maintenance.

Let’s look at what this Husqvarna model can offer.

Comfort and Ease of Use

Though the MZ61 is large in size, its zero-turn feature makes it easy to maneuver while maintaining its riding comfort and cut quality.

It also comes with a cushioned, sliding 15-inch high-back seat and padded armrests with EVC or vibration dampeners.

The six-inch front caster wheels have air-filled tires, ensuring durability.

At the same time, the 2 x 3 inches oversized tube chassis enhances strength and ride quality.

Cutting Deck

The cutting deck, made of 11-inch gauge fabricated steel, offers an expansive 61-inch mowing width.

It also comes with 12 cutting heights from 1.5 to 4.5 inches that you can easily adjust using foot pedal-assisted controls.


The Husqvarna MZ61 boasts a Kawasaki FR730V engine.

It’s an efficient and quiet 24-horsepower or 726-cc motor with a maximum forward speed of 8.5 miles per hour.

This durable engine lets you mow large areas in less time, allowing you to complete your task quickly.

Cleaning and Safety Features

The Roll Over Protection Structure (ROPS) is a safety feature mounted on the mower’s chassis.

It reduces accidental injuries together with the included safety belt in case it rolls over while you are mowing.

A removable foot pad gives you straightforward access to the spindles and deck belt pulleys, making it easy to clean and maintain.


  • Reliable automatic start
  • Powerful engine
  • Roll-over protection system
  • Comfortable riding and mowing experience
  • Heavy-duty steel frame


  • Heavy
  • Requires space for storage

Which Riding Mower Is Best?

You may be overwhelmed with the different choices and prices if it’s your first time looking for the best riding lawn mower for rough terrain.

We have reviewed five of the best options in the market today to help you choose the suitable model for your needs.

All five models offer unique features, making them an ideal choice for trimming your lawns.

However, our personal favorite is the Husqvarna MZ61, which can easily mow large areas in a short time.

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