2(BFQ)'s x 1gear said:
specifically a SS hardtail 2.3 or larger
I've been running Schwalbe Big Jims (2.25) for a while, and am now running a King Jim (2.35) front and Big Jim rear. It's the best all-around tire I've ever used. Absolutely blows the Fire XC pro away, which was my favorite all-arounder for many years. Especially in cornering, and it doesn't pack up in mud as much as the Fire.
The downside is that the King Jims aren't cheap, but if you want a light 2.35 tire that doesn't have a lot of rolling resistance and hooks up in all conditions, that would be my top recommendation.
I've been switching to a Kenda Blue Groove/Nevagal combo for some trails when it's wet. The 2.5s are huge, much bigger than any other claimed 2.5 I have used. They're too big in fact, I should have gone with the 2.35s. Those tires grip anything, but roll incredibly slow. I really notice the rolling resistance, which is one reason I don't run them often; that and the fact that they wear fast. But that's the tradeoff for their traction. They're overkill for most of my riding, and usually only get used on road trips.
I don't like the Moto 2.4s. I only had good luck with them in dry conditions, terrible in mud and soft dirt. Very unpredictable. The 2.24 moto race or 2.24 mutano race are both much better tires from WTB, although not the size you want. Don't go strictly on claimed size either. Continental 2.3s, for example, are smaller than 2.1s from most other brands. My Vert Pros are downright tiny.