I have a Norco aluminum x bike I use for many riding scenarios: gravel, rail trails, bad weather, and MTB trails (mainly double track but some easier single track too); it's a real do-it-all bike for me. My tires are 35 wide with knobs on the edges and not much down the middle. This has been fine for most conditions, but I wanted a second pair of beefier tires for the trails (softer over rocks and roots, and more grip for climbing). I'm using clincher rims, and can probably go to 38-40 wide (if not much mud).
Can a clincher tire/rim have a low psi for a softer feel, without high risk of pinch flats? Or is this why people run tubeless? Are there specific tires that would be a good trail-only tire?
I was considering buying a hardtail and giving up on the idea of using my x bike on trails, but I would rather use the money on good wheels if they will help.