Toyo Open Country AT3 vs Goodyear Duratrac

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Both, Toyo Open Country AT3 and the Goodyear Wrangler Duratrac are marketed as all terrain tires, but here, Duratrac’s design tells another story. The tire is a hybrid, with a combination of aggressive MT’s shoulder blocks and AT’s central area, so with this, it’s able to take on more rugged off road challenges.

Goodyear Wrangler Duratrac
Goodyear DuraTrac can surely use some sidewall lugs.

Being a tire engineer, in my opinion, the Toyo Open Country AT3 is a better tire for highways, out of the two. The tire provides a more responsive steering and offers better fuel economy. On the other hand the Goodyear Duratrac has a rugged design that presents a more powerful off road biting. And this allows it to handle tougher terrains, including mud. Toyo AT3 is not durable enough for such terrains, in fact for such an aggressive looking tire, it sure is weak.

Read full review of Toyo AT3:

Read full review of Duratrac:


Durability on Toyo Open Country AT3 is not going to impress. The tire only offers 2 layers of polyester casing (the cover of the tire, which holds the structure).

This casing gets layered with 2 steel belts, which are tough enough (and common with all A/T tires).

But this steel belts gets reinforced with just a single ply of nylon (where most of the top tier all terrain tires offer 2 ply nylon covering).

So it’s inner structure overall is not too strong.

Goodyear Duratrac provides you with 2 ply polyester and 2 steel belts (same as the Toyo), but the tire on top has 2 layers of nylon, and it’s bigger sidewall lugs further protect the sides (with thicker rubber layer).

So you get a more durable tire here, but again, I’d say for such a tough looking tire (from outside), it’s not that strong internally, it should have been 3 ply.

One of the strongest A/T tires that you can get is BF Goodrich KO2 (review), it’s even stronger than some of the rugged terrain tires out there like the Mickey Thompson AT (review).

For Your Info: For Toyo AT3, I’d recommend, that you avoid going with P metric sizes (if you are going to take your ride on rugged terrains, go with LT).

Tread Appearance

Wrangler Duratrac
Goodyear Wrangler Duratrac offers small tread blocks within grooves, see if you can find them.

In case of Wrangler DuraTrac, the central area has blocks with saw tooth edges to them.

All these blocks lie on the rubber foundations and are separated apart with large tread voids.

Between these spacing, the Wrangler Duratrac offers a small version of tread pattern which provide further biting abilities (Tractive Groove Technology, as GY calls it).

On sides, shoulder blocks in pairs are joined together by foundations (which provide cornering stability).

And these blocks are studable (16 studs in total), and staggered, so they make mud scoops.

The sidewall lugs are aggressive enough and they are thicker in comparison, and help with grip, when you air down these tires (especially on rocks and sand).

And lastly, the tire does not offer stone ejectors but the mini tread blocks (installed in the grooves) act as one.

Toyo AT3 1
On Toyo AT3, overall 2 circumferential channels are made interconnected with central grooves, separating sides.

If we look at the Toyo Open Country AT3, the tire is totally different with closely packed blocks. Here S and F (or C) shaped blocks are seen. It’s the deep biters which provide them with this shape.

All blocks have firm rubber foundations underneath, so the tire offer good on road experience.

The shoulder blocks although are staggered and have wide lateral spacing, the connectors between them again limits the off road performance but bring on-road comfort.

So just like the Goodyear Duratrac, no stone ejectors are seen here as well.

Lastly is we move on to the sidewall lugs, they are okay, but they are chunky enough to provide good off road bite, but still get the job done (especially if you compare with less aggressive off road tires, like the Yokohama Geolandar G015 (review).

Sizes Available

Starting with Toyo Open Country AT3 first, the tire ranges from 15 to 22″ rim sizes, but my favorite size 19″, get to have only two sizes, 255/55R19 and 255/60R19, just putting it out there.

Speed ratings on all sizes are good, they go up to H and are available in Q,R,S and T.

And load ratings are also good, it goes up to F, (where in F LT 37X12.50R22 is my fav), weight range also varies a lot, going from 28 lbs to 72 pounds.

And same is the case with tread depth, which goes from 12.7 to 17/32″, averaging to about 15/32″.

If we check out Wrangler Duratrac, it also offers 15 to 22 inches, but overall sizes are not greater in comparison.

Same goes for speed ratings, there’s no H available as you get sizes in Q, S, P, and T.

But load rating goes up to F, with weight in check, 35 to 68 lbs.

And besides getting wider grooves, you also get deeper tread voids as well, with tread depth going up to 18/32″ (averaging near 16/32″).

On Road Performance

All Terrains tires try their best to remain civil on roads, where grip and handling is crucial, so they have to provide satisfactory steering response, and the cornering ability.

Let’s check out all of these dynamic features of these tires one by one.

Dry Traction

Dry traction is very dependent on the grip. And this grip comes from rubber with it’s road contact.

In case of Toyo AT3, with less spacing between the tread blocks, the tire offers more surface area of it’s rubber to get in contact with the pavement, and this naturally provides grip, resulting in shorter braking distances.

The tire also provides better dry handling times, as all blocks have reinforced foundations underneath (which enhances stability), and the shoulder blocks (which are under most pressure on corners), have ridges or you can say connectors in between which limits the movement of the blocks, providing stable lateral traction.

On the other side, the Goodyear Duratrac, although has less rubber to road contact to offer, the tire is still not too far off. It’s softer rubber compound sticks to the surface and as all blocks here also have rigid foundations, the tire presents good enough braking distances and handling times.

Steering Response

Steering response highly depends on the sidewalls and the weight of the tire (along with tread design), and here Toyo Open Country AT3, which is lighter in weight and has less no. of sidewall plies, provides a more on road oriented steering management.

That’s why the tire is very responsive on dry roads, but same is not true for, wet as there the tire lacks the lateral traction component.

The Goodyear Duratrac on the other side, although is not so good in dry, is above average on wet roads, as it offers a direct responsiveness and offers a good over and understeer balance.

Handling Stability

The Goodyear Duratrac offers a very good rounded contact patch of tread, (most of GY tires are seen with this feature).

So on cornering with higher speeds, this keeps the tire stable. But it still can’t outperform Toyo AT3, despite having reinforced foundations underneath the blocks (which adds to stability).

The Toyo Open Country AT3 simply provides better block rigidity, as one, it’s compound is stiffer in comparison, and two, besides having ridges in between shoulder blocks, and foundation supports under central blocks, it also offers more rubber to road contact.

That’s why it’s also available is speed ratings up to H, where maximum in case of Wrangler Duratrac is T.

Learn all about speed ratings here:

Comfort and Noise

Having a good ride quality is very important, no matter what tire you are on. In fact, this is one of the main reasons, why all terrain tires exists, as mud terrain tires (which are more aggressive) are very loud and uncomfortable on highways.

Speaking of these two here, it’s no surprise to see that the Toyo Open Country AT3 is much more sound proof compared to Goodyear Duratrac.

You see, noise, or should I say, tread noise, is just air flowing in and out of the tire and hitting the tread blocks, and most of that noise enters through the shoulders.

Now if you revisit the tread appearance section above, where I discussed the shoulders, you’ll see the shoulder blocks valleys on Toyo AT3 have ridges in between, and these block the movement of the air, and dampens the noise.

The tire is also comfortable enough as well, as it’s less number of cap plies, internally, don’t make it as stiff and allows it to cushion the bumps.

The Goodyear Duratrac on the other hand, with big shoulder block valleys are very loud. In fact they are one of the loudest in all terrain category.

But the tire offers variable pitches and a softer compound which absorbs bumps, so if you rotate these tires religiously (at every 4k miles), you may be just able to get away with it.

For Your Info: If comfort is the priority, go with D rated sizes, instead of E or F.

Wet Performance

There are a very few aggressive all terrain tires capable of performing well on wet, and out of these two, the Toyo AT3 provides better efficacy, let’s see why.

Wet Traction

Sipes and tread flexibility count as highly significant factors to achieve good wet traction. And here both tires are not able to provide satisfactory levels.

In case of Toyo Open Country AT3, where the tire outperforms nearly all high performing A/T tires on dry roads, gets beaten by nearly all of them in wet conditions, so it’s exact opposite you can say.

The tire although offers full depth sipes, and they are 3D as well, but they are not numerous enough and don’t get along with the tire’s tread, meaning, the tread is stiffer, & the sipes don’t get flexibility needed (with flexibility, sipes can expand/contract to suck in the water particles, that’s how they clear water off).

The Goodyear Duratrac on the other hand, although is not good enough overall, is surprisingly slightly better in comparison. The tire offers more interlocking sipes and offers better hydroplaning resistance (which promotes overall wet traction, let’s see why).

For your info: Compared to Toyo AT3, Falken Wildpeak at3w provides better wet traction.


A tire which is good in hydroplaning would effectively and quickly remove water from it’s channels, so you can move on standing water with more speeds (which is actually how you measure this, with “float speeds”).

So, as Duratrac cleans off water from it’s grooves, less water gets left behind for sipes to clear out, so indirectly, this helps the overall wet traction of the tire.

Winter Performance

In winter performance, there are a lot of key areas to look at, and out of them the most significant ones include, grip, acceleration and handling on all light and deep snowy terrains, as well as ice.

Both tires are 3 Peak Mountain Snowflake rated (3pmsf), so this tells us that they are good in acceleration on snow (25% better than average all season tire, roughly).

For Your Info: The 3PMSFR does not tell you about braking, or handling, it’s just an acceleration test.

The Toyo Open Country AT3 is very good overall and makes good snow to snow contact as it’s F and S shaped blocks grab and hold on to the snow. Moreover, the tire’s staggered shoulder blocks with concave shaped sides effectively scoop the snow out.

But the tire lacks due to it’s stiffer composition, which hardens up more with freezing temperatures (that’s why winter tires are so soft).

On the other hand, the Goodyear Duratrac is very good, especially when it comes to deep snow, it exhibits decent grip and predictable handling and it’s flexible tread is more resistant to low temperatures.

The tire also provide 16 studable blocks (on available in LT sizes), and with them they becomes great on ice as well (where Toyo AT3 lacks a lot).

Off Road Performance

Off road, there are a lot of terrains to consider, but here I am going to discuss some of the most challenging ones.

Let’s start with mud (the biggest enemy of all terrain tires).

Mud traction

The Toyo Open Country AT3 really lacks on this type of terrain. The tire is not good at escaping mud out of it’s grooves, and is bad at self cleaning its tread, which is highly crucial on mud.

Basically, the ridges between the shoulder blocks restrict the movement of the mud to flow sideways, and due to this, it gets packed very easily.

On the other side, the Goodyear Duratrac with wider outer circumferential rings of grooves, its very efficient is evacuating the mud, if fact it’s one of the best ones out there, and I ranked it for it in my list of top all terrain tires, for this.

Traction on Rocks

The best performing all terrain tires on this type of terrain include those which have ton of biting edges, aggressive sides and powerful inner composition.

And although both tires offer good biters, they lack in the durability department, as both of them have 2 ply sidewalls which are very prone to punctures off road (Toyo AT3 is weaker still).

But other than that, the Goodyear Duratrac shows good enough performance, it’s wider grooves provide bigger groove mouth which bite in to the surface and it’s zigzag edges blocks grip in all directions.

The tire also has thicker sidewall lugs which grab and pull, (when you air down to a lower psi pressure levels).

On the other side, the Toyo AT3 although provides serrated shoulders they are not so aggressive. The tire’s sidewalls are also not as aggressive as well, and with lowered pressure they are not as effective.

But the tire still does have notches in the middle area which give it some traction, though it could have been improved. It’s predecessor Toyo AT2 does better on rocks, and even with the updated tire, it lacks here.

Also both tires are missing with stone ejectors, so on gravely roads they re only average.

Recommended Read: Are A/T tires good on rocks?

Sand Traction

Toyo AT3 is a decent tire on sand, it’s light weight, so this helps the tire on slopes. It’s shoulder blocks are although staggered, are not too aggressive, so the tire does not dig too much and focuses on forward momentum, which is exactly what you want on sand.

Moreover, it’s sidewall lugs are pasted on a larger area, so with 2 ply, the softer sidewalls, provides better rubber to sand contact.

On the other side, although the Goodyear Duratrac is also lighter and has 2 ply sidewall construction, the tire has wider grooves and even when pressured down, it does not provide enough footprint to outperform Toyo AT3.

Fuel Efficiency

Fuel economy of the tire depends on the tire’s weight, tread composition and design, all these factors provide rolling resistance values which correlates directly with fuel consumption.

In case of Toyo AT3, the tire offers less overall weight (with less no of layers inside, and less rubber on top (low tread depth)). So the rolling resistance of the tire is low and so you save more on fuel money.

On the other side, the Goodyear Duratrac has a softer compound which weighs a little more. So with spongy rubber, the tire is sticky on roads and with larger weight, more pressure deposits on the surface it’s on, resulting in higher rolling resistance values.

In my experience switching from Toyo AT3 to Duratrac, you are going to see an increment of 1 to 2 mpg, (for E rated tires).

Recommended Read: Do all-terrain tires show worse gas mileage?

Tread Wear

Tread life is a clever subject as it comes with a lot of conditions, but out of them, rolling resistance is the main one.

As we saw above in the fuel efficiency section, the Toyo Open Country AT3 with it’s stiffer compound, provides lower rolling resistance levels, so the tire takes a longer time to wear off in comparison.

Goodyear Wrangler Duratrac on the other side, with stickier compound and more weight is not able to outperform its rival, and although the tire has more tread depth that works against tread wear, it still wear off faster compared to Toyo AT3.

For Your Info: One of the best tires for tread wear, is General Grabber ATX (review).

What’s the verdict?

Toyo Open Country AT3 is an all terrain tire, upgraded from the Toyo AT2, and now has 3pmsfr and improved traction on dry roads. And although the tire’s performance on wet asphalts is better compared to Duratrac, it’s still not good enough.

On the other side, the GY Duratrac is a great off roader which provides ample mud traction and on roads, the tire is not too bad except for the noise, they are very loud.

And besides having 3pmsfr like the Toyo AT3, it also offers studable lugs, so you get great icy performance as well.

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