Snow Wheeling with Goodyear DuraTrac Tires

 In 5th Gen Mods, Off-Road, Reviews, Trail Tested

First Impressions of Goodyear Wrangler DuraTrac Tires

Goodyear Wrangler DuraTrac Tires

Now that you bought your 4Runner, it’s time for the first important modification for any off-road intended vehicle tires.

For many off-road enthusiasts, tires are the first modification to go on their vehicle, with some new wheels of course.

Whatever you choose to wrap those pristine new wheels in can be one of the most important decisions you make for your rig. Despite the fancy, adjustable suspension, or a winch-equipped bumper, you won’t be getting very far on a regular old set of street tires. Especially in the snow.

I was among one of these many off-road enthusiasts that chose wheels and tires as my first real modification.

Taking into consideration the most popular tires in our ever-changing 4Runner community, the Goodyear Wrangler Duratrac tires had my immediate attention, despite not having the limelight.

The only thing that may come close in terms of off-road snow performance might be a set of studded snow tires like the Hankook I-Pike studded tires. But, unless you are prepared to swap them out in the summer for a set of street-friendy tires, you may want to stick with a good all season or all-terrain tire. The list below is a good place to start.

A few other popular tire options 

PUT TO THE TEST: TRUCKEE, CALIFORNIA

4Runner Goodyear Wrangler DuraTrac Tires

California is notorious for having some of the best off-roading spots in the nation.

And the winter season is no exception.

12 hours after the most recent snow-dumping storm swept through the town of Truckee, I was ready to hit the trails. And put my favorite tires to the ultimate test, two feet of fresh powder and snowpack.

The interstate had barely been open, and the roads were nice and icy, just to add a bit of challenge to my ultimate tire test. The Goodyear Wrangler Duratrac tires did wonderfully on the icy roads and didn’t have any slip whatsoever.

I will say, as the day drew to a close, some of the snow on the backroads had gone a bit glassy and did cause minor slip, but nothing that required correction.

When choosing a spot to off-road, I made sure to head to a place I had been to during the summer months, so that I was familiar with what was under all of that fresh snow.

My spot of choice was the Prosser Pits OHV area right off of I-80. I had ridden dirt bikes in this area a few months prior and was very familiar with directions and terrain.

I cannot stress enough how important it is to know your surroundings when going off-roading in the winter. Just two days after we left the mountain, a couple required rescue from a snowy backroad because they had completely stuck their stock 4Runner in the winter conditions.

Granted, I did go into this situation without a winch, or a buddy to pull me out. Don’t be like me.

Location, Location, Location in Snow-Wheeled Off-Roading

4Runner Goodyear Wrangler DuraTrac Tires

When I first ‘arrived’ to my desired spot, I was thrown for a loop.

I thought we would be able to get to the back portion of the trails, which I was more familiar with. But, in order to get there, we had to trek through deep snow a lot sooner than anticipated.

I put the truck in 4Lo, and off I went. My travel companions had stepped out of the runner to let me know when I couldn’t go any further… (they had no faith).

To their surprise, it just kept going.

The only slip I noticed was when it came over a muddy spot under the snow, understandable as these are not mud terrain tires.

As you can see in the photo above, the tires brought the vehicle through heavily packed snow to plow right through.

At some points, the tire lugs were completely packed with snow. But that still provided the top-notch performance to get the vehicle through the winter terrain.

DURATRAC TIRE FEATURES

The Goodyear Wrangler DuraTrac tires have several features that align with exactly what 4Runner enthusiasts look for:

  • TractiveGroove technology provides top-notch traction in mud and snow
  • Rim Protection

This is an absolute deal-sealer for me.

The inside lip of the tire is raised just enough to protect your rim from accidental curb or trail damage, a must when expensive wheels are on the chopping block.

DuraTrac Tire’s TractiveGroove Technology and Rim Protection

4Runner Goodyear Wrangler DuraTrac Tires

  • Severe Snow Certified
  • Self-clearing shoulder blocks keep the tread free and clear of debris when off-roading. This is very important, as it is easy to lose traction once tire treads become caked with mud and snow.

Now that you’ve heard my testimony, let’s take into consideration some other important factors when choosing the best tire for you.

Price (285/70/17) Per Tire

  • Nitto Terra Grapplers: $170
  • Nitto Ridge Grapplers: $205
  • Cooper Discoverer AT3 XLT: $225
  • Cooper Discoverer A/T3: $250
  • Cooper STT Pro: $257
  • BFG KO2: $258
  • Goodyear Wrangler Duratrac: $267

Price is an important aspect to consider when buying tires for your vehicle, especially if you plan on purchasing a spare. The Goodyear Wrangler DuraTrac tires rank the highest on the price list, but I truly believe that you pay for quality.

Although, if budget is an issue, you may lean towards the other options, which will most likely hold up to similar performance tests.

I, on the other hand, cannot speak on behalf of these community-favorite tires.

ROAD NOISE

Oh, the price we pay for performance. Road noise is a major factor to consider in the tire world. Mud terrains are usually the culprit of terribly obnoxious road noise, so choosing an all-terrain tire can greatly decrease the decibel of this issue.

Road noise on this set of tires is nearly unnoticeable, with any sort of music playing you can’t hear the tires at all.

The only instance I can recall hearing road noise from the DuraTrac’s was on the freeway at about 80mph with no music at all.

AESTHETICS

4Runner Goodyear Wrangler DuraTrac Tires

I think everyone building a 4Runner takes aesthetics into consideration.

It’s simple, we want our rig to look nice, while also performing the best it can. I personally was looking for a rather aggressive tread pattern, as many people do. It gives the vehicle a complete makeover when comparing to stock tires.

This was a huge deciding factor for me when choosing the DuraTracs, they not only had an extremely aggressive-looking tread pattern, but they also had a mean looking ‘squared off’ edge to them.

The edges weren’t overly rounded as some of the other competitors were, which added to the aggressive look of the tire.

Aggressive Look and Performance of the DuraTrac Tires

My experience so far with the Wrangler DuraTrac tires has been nothing short of amazing.

I am thrilled with the recent performance in winter conditions, and also with the on-road performance.

At the moment, my 4Runner is my daily driver, and I couldn’t be more pleased with the road noise and aesthetic of this tire. I would highly recommend this tire to anyone looking to get into the 4Runner’s off-road capabilities.

Questions or Comments? Leave them below!

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JASON STEWARTBill COLWELLRobert CreedDonJazz Recent comment authors
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SnowYeti
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SnowYeti

You might want to add Falken Wildpeak at3w to your list, they are gaining a lot of traction in reviews. Pun intended. I own both (Colorado), AT3W and the Duratracs, won’t give my opinion but as I said, you should add them.

I will say that keeping an eye on your pressures, maybe doing a chalk test, and regular rotations will yield a long life on the Duratracs. Don’t and they will cup. Yeah, and they look good!

Jazz
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Jazz

Can you please give a comparison on these three tires? I have yet to see anyone else that has actually owned all three to give a real comparison on them.

Craig
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Craig

Are these the same Goodyear DuraTracs they come with their XP Predator package that include the trd wheels?

Sean
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Sean

I see you are running Methods, did you get a hub centric spacer kit for these or did you just let them run lug centric? Looking to get similar ones for my new ’19 ORP and trying to see if a hub spacers are needed.

Don
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Don

What is the load rating on your Duratracs?

Bill COLWELL
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Bill COLWELL

They come in P and C and I think E. i have the p on my 4runner one sidewall blow in two weeks i would go with the C.

Robert Creed
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Robert Creed

I have them on my ford ranger best tires I’ve ever had tuck is totaled now I have a Nissan frontier I’m going to be putting a set of them on it when I find the right deal thought I had but it changed when I went to check out so I’m still looking 265 70 16

Robert Creed
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Robert Creed

I like the durability of the tires 7 years old and still have 90% tread and they have been used hard best tires I’ve ever had quite on the pavement and the ride is good better than what I have on my new truck I’m still looking for a great deal on a set of them iv pulled out full size suv’s and trucks and never got stuck

JASON STEWART
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JASON STEWART

Have a set on my 2017 Silverado this is the third truck they have been on and I will finally have to replace them after 80k miles love them and will get another set. I will say tire pressure and rotation is very important to maintain these tires

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