Falken Wildpeak AT3w vs Goodyear Wrangler DuraTrac

The Falken Wildpeak AT3w is an all-terrain tire, while the Goodyear Duratrac is a rugged-terrain R/T (which is sometimes also called hybrid tires). These tires basically have the shoulders of mud terrain tires, and central blocks of all terrain. So you can say, they are a step up from AT tires in terms of aggressiveness.

In comparison, being a hybrid, the Goodyear DuraTrac provides you with a superior off road performance, but the tire is not durable enough, which is odd, given it’s aggressive looking tread. On the other side, the Falken Wildpeak AT3w is a tougher with stronger sidewalls and thicker lugs over there as well, so where it performs better on roads its still able to impress well on rugged terrains.

Also both of these tires are 3 Peak Mountain Snowflake rated, where the lugs on Duratrac are also stud able (you can install 16 of these, but they only come in LT sizes).

Tread Design:

Starting with the sides of these tires, on Goodyear DuraTrac, you get to see a jagged edges.

The shoulder blocks differ widely from each other forming a poorly drawn/edged semi-circle.

They are serrated with one of them having small scoop step on it and the other with a squared dent. These blocks then follow the sidewalls and again form a different looking design.

Sidewalls of DuraTrac
Goodyear DuraTrac offers stud-able shoulders

In comparison, the tire has larger gaps between should blocks with more stone ejecting power, and bulkier shoulder lugs providing sidewall protection.

These shoulder blocks also have slightly less height compared to inner blocks (they did this for on road comfort as the voids in the middle is lower).

Siping on these shoulder blocks have the wave like pattern (like the rest of the tire) and they go a little deep making them 3D.

On the other hand, the Falken Wildpeak AT3w is a little different here, where the shoulder blocks are not serrated but still very attacking with their stepped blocks forming edges.

Sidewalls of Falken Wildpeak AT3w
Falken Wildpeak’s shoulders are more packed together.

The blocks also alternate in width and length one after another, creating zig zag groove pattern increasing tire’s biting power (One of these blocks are notched as well).

These blocks then join together forming a sidewall lugs.

The sidewall lugs, although less bulkier in width, covers more surface area of the sidewall so you get a great protection here (pushing rocks away).

Other than this, similar 3D wave like siping pattern is again seen on its shoulders.

If we move towards the center of these tires, then DuraTrac is again seen with a complicated design. But we made it very simply by coloring the blocks.

Complicated pattern of DuraTrac
Goodyear DuraTrac offers central blocks, surrounded by huge tread voids.

The blue ones face each other and are the mirror images of both, while the other 2 green and pink colored blocks exchange positions around those blue blocks.

All blocks have zig zag pattern but here the siping is minimal as compared to its shoulders.

Together these blocks form a very challenging jagged groove pattern chewing away anything in their path.

Falken Wildpeak on the other hand has a prominent Z shaped block which have sharp edges to it.

Central pattern of Falken Wildpeak AT3w
Falken Wildpeak AT3w has central blocks which are much more packed together.

The block is then surrounded by other blocks (with notches in them) forming a mirror image at a slanting angle.

All these blocks have rectilinear siping, so the tire form dual design where on shoulders the sipes are more interlocking.

Basically the sipes in the middle provide dry traction aid, whereas on shoulders, the sipes offer better efficacy on wet surfaces. The following video explains all this, and much more.

How are things Off-Road?

When it comes to off road traction, both tires show great capabilities.

To put things simply:

  • Mud Traction: Goodyear DuraTrac is better here.
  • Snow Traction: DuraTrac better with soft snow and Wildpeak better with hard snow (on roads).
  • Rocky terrain Traction: Equal Performance.

On Mud?

The DuraTrac is very closely related to a mud terrain tire as they have very prominent shoulder blocks with huge gaps between.

The tire shoulder with edges all over create a complicated uneven path for the grooves. So they cut through the mud from different angles.

These larger groove voids allow this tire to have more mud evacuation capabilities in comparison.

The serrated shoulder blocks here further aids in scooping the mud out. And the bulky sidewall lugs allows the tire to get out when aired down deep in mud.

The tire also has mini clawing block pattern in those grooves as well.

Miniature Tread blocks of DuraTrac
Traction Grooves Technology of DuraTrac

This miniature version of the blocks further cuts the mud in those grooves allowing them to move out of the tire from all directions through shoulder valleys.

In case of Falken Wildpeak, the tire also performs good enough, but can’t handle deeper mud more efficiently, as with more mud this tire tends to get packed with it.

They don’t say mud is the All terrain tires biggest enemy for no reason.

Still, in case of little bit of mud, the tire handles it great. The tire has sharp edges on shoulder blocks which efficiently cut and bite the surface of the mud. Similarly the central S shaped blocks with sharp edges and the notched blocks combined also give this tire a good bite.

on Rocks:

Well, on rocks, Falken Wildpeak is a champ.

Falken AT3w on jeep

The compact and consistent pattern of the tire provides equal grip from all sides.

The bigger shoulders with stepped blocks combined with the facing notches gives this tire great lateral traction which is much needed on rocks.

Falken wildpeak notches
Wildpeak biting edges.

Similarly the siping all over, hug the surface of the rocks further.

All these design features gives this tire a great bite on rocks.

On the other hand, the Goodyear DuraTrac also offers amazing rock climbing capabilities due to its militant design.

The bold stone ejectors, deep siping, staggered shoulders, and irregular shaped blocks all equate to amazing rocky performance for this tire.

DuraTrac Off Roading
DuraTrac

In terms of durability. Both tires offer great sidewall which thickens the rubber surface and push away sharp rocks from their paths.

But Falken Wildpeak comes with 2 extra polyester layers running around the bead, making it a 4 ply sidewall.

So its capable of giving more protection in comparison.

Both tires have 2 steel belts and polyester (wrapped with nylon) construction and have chip resistant rubber so they last a long time on dirt, and have amazing high speed gravel performances.

On Sand:

Sand is a different terrains compared to others, as here there are a lot of things to consider, but let’s discuss the most crucial ones.

The Falken Wildpeak AT3w lacks here overall, mostly due to it’s weight.

Basically on sand, you don’t want your tires to dig in, you need to move ahead and not inside the sand, and Wildpeak with it’s sharper sides, and more weight (which puts more pressure) don’t allow the tire to move forward that easy.

And things become even more challenging on slopes.

The Goodyear Duratarc on the other side, with it’s softer and less weighing compound moves here with better overall traction.

Winter Performance:

Both tires are rated with 3 Peak Mountain Snowflake, this means they are tested and have great braking distances on severe snow.

So both have great traction here.

In case of DuraTrac the additional little tread blocks which they call the Tractive Groove Technology work really well with deep snow. The snow basically gets squished in to the tread (vacuum is created here), and the mini blocks hold on to that snow while the rest escape out through grooves.

Falken Wildpeak is also very good with snow, but with deeper snow it doesn’t perform as better in comparison.

Here the multiple sipes and biting edges work together. The 3D sipes collects snow in them and snow stick better on snow, so grip is maintained here this way.

And the biting edges help cut and bite the surface of the snow keeping the friction alive.

On corners the edged shoulders and wave like siping gives the needed lateral traction.

What about On-Road?

Both of these bad boys perform equally well here too. Their superior design and technologies allow them to have great braking distances.

On performing the test of both set of tires, following data was gathered.

TESTSDuraTracWildpeak
Dry braking Distance (from 60 mph)105 feet102 feet
Wet Braking Distance152 feet137.3 feet

We tested both tires on a same truck and tried our best to keep the conditions same for both. Following were the specs for both tires.

 DuraTracWildpeak
Tested sizeLT265/75R16   LT265/75R16   
Tread depth18/32’’18/32’’
Section width10.5’’10.4’’
Load RangeEE
Weight51 lbs55 lbs

What about their cost/warranty and sizes?

The Falken Wildpeak AT3W is friendlier on the pocket.

Both its lower and upper threshold of price is lower than that of the Goodyear Wrangler DuraTrac (these tires are notorious for being too expensive).

Bonus Budget pick: Kanati Trail Hog AT

In terms of sizes, the Falken Wildpeak AT3w tires come in 82 sizes in diameters ranging from 15-22 inches and they come with a warranty of 55,000 miles.

Whereas, the Goodyear Wrangler DuraTrac come in 62 sizes in diameter ranging from 15 to 22 inches. These come with a 50,000 miles warranty.

Comfort – Noise and Vibrations

With DuraTrac, more noise and vibrations are noticed at high speeds (on road).

Basically, tire is not that loud when new, as the central compact blocks have lesser height compared to the shoulder blocks, so they remain in contact with the road more.

But as the tire ages, and shoulder blocks height align with the central blocks, the tire becomes very loud.

The following video shows the new vs old tires noise test.

The Falken Wildpeak on the other hand do a much better job in eliminating noises and vibrations giving you a better comfort in comparison.

So, Whats the verdict?

Well to put things simply, DuraTrac lies at the extreme end of the All Terrain tires so they handle muddle very efficiently.

So if you are someone who likes the on road comfort and need a good on road traction, but also encounter a lot of mud off road, then go with these tires.

Otherwise Falken Wildpeak would give you amazing on road traction/comfort. They are silent and durable. They are great rock climbers and they wear very evenly and last a long time.

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