Both tires carry a lot of similar features of each other, where the UltraTerrain is an combative All-Terrain and the DuraTrac is a hybrid.
Hybrid tires have a mixture of mud terrain tire’s shoulders and compact central blocks (like AT tires). So given, that, would the less aggressive UltraTerrain be able to compete?
Well, let’s find out.
Starting things off with their Designs:
In the middle, the Goodyear UltraTerrain shows you a combination of 3 unique blocks which make a somewhat (disoriented) triangular shape, if you can picture it.
This triangle on the base has 2 blocks of different sizes (highlighted with blue and green) but with similar siping pattern.
The Red block that sits on top of these two shows minimal siping but has notches facing those 2 blocks.
All these central blocks are divided by longitudinal grooves which separates them from the shoulder blocks, where they are seen with notches facing the central blocks, along with rectilinear siping.
These blocks vary a little in length and width as well, and although they don’t make staggered outer margins, they still show up with sharp cuts which make prominent edges.
Both these blocks separately make sidewall lugs which are although covering more surface area, are still less aggressive compared to DuraTrac.
On Goodyear DuraTrac, these lugs are bulkier and have deep slits in them (which helps during flexing sidewalls).
Its shoulder blocks are also prominently staggered with a scoop on one block, while other make sharp edge.
Both its shoulder blocks together look like a deformed semi circle and they have a wave-like siping pattern (unlike the UltraTerrain).
If we check out it’s middle, it presents with squared off blocks with sharp edges.
These blocks have sharp off set edges and rectilinear siping (similar to it’s shoulder blocks).
Other than this, both tires feature tractive groove technology. And both feature reinforced foundations underneath all blocks.
The tractive groove technology is just a mini version of tread design strategically placed in grooves. They are more prominent in Goodyear DuraTrac.
On Goodyear UltraTerrain, they are just triangular shaped. (They are less in number on this tire, but they still act as gripping teeth).
If we look at the foundations, they are again in a similar fashion, where they are more prominent on Goodyear DuraTrac.
They are seen underneath all blocks and make champfered edges.
And on Goodyear UltraTerrain, these just connect blocks together.
But this also has chamfered edges on almost all blocks.
Now using this design, we can easily explain their performance on various terrains.
If we talk about on road:
The Goodyear UltraTerrain has a little bit of an upper hand, when it comes to dry roads.
The tire features less wider grooves which make more rubber to road contact.
But with enough biters on both tires, you are not going to see much difference here.
The main difference is however seen on wet asphalts, where the Goodyear DuraTrac, although provides you with better hydroplaning resistance, tends to slip more, especially on corners.
The tire basically offers less overall lateral traction while cornering.
The UltraTerrain on the other side, has better ingredients for wet traction, it features dual siping design (where it’s rectilinear on shoulders and wave-like on central blocks), which wipe water away more efficiently.
The tire also features a softer (silica rich) tread compound, so with that, the sipes squeeze/squirm more easily (sucking water particles underneath with more ease).
The softer compound also ensures greater on road comfort, as the softer rubber is able to soak up the bumps in a better way.
Speaking of comfort, the Goodyear DuraTracs, on the contrary are very loud, and they tend to get louder with wear. So overall ride quality is better on UltraTerrain.
Also, with lighter tire, the UltraTerrain would also be more fuel efficient in comparison, where you are going to see almost 0.5 to 1 mpg difference (on average) switching from DuraTracs.
How they perform on Rocks?
When it comes to rocks, the tires need to be tough.
And both of these tires offer you with the same durability.
Both of them have the same inner construction of 2 ply polyester casing having 2 steel belts, wrapped with 2 layers of nylon.
So they are both going to give almost similar protection to the sidewall.
But still, DuraTrac with it’s bulkier lugs, is better able to protect the most vulnerable part of the tire (sidewalls).
The bulkier lugs also work better (when pressured/aired down) with flexing sidewalls, as it’s chunkier arms grab and pull in a better way.
But other than this, both tires are great on rocks, they both provide sufficient biting edges to hang on the rocky surface firmly.
What about snow?
Well when it comes to snow, there are a lot various factors that one has to consider.
But the good thing about these both tires, is that they are both 3PMSF rated.
So both tires are great when it comes to acceleration on snow (which is what this rating is all about).
But still both tires offer different features, which can not make one better over the other.
If we talk about the Goodyear UltraTerrain, the tire offers dual siping and has softer compound, so with siping you get biting edges (highly needed on snow) and the softer compound is less prone to getting stiffer with low temperatures.
On the other side, the Goodyear DuraTrac, is less wider of the two (on average), so it’s better that way as skinnier tires are better able to slash through the snow much efficiently.
The tire is also better able to deal with deeper snow as it provide wider grooves.
Can these tires handle Mud?
Yes, they can, but you can’t expect any mud tires performance out of them.
Still out of them, the Goodyear DuraTrac is better.
The tire features a clear wider path for mud to pass through while any mud lodged in the grooves are broken down by its mini tread blocks.
On UltraTerrain, the tire does not make any proper lateral channels, and it’s design is less prone at self cleaning in comparison.
What’s the Verdict?
Overall, with Goodyear DuraTrac, as the tire is more aggressive off the two, you can expect better off road performance with them.
On the other side, the UltraTerrain is a good option for someone who’s planing to mostly stay on road with off-roading every now and then.