Whether you’re considering investing in a Jeep Wrangler, or you already have one, you are probably wondering what tires to put on it.
Two of the leading choices for 4×4 tires are the Goodyear Duratrac and the Toyo Open Country A2. If you ask around, you’ll find that both of these tires have their fans—but which one is better for your Jeep Wrangler?
Which Tire You Use Depends on How You Drive Your Jeep
While you’ll find that both of these tires have a lot of pros, in the end what’s really going to matter is when, where, and how you plan to drive your Jeep Wrangler.
Goodyear Duratrac tires outperform the competition when it comes to off road use, while Toyo Open Country AT2 tires are superior for road handling.
Of course, that’s not the whole answer—and if you’re like most Jeep Wrangler drivers, you won’t be spending 100% percent of your driving time either on or off road, so there’s a lot more you need to know before you make your decision.
We’ll be covering all of the pros and cons of each tire type below so that you can make the most informed decision possible between the Goodyear Duratrac and the Toyo Open Country AT2 tire for your Jeep Wrangler.
So Many Types of Tires, So Little Time
If you’re new to picking out tires for a 4×4 vehicle, you may be taken aback, or even alarmed, at the number of choices.
These choices go far beyond brand, with your first step being to make the choice between an all terrain tire, a mud terrain tire, or a hybrid (also referred to as crossover) tire type. What’s a Wrangler driver to do?
The two tires we’re going to compare fall into two of these categories; the Toyo Open Country AT2 is billed as an all terrain tire, while the Duratrac by Goodyear is considered a hybrid tire.
Essentially, the Duratrac is designed as a mud terrain tire which is supposed to be better on the road than “full on” mud terrain tires.
One bit of good news: Both of these are great tires, and both are indeed very versatile, so it’s difficult to make a choice here that you’ll regret. Having said that, there are some rather significant differences between them.
If you’ve driven around with mudding tires before, you may know that low speed driving can create a feeling of “wobbling” on tires with treads as aggressive as the Duratrac’s.
To the Duratrac’s credit, however, the tire’s “crossover” engineering manages to mitigate this, for the most part, although you will still notice a difference between this and a true all terrain tire.
And you’ll notice a big difference between it and the Toyo Open Country AT2, which is so smooth during stop and go driving that it’s almost unbelievable.
In fact, it’s such a smooth and even ride that you’ll barely be able to notice some of the small disruptions that bother other Wrangler owners with all terrain tires.
Driving on the Highway
Having a set of tires that you can trust to keep you safe on the highway, whether you’re hauling a camper or commuting to work, is key.
No one wants to feel like they’re in danger of an unexpected swerve, or that they won’t be able to stop in time in an emergency situation.
Here, the Toyo Open Country AT2 does a much better job—noticeably at first, and increasingly more so as the Duratrac’s highway driving comfort deteriorates much more quickly.
The main issue with the Goodyear Duratrac tire and highway driving is a tendency to wobble during hard braking at high speeds. Braking distance also suffers after a period of time, much more so than with the Toyo Open Country AT2.
In fact, there aren’t many tires in any category that can outperform the Toyo on the highway.
How much does it matter how your tires look? Well, that’s up to you, really—but most Wrangler drivers are at least interested in making sure that the tires they pick fit the aesthetic of their Jeep.
Here, there’s a clear difference between these two brands. The Duratrac is unequivocally the more rugged, aggressive look.
The Toyo Open Country AT2 isn’t going to be mistaken for something you left on the Jeep when you drove it off the lot, but it most definitely has more of a street tire look to it, which may or may not suit your personal tastes.
Road noise is another category that, while not really subjective (after all, it’s measurable), how much it matters to the driver can vary a good deal. Some solitary drivers aren’t too bothered one way or the other about road noise, while for others a noisy tire is an endless aggravation.
The Toyo is much quieter here; if you are not accustomed to driving with mud terrain tires, you’re going to notice just how loud the Goodyear Duratracs are instantly. If you’re considering them but are inexperienced with mud terrain tires, it’s highly suggested that you find an opportunity to test drive a vehicle with them before committing to it.
The noise created by the Duratrac tires is a combination of the fact that it’s made of a material that is much softer than the AT2s. Furthermore, that super rugged looking tread doesn’t help matters much. Of course, both of these aspects are important for other reasons—like creating more off-road traction.
Now, it is true that Goodyear’s Duratrac tire is significantly quieter than other mud terrain style tires. If you’re committed to a mud terrain tire (or a mud terrain geared hybrid), this is one of the quieter options. It just can’t compete with the Toyo Open Country AT2 in this particular category.
Braking and Handling
To be very upfront, neither of these tires is going to make your Jeep Wrangler handle like luxury sedan—that’s outside of both their capabilities (not to mention the Wrangler’s!). However, both performed admirably well, with some slight differences in performance.
On the Duratrac’s side, the softer material and unique treads give it a great grip—extremely strong at first, although when it gives out it does so rather abruptly. The Toyo AT2s performed similarly well, with the main difference being that they gave up grip more gradually.
The Toyo probably has a slight edge when it comes to road handling and driving the truck hard, something that it’s tough to do with the Duratrac given the aforementioned braking issues at speed.
Speaking of braking, the Toyo simply performs better in most respects, wobbling less and keeping better braking speeds over time. If you’re pulling a camper or a boat, this is going to be even more noticeable.
On the other hand, neither of these issues are really extreme enough to be a deal-breaker, unless you drive fast and brake hard very frequently.
Adverse Weather Conditions
One reason for many people to opt to get a four wheel drive vehicle is to be safer when traveling in adverse weather conditions like ice, snow, and rain. How safe you are, however, depends not only on your vehicle’s power balance, but also on what tires you choose.
In rainy conditions, both the Duratrac and the AT2 perform very, very well. The Duratrac is a bit more nimble when it comes to navigating puddles, but both brands are reliable enough that you shouldn’t have to worry about driving your Jeep Wrangler in the rain.
They’re less evenly matched when it comes to cold weather conditions. While both do just fine in light snow, deep snow is another story. You’ll need to switch to four wheel drive much, much sooner with the AT2s, and you’ll find yourself at an impasse sooner as well. If you’re dealing with deep snow on a regular basis, Duratrac is the clear winner here.
Off Road Driving
As everything we’ve preceded this section with probably indicates, the Duratrac comes out ahead by a mile when it comes to hitting the dirt. Of course, it’s designed to be more competent at this—it’s a specialized hybrid with muddy terrain in mind.
Duratrac handles mud better and is much easier to clean thanks to the lug spacing and treads. It also climbs very well, thanks to the softer composition and tread design.
Duratrac tires are also much more reliable at holding a straight line on rugged dirt roads, whereas you’ll get a lot more bumps and steering issues when you’re riding on the Toyo Open Country AT2s.
There are a few other factors you may want to take into account, like wear and tear (the Duratracs definitely wear out faster due to being softer) and price, but these are largely functions of the tire type and your needs. Think about how you use your Wrangler.
How often do you go off-road? How many highway miles do you put on it per year? What about mud, snow, and city driving? By considering these things, you’ll be able to make the right choice for your vehicle.
Check Goodyear Duratrac Prices