No -est, as in not the fastest or the lightest or the grippiest or the best for puncture and cut resistance (or anything else we measure tires by).
Did my 2nd annual Black Friday ride, 35 miles west to the community of Cherry Grove at the foot of the coast range, then another few miles following the Tualatin River up into logging and BLM territory. So 70 miles of pavement and a few of quality dirt and gravel. Rode my Raleigh Competition, throwing on 35c Paselas and riding the pavement at 50 psi and about 10 less on the logging roads.
I have done zero riding (using all my good day time re-roofing part of my house) so I knew I needed an ultimately comfortable bike that would also feel secure on the loose stuff. Well, that Competition is that bike. And those tires were the tires. Yes, they would be bad in a paceline, but for riding without another tire to compare to, they are a wonderful, predictably and comfortable ride. And they love going off road. This wasn't a big challenge. The logging road was in very good shape. (There were stretches of new "gravel", stones as big as an inch or more but the tires rolled over them with complete confidence. I never felt trapped in any line/)
When good weather comes, I love riding the super Vittoria Open and Corsa tires, but for everything else, those Paselas (in the appropriate width) are a darn good compromise. The 25s and 28s are a step down from those super tires, but very rideable, live in the second wheels for my good bikes and get a lot of use. The wider tires get fun!
I knew going into today that the 35s would serve me just fine as I had ridden the radically more challenging Trask River Trail last summer on the much more aggressive Mooney fixed with 38 in front and that 35 in back and they did admirably. Well, I could have ridden 32s just fine today but I regret not one bit going more comfortable.
I keep going to bike shops, looking at all the gravel options (and the prices) and just sticking with $35 wired on Paselas and not regretting it one bit. (The 38 is a folding - I don't think they offer it as a wired on. Maybe its a little nicer but the change doesn't stand out.)
All that said about the tires - I still took a beating! Real seat issues. (No, not the seat's fault. I forgot to Bag Balm, realized it one block out and decided to keep going knowing the the 10 minutes it would cost me to go back would cost me all day and that it was a roughly even choice to suffer or slide the whole ride back.) My legs! Roofing is good for building up back, shoulders, wrists and hands, but NOT legs! I used all of my 28t FW and the 26t inner ring. I crawled. Never went fast. And spent the entire way home counting street addresses. (I live on 73rd Ave. Got out to beyond 50000.) Still, I left at 6 and was back at 3 (which surprised the heck out me!) Got to lie down and nap for an hour before I went out. Wow! Lying down is wonderful for recovery! I felt great when I got up.
That Competition, the throwback design (it was a throwback when it was new in 1973), all 531 with laid back angles, fork rake and chainstays to adjacent counties, a bottom bracket somewhere below the road surface and the seatstay-thin butted chainstays (specially drawn for Raleigh) is the perfect bike for today's ride. I wouldn't change anything. (And I could have ridden bigger tires easily.)