Backcountry skiing is an exhilarating experience that allows you to explore untouched powder and challenging terrain. However, to make the most out of your adventure, having the right gear is crucial. One essential piece of equipment every backcountry skier needs aside from ski, ski poles, and ski binders is a reliable set of climbing skins.
These specialized accessories provide grip and traction on ascents, allowing you to glide up the slopes with ease. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll dive into the best skins for skiing available in 2023, helping you choose the perfect pair tailored to your skiing style, skill level, and preferences.
We’ve compiled a list of the top five skins for skiing that excel in various aspects such as grip, glide, durability, and packability. Our goal is to provide you with the knowledge and insight to make an informed decision when selecting your next pair of skins for skiing. Get ready to elevate your backcountry skiing experience like never before!
- This comprehensive guide to the best climbing skins for skiing in 2023 provides the top 5 options, materials comparison, and factors to consider when selecting a skin.
- Proper maintenance of glue integrity is essential for reliable performance. Tip and tail attachments should be compatible with the ski model/shape.
- Cleaning, storing properly, trimming & adjusting are key steps in ensuring optimal performance & longevity of climbing skins.
Top 5 Climbing Skins for Skiing
Whether you’re a seasoned backcountry skier or just starting your journey, the right climbing skins can make all the difference in your performance on the slopes. To help you make the best choice, we’ve narrowed down the best climbing skins for skiing in 2023, each offering unique advantages and characteristics to suit different needs and preferences. In this selection, you’ll find the most skins that cater to various skiing styles and conditions.
From lightweight and packable options to durable and reliable choices, there’s something for everyone. We’ve also included a few tips to help you make the best decision for your needs.
Whether you’re looking for a room or a home, we can help.
Pomoca Climb Pro S Glide
The Pomoca Climb Pro S Glide is a top-rated climbing skin that offers a perfect balance of grip, glide, and glue performance, making it an ideal choice for backcountry skiing. Composed of a 70% mohair and 30% nylon blend, this versatile skin excels in various conditions, providing excellent glide efficiency while maintaining ample traction for ascending steep slopes.
Compared to other skins, the Climb Pro S Glide stands out for its superior gliding experience, consistent glue performance, and convenient tip and tail attachments. The durable hardware ensures a secure fit on your skis, while the lightweight design contributes to a more efficient touring experience.
For those seeking reliable, high-performing skin that strikes the perfect balance between grip and glide, the Pomoca Climb Pro S Glide is a top contender.
Pomoca Climb 2.0
For those seeking a more budget-friendly option without sacrificing performance, the Pomoca Climb 2.0 is a great alternative to the Climb Pro S Glide. This cost-efficient climbing skin delivers impressive performance across the board, providing good glide, grip, and compatibility. The primary difference between the Climb 2.0 and the Climb Pro S Glide is the absence of Pomoca’s “S Glide” factory treatment in the Climb 2.0.
The Climb 2.0 features a light color and lightweight design that makes it an attractive option for those seeking affordable yet high-performing skin. However, it does not come with factory glide treatment or precut options, which may require additional effort during the initial setup. This is where the contour hybrid mix technology could have been beneficial.
Overall, the Pomoca Climb 2.0 offers excellent value for its price, making it a solid choice for skiers on a budget who still want quality performance.
Pomoca Free Pro 2.0
If you’re in search of a climbing skin specifically tailored for big powder skis on cold, high-volume missions, look no further than the Pomoca Free Pro 2.0. This highly acclaimed mohair blend skin material boasts an exceptional glue, tip, and tail kit, providing secure attachment and reliable performance in demanding conditions.
The Free Pro 2.0 excels in glide efficiency with a rating of 9.0, making it well-suited for skiers who prioritize speed and lightweight performance. However, it does sacrifice some durability and traction compared to other options.
For those seeking quick, lightweight, and high-performing pomoca skins for challenging powder missions, the Pomoca Free Pro 2.0 is a top choice.
Black Diamond Ascension
For skiers who prioritize grip and durability in their climbing skins, the Black Diamond Ascension is a reliable choice. These full nylon skins are known for their excellent grip on steep skin tracks, making them perfect for those who often find themselves in challenging terrain.
However, the Ascension skins are heavier and bulkier than other options, which may not be ideal for those seeking lightweight performance. Despite their weight, the Black Diamond Ascension skins come with a robust trim tool that ensures a precise fit on your skis, although it may require more patience and finesse compared to other trimming tools.
The tip and tail attachments are compatible with most ski shapes and provide hassle-free use over multiple seasons. If grip and durability are your top priorities, the Black Diamond Ascension skins are a solid choice.
G3 Alpinist+ Universal
The G3 Alpinist+ Universal climbing skins offer a budget-friendly option for those seeking reliable grip and satisfactory glide performance. Made with 100% nylon material, these skins provide a secure grip on ascents while still allowing for decent glide efficiency. Although they may not have the lightest or most efficient glide compared to other options, the Alpinist+ may not have the lightest or most efficient glide compared to other options. Universal skins are a cost-effective choice for skiers seeking a balance between performance and affordability.
G3 Alpinist+ Universal skins are known for their exceptional lightness, speed, and glide efficiency, although they may lack some gripping power and durability compared to other options. Nevertheless, these skins make an excellent choice for skiers on a budget who still want reliable performance on the slopes.
Climbing Skin Materials: Nylon vs. Mohair
When selecting climbing skins, it’s important to consider the material they are made from, as this can greatly impact their performance. The two primary materials used in climbing skins are nylon and mohair, each offering unique advantages and disadvantages in terms of grip, glide, and durability.
Nylon skins are known for their superior grip, making them an excellent choice for steep ascents and challenging terrain. However, they tend to have reduced glide efficiency and durability compared to mohair skins. On the other hand, mohair skins prioritize gliding swiftly, making them ideal for skiers who want to cover more ground quickly. For those looking for a balance between the two, mohair mix skins can be a great option, as they combine the best of both worlds. However, they may have reduced traction and durability compared to nylon skin.
It is essential to weigh the pros and cons of each material when selecting a climbing skin, as the best choice will depend on your skiing style, skill level, and the type of terrain you frequently encounter. Finding the right balance between grip, glide, and durability is key to ensuring optimal performance on the slopes.
Selecting the Right Skin for Your Needs
Choosing the right climbing skin for your needs may seem overwhelming with the variety of options available. To help you make the best choice, consider factors such as your skiing style, skill level, and the type of conditions you usually encounter. The ideal climbing skin will strike a balance between grip, glide, weight, and durability, tailored to your specific requirements.
For beginner skiers or those who frequently ski on steep terrain, grippier skins may be beneficial as they provide better traction on ascents. However, it’s important to note that overly grippy skins can lead to the development of improper technique due to their reduced glide. Another crucial aspect to consider is the compatibility between climbing skins and skis. Some skins, like Dynafit skins, are specifically designed to work with certain ski brands, while most other skins are universally compatible.
By carefully evaluating your skiing style, skill level, and the types of conditions you typically face, you can select the perfect climbing skin to enhance your backcountry skiing experience and ensure a secure grip and efficient glide on every adventure.
Glue Integrity and Maintenance
Glue integrity is a critical aspect of climbing skins, as it ensures they remain securely attached to your skis during ascents, especially in wet conditions and high shear forces. A quality climbing skin glue should be easy to pull apart without excessive force, leaving no residue on ski bases, adhere properly without snow creeping under the skin, and have a long-lasting lifespan with consistent use.
Different skin brands, such as Black Diamond, Pomoca, and G3, vary in terms of glue integrity. According to GearLab’s testing, Black Diamond skins have the most robust glue, while Pomoca and G3 skins have slightly lower adhesion but still perform satisfactorily.
To maintain optimal glue performance, it’s essential to regularly clean your skin, store them in a cool, dry environment, and apply skin wax to keep the glue from drying out. Proper glue maintenance ensures your climbing skins remain reliable and perform optimally throughout their lifespan.
By taking care of your skins and paying attention to their glue integrity, you can ensure a secure grip and efficient glide on every backcountry ski adventure.
Tip and Tail Attachments
Climbing skins feature a variety of tip and tail attachment systems, each with its own advantages and disadvantages in terms of compatibility and ease of use. Some common attachment systems include pivoting metal hooks, offset and rigid wire slots, and cable tip loops. G3 skins feature versatile pivoting metal hooks, while the offset and rigid wire slots of Pomoca, Contour, Colltex, Kohla, and the newest Black Diamond options are secure and adaptable to different tip profiles.
Cable tip loops, on the other hand, are the least secure option and may not be ideal for all skiers. The quality of tip and tail hardware is essential for ensuring your climbing skins remain secure during your backcountry skiing adventures.
When selecting a climbing skin, consider the compatibility of the tip and tail attachment systems with your specific ski model and shape. The right attachment system will provide a secure fit, enhancing your overall performance on the slopes.
Weight, Packability, and Glide Efficiency
When it comes to climbing skins, weight, packability, and glide efficiency play a critical role in your overall backcountry skiing experience. Lighter skins contribute to a more efficient touring setup, while packability ensures convenient storage and transportation. Glide efficiency, on the other hand, allows for smoother ascents and faster progress on the skin track.
The Pomoca Climb Pro Mohair and Free Pro 2.0 are among the lightest and most packable climbing skins available, making them ideal options for skiers who prioritize weight savings and efficiency. However, lighter skins may sacrifice durability and grip, so it’s essential to find a balance that suits your specific needs and preferences.
By considering the weight, packability, and glide efficiency of various climbing skins, you can make an informed decision that enhances your backcountry skiing adventures. The ideal climbing skin will provide the perfect balance between performance and convenience, ensuring you can focus on the thrill of the slopes.
Proper Skin Care and Storage
Taking proper care of your climbing skins is essential for maintaining their performance and ensuring they last for many seasons of backcountry skiing. To keep your skin in optimal condition, it’s crucial to clean them regularly, allow them to fully dry before storage, and store them in a cool, dry, and dark environment.
In addition to proper cleaning and storage, applying skin wax to your skin can help prevent the glue from drying out and ensure a longer lifespan for your equipment. By adhering to proper care and storage protocols, you can extend the life of your climbing skins and enjoy their reliable performance on every skiing adventure.
Trimming and Adjusting Climbing Skins
To ensure the best performance from your contour skins, it’s essential to trim and adjust them to fit your skis perfectly, taking into account the skin width. Properly fitted climbing skins provide maximum grip and glide efficiency, allowing you to make the most of your backcountry skiing experience.
Most climbing skins come with a razor blade or plastic letter-opener-type device to cut the skins to the shape of your skis. Some brands, such as G3 and Pomoca, have developed tools that automatically trim away material over the ski edges, making the process even more convenient.
After trimming, adjust the tail clip to ensure the correct length for your skis. With properly trimmed and adjusted skins, you can enjoy a secure grip and efficient glide on every ski touring adventure.
In this comprehensive guide, we’ve explored the best climbing skins for skiing in 2023, taking into account factors such as material, weight, packability, glide efficiency, and compatibility. Armed with this knowledge, you can make an informed decision when selecting the perfect pair of climbing skins for your backcountry skiing adventures, tailored to your specific needs and preferences.
Remember, the ideal climbing skin will strike a balance between grip, glide, durability, and usability, ensuring that you can focus on the thrill of conquering the backcountry. With the right pair of climbing skins by your side, you’ll be ready to tackle any terrain and experience the exhilaration of backcountry skiing like never before.
Frequently Asked Questions
What do skins mean in skiing?
Ski skins are lightweight and detachable pieces of fabric, used to climb uphill on skis without sliding backward. They attach to the base of the ski, providing traction and making the ascent easier and more efficient.
Skinning is a great way for skiers to get around quickly in the backcountry and explore untouched terrain.
Can I put skins on my skis?
Yes, you can put skins on your skis. It is possible to purchase pre-cut skins from certain ski brands specifically designed to fit their touring-style skis.
Alternatively, you can trim the skins yourself if they do not come pre-cut to fit your skis exactly.
Can you ski downhill with skins on?
No, it is not possible to ski downhill with climbing skins on because they are not designed for that purpose. Although there are some exceptions, they must be removed prior to skiing downhill.
What is the best winter ski skin?
The best winter ski skin is the one that offers superior grip, durability, and glide. It should be made of high-quality materials and have a flexible, yet strong backing. The material should also have good water resistance to prevent snow from freezing on the surface.
Overall, a reliable product with reliable performance will provide an enjoyable skiing experience this winter.
What is the difference between nylon and mohair climbing skins?
Nylon and mohair skins both have their benefits when climbing, but nylon provides more grip while mohair gives a smoother glide.
Nylon is also more durable than mohair, making it suitable for extreme terrain.
Ultimately, the choice between the two depends on the user’s preference and intended purpose.