Results 1 to 25 of 62
10-27-2011, 11:58 AM #1Registered User
- Join Date
- Jan 2009
Climbing Skins... which ones for the Rockies/Selkirks
I'm trying to find some info on climbing skin reviews for this year but am having trouble finding any beta. I always thought skins were skins but it looks like that might not be true anymore. Descent weight differences, big glue differences, big attachment differences and significant climb/glide differences. Why does no-one do a buyers guide review of all the skins that are now being produced?
I'll be using the skins on a pair of skis 108mm underfoot in the Canadian Rockies/ Selkirks (Think extreme cold or warm and icy or deep powder or corn/slush)
Here's a summary of what I've found so far, if you know of any reviews or have any input please share:
G3 Alpinist: Good tip/tail attachment, great glue, great climbers but heavy and don't glide well
G3 Momix: Good tip/tail attachment, great glue, good gliders but don't climb very well
BD Ascension: Standard tip/tail attachment, great glue, great climbers but heavy and don't glide well
BD Glidelite Mohair Mix: Standard tip/tail attachment, great glue, worst of both worlds, don't glide any better than the standard and aren't as good climbers or as durable as the Nylon
BD Glidelite Mohair Pure: Standard tip/tail attachment, great glue, glide good but don't climb very well
Climbing Skins Direct: Poor tip/tail attachment, OK glue, glide good and climb great but are heavy
Gecko Skins: Poor attachment, Horrible glue, climb ok, glide ok durability horrible??? No recent reviews but claims that the original review problems are now fixed
Colltex (Dynafit) Skins (All types): Poor attachment, poor glue, awesome climb, awesome glide, good durability
Pomoca Skins: ???
BCA Skins: ???
Last edited by peters; 10-28-2011 at 02:32 PM.
10-27-2011, 12:10 PM #2
You'll likely get people advocating one brand over another, but IME BD, G3 and CSD work fine. I've used mostly BD's, and that because they've worked best for me.
I disagree with your assessment of BD Glidelite mix. They are my favorite skins, although I'm not sure why because the BD nylons work fine.
For most alpine tours, grip is much more important. Unless you are planning lots of low angle or rolling terrain tours, don't worry too much about glide. I have mohairs for low angle spring tours, but I don't see any reason to have mohairs for mid-winter trips.
Many mags love the BD STS tail. IMO, STS is fine, although I prefer Clip Fix (which require very precise length trimming so I don't recommend them for most people.)
10-27-2011, 12:20 PM #3
I've used the G3's, Climbing skins direct, and multiple pairs of Ascensions.
Climbing skins direct were cheap but thin and had lousy glue. They worked ok but I probably wouldn't get another pair.
The G3 skins were great for all the reasons you mention and not so great for climbing. If you're going to use crampons, these are a good choice. To be fair, I use them on a pair of skis with Dukes so the climbing bar is also not the best for climbing.
In my opinion, the Ascensions win the battle of the skins. They may not be the best cliders but they climb better than everything else I've used hands down, stay on your skis, and last forever.
10-27-2011, 12:30 PM #4
The differences between grip and glide between models and manufacturers are incremental if they are cut correctly and stay on.
I'd give a slight nod to the BD Glidelite Mohair Mix for consistent glue that will stay on in cold temps, medium bulk, and a good compromise between grip and glide. I used them for 1.5 seasons and bought another pair as backup. G3 is close behind and also compromises well on all fronts; if you have really wide tips the attachment system may clinch it.
Criticisms of other brands (Colltex won't stick in cold, CSD glue falls off in chunks and plush has little or no DWR, Geckos have terrible durability, etc. have all been rumored to be fixed). I can't speak from personal experience about any of them except Colltex (my two pair of Dynafit skins are rumored to be sourced from Colltex) and they've been fine in PNW temps).
As Big Steve mentions, the Clip Fix actually worked well - the people who complained mostly didn't have them adjusted tight enough - but it's a moot point as they are no longer offered.
10-27-2011, 01:11 PM #5
I've used the Dynafit SpeedSkins (on Manaslus, like Greg says I think they're Coltex) and G3 Alpinists (on 09/10 Gotamas) in the Rockies and they both work great for me (I've seen tonnes of people on BD Ascensions too). I found the SpeedSkins to be far and away the best of the two, and this was mostly due to their malleability (I stuff my skins into my breast pockets on the way down to keep them warm).
This year I bought BD Glidelite Mohair Mix skins for my new skis because in the shop the Glidelite's felt like the best of the options available to me (G3 Alpinist, BD Ascension Splits and BD Glidelites were available to fondle and fit my skis).
I really like the G3 twin tip connectors compared to the STS ones, but we'll see if that means anything in the field (the STS seems quite adequate at home). I can always buy a second pair of G3 connectors and put them on my BD skins, since they fit quite nicely (sharing them is not out of the question but it's a pain to do the swap).
10-27-2011, 01:20 PM #6
I've used BD ascensions, G3 alpinists, and some Marker mohair things. There is no doubt in my mind that the BD's are superior. The glue on the markers sucks, and the G3's are inferior to the BD's in every category except weight / packability.
10-27-2011, 01:25 PM #7
I have had great success with the Ascensions. To obsess over the weight difference between skins seems a bit much. They are tanks, I put them through hell and back on early and preseason missions and they just won't die. Also, BD is really easy to attain and swap parts. They climb no problem and I have never had much issue with glide...then again the whole point of skiing is to go up so you can come down, but with that said I have done some long slogs on them too (Columbia Icefields etc). Between my wife and I we have 4 pairs of them now for various skis. Also have the old tractor / cow tread patterned ones and the Ascensions have outlasted them.
10-27-2011, 01:41 PM #8
I really liked Glidelight mohair mix skins last year. I used them in both mid-winter and spring conditions and they worked admirably. I found glide to be noticeably better than the ascensions, and grip was excellent in all but the iciest conditions.
I have a set of G3 nylon and a set of G3 mix this year so I'll be interested to compare.
10-27-2011, 01:47 PM #9
I'm on BD Mohair Mix now. Been using them for two years, and they are in great shape (no loss of glue, no tearing etc). They are slightly lighter than Ascensions, but much thinner and thus easier to pack down. Haven't found that I slip any more than on my old Glidelite STS.
10-27-2011, 02:15 PM #10
10-27-2011, 02:58 PM #11
Orange BD's: Best grip and most durable. Glide sucks when new, but improves over time. On wet compacted snow the glide is significantly worse than the others. I've had pairs with glue that sucked and pairs with glue that lasted for ever. Not sure if that's a result of quality control or the way they were used and stored.
G3's Alpinists and Elles: Best glide, durability is fine but not as good as the BD's. Same is true for glue, I think. Lighter and more packable.
CSD: Significantly less durable than the others. They're like a shittier version of the G3's. That said, they're perfectly functional.
I've never used any Mohair skins or mixes. I actually prefer the G3's because I've had a handful of days on a very specific type of mostly-refrozen slush when the BD's turned into anchors, and the G3's were fine (I switched skis between laps). The issue may be that G3's continue to glide well even when they wet out and BD's don't. I wish could remember the details of my comparative study.
10-27-2011, 02:58 PM #12
[slight thread jack]
I have the BD ascension skins and was under the impression (maybe from reading the manual, forget) to store the skins glue to glue on the 'cheat sheet' witch is kind of a black screen that comes with the skins. well I did that but the glue on the skins ended up sticking so hard to the screens that it ended up pulling off much of the black plastic coating on the screen, which is now completely covering the glue on the bases of the skins, yea they still stick ok, but not as much as before. Does anyone have any input/experience with this, or am i just an idiot? I now store the skins without the glue touching anything but air, they are about 4 years old now.
10-27-2011, 03:03 PM #13u
- Join Date
- Oct 2004
Anyone try the new BCA Magic Carpet skins? I know the old BCA Low Fat skins were generally regarded as junk, but apparently they changed them.
10-27-2011, 03:19 PM #14
10-27-2011, 03:27 PM #15Registered User
- Join Date
- Mar 2008
- northern BC
10-27-2011, 03:37 PM #16
10-27-2011, 04:39 PM #17Registered User
- Join Date
- Jan 2009
This is the article that got me interested:
Sure you might not notice the glide difference but at the end of the day if you have enough energy for one more lap, then count me in. I think there is a reason why a guy can do 2 million vertical in a year now besides .01% body fat. All the little advantages add up to a big one.
10-27-2011, 04:40 PM #18
I've got the newer CSD skins because I'm cheap and almost never use them.
I store them folded glue to glue and they're kind of a pain to pull apart.
I'm just a slackcountry explorer and have only really used them and my Dukes
to get out of places I shouldn't have gone. They're alright I guess.
I'll probably try something else for my next set of skis.
10-27-2011, 06:34 PM #19Meadowskipping old fart
- Join Date
- Feb 2009
Perhaps the skins I had changed length with temperature and moisture more than other batches?
10-27-2011, 06:54 PM #20
Re ClipFix, Andrew McLean -- channeling Martin Volken -- put it this way:I liked the ClipFix, but as Martin Volken said about it, “It’s an expert system.” meaning if you spent the time to get it perfectly dialed, it worked great, but if not, they’d fall off.
10-27-2011, 07:23 PM #21Registered User
- Join Date
- Oct 2011
Not sure if this has happened to anyone else... I saw a guy with the G3 skins that have the "innovative tip connector" and when he took off his skins euro style the tip snapped off and went flying into the snow without him even realizing it. G3 has a good warranty but it doesn't do you any good 3 days into a trip or halfway up a mountain. Lots of other gear can break out there so there's no reason to worry about skins. Maybe it was an isolated incident but anything that can break is something to consider in my opinion.
I've only had g3 skins (original/expedition style). I got some new ones last year and the glue doesn't seem as good as their old glue, not sure what changed. I loved my old skins. If you go with G3, my recommendation is the expedition skins. I've only heard good things about BD skins as well, I've never been disappointed with BD gear. My touring buddy got the mohair ones last year and said it's worth the extra cash after being on G3 expeditions previously; and he's a poor grad student. Just passing that on...
Lastly, i imagine G3 and BD skins climb equally well. You'll find when you get out there that some people will struggle while others fly up stuff. A bit of skinning technique will go a long way in the tricky areas. I don't think the skins are to blame.
Good luck with the decision.
10-27-2011, 08:03 PM #22
Do Glidelites have a shorter plush than Ascensions? I think that in some high water content compressed snow the longer plush (or whatever it's called) on Ascensions may cause more drag. If I could have the glide of the G3's and the durability/ glue of Ascensions I'd be thrilled.
Never had a problem with any attachment system
10-27-2011, 08:17 PM #23
As I previously stated, BD Guidelite Mix are my favorite skins but I couldn't pinpoint why. Now that you mention BD orange nylons being slow in slush, I'm thinking that might be part of it. The GL Mix plush does seem to lay down more. Not sure if it's shorter. (We do get a bit o' wet snow in these parts.)
10-28-2011, 09:03 AM #24
thx guys but i stopped using those screens years ago, and yes, i was storing them inside above room temp. now i store them in the garage hanging from a hook. to clarify i was storing glue-to-sheet-to-glue, rolled up in the sack they came in (that thing is another fail, so hard to get the skins in and out)
Big Steve, why the love for the sheets?
10-28-2011, 09:24 AM #25Registered User
- Join Date
- Jan 2009
Thanks for the tips.
For those of you using dynafit or colltex skins, have you used them in extreme cold? I believe that was the glue issue. Apparently Europe enviro laws don't allow the solvent that Canada/USA uses in their glue.
Fejurty, I noticed that g3 is now advertising that their skins are, "Made with non-toxic, solvent-free adhesive". I wonder if colltex has improved there glue enough for g3 to switch but it's still not as good as the toxic stuff.