Reviews You Can Rely On

Colltex Clariden Review

Well balanced, all around climbing skins
colltex clariden climbing skin review
Credit: Colltex
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Price:  $235 List
Manufacturer:   Colltex
By Jediah Porter ⋅ Review Editor  ⋅  Nov 2, 2022
67
OVERALL
SCORE
  • Glide - 30% 7.0
  • Portability - 20% 8.0
  • Glue Integrity - 20% 7.0
  • Grip - 15% 5.0
  • Icing/Glopping Resistance - 10% 5.0
  • Compatibility - 5% 7.0

Our Verdict

The Clariden is Colltex's offering in the all-around, mass-appeal climbing skin category. And they succeed. All the competing design attributes (grip/glide, weight/durability, glue stick/release) seem well balanced. The price is right. Other options are even better optimized, but many others are sub par. You can't do wrong with the Clariden.
REASONS TO BUY
Compact
Balanced performance
REASONS TO AVOID
Non-traditional glue

Our Analysis and Test Results

Colltex Clariden climbing skins are simple, reliable and our testing has proven them to be a good choice for you and your all-around backcountry skiing. They balance the competing demands of climbing skin design with aplomb. Some others are slightly better in one way or another, but the Colltex Clariden still, generally, rises above the main pack.

Performance Comparison



colltex clariden climbing skin review - colltex clariden, deep in the wilderness of the western tetons in...
Colltex Clariden, deep in the wilderness of the western Tetons in the middle of January; an environment in which we want reliability. We got it.
Credit: Jediah Porter

Glide


While striding, the Colltex Clariden slides forward better than most but not quite as good as the best. Ergonomic, efficient skinning has you sliding your skin-clad skis forward along the snow with each stride. In doing so, you want your skis to offer minimal resistance between steps. This attribute is, mostly, diametrically opposed to a skin's primary goal of gripping. Skin design is a stew of competing interests. The Clariden balances things nicely for beginner to intermediate backcountry skiers, especially as it pertains to glide.

Portability


We tested the Colltex Clariden on very small ski mountaineering skis. They fold up to fit easily in typical pants or jacket pockets, if that is how you so choose to carry them. They are also relatively light, for the size. Few on the market are as compact and light as the Clariden.
colltex clariden climbing skin review - the material is thin and light, and then we cut them to small skis...
The material is thin and light, and then we cut them to small skis. The result is featherlight
Credit: Jediah Porter

Glue Integrity


Just like every other attribute of climbing skins, glue integrity is a balancing act. You want it to stick when and where you ask it to, but also to let go as needed during transitions. Earlier tested Colltex products have very, very stout glue. In use this was good. At every transition, though, it was exhausting. The formulation of the Clariden is way better optimized for your use. The glue is as good as any we have used. All glue will break down on a long enough tour or over a full season. This stuff is no exception. But it holds up as good as any. Colltex uses a proprietary, unique acrylic form of glue on the Clariden. This is our only experience with that adhesive and we found it to work well.

Grip


All skins really need to do is provide grip. It is literally why we purchase and use them; to grip on the way uphill. We want as much grip as is efficient. Not as much as is possible, but as much as we can without greatly compromising weight, bulk and glide. With that in mind, we found that the grip of the Clariden has exactly the grip you need, plus a little more. They generally grip better than most.

Icing/Glopping Resistance


We noticed nothing real notable about the icing resistance of the Colltex Clariden. The primary determinant of skin "glopping" is conditions; if the snow is cold, dry and powdery alternating with damp to wet, icing is possible. The next major criteria is your technique; keep your skins moving, stop only in the dry shade, and wax the skins periodically. Beyond that everything is minimally impactful. Essentially, skins resist icing by resisting water. Synthetic fibers better resist water. Proprietary treatments at manufacture resist water. The Clariden seems about average in resisting icing.
colltex clariden climbing skin review - the high functioning colltex clariden ready for deployment between...
The high functioning Colltex Clariden ready for deployment between powder laps.
Credit: Jediah Porter

Compatibility


Colltex Clariden skins are sold by length and approximate width. You then cut them to shape. The tail strap is non-stretchy vinyl and the tail hook slides along that, camming in place when tensioned but able to slide when not hooked over the tail of your ski. We wish the tail hook would better stay in place during storage and transitions.
colltex clariden climbing skin review - the non-stretchy vinyl tail strap does the job, but we wish the cam...
The non-stretchy vinyl tail strap does the job, but we wish the cam lock stayed more securely in place when the skin is off the ski.
Credit: Jediah Porter

Should you buy the Colltex Clariden?


Yes, we like these skins. They aren't quite as polished as some other offerings, but they are sometimes available at a discounted rate and the overall function is very well tailored to all-around, enthusiast-level backcountry skiing and ski mountaineering.
colltex clariden climbing skin review - rigid wire tip loops are fast becoming standard for universal fit...
Rigid wire tip loops are fast becoming standard for universal fit skins. The Colltex Clariden has exactly that.
Credit: Jediah Porter

What Other Climbing Skins Should You Consider?


If you like the easy release acrylic glue of the Colltex Clariden we feel you would also like the "hybrid" glue of the Contour Hybrid Mix skins. If you like the inexpensive, all-around balance of attributes in the Clariden skin, the Best Buy Pomoca Climb 2.0 will do you quite well also.

Jediah Porter
 
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