Contour Hybrid Mohair Review
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Contour Hybrid Mohair
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|Pros||Fast glide, reliable, easy release glue||Light, fast gliding, enough grip, optimized glue, universal tip and tail||Light, fast, compact||All around performance, huge size range available||Well-balanced in all attributes, great glue|
|Cons||Compromised traction, glue requires regular maintenance||Mohair blend will wear out faster than all nylon, harder to find than other brands||Compromised grip, compromised durability||Compromised glide when new, limited availability at times and places||Expensive, require ongoing periodic maintenance|
|Bottom Line||All-around skins optimized for the dedicated user that prioritizes glide and has the bandwidth for periodic maintenance||The best climbing skins on the market, they strike all the right balances||Fast gliding skins for cold snow and accomplished skinners, the super compact, light form makes your huge skis more manageable||Budget friendly high performance skins for every backcountry skier||These walk a tightrope, yielding a product that is fully balanced right at the performance point that our experience suggests is ideal|
|Rating Categories||Contour Hybrid Mohair||Pomoca Climb Pro S...||Pomoca Free Pro 2.0||Pomoca Climb 2.0||Contour Hybrid Mix|
|Glue Integrity (20%)|
|Icing/Glopping Resistance (10%)|
|Specs||Contour Hybrid Mohair||Pomoca Climb Pro S...||Pomoca Free Pro 2.0||Pomoca Climb 2.0||Contour Hybrid Mix|
|Measured Weight||1.36 lbs||1.23 lbs||1.09 lbs||0.99 lbs||1.21 lbs|
|Material||100% Mohair||70% Mohair and 30% Nylon||100% Mohair||70% mohair 30% Nylon||70% Mohair, 30% Synthetic|
|Weight Per Pair||619g for Elan Ripstick 106||558g for Salomon MTN Explore 95. 587g for 183 Black Crows Corvus Freebird||496g for 180cm Kastle TX 103||448g for Dynastar M99 Tour||551 for Blizzard Zero G, 654g for 178 Voile Hyperdrifter|
|Weight per ski width. Very rough calculation. (grams/mm)||5.8||5.9||4.8||4.5||5.3|
|Glue||Hybrid glue technology||Traditional||Traditional||Traditional||Hybrid glue technology|
|Tip Attachment||Rigid tip loop||Rigid tip loop||Rigid tip loop||Rigid tip loop||Rigid tip loop|
|Tail Attachment||Vinyl strap and cam hook||Rubber strap and cam hook||Rubber strap and cam hook||rubber strap and cam hook||Vinyl strap and cam hook|
|Precut Option?||Order for length and approximate width, cut to lateral shape||Order for length and approximate width, cut to lateral shape||Order for length and approximate width, cut to lateral shape||Order for length and approximate width, cut to lateral shape||Order for length and approximate width, cut to lateral shape|
Our Analysis and Test Results
The Contour Hybrid Mohair skins have full mohair plush and Contour's unique "hybrid" glue technology. This is a good combination for cold-climate skiers that are willing to do some skin maintenance in exchange for easy-peeling skin performance.
Full mohair skins glide the best, all else equal. The orange nap of the Contour Hybrid Mohair is entirely made of goat fur and glides very well. We like easy gliding skins and you will too. Contour's all-around mohair skins aren't quite as slippy as skimo race formulations, but they are close enough. These won't hold you back, except where you want them to.
Maybe it is the "Hybrid" glue, but these don't feel as light and compact as we'd expect from full mohair skins. They are fairly pliable, but certainly not super thin. In terms of weight, they sit just on the heavy side of the average portion of the range.
The internet is full of conflicting reports on the integrity of Contour's Hybrid glue. We contributed to that mucky mess of information at one point. If you treat these skins like others (using them with little to no care for dozens of tours) the glue will degrade faster than others. If, though, you complete the recommended maintenance along the way, they will remain more functional for longer than other options.
Look at it a different way. You can usually use "normal" hot melt skin glue for a full season with no maintenance. At the end of that season, you will have to perform a 2-3 hour full glue replacement to return to near-new performance. With Contour's Hybrid glue, over that same full season rotation, you will perform 3-4 sessions of 8-10 minutes of maintenance, retaining near-new performance the entire time. Yes, Contour Hybrid skins lose their stick faster than others. But they regain it way faster.
Our whole test team found the Contour Hybrid Mohair skins to have perfect grip. Enough for the steepest skin tracks, provided you execute with balance and confidence. Get sloppy, and something with greater grip might help. But those grippier skins will glide much more poorly.
It seems that skins, over recent years, have consolidated in terms of glopping resistance. We notice less and less distinction between them. All are pretty good until conditions and application gets especially sloppy. The Contour Hybrid Mohair is totally fine, as it pertains to glopping. Even in direct comparison with nylon/mohair blended skins (which convention suggests should be better), the Hybrid Mohair showed little to no difference.
You buy the Contour Hybrid Mohair for length and approximate width and then trim for exact shape of your skis. The tip loop is rigid wire. These things combine to make a skin that is widely, if not universally, compatible. We can't think of a ski shape that wouldn't work for these.
Should you buy the Contour Hybrid Mohair?
We recommend these skins. Nylon blended in with the mohair would make them more durable with compromised glide. For optimum glide, these are great. Before you buy, be sure that you are willing to sign up for the occasional, short maintenance (sometimes in the field) required of this glue format. Others will require less frequent (but more involved and not doable in the field) glue maintenance.
What Other Climbing Skins Should You Consider?
The Contour Hybrid Mohair is near the top of the heap. Its overall performance puts it in contention with the big dogs, nearly justifying one of our awards. Any alternatives are going to only improve your experience by very tiny amounts. If you like this sort of performance but don't want to execute the periodic maintenance, the Pomoca Free Pro 2.0 is great. If you seek greater plush durability with the same unique glue the Contour Hybrid Mix is the choice.
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