Dynafit sells the Speedskins for use with their own skis. While it is conceivable that one could modify other brands of skis for use with Speedskins, we do not recommend that. The Speedskin is a moderately performing product in our test, with its greatest hang-up being compatibility. You can only use Speedskins with Dynafit skis. An important thing to know about the Speedskins is that, while they are branded as Dynafit, they are actually manufactured by Pomoca. Also in our test, the Top Pick winning Climb Pro Mohair is built by Pomoca. The two perform mostly similar, except in glide, in which case the Pomocas offer better glide performance. The Pomoca is also universally compatible.
Dynafit Speedskin Review
Cons: Exclusive to Dynafit skis
Compare to Similar Products
|Price||$194.95 at Amazon||$230 List||$209.95 at Backcountry|
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|$179.95 at Amazon|
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|Pros||Light, well balanced performance, and an excellent tip attachment||Well balanced in all attributes, great glue||Light, fast gliding||Light and versatile||Average to above average grip and glide, unique adhesive is low-maintenance, in the long run|
|Cons||Exclusive to Dynafit skis||Expensive, largest and heaviest messenger||Durability concerns, limited grip||Floppy material rolls and peels, allowing some snow between ski and skin||Unique adhesive causes more-than-usual field problems|
|Bottom Line||Limited to being compatible with Dynafit skis, these lightweight skins strike a great balance between glide and grip.||Virtually every aspect of skin design and construction is balanced by another competing demand; the Contour Hybrid Mix walks that tightrope, creating a product that is fully balanced.||On the balance sheet of climbing skins, the Pomoca’s lean in the fast and light direction, with associated compromises in grip and durability.||Universally compatible and high performing, these are some of the best skins on the market for whatever sticks you take into the backcountry.||Unique, “glueless” skins for the occasional backcountry skier or the very patient enthusiast.|
|Rating Categories||Dynafit Speedskin||Contour Hybrid Mix||Pomoca Climb Pro Mohair||Glidelite Mix STS||Kohla Vacuum Base ZERO|
|Glue Integrity (20%)|
|Icing Resistance (10%)|
|Specs||Dynafit Speedskin||Contour Hybrid Mix||Pomoca Climb Pro...||Glidelite Mix STS||Kohla Vacuum Base...|
|Weight per pair (grams)||550g||551 for Blizzard Zero G||452g for Atomic Backland||569g for Kastle, 563g for Hannibal, 570g for Vta, 600g for Black Crows||530g for BD Route 95|
|Material||Mohair and Nylon mix||70% Mohair, 30% Synthetic||100% Mohair||65% Mohair, 35% Nylon||65% Mohair, 35% Nylon|
|Glue||Traditional||Hybrid glue technology||Traditional||Traditional||Silicone|
|Tip Attachment||Proprietary rubber knob into ski notch||Rigid tip loop||Rigid tip loop||Cable tip loop||Rigid tip loop|
|Tail Attachment||Metal hook||Rubber strap||Rubber strap||Rubber strap||Rubber strap|
|Ski Compatibility||Compatible with Dynafit skis only||Universal||Universal||Universal||Universal|
|Precut Option?||Yes||Order for length and approximate width, cut to lateral shape||Order for length and approximate width, cut to lateral shape||Order for approximate width, cut to length and lateral shape||Order for length and approximate width, cut to lateral shape|
Our Analysis and Test Results
Dynafit Speedskins have a great tip and tail attachment, with solid fabric and glue. If you purchase Dynafit skis, we recommend you also choose the company's corresponding skins.
Overall, these would be an award contender if their performance were available in a universal format. Part of that performance, though, is the excellent tip and tail attachment that requires compatible notches in skis. Universal compatibility is inherently limited.
The Speedskins, as the name implies, are tuned for gliding. While they do not top the field, and are, interestingly, slower than the other Pomoca skins we tested, they glide better than about half the test roster. The nylon/mohair blend is Dynafit/Pomoca's attempt to balance glide with durability. Full mohair skins wear out much faster than blends but glide much better.
The Speedskins grip just fine. Certainly, something like the Black Diamond Ascension is going to grip better, but the Dynafits grip well enough for all backcountry and ski mountaineering use. More grip is a bit of a solution without a problem. Technique and track setting easily overcome any shortcomings in a skin's grip.
The glue alone on the Dynafit Speedskin is unremarkable. It peels from itself easily (an attribute to be appreciated, really) and disengages from the ski quite readily too. However, it is consistent and long lasting in its stickiness, despite visual changes that suggest degradation over time. In terms of "stick-to-it-iveness", the Dynafit skins have more than just adequate glue going for them. The tip attachment is the best we've tried, and the skins are stiff enough to resist rolling and peeling while affixed. Overall, with the good-enough glue and better-than-average supporting features, the Dynafit Speedskins deliver a solid glue performance.
In certain conditions snow melts into the fabric of the skins. If that liquid water then comes into contact with fine-grained, colder snow, ice forms in the fabric and conglomerates with even more snow. This "glopping" can accumulate many pounds of extra weight and eliminate any glide characteristics of the skins. All skins do this, but some are worse than others. We found the Speedskins to do better than many others in our test, up near the top in this category with the Black Diamond Ascension Nylon, Best Buy Black Diamond Glidelite Mix STS and Top Pick Fischer Profoil. That being said, all skins ice up and need to be scraped and waxed periodically in certain conditions.
Packability and Weight
The Speedskins are tied with a bunch of hybrid nylon/mohair skins for packability. It seems that a percentage of mohair is directly proportional to packability; more mohair is more packable. Blended skins are generally all pretty similar in their weight and bulk. Full nylon skins, like the Black Diamond Ascension are noticeably bulkier and heavier. Taking up even more space are the stiff plastic Fischer Profoil. The slimmest skins we tested are the all mohair Pomoca Climb Pro.
The Speedskins can only be used with Dynafit skis. Sure, one could make pretty dramatic modifications to other skis to install a notch in the tip, but this is extremely unlikely and unnecessary. The Dynafit scores a four in this category because Dynafit offers several ski models with accompanying Speedskin options.
We can recommend these skins for all-around backcountry touring and ski mountaineering with Dynafit brand skis. In many ways, the option to use these skins can be a selling point for some models of Dynafit ski.
The Speedskins are among the most expensive we tested and limited to just one brand of ski.
For Dynafit skis, we recommend matching skins. We do not always make this same recommendation. For instance, to pair with our Best Buy-winning Backcountry Skis, the Fischer Hannibal, we recommend the Contour Hybrid Mix.
— Jediah Porter