We pounded the skin tracks for the best possible comparative reviews on the market. In doing so, we learned valuable lessons. The Pomoca Climb Pro Mohair is a dream to climb with, provided you employ good skinning technique and care about the energy you expend on the way up. We lean in that direction, as energy saved on the way up is energy you can use on the way down. For the climbing efficiency, though, you lose some grip, some durability, and some icing resistance. All of these things are mitigated with care and technique but may be too onerous for all. A more well-rounded choice is the Editors' Choice Contour Hybrid Mix.
Pomoca Climb Pro Mohair Review
Cons: Durability concerns, limited grip
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Our Analysis and Test Results
These are the only full mohair skins we tested for 2018-2019. As such, we found them to glide real well, stick reliably, and grip as well as an expert skinner should ever need. Their durability will suffer, as is evidenced by our prior experience with such products. For maximum uphill performance, especially in dry snow conditions, this durability compromise is likely worth it.
Our overall scoring rubric rewards glide performance. In our long and deep experience, we find that backcountry skinners quickly (like, in a season or so of dedicated participation) learn technique to optimize grip and to take good care of the glue side of their skins. In this way, any skins glue and grip well enough. But the advantages of enhanced glide affect every step. These are very well gliding skins. They glide better than any of the other "all around" traditional skins, which saves energy and allows more and more relaxed downhill skiing. Which, after all, is the main reason most of us are out there getting after it.
These full mohair (yes, as in the hair of a goat) skins glide very, very well. It is no mystery why high energy randonnee racers use full mohair skins exclusively. The efficiency and speed advantages of fast gliding skins are well proven if a little easy to overlook early in your backcountry ski career. Good climbing technique involves sliding your skis along the ground and skis that are easy to slide along the ground save energy. Good gliding skins, like the Pomoca Climb Pro Mohair save energy.
The only skins that glide better than the Pomoca ones are the other Top Pick Fischer ProFoil. The plastic base of the Fischer slides more like a ski base than like fabric. There are enough drawbacks associated with the Fischer that the Pomoca exceeds the score, overall. All the other skins we tested glide more poorly than the Pomoca and Fischer. The Dynafit Speedskins and Editors' Choice Contour Hybrid Mix are just behind the Pomoca skins, in terms of glide, with the Pomoca skins gliding significantly more poorly than the Profoil on melt-freeze snow. On dry, powder snow the difference is less pronounced, with the Profoil only slightly edging out the Pomoca.
There is just enough grip in the Pro Mohair. Good technique and careful terrain selection will make up for any shortcomings inherent in the grip of mohair skins. We can say this on good authority, as our test team has used mohair skins of all kinds, and specifically these Pomoca ones, on the gnarliest of ski mountaineering objectives. Of course, other products grip better, but that grip comes with drawbacks.
Given that virtually all aspects of climbing skin design and manufacture are at odds with another aspect, it should come as no surprise that the Fischer Profoil is right there with the Pomoca when it comes to grip. They are nearly side-by-side in terms of glide and close together for grip. The Pomoca is decidedly better, especially in icy conditions, but both of these suffer next to the rest. The Best Buy Black Diamond Glidelite Mix grips decidedly better, as does the Kohla Vacuum.
The glue of the Pomoca skins is just right. It is sticky enough for long, cold days out with lots of transitions, and it releases from ski and itself with equal aplomb. It could be better, especially when wet. The fabric side of the product is light but rigid enough to resist ski base peeling.
Only Black Diamond and Contour products exceed the glue performance of the Pro Mohair. Pomoca's glue performance is similar, overall, to that of the Black Diamond Ultralite and Kohla Vacuum Base Zero.
The natural mohair fibers of the Pomoca skins are a little more vulnerable to icing than anything that includes some or all nylon fibers. The mohair hairs absorb more water, which in turn freezes in place and collects more water and snow and ice. Waxing your skins mitigates this, but that's the case with all skin material.
There is a pretty strong correlation between icing propensity and mohair content. More mohair, more ice. That being said, the most significant determinant of icing is conditions and waxing. Learn to wax your skins and learn which conditions make glopping worse, and you mitigate much of the problem. When you have problems, you can scrape and wax again. The blended skins, like the Editors' Choice Contour Hybrid Mix and the Kohla Vacuum Base ice less than the Pomoca. Full nylon plush like that on the Black Diamond Ascension collect even less ice. The absolute least amount of icing comes with the fully plastic surface of the Top Pick Fischer ProFoil.
Even when we correct for ski size and width, these skins are light and compact.
The Pro Mohair is the smallest and most packable set in our review. Right close behind are the blended skins like the Contour Hybrid Mix and the Dynafit Speedskins. With the Pomoca, "fast" and "light" really do go together. The mohair is fast, and the whole package is light.
These skins are available in universal sizes that you cut (with Pomoca's excellent skin cutting tool and instructions) to the exact shape of your skis.
Most skins are universally compatible. Of those we tested, only the Dynafit Speedskins are specific to certain skis. The Fischer Profoil is best used on Fischer skis, but it can be purchased in a universal format too.
These are a good all-around product for those concerned with efficiency and who can be careful with maintenance and technique.
Pomoca Mohair skins are expensive, but the performance is high. Something to note, as it pertains to value, is that these will not last as long as blended or full nylon skins. The natural mohair fibers break down more readily than nylon. You will gain glide as this happens, but you will lose grip until the skins are no longer usable.
The Pomoca Climb Pro Mohair is a technician's choice. Choose it for maximum efficiency, and understand the costs of such a choice. With a couple of notable drawbacks (grip, durability), we can't quite recommend these for absolutely everyone. However, for very enthusiastic backcountry skiers, the advantages are clear and will pay dividends. If this isn't for you, our Editors' Choice is an excellent, more reliable choice.
— Jediah Porter