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Pomoca Climb Pro S Glide Review

The best climbing skins on the market, they strike all the right balances
Pomoca Climb Pro S Glide
Photo: Pomoca
Editors' Choice Award
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Price:  $210 List
Pros:  Light, fast gliding, enough grip, optimized glue, universal tip and tail
Cons:  Mohair blend will wear out faster than all nylon, harder to find than other brands
Manufacturer:   Pomoca
By Jediah Porter ⋅ Review Editor  ⋅  Feb 11, 2020
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75
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#1 of 13
  • Glide - 30% 8
  • Grip - 15% 8
  • Glue Integrity - 20% 7
  • Portability - 20% 7
  • Icing Resistance - 10% 7
  • Compatibility - 5% 7

Our Verdict

The Pomoca Climb Pro S Glide are the best skins we know of. We aren't alone in regarding them highly. They optimize various competing criteria and excel in surprising ways. All skins are a compromise, but the Pomoca strikes the best balance and offers pleasant perks. For all-around backcountry skiing, you can't do better.

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Pros Light, fast gliding, enough grip, optimized glue, universal tip and tailLight, fast, compactLight, fast glidingSuper light, good-enough grip and glide, low maintenance stickSuper light and compact, sticky glue, good grip/glide balance
Cons Mohair blend will wear out faster than all nylon, harder to find than other brandsCompromised grip, compromised durabilityDurability concerns, limited gripMoody adhesive, finicky tail clipMoody tail clip, sticky glue
Bottom Line The best climbing skins on the market, they strike all the right balancesFast gliding skins for cold snow and accomplished skinnersOn the balance sheet of climbing skins, they lean in the fast and light direction, with associated compromises in grip and durabilityThe best non-traditional skin formulation we have ever used; the adhesive fails more than most, but is also very low maintenance and extremely light and compactTenacious glue on flexible and light fabric backing, with a snow-side that is tuned to balance grip and glide in a way that most ski tourers should appreciate
Rating Categories Pomoca Climb Pro S... Pomoca Race Back Fix Pomoca Climb Pro Mo... Colltex Combin Mohair Colltex Mohair Mix
Glide (30%)
8.0
9.0
9.0
8.0
7.0
Grip (15%)
8.0
4.0
4.0
6.0
5.0
Glue Integrity (20%)
7.0
7.0
7.0
5.0
7.0
Portability (20%)
7.0
8.0
7.0
9.0
8.0
Icing Resistance (10%)
7.0
5.0
5.0
5.0
5.0
Compatibility (5%)
7.0
7.0
7.0
7.0
7.0
Specs Pomoca Climb Pro S... Pomoca Race Back Fix Pomoca Climb Pro Mo... Colltex Combin Mohair Colltex Mohair Mix
Measured Weight 1.23 lbs 1.09 lbs 1 lb .86 lbs 0.87 lbs
Material 70% mohair and 30% nylon 100% mohair 100% Mohair 100% Mohair 65% mohair and 35% nylon
Weight Per Pair 558g for Salomon MTN Explore 95 496g for Kastle TX 103 452g for Atomic Backland 392g for Movement Alp Tracks 100 393g for K2 WayBack 80
Glue Traditional Traditional Traditional Silicone Traditional
Tip Attachment Rigid tip loop Rigid tip loop Rigid tip loop Rigid tip loop Rigid tip loop
Tail Attachment Rubber strap and cam hook Rubber strap and cam hook Rubber strap and cam hook Vinyl strap and cam hook Camming clip on rigid strap
Ski Compatibility Universal Universal Universal Universal Universal
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

Pomoca's Climb Pro S-Glide skins are the best we know of. We aren't alone in really liking them; the web is full of enthusiastic supporters. Our women's backcountry ski lead tester chose this model to equip her tester skis with. Every attribute of climbing skin performance is balanced by an essentially competing attribute in the same product. Optimize for one thing, and another suffers, to at least some degree. With these skins, for all-around, human-powered backcountry skiing, Pomoca nails the balance in every way. They aren't the best in any one category, but they beat the competition overall.

Performance Comparison


The more you ski, the more you ski. Transitioning is not skiing. And...
The more you ski, the more you ski. Transitioning is not skiing. And not skiing isn't as fun as skiing. Get those transitions quick and easy and ski more.
Photo: Jediah Porter

Glide


With skins, glide isn't just what you do on short downhills. Ergonomically efficient skin technique slides the ski forward with every step. High friction in this direction sucks energy, in a big way. Yes, the whole point of skins is to grip against backwards sliding. But the real efficiency difference between models is in their forward glide. Full mohair skimo race skins glide the best but might last just a couple races. Full mohair "all-around" skins don't glide quite as well but are at least a little more robust. Blended skins combine mohair and nylon to increase durability, grip, and water resistance.


The Pomoca Climb Pro S Glide is a blended skin, with all the advantages of that construction, but they glide as well as, or better than, the 100% mohair "all around" skins from other manufacturers.

The fabric is a little stiffer than average and takes up some space...
The fabric is a little stiffer than average and takes up some space in your pack or pocket. This is a worthy trade off for the other favorable attributes.
Photo: Jediah Porter

We had one weird negative observation of the glide characteristics of the Climb Pro S Glide tester skins. Multiple testers noted that our test pair "pulled to the left". Whether striding forward or gliding down a small hill, the nap of the fabric pulled the ski and skier to the left. Visual inspection revealed that the fibers are angled out of parallel with the long axis of the skin. We have never noticed this in any other skin we've tested, but some of the test team reports it in other products they've used.

If the longitudinal cut of the skin fabric, at manufacture, doesn't perfectly parallel the fabric's "grain", you will get this sort of behavior. No online reviews indicate this, and testers with experience with other pairs of this same skin report nothing like it. We are guessing this is a minor and rare quality control issue. Every tester that used these skins noted that the initial observation was interesting but that long term use didn't suffer. We all kind of "got used to it".

Grip


Grip is why you need skins. You need them in order to turn your slippery ski bases into traction machines. It is logical but downright wrong, to conclude that if gripping is the whole point of skins, you might as well maximize it. You don't need maximum grip. You need enough grip. The Pomoca Climb Pro S Glide skins have just enough traction.


Yes, other skins have more traction. Yes, in some circumstances, you might find that the Pomoca doesn't have enough grip. Those circumstances, though, usually involve poor technique or a track that is steeper than your body mechanics are optimized for. For your muscles and skeleton, there is an optimal skin track angle, and it isn't "as steep as my skins will grip". On that optimal skin track angle, the Climb Pro S Glide grabs any conditions you could encounter.

The Climb Pro S Glide has all the traction you'll need for all kinds...
The Climb Pro S Glide has all the traction you'll need for all kinds of backcountry skiing and ski mountaineering.
Photo: Jediah Porter

Glue Integrity


Pomoca's glue is legendary. These skins are new to our review, but the Pomoca adhesive formulation is not. We've liked this glue formulation for a long time. Like every other characteristic of climbing skins, the glue requires a balance. When in use, you want maximum stick. During transitions, you want minimal stick. You can't max out them both; you have to pick some sort of middle ground.


How skins stick to your skis is informed by the glue itself and by the rigidity and shape of the material at the tip of your ski. If it can roll, and/or is shaped to catch snow, that snow can "creep" between ski and skin Rigid skins better resist snow creep, but are bulkier in your pack (see what we mean? Every single criterion is a compromise…) As is the theme, the Pomoca fabric is the right stiffness. Snow creep isn't impossible, but it is minimal.

Years of favorable experience with this same glue formulation gives...
Years of favorable experience with this same glue formulation gives us the confidence to recommend it to you.
Photo: Jediah Porter

The glue lets go from itself and from your ski base with the right amounts of force. You can readily rip these from your ski with the ski still on your foot, and you can pull them glue from glue without the deltoids of an NBA player.

Icing/Glopping Resistance


When you skin through warm, moistened snow, your skins risk getting wet. When wet skins encounter cold, fine-grained, usually fresh snow, you form a vicious amalgam of snow, ice, water, and fabric. That mess can accumulate even more snow and ice, negating any and all gear weight savings and all glide characteristics of your skins. Iced up skins are unusable.


Icing like this is managed by technique (slide them skis forward!), terrain, and timing (avoid sun to shade transitions when that sun is "softening" the snow surface. Especially after a fresh coat of snow), and some gear characteristics. Skins can be treated with a water-resistant coating. The Pomoca has this, but it wears off in all cases. Skin plush material matters a little bit. Nylon absorbs less water than mohair; this is one of a few reasons why blended skins include nylon. Finally, you will almost certainly need to wax your skins at some point in a career or season.

There is less variation between skins and icing characteristics than any of the other attributes we test for. The best aren't that much better than the worst. That being said, the Pomoca is among the best. Especially when new, we had few to no problems with the Climb Pro S Glide. When the coating wears off, you need to wax a little more diligently.

The fabric and tip profile and glue work together to slow or...
The fabric and tip profile and glue work together to slow or eliminate snow incursion between ski base and glue surface.
Photo: Jediah Porter

Packability and Weight


Packability and weight is a function of the thickness and stiffness of the material and of the nature and bulk of the tip and tail fastening methods. The tip and tail kit of the Pomoca is pretty low profile. Similarly, the fabric is rigid enough to resist peeling, but flexible enough to fold back on itself with minimal bulk. Quad-folded Climb Pro S Glide skins will fit inside your jacket without dramatically harming your photographed profile.


We test skins on a variety of skis. Each model of skins we test is cut for a certain ski shape and size. We can use each of our skins on a few tester skis, but not all the skins are exactly the same size. This makes direct weight and bulk comparisons difficult. This is a limitation we have come to accept, but must acknowledge that it affects our reviews. We can say on good authority that the Pomoca Climb Pro S Glide, in a given size and profile, is not the most compact or light but is in the top echelon.

The tail strap and clip on the Climb Pro S Glide is simple, secure...
The tail strap and clip on the Climb Pro S Glide is simple, secure, and reliable. We like it.
Photo: Jediah Porter

Compatibility


Compatibility is mainly a function of how the skin model is sold and its tip and tail attachment. Some skins are sold only for use with specific ski models. The Climb Pro S Glide is not this sort of product. We call them "universal". You buy for approximate width and length and then cut for longitudinal shape. Pomoca offers a range of sizes, in this model, that covers every conceivable mass-marketed backcountry ski size and shape.


Other compatibility concerns include tip and tail kit. The rigid tip loop of the Pomoca is pretty good, holding on even the broadest and roundest tips. The tail kit is excellent. A stretchy, notched rubber strap holds a simple, plastic cam lock hook. The hook stays in place between uses so you don't need to reposition it at every application. The hook also seems to grab on all but the most rounded and up-turned ski tails. On such "twin tips" the hook will slide to a side and disengage. Thankfully such ski tail profiles are waning in popularity, especially on backcountry ski models.

The simple, rigid tip loop of the Pomoca does the job.
The simple, rigid tip loop of the Pomoca does the job.
Photo: Jediah Porter

Value


These European skins aren't inexpensive. As you might expect from a top performing product, you will pay a premium.

Conclusion


It was easy to grant these our Editors' Choice award. Despite the quirky and isolated offset glide characteristics, we love these skins. The best endorsement we can give them is that our discerning and dialed women's backcountry ski gear tester chose this exact model to equip her tester skis.

Jediah Porter