Jones Nomad PRO Review
Cons: Expensive, difficult tail clip installation
Manufacturer: Jones Snowboards
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Jones Nomad PRO
$249.95 at REI
$179.00 at Amazon
$199.95 at REI
$159.93 at REI
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|Pros||Lightweight, efficient, packable, good climbing ability||All-purpose, good ratio of grip to glide, camming tail clip, easy to align tip clip||Durable, good grip to glide ratio||Good glide, rolls and folds small, robust adhesive||Easy to peel apart and remove from ski base, great glide, compact storage, easier to recover from skin failure|
|Cons||Expensive, difficult tail clip installation||Awkward folding||Can be hard to pull apart, steps required to get them field ready||User effort to get from package to field, small range of size adjustments||No length adjustment, velcro tip and tail attachment, higher frequency of total skin failures|
|Bottom Line||An efficient skin that should appeal to Jones riders||Great grip to glide ratio in a user-friendly package||Whether it's your first day or 100th day, these skins are appropriate for all skill levels||Straightforward and streamlined performance||A unique skin that manages certain difficulties of glue-based skins but requires more tending in the field|
|Rating Categories||Jones Nomad PRO||G3 Splitboard+ Univ...||Black Diamond Ascen...||Black Diamond Glide...||Contour Hybrid|
|Ease of Use (15%)|
|Attachment System (15%)|
|Glue Icing Glop (20%)|
|Specs||Jones Nomad PRO||G3 Splitboard+ Univ...||Black Diamond Ascen...||Black Diamond Glide...||Contour Hybrid|
|Manufacturer||Jones Snowboard (Pomoco)||G3||Black Diamond||Black Diamond||Contour|
|Weight per pair||460 (g)||674 (g)||658 (g)||650 (g)||624 (g)|
|Weight per skin||230 (g)||337 (g)||329 (g)||325 (g)||312 (g)|
|Material||70% Mohair, 30% Nylon||Nylon plush||Nylon||65% mohair and 35% nylon||70% Mohair / 30% Synthetic|
|Glue||Non-toxic adhesive||Non-toxic adhesive||Non-toxic adhesive||Non-toxic adhesive||Twin layer hybriad adhesive|
|Tip Attachment||Universal clips||Asymmetrical steel Hands||Snap-fit attachement||Coated cable||Fixed velco attachment|
|Tail Attachment||Hooked attachement||SPLITBOARD+||STS||STS||Fixed velcro attachment|
|Cheat Sheets Included?||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
Our Analysis and Test Results
The Jones Nomad Pro is available in pre-sized models for your Jones splitboard. This adds value to this mohair mix skin by providing a perfectly pre-cut skin and a secure, simple attachment system.
Grip is an attribute that deserves attention as it directly affects our security traveling up the hill. That being said, as we develop good technique, the amount of grip provided by a skin becomes less important than how well a skin glides.
The Nomad Pro skins grip well, but they are not a grip specific design. These are good all-around skins that provide ample traction but do not sacrifice other qualities just for grip. When used by an experienced splitboarder, they climb well. Traction difficulties may be found on icier or very wet skin tracks and with less experienced skinners.
Swoosh, swoosh. That is the sound of good quality glide stride after stride. The low friction, high-quality stride provide by a mohair blended skin helps bolster our backcountry efficiency.
The Jones Nomad Pro offers a 70% mohair and 30% nylon blend; the skins are slightly biased towards glide. It provides a low friction stride that felt fluid and catch-free. Over time, the rivets we installed began to deteriorate, which would catch and reduce glide. This won't be an issue on the Jones pre-cut design. This formula excelled on dry snow condition days and is preferable on bigger tours when the route includes a fair amount of rolling low angle terrain.
Ease of Use
We are constantly handling and relying on our skins. Based on how often we handle skins, the ideal pair will require limited steps out of the box, be lightweight, and roll or fold compactly.
At 460 grams per pair, the Nomad Pro is relatively lightweight and packs well when you're not on your split. The entire skin has a supple hand feel and is pretty flexible. The simple design allows for easy rolling or folding into a small package; this is because both style kits include a simple tip and tail clip that do not add much bulk.
Unless you use rivets in your daily life, this installation of the universal clip may challenge you to learn some new skills. Jones does have a nice video explaining this process, but compared to the pre-attached or simple DIY attachment systems, the setup required for Jones' skins is a much longer process.
Jones also offers a quick tension clip, which bypasses the need to mess with rivets or trimming; all you have to do is take it out of the box. This option adds a lot of value to this skin for Jones users, as it increases simplicity and efficiency while giving you an optimal attachment system.
The tip connector is a simple, traditional metal loop with a rubber gasket factory sewn to the skin material; this is a time tested design that works fine. As with any tip connector, but especially sewn ones, avoid placing the tip on the split ski and pulling the ski apart in this fashion. This is an easy way to break the tip attachment, especially with very sticky glue.
The extra and curved skin material at the top requires an attentive application as it is possible for snow to sneak in underneath the skin from near the tip. This snow intrusion can work its way toward the tail and challenge the overall skin adhesion. Few tip connectors even attempt to fix this issue, and those that do provide better performance are not immune to the condition.
As the merit of this recommendation, Jones skins pair best with a Jones board. The pre-cut design and connection system provides an excellent and secure fit. The tail on the Quick Tension tail clip is adjustable to allow for fine-tuning and possibly moving the skins between multiple splitboards. The prongs on the connector seats solidly in the notch on Jones's splitboards. The simple tail connection between these skins and Jones' boards is excellent and arguably superior to more complex skin attachments that are designed to fit a range of board shapes.
The Universal Tail Clip finds security with its three points of contact. The system fits securely on most tail shapes. The clip is very easy to adjust and secure in place. Its quick and easy nature makes it great for on the go adjustments or swapping boards.
Glue and Glop
As backcountry travelers, we heavily rely on our skins as travel tools. The glue acts as a security system in tandem with our attachment points. We have distinct and polarized wants from our skins and particularly our glue. It must be easy to pull apart but stick to our skis. It needs to stick but not leave any residue. Finally, it needs to be exposed to snow and liquid yet not completely fail when wet. The Nomad Pro has a thin coating of glue that is easy to pull; it's also user-friendly and reliable.
The Nomad Pro is manufactured by Pomoco, and their style is present in the design and glue of this skin. It has a thin coating of glue relative to others on the market, yet offers robust adhesion to the base of your ski. While offering plenty of stick to the board, the skin remains manageable to pull apart in a diverse range of temperatures. Glue strength, reliability, and convenience is a fine balance that some manufacturers are still working to refine. Pomoco has found it in this product.
The Jones PFC free EVER DRY 3.0 treatment worked well in our testing to prevent glopping under most conditions. The rubber backer has been updated to increase the overall water-resistance of the skin. This attribute works to reduce the frequency of total skin failures and glopping potential. In very wet conditions, pretty much every skin will get wet and will glop when dry snow is encountered. Only in the perfect glopping conditions did we experience periods of glopping. If the skin does get wet, it has one of the thinnest skin profiles, which will decrease the time required to dry.
The Nomad Pro costs a premium price relative to the market of mohair and nylon mixed skins. We find it hard to justify, especially when we consider the other options. We would need a Jones' snowboard to consider the Nomad Pros. Then we would lean towards the pre-cut ones that perfectly fit Jones's splitboards, so we can be out on the snow enjoying splitboarding that much faster with a perfect fit.
The Jones Nomad Pros offer good glide and impressive grip in a compact, light package. They are an excellent option for intermediate and above users who are longing for an efficient skin and already own a Jones Splitboard.
— Isaac Laredo & David Reichel
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