Gecko Climbing Skins ReviewAugust 29, 2014
- Adhesive is easy to separate
- Lightest skins we’ve tested
- Very low bulk so they compact down well
- Tail clips break easily
- If the adhesive gets cold then snow contaminates them, it’s game over
- Very expensive
The Gecko Climbing Skins offer a few big advantages over traditional skins, namely weight, size and adhesion, but they also have their issues. Until Gecko works out all the bugs, savvy skiers should stick with more traditional skin.
The Gecko Climbing Skins are ‘glueless’ climbing skins using what Gecko calls “a molecular fusion (suction) effect” which adheres to your skis in wet or dry conditions. Contaminants that may come in contact with the adhesive are easily washed away with water so maintenance is minimal.
The Gecko Skins use innovative ideas to try to solve the problem of contamination that affects traditional glue skins. The Gecko solution, however, proved imperfect. Due to their minimal weight and compact size I wanted to love the Gecko Skins but the adhesive was finicky and needed to be warm in order to stick. After an initial climb, I failed to stash the Gecko Skins inside my jacket and close to my body for warmth on the way down the hill. At the bottom, I found I couldn’t use the skin for another climb until I took significant time to warm them up.
Glide / Grip
The Mohair content of the Gecko Climbing Skins makes them glide as well as the Colltex and Atomic Charter Mohair skins but they do lack the Grip that you find in the Black Diamond Ascension and G3 Alpinist Climbing Skins.
The Gecko Climbing Skins have been plagued with durability issues since their inception. The first version in 2013 lasted roughly a year before the adhesive started to come off in blotches on the base of your skis. This was rectified with the new and improved (and current) version however the tail clips broke after just one season of about 30 days of ski touring. (I am currently sourcing replacement tail clips for this season to ensure that this is not an ongoing issue.)
Aside from the durability issues mentioned above the Gecko Climbing Skins are super easy to use. Being lighter and more compact than anything else I’ve tested makes me want to take them on all my slackcountry tours (where I am not too far from safety should something break). Separating the Gecko Skins at the trailhead is effortless and will make your ski touring partners envious. In the backcountry if you treat the Geckos with care and keep them warm between laps they’ll work as intended, if not, be prepared for some frustration.