I recently got a pair of the Gecko glueless climbing skins in for testing. I first heard about the Gecko skins about a year ago, but this is my first experience with them. Although we do not really have enough snow to warrant testing in the mountains yet, I thought they were interesting enough to warrant a blog post.
Touted as glueless, the Gecko skin system is still an adhesive skin. It just happens that the adhesion is delivered through some high-tech rubber compound, not the traditional glue that we all love to hate. Still, the Gecko skins function very much like a traditional skin with glue. The big difference is that the adhesive side is not sticky like glue. The included spec’s refer to the adhesive side as the “vacuum area.” It’s sort of akin to an easy peel window sticker. The skin has very little adhesion when put “glue-to-glue”, so to speak. But when you put the Gecko on your ski, it sticks just great (at least in the garage). The upside being that the skins are super easy to handle, the adhesion never wears out and you do not have to worry about them falling in the snow or getting dirty.
The skin surface appears to be mohair, which I happen to prefer over synthetics. The Gecko skins are lightweight, supple and easy to handle.
According to the regional distributor, the skins can get wet, are easily cleaned with luke warm water if they become dirty, and are easily cleaned if they fall in the snow. The spec’s describe the adhesion as “molecular fusion (suction)” and say that repeated application and removal of the skin does not affect the performance. The spec’s go on to say that the skins perform reliably in a wide range of snow conditions and withstand temperatures from + 250° C to – 70°C.
Of course, we have yet to test them in cold temps on snow, but from our dry run use, I am very intrigued. Here is a short video clip of the Gecko glueless climbing skins.