Voile Climbing Skins – Balanced Grip and Glide

Voile Climbing Skins Reviewed

climbing skinsVoile Equipment is well known for their backcountry skis, splitboards and bindings, but they also offer a variety of time-tested backcountry accessories including climbing skins. Given the width of today’s skis, a climbing skin’s weight and glide are more important than ever for efficient climbing. Every step with climbing skins on your skis is effected by skin glide. The Voile climbing skins offer a very balanced grip and glide.

climbing skins

Voile climbing skins with factory tip/tail

No-Nonsense Climbing Skins

In typical Voile style, their skins are no-nonsense and efficient. The out-of-box feel is a little stiff, but the weight and thickness of the skin is similar to other full nylon climbing skins. I suspect they will become more flexible and supple with use and time.

Generally speaking, climbing skin glide improves with age. But when tested head to head against a Dynafit and a G3 Alpinist LT (both with numerous days on snow), the Voile performed nearly as well in glide and a little better in the grip department.

The skins include what is commonly called a “wimp strip” – the inch-wide strip of fabric down the the center of the glue – to help ease the pain of pulling them apart. The glue has been working great, but I have not run them long enough to speak to long-term glue durability. They do not include the storage sheets that many skins include for long-term storage.

Factory-Installed Tip and Tail Clips

I tested the Voile skins with factory installed tip and tail clips. You pick a skin width – 110mm or 130mm – and choose the length range that fits your skis. The tip attachment is a simple wire bail that’s compatible with a variety of skin tips, including a Dynafit ski with its specialized tip to designed to accept Dynafit skins.

climbing skins

The tail clip was problematic on straight tails

climbing skins

Tail clip on a Voile V8

The tail clip is reminiscent of the tail clip that comes with the G3 Alpinist LT skins. It is designed to work with rounded, twin-tip tails (like those found on Voile skis), but is not universally compatible. The clip design is problematic for straight tails. It fits a wide and straight cut ski tail, but does not work with a narrower straight-cut tail very well.

The Bottom Line

Voile climbing skins offer a nice blend of efficient glide and effective grip that should suit the needs of almost any backcountry skier. I hear the occasional complaint about the poor grip of high efficiency glide skins like a mohair set-up and understand the desire for grip that you don’t have to think about. Voile skins strike a great balance for all-purpose backcountry skiing, just keep in mind that the tail clip works best with a rounded, twin-tip style tails.

Buy Voile skins directly from Voile Equipment in Salt Lake City, UT

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read our other climbing skin reviews and tips