Overall: Five Stars for a light and fast climbing skin with an attachment system for Trab skis that is secure and innovative yet simple and easy. Only drawback is the durability of 100% mohair for highly abrasive late-spring and summer snow (and assorted non-snow skinning surfaces).
Background on product familiarity: Over 61,000’ vertical during the 2014-15 season in a variety of winter and spring conditions on the Trab Magico. I generally use 100% mohair skins on my race skis versus mohair-nylon mix skins on my various touring setups, from a variety of brands (e.g., Atomic, Black Diamond, CAMP, Colltex, Dynafit).
First, the first impressions out of the box: Thin, light, supple, smooth! But more importantly, a big “ah hah!” upon understanding at long last how the metal and plastic hook flips over the ski tip. And the tail attachment is equally clever.
The skin glue is relatively light. And the skin store bag is a work of beautiful (if excessive) craftsmanship.
Second impressions, in use: Hard to describe how the tip attachment works … other than the overall assessment of “perfectly”! Easy to attach, super secure, easy to grasp, and easy to remove.
The tail attachment is not anywhere near as strong, but then again a tail attachment is just a backup anyway to prevent the skin tail from curling away. Yet if you jam the ski tails into the snow, the skin tail might start to slide a bit up the ski base (as the skin attachment clips into the tail split). I highly doubt though that this would ever result in a skin glue failure.
And speaking of skin glue failure, none to report, across temperatures ranging from arctic to room. Although given the light glue, I was careful with multiple laps in condition extremes.
Removal is easy from either the tip or tail. Trab says that if you intend to remove the skin at the tip, then you should first release the tail attachment “button” but it always came off just fine for me when I had removed from the tip without bothering first with the tail release … before I had bothered to read the little user guide, whoops.
That same guide has an interesting comparison chart that purports enhanced grip on the 100% mohair touring skins compared to the race skins (although reduced glide). Hard to tell whether the solid grip I experienced compared to my race setups was attributable to a different mohair type or instead the full width and length. But either way, the grip seemed about as good as typical momix on my other touring setups. Trab furthermore claims better grip for its 100% mohair touring skins than its own momix skins (available only in Europe during the 2014-15 season), although I’m skeptical.
Third impressions, for long-term durability: That same little guide acknowledges decreased durability compared to momix, so not the best choice for plush durability or laminate resistance to tears/punctures if you anticipate extensive skinning on highly abrasive “snow” in late spring and summer along with travel over various non-snow surfaces. Otherwise, the elegant design of the tip and tail attachments probably enhances their durability.
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