Best Overall Splitboard Climbing Skins for Backcountry Snowboarding
Voile Skins with Tail Clip
When first unwrapping the Voile Skins with Tail Clip
skins, we were a bit shocked at how burly they were. These skins are noticeably stiffer than the others in our review, especially when new. They became more supple with use and ultimately won our Editors' Choice Award. Although the tail clip is new, these skins are similar to earlier versions that have demonstrated impressive durability both of glue and of fur. The tail clip is light, easy to operate, and secures confidently. They grip very well on the ascent, though like many grippy skins, they sacrifice glide (and they are fairly heavy and bulky). Out of the package, they only require trimming to the width of your splitboard. These skins make a solid choice for anyone, but especially for folks just getting into splitboarding who will likely appreciate the strong grip and stout construction.
The Jones Universal
was a strong contender and perhaps the best choice for experienced splitboarders who have developed confidence in their skinning skills. We tested the Universal Clip version but the Quick Tensions Tail Clip version would likely be the choice for folks with Jones splitboards that have the tail notch designed for these skins. The Jones Universal nylon/mohair mix performance extremely well and was an excellent compromise between grip and glide. The Jones Universal skins were the only ones in our review that required the user to attach the tail clip. This process involves rivets, a nail, and the final product might look a bit amateur depending on your level of crafting skill.
Best for Specific Applications
While we liked many things about the G3 Alpinist and Alpinist High Traction skins, we experienced significant glue failures that caused us to lower their scores in the glue category and thus remove them from consideration for awards. Nonetheless, G3 deserves recognition for innovation in both the tip and tail clips on their skins. It is encouraging to see a manufacturer trying new solutions to improve how skins work and it is our hope that G3 can successfully address the durability of their glue and continue to move forward in the innovation of splitboard skin design.