Changes to G3 Skin Savers
We’ve made a few changes to our skin savers... and for good reason.
Skin savers have historically served two purposes: 1) to protect your glue during long term storage, and 2) to make the task of pulling folded skins apart easier. Here we will explore a couple of the potential issues with using skin savers, when it makes sense to use them, and why you may want to ditch them altogether.
Many of the skin savers on the market today are made up of materials that can chemically react with the ingredients in your skin adhesive and cause degradation to what we call “oily glue” over time. This leaves users with gummy, sticky skins that will stick to everything and leave glue residue anywhere they touch… including your ski bases. G3’s updated skin savers are designed with materials that do not affect the chemical makeup of the adhesive and thus eliminate this issue going forward. The material is a bit stiffer than other options, but the tradeoff is worth it when you know you are not going to destroy your skins.
If climbing skin adhesive is exposed to the open air for extended periods of time, it often results in the adhesive drying out, becoming stiff, and losing its stick. When folded between the sticky sides of your climbing skins, skin savers that extend beyond the edges can allow for just enough room for air to flow between, resulting in hardened adhesive over time. G3’s current skin savers are now skinnier, no longer covering the entire width of the skin. Our testing found that if the edges of the folded skin seal together with a skin saver running up and down the center of the skin, it reduces the risk of air degrading the integrity of the adhesive while still making it easier to pull the skins apart. Plus, the new size is lighter and more packable. Win, win!
“Do I Even Need To Use Skin Savers?”
Overall, not using a skin saver can be less hassle, less gear, and fewer steps to deal with on a tour. Storing your skins adhesive to adhesive pretty much eliminates the risk of drying them out as it creates a seal to limit airflow. While you may have patches of glue transfer from one side to the other after skins are folded together for longer periods of time, the skins are still perfectly usable. Backcountry users are known to optimize for efficiency and doing more with less gear.
“When Does it Make Sense to Use Skin Savers?”
Beginners and smaller users may still find skin savers worth it. For these users skin savers can be key in allowing them to transition in the field and/or they would rather deal with slightly less sticky glue next season than deal with bald spots in their adhesive.
But if you’re looking to shed that extra item from your pack, try going without them. In this video, Lynsey Dyer shows how to separate climbing skins using your thighs.
Another trick is to hold your ski vertically, placing the bottom of the ski either on the ground or on your boot if the ground is too soft, attaching the tip of the skin to the tip of the ski, then using both arms and your bodyweight to pull the tail of the skin downward. You can see this technique shown in this video with Mel Bernier.
Whether or not you opt out of using skin savers, make sure you always store your fully dried skins in a cool, dry place.
Looking for more ways to be efficient in the backcountry? Here is an awesome read by Martina Halik, who tackled a massive Coast Mountain Epic traverse with her mother (here’s a rad film about it). From using the velcro straps of your ski poles to fill up water bottles, to cooking tips, you’ll learn valuable backcountry travel tips from this ambitious duo.
G3 University is filled with tips and tricks on how to be more efficient in the backcountry and how to accomplish more with less. Check out just a few of our favorites below.