We sell 2 brands of climbing skin – Coll Tex and Black Diamond. From those brands we have chosen the skin that suits just about every ski tourer which is a Mohair/Nylon mix skin which you trim to fit your ski to get the best coverage as possible. Both our skin models (Coll Tex Camlock Flexi Mix and Black Diamond Glidelite Mix STS) are very similar in price and features. So, which one is best?
There is very little to choose between them, Coll Tex is the best selling brand in Europe and Black Diamond is the best selling brand in North America and I don’t think you would be disappointed in either. If you have a particular brand loyalty then go with that but what if you don’t? In an effort to choose between them and to test out the new re-glue strips (BD Glue Renew and Coll Tex Transfer Tape), I decided to replace the Coll Tex glue on one of my nearly brand new skins (used 4 times) and replace it with Black Diamond glue for a long term ‘Whose glue is best’ test.
When I have re-glued skins in the past it was a very messy business, both getting the glue off and putting liquid glue back on. Now that full re-glue sheets are sold as full width tape rather than liquid in a tube the job is so much better. I watched the Black Diamond Video about removing old glue with parcel paper (see skins pages) and the Coll Tex info about using a hot scraper and in the end found using a combo of the two worked best. Sticking on the paper and a good heating with the iron got 70% of the old glue on the paper, then straight on with a clean piece of paper, another iron, and then a pass with a wall paper scraper got the rest off very cleanly.
Using the glue on sheets is a joy. No more solvent based glue with fumes and the glue goes on with completely even thickness, which was nigh on impossible with the tube. In the BD video you will see the guy using a ball of old glue to pull the excess glue off the edges of the skin and this was definitely the best technique. I finally used a little bit of liquid glue to fill in around the tail and tip fittings and was very pleased with the result.
First Impressions – I have done 2 day tours with the new glue. The Black Diamond Glue is definitely more tacky than the Coll Tex glue. I use cheat sheets which I prefer to sticking the skins together as it’s not hard to peel the skins when it’s warm and is better for the life of the glue. Although the BD glue is more tacky to touch (maybe because it is slightly newer, will know after a few more uses) the Coll tex glue sticks really well to the ski and so far I have had no issues with either. It’s really too early to tell but I have quite a lot of touring planned for March so will keep you posted.