I’d heard about these glue less climbing skins a while back. Having never seen them in person I can’t give a full judgement however looks like very little (if any) edge is showing, could make for poor edge bite during a traverse in hard or icy conditions in addition to premature wear of the skin itself in the same scenario. Check out this write up care of Skiing The Backcountry. Looks like they have yet to use them either but some info and photos anyway. Here’s the official website: www.clipskins.com. Who knows, could be the next best thing!
In my opinion with experience using normal skins they are pretty fool proof. Keep the glue clean of dog hair, pine needles, and dirt and they will last you quite some time even with heavy use. While you are out skiing keep the glue free of snow and if you happen to get snow on the glue, wipe it off with your gloved hand. And if it’s cold out stuff your skins in your jacket on the ride down to warm the glue up a bit to improve the stick. This will keep the glue sticking throughout the day. ALWAYS store your skins by folding them glue to glue (unless you’re drying them out overnight). I use the stuff sack for long term storage or storage at home and then for my lunch while out skiing.
Storage, I prefer while skiing to not use the “cheat sheets” or the mesh separators that come with most skins. They were initially made by Black Diamond to make the separation of a folded (glue to glue) skin easier. BD’s glue has a reputation for being ultra sticky! I see them as one more thing to mess with or blow away in the wind while out skiing. They also could be another mechanism that could cause the glue to become dirty by transferring all those goodies mentioned above (dog hair, dirt, etc.) to the glue. However over summer or long periods of time in storage I’ll stick them between the skins. One note of caution, the Dynafit cheat sheets seem to be of lower quality plastic and have torn upon removal so I’d advise against using these at all.
Make sure to store your skins away from heat. Do not dry them by the wood stove or store them in the attic of the garage over summer. This could very easily cause your glue to soften and glop up. I know people who store their skins all year round in their freezer!!!!! After a day of skiing be sure to hang your skins in a cool area to be sure that any moisture or snow that has soaked either the plush or the glue dries out. Wet glue will not stick and wet plush could end up icing and clumping up with snow, no fun!
Speaking of clumping and icing. One key piece of equipment EVERY backcountry skier should have in their pack is a chunk of skin wax. Rubbing the plush side of the skins with this wax prevents water from soaking into the plush and causing icing allowing the skins to glide smoothly. This stuff is cheap, about $12 I think, and will save your day. If you’re a gram counter and are trying to save weight, cut that chunk of wax in half and throw it in a ziploc. One other Black Diamond product out there for skins is Free Glide. Free Glide is a sponge on water repellent that does the same thing as skin wax but penetrates the plush a bit more. Rub this stuff on dry plush and let it soak in and dry out before you ski. Seems to be the wax is a quick fix in the field or parking lot and the Free Glide is a more durable option you do a head of time.
Now go get some of those freshies!!!