G3—scala-lt-skins-review-dirtbagdreams.com

ProView – G3 Scala LT Climbing Skins

The G3 Scala LT climbing skin is durable and compacts well. It is well thought out and the design makes many improvements on the standard nylon climbing skin that most of us have used over the years.

G3—scala-lt-skins-review-dirtbagdreams.com

G3 Scala LT Climbing Skins

Product Description: The SCALA family of climbing skins feature G3's innovative Hybrid Tip Connector for improved glide and efficiency on the skin track. They are engineered to increase glide, keep snow from creeping under the skin, and break trail like a beauty—all while focusing your grip where you need it.

Price: $180 MSRP

  • Glide
    (4)
  • Traction
    (4)
  • Durability
    (5)
  • Construction
    (5)

Summary

G3’s Scala LT is a big improvement to the nylon skin market. The tip and tail construction is excellent. They cut weight and decrease unnecessary drag. The break-in period can be a bit tough with decreased glide, but after a day or two, they provide great glide with plenty of traction. The plastic tip makes for good trail breaking and allows the tip to plane above the snow as you go forward. The Scala LT is great for its durability and design.

Overall
4.5

Pros

  • Lightweight
  • Packable

  • Sturdy

  • Good tip and tail attachment systems

  • Great glide for a nylon skin

  • Well-engineered

Cons

  • Does not glide as well as a mohair mix skin

  • Break in period can be tough, poor glide at first

  • Doesn’t pack as well as a mohair mix skin

Performance

My first day skiing the Idaho backcountry using the Scala LT had me skeptical. For the past few years, I have only used Mohair mix skins because I like their glide. The first few steps using the Scala LT were tough, to say the least. The glide was not there. After about a half mile I felt the glide start to increase, and, by my second day using them, I was quite happy with their glide. Now they glide better than other nylon skins I’ve used before. The long plastic tip and lack of excess skin on the tail increase glide and decrease weight without sacrificing performance. I usually trim my skins to be very skinny in the tail and tip, since you can’t get much traction in those areas anyway, and G3 did it for me this time. The long plastic tip also leaves a lot of ski base exposed, which, in combination with the trimmed tip, makes for better trail breaking so the ski can lift and glide in the tip region as you break through deep snow. The Scala LTs only weigh 293 grams per skin (for medium sized skins) and pack down much smaller than nylon skins I’ve used in the past.

G3—scala-lt-skins-review-dirtbagdreams.com

 

G3—scala-lt-skins-review-dirtbagdreams.com

Construction

The Scala LT is made from the Alpinist Plush material, which claims to be durable, not absorb moisture, and glides easily. I have found all these things to be true. I’ve had no issues with durability, but only time will tell. I only experienced snow globbing one day when it got very hot and sunny after many days of cold. The tip attachment is way better than your standard loop attachment. The two clips fit snuggly on any ski, even those with wide tips. They don’t slip around like the usual loop system does. The tail clip has not popped off on me once. That is not something I can say about any other pair of skins I’ve owned.

G3—scala-lt-skins-review-dirtbagdreams.com

G3—scala-lt-skins-review-dirtbagdreams.com

Conclusion

G3’s Scala LT is a big improvement to the nylon skin market. The tip and tail construction is excellent. They cut weight and decrease unnecessary drag. The break-in period can be a bit tough with decreased glide, but after a day or two, they provide great glide with plenty of traction. The plastic tip makes for good trail breaking and allows the tip to plane above the snow as you go forward. The Scala LT is great for its durability and design.

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Niels Meyer is a ski guide for Sun Valley Guides in Ketchum, Idaho. He has been guiding and exploring the Sun Valley backcountry since 2013. When not chasing powder personally and professionally, Niels can be found fighting fire, playing with his dog Baxter, and reveling in the beauty of south-central Idaho.

One comment

  1. Jan Noirot

    Thank you for your review! I just bought some G3 Alipinist+ Universal and they did not glide well either on the first day, I am hoping that they will loosen up like yours did. I do love those tip and tail attachments! They nailed it there I think! The glue was wonderful on the 30 degree day that I was out – not too sticky and not to loose.

    Reply

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