Skeats skin cleats mini-crampon snow test

Skeats skin cleats are strap on mini-crampons that make skinning easier in many situations. Especially typical Ausssie melt-freeze conditions.

Super Tester Steve Leeder has been on them for a while, and always has them in his pack. Owain Price also gave them a run last season in Argentina too, and was equally impressed. They are a very handy addition for your back and side country tools arsenal whether on skis or a split-board.

A range of different widths and pin styles – from polymer to stainless steel spikes to triangular teeth – is available, there’s one to suit your needs.

Stainless steel Skeats clipped on © Steve Leeder

Unfortunately ice is something that we have to deal with in Australia, it even happens in Canada so we all need something to help us deal with it while traveling in the backcountry.

Now every touring binding has a matching crampon, but here’s the thing, they are heavy and awkward to stow in your pack. Not to mention if you change skis that means a new crampon to buy as well. They are not cheap.

A while back I was shown a little strap with some metal spikes attached to it and my skinning life was changed forever.

Enter the SKEATS skin cleat, made with a Voile strap and a machined bit of metal or polymer. It’s a lightweight and much cheaper solution to a lot of your skinning problems.

Skeats come in 4 sizes, (60mm-105MM) and will work on splits, or any kind of ski with any kind of binding. 

I love to go straight up stuff, I don’t want to do a million switchbacks up a slope and the extra grip makes that much easier. After the all to often melt-freeze in Australia every morning is ice, and a skin just wont cut it – the snow that is – quite literally.

Even in great snow, after a few laps up the same skin track it can get really slick. Having the extra bite from my Skeats really took care of that problem.

Skinning in Patagonia using Skeats Skin Cleats for better traction
Skinning is easier with Skeats cleats on © Owain Price

How many spring days have your skins soaked up so much water they wont even stick to the bottom of your skis?

Well last spring I was skiing out of Leather Barrel and my old skins had soaked up so much water that the stick was not existent. But as soon as I strapped the Skeats on I was back skinning up the hill as per normal, skin still in place.

These days I never go into the backcountry with out them in my pack.

Skeats make getting to the fun part faster and safer © Owain Price

The Skeats Skin Cleats range goes from the polymer spike model at $AUD 64.99 to the top of the line stainless steel wedge model at $95 in 60mm to 105mm widths. Skeats Skin Cleats actually fit wider skis than the sizing no problem, the width is the width of the spiky base part; I used mine on my Rossi Squad 7s no problems in Patagonia, which are 122mm underfoot.

Before you head out next time why not stop into Wilderness Sports and grab a set and be much more prepared. Or get them online if you can’t drop in the store Wilderness Sports at Nuggets Crossing.

For a few places our testers have been using their Skeats cleats check our features on Wheatley or The Paralyzer in Australia, or the Patagonian backcountry in Argentina.

Skeats skin cleats Stainless steel wedge