Yep – it’s that time again. Time to get out your elbows and fight tooth and nail to grab a bargain at this years’ Aldi snow sale. Aldi offer a range of jackets, pants, mid and thermal layers, helmets, gloves and goggles.
SRA takes a closer look at their adult range of jackets and pants.
Let us start with the price. This year Aldi have again partnered with Crane and Inoc to offer jackets and pants starting at $AUD59.99 and $AUD49.99 respectively for the low-end garments, and $AUD119.99 and $AUD99.99 respectively, for the high-end garments. That’s undeniably cheap but what about quality?
First of all, how do you tell a quality garment from a cheap and nasty garment? Without getting too technical it just depends on what you want to do. Quality garments prevent water from getting in, while allowing water vapor (i.e. sweat) to escape, with the quality garments doing it better than inferior garments.
If you ride a few hours a day and rarely break a sweat, then water proofing of 10,000 mm and breathability 10,000 g/m2/24hr is probably going to be fine. If however, you ride irrespective of the weather, ride hard or like to earn your turns (i.e. hike), then garments of 20,000 mm and 15,000+ g/m2/24hr are more for you.
Aldi offer two lines of product. Their low end Crane range is water resistant to 12,000 mm, breathable to 10,000 g/m2/24hr and comes with built-in thermal wadding. In terms of warmth, water resistance and breathability, the low-end range is probably OK in average Australian conditions (to minus 5 degrees C) but not in persistent rain, or for folks who like to hike the back country.
Aldi’s high-end Inoc range offers a surprisingly high level of water resistance and breathability at 20,000 mm and 20,000 g/m2/24hr respectively; numbers which are equivalent to the top brands. And at less than $AUD120 they are a steal when you can easily pay between $AUD400 to $AUD1,000 for the same level of water resistance and breathability in name brands. Be warned however, that the high-end range appears to be sold as a shell only, as it is not clear in the brochure whether it comes with a removable inner layer; so you may need to purchase your mid layers separately. Note, these are also available at Aldi for bargain basement prices.
This is unfortunately difficult to measure based on the specs alone. Do the zips last? Does it split at the seams? Do you get cold? All fair questions. Anecdotally the gear stacks up. Plenty of people close to us have purchased and used Aldi’s gear in Australia and even Japan, without complaints.
As for style, we at SRA are not qualified to comment on what’s hot or not on the slopes this year – and frankly we don’t care that much. We’ll leave that decision to you. Would you be caught dead in Aldi gear? Given its undeniable value, water proofing and breathability, our answer is probably yes. Aldi’s snow gear sales starts on the 20 May 2017.
For more information on the technical aspects of skiing and snowboarding garments visit Rhythm’s ‘Fabric Explained‘ page.