It’s not about the label, it’s about the quality.
The onset of winter brings colder, rougher weather and, for every wildwoman, the first thought is toward warmth and comfort while working outdoors.
I trawled around my usual outdoor-wear suppliers, looking for something new, innovative, hi-spech and cost-effective. But I’d seen this, done that, and the other was way out of my budget.
It was while I was on a shopping trip to Aldi, that I found myself browsing over their current seasonal Specialbuys offers.
Now, I like Aldi (though other continental-style stores are available!) because we spend a lot of adventure/activity holidays in France & Italy. While abroad, we like to take advantage of the spacious layout of the stores, and the diverse range of products available at very competitive prices.
The current UK Specialbuys range is geared towards ski-wear. You may have noticed the rave reviews in the national press. I must say that I was slightly wary of spending any money on an untried and untested product, especially one that was expected to keep me warm and well in the wild outdoors.
However, I was recently contacted directly by Aldi and asked if I would like to comment on certain items of their ski-wear. I replied, and I was subsequently sent a 2-piece thermal undergarment set for my daughter to try out.
I was immediately drawn to the colour, which was a lovely soft pink. This is very appealing to our femininity, as most female’s outdoor gear is usually on the dark side, with just a “slash” of pink or “streak” of yellow. This attention to softer colouring really is a good choice for us girls.
We tried a size 9 – 10 years-old, and it was great for my daughter. The top fitted really nicely, which I think is great. Ideally, the under garment should be quite snug, as you can then put top layers on without getting that baggy, bloated feeling. The way thermals work is that they need to offer many thin layers, close to the skin.
The stitching is very robust, but not scratchy. The material is supersoft, almost like a second skin.
The trousers were the best of fits. They were very slightly longer than usual, which is a massive “plus” for mums whose children tend to grow almost overnight, but it also means that the trousers can be tucked into socks to improve warmth, without producing a tight, constricted feeling around the ankles.
We tested out the thermals twice; once on a cold evening walk and then on an evening of skating at a local outdoor ice rink. The t-shirt fitted well beneath my daughter’s jumper, while still allowing freedom of movement. While wearing the thermal set, our daughter didn’t feel overloaded with too many layers. She was able to move around very comfortably, especially on the ice, and was even able to take off her coat. She was warm enough, having the added benefit of the thermals. To sum it up, she even came home with rosy cheeks.
My biggest problem with buying outdoor kit is mainly the expense. You really should buy kit that’s going to work and going to last, or you’ll end up buying twice. But this often means paying over the odds for a”named” brand.
It can be doubly difficult to buy outdoor kit for children. It sometimes feels that my young-un grows overnight, so to have outdoor clothing that is really well-made and affordable is a great benefit to me. In my opinion, I think that the Aldi range is a fantastic, cost-effective and highly functional addition to the outdoor clothes market.
I feel that this range and choice of clothes cost-effective and fit for purpose. It also helps to make a whole range of outdoor experiences open for everyone to enjoy, as cost of proper kit is less prohibitive.
So, while this post is an impartial and unbiased review of the product based upon my own experience, it’s also a testimony to the fact that really good quality, functional products needn’t cost the earth. If you’re thinking of pursuing any outdoor adventures during the coming cold spell, I really hope that this post will help to make it happen.