Budget bicycling: Aldi ultra light cycling jacket review

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Aldi's Ultra Light jacket (teak coffee table for scale)
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The jacket dans le stuff-sac (tin of soup, also for scale)

Discount supermarket Aldi has for a few years been selling a range of no nonsense highly useful cycling gear and this year is no exception. Hitting the stores at the beginning of may was a great range of gear at real rockbottom prices. Like a decent track pump for 4.99GBP, a multifunction cycle computer for the same price and, the item that found its way into my shopping basket, an excellent hi viz ultra light jacket for a paltry 9.99.

The jacket is gossamer thin windproof, water resistant and breatheable, rendered in hi viz yellow with reflective logos, weighs virtually nothing (3 ounces) and packs down into its own integral stuff sack which is smaller than a can of soup.

The fit of the jacket is slim to prevent flapping and just the right length to avoid bunching up at the front. The ultralight fabric is excellent for keeping wind and showers at bay but thin enough to keep you cool, even on mild but rainy days. In short a better bet than a thicker, heavier full waterproof, which always tend to give you that boil in the bag feeling after a few miles.

The high viz colour, while never winning you any fashion points, does a great job of getting you noticed, especially in poor visibility conditions and the tiny pack size means there’s no reason not to leave it in your commuting bag permanently, always on hand for a chilly evening ride or a freak downpour.

However the best part of all is the price. At a lowly 10 quid, you could buy one for the whole family for the same price as its established rival, the Montane ultra light jacket at around 40 pounds. Of course the montane is better, but four times better? Of course if you’re hell bent on getting rid of your disposable income you could go for Rapha’s Stowaway jacket for £160…

As regular readers will know, I’m not one for cycling specific stuff generally but a featherweight wind/water resisting layer that doesn’t boil you on hot wet days and doesn’t break the bank is well worth bending the rules for.

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4 thoughts on “Budget bicycling: Aldi ultra light cycling jacket review

  1. I’ve got an Aldi version of the Altura Nevis jacket. Well made, but a very strange fit. Loads of room at the front but a very narrow back. Maybe i’m just an odd shape.

    1. theeverydaycyclist

      Funny you should say this – I tried one of Aldi’s softshell jackets today which has roomy in the body but narrow across the shoulders and very tight on the arms. I’m a quite broad of shoulder but don’t have particularly chunky arms. A shame, as it’s nicely made, feature packed and a huge bargain at £14.99!! Fit is a very subjective thing but if it works for you, then the Aldi stuff is an absolute steal.

      The ultra light jacket reviewed above fits a lot better, however, though I could probably do with an XL rather than the Large that I bought (last Large in the shop and the biggest they had!).

      I’ve also got an Altura Nevis which is a superb piece of kit – around seven years old and showing absolutely no signs of wear and tear. Great fit too.

      1. I’m too tight to pay for a Nevis. I make do with short, Lowe Alpine hiking shell in a (whisper it) woman’s fit. It’s on permanent loan from my wife. It has infuriating strips of velcro on the pocket flaps which tenaciously grip my gloves when I dip in for my key/phone/wallet.

  2. Karl Tomlinson

    The problem withe the Mondane is that although it packs down smaller than your Aldi jacket, the stuff sack it comes in is spherical, which wastes space in a saddlebag and is uncomfortable in a jersey. I’ve got a Nevis too, 5 years old, still going strong except for a couple of scuffs where I’ve come a cropper on tram lines.

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