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.