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review

Aldi Performance Cycling Jacket

6
£29.99

VERDICT:

6
10
Surprisingly competent staple for training and general winter riding
Weight: 
590g
Contact: 

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The Aldi Men's Performance Cycling jacket is described as an 'Italian engineered breathable jacket with 3D technology'. For 30 quid, there's nothing really to complain about, and its overall performance gives other store branded models a seriously good run for their money.

Essentially, this is a heavyweight training jersey-cum-jacket, designed to fold into its own pocket for compact storage. There are four pockets: the classic terrace of three with a zippered one built into the middle.

> Buy this online here

I would have preferred a front Nelson for convenient access to phones/other tech, but all are well designed and really deep. No danger of mini pump, banana or trade bottle ejection come the first hint of a poorly surfaced road or forest trail.

Aldi Performance Winter Jacket - pockets.jpg

No prizes for guessing its polyester throughout. A PerEffect yarn is partnered to a 'wind guard' membrane. Then there are thin pile fleece panels for warmth and moisture trafficking. Perfectly pleasant against the skin, a short sleeve baselayer is all I've needed beneath when the mercury's bobbing between 12 and 5 degrees. Whatever the science, the end result is harmonious.

Aldi Performance Winter Jacket - riding.jpg

Silicone grippers keep the back from gathering, and knitted cuffs prevent cold and wet from being blown inside and have formed a brilliant seal with my collection of full-finger gloves. Fit and sizing is similarly impressive: the large is just the right length and snug yet roomy enough for a mid layer jersey when it turns bitter without feeling restrictive around the shoulders.

Aldi Performance Winter Jacket - shoulder.jpg

On cold mornings it retains warmth, and though the fibres do an excellent job of blocking strong, icy winds, they still allow some light, cooling airflow inside, which prevents overheating when sunlight breaks through.

Feeling more breathable than the otherwise likeable BTwin 300 Warm, it does turn clammy after 20 minutes or so at 20-25mph, but even on milder rides the fibres are reasonably responsive. A faint, misty dampness tended to linger around the armpits and lower back but no worse than most budget to mid range garments.

An embossed 'glow in the dark' print features at selected points. This is designed to charge up in natural light and come alive at night and seemed a good complement to the subtle DayGlo piping along the main zipper and above the rear pockets.

Aldi Performance Winter Jacket - back.jpg

Although it's not fully waterproof, I'm pleased to report that it is water repellent and has resisted persistent showers and heavy drizzle for an hour or so. I've never returned wet following a 30-mile training loop, but would definitely pack a micro jacket on longer/club type outings.

> Check out our guide to the best waterproof cycling jackets

For most of us, this trade-off is infinitely preferable to a waterproof garment that might fend off the stormiest skies but leaves you feeling fetid and uncomfortable. Ultimately, you gets what you pays for, and there are some compromises – but fewer than I would expect from this end of the market.

Verdict

Surprisingly competent staple for training and general winter riding

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road.cc test report

Make and model: Aldi Performance Cycling Jacket

Size tested: Large

Tell us what the jacket is for, and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about it?

Aldi says: "An Italian-engineered breathable jacket with 3D technology, PerEffect yarn and 3-layer WindGuard membrane for extra wind and rain protection. The glow in the dark print charges under direct light, before lighting up in the dark for increased visibility".

By my reckoning it's a surprisingly capable budget jacket cum jersey for winter training and general riding.

Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the jacket?

* Storm guard for superior wind and rain protection

* Thermal fleece panels for moisture transfer and warmth

* 3 open back pockets and 1 YKK zipped pocket

* PerEffect insert for quick drying and moisture transport

* Glow in the dark print

* Jacket packs into its pocket for storage

Rate the jacket for quality of construction:
 
7/10

Well made, especially by budget standards.

Rate the jacket for performance:
 
6/10
Rate the jacket for durability:
 
7/10

Rugged, washes well and stood up to forest/trail and bridlepath fun too.

Rate the jacket for waterproofing, based on the manufacturer's rating:
 
6/10

Not waterproof in the literal sense but certainly water-repellent to a reasonable standard, though I'd carry a micro jacket on day rides.

Rate the jacket for breathability, based on the manufacturer's rating:
 
6/10

Reasonable and certainly competitive with others in the £25-£40 bracket.

Rate the jacket for fit:
 
9/10

Perfect for my 1.81m frame. Long enough in the back, arms and neck area. Snug around the shoulders but not remotely restrictive.

Rate the jacket for sizing:
 
9/10

Near perfect for me.

Rate the jacket for weight:
 
6/10
Rate the jacket for comfort:
 
6/10
Rate the jacket for value:
 
8/10

How easy is the jacket to care for? How did it respond to being washed?

Rugged polyester weave, can be thrown in with the domestic wash load. It does take a couple of hours at room temperature to dry thoroughly when truly soaked.

Tell us how the jacket performed overall when used for its designed purpose

Overall, the Aldi Performance Cycling Jacket has been a really pleasant surprise. A little less polished than some popular brands perhaps but the cut, fit and detailing are certainly on par with, if not superior to, several benchmarks. Though not fully waterproof, it has resisted persistent rain surprisingly well and since the membrane isn't impermeable, it also wicks dry given a decent breeze.

Tell us what you particularly liked about the jacket

Good fit, versatile and with better detailing than the price might suggest.

Tell us what you particularly disliked about the jacket

Nothing really stood out, although a Nelson pocket would've been nice for easy access to tech.

Did you enjoy using the jacket? Yes

Would you consider buying the jacket? Possibly

Would you recommend the jacket to a friend? Well worth a look if they were on a tight budget.

Use this box to explain your score

Decent jersey-cum-jacket for general late autumn and winter riding, so long as you were prepared to accept the limitations of budget polyesters.

Overall rating: 6/10

About the tester

Age: 42  Height: 1m 81cm  Weight: 70kg

I usually ride: Rough stuff tourer based around 4130 Univega mountain bike frameset  My best bike is: 1955 Holdsworth Road Path and several others including cross & traditional road

I've been riding for: Over 20 years  I ride: Most days  I would class myself as: Experienced

I regularly do the following types of riding: cyclo-cross, commuting, touring, fixed/singlespeed, mountain biking

Shaun Audane is a freelance writer/product tester with over twenty-eight years riding experience, the last twelve (120,000 miles) spent putting bikes and kit through their paces for a variety of publications. Previous generations of his family worked at manufacturing's sharp end, thus Shaun can weld, has a sound understanding of frame building practice and a preference for steel or titanium framesets.
Citing Richard Ballantine and an Au pair as his earliest cycling influences, he is presently writing a cycling book with particular focus upon women, families and disabled audiences (Having been a registered care manager and coached children at Herne Hill Velodrome in earlier careers)

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