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Old 09.02.2015, 11:02
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Ski Clothing - cheap vs expensive

Before skiing in Morzine this weekend I had a walk along the main street looking at the various equipment and clothing.
They have a napapijri shop and next door almost there's a shop selling "geographical norway" clothing. The look is similar to napapijri to the extent of being a complete rip off but i was a bit surprised that the quality of the cheap stuff didn't seem too bad. The workmanship and feel of the cheapo seemed ok - in my 5 minute look at it. I wouldn't wear most of either brand due to the big logos everywhere but I was tempted by some other cheap trousers which just a very small Norway flag on them.
The price difference was huge, classic napapijri skido jacket, 600eur or the knock off version 75eur. Trousers, 400eur vs 50eur

So any experience of the cheap brand? Is it just a complete knock off or is it a brand in it's own right?
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Old 09.02.2015, 11:05
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Re: Ski Clothing - cheap vs expensive

I had a mid-range jacket: lasted very well with good bad weather protection

I then went for a very cheap Tschibo jacket: lasted very well - but lacked extreme bad weather protection - mainly windproof

I now am using a mid-range jacket again and haven't found it lack in protection.

I do remember talking to a colleague many years ago - who put it quite bluntly: If you need to technical jacket buy one - just don't be swayed by a label. A top end ski jacket will cost 1300chf but not offer anywhere near the protection of one designed for arctic skiing.
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Old 09.02.2015, 11:08
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Re: Ski Clothing - cheap vs expensive

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Before skiing in Morzine this weekend I had a walk along the main street looking at the various equipment and clothing.
They have a napapijri shop and next door almost there's a shop selling "geographical norway" clothing. The look is similar to napapijri to the extent of being a complete rip off but i was a bit surprised that the quality of the cheap stuff didn't seem too bad. The workmanship and feel of the cheapo seemed ok - in my 5 minute look at it. I wouldn't wear most of either brand due to the big logos everywhere but I was tempted by some other cheap trousers which just a very small Norway flag on them.
The price difference was huge, classic napapijri skido jacket, 600eur or the knock off version 75eur. Trousers, 400eur vs 50eur

So any experience of the cheap brand? Is it just a complete knock off or is it a brand in it's own right?
Cheap stuff generally just doesn't stay waterproof for long. Perhaps hours or days before it loses that initial waterproofing and they they get wet, cold and heavy.

We've got decent ski clothing for the kids - Reima brand but they've also got Lidl (or similar) ski trousers for mucking around in as they're likely to be only wearing them for a couple of hours and they usually rip them anyway.
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Old 09.02.2015, 11:16
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Re: Ski Clothing - cheap vs expensive

This is it. I have already perfectly adequate gear.. But I find it's maybe a bit too protective and thinking to switch to lighter clothes. And many of the big brands are real expensive even for lighter stuff.

I don't really fall over, especially not into something wet.
I'm not likely to go up the mountain in a real blizzard.
I'm never cold, t-shirt and half zipped jacket at -10 for me.

People were pointing at me laughing as I went down an easy red with my jacket unzip and flapping around. On the chair lift I take off gloves and helmet and open jacket!

Might just give it a go, this cheaper stuff
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Old 09.02.2015, 12:38
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Re: Ski Clothing - cheap vs expensive

Just based on a economical point of view, you can buy 8 of the cheap ones!

In my case, I use Patagonia clothing. At least in the US, every time I had a problem with one of their pieces, I would go to the store, and have it exchanged. And I am talking about years after I bought them (without even a receipt). They have a lifetime guarantee.

Since right now I live in Norway, there is no Patagonia shop here. So last year, I went to NY with two jackets, and a backpack that had problems with their zippers, and got them exchanged.

It works for me. Specially since technical clothing is very expensive.
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Old 10.02.2015, 12:14
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Re: Ski Clothing - cheap vs expensive

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This is it. I have already perfectly adequate gear.. But I find it's maybe a bit too protective and thinking to switch to lighter clothes. And many of the big brands are real expensive even for lighter stuff.

I don't really fall over, especially not into something wet.
I'm not likely to go up the mountain in a real blizzard.
I'm never cold, t-shirt and half zipped jacket at -10 for me.

People were pointing at me laughing as I went down an easy red with my jacket unzip and flapping around. On the chair lift I take off gloves and helmet and open jacket!

Might just give it a go, this cheaper stuff
Give it a go. You'd be surprised how many knock off brands are produced in the same factory as the brand they're knocking off. If it looks quality, feels quality, offers some technical protection then I'd say give it a go. Once upon a time I was a snowmaker in Vail/ Beaver Creek. The most important piece of equipment was a proper under layer (no cotton) and a thick, durable outer layer. Unless the outer layer is PVC then you will have to retreat it to keep its waterproof ability.
This is a must no matter how much or little you spend on an item. It will lose it's protection over time. Wash, rinse, treat, repeat.

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Old 10.02.2015, 12:34
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Re: Ski Clothing - cheap vs expensive

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I had a mid-range jacket: lasted very well with good bad weather protection

I then went for a very cheap Tschibo jacket: lasted very well - but lacked extreme bad weather protection - mainly windproof

I now am using a mid-range jacket again and haven't found it lack in protection.

I do remember talking to a colleague many years ago - who put it quite bluntly: If you need to technical jacket buy one - just don't be swayed by a label. A top end ski jacket will cost 1300chf but not offer anywhere near the protection of one designed for arctic skiing.
I agree with DK that the mid-range is the sweetspot when it comes to ski gear. I would focus on getting something with Goretex Pro membrane (or similar) - both for water- and windproofness and to be breathable.
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Old 10.02.2015, 13:07
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Re: Ski Clothing - cheap vs expensive

Well, due to my size (short and chubby) finding ski trousers is not easy. If I do find my size, for trousers, they are usually 20cm too long in the leg. Which btw really really annoys me, because extra large sizes for blokes are very easy to come by- but not for women!! I've become very good at altering them- but my favourite pair was bought in C&A UK about 15 years ago- for £14 in the sale, and still going strong.
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Old 10.02.2015, 13:31
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Re: Ski Clothing - cheap vs expensive

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Well, due to my size (short and chubby) finding ski trousers is not easy. If I do find my size, for trousers, they are usually 20cm too long in the leg. Which btw really really annoys me, because extra large sizes for blokes are very easy to come by- but not for women!! I've become very good at altering them- but my favourite pair was bought in C&A UK about 15 years ago- for £14 in the sale, and still going strong.
Buy next time you are in UK or US. Many brands have "short" versions as well - they just rarely have them in the Swiss shops.
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Old 10.02.2015, 14:25
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Re: Ski Clothing - cheap vs expensive

I have bought a lot of cheap winter clothing over the years and I have not had any major issues with 1 exception. The zippers.

However I do agree with Tom1234.

I have had to use water repelling spray on the clothing to stop water from being absorbed into the material. And when the clothing gets old it does not repel water well even after using said sprays.

But the price of clothing at say Aldi is a fraction of prices at the big name brand shops. Very tempting.
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Old 10.02.2015, 14:27
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Re: Ski Clothing - cheap vs expensive

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I have bought a lot of cheap winter clothing over the years and I have not had any major issues with 1 exception. The zippers.

.
I forgot to mention the zippers but yes, they do tend to fail on cheaper clothing rendering the article of clothing useless.
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Old 10.02.2015, 14:34
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Re: Ski Clothing - cheap vs expensive

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Buy next time you are in UK or US. Many brands have "short" versions as well - they just rarely have them in the Swiss shops.
Always bought in the UK and never come across the short range for larger sizes for women. Been skiing in Colorado several times, and again, short range available for not XXL (Steamboat and Winterpark).

It takes time, care and effort to adapt large size to shorter- but have got it down to a T now- if anyone ever needs help.

Last edited by Odile; 10.02.2015 at 15:27.
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Old 10.02.2015, 14:50
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Re: Ski Clothing - cheap vs expensive

I'll report back soon!

First thing is to change trousers from the lined waterproof trousers to shoftshell type. Then i might do same with the jacket.
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Old 10.02.2015, 15:23
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Re: Ski Clothing - cheap vs expensive

When I was in my late teens/early twenties (too far back to remember exactly), back in the UK, my parents gave me, as a gift, a padded blouson type jacket - marketed as a 'ski jacket'.
It obviously wasn't a ski jacket, but at that time it was trendy to prefix items of clothing with 'ski' - girls/women also wore tight-fitting 'ski pants'.

However, it was warm, light and facilitated great free movement - much more than some of the more authentic jackets I have used here - and I have used it often, and after 30 odd years it's still holding up (it was packed away and forgotten about for many years in the interim).

Basic polyester shell, padding and a nylon lining, with no breathable membrane - all totally wrong, but I can't recall ever being cold or wet, when I used it.

I have now bought a 'modern' style ski jacket, so it will be retired.
Although, this new one is a cheap one from Aldi (INOC range) - 129 reduced by 50, to 79.

It's a recent purchase, so haven't had chance to try it yet, so can't say how it is (maybe tomorrow), but it seems to have the right component materials and fittings; is thin, but appears to be very warm.
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Old 10.02.2015, 18:17
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Re: Ski Clothing - cheap vs expensive

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I'll report back soon!

First thing is to change trousers from the lined waterproof trousers to shoftshell type. Then i might do same with the jacket.
From what you said, soft shell is indeed the way forward. You've probably been running v hot as you've been wearing cheap (waterproof) and not-breathable gear
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Old 10.02.2015, 18:20
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Re: Ski Clothing - cheap vs expensive

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From what you said, soft shell is indeed the way forward. You've probably been running v hot as you've been wearing cheap (waterproof) and not-breathable gear
Well not quite ..

Hot = Yes
Cheap = No

I just don't think i fall over enough these days or ski enough in wet weather to need specialist/expensive clothing.

Hence let's try the cheap stuff, probably softshell.
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Old 10.02.2015, 19:04
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Re: Ski Clothing - cheap vs expensive

If you will ski often, you cant compromise on quality, with the case of ski clothing, in my experience its best to buy the brands that have reputation, having said that paying the swiss prices is a different situation, enjoy the looking during shopping, then buy over the border.

With a family of 4 and returning often to the UK, its the way that I manage the costs, for my last ebay jacket, which is top notch, the postage cost more than the jacket and buying off season, obviously this only works for looking ahead and not the short notice situations.
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Old 12.02.2015, 13:09
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Re: Ski Clothing - cheap vs expensive

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Well not quite ..

Hot = Yes
Cheap = No

I just don't think i fall over enough these days or ski enough in wet weather to need specialist/expensive clothing.

Hence let's try the cheap stuff, probably softshell.
Waterproof is easy.......breathable and still some weather-proofing is harder.

If you run hot, don't just buy cheap as it won't breath as good, even if it is soft shell......
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