Every year, the nation seems to collectively lose its mind over the Aldi snow gear sale. Long queues, overflowing trolleys and chaotic scenes at the busiest outlets have ensued in the past, begging the question: is it really worth all the fuss?
With this year's sale hitting Aldi stores on Saturday 22 May, CHOICE staff give their verdict.
What's up for grabs?
No-one wants to hand over hundreds of dollars for ski gear your kids are only going to use for a week or so, then rapidly grow out of. So it's no wonder that parents online celebrate the Aldi ski range for offering items for the whole family at low prices.
As well as the adult ranges, you can pick up ski jackets, snow pants, thermals, fleeces, beanies, scarves and neck warmers for kids aged four years to 14. (There are limited styles available for kids aged two and three).
There are also ski goggles, helmets, socks, gloves and snow boots.
Lift off: Aldi's ski gear sale for 2021 is on Saturday 22 May.
Just how cheap is it?
Offering children's snow jackets for $39.99 and snow pants for $29.99, and adult jackets from $59.99, means the German retail giant seems to have cornered the budget ski-gear market.
This year, Aldi has also introduced a 'premium' range, with jackets at $119.99 and ski pants at $99.99.
But it's still worth shopping around. Some sportswear and adventure retailers, such as Anaconda and Decathlon, are wising up to the competition and offering their own clearance ski sales at the same time (before the ski season has even started), so you could well find some comparable bargains.
This year, Aldi has also introduced a 'premium' range, with jackets at $119.99 and ski pants at $99.99
And these retailers may offer added benefits over Aldi, such as more expert customer service, home delivery (if you buy online) and longer warranties (Aldi Special Buys have a refund/returns policy of just 60 days).
Aldi also only has limited stocks and styles available, so there's the risk that if you don't get in early (and brave those queues), the items you want will have sold out.
In the pink: Aldi's snow-gear sale usually includes jackets, pants, beanies and scarves.
What do CHOICE staff say?
"The range is absolutely fantastic – you can kit your kid out for the slopes for about $100. We've used our gear for more than four seasons and they've been great hand-me-downs for my boys.
"The only real bad point is that sometimes it's hard finding your kid on the mountain as there are lots of people in the same gear!" – Gene
We have had some of this gear for over 10 years and it's still going strong
"Our whole family are kitted out with the Aldi ski gear and we've found it really competitively priced, warm and well made – we've had no problems whatsoever.
"Their designs are not that beautiful so although we're not the most fashionable people on the ski fields they are functionally great. And we worked out the cost was equivalent to hiring clothing for one or two visits. We have had some of this gear for over 10 years and it's still going strong." – Peter
"We bought jackets and merino layers from Aldi for a winter trip to Germany and it was well-priced, especially the merino shirts and leggings. The quality was very good and it held up in the -10°C German snowfields." – Uta
It was hard to know if we were getting amazing value for money. It's quite possible we could have purchased similar/better quality items on sale at Kathmandu or similar
"In pre-Covid times, when we could actually go on holidays, we bought thermal underwear and ski socks for the kids from Aldi. We're very happy with the quality, and the Scandi-esque patterns and colours were pretty funky.
"But to be honest it was hard to know if we were getting amazing value for money. We just assume it's cheap, but it's quite possible we could have purchased similar/better quality items on sale at Kathmandu or similar." – Rachel
"I buy their snow socks just for wearing every day, as I have cold feet. I love them! So snuggly and warm and long, and they last really well too – multiple years, when other socks wear out in one year." – Melanie