The Vault Regulars

Friday, March 15, 2013

Karrimor lightweight Gilet

 Looking in Sports Direct yesterday i came across this Karrimor Gilet. It was very light, down filled and cheap. £18.
 I had seen it prior to me going into town for a look round. I had actually thought about getting one just to supplement my TNF Zephyrus pully, for when the temp dropped down but not cold enough to use my PHD Minimus. I also didn’t have much of a budget to spend. Getting one, would give me a choice of cross over gear depending on conditions.
 So it was really disappointing to find that the zips are absolute rubbish. I know it’s only £18 but the RRP is £59.99. 
 I was hoping that this came from the Japanese stable of Karrimor, but obviously not. 

Out of 6 gilet’s on the rack none of the zips worked well. Some worked poorly, some of the hand warmer pocket zips didn’t work at all. Shame because the outer material was nicely down proof which was a bit of a surprise.
So not even worth £18 in my book. I will keep looking. 


John J said...

I bought one of the Peter Storm hooded gillets just before Christmas - £20 and the zip works. It's down-filled, and although it's cheap and cheerful, I'm more than pleased with fact I'm wearing it as I type this!

AlanR said...

Sounds good JJ. I didn’t want anything expensive or suitable for polar expeditions. Just a supplement and cheap. That sounds worth checking out. I like Peter Storm btw, very underrated.

-maria- said...

Too bad manufacturers compromise on details like zippers. On the other hand I can't but recommend a gilet - I found a Rab Generator Vest (synthetic fill) last year at a discount and it's a pleasure to wear during lunch breaks and in the camp. I only regret I didn't take it to Lapland with me last summer (I wonder what I was thinking - maybe I thought I wouldn't need in July...)!

AlanR said...

Hi Maria,
The Rab is a good vest. In fact there are many good vests. I don't wear them that much when walking but they are handy to put on when you stop, hence why i don't want to pay much for one when most of the time it will be in the rucksack. The Karrimor is ideal in everything except the zips.
Maybe the thing to do is buy one, remove the hand pocket zips as i am not bothered about them anyway and get the main zip changed to a better quality one. I know where i can get one changed quite cheaply. I am just thinking aloud here so i will sleep on the idea for now.

Jules said...

Interesting thoughts!

I suppose there are times in life when buying cheap makes sense and times when it doesn't - the key thing being to know when to choose which option!

On the whole, though, cheap goods are usually cheap for a reason, whereas good gear cheap is the holy grail.

AlanR said...

Hi Jules,
I'm looking at the cheaper end of the market simply because i don't think i will wear it enough to justify a "Decent" outlay. And at around 250gr the Karrimor fits the bill.
Ebay or OM classified could be another alternative but my searches so far today has not given me many options.

afootinthehills said...

Hi Alan

It may be cheap at £18 but with a RRP of £59.99 it's not really a cheap item, more like 'reduced' I'd say. Good grief you'd expect the zips to work at that price!

AlanR said...

Hi Gibson,
I'd like to think that was the case but with Sports Direct the RRP is meaningless drivel. IMO.
Its very rare that you find a quality item at an exceptionally cheap price. You get what you pay for here in most cases. But! you can occasionally find some items that have been made for the far east markets that find there way into UK stores and then you can get a good deal and good quality.

afootinthehills said...

I hadn't thought about your last point Alan.

Anonymous said...

Mike Ashley (Newcastle) owns sports direct and field and trek. He also owns karrimor.

AlanR said...

Waste of a good company. Karrimor that is not SD.

David said...

Agree with Maria on the Rab Generator Alan, an excellent if more expensive bit of kit. Its a shame some of the more well known brands such Karrimor among others are occasionally producing such poor quality stuff at the moment. I know we all hanker after both cheap and good quality, but lets face it how much more would it have cost to use a decent zip.

One important thing worth thinking about when it comes to down filled clothing - was it ethically sourced?

AlanR said...

Hi David, I agree the RG is excellent and if was was in the market to spend that kind of money it would probably be no.1. But i have a TNF Zephyrus and a PHD Minimus. These 2 cover the majority of times out on the hill and camp. However, when we have temps between 5 and 10 degrees C i need a bit more insulation than the Zephyrus but i don't want as much as the Minimus. So a cheapo down gilet with small pack size and weight would be ideal to add to the Zephyrus,hence the Karrimor. For £18 i might just get one and see if i can get the zips working properly with a bit of lube.
As for ethically sourced? It's probably made in China so who knows. I don't really want to get too deep into that scenario. I wouldn't know where to draw the line once started.

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