Last fall, I bought a puffer jacket at Aldi for $24.99. I reviewed it here, noting its generous pockets and nice styling. As I wore it throughout the winter, it became my favorite piece of outerwear, even more than an expensive coat from Land’s End I purchased around the same time.
While many people use the terms “jacket” and “coat” interchangeably, some people consider them to be two different types of outerwear. According to Land’s End, the primary difference is length, with jackets being shorter while coats are longer. Jackets also, but not always, may not be as warm as coats.
The Aldi jacket is hip length, in keeping with that definition, but, unlike some jackets, it is surprisingly warm. In fact, it has kept me warmer than I expected even on days when the temperature has dipped into the teens and 20s. Considering that Aldi sold the coat in late November, on the cusp of winter weather, it makes sense that it can withstand some pretty cold temperatures.
I initially wasn’t sure how well the Aldi jacket would serve me on the coldest days where I live in the Midwest, though, where the average winter temperatures range between around 25-40 degrees with occasional plunges into the teens or single digits. So, shortly after buying the Aldi jacket, I decided to order the above-mentioned coat from Land’s End when it was on sale during Black Friday weekend. It’s a very different piece of apparel, being mid-thigh length with down filling, versus Aldi’s jacket that is hip length and has polyester filling. My point was not to have two identical coats but rather to have outerwear options that would suit my needs no matter the weather.
I have gotten to know both pieces well through the winter months, and while they are different and serve different purposes, the cheaper Aldi jacket has ended up being my favorite of the two for some practical reasons such as fit and pockets, and even warmth.
Here’s a closer look at each of the garments.
The Aldi Adventuridge Ladies Puffer Jacket
Cost: $24.99, in stores November of 2019
- This coat has spacious exterior and interior pockets, all big enough to hold a cell phone. The exterior pockets zip shut, while the interior ones do not close in any way but are still highly useful. I stash a pair of light gloves in them so I’ve always got them if I want them, while still leaving plenty of room in the zippered exterior pockets for my keys and phone.
- It has a roomy fit in the shoulder area, especially in the front at the top of my arms. It does not dig in or get too tight when I raise my arms or reach forward. It also does not feel overly tight in the shoulder area if I’m wearing a thicker sweater underneath the coat, thus leaving plenty of room for layering.
- The hood fits well when I pull it over my head and doesn’t obstruct my vision.
- It’s surprisingly warm for its thin profile. When paired with a good pair of gloves, it wasn’t too bad to wear while running errands during a recent cold snap when the temperature was in the teens (including a few minutes outside pumping gasoline). I’ve also worn it while walking the kids to school when the temperature is in the 20s, and it has kept my core plenty warm. My legs, which this shorter jacket does not cover, are another story. If I planned to spend extended time outdoors in bitterly cold temperatures, I might opt for a different jacket, or layer up with some long underwear.
- The sleeves are slightly short when I move my arms up or out, but that’s a common problem I have with coats, probably because I’m slightly taller than average at 5’6″.
- The hood does not have strings to cinch it tight, so on windy days I sometimes have to hold it on my head so the breeze doesn’t catch it and blow it off my head, or I wear a separate hat all together.
- The hood is not removable. This is not a big deal to me, but if you’re the kind of person who likes having the option to unsnap or unzip the hood from your outerwear to reduce bulk, you can’t do that with this jacket.
The Land’s End Women’s Winter Long Down Coat With Faux Fur Hood
Cost: $99 during a half-off Black Friday weekend sale in November 2019
- This coat is filled with down, and it’s very warm on cold days. I wear it when the temperature is well below freezing, and it’s a workhorse on snowy walks to school with my kids.
- It’s mid-thigh length, which means additional warmth, plus it unzips from both the bottom and top, so I can unzip the lower portion so I’m not constrained while doing activities such as driving.
- The hood is detachable for days when it’s warmer or I want a little less bulk.
- The cut is less roomy in the upper arm/shoulder area, and it digs in when I raise my arms or reach forward. It also is a tight fit if I’m wearing heavier layers underneath, which I’m likely to do if it’s really cold outside. What’s interesting is that Land’s End’s “Your True Fit Size” feature recommended that I order a size smaller than what I got, but I often size up when buying any coat to leave room for layering, and I sized up with this coat. This coat would have been much tighter in the upper arm area if I’d gotten the suggested size. My last Land’s End coat I purchased about 10 years ago did not have this problem, by the way.
- There are no interior pockets. There are two zippered, spacious exterior side pockets, but that’s it. The pockets are plenty large for my keys, phone, and a pair of light gloves, but there are only two pockets. My last Land’s End coat purchased a decade ago did have an interior mesh pocket in addition to the two exterior pockets, so it just depends on the coat.
- The hood is too large and hangs over my eyes when I wear it on my head. This coat hood was made for someone with a giant head. I can only wear the hood if I first put on a knit hat to add bulk and hold the hood out of my eyes; otherwise it blocks my vision. For this reason, I ended up detaching the hood (because it’s really bulky) and just wear a separate hat if I need it.
- The sleeves are slightly short when I move my arms up or reach out. Again, this might just be because I’m slightly taller than average and so have slightly long arms. My previous Land’s End coat had longer sleeves, but I’ve had problems with coat sleeve length before with other brands.
In short, I appreciate the Aldi jacket because it is roomier through the shoulders, has interior pockets, and has a hood that fits properly, and it performs better than expected in cold temperatures. It has been my go-to throughout most of the season, while running errands or walking kids to school, and it does not have the bulk of many winter coats. I still use the Land’s End coat on bitterly cold days or when I’m going to be outdoors for an extended time, but I prefer the Aldi jacket on days when the weather allows it.
My success with Aldi clothing has often been hit or miss. I love how some things fit, while other things make me question whether they were made with actual human beings’ dimensions in mind. I’m pleasantly surprised by how much I like the Aldi jacket. If the jacket comes around in Aldi stores again next season, I highly recommend it.