DECATHLON: A SKI BRAND TO REMEMBER
12th March 2018 | Katie Bamber, Senior News Reporter
It’s not a new brand, in fact it’s a classic French one, but the outdoor sporting goods retailer Decathlon’s own range Wed’ze is full of surprises.
If you haven’t visited a store before, get yourself down to one.
It was a good 10 years since the last time I stepped into Decathlon, more even, the one in Calais and en route to a ski trip somewhere.
I bought a pair of snow blades (I know! Maybe it was longer than a decade…)
This time was equally as exciting, and much cooler, might I add.
Arriving at the Canada Water branch in London, I forgot how vast and warehouse-like the stores are.
The immense amount of outdoor sports gear and equipment on show is exciting, skis being the first thing you see as you walk in.
All in one place and much of it affordable!
It was to be a good session.
The aim was to deck myself out from head to toe in Wed’ze gear, Decathlon’s own brand of ski and snowboard clothing and, it might come as a surprise, equipment:
Skis, ski boots, snowboards and boarding boots, kids equipment, touring kit, avalanche essentials…
But more of the skis, boards and boots soon.
I took a complete women’s ski outfit to the mountains to see how it held up, how it felt and, of course, how it looked on the slopes.
First the gear skied the sunny slopes of Ax-les-Thermes in the French Pyrénées in the glorious sun:
I wasn’t the only one dressed in Wed’ze either.
Not only were huge Decathlon adverts dotted around the lift stations across the slopes, one-in-three people I counted had something on Wed’ze.
Backpacks, goggles and jackets were popular, and for the prices (and of course how they look) I’m not surprised.
So resorts in the Pyrénées are a little less flashy than many in the Alps.
And the skiers, too.
If Val d’Isere makes you feel like you wish you hadn’t forgotten your fur snood, then these small resorts through the Midi-Pyrénées will make you feel positively modern;
80s onesies are aplenty and the jean-skiing no-go (no-work!) memo hasn’t passed through.
So in a completely new, brightly coloured ski outfit I felt the pro.
And no less than if I had taken it to the likes of Courchevel.
It’s true that this range is certainly affordable ski wear.
But it is also definitely not in the league of other ranges that cost the same, both in the way of design and quality.
Wed’ze skied snowy conditions in the Grandvalira, Andorra:
The first thing I noticed, and had noted on by others, was that the gear was designed more in the style of new season, top end ski wear.
It was warm, used the right materials – Decathlon is the biggest sports retailer and knows what’s important – and included important ski features, from Recco reflector technology to zips & pockets in the right places.
Easily my favourite item were the ski pants, that came with down puffa three-quarter-length trousers that are detachable.
– A completely new piece of clothing to me but so warm and comfortable.
Should be an essential for cold days (or snowboarders!).
The helmet range is decent, not just for all shapes and sized heads but tastes and style, too.
A small, but no less favourite item were the ski socks: Wool, thin and well priced.
Now you don’t have to do as I did and go full on Wed’ze.
Pick and mix your well priced basics there and compare the outer gear to the bigger brand names also stocked in Decathlon.
We wouldn’t necessarily kit out full Spyder, though it can be a look…
But picking and choosing pieces that are designed well, give you your hit of colour on the slopes and add to a stylish ski outfit that don’t cost the same as your ski holiday are well worth picking up at Decathlon.
I’ve by-passed the mega stores before, mainly because I’ve forgotten about buying there.
But now there’s a store to open on High St Kensington, London, as well as the many more dotted around in unlikely places nearby, so go check out the Wed’ze.
The base layers I wore were seriously warm – for the most extreme of cold days so invest in these if you’re someone that feels the cold.
Check here for our report on the shopping day, and back in soon for skis, boots and more back on the slopes.
See here for the main PlanetSKI news page with all the latest stories from the mountains.
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