ALDI’s releasing their camping Special Buys in time for spring camping. Going live on September 12th, there’s enough gear to set you up for an easy camping trip, without blowing the budget. But remember, buying cheap gear has its pitfalls.

Is ALDI’s camping gear ethically made?

Getting out for a camping trip is one of the greatest pleasures of spring, but piecing together a complete camping setup can get pretty exxy pretty quickly. On September 12th, ALDI’s Special Buys range is focusing on camping equipment, with 4-person tents starting at $129. But before you rush out to ALDI and fill your trolley with camping chairs and a new air mattress, take a moment to remember that there’s often a dark side to buying cheap gear.



At We Are Explorers we strive to make the world we live in a better place, which means supporting brands we believe in, buying gear that lasts and advocating for sustainability. Aside from the possible quality issues associated with ALDI gear, when camping equipment is sold for such a cheap price, there’s a bunch of potential social and environmental issues to consider. Who made this gear? And how much were they paid to do it? How were these materials sourced? And where will they end up?

Read more: Get Your Arse Into (Aussie) Gear

But does ALDI camping gear perform?

We know that ALDI gear isn’t perfect – heck Sapphira put their hiking range through some pretty tough testing last year and found some pieces were definitely better than others. But if you want to get out camping on a budget, maybe even for your first ever camping trip, ALDI’s camping gear will possibly be good enough to give you a taste for adventure. Although we can’t guarantee it’ll last you all that long. 

When tested, some of ALDI’s hiking gear fell apart after a few decent hikes, while other items stood the test of time and performed as well as pricier counterparts. We haven’t had the chance to test out ALDI’s new crop of camping gear, so we can’t comment on the quality, but there’s a fair chance that’ll be just as hit and miss as their other ranges. 

The ALDI Instant 4P Tent, for example, has a waterproof coating with a rating of 2,000mm. On paper, this means that the tent should be waterproof – rain jackets need to meet a minimum rating of 1,500mm to be classified as waterproof. The tent’s description also mentions heat sealed taped seams, which is another promising indication that it’ll stand up to reasonable rainfall. 

We’re crossing our fingers that ALDI’s new camping range will deliver the quality they promise, as the better these tents are, the less likely it is they’ll end up in landfill.

If you’re keen to try your hand at camping without splashing the cash or purchasing potentially harmful gear, consider borrowing from a friend or buying second hand instead until you’re ready to make the investment in good quality, sustainable and ethically made gear. 


Feature photo thanks to @hiker.trashling