Cheap Karrimor Running Stuff Field and Trek

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15/01/2009 at 09:18

....Got an email thingy through...Aldi/Lidl type prices for Karrimor kit

Granted I dont think Karrimor is what it used to be...but fiver for ladies t-shirt, nine for tights, 12 for jacket.

15/01/2009 at 09:46
Karrimor is certainly not the name it was since the brand was bought out by the owner of SportsDirect (Mike somebody - owns Newcastle United) and the quality is now slightly above that of ChavWorld....

but at those prices - what the hell eh???
15/01/2009 at 09:50

I knew it had been bought out quite a few years ago...hence the loss of the KIMM.

I got a kit bag from it was exactly the size I wanted, and theyre more or less waterproof...but it has ripped....and its not like I have abused it too much.

I wouldnt get the shoes though.

15/01/2009 at 10:21

I have bought two Karrimor backpacks from Sports Soccer (or an equivalent) and they have both ripped. They're not worth buying at any price, as a cheap pair of shoes/backpack/boots can be gotten cheaper than the Karrimor rubbish, you're paying for the name and the lie that they're reduced by 70%.

With the trail shoes/boots you cannot even take out the inner soul, that is the sign of a cheap shoe imo.

I wouldn't touch the shoes or boots, but for cheap clothing I don't really see the harm but I would stick with the ALDI stuff myself as it is of a decent quality. Wouldn't touch the rucsacs either as they rip.


15/01/2009 at 10:42

Don't know about the apparel, but I bought a pair of those Karrimor walking trainers about eighteen months ago, just for everyday wear as they were only 19.99. Well, in short, I got what I paid for. They were falling to pieces (literally) inside 3 months of just wearing them about town, as it were. No heavy duty trekking (indeed, no trekking) and no running (of course) in them.My brother had a similar experience. They were not really worth a fiver.

 I'd be disinclined to spend money on anything Karrimor now, but WRW might be right that the apparel could be ok.

15/01/2009 at 11:51
it's a great shame that the Karrimor brand has been so debased - the original company produced superb kit. I have a rucsac that must be 12 years old now and is still going strong with little sign of wear - filthy as hell, but still good!
15/01/2009 at 12:49
I've got 2 Karrimor tops and a pair of tights, the tops are ok, well cut and good material, perhaps the seams are a bit heavy. I did FLM in one last year. The tights are ok, not very warm but I don't see how any skintight material can be really. but I've not worn any others so I don't know.

15/01/2009 at 13:49

Hey FB,

Yes, it is a great shame that the brand has been so debased, but that's only part of it.

I mean, how cynical can you get: buy a well-liked, well-respected, well-reviewed and long-standing brand and suddenly change the products across the range to vastly inferior ones and give the impression that you are selling them at vastly discounted (70% off) prices (I mean has anyone seen these trainers for sale at full price anywhere?).

All the time you are doing this you do it in full knowledge that most of your sales are based on the reputation achieved by the old well made products. Imagine what you'd have to spend in marketing to establish a new brand at the level Karrimor were at in the minds of the public when these cynical b*****ds bought the brand name and started putting it on this rubbish.

By the time most of us realised that Karrimor goods now have no relation (other than name) to the stuff we used to buy, and the stuff that used to get decent reviews, the new owners have made a killing at our expense.

I guess that's the consumer society for you. Stinks, don't it...

15/01/2009 at 14:29
yeh - it is a shame that they are selling inferior kit under a well respected name but from a marketing perspective - whether you deem it cynical or not - it was quite a sharp move.

Karrimor were however in financial trouble when they were bought - in fact I believe they were already in administration at the time so were effectively bust. They were struggling to survive in an increasingly global market up against bigger names like North Face, Patagonia, Salomon etc etc and their brand following was mainly British and they weren't that well known outside the UK. Similarly, Berghaus have had their difficulties as a small UK brand but have weathered it fairly well.

It will be interesting to see how many niche specialist suppliers survive the current recession as no doubt they will all be finding it tough at the premium end of the market.
15/01/2009 at 14:37

Judging by the ubiquity of North Face, it strikes me that all the others might go out of business if NF's share of the market grows any further!

Won't happen of course, but it does seem like the world has gone North Face mad -- even Barrack Obama's wearing the stuff.

15/01/2009 at 14:53
NF has become a bit of a rash - I tend to avoid it because of that and go for the more niche outdoor brands like Mountain Equipment, Eider, Marmot, Mammut etc although I do have a liking for Patagucci! Decathlon/Quechua is also superb value for money - my CC usually takes a hit on a visit!
15/01/2009 at 15:00

Paramo for me, I have to say. It will never win a lightest gear test (though it is not heavy, just not the lightest); but nothing, I mean nothing, comes close in terms of breathability.

I highly recommend.

Patagucci (not heard that before; very appropriate) suckers me in too with my desire to be green. I've spent far too much on their capilene base layers (70% recycled and recyclable). Ordered one online direct from them in december and it came posted from their central Europe distribution centre in France; while they come in their own little box, this box was packed inside amuch bigger box which could have held at least eight more. Somewhat undid the benefit of my buying recycled gear.

15/01/2009 at 15:17
we used to have a place in Chamonix where Patagucci have their European HQ shop - boy, that place used to sucker me in every time we went there!!

never been a fan of Paramo although I do use their sister company NikWax range for proofing technical kit......
15/01/2009 at 16:29

FB - can you beat having (and still using) an old Joe Brown Karimor rucsac? 8/10 or the orange version (mine, bought at Wasdale Head in a sale with my pocket money) and 10/10 for the blue/red early version.

And the first Haston Alpiniste -  the deep purple one? I still recall vividly when I heard that Dougal Haston had been killed in a skiing accident in Leysin. Made the BBC 9 O'clock news and I went to bed crying.

The old days when Karrimor ruled the world from their Accrington factory - Karrimor or Berghaus? Whose side were you on? A bit like Rangers or Celtic, L'pool or Everton etc. Aahh ...nostaglia

 So why does Paramo stuff have such mixed reviews?

Edited: 15/01/2009 at 16:30
15/01/2009 at 16:50


re: Paramo: I guess because it is so completely different in the way it approaches the task of waterproofing that it divides opinion.

eVent and Gore-Tex both use a membrane which blocks water entering from oneside while allowing it to escape in a limited manner from the other.

Paramo's Analogy fabric (so called 'cause it is supposed to work in a way that is analogous to the way animal fur is waterproof and breathable) consists of a what they call a pumpliner which is supposed to actively wick away moisture from the skin (and in my experience does this very well) and this is overlaid with nikwax windproof fabric.

In terms of breathability Paramo is unbeatable in my experience. In terms of weight they are a bit heavier then the best eVent and Gore-Tex gear. They are more durable than eVent and Gore-Tex and can last for decades if washed in nikwax or grangers (Paramo also do a repair service).

One thing that misleads some about Paramo is that one of the EU tests for waterproof fabric ratings is done by scoring how well the fabric stops water being forced through at at pressure by measuring the water penetration. Tested this way Paramo isn't waterproof (or is only barely so). But, and this is the point, any water that penetrates under pressure in this way (rare on the fell, I might add!) is instantly wicked out by the pumpliner. Whereas, with Gore-Tex and Event, if water gets in, it stays in (ever worn any Gore-Tex of eVent lined shoes and got water in them? If you have you know what I mean.).

Paramo was specifically developed to deal not only with the sort of wet weather we get here but with the sort of extreme humidity found in SOuth America (hence the name) where it is not just about blocking falling rain but you NEED to be 'pumping' out the moisture constantly too. If you are wet on the inside from sweat that cannot breath out quick enough or from high humidity then you get cold and problems start. Hence something that actively pumps the water away is good.

I'll let others tell you why they don't like it, or prefer other systems (I don't question their judgement. I just really get on with Paramo gear).


15/01/2009 at 16:59

Thanks - there were quite a few anti Paramo reviews after latest OMM - bsically saying that they were hardly waterproof at all. I guess in those conditions most tops would have suffered.

Having said that I ran (but sadly didn't finish) the Lakeland 100 last year amnd my lightweight Montane jacket (from Hellvelyn Tri) did a great job.

I can't stop thinking about my old climbing kit now...original EBs (i took a pair to a climbing wall recently for a laugh!) simple Troll waist band (the ones Health and Safety will have banned by now but would be great for taking my kids scrambling), Dachstein mits (can anything beat them),  the old smock that you got from Millets/Oswald Bailey (!!!) in green, with map pocket and crotch strap - orange for real climbers and green for school kids like me and a nice pair of moleskin breeches....."by 'eck, them were 't days!"

15/01/2009 at 17:04
PH - I've no doubt about Paramo kit working but I still think of their designs being old fashioned and the fabric being heavy although I haven't looked at their stuff in some years so I'm probably well out of date now! I guess I've grown up with Gore-tex so tend to stick with that although Decathlon's water and windproof stuff works well so I have a fair bit of that for biking and hiking - for skiing not much beats Gore-tex imho.....
15/01/2009 at 17:05
TH - have you got a waterproof flat cap and windproof coat for t'whippet as well??

15/01/2009 at 17:08


the designs have progressed a little, so worth a look when you're near a dealer. Main news though is that at the end of '08 they brought out a lighter version of their best selling Velez smock, especially for high activity. I can't justify a second smock so I'll have to wait. but might be worth a look if you are passing a Paramo stockist someday soon


15/01/2009 at 17:23

Aye lad..' whippet's lead is an old bit of haswer laid which I keep by old and faded copy of Alan Blackshaw's Montaineering.

I often have a look at the Paramo shop in A'side before heading up to Lakes Climber for the lighter stuff...still like the look of Velez smock. Its the closest thing to the old smock (belstaff) that I was jokingly referring to earlier).  

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