Buffalo idea?

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Aug 27, 2017
9
0
lincs
Hello all, Looking at this instead of the Ridgeline Elite Smock.

What happens does your back not get cold folk?
Does anyone buy them bigger and wear more under them.
Is it true you can just wear a thin one layer under them and stay warm?
Do you have to keep moving to stay warm?

Like I mentioned I'm a walk about fisherman, and have some thick coats but they are designed for sitting, not moving.

Thanks again all.
 

Tiley

Full Member
Oct 19, 2006
2,173
243
57
Gloucestershire
Hello all, Looking at this instead of the Ridgeline Elite Smock.

What happens does your back not get cold folk?
- No.
Does anyone buy them bigger and wear more under them.
- I bought a Special 6 shirt to fit me; if I stop or it gets really cold, I put on a Belay Jacket on top. A friend of mine summited Everest wearing a Special 6 and Belay combo., so you should be OK.
Is it true you can just wear a thin one layer under them and stay warm?
- Yes. Buffalo say that their things work best against your skin, so there's no real need to have a layer under them; wearing a thin layer does give you a bit more flexibility though.
Do you have to keep moving to stay warm?
- No, not really. I find that, on most walks, I take the Belay jacket to put on over whatever I'm wearing at breaks or stops and I've never been cold, even in ropey winter conditions.

Like I mentioned I'm a walk about fisherman, and have some thick coats but they are designed for sitting, not moving.

Thanks again all.

A word of caution: Buffalo gear is great but it is also very warm. If you tend to run hot, then it is worth thinking about one of their thinner tops but I would definitely recommend their Belay jacket as something to fling on if you stop or it turns colder.

Hope that this helps; I'm sure that there are many other informed opinions out there - this is just my offering!
 

Tiki

Member
Aug 31, 2016
47
2
Oxfordshire
Ive just bought one so dont have much direct experience yet but I bought a size 42 even though a 44 if I measure the chest. It fits well if not wearing layers underneath.
Most writeups seem to say they lose their wicking capabilities if layers worn under so defeats the point somewhat.
Some say they aren't all that warm if just sitting about.
Other reviews say they are the best thing ever for cold weather.
I wore it recently on a moderately chilly eve and I was warm but not boiling.


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Tonyuk

Settler
Nov 30, 2011
911
65
Scotland
The idea of buffalo is that you wear it as a single layer next to the skin, nothing on underneath. The pile then wicks the sweat off of the skin and towards the pertex. The pertex spreads the water about over a large surface area, meaning it drys fast. Its the tips of the pile that make the most contact with the skin, these dry very fast and that's why even a damp buffalo can feel dry. I usually wore mine with a good synthetic baselayer in case i got too warm, that way i could still take it off without any hassle, the baselayer didn't seem to affect the wicking that much but i wouldn't wear it with a cotton t-shirt or anything like that.

Buffalo (and pile + pertex in general) is very good for active work in the cold (-5 and below imo) where its important to keep moisture off the skin and windchill to a minimum. There not actually that "warm" however. Even a cheap holofill jacket will normally hold more heat and compact down smaller, the buffalo is essentially a pile fleece with a layer of pertex on top, so compresses about as well as a thick-ish fleece. If your standing about in the cold i would really recommend sticking to synthetic fill jackets to keep the heat in. Also remember that if you are active in the cold, and at a comfortable temp in the buffalo top when walking, you'll still need some form of extra insulation for stops. It's a similar idea to being in a sauna or steam room for a while, your body gets used to the heat of it.

Take a look at the montane extreme smock + jacket, i replaced my buffalo when it wore out with the montane smock and its an excellent bit of kit. It comes with a hood that's better than the buffalo offering and a few other differences that i like, no pile at the cuffs or under the arms, better zippers and a zip on hood instead of velcro. Best tried on though, the jackets are cut like a standard jacket, where as the smocks are much more tailored to fit. I'd say that a medium jacket is the equivalent of a large smock. Go outdoors stocks the smocks, but look online for the best price.

Tonyuk
 
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Polecatsteve

Nomad
Aug 20, 2014
286
5
Scotland
Iv had a buffalo for past 3 years now. If you do move about a lot they are very very warm. It's my go to "jumper" when I sit down for the night outside the tent as it's super light and packs to the size of a toilet roll. I have tried wearing it climbing a Munro at -5oc with heavy snow on the ground and still overheat. Clearly designed for really cold weather when active.

All being said I do rate it. Don't go near branches or anything remotely spikey. A bramble looked at me the wrong way and I ended up with a big pook in mine.

Good friend of mine had a montane smock. They are basically the same save the differences mentioned by the OP.
 

John Fenna

Lifetime Member & Maker
Oct 7, 2006
22,310
1,835
64
Pembrokeshire
I have worn Buffalo for Winter work in the Cairngorms, winter canoeing, sitting or heavily active and never overheated or felt cold - just brilliant kit.
These days I prefer the "Natural Fiber" ethos and avoid synthetics so do not use Buffalo anymore - but there is no denying that it is excellent kit and really works!
 

sunndog

Full Member
May 23, 2014
3,567
472
derbyshire
Have a look at their mountain shirt great for semi active in the cold

Mine is sized just right to wear a thin long sleeved thermal underneath but not too bulky to put a bigger coat on top when its really brass monkeys
 

kpeter20

Forager
Mar 24, 2011
242
7
Runcorn
Because it was so cheap at the time on eBay I managed to pick up a British arctic survey parka made by buffalo. Winter climb in Wales. Heavy rain at the top with wind you couldn't walk in and I'm sat there with not a care in the world with that buffalo on. As already said, they're amazing bits of kit and the parka for me was/is overkill but was cheap at the time.


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MikeLA

Full Member
May 17, 2011
1,645
149
Northumberland
Not keen on ridgeline myself but the buffalo kit does do thinner clothing eg the active-lite and I have a few of their coats
 
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mutineer

Full Member
Apr 30, 2013
80
0
Hampshire
Ridge line coats and buffalo kit are completely different types of kit. You need to choose the one that suits your purpose. But to answer your questions
I find I get some cold spots under the garment at times but this is not an issue if worn next to the skin when active in the cold. I often wear a thin base layer underneath and it still performs well, albeit not at its best but it's still miles better than a regular old fleece. I should point out that I don't do this in the cold as the buffalo will stay on ALL day. I normally wear the base layer when it's warmer and there is a chance I'll take it off. As for sizing, go to a shop, it's that simple.
As for moving to stay warm, it depends on the weather.
A Buffalo or Montane equivalent is an indispensable piece of kit IMHO. I have a special 6 and I'm saving up for a Montane Extreme Jacket.
Use mine all the time, even as a dressing gown. I can do a long wet run on a Sunday and come home tired and wet to face children who need feeding and things that need fixing, I chuck the buffalo over my wet baselayer and all is good until I get time to myself again.
 
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MikeLA

Full Member
May 17, 2011
1,645
149
Northumberland
I find the montane stuff strange fittings own a soft shell and it has to be XXL for comfort and a bit of room. Definitely try them on in a shop
 

SCOMAN

Full Member
Dec 31, 2005
2,352
333
51
Perthshire
I have used a Buffalo Special 6 shirt and love it the only reason I stopped using it was because I 'grew'. I now use a Montane extreme jacket as my cold weather, not moving far or fast, jacket. It's the same idea with the benefit of a hood and a jacket style. You can sometimes get a good deal on them through some of the military supply shops.
 

Gaudette

Full Member
Aug 24, 2012
872
17
Cambs
I have used a Buffalo Special 6 shirt and love it the only reason I stopped using it was because I 'grew'. I now use a Montane extreme jacket as my cold weather, not moving far or fast, jacket. It's the same idea with the benefit of a hood and a jacket style. You can sometimes get a good deal on them through some of the military supply shops.

Sadly mine shrunk over time😉
 

Jaeger

Full Member
Dec 3, 2014
670
21
United Kingdom
Aye Up,

+1 Buffalo isgreat kit. I've got a 25 year old spec 6 type and a pair of trousers and an almost as old belay jacket which have been hammered and are still effective if very tatty now.

I've also got a buffalo sleeping bag but hardly ever used it as I have found a softie type that packs down smaller and gives me better performance in the winter.

I have found that Buffalo gear is easier to clean than filled jackets though.

There is a but - that nylon outer can rip and melt very quickly if you don't take care and it will soak up moisture from outside if not protected.

I don't know if they still do - but Montagne used to put Cordura patches on the arms/elbows which IMO was one up on Buffalo and they seemed a bit more robustly made.

Finally - who can remember the advertising hype for Buffalo? :confused:
 

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