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Got slammed by my Climbing Manager...Buffalo Kit

#1
Hi there, thought I'd pop on here and ask for some advice as I trust forces chaps over civilians. I'm president of a mountaineering society at a certain university. I've used Buffalo kit since being recommended it by an MIA trained Belgian soldier and a few forces guys I know. I got drenched through in a 200 quid hardshell in Scotland and have never used them since. On bad weather walks during the winter I tend to use a Buffalo Special six and carry a Buffalo jacket plus a cheapo mac incase it really hits the fan.

However my climbing manager who the university employs and oversees what I do, recently blasted my kit. Telling me that I need a proper hardshell and that "Buffalo kit is awful, it'll get you killed and laughed at if you ever do your ML summer".

Needless to say I'm not happy. I trust the stuff but I don't want my name in the newspapers if something ever goes wrong and my climbing manager sells me out saying that my kit wasn't up to scratch. Personally I'd rather quit the position than be pushed around.

Any thoughts would be great, thanks!
 
#2
I used my '6' jacket all the way through my time in the army, did me proud. I used it in the field/on tour and for adventure traning (cannoing/hills/climbing). The army provided a massive Buffalo jacket for AT cause they're so good!

Buffalo kit is vacume packed and sent to the artic for use in emergencies, I'll try to find a link to the story but if its good enough for there then can't see a problem using it for climbing! Bloke sounds like a brand whore to me.
 
#3
Well use your brain; you're a reasonably experienced mountaineer, surely you can work out whether a piece of kit's decent or not. Go out and test it on the hills and if you think it's not up to scratch then I recommend Snugpak for warmth and something by Mountain Equipment to keep you dry.
 
#4
I'd go back to him and ask his reasoning, saying Buffalo kit will kill you is a bit like saying water will kill you, it will if used incorrectly but used correctly it may save your life.
 
#5
Michael,
It's horses for courses. If Buffalo was so crap, then why have they carried on selling them for 20 years. I doubt very much that wearing a Buffalo would get you laughed off the hill anywhere sensible. I will make the assumtion that you carry a survival bag or equivalent for if it all goes horribly wrong, so we aren't talking about emergency kit, just day to day hill kit.
I have had a couple of Buffalos over the years, and currently use a Montane Extreme smock which is their equivalent. If you use them as they are intended, worn close fitting and with only a base layer underneath, and don't mind feeling damp, then they are a great bit of kit. Personally I find them a bit too warm for when I'm on the move, but then I am a big sweaty mess, and am equally damp inside most hard shells.
I would question your Climbing Managers experience if he would so readily write off a perfectly good piece of kit.
The outdoor world is full of kit freaks all with opinions on what is best, and label snobs are the loudest of them all.
I am a member of a mountain rescue team, and there are plenty of Buffalos and Extreme smocks kicking about on the team. There are also people who swear Paramo is the way forward, and others for whom only e-Vent will do. As long as the kit works for you, then that is what matters.
If you are properly prepared and suitably skilled then there is no reason to suppose that wearing a Buffalo will 'get you killed'. Bit of a sweeping statement really.
Your post sounds like you have done a bit, and have survived despite wearing your deadly Buffalo. I suggest you just carry on enjoying the hills and let your managment type chunter away to himself.
 
#7
Buffalo jackets work okay on AWC in Norway and many other environments around the world, out of interest what is his climbling experience etc. As for being laughed at on your ML, that will not happen
 
#8
I've got two words for you: "Minus Twenty!"

I lived and don't suffer (Grabs shaking hand) so tell him he's a typical kit mong who reads the label rather than engages common sense. You could buy your kit from Asda's George range and aslong as you used the layer system and took into account the limitations of the material you could go anywhere.

I certainly have in my youth when I did a lot of climbing on a very, very poor budget. I used to and still laugh at the all the gear no idea types.
 
A

armadillo

Guest
#9
they are designed to get wet and retain body heat,

used it all round the world if anyone has been to Lipa in Bosnia during winter at minus 30 you would have seen me happy as Gordons Browns optician. The kit works.

tell your climbing manager to worry about himself, and as we say all the gear and no idea.

Armadillo
 
#10
Buffalo kit is simply the balls. The only thing wrong with it is that once in a while you might actually be TOO hot, at which point you just vent the f*cking thing. job done. tell whoever was giving you jip to jog on.
 
#11
They were standard issue when I was on Mountain Rescue, he sounds like one of those guys who must have all the latest shiny gear. I keep mine in my hillbag all year, one of the best bits of kit i've bought.
 
#12
another vote for the special 6

Got the top and trousers prior to winter tour 95/96 for Bosnia.
Toasty warm in kupres, sipovo and banja luka with knee dep snow.
working and stagging on, too warm, vent the zips.

on my 2nd one as some thieving scrote pinched it!
 
#13
jarrod248 said:
I've still got my buffalo sleeping bags, had 20 years of use out of them and still good as new. My mate in the T.A.'s was so fat he went to the company and they made one in fat bastard size for him.
Another 1980's kit tart! :)

I bought the survival aids version with a pertex outer and although bulky and a bit heavy they are brilliant when you eventually get wet. Work very well with a goretex bivvy bag.

Don't know if the buffalo ones have the pertex outer.
 
#14
I froze my backside off on my first Bosnia tour when the " do not go out and buy expensive kit lads,it will be issued out there " turned out to be complete rollocks.

Second time out I bought my own kit from seeing what the more experienced lads had used first time around.Being as Sappers had some strange compulsion to continue working in the numbing cold when every other sane creature was trying to keep warm and alive,I splashed out on the Buffalo special six shirt,the trousers and the mitts to go with it ( got a good deal ) but that was a massive outlay in money for me......but by the Gods was that kit worth it.

With the windchill,we are talking severe cold and I could happily work in just a Special six shirt/trousers and a set of issue windproofs over the top ( thats if the windproofs hadn't all be taken by the office staff in tropical Split )

Used them on my motorbike in beyond sensible cold weather,under my goretex kit.

Two drawbacks I did notice,they were too warm in anything but bloody cold weather when working hard,even with the vents.

And they stunk like a dead donkey after a few days..but that might just have been me.

Don,t the British Antarctic Survey teams use them still?
 
#15
jarrod248 said:
EX_STAB said:
jarrod248 said:
I've still got my buffalo sleeping bags, had 20 years of use out of them and still good as new. My mate in the T.A.'s was so fat he went to the company and they made one in fat bastard size for him.
Another 1980's kit tart! :)

I bought the survival aids version with a pertex outer and although bulky and a bit heavy they are brilliant when you eventually get wet. Work very well with a goretex bivvy bag.

Don't know if the buffalo ones have the pertex outer.
Tart moi? After waking up in a stream in Kielder with an issue bag found I was soaked to the bone and frozen. I dispensed with the issue thing that stabbed you with feathers. They were lighter than the issue ones and easier to pack.
I think I paid £125 for the gore-tex bivi bag second-hand and I've still got that.
Tart - kit and otherwise! :)

I've still got mine, inner and outer bags and a goretex bivi bag. Zip's gone in one bag though... :(
 
#16
Michael88 said:
Hi there, thought I'd pop on here and ask for some advice as I trust forces chaps over civilians. I'm president of a mountaineering society at a certain university. I've used Buffalo kit since being recommended it by an MIA trained Belgian soldier and a few forces guys I know. I got drenched through in a 200 quid hardshell in Scotland and have never used them since. On bad weather walks during the winter I tend to use a Buffalo Special six and carry a Buffalo jacket plus a cheapo mac incase it really hits the fan.

However my climbing manager who the university employs and oversees what I do, recently blasted my kit. Telling me that I need a proper hardshell and that "Buffalo kit is awful, it'll get you killed and laughed at if you ever do your ML summer".

Needless to say I'm not happy. I trust the stuff but I don't want my name in the newspapers if something ever goes wrong and my climbing manager sells me out saying that my kit wasn't up to scratch. Personally I'd rather quit the position than be pushed around.

Any thoughts would be great, thanks!
did you wash it in normal washing powder / liquid?

even the best hardshell jackets suffer if you wash them in regular powder / liquid. I say on here time and time again - wash in NikWax Tech Wash (green lid) and it won't lose it's waterproofing. TX Wash (purple lid) will restore waterproofing in a garment that you've washed in normal powder / liquid.

NikWax is stuff really worth using. Using it in smocks will keep them water repellent, meaning the Gore-Tex can stay in your daysack longer. In the summer, (yes, summer!) I spent about an hour walking round in absolute lashing rain, with my Goretex in a vehicle that I was trying to find keys for, wearing a smock I had washed first in TX Wash and thereon in Tech Wash. My arms got a little damp, everything else was dry as a bone underneath.

So there you go - was it the hardshell at fault - or just your choice of detergent?
 
#17
jarrod248 said:
Good kit and gore-tex was really expensive in those days, worth every penny at the time.
It was a fortune. I think the bivi bag alone was around £90, equal to £180 today.

I had Scarpa boots that cost a similar amount.

It was a bit of a standing joke back then that your TA pay just about covered the cost of decent kit..... £13.65 starting pay in 1987 as I remember.
 
#18
therealbigdizzle said:
NikWax is stuff really worth using. Using it in smocks will keep them water repellent, meaning the Gore-Tex can stay in your daysack longer. In the summer, (yes, summer!) I spent about an hour walking round in absolute lashing rain, with my Goretex in a vehicle that I was trying to find keys for, wearing a smock I had washed first in TX Wash and thereon in Tech Wash. My arms got a little damp, everything else was dry as a bone underneath.

So there you go - was it the hardshell at fault - or just your choice of detergent?
As an aside, unlike normal detergents, NikWax doesn't contain OBAs which means you don't glow like Blackpool illuminations when viewed through night-vision and is handy when stalking animals with vision in the near-UV range, like deer.
 
#19
Thanks for the great replies! :D Yeah I did decide to use my brains and work out whether the gear worked or not. I trust it completely, I was just a little taken aback by his tone. The manager in question has an ML summer, an ML winter and is working towards his MIA. He dresses head to toe in North Face stuff and yes he's a gear snob. Ortleib bag, Suunto watches etc etc etc Likes to boast a lot as well. His reasons for disliking Buffalo kit were basically "It's not waterproof" and "I had a Buffalo jacket once, it was crap as I either got really hot or really cold". Anyway I've just decided he's rude and will probably decide to stop helping to run the society.

LanceBombardEars....that was a really great post! Yeah I do carry all of the emergency equipment such as a survival bag!



therealbigdizzle said:
Michael88 said:
Hi there, thought I'd pop on here and ask for some advice as I trust forces chaps over civilians. I'm president of a mountaineering society at a certain university. I've used Buffalo kit since being recommended it by an MIA trained Belgian soldier and a few forces guys I know. I got drenched through in a 200 quid hardshell in Scotland and have never used them since. On bad weather walks during the winter I tend to use a Buffalo Special six and carry a Buffalo jacket plus a cheapo mac incase it really hits the fan.

However my climbing manager who the university employs and oversees what I do, recently blasted my kit. Telling me that I need a proper hardshell and that "Buffalo kit is awful, it'll get you killed and laughed at if you ever do your ML summer".

Needless to say I'm not happy. I trust the stuff but I don't want my name in the newspapers if something ever goes wrong and my climbing manager sells me out saying that my kit wasn't up to scratch. Personally I'd rather quit the position than be pushed around.

Any thoughts would be great, thanks!
did you wash it in normal washing powder / liquid?

even the best hardshell jackets suffer if you wash them in regular powder / liquid. I say on here time and time again - wash in NikWax Tech Wash (green lid) and it won't lose it's waterproofing. TX Wash (purple lid) will restore waterproofing in a garment that you've washed in normal powder / liquid.

NikWax is stuff really worth using. Using it in smocks will keep them water repellent, meaning the Gore-Tex can stay in your daysack longer. In the summer, (yes, summer!) I spent about an hour walking round in absolute lashing rain, with my Goretex in a vehicle that I was trying to find keys for, wearing a smock I had washed first in TX Wash and thereon in Tech Wash. My arms got a little damp, everything else was dry as a bone underneath.

So there you go - was it the hardshell at fault - or just your choice of detergent?
6 month old Mountain Hardware jacket, treated with the correct stuff! It happened in horizontal rain on the Island of Arran off the coast.

"
jarrod248 said:
I've still got my buffalo sleeping bags, had 20 years of use out of them and still good as new. My mate in the T.A.'s was so fat he went to the company and they made one in fat bastard size for him.
"

:D
 
#20
Dude if a very large majority of the army (my own estimate from what I’ve seen) uses this kit, from Norway to Afghanistan, fighting in it, i thing you can trust it!
 

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