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Teach me about Buffalo shirt


I spent few hours of googling and still, I don`t have my answers.

I am looking for insulated jacket. Use of jacket: from -5 celsius to +10c. This jacket will be only for stops. Two problems: my own sweat and wet/rainy whether. So I need jacket which is warm, even when is totally soaked.
This exudes puffy jackets like Snugpak (Softie).

Short explanation: rainy, chilly autumn, big bergan on my back and i need something to warm me up during long-halt.

I searched out the Buffalo Special jacket, which looks promisingly. Can anybody compare it to Snugpak Pile Shirt? Is it worth of money, or Snugpak Pile is almost same (it should be warmer).

And comparation of Buffalo to Snugpak Sleeka (or issued softie)?

Last thing - can anybody in here compare Buffalo (Special or Mountain) to issued PCS thermal smock (aka "Buffalo")?

Thank you!


Book Reviewer
I agree - I've had a Buffalo for 30 years and was disappointed at the weekend to note some of the cuff Velcro has started to unstitch.
I can't compare it but can highly recommend Buffalo kit, hard wearing, last years.

Still using my my buffalo - must be 15 years old now. Its not as warm as new, but its California - not Bosnia. I would say it was never as warm as my softy, but much more durable.


You can't wash your hands in them.

Back on thread. Ex Mr Dale had one. He said it was great.

I've only got the Buffalo mittens, which help my typing.

They're also roasty McToasty and are good for fondling that lovely little bit of snow before you hoy it at the back of someones head.
My Buffalo is still going after 16 years...had to take it in to Dixies to get the zips replaced last september, but other than that still going strong.

Probably not quite as warm as a Softie...but it's completely windproof and still works when it's wet.


Most of the Buffalo range is for physical activities where you need maximum wicking to remove moisture.If you want something that has insulation for stops , static I would recommend the Belay jacket. I myself use Teclite shirt and jacket for tabbing and Belay once stopped to camp or bivvi.. Hope this helps. I also use Belay over Teclite when conditions get realy cold on the move.
I have the green montane version which works like the buffalo I had for years. The quality is better than I remember buffalo to be.
I prefer Montane Extreme smocks as they were cheaper than Buffalos, but I note now the prices are fairly comparable. Built to last with no issues and an excellent bit of kit compared to "issue tissue" copies.


Book Reviewer
+1 for the Buffalo.

I've got one of the now-discontinued cycling shirts (basically, the shirt but with an extended back and pouch pockets) and it's excellent. Does all it's claimed to.

mess pres

Bottom line- buffalos are great.

I have had a buffalo mountain shirt (like a special six but shorter) for about 15 years and it is still going strong, very warm great for when you are active in the cold. The issued 'buffalo' is not a bad thing in it's own right, however the lining is fleece rather than pile and so is not as insulating (like nowhere near). I use it for running in winter, whereas I would overheat in the buffalo after about 5 minutes.

This year i got a belay jacket which has a full length zip and a built in hood and am impressed the quality feels good and it has a label in saying 'still made in sheffield' which I like. It obviously loses the map pocket.

A few years ago on eBay there were a lot of Buffalo BAS parkas (BAS standing for British Antarctic Survey) being sold off cheap (£24), so we snapped a couple up. Strange thing, very thick pile, hood, almost knee length, full length zipper, bright purple but very very warm. They now live in the car, as a just in case we break down jacket.

Also have had a snugpak sleeka for a long time and its a very warm jacket indeed, packs down small, is light and very well made, however the zip does tend to get stuck in the Pertex (this may have been sorted on more modern versions). The issued 'snugpak jacket' feels crap in comparison and i would trust the snugpak over the issued one everytime.

The special six and mountain shirts are both great, and the advantage over the snugpak insulated jacket I have is that they have side zips and so can be vented on the move, if you are starting to overheat.

The buffalos are expensive but if you know anyone who goes to the falklands they can be got there cheaply (half UK price). Also look out on eBay, the quality of them is good so would not hesitate getting a second had one.


War Hero
Another vote, I'm still using a Survival Aids (made by Buffalo with a different badge) shirt I've had 28 years, probably not as breathable as it used to be as it's covered in paint and bitumen, but still pretty much intact and as good as ever
My Buffalo Special 6 is still going strong after 20 years of reasonable abuse. Stays warm even when soaked through, best worn next to the skin. Velcro hood is tops as well, especially with the mouth flap closed. Got mittens and salopettes as well, but it has to be proper Baltic to crack those out.

I made one mod to the shirt: split rings in both zip pullers on both side zips makes it easier to vent with gloves on.

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I'm going to be totally bias & recommend Buffalo special 6 too, for its functionability, warmth and build quality.

Bear in mind this shirt is also used by mountain rescue services, Police and many within the military.

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