The Full Buffalo – review

Buffalo gear, you don’t need to wear layers with it – according to them. Use it on it’s own they say. But do you really want to risk spending £100’s, go up a munro in winter then find yourself freezing! It was my top worry – will it actually keep me warm enough?

After all, that sort of advise that goes against pretty much everything you’ll read. I’ve also been up enough munros in winter to know even with many layers you can still feel very cold. More often than not that will be linked to the wind strength, which will cut right through whatever you have on.

Who are Buffalo?

The name is not a household brand, at least whenever I’ve been into my local stores (Go Outdoors/Tiso/Millets/Blacks etc) I’d never seen it. Well once, many years ago I seen a Buffalo jacket in Cotswolds – but way back then and I was only starting out hiking. At the time I wasn’t prepared to ‘risk’ getting an item that seemed to go against everything I’d read in regards to getting gear for the outdoors! Plus they aren’t the cheapest (also not the most expensive) for starting out. Not to mention that, but if like me you are based in Scotland where all the good hills are 😁 – you have pretty much nowhere to go and try them on in person – so it’s an even risker purchase!

This is a map of the current stockists in Scotland! Not exactly convenient…

Why did I go for Buffalo?

Layering or lack of it and also that I was told many in mountain rescue use this same gear. So if it’s good enough for a rescuer then it should be good enough for myself. In winter you carry more gear and more weight. Consider being able to remove a whole heap of layers from my bag, the space and weight difference will be brilliant. No need for a thermal vest, no need for a long sleeve T-shirt, no need for a fleece, no need for a shell, no need for a thermal jacket (although I think I will always carry that for an emergency). Sounds great.

Review time

So I purchased 4 Buffalo items, thought that it was about time to refresh my gear and if I an get away with lighter items and still be warm then great. In for a penny in for pound as they say.

Having purchased the following 4 items, I’ll review them individually (keeps this page from being massive). Each link will take you to the specific review for that item –

Each item has it’s own characteristics and as such I’ll rate each item differently – so I’m not going to give everything an overall score, but rather split it down per item.

Ben Chonzie

The first outing of my gear was up Ben Chonzie at the start of Feb. Ben Chonzie is a short and pretty simple hill and great for winter hikes. It was my location for my first winter walk as I regard it as a ‘safe’ hill for winter. NOTE: no hill is safe if the weather is bad – but if you wish to do a munro then you are highly unlikely to fall off a cliff if you hike up Ben Chonzie.

Weather

Steady and strong wind, topped off with consistent rain.

So it was wet, followed by more rain and a freezing strong wind. Not perhaps the sternest test for gear but still a good one as the wind was steady and strong with rain driving at you. Each item has it’s own characteristics and as such I’ll rate each item differently – so I’m not going to give everything an overall score, but rather split it down per item.

Quick Glance Review

ItemProsNegativesScore (out of 10)
Special 6 Shirt/JacketIt can be worn on its own.
Warm
Lightweight
Zips
No waterproof pocket
7
Special 6 TrousersWarm, feels like they are hard wearing.Zips are a weak point for warmth.
Lack of pockets
8
GlovesWarm (when you don’t need to remove)Need to remove to do anything. Lack of sense. Shinny/non-grip material.
Not waterproof at all.
4
HoodSolid and easy to attach.
Warm, windproof. No issues.
The attachable facemask part (not used) is a risk of being blown away as not attached.9

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