Fibre Pile use question...Buffalo, Montane Extreme etc

Discussion in 'Clothing & Footwear' started by el manana, Jan 14, 2015.

  1. el manana

    el manana Thru Hiker

    A couple of questions on these fibre pile type jackets to anyone who's used them before.
    So...they're used as next to skin possibly with thin base layer. The pertex outer is dwr, needs re proofing with Nikwax spray on occasionally. How does this work in heavy rain or when snowing? Does it wet out through to the skin?

    How does it compare warmth wise to an usual down or PL insulation/hard shell combination on mild/moderate activity e.g cross country walking?

  2. gixer

    gixer Thru Hiker

    Used to have the Buffalo and i couldn't get on with it.

    Heavy (even worse when wet)
    Wayyyyyyyy too hot when moving, but oddly got cold when stopped

    I tried and tried with it, but after a really cold week hiking in Scotland i had enough, i was hiking in -5c windy conditions with every zip wide open but was still wet through with sweat to the point of getting dehydrated.

    So i gave it away when i returned.

    It does wet out when in sustained heavy rain, but to be honest you'll probably get wetter from sweat than the rain.
    They also weigh an absolute ton when wet.

    I do have to admit that this was around 20 years ago so it's possible newer versions are better.
    There is still no way even a thinner version will be as comfortable in non Artic UK conditions though as far as i'm concerned.
  3. MartinK9

    MartinK9 Section Hiker

    Never hike in mine.

    I use my Buffalo when I stop for longer than 5 mins, stactic around camp and as an extra layer when bedding down for the night.
  4. el manana

    el manana Thru Hiker

    Thanks so it sounds okay for mild activity in cold conditions, 1-2 hour walks, no ascent?..
  5. Whiteburn

    Whiteburn Thru Hiker

    Gave my buffalo away, I'd much rather go with a micro fleece + Montane Slipstream windshirt.
  6. cathyjc

    cathyjc Thru Hiker

    I love my Buffalo :) I have quite a few of them :oops:. "Does what it says on the tin" - does the job of a fleece plus wind shirt together - only with better venting and a lot harder wearing than most lightweight windproofs. If you are too hot in one then you've got the wrong garment for the conditions.

    I don't put my 'mountain shirt 'on until the temp is below 10C. Above that ,and upto 15C, I use a Teclite. Above that (and assuming no wind chill) I'd not expect to be wearing insulation anyway when moving, so pile/pertex would be daft. I have a Tecmax which gets used for sub zero serious winter stuff - brilliant :D. If it's persisting it down for any length of time then a hardshell over the top is necessary, otherwise showers/snow/sleet are no problem. I'm just in from 1.5 hrs walk in wind and sleet - the inside of my Buffalo is completely dry - no sweat no rain :D and perfect temp.

    Buffalo is good for when active in cold and/or wet. Mine gets put away for the warmer months. If I'm stopped (lunch/camp) and it's cold enough I'll put an insulation layer over the top. The week in Jura (-recent trip report) I lived in my Buffalo - wore it about 95% of the time (minus in my sleeping bag). I'ts tough, durable, comfortable and the pockets are all in the right places :cool:.

    The only downsides are bulk and weight. An equivalent fleece plus wind shirt would probably be approx - 500g (Arcteryx covert) + 300g (Paramo fuera) = 800g - so not that different.

    My oldest Buffalo is 7 yrs old , it is my regular outdoors jacket and has been used and abused a lot, and is still going strong :cool:.
  7. paul

    paul Thru Hiker

    On a mountain in winter id wear one. Think Cathy has it down really. They work for the conditions. They wick extremely well. You could do a river crossing, fall in and keep walking. it would wet out but it would dry quickly. I had one but never really cared for it next to my skin and a base made me run too hot. Proper cold is what its about. for comparison (for me) its probably the equivalent of a light base layer, rab boreas and Paramo aspira over the top
  8. Mole

    Mole Thru Hiker

    In the right conditions, it's brilliantly comfortable. For me that's around or lower than 0*C if active and a bit warmer for everyday use.

    I have 2 old 90's PnP jackets. 1 x Montanein red (before they went heavy duty elbow patches and thicker pile) and one Mardale in black.
    I added elbow to lower ribcage length pit-zips to both for venting which makes them quite versatile as I often wear the thinnest baselayer T shirt under these jackets so the main front zip can be a massive vent too.

    I have a pretty much New Olive Green Montane Extreme smock in large too (which I'm going to sell....;))

    Mine are sized to be loose rather than close fitting, which means I can use them as an outer jacket over other layers when less active (work or just going outside in winter - actually they're used more for this these days as for the hill).

    I've never bothered to replenish any DWR as I prefer a waterproof in rain - PnP is too hot for active use in rain for me. Anyhow, they stand a fair amount anyhow without a DWR IME. The original softshell.

    Until I got a Primaloft Jacket in 2008, I used PnP as my winter insulation. No worries re bulkiness in packing as my standard backpacking pack was a 1985 Berghaus AB65 till I 'lightened up':D

    Bought my Buffalo sleeping bag in 1987. Still going strong.

    Modelling one in suitable conditions (photo by Ed I think?)
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2015
    cathyjc and murpharoo like this.
  9. cathyjc

    cathyjc Thru Hiker

    Tracksterman used one during his Scottish winter trips. He obviously thinks they work -
  10. murpharoo

    murpharoo Section Hiker

    I also love my Buffalo Special 6 shirt :)

    I only use it on the coldest of days though as it is super warm.

    I was amazed during one wintry walk in the Radnorshire Hills when I saw a thick layer of ice over a large part of the jacket and despite this I was super snug. I always wear it next to the skin and to be warm with just 1 garment on despite this layer of covering ice was amazing.
    Tried it on a wet winter Snowdon ascent but I can't say I was comfortable when it wet through. Yes I was warm but not comfortable.

    For relatively dry but very cold weather it's great.
  11. 7wave

    7wave Trail Blazer

    "Mine are sized to be loose rather than close fitting," (the layers) Mole said. That's how it should be. It's all about heating the air between them. If there's no space, the multilayer effect won't work.
  12. kiltedpict

    kiltedpict Ultralighter

    I do love my Montane Extreme, but for me it only really gets used walking the kids to school, wee bimbles in the local woods etc. I don't do any major hills in the winter (not really fit enough) but I guess that's when it would come into its own- but it's just too warm unless sub zero. I was also a little disappointed at how cold I was in it if not actually moving- would be a pain in the butt to have to carry additional insulation layers as well as that thing- it's not light, especially in an xxl!!
  13. cathyjc

    cathyjc Thru Hiker

    I tried a Montane Extreme - seemed much warmer than the regular Buffalo Mountain Shirt. It's probably more like the Tecmax which has a (to my mind) nicer 'pile' :). I find the Buffalo pockets a better configuration too.

    I don't carry an extra insulation layer unless I'm planning a break ie. camping or a full day on the hill - where I'd carry an extra layer as a safety/emergency measure anyway.
  14. el manana

    el manana Thru Hiker

    Thanks all, its for my wife, she's finding the current 4 layer combination (fleece, down jacket, down vest) for walking the dog is just not warm enough.

    I was out the other day in my ME Polarloft jacket that has a Buffalo hood attached, couldnt help notice my head was far warmer than the rest of me!

    Finding a Montane Extreme for £49.99, an imminent birthday and the comments above have sealed the deal.

    Tried it today, very happy :)
  15. cathyjc

    cathyjc Thru Hiker


    She can vary the base layer underneath depending on the weather - trial and error as to what works for her.
  16. EM - Ross

    EM - Ross Thru Hiker

    My Mrs is a big fan of the Montane Extreme Jackets & actually has 2! Great for dog walking this time of year & watching the rugby.

    I found the Montane smock far warmer than the Buffalo & too hot for backpacking. The Buffalo (thanks Mole) I found fine for backpacking until it rained heavily then it was heavy & cold if I stopped. I think I could have more success for day walking. I get on better with layers for backpacking & for winter find Paramo great.

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