For those who take seriously the challenge of outdoor activities, beyond that of the casual summer enthusiast, clothing is a serious business. Whether that activity is mountaineering, climbing, hill walking, skiing, multi-terrain biking or canoeing, function not fashion is the only criterion. When a shirt, jacket or pair of trousers cannot just make you comfortable, but could possibly be instrumental in saving your life, then it pays to select a product that has been tested and is intended for use in extreme conditions. In life threatening conditions colour and style become unimportant.
Buffalo was established to meet the needs of those who pursue their pleasure seriously whatever the season or weather. In the late 1970s Buffalo originated the Pertex/Pile concept after developing Pertex with Perseverance Mills Ltd. This densely woven capillary fabric absorbs and disperses moisture very rapidly along its fibres and over the surface area where it evaporates. It is also highly windproof, breathable and repels external moisture, when used in conjunction with the insulating Pile fabric developed by Buffalo. This results in a system which keeps the user warm, whilst wicking moisture away from the body and repelling external moisture. The result ensures that you are comfortable in cold,wet conditions.
Since the origination of this concept these fabrics have been technologically improved and the range of clothing and sleeping bags set the standard in the field. All Buffalo products are tested rigorously over at least a Scottish winter season. All components from zips to thread are likewise thoroughly tested and are the best available. The quality and performance can be judged from the fact that Mountain Rescue Teams, RAF Rescue Teams, Association of Mountain Instructors, Police and Fire Service Emergency teams and Under Water Rescue Teams all buy Buffalo.
There are no superfluous features on any of the Buffalo range; no unnecessary zips and pockets; no unnecessary seams to allow moisture penetration and thus cause chilling; no yearly colour change in an attempt to be fashionable. The aim remains the same: function not fashion - performance and durability being the only criterion.
This range forms the basis for the Buffalo System and is intended for winter use for various specified activities.Depending upon the usage, two basic types of outer fabrics are used :
P5 which is windproof to 35-40mph (56-64kph) and resists rainfall to the rate of 1/2 inch per hour (12.7mm per hour). P6 is windproof to 45-50mph (72-80kph) and resists rainfall to the same rate of 1/2 inch per hour (12.7mm per hour). Apart from windproof performance, P6 is more abrasion resistant and is therefore used in clothing for activities where abrasion is a major concern, such as in ice climbing. Independent tests prove Pertex to be more highly breathable than any other similar fabric available.
None of the Buffalo products are intended to be waterproof. They are proofed to repel water and they keep the wearer warm even when the garment is wet, provided the wearer keeps active, or if stationary, exercises every 10 minutes to prevent their body temperature from dropping. All the lined overhead garments work more efficiently when worn next to the skin. In this way the pile fabric wicks moisture away from the skin more rapidly, where it is then dispersed by the Pertex to the external surface to evaporate and keep the body dry and free from chilling. This is the fundamental principal of the Buffalo system: to keep moisture away from the skin, because in cold conditions if perspiration is not allowed to escape it is retained and rapidly cools to cause chilling and possibly hypothermia.
Although the Mountain Shirt and other Pertex/Pile overhead garments are intended as a base layer to replace various other layers of clothing, it is recognised that in certain circumstances an under layer is sometimes needed. If this is the case that layer must be of a material that is able to disperse moisture away from the skin - it is extremely dangerous to wear an under layer of cotton, as cotton retains moisture and very rapidly chills the body in even moderately cool temperatures and may cause hypothermia.
With all Buffalo overhead garments intended to be worn next to the skin, the side zips are an essential feature, not only allowing access, but to adjust for ventilation, enabling the user to regulate their body temperature. Active usage may require the zips to be lowered to ventilate and keep the body cool, but once at rest the zips should be closed to retain the body heat and keep the wearer warm.
The DP System is so effective at transmitting moisture that the best way of drying it is to wear it!