Gear – how did we cope without Buffs ? Buffalo gear who still has one?

The Buff – a simple garment that can be used as a bandanna or face neck protector. It has many uses. I bought my first Buff many years ago and had to use it as a bandage for a casualty in Skye. As normal I never saw it again but what a great piece of cheap simple gear. You can support your local Mountain Rescue Team and SARDA but buying a Buff from them. Our new-design, genuine “Buff” is an essential and very versatile item for having with you when exploring the mountains.

There’s no better way of showing your support!

Our new design, genuine “Buff” is an essential and very versatile item for having with you when exploring the mountains.

Environmentally friendly, our Buff is manufactured from polyester microfibre, made from recycled plastic bottles. It has a UPF 50 sun protection rating, good thermal insulation and moisture management.

The famous Buffalo jacket

We bought Buffalo jackets when they came out what a robust bit of gear. They were a bit heavy but superb in winter and as they got older they packed down in the rucksack a lot easier. Many swore by them some wearing them next to the skin I liked to wear an undergarment though. The name meant a lot as they were made in Scotland by Hamish Hamilton. I also had the Buffalo salopettes which were so warm but I used them on Denali with Ron hills underneath and they saved the day when caught in a big storm.

In the years to come you could tell an older mountaineer by its fading ~ buffalo special 6 shirt (UV faded), koflach boots and alpinist rucksack. The boots went in the bin many years ago but still got the rest !


About Buffalo

Warmth, protection and unfailing performance over long periods of time will always drive Buffalo Systems vision and is this something they will never compromise on. Buffalo Systems will never cease to seek out the most technologically advanced fabric, their focus on design for function over fast fashion will never shift, only ever changing things up and including new features that will actually make a difference. 
This is why, for over 42 years, so many serious outdoor enthusiasts and professionals choose Buffalo Systems for their adventures, expeditions and work in the outdoors.


Buffalo Systems use a variety of technologies to help achieve the best possible performance in every conceivable weather condition. Combining a synthetic pile material which sheds water quickly and provides thermal support even when wet, with a tightly woven Pertex outer that provides a lightweight, hard wearing soft fabric which has been treated with a PFC free water repellent finish.


Born in 1979 when Hamish Hamilton grew frustrated with the poor levels of performance and the severe lack of longevity in outdoor clothing and sleeping bags. Hamish looked to the indigenous people who stayed dry and comfortable in the Arctic Circle using animal hides. Mills in Lancashire provided the final piece of the puzzle for Hamis when they created Pertex, ever since they’ve stood happily between you and the wilderness.


Buffalo Systems produce hard-wearing, long-lasting products that are good to go adventure after adventure, year after year. Believing this is one of the biggest impacts a company can make to promote better sustainability. 
Not only do they make sure that their products are fit for purpose after years of use but they also take responsibility for minimizing their impact on the planet through their manufacturing techniques.

Care & Repair

Repairing and caring correctly for your outdoor gear is the single biggest action we can all take to reduce our impact on the environment and keep Buffalo’s going for longer and out of landfill. Buffalo offer all types of repairs from simple patch repairs caused by a campfire ember to full replacement panels or zips. Washing your Buffalo keeps it performing at its best, wash with Nikwax Techwash before using Nikwax TX Direct Spray-on to renew its water repellency.

I still see folk wearing them on the hill you certainly get your moneys worth out of them. The good thing is you can still purchase them. I found them great on long searches after a day on the hill I was rarely cold in the jacket. They also made a great pair of trousers that I had in Canada in winter ice climbing and the Himalayas. I have my gear to the Sherpa cook on Everest in 2001 I wonder whether there still going?

My mate Terry Moore and his trusty Buffalo

As always comments and photos welcome.

About heavywhalley.MBE

Mountain Rescue Specialist. Environmentalist. Spent 37 years with RAF Mountain Rescue and 3 years with a civilian Team . Still an active Mountaineer when body slows, loves the wild places.
This entry was posted in Clothing, Gear, mountain safety, Mountaineering. Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Gear – how did we cope without Buffs ? Buffalo gear who still has one?

  1. m30scs says:

    Got my second buffalo in 2005 for my military mountain leadership course in Kingussie. Still going strong
    Donated my first which was 15 years old to a young lad we’d employed as a mountain helper whilst on exped in wadi rumm jordan.
    Mine had been round the world twice with me and once with my son. Can’t think of a better bit of kit


  2. My Buffalo jacket is still in use after at least 15 years. Due to “two totally knackered knees” I don’t get into the hills much now, but the Buffalo is great in my new obsession of coastal rowing. Sitting in the coxes seat can be a cold experience but the Buffalo goes a long way to keeping the chill off. It’s only a couple of years since I stopped using a Buffalo Belay Jacket, at least 20 years old, for the same purpose!
    My Buffalo sleeping is great for sailing trips as a little bit of dampness doesn’t affect it much – unlike my down one.


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