Buffalo clothing and sleep systems.

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Buffalo clothing and sleep systems.

Postby Trikeyohreilly » 25 Mar 2019, 10:49am

Following a real bit of luck in a local charity shop I have become an owner of a Buffalo 3 season sleeping bag outer, which is seemingly the same as the more modern 4 season. Following a Nickwax Tech Wash and spray on reproofing it seems it will live to fight another day.

I've read a lot of reviews over the past few days and think I get how they are supposed to work/be used but would still be interested to hear from anyone who has any experience with the clothing and in particular the sleeping system.

Your thoughts please. Ed

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Re: Buffalo clothing and sleep systems.

Postby Graham O » 25 Mar 2019, 4:22pm

The Buffalo sleeping system is a difficult one to quantify. I used to have a single bag and always found it quite cold, but adding another layer made it much warmer than I would have expected. It was almost a case of 1 + 1 =3.
They do work well in cold wet environments and I designed some for offshore sailing where there is usually a lot of water sloshing around. They worked well even when damp to the touch and would dry out with the occupant's body warmth.
However the biggest problem is packed size and weight.

The clothing works very well, although I could never wear it next to the skin (if I opened the side zips, the cold blast on bare flesh was unpleasant) and always wore a base layer as well; much better in my opinion. For high activity days in the mountains, a shirt and base layer was good for typical North Wales winter conditions but it was too warm outside the months of November to March. Wearing the mountain parka over the shirt was, like the sleeping bag, much warmer than I would have expected.

As for the concept of wearing it in the rain and always staying warm and dry, I found that it worked, but stopping for lunch with a soaked shirt on was just unpleasant. I still prefer the sweat but protection of a shell jacket.

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Re: Buffalo clothing and sleep systems.

Postby Cunobelin » 25 Mar 2019, 5:53pm

Used extensively for hill walking and cycling in the 70's

Never wore more than a mountain shirt and a Goretex jacket

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Re: Buffalo clothing and sleep systems.

Postby jimlews » 25 Mar 2019, 7:04pm

Have the Buffalo sleeping bag system. Now very old so may not be representative of current offerings (if any).

I found the whole thing a great disappointment and not up to the claims of the manufacturer. Namely, it was cold to sleep in ( even with the three nesting bags deployed) and very bulky when stowed. Just one of the bags, the 'three season inner' could JUST be squeezed into a carradice Super C rear pannier. That left the two remaining bags of the system taking up all remaining pannier space; So not ideal for the cycle-tourist. Also the zips always came undone during the night and one finally broke after ingesting parts of the bag adjacent.

I remember the advertising blurb suggesting that it was suitable for sleeping in snow holes. I think not!

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Re: Buffalo clothing and sleep systems.

Postby pjclinch » 30 Mar 2019, 8:25pm

I picked up a Special 6 shirt on eBay a couple of years ago, and was sufficiently impressed to complement it with an Active Lite.

Particularly with the S6 I find that next to skin works very well. I'd anticipated problems with side vents attracting icy winds, but in practice I find that the range of venting features (aside from the side and neck zips, cinching the cuffs, rolling up the sleeves, the chest strap and using the velcro tabs at the sides to pull everything snugger or leave it looser) is flexible enough that if there's a side wind you can just keep one side done up and let everything else take up the slack.

The S6 is hot enough for me that I've never really wanted to supplement its warmth with another layer, and I find that next-to-skin is quite a bit better at dissipating sweat than traditional layering. I use the Active Lite against the skin too, but when it's a bit cold for that but not so cold as to want the S6 I'll add a thin base underneath (last week I was XC skiing in the Active Lite with a thin merino shirt underneath, would have been too chilly without the base but I'd have boiled in the S6 as soon as the activity level went up).

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