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  • Chris Nowell

Buffalo systems


Silhouette of person standing with with evening light
Sunset silhouette


When it comes to a outdoor lifestyle or, in my case, landscape photography in the Peak District, National Park. There is nothing to be found. Better then BUFFALO SHIRTS made in Sheffield.

In addition to being windproof and water resistant up to 50 miles per hour, this shirt is very fast to dry if fully submerged with the movement of the body. Buffalo clothing is certainly the best choice for outdoor enthusiasts with wind speeds up to 50 miles per hour.

Let's take a closer look at this clothing



Black-and-white photograph standing underneath Stanage
Stanage Edge


The History of Buffalo direct from their website


In the late 1970s mountaineer Hamish Hamilton, already with the legendary Force 10 tent design behind him, began thinking about sleeping bags.

Being discontented with the bags and clothing he had been using in winter in the Scottish highlands, he became intrigued by how the indigenous people of the Arctic Circle kept warm, utilising animal hide with the fur on the inside. By reversing the hide so that the tips of the fur were in contact with the skin, they found that moisture laden air was able to circulate and escape through the porous hide. Even in heavy rain, and after vigorous exercise, their skin remained dry and safe from freezing as the fur’s properties ensured water was removed quickly from the garment. This interested Hamish as unlike other outdoor designers, Hamish was concerned with comfort from the inside rather than waterproofness from the outside.


Hamish had been working with pile fabrics and was impressed with their performance and durability, now he needed a really superior shell fabric. There are many stories of how Hamish went on to design Pertex which became the shell fabric for his sleeping bags. Our favourite is the one involving the typewriter ribbon; Hamish became interested in how the finely woven ribbon moved the ink across its fibres. With this in mind he visited many textile factories before eventually arriving at Perseverance Mills in Padiham, Lancashire where Pertex was eventually developed and produced.

Hamish formed Buffalo in a small workshop in Sheffield and began manufacturing a sleeping bag system. By adding layers, this system could be used all year round, from casual camping to Scottish winter conditions. Buffalo Sleeping bags were the very first sleeping bags to be made from Pertex, and combined with fibre pile they proved unbeatable for performance in wet and extreme conditions, and for durability; some of our original bags are still in regular use today.


The team Hamish gathered at Buffalo all had serious outdoor interests, from cycling, climbing, caving and walking to paragliding and cross country skiing. This led to the original patented concept of Pertex and Pile sleeping bags being developed to include Pertex and Pile clothing for serious outdoor people. Hence, all the designs were those specifically needed for various pursuits, not just conceptual design.

Buffalo originated the first single-layer clothing system, which we called the DP System. DP stands for Double P as in Pertex and Pile. The iconic Buffalo Mountain shirt won the Outdoor Writers Guild Golden Boot award in 1986.

Over the years the Buffalo team worked with outdoor professionals around the world to ensure their requirements were met and the clothing and sleeping bags were put to the most rigorous tests.

Through word of mouth, we rapidly gained a reputation as designers and manufacturers of exceptionally effective, durable garments and to this day, have a loyal customer base who come back to us time after time. We confidently state that our products do what they claim, and are proud to have been “Between you and the Wilderness” for over 40 years.




Black buffalo shirt
Old Buffalo special six shirt



Buffalo have over the years provided outdoor clothing to all branches of the Armed Forces, especially the infantry and special forces these days, and they are often associated with mountain rescue services and other organizations in this area.

It has been approximately 23 years since I purchased my first Buffalo shirt, the special six shirt in black. Even though it has a few scratches and rips, it is still suitable for outdoor use. Last year, I also purchased the new version of the Buffalo special six shirt in green. This is not just an outdoor clothing item, but a long-term investment.


Buffalo isn't just known for outdoor shirts. In fact, as I previously mentioned, they began with sleeping bags. During this time, they have continued to provide sleeping bags, shirts, jackets and coats, as well as trousers mittens, hoods for shirts, and even items for the young children to keep them warm and cozy.


In addition to the Buffalo special sick shirt, the buffalo mountain shirt is very similar and both are available for both men and women, so there is something for everyone.


It is the military mindset that I enjoy most about the Buffalo shirts. As a result of wearing my buffalo special six shirt, I do not have to add additional layers. I usually just wear the shirt on my skin and this keeps me warm, dry and comfortable. If needed, I might add a base layer, but that's it. Except for Buffalo mittens and a hat, nothing else would be required. As a result, I will not have to carry a full set of Long leggings, for example. Instead of a T-shirt jumper and coat, I will need this one layer, and if I need anything else, I will be able to comfortably put a coat on top.

For some, this may appear strange, but it is a return to basics and a winning team that works every time. Making my adventures in the great outdoors with my landscape Photography that one step, easier and more comfortable.


To find out more visit the Buffalo systems Ltd website by clicking on the photo below.





rays move light
Stanage Edge Rays of light


I just wish to confirm that Buffalo did not ask me to say any of the above about the products. Buffalo systems do not know I am even doing this blog. It is all my own opinion about a fantastic brand which keeps my outdoor adventures, going.


Chris Nowell Photography



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