Pertex/Pile Systems (Buffalo)

When it first appeared, the Buffalo Double P (Pertex/Pile) System was unique in concept and design. It has since copied by many firms, but never bettered in simplicity or performance.

Although Buffalo Double P System looks a bit like part of a layering system, it actually has nothing in common with layering systems at all. In fact Buffalo DP is more akin to a wetsuit. It works by being far more breathable (because it is not waterproof - shock! horror!) but being warm and windproof and very quick to dry. It is best used in winter conditions where temperatures are 0ºC and below but it will deal very well with rain if need be. To work at its best it should be worn close fitting (but not too tight) and next to the skin and no thermal underwear should be worn (shock! horror2!) If you do wear thermals you will a) probably buy your Buffalo too big so it won't work without them, b) overheat on the walk in and get all sweaty when you will then find that your thermal won't wick as well as the Buffalo's fibre pile and, finally, c) when it rains your thermal will get wet and won't wick as well as the Buffalo's fibre pile. In over ten years of using Buffalo for Scottish winter climbing one of the keenest winter climbers at Needle Sports (photo below) has never carried waterproofs or found them necessary in Scotland in winter!

Please click for the full story of Buffalo and how it Works.

Please note that whilst we try to keep good quantities of Buffalo DP in stock, they often sell out, especially when it is cold - so if you definitely want it, try and order a couple of months ahead if possible.

Others have copied the Buffalo system and some of these copies do offer worthwhile alternatives - in "fixtures and fittings" but the basis of the system is very much Buffalo's invention - we may on occasion stock some of these alternatives.

Finally, there are many other products on the Buffalo website which we do not stock - we can obtain any of these to order on the understanding that they are not returnable.


Photo: A great day for Buffalo! Walking out from the Shelter Stone after two bivis and a successful ascent of Route Major (IV, 5) on Carn Etchacan, Cairngorms. The climber is wearing High Altitude Salopettes, a Big Face Shirt (special limited edition in red) and a Belay Jacket and Hood, and the weather was foul! By the time the Cairngorm Plateau was reached the Buffalo wearer was so warm he had to remove his Belay Jacket whereas his companion in "breathable" waterproofs was seriously cold despite having put his spare layer on. On reaching the car park, the Buffalo wearer was dry whereas the Layering System user had to get changed as his under garments were soaked with sweat and he was getting very cold.

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