The Buffalo Systems Story

Buffalo Systems - a great British company

Buffalo Systems, based in Sheffield UK, are well regarded for their range of outdoor clothing and sleep systems. Among their most popular products are the Mountain Shirt, Special 6 Shirt and Belay Jacket. Here we take a look at the history of the company and what makes their products so special.

Back in the 1970s mountaineer Hamish Hamilton was becoming increasingly dissatisfied with the sleeping bags and clothing he had been using in winter months. This led him to explore more traditional ways of keeping warm and he learned about the techniques used by the Inuits - they used animal hides but reversed them so the fur was on the inside next to the skin. Crucially, this allowed moist air to circulate and escape through the pores of the hide. Even during physical activity and in freezing or wet conditions, the Inuit remained dry underneath their hides.

Having already had some experience with pile fabrics, Hamish went on the search for a waterproof shell to create the outer layer. This search led him to Perseverance Mills in Padiham, Lancashire (now converted into modern homes!). It is here that Pertex, the fabric that Buffalo has become famous for, was developed.

Buffalo Belay Jacket
Buffalo Belay Jacket

Back in Sheffield, Hamish set up a small workshop and started producing sleeping bags made from this new Pertex fabric with a pile lining. By adding layers, sleeping bags could be made for summer use right through to ones that could withstand harsh winter conditions.

Having assembled a team of serious outdoor enthusiasts, the next logical step was to build on the success of the sleeping bags and start manufacturing clothing. And so was born the first single-layer clothing range including the classic Mountain Shirt. They called this clothing range "DP" which stood for "Double P", i.e. Pertex and Pile.

Buffalo Systems made in Sheffield
Buffalo Systems made in Sheffield

The Buffalo range soon built up a loyal following with outdoor enthusiasts around the world. And word of mouth recommendations ensured the company went from strength to strength. Today, Buffalo have an excellent reputation for warm, waterproof and durable clothing, all of which are still manufactured in Sheffield on the outskirts of the Peak District.

View our range of Buffalo clothing

June 2019