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How did the Buffalo Active Lite Shirt perform for tester Damian Hall after long-term assessment?


When it comes to outdoor clobber, we’re often told layering up is the way to go. But it’s not the only way. Sheffield-based Buffalo Systems make shirts modelled on how the Innuit have kept warm for centuries, using animal hide.

Buffalo shirts aren’t made from buffalos (or badgers), thankfully, but they act as three layers in one. Next to the skin – and to be most effective they’re meant to be worn without a baselayer or outer shell – is deliciously soft and warm Pile fleece. The surface layer is Pertex, a material created by Buffalo, it’s only rainproof for about 30 minutes, but any water that gets through – including sweat and condensation – is driven back out quickly, keeping you warm.

A system of layers in contrast, traps moisture, so when stationary you can quickly get cold. I got an Active Lite for January’s Spine Race. It was too warm – the Teclite version would have been a better choice – but I’ve used it on various shorter outings and love how reassuringly warm and old-school military it feels. It makes you wish the coldest winter were here already.