Montane Extreme Vs. Buffalo Alpine jacket – which one?

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  • Montane Extreme Vs. Buffalo Alpine jacket – which one?
  • Aus
    Member

    Hi, following on from the help in my previous jacket thread, think I’ve whittled it down to one of these 2.

    Needs to be full length zip, definitely warm, and will be used for lots of dog walking (I feel the cold) and general out and about. Not for climbing, working outdoors or high energy outdoors. Want warmth as the main thing.

    Thanks

    Premier Icon BadlyWiredDog
    Subscriber

    My experience is that the Montane stuff fits better and looks more like clothing. As a curve ball, the heavier weight Polartec Alpha stuff is brilliant – Rab Alpha Direct jacket for example – though not as warm as the pile / Pertex system. More versatile as you can use it across a wider range of conditions. Then again if warmth is number one then pile / Pertex does the job.

    footflaps
    Member

    Rab Alpha Direct jacket for example

    I bought one of those last time I was in the Lake District. I like it, but I’d prefer a slightly thicker pertex shell, on the fell tops in strong winds, you can feel heat being sucked away. Probably on a par with a standard Buffalo.

    I tried on the Montane equivalent, very similar but the Rab was a better fit.

    Premier Icon BadlyWiredDog
    Subscriber

    I think Rab has basically opted for a slightly less than 100% windproof outer to improve breathability and you do need to add a shell layer if it’s properly windy.

    Edit: yep, it’s Pertex Quantum Air which is a bit more permeable than standard Pertex.

    stevious
    Member

    Fit is fairly important with pertex/pile. It’s generally not as supple as other insulation stuff (down or primaloft) so won’t conform to your body as easily. I haven’t bought any pertex/pile in years but the montane stuff fit my skinny frame better than the buffalo stuff.

    Are you able to try both on?

    footflaps
    Member

    I think Rab has basically opted for a slightly less than 100% windproof outer to improve breathability and you do need to add a shell layer if it’s properly windy.

    Edit: yep, it’s Pertex Quantum Air which is a bit more permeable than standard Pertex.

    Yes, not really what I want, I only wear a shell if it’s really pissing down.

    Premier Icon epicyclo
    Subscriber

    I’m very keen on my Buffalo smock (Pertex 6). Gets worn in the ‘Puffer and when it’s really foul.

    My only problem with it is that on the bike the side vents are a hassle if you want to use them while riding (not at any other time).

    For that reason only, I have ordered a Montane Extreme jacket. The central zip is easier to operate to quickly vent heat on a steep climb.

    These things are warm enough that the problem isn’t keeping warm, it’s getting rid of surplus heat. 🙂

    Premier Icon BadlyWiredDog
    Subscriber

    These things are warm enough that the problem isn’t keeping warm, it’s getting rid of surplus heat. 🙂

    Exactly. Which is why Alpha is arguably better for a lot of applications. Pike / Pertex is like the 1980s solution to the same problem. Alpha does a broadly similar job but with less bulk and less excessive warmth. The reality is that nothing is ideal 100% of the time, you just choose where your compromises are.

    ton
    Member

    Aus, just messaged you back.

    Premier Icon gallowayboy
    Subscriber

    I have a Montane extreme and its fantastic for winter outdoor work (not hard graft, but fiddly fettly jobs outside, standing about, bit of moving, carrying that sort of stuff). The cuffs overlay good gloves, the hood is well fitted and its a good length, in large, for my 5’10”. The venting is better than my old buffalo, but that’s years ago and I guess they’ve improved.
    Great for post swim/kayak warming up, or as a belay jacket. I wouldn’t want to be exerting too much in it, its seriously warm, winter dog walking i’d say ideal, sounds to be suited to your needs.

    Premier Icon iainc
    Subscriber

    does the Montane have any waterproofness about it, or purely windproof ?

    Premier Icon BadlyWiredDog
    Subscriber

    It’s windproof / water resistant, but pile holds virtually no water, so it dries super quick as basically any damp runs out of the bottom. Back in the day they did a publicity stunt where someone waded into a lake wearing Buffalo and dried out super fast. It wasn’t so much that water wicks outwards, more that it just runs down and out of the pile liner.

    Premier Icon epicyclo
    Subscriber

    ianc

    does the Montane have any waterproofness about it, or purely windproof ?

    I’m assuming the Montane will be similar in performance to the Buffalo.

    Like the Buffalo it’s Pertex with pile, so breathable and relies on the really tight weave to repel most water. The interior pile means you don’t get wet feeling unless it’s monsoonal.

    The only time I’ve felt the need for more protection was in a ‘Puffer 24hr where there was prolonged heavy sleet and wind on parts of the course, and I solved that problem by chucking on another Pertex shell (Montane cycling one).

    The rest of the time it’s all you need, and a few hours of ordinary rain isn’t going to bother it IMO.

    It may be ’80s tech, but I trust it.

    footflaps
    Member

    The venting is better than my old buffalo, but that’s years ago and I guess they’ve improved.

    I doubt they’ve changed at all!

    footflaps
    Member

    https://www.snugpak.com/outdoor/vapour-active-soft-shell-jacket

    That looks more like a copy of Rab’s Vapour rise jackets…

    avdave2
    Member

    I’ve got a Montane Extreme, originally bought it for standing around watching my son play football in the winter. It’s very good and it always surprises me just how much warmer it is if you use the hood rather than just a hat. I went for a medium despite usually being a small because I’ve had other Montane tops that were too tight across the shoulders in small. I have the same issue with Endura as well. I’d say it was perfect for dog walking duties, too warm for anything strenous but perfect for walking about in.

    Lionheart
    Member

    Want to make a Buffalo more waterproof? Give it the lightest of irons, waterproof ness goes up, breath ability goes down.

    Premier Icon Del
    Subscriber

    I have a Montane extreme bnwt I can let go for a reasonable price if it’s of interest. It’s a medium but comes up a bit bigger than regular Montane IMO.

    Aus
    Member

    Thanks all, v helpful.

    And Del – have PM’d you, interested!

    joshvegas
    Member

    I was considering a montane extreme for the other half so I can get mine back when its cold.

    Is there not a womens version?

    Premier Icon Alpha1653
    Subscriber

    I’ve had the smock version for the last 10 years and it’ll be perfect for what you want. Mega warm, windproof and resistant to rain. And even when the Pertex lets the water through, it won’t be much and the pile will stop you getting properly wet. It doesn’t pack down very small at all but who cares. Just don’t use it for anything too intense in anything other than the coldest of conditions.

    tomcrow99
    Member

    I’ve had both as smocks. Buffalo was from 2000ish so may have been updated but the fit was a little basic but it lasted for about 10 years and stayed toasty. The Montane looked better, fit better had better features ( detachable hood, cordura on high wear areas etc) BUT… it fell apart. The stitching was total sh!te and it lasted about 3 years before it literally became unwearable. A real shame.I replaced that with a Hagaloffs Barrier II which isn’t quite as warm but is still great and packs up much smaller than a pile based smock.

    Premier Icon oldagedpredator
    Subscriber

    I’ve had Buffalo and Montane Smocks. Preferred the Montane but the Buffalo was an early 90s version. Didn’t really get on with cuffs, cut and general fit. Fond it warm enough but not as warm as an older fibre pile jacket and a wind proof. Not had any issue with the Montane smock – it was my go to winter work top. Bulky but vented enough for moving and toasty enough for standing around. Found the pouch pocket really useful for putting pens, gps, note pads etc in whilst still keeping the hand warmer pockets clear to be open for venting.

    lotto
    Member

    I have the Alpine Jacket. Good when moving. Cold when stationary. Colour has faded badly around the contact areas of my bergan. It is the deep russet one and around 3 years old. In fairness in gets hammered and not much in the way of maintenance. I’ll replace it with this. Jottnar Elvar

    Premier Icon epicyclo
    Subscriber

    tomcrow99

    The Montane looked better, fit better had better features ( detachable hood, cordura on high wear areas etc) BUT… it fell apart.

    They have a lifetime warranty. How did they respond to your problem?

    Interested because my Montane jacket has just arrived.

    joshvegas

    Is there not a womens version?

    They are pulled into shape by the tightening cords, so I think whatever size fitted would shape up nicely.

    Maybe a women would be not so keen to wear them next to skin because the side vents on the smock would be a bit revealing.

    Premier Icon matt_outandabout
    Subscriber

    As above, I found the Montane a better all rounder. The cut is better, zip placement better with wind flaps (my really old mk1 grey and red buffalo was a pain for freezing nips of air when winter climbing from the zips).
    The only criticism I have of it is it’s over designed and in places has too many layers of thicker pertex – so just doesn’t dry as rapidly. This may not be an issue for you, but I sold mine within a year as a sailor and canoeist it just didn’t work as well as a buffalo..

    I replaced it with a Montane Krypton. More like a vapour rise. I found this an 80% jacket – there were only 20% of days I didn’t wear it… It was layering again, unlike pile/pertex, but I found it so adaptable, so quick to dry, well cut and just brilliant. But not the warm the OP is looking for.

    Premier Icon Scapegoat
    Subscriber

    I like my Montane Extreme smock, but it’s far from breathable. I’m wearing it now, over just a Paramo baselayer, and it’s great when you’re sitting still. It gets very sweaty on uphill walks, so have basically relegated it to times when I’m sitting out in the cold not actually moving about. Great if you’re wanting to stay warm without layering.

    Spin
    Member

    I like my Montane Extreme smock, but it’s far from breathable

    I think they breath quite well, it’s just that they’re so warm you sweat so much that no garment could cope with it.

    Premier Icon Scapegoat
    Subscriber

    You could be right. It’s about 6 degrees here, high humidity, very little wind and I’m at 1300-1400 feet. The smock is open at the neck, the side vents are open, and I’ve had to take off my hat and gloves to lose heat. It’s been a few years since I wore it, and will stick with baselayer, mid-fleece and Paramo for walking. The montane is great for cold nights out waiting for stuff, but doesn’t bear any exertion.

    Got both. Both excellent, but I find the Montane Extreme considerably warmer and Buffalo better for very active stuff. The Montane is great for all round pottering and I basically live in it for the winter.

    Premier Icon Clink
    Subscriber

    I replaced it with a Montane Krypton.

    I’ve got one too. Brilliant. Shame they stopped making them.

    Premier Icon epicyclo
    Subscriber

    As for the sweating issue, the Extreme in the name is the clue to its intended use.

    Otherwise I’m in Rab Vapor-Rise.

    Spin
    Member

    Re the Montane Krypton, still have 2 of them, they were superb bits of kit.

    As for the Extreme, I climbed in one for years and liked it but eventually realised things had moved on a bit and there were other things that did the job better.

    Spin
    Member

    Here’s me sweating like **** in my Montane Extreme.

    [url=https://flic.kr/p/2hQqMTs]7729[/url] by happycrenker, on Flickr

    [url=https://flic.kr/p/2hQny38]80186[/url] by happycrenker, on Flickr

    [url=https://flic.kr/p/2hQric2]166574[/url] by happycrenker, on Flickr

    Spin
    Member

    Oh and now I’m looking back through old pictures, here’s a Montane Krypton in action.

    [url=https://flic.kr/p/RQW7RN]1016961_10152301435720049_2017468300_n[/url] by happycrenker, on Flickr

    [url=https://flic.kr/p/2hQo7MG]1519322_10152395441389198_4989339378781468699_o[/url] by happycrenker, on Flickr

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