/ Rab Boreas or Buffalo Wind Shirt

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benallan on 16 May 2013
A windproof top is a favourite piece of kit for me, but I’ve never been able to find one that is ‘just right’. I’ve already owned or tried the following:

Rab Cirrus – large is too baggy but medium is too tight.
Marmot – same as Rab.
Montane Featherlite – sleeves too short, only xl has long enough sleeves for me, but is huge everywhere else
Patagonia Houdini – I like Patagonia gear, but 80 odd quid for a wind top is a bit much
North Face Flyweight – good hood and shape but body length too short
Paramo ‘Tattie Sack’ Fuera – fit is horrible also too heavy and not as packable as the rest.

My body shape/size is obviously a problem, I’m 6’1, slim-ish build, slighty disproportionate upper-upper body and a longer than average arm length (ideal for climbing but crap for fitting clothes).

I’m thinking about looking at the Buffalo Wind Shirt, and also considering the Rab Boreas, any opinions on either of these? What is the sizing like on them? Any other suggestions for a breathable, lightweight, packable wind top?
SidharthaDongre - on 16 May 2013
In reply to benallan:

With regards to fit, Buffalo size their 'upper' garments in 2 inch increments, starting from about 34/36 inches to around 46 inches. As such, you should be able to find a good fit depending upon what you wear underneath at any given time.
BnB - on 16 May 2013
In reply to benallan: I have a Boreas in a medium and am similar build: slim 6ft with long arms. The fit is excellent as a base layer but loose enough to function as a lightweight midlayer over any base (I wore it over a long sleeve icebreaker and under a hardshell and other insulation on several winter climbs this year). I'm in two minds about the performance. I tend to run hot and this thing is so damned warm. I find this problem with other Rab gear. I think their target market has a slower metabolism!! Of course most would regard this thermal efficiency as a huge plus so take my criticism with tongue in cheek. The pocket is perfect size for accommodating smartphone without it jiggling about irritatingly. So I guess this is quite a positive review despite my (somewhat contrary) reservation
due - on 16 May 2013
In reply to benallan:

Boreas and Buffalo were both too short in the body for me (6'2"). Marmot Ether was a lot better but not purely a windshirt.
Damo on 16 May 2013
In reply to benallan:

I'm a bit the same re:fit but I found the Boreas too baggy around the waist and a tad tight across the back and shoulders (in an XL) though the arm length is good. It's a useful bit of gear, I found it very good for trekking at altitude in Peru a couple of years back and good for cool weather rock climbing. It's also a tad more urban than a Buffalo shirt so you can wear it around towns etc a bit more stylishly, so good for travel and better value in the long run. Not as rain-resistant as a Buffalo though.

I've also owned or tried the Houdini, Fuera and Marmot. I've got several Arcteryx Squamish tops which I find better than all those but they are expensive unless you get them on sale (rare). They're like a Houdini, with a better fit.

The Norrona Bitihorn Aero 60 is worth a look. Fit not as good as the Squamish but better than the Rab/Montane etc. http://www.norrona.com/Products/0752-09/bitihorn-aero60-Jacket-(M)
Haglofs probably also make something good.
thedatastream on 16 May 2013
In reply to benallan:

I'm a similar size to you being 6 ft 1 with long arms. I've got a Buffalo Curbar wind top and I use it for running mostly. Decent fit, could do with a bigger integrated hood for my massive head but otherise great. Performs well in strong wind!
benallan on 17 May 2013
In reply to benallan:

Thanks guys, some good advice there.
GridNorth - on 17 May 2013
In reply to benallan: I have a Boreas. I can't make my mind up what it is meant to do and the sleeves are disproportionately long. It's not as affective as my Marmot Driclime as an insulator, windproof or showerproof garment. On the positive side it packs up small and has a hood but it's not as small as my Rab windshirt so it's not convenient for carrying on the harness either. Never considered wearing it as a base layer I must admit so it never really gets worn.
bouldery bits - on 17 May 2013
In reply to GridNorth:

Inclined to agree with GridNorth re: Boreas. But... Despite not being 100% wind proof I love mine as a second layer on chilly runs or windy days on the rock.
AlanLittle - on 17 May 2013
In reply to GridNorth:

I have a Boreas and don't like it at all. It's sold as sun protection but it's far too hot and sweaty to wear in the sun; it's not as warm as a proper insulating piece nor is it fully windproof.
BnB - on 17 May 2013
In reply to AlanLittle: I bought the Boreas imagining it would find most use as a lightweight summer jumper, easy to fit under a slim hardshell on cold, rainy descents. And that is one task I haven't been able to ask it to do yet.

But I do still reckon it would go well as a warm day summit lunch warm layer over my default base tee and light vest, in preference to an insulating layer.
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gear boy - on 21 May 2013
In reply to benallan: amongst all the other comments I thought I would throw an option in, Montane Velo jkt, slimmer body and longer arms for cycling, might fit you if you want a windproof/water resistant thin top, alternatively look at other cycling windproofs maybe?

Bear in mind Boreas is not windproof and doesn't appear to be that water resistant either, but a bit of nikwax helps that bit

Buffalo though if you are prepared to wait a while could make you a longer sleeve option, it will cost extra but you could try for size then say, i want this with a plus 2" sleeve and then in a while you will get it.


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