Buffalo Teclite - Review
Buffalo Teclite Shirt - A fleece? Windbreaker? Softshell?
One of my most favorite pieces of clothing in our panniers is undoubtedly the Buffalo Teclite Shirt. Since 2015, the Buffalo Teclite Shirt has accompanied me almost during all my adventures. From winter in the Vosges, to Sarek National park in Sweden or just everyday during commuting. But what is the Buffalo Teclite Shirt exactly?
Buffalo Systems - Outdoor brand in Sheffield
The outdoor brand Buffalo Systems was founded in Sheffield, England. To this day, the products are still designed, manufactured and sold in the British district. In this way family traditions are honored and product quality is closely monitored. This is also partly reflected in their products. They look a bit more old-fashioned, but are completely focused on functionality. There will be no additional modifications without benefit to the user in terms of warmth, protection or overall performance. In addition to the standard version of each product, Buffalo Systems always gives you the opportunity to customize your product to your own taste. This can be a great added value for some people. However, I have not done this myself to keep the price down.
The current price of the Buffalo Teclite Shirt is currently 265 euros and is for sale (in Belgium) at Verreweg. Not a bargain, but hopefully after reading this review you have a better idea if this jacket is worth its money or not.
Material and design
Purely by sight, the Buffulo Teclite Shirt looks like an ordinary raincoat, but in a smock version. In reality, however, the Teclite is not waterproof at all. It is actually most comparable to a softshell, but slightly different. Actually, the Teclite combines a fleece and windstopper into one jacket.
The special thing about the Buffulo Teclite Shirt is that this jacket dries extremely fast, is extremely breathable and in wet weather is preferably worn on bare skin. In this way, the Teclite best fulfills its role of keeping you comfortable in wet and windy weather without overheating. To know better how this works exactly, let’s take a look at the design of the Teclite.
The Buffulo Teclite Shirt consists of two layers, namely an outer layer of Pertex class 4 and micro pile inner layer.
Pertex, consisting of woven nylon/polyamide, has the main function of keeping out wind and water while remaining breathable to drain condensation, sweat and water from the inside out.
The inner layer, the micro pile, is woven polyester with small bulges. Compare it to a doormat that also consists of small dots. Because of this way of working, this inner layer is extremely comfortable on the skin. So comfortable that you cannot compare it with many other types of clothing. You have to feel it to know what I mean! The idea of the Teclite is to wear it on bare skin. This puts the pile in immediate contact with your body and allows it to remove sweat, condensation and water very efficiently.
The Buffulo Teclite Shirt is not a regular jacket with front zipper but a smock design with two zippers on the side. The advantage of this is that the side zippers are less likely to have a cooling effect. In addition, it consists of two zippers so you can open the zippers completely and ventilate extra well. On the chest there is a front pocket where you can put some stuff and a pouch for extra material or to warm up your hands. The jacket has a hood that can be stored. Unfortunately, this hood is clearly a bit on the tight side so looking up with the hood on sometimes makes it a bit of a struggle. It is also not big enough to fit a helmet underneath. I myself often wear a hat when there is a lot of wind or cold, so I am less bothered by this.
How does the Buffulo Teclite Shirt perform in the rain?
Despite the fact that the Buffulo Teclite Shirt is not waterproof, in mild temperatures it is still one of my favorite jackets to wear on the bike (or other activity) in rainy weather. The outer layer, which you should regularly spray with Nikwax TX.Direct Spray-On, will keep out the wind and as much water as possible. Since the jacket is not completely waterproof, some water will always come in. This is where the inner layer, the pile, comes into action. Since the Teclite is best worn on bare skin in these conditions, the water, sweat and condensation is absorbed and dispersed over a large surface area extremely quickly. The larger the surface area, the faster the water can evaporate back and leave the jacket through the breathable Pertex layer. The driving force behind this evaporation is your own body heat.
The result is that you get slightly wet but remain completely comfortable. You create as it were your own microclimate inside the jacket where it is very nice to stay. Much nicer than a fully waterproof raincoat with membrane where you sweat like crazy. Waterproof just means that no water can get in from the outside. The moisture and sweat that is on the inside, can often only escape in a limited way in a classic raincoat, so you can still get ‘wet’ while moving.
As with any garment, there are also limits to Teclite in terms of rain and warmth. For example, the Buffulo Teclite Shirt can easily keep you comfortable in the rain with active use up to a temperature of 10-15°C. When it gets colder and keeps raining, you gradually hit the limit where this jacket remains comfortable. When it’s cold and raining, I often put on my poncho while cycling and possibly add a baselayer and/or midlayer (fleece). At times when it is really cold and wet for long periods of time, I wear a hardshell above or change to a fleece with hardshell.
Another option would be the ‘big brother’, Buffalo Special 6, which consists of a much thicker pile layer. This allows it to hold more air and therefore keep you warm longer. In my experience, I can keep warm in temperatures of 0-5° (in dry weather) while moving. The downside of this ‘thicker brother’ is the weight and bulky size, making it less ideal for an all-season cycling world traveler. However, for trips in Scandinavia, Scotland or in winter, this one goes with you by default!
The Buffalo Teclite Shirt as an ideal wind stopper
When cycling, you can sometimes catch quite a bit of wind. Especially during long descents, a wind block is no superfluous luxury. Since the Teclite is windproof up to speeds of 65 km/h, this jacket is also ideal here. Besides that, the pile/fleece inside is very warm and holds a lot of air for its weight. Together with the ventilation zippers, you can handle a wide range of wind and temperature without having to change clothes all the time.
The Buffalo Teclite Shirt as all-rounder
In dry weather, I like to wear a t-shirt or baselayer under the Teclite. Not because the pile is unpleasant, in contrast, but mainly because wearing the Teclite on bare skin can create some intense odors after some heavy sweating. This certainly doesn’t have to be a problem, but a t-shirt is a little easier to wash on the road than a full jacket.
Another reason to use layers in combination with the Teclite is for extra insulation. Together with a baselayer, fleece, Buff and hat you can quickly handle temperatures of 0-5° in dry weather (and active use). And since the jacket is extremely breathable, you have less trouble with building up condensation and sweat compared to a hardshell or thick softshell.
The Buffalo Teclite Shirt is a jacket that accompanies me on just about every adventure. Whether it is summer or winter, it’s a jacket that has a role to play in every season. The total cost of 265 euros is not nothing, but you get a product that requires little maintenance (except for the occasional treatment with Nikwax TX.Direct Spray-On) and gives you a lot of extra quality on the road!