O2W rating: 8 stars
The price point on this jacket and trouser suggest budget, yet they feel more like quality products. It’s not uncommon to pay more, but with the Buffalo range, you can get a textile jacket and trousers, yet still see change out of £220.
The jacket is fully adjustable with Velcro waist straps and arm adjustments, making it fully tailorable for my slightly larger frame. The 600 Denier Ripstop polyester and leather outer construction feels substantial, and helps to make it waterproof and windproof, while retaining breathability. I’ve only been caught out by light rain over the 2,000 miles I’ve ridden with it (lucky me), but I’m confident in its waterproofing qualities. It kept me dry and warm even without the liner. When the weather gets a little chillier, I’m sure the supplied removable 120 gram thermal quilted liner will work well. For warmer weather, there’s plenty of ventilation in the way of zipper vents to the chest, upper arms, cuffs and back; they work very well, even when the jacket’s black colour is trying to absorb every last degree of summer heat. It’s splattered with pockets for every occasion. There’s four external pockets including two to warm your hands and a small breast pocket between the main jackets zip and its popper and Velcro cover (which gets filled with my wallet and phone). To finish off, it has a map pocket to the rear, which has a discreet covering of reflective stripes and all the appropriate CE-approved shoulder and elbow armour. There’s also an option to fit back armour.
The jacket can be attached to the Buffalo Phantom trousers via a sturdy zip. They’re made from polyester and fit well, but could benefit from some form of ventilation. I’ve been wearing them with my work trousers underneath and in the summer months they tend get quite warm, quite quickly. When the weather gets colder I have the option of fitting the quilted lining – though from my initial experience, I’m not sure I’ll really need it. The elasticated waist has a heavy duty button and hook and eye fastener which is more than capable of keeping the trousers secure. To add to the adjustability, the sides of the waist band have Velcro adjusters. Armour is CE approved and fitted to the knees and hips. Reflective piping is fitted down both legs. The ankles have a Velcro strap and a zip to accommodate boots. For the price tag they’re more than fit for the job and match up to many more expensive brands on the market.