British PCS "Buffalo Shirt" thermal anorak, surplus
The British army thermal anorak resembles very closely a similar product from Buffalo Systems. Warm and at least more water resistant than cardboard, this anorak is meant as a top layer for light activity or a warm layer underneath an oversmock. Proper good modern army surplus!
As armies update their gear, the more good surplus stuff civilians get too. These are current issue 2000's production: a thermal anoark that packs inside its own kangaroo pocket, and warmer for the weight than a sweater. Microfleece on the inside, water and wind resistant nylon on the outside, but this is definitely NOT a raincoat. Official nomenclature "SMOCK, LIGHTWEIGHT, THERMAL, (PCS), Light Olive".
Outdoor gear and war stuff has mingled for a long time and features have passed back and forth. These anoraks are good for civilian use, too!
- High collar with a light stow-away hood
- Adjustable elastic drawcords on the collar
- Hook and loop adjustments on the cuffs and hem
- Ventilation zippers in the armpits
- Ventilation zippers at the sides, these can be used to aid donning too
- Two side pockets (single pocket) and one kangaroo pocket, all zippered
- Water-resistant zippers
Material and care
Inside microfleece, outside thin but dense ripstop nylon. Wash in 40 degrees Celsius. The fabric is very likely NIR compliant.
User's recommended measurements: height and chest circumference. The Brits have also made comparable S, M, L style letters for these but they are very misleading and encourage to pick the wrong size, so we just left them out. Sizes run small. If you fall between sizes, pick the larger one if available. Or just pick a size larger anyway.
The model's measurements are 175 / 180 cm, anorak size 180 / 100 cm.
Used army surplus, but apart from normal wear, all are intact. Made in China, as is most British army stuff these days. Don't be afraid; these are made to mlitary specs.
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Sebastian K. 29.06.2018 (Edited 23.05.2019)
This holds warm very well, is incredibly soft on the inside, is very light and has quite good options for ventilation. I also really like the way and the size this packs down to and personally also adore the olive colour (in my opinion a very underused military gear colour), although that is certainly up to personal preference.
I probably wouldn't trust the outside fabric to be very though, as it is quite thin, but as an under-/thermal-jacket, it really doesn't need to be. Same goes with the waterproofness, which is very poor (at least without using some water-repellency spray on it).
All in all, I really like this jacket and love using it on day hikes or nights out on the town as a warm, windproof, light and small overlayer.
Jouni H. 03.07.2018
Jason C. 07.07.2018
TORSTEN K. 27.11.2018 (Edited 27.11.2018)
Sami K. 04.12.2018
Terry H. 06.02.2019
Military equipment is traditionally excellent stuff; it combines durability with very affordable prices. Army surplus finds its way to the civilian market in the following way: the armed forces of one country or other decides to get rid of big batches of perfectly serviceable gear due to cuts in military budgets, said gear becoming obsolete or redundant or some other similar reason. Some of this stuff then finds its way to our storehouse, sometimes directly, sometimes through a third party. Every once in a while we even get random batches of collectibles and rarities from obscure corners of the world.