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Waders - New $700 Orvis Waders Vs $850 Simms Vs $500 Dryft Vs $350 Compass

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I managed to squeeze another season out of my Redington Sonic Pros Zip fronts.....

Purchased July 2018....and started failing early 2019.   

 

Never liked em.  Why make breathable waders that don't breathe.

 

Anyone use Dryft or Compass?  

 

The Orvis waders look the best in terms of design......I miss having an athletic leg taper like my old $500 LL bean Helix waders.....So many waders have potato sacks for legs..LL bean Kennebecs- I'm talkin to you Mediums and larges had em both.....

 

And yeah....wtf is up with these insane wader prices.  

Is goretex pro shell really that much better than Bootleg goretex? My understanding is goretex is made in certified overseas factories....(not owned by Gore)  Could be wrong.or misremembering....read someting years ago..

 

 

 

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Yes, all waders do leak eventually. But that doesn't answer the all important detail. Ive had many brands, but only one last me better than a dozen years of quality use. Probably less than $50 bucks a year. Those G4 are now my backup pair and still serve well at that. I fully expect my current  primary G4 to last as long. Before Simms 4’s my longest running pair last 3 years. I’ll mention ive never used Patagonias best waders.

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Simms original guide model that was a very light green in color lasted me 7 yrs, the neoprene sock tend to wear down. I have a G4 now for 4 yrs. still holding up but sock is starting to wear. Again I fish salt and fresh water with it, Just picked up some Dryft waders it feels like the SimmsG4 material ,reviews were good  and were on sale for 500.00 wading jacket ,waders and they threw in a  wader bag.  We'll see this year.

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6 hours ago, scoobydoo said:

I managed to squeeze another season out of my Redington Sonic Pros Zip fronts.....

Purchased July 2018....and started failing early 2019.   

 

Never liked em.  Why make breathable waders that don't breathe.

 

Anyone use Dryft or Compass?  

 

The Orvis waders look the best in terms of design......I miss having an athletic leg taper like my old $500 LL bean Helix waders.....So many waders have potato sacks for legs..LL bean Kennebecs- I'm talkin to you Mediums and larges had em both.....

 

And yeah....wtf is up with these insane wader prices.  

Is goretex pro shell really that much better than Bootleg goretex? My understanding is goretex is made in certified overseas factories....(not owned by Gore)  Could be wrong.or misremembering....read someting years ago..

 

 

 

Every pair of waders that I have owned have leaked.  I’ve spent $400 on Bean wader to $65 on rubber.  If they are all going to leak, and some right out of the box, why spend $800?  For what, a tapered leg?  Waders are a big rip off.  


An Evil Necessity!  Evil I tell you!!!

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I have often wondered what makes waders fail?
 

I fish the canal most of the time and my waders would last at least 400 trips. I wonder if this is because there is little walking and there isn’t friction from walking. Biking around keeps the inner seams from rubbing each other. 

 

Eventually some barnacle encrusted rock would get them, usually where the boot transitions to the leg. My current boot foot wader (some $$$$ LL Bean) failed quicker than any pair I have owned :( 

 

I have found stocking foot waders to be much better fitting and and less prone to this failure point. 
 

For beach fishing I bought a wet suit years ago and much prefer that and the confidence it gives me over being dry. I do feel bad for anyone that has to see me in a wet suite though. 
 

I know McKenna has made several posts about Frogtog waders. I actually have a pair I bought in the moment when I needed to wade out to get a deer I shot in a deep swamp. I don’t have any real milage on them. 

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Posted (edited) · Report post

I have had just about every type of light weight wader including Cloudveil and Simms and the Simms were most fragile waders I have ever owned. I had to constantly patch tiny pin holes. One walk through a field and you had tiny pin holes all over.

 

I have the zip front Patagonia Waders and they have not had a single leak in two years and the Patagonia waders were also $150 bucks less than the Simms. I also have large feet and Patagonia was able to customize the stocking foot size for a little more money. I don't know of another wader company that offers that option. 

 

Two years of hard use and the Patagonia Waders still look and perform like the day I bought them.

 

The Patagonias have a little heavier fabric than the Simms, so they are not quite as cool in the Summer, but they keep me dry and I have less condensation in the waders.

Edited by Jay Blair

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The Simms all day, everyday better than the rest. I have the G3 in bootfoot and stocking.  Both are above and beyond in quality over the Orvis. I have had most brands out there, and the materials Simms use are the most robust. There boots are more solid and comfortable too.

 

They all leak eventually, but Simms gives the best warranty out there. Just so you know, Simms no longer stocks boots foots. They all have to be special ordered now. The prices on all of them are outrageous. If you decide to go Simms, the best bet is to purchase them on the big bay from an authorized seller. Some of those sellers are flyshops offering big discounts on new waders. They all come with factory warranty. 

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29 mins ago, Tagman said:

The Simms all day, everyday better than the rest. I have the G3 in bootfoot and stocking.  Both are above and beyond in quality over the Orvis. I have had most brands out there, and the materials Simms use are the most robust. There boots are more solid and comfortable too.

 

They all leak eventually, but Simms gives the best warranty out there. Just so you know, Simms no longer stocks boots foots. They all have to be special ordered now. The prices on all of them are outrageous. If you decide to go Simms, the best bet is to purchase them on the big bay from an authorized seller. Some of those sellers are flyshops offering big discounts on new waders. They all come with factory warranty. 

I agree with the G3 wading boots. They are the best wading boots I have ever had, but IMO the durability of the Simms waders Sux these days and their customer service suxs as well. I have had 4 pairs of Simms waders and they are not the best. The Simms have excellent fit and finish, and design, but they are fragile. If I am going to fork out that type of money for waders I expect them to hold up and have decent customer service to back them up.

 

Maybe if you are a fly fisher that stays in one or two spots all day they will work, however if you need to cover more ground they are not up to the task.

 

If you find all waders leak then I might suggest you try some that don't.

Edited by Jay Blair

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I only buy bootfoot waders for the surf as they are convenient and sand intrusion damage is a non-issue. I have found a retail store out in the heart of the Midwest that caters to waterfowlers that sells a breathable removable thermal liner (making them usable all year long) bootfoot wader that is their badging for about $150 that has knee and butt reinforcement areas on it and sells as a waist high but for me at 6’ are like semi chest waders with suspenders and a belt. The fit is ok for me but I never plan on making fashion statements at o dark thirty along any stretch of beach with waders. To me I wear waders to try and stay dry and comfortable and these do just that. 
 

At the price of Simms bootfoot waders in my size we are talking $850 or so plus tax. Doing the math I can buy almost  6 pair of these store branded bootfoot breathable for the price of one pair of Simms and as I said I have had a pair of bootfoot Simms breathable sand they are very nice but did leak after 2 years. My store brands have lasted as short as one season to as much as ???? (This coming season will be 3 so I don’t know yet) 

 

So just doing the math alone and using my worst experience with these store brand waders dollar for dollar buying one pair per year would keep me dry for near 6 seasons for the same dollar value. I am sure it would be closer to 12 years in reality. Anyone have a pair of Simms bootfoot breathable waders last close to 6 years? Can you still fit in waders or even clothes you wore 6 years ago?  Especially after this past year? 
 

For me waders are a necessity that I hate to buy but have to as they all are a sort of consumable as they all fail and in my experience my Simms and Orvis failed as fast as any of the other ones so price does not guarantee dry longer.

Edited by Jim DE

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10 mins ago, Jay Blair said:

I agree with the G3 wading boots. They are the best wading boots I have ever had, but IMO the durability of the Simms waders Sux these days and their customer service suxs as well. I have had 4 pairs of Simms waders and they are not the best. Good fit and finish, but they are fragile.

 

Maybe if you are a fly fisher that stays in one or two spots all day, however if you do not need to cover more ground they are not up to the task.

 

If you find all waders leak then I might suggest you try something new that doesn't.

 

I see you are using Patagonia. I never tried that brand, so no  comment on them. I totally disagree with you about the fragility, and the gauge of materials Simms uses in there waders. My experience with the Simms is that their material is thicker. Orvis, LLB, and other I have tried, all SH-T.

 

As for Simms, I can’t tell you about there customer service because I never needed them.  I fish in the salt 99.9% of the time. Surf, sand jetties. Never a problem.

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Yeah I have also never used Patagonia waders so I also cannot comment, though their price also can clear ones sinuses like my Simms did years ago.  ;) 

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 Jim DE, since you have mentioned the names of Orvis and Simms brands, what is the name of the mid-west brand you favor?

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