Re: Expensive waders, are they worth it?
I've said this before and here I go again. All of these "worth it" threads have the same answer. If they're worth it TO YOU, then the answer is yes, if not, look for the best alternative. The good news is these days, we have PLENTY of good options to select from. This discussion is in some ways parallels the "Looking the Part" thread. I don't care about what I look like, it's all about how the gear performs.
The important factors to me in no particular order:
Fit + breathability = comfort. Comfort is an absolute requirement and a proper fit can help inhibit premature wear. I don't care how much coin you drop on boots, if they don't fit right, they're going to wear faster than a boot that fits better. I don't want to be miserable or uncomfortable when I have boots on for 12 hours. Gore-Tex breathes better than any other wader or jacket material I have worn.
Durability/Layers. If you have easy wading through wide open spaces with little to know obstacles or brush then you may not need/want as many layers. Do you fish in the snow? If you do, then more layers may become more important. What's ideal for me is more layers in the legs and less in the upper. This gives me the comfort/breathability I need in the places I need it, and the layers in the wear area.
Form/Function. I really like a fleece lined hand warmer pouch on the outside, it's almost a must for any set of boots I'm going to wear through the bulk of the year fishing. I like a flip out zippered pocket that functions well.
Price. I'm nearing the upper end of my limits on the wader prices with the G3's and like Chi, Ard and Dean, wish Simms would have left well enough alone with these ones. It wouldn't surprise me if they someday resurrect them as they have recently done with the original Guide Waders.
Warranty/Level of Service. Simms Wader Repair is excellent. There are many other brands at the top too, Orvis, Bean, Patagonia all come to mind.
I have worn varying levels of Orvis and one pair of Bean waders before and they've performed admirably. The G3's meet the all the criteria that I'm looking for and are hands down the best boots I've worn. Nothing I've worn in the past or current breathes better. They fit well, the layers I need are there without overkill, the form/function is dead on perfect and the price was high but tolerable. The price though, may push me in other avenues depending on when I need new ones and what's out there at that time.
Disclaimer: I do own a pair of Orvis Sonic Seams--not the Sonic Silvers-- that I wear in warmer weather and they are limited in form, breathability but I got them on sale at a price way too good to pass up. I really like the sonic welding on those seams and believe it could be the wave of the future.
~*~Leave only your footprints~*~
Last edited by jaybo41; 07-26-2013 at 10:54 PM.