Re: Expensive waders, are they worth it?
Lots of good discussion here. Obviously, expensive waders, like Abel nippers, are an example of "different strokes for different folks."
I finally retired (well, semi-retired) my old 4 mm neoprene Bare waders after wearing them for about 15 years or more. They were good waders, never leaked or let me down, but my god were they heavy and sweaty. I go on two "big" fishing trips a year--two weeks in Alaska for coho and two in BC for steelhead, both in the fall, and I wear my waders 8-10 hours per day and do a fair bit of bushwhacking sometimes. After watching my friends go through an endless succession of cheap breathable waders over the years I bit the bullet and plunked down for a pair of Simms G4s on sale (I got the 2012 version, the supposedly less breathable ones, for about $150 off). I can't believe the difference between them and my old neoprenes--so much lighter, drier, cooler, and even easier to walk around in. Also, the fact that they are made in the US, have a lifetime warranty, and Simms' reputation for excellent customer service were deciding factors. A number of my friends have also got Simms waders after blowing out the cheaper brands.
I understand that some people may balk at spending $500+ for a pair of waders, especially if they don't wade or fish a lot or have a lot of spare cash to spend on fishing gear. However, if you do fish and wade a lot and have the money I think it's worth buying the best waders you can afford. It's false economy to buy cheap waders if they leak on your big fishing trip and/or if you're replacing them every 2-3 years.