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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2018
    Colorado Springs

    Default Simms vs Patagonia


    I live in Colorado Springs, and I'm in the market for new waders. I really like the Patagonia Rio Gallegos (RioG) and I've heard that the older waders (prior to 2016/15 time frame) were just not reliable. So I'm a little skeptic on purchasing the Pats. However, I already own there wading boots and wanted to keep thing uniformed. I've had a few people tell me, that the Simms are great, and I believe them, however, I just don't want to rule the Pat's out of the game. Basically, I'm looking for advice and personal testimony as to how they've seen either product perform. I'm very tough on Wader's, kneeling in the shore on rocks, hiking in a few miles, scraping agains brush and always trying to find that place that is least populated and fished. Price isn't an issue either, probably shooting for the top of the line of either manufacturer.

    Bottom Line: Patagonia Rio Gallegos or Simms G4 Pro?

    Keep'em Tight,

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Blog Entries

    Default Re: Simms vs Patagonia

    I've owned about every kind of wader imaginable over the last 30+ years, from just about every maker out there....I'm also VERY hard on waders, and Although Patagonia makes a number of quality products, I'm now a strictly Simms guy from here on out.

    I have found that the thing that will ruin a fishing experience faster than anything else is unreliable gear that fails at the wrong time, and I'm no longer willing to risk it.

    I actually needed new waders AGAIN a few years back, and was frustrated, after owning a pile of other brands that all gave out prematurely including Pats, I finally ran a calculator, and determined that I should have just bought the Simms to start with- would have saved a ton of money in the long run....then I remembered, I still had one of my original pairs of cold weather neoprene wader's from way, way, back....and they were always tough as nails and still me I dug them out and looked....figures, they were Simms. I should have never caved in to saving a few bucks and just stuck with what I knew worked all along.

    I have come to the determination that most all anglers, after trying many brands to avoid the initial cost (which is only $100-$300 spread), will eventually bite the bullet and buy Simms and be done with the problems....I've seen way too many converts to think otherwise. I used to carry a spare set just to not get I don't have to. I also think, it's important to some people (me, in this case) that Simms is the only wader manufacturer left in America. Made is U.S.A. means enough to me to support the product and people working there on it's own, but then add in the 1st rate quality and it's a no brainer. IF money is no issue, buy the Simms, and get yourself a new pair of Simms wading boots to match too, they will make you a believer if you own them. IMO. YMMV.

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  4. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Northwest New Jersey, NE Pennsylvania

    Default Re: Simms vs Patagonia

    I have had good success with Simms waders (G3s). The only thing I don't like now with Simms waders is the new color. I prefer the old darker color. I have been buying Simms waders for the last 15 years and see no reason to change.

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  6. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Wasilla / Skwentna, Alaska
    Blog Entries

    Default Re: Simms vs Patagonia

    Wader questions seem to propagate many replies and testimonials and I always say the same things. Sizing matters and over time I've found that having them a bit on the baggy side helps reduce stress on the seams if you tend to be a kneeler or crawler. Being able to customize waders is also a desirable aspect as in the size of neoprene booties on the waders. Other than the sizing toughness matters. Living in Colorado, I did that and I remember that one species of cactus that has the thin thorns on it about 3/4 inches long.

    I'm writing from Alaska where we don't have those cactus but we have a large plant called Devils Club that can be a problem. I fish frequently and use a boat (so climbing in & out) as well as Mokais which are jet Kayaks so more climbing in and out. I'm a fishing guide here and that often means I do the trail breaking when we have to move along the rivers sides where possible. When that happens you are climbing through and over down trees, through alders willows and of course Devils Club too. I won't go into further detail regarding the things I do wearing my waders that could be called rough wear but will tell you I'm in them on average 16 hours a day during season.

    My waders? Simms G4, I have 2 pair and a G3 as a spare. Great customer service and a really tough product that will take what I can dish out.

    Anywhere can be the land of great expectations, broken dreams, or paradise found, it's all up to you.

    Life On The Line - Alaska Fishing with Ard
    Ard's Forum blog, Alaska Outdoors

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  8. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Atlanta/West Yellowstone

    Default Re: Simms vs Patagonia

    I have used exclusively Simms waders for many years with great success, and with great customer service. I will not repeat the accolades of others.

    ...and i happily wear them with Pat boots which i bought because they simply fit better (or maybe cuz that was all that they had in my size when i had to buy some in an emergency). I have had some Simms boots in the past and still use some of them, and they are great too.

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  10. #6

    Default Re: Simms vs Patagonia

    Great products, made in Bozeman, great customer service- they support the guide community and they don't sell thru company owned stores around the corner from mom and pop fly shops. SIMMS!

    Sent from my SM-N960U using Tapatalk

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  12. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Portland and Maupin, Oregon

    Default Re: Simms vs Patagonia

    I have been using Patagonia waders and boots for around 25 years. Rio Gallegos for about the last 10. I'm on my third pair of those. Whenever they leak I take them into the Patagonia and they order me a knew pair or send them in for bootie replacement. Over the years they have upgraded me to the top of the line wader if I paid the difference. I've been very happy with the fit and quality of the waders and boots. Simms waders might be better, I don't really know, but Patagonia has treated me well, so I have stuck with them. I have a lot of other Patagonia stuff and so do my family members all because of the quality of their gear and customer service. The other day I went in and they fixed the broken zipper in a vest while I waited. I just think Patagonia is great on so many levels...

    However, I love my Simms guide model gortex fishing jacket. I'm going on a lifetime with it too...
    Last edited by dillon; 12-28-2018 at 09:26 AM.

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  14. #8

    Default Re: Simms vs Patagonia

    Have you ever considered that a big reason they can do this is because they offshore 100% of their manufacturing, and that they simultaneously retail their products, competing against the small, family owned businesses they also wholesale to? Great business strategy- because most people don't care. Then Chouinard comes out and tells us how to vote, and how to think- and people consider him a hero? Veil your predatory business practices in environmentalism and nobody notices your greed...

    Sent from my SM-N960U using Tapatalk

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  16. #9

    Default Re: Simms vs Patagonia

    The best waders I ever owned were Simms’ mid-level model from around 2000/01. Those things lasted me around 8 years of hard fishing. I changed to Patagonia after a brief stint in some Dan Baileys... have gone through 3 pairs of Pat’s in about 9 years now - each pair seeing much less time on the water due to family obligations. Patagonia has warrantied them without hassle but it still speaks volumes about their quality.

    One thing I’ve noticed is that almost all wader manufacturers have followed the trend of “lighter is better” but I think this is a failing design philosophy for a pair of waders. Bring back the bombproof waders of the early 2000’s and I’ll hapily deal with a little extra weight.

    Summary, don’t worry about wearing a Patagonia uniform and buy the Simms.

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  18. #10
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Snake, Clearwater and tribs

    Default Re: Simms vs Patagonia

    I bought a pair of G3's 7 or 8 years ago. Had to send them back a couple of times for leaking booties but Simms replaced them right away. One time was right at the start of steelhead season for us, so bought a pair of G4's. They had to go back once for booties. The G3's were my go-to for spring-lakes, summer-trout, and late-summer steelhead, and the G4's for fall and early-winter steelhead ever since the booty problems were fixed. The G3's went back one more time just for a tune-up, new booties, fix all the pin holes, etc. Cannot say enough about Simms customer service and the waders are great. I took a look at the G3's last spring and they were worn enough that I decided to get a new pair of waders, and keep these for backups while they still did not leak. The G4's are simply too heavy for me during summer and early fall. I also wanted a front zipper, as I am closer to 60 than 50 so these things matter. I settled on the Patagonia like you are looking at. I used them all summer for trout and all steelhead season, and really like them. A few thoughts comparing the waders I have:

    -I miss the tippet tender pocket on the Simms when I use the Patagonia's, esp for steelhead when all I carry is my spool of maxima, an extra tippet, and a box of flies. Just me getting used to a new system. Patagonia does have some storage that is nicer than my Simms.
    -I am glad I went with the zipper, in fact, will not go without again. It does cut storage from large pockets in the middle to smaller pockets on the side. Something else to adapt to.
    -Patagonia has some clever pockets on the side that I have started using for small items like a wool hat or fingerless gloves.
    -Quality of construction seems a wash, the Patagonia may even be slightly better, but they are also 6 or 7 years more advanced than my Simms. I will say they did not get sent back right away for leaking feet like my simms. I have had to deal with Patagonia customer service with other items, and they were the equal of Simms, so I am not worried.
    -I think I like the gravel guards on my Simms more than the Pat's, but one selling point for me were the removable pads in the knees of the Pats. I tripped the year before and my knee landed on a rock, and I thought I had broke the sucker. The pads in my new waders are a very nice extra, and you can take them out if you do not want them.
    -One big advantage Simms has had is all of the available sizes for the G3's. As a former boss of mine told me, I am built like a Welch coal miner and have a hard time with my short legs and long torso, and all of it is pretty thick. My G3's fit like a dream. I seemed to fall between sizes with my G4's and that, along with being thicker, are probably why I do not use them as often as I should. I got lucky with the Patagonia's as they fit just as well as my G3's.
    -I would look at both of them and try them when you get around to buying.
    -I live in the middle of nowhere, so order Simms and Patagonia directly from the factory. I know Simms pissed fly shops off when they started doing that, but I have no choice.
    -I still love my G3 guide boots, nothing else even comes close!
    -I really took a close look at the Patagonia waders because I had seen the same problems reported. But they went back to the drawing board, and mine seem very well thought out, and no problems so far! I really like them and would make the same decision again.

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