Simms Guide Vest

mike126

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I’m thinking about getting a new vest. Currently I have the Fishpond Gore Range Tech Vest. I find that my leaders are always getting stuck in the zippers and if a fly gets into the mesh then it’s a mess. I do like the vest for wet wading since it is mesh.

I feel like going back to a more traditional vest is my better option. I’ve been looking at the Simms Guide Vest. I’ll likely use it fall, winter and early spring.

Any reviews? How short is it compared to other vests (I’m tall )? Was thinking of going up a size to XL to fit over a wading jacket and thermals.

Thanks


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cooutlaw

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From a standpoint of traditional vests, Simm's Guide vest must rank right up there with the top options. I own one as my vest option and though it doesn't see constant use (I alternate between slings, hip packs, vest, backpack and small chest pack depending on time of year and water to be fished) it has held up well and is typical Simms quality. I just measured mine (XXL) and it's 21"s from the top of collar to bottom hem of vest. Which I hope you can compare to the fishpond to get a feel for length (fit). I think the vest has more features than most anglers will use - more pockets too, which can cause it to be heavy...it is fairly loaded with large pockets lower in the vest so if stuffed it can seem to feel like an innertube around your waist and it does get heavy if packed full....there are also a slug of attachment points, so it can become a poster child for the "Christmas ornament" syndrome if you employ too many of them.....typical vest stuff mostly. It's cool enough in warmer weather by my standards. The Collar is nicely padded and works to not chaff a neck, but the shoulders are typical traditional vest construction and nothing special for padding easing shoulder down pressure. I do think Simms also does the best job in mapping pocket sizes for matching most common items sizes, like boxes....there always seems to be a perfect size pocket for each item. Hope some of that helped....it's a traditional vest, with the goods and the bads, but it's a good traditional vest overall.
 

mike126

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Your feedback is very helpful. I did measure the Fishpond. The Fishpond has adjustable shoulder straps so I can make them longer to ride lower. Compared to my 25 year old Orvis vest it looks like it’s about the same cut.
Thanks


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cooutlaw

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Your feedback is very helpful. I did measure the Fishpond. The Fishpond has adjustable shoulder straps so I can make them longer to ride lower. Compared to my 25 year old Orvis vest it looks like it’s about the same cut.
Thanks


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You are welcome. Ironically, I compared it to my 25+ year old Orvis vest too...but figured the comparison was irrelevant, so I did not mention it. For whatever it's worth - the Simms is a bit longer than my Orvis - the Orvis model name escapes me at the moment but it's the one with uber # of pockets and self closing pouches and tippet spool dispensor pockets inside...a longer model, not a shorty.
 

fc1955

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I also own the Simms guide vest and you can carry more than enough stuff that you'll ever use in a day and it is made very well. Recently I was given an Orvis Pro vest to try for a couple of weeks. You can carry just enough stuff you would use in a day and then some, the front fly box pockets with its side opening was very easy and convenient and the fit was very comfortable. When I gave it back I bought one and been very happy with it.
 

motts

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Another Simms Guide vest fan here. The one I have is almost 20 years old and due to be replaced; I don't see any reason to change models or brands from the others I've looked at. The only other one that has me intrigued is the Patagonia vest that attaches to a backpack as I often pack into a lot of different areas and it would be nice to not have to drop the pack and shuttle up or down the river as I move about - the Simms would probably still be my primary vest though.
 

mike126

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Based on all the good feedback about the vest I ordered one this morning. I’m looking forward to using next week when I start back up my fall, winter, and spring fishing.

Thanking through my Fishpond vest more... I think what really bugs me is the mesh pockets and the zipper pulls seem to grab leaders. I do like the drop down tray pocket and the adjustable shoulder straps. It will get some use in the summer and late spring on warm days.


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trev

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Three or four years ago I almost bought a Simms Guide vest at the then Cabela's, then later that day stumbled onto a Caddis "Northern Guide Vest" at another store that looked very much like it at ~1/3 the price, after buying it and a few more looks at the Simms, I believe they came from the same factory, very small differences, logos etc.
The problem with this design is you can carry every thing own and it can be quite heavy, pockets are good sized and some will hold two or more boxes, the cut is pretty comfortable for a fat guy and so far the vest has been great, other than getting heavy, I've never filled all the pockets and doubt I ever will.
Judging by my Caddis clone, the Simms vest should be the best fishing vest ever made.
 

mike126

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I received the vest over the weekend and it is very nice. There are more pockets than I'll use which is better than having less pockets than I need. I am trying to cut back on all of the danglies and not look like a Christmas tree. So far the only thing that has made it to the outside of the front of the vest are my forceps (on a coiled leash which I may remove the leash), nippers and fly pick tool on one of the built in zingers, and floatant on one of the D rings on the waist (which may go back into a pocket). I'm thinking of not using an add on fly patch and just use the velcro patches on the pocket flaps as well as use a small drying box so that the used flies don't fall off. I was thinking about maybe adding a C&F fly magnet but that may change. I'm getting out this Friday so it will be a good field test.

The fit is slightly large even with a heavy polar fleece jacket and wading jacket. But that does not include a thermal shirt. It's not bad without all of the winter gear so I can see this being used as a 3 season vest for sure and possibly for summer. For reference I got the XL (46-48) and I wear a 44 suit coat.
 

mike126

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Falcon - are you saying that the Simms vests are actually cut to accommodate for extra outer layers etc.? My old Orvis vest is a large which was just slightly smaller than the Simms XL. The Simms seems to be true to size for me.
 

trev

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I think what he is saying is that when an 2Xl fits you naked, won't fit over the heavy parka. Simms designers are all very tall skinny folks I think. None of their sizes are a good fit for me.
 

mike126

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So just to reconfirm I called Simms. They said that you should look at going up a size to account for winter clothing. So the XL is what I needed.

I do like Simms waders and boots because you can get the waders custom ordered. I wear a 14 shoe and they put the 15 sock on the waders I bought. Thankfully the Freestone boots come in a 16! They fit like a glove for me with orthotics.


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cooutlaw

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I think what he is saying is that when an 2Xl fits you naked, won't fit over the heavy parka. Simms designers are all very tall skinny folks I think. None of their sizes are a good fit for me.
Agreed. I've always found Simms products to be cut on the slightly smaller and slender side of things.....I can't find clothes to fit anyway but Simms is particularly difficult.....in my prime athletic days I had a 52" chest and a 32" waist.....now that's migrated to about 50"s and 36"s.....suits for me are a nightmare, as are waders....Simms offers most of their shirts and other (non outerwear)upper body garments at a maximum size of XXL.....which works for me mostly...but not with any extra room to spare to go over anything else....luckily they are more generous in the sizing of most of their wading jackets and upper body outerwear. If going over layers in winter, my guide vest has to be retired until next spring or summer, and replaced with another form of gear carry options.
 

falcon53

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Falcon - are you saying that the Simms vests are actually cut to accommodate for extra outer layers etc.? My old Orvis vest is a large which was just slightly smaller than the Simms XL. The Simms seems to be true to size for me.
Mike , The largest Simms Vest I see for sale is XXL. That's fine unless you have to layer up. I am not overly large 5'11" 210 lbs. I have a SIMMS sling pack that also is difficult to wear (the strap is not big enough) with heavier clothing. I really like Simms products and that's what I buy.
 

trev

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in my prime athletic days I had a 52" chest and a 32" waist..
ah when we were young... I never was very big, out of high school 44 chest, 30 waist, from boot camp to retirement 46 chest, 36 waist. But at 71" my inseam is only 29" sleeves 35" so all the shirts and coats have to come from the tall section, sleeves are too short on 2XL unless it's also tall.
For vest in 3XL with more pockets than you need try this- https://caddiswaders.com/product/northern-guide-breathable-vest/
 

cooutlaw

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Mike , The largest Simms Vest I see for sale is XXL. That's fine unless you have to layer up. I am not overly large 5'11" 210 lbs. I have a SIMMS sling pack that also is difficult to wear (the strap is not big enough) with heavier clothing. I really like Simms products and that's what I buy.
Yup, my experience with Simms is that the "cap" for chest size in their largest available XXL upper body wear is 50"s +/-......this also seems to transfer over to packs, vests, etc. If somebody wears an XXL shirt in normal street sizes...that's it...it fits but it's not going over anything....and the packs will fit but without layering....you start layering and you are out of size options with them. As previously stated....I'm guessing they don't think the market for bigger than 50" chest sizes exists in fly fishing. Sadly, because I prefer and love Simms products, I make do with what works from their offerings, I'd buy more if they offered more options. The outerwear in XXL seems appropriately oversized.
 

trev

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I like my waders to be very large in the belly and chest so that the coat and vest aren't in the water, waders are for winter wear only and need just about twice as much room as most companies allow. They are the outermost layer.
 
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