: OS Systems Waders
I have one pair of waders out of all I've owned that are going on their ninth season. I liked them so much I bought another pair, but the first one is still going strong. How hard have I beat on them? H-A-R-D. Not only have I beat on them myself, they have been worn by dozens of other people whom I've taken fishin' in Washington State and New England alike.
The only hole I've ever poked in them was from a barbed wire fence. My short legs couldn't quite get over. I literally patched it with a 1" by 1" pc of duct tape at my the first spring I bought them out west, and the patch is still there today.
They don't breathe, but for cooler seasons they are incredibly comfortable. Line them with microfleece and the condensation never bothers you.
The other characteristic that wins people over is the feet. They are molded out of a single pc of latex made of the same material that military and coast guard divers use. In fact OSS makes much of their goods. They have no seams and fit like socks beneath wading shoes.
OSS only makes stocking foot waders. In sandy areas people are often turned off by stocking foot waders because of filling of boots, but as someone who fishes as much as anyone and guides on-season; that's all I use. If you wear wrap-around velcro gaitors and soled scuba boots, you'll experience a new sense of comfort and freedom to walk miles of soft sand.
I should get something from these guys... I've converted a lot of happy people to using them on both coasts! They told me they were making a pair of breathables last year, but informed me that those plans were canceled this year. I'll keep trying.
The waders fold up into a very small nylon case (provided) and retail for around $150.
<!--http--><a href="http://www.ossystems.com" target="_blank">Their homepage</a><!--url-->
02-04-2000, 09:53 AM
Juro - I've been using OS Systems for about three years now. They aren't breathable but with a pair of long underwear they're great in any weather.
I didn't think they sold waders anymore though. I thought they were concentrating on being a diving suit and kayak jacket manufacturer.
Too bad, but these things may never die anyway. Got mine for $75 on clearance.
OS System gear has been marketing their gear (specifically drysuits) for a very long time to fisheries folks. I know some people that have them out west and they hold up pretty good, so I guess this is another positive in their bank of consumer goodwill.
Nice idea with the link to their website.
Hi Pete -
They know me as the guy who always bugs them to go breathable with their waders. She even went as far as to tell me they were going to do it, shut me up for a year! Kidding, I'm sure she said that in total sincerity... I hope http://126.96.36.199/images/flytalk/Wilk.gif
Anyway, a pair of breathable OSS waders would be the cats ass bar none in my book. I own the top of the line Simms and love them - but the thought of those comfy and cool OSS feet when my feet are burning up on the flats in the 5mm neoprene feet that breathables use keeps me lusting for the OSS potential.
Actually, while market segment priorities run rampant at both companies, mail-order shops like Cabelas and LL Bean offer stocking foot waders where the foot is made of the same breathable stuff as the wader. My experience is that the same material approach is prone to leakage, it's simply not tough enough; and it gets folded up inside the boot.
So in the end, I remain the frustrated consumer.
!!! But this is a forum... and our goals should include the ability to drive products to meet our collective goals. One guy calling Scappoose Oregon can't make a wader line or get Simms to develop a cooler stocking foot... but many people acting together can.
The web is about changing the way consumers and businesses interact. It's about unconventional business models and consumer-centric products. My hope is that we can build this forum and it's network of regional partners to have a voice in the way products are brought to market. If we can interconnect enough consumer voices using the web - we can actually change products to meet what we know we need... and companies will probably be glad to listen to us!
I know the potential is there, and it's real - but it will be a hard road to get there. That's part of the legacy we could potentially leave behind for the future flyfishers of the 21st century, who will undoubtedly have a much more internet-oriented lifestyle than we do today. The hard road is the one worth traveling!
9 YEARS???!! Come on......let's see.....2 pair of el-cheapo Red Balls, a vulcanized rubber pair, and one pair of Hodgman neoprenes in the last six years for me. Trying to squeeze another year out of the Hodgman's ( leak like a sieve )...you have my attention.....did you really say 9 years?
02-06-2000, 08:00 PM
Doug you sound like me before I bought these things. After my second pair of Hodgman Neoprenes I came across these things. I could care less about whether they're breathable or not. Once you're in the water you stay cool, out of the water they're light as a feather so you can carry easily on a long hike.
Believe him when he says 9 years. I fished these things hard for their first two years and they held up great. I was worried about the latex stocking feet holding up but haven't had any problems yet.
In fact, like Juro said, they're not only tough but give you the option of keeping your feet cool in the summer.
I can't believe it myself. I bought them before I bought my truck, which is a 1991 Mazda 4x4. I bought the truck very early in 1992, slightly used (30k mi) but still under new car warranty making it a little over a year old. If they don't blow out this coming season, it will be the ninth year. The ballistic nylon outer is starting to show signs of fibers parting from each other from sitting on jetty rocks but the commercial grade impregnated lining does not leak a drop (yet). I have bought another pair but hardly ever use them... unless I have two guests without waders. Rental shops out west use them for rental waders. When this particular shop decided to stop renting waders, their rentals sold in a couple of days... after years of being rented out. I tried to get a spare pair but they had sold out by the time I called.
Like I mentioned before, they are not breathable and this can be an issue on hot days when the water is cool (condensation from the diff). If you wear microfleece the moisture never touches the skin. They are ideal for spring and fall or cool water like you fish up north.
Tell you what, I am seriously considering selling them from Public Market at a discount over retail (if allowed). Retail is only 149.99 as it is. Proceeds would potentially go toward furthering the site, costs, etc.
Although you boast a more svelte figure than I, you're welcome to test them out before you buy. Man do the feet ever go with scuba boots well! Just let me know.
BTW - my truck died.
02-27-2006, 06:26 PM
I bought mine 14 years ago when a local flyshop closed. The owner sent in my custom order and I have used them to fish around 30-45 days per year without a complaint. In fact, just this year I had a blowout in one bootie so i will have to send them down for new shoes.....other than typical maintenance like that I have 0 complaints. I have gone through barbed wire fences, thickets, blackberries etc. and no damage has shown up. They are not titanium but they were sure worth the money.......Having custom made waiders is also a blessing.......
02-27-2006, 08:44 PM
Hey I just looked at that link Juro posted in 2000, and they've got breathables now. Camo, too.
02-28-2006, 09:30 PM
Yeah, that link is still good.
E-mailed them last night and got reply today. Prices are a little up from 2000 but not bad and they will sell direct if none of our sponsors stock them. Asked about retailers here in N/E USA and they ignored that question. Anyone know if they use retailers or are they direct sales operation?
With life expectancy as quoted earlier they might be one of the best buys around.