Waders? Throw up your advice. Patagonia vs. Simms vs. Dan Baileys vs. Cabelas. [Archive] - Fly Fishing Forum

: Waders? Throw up your advice. Patagonia vs. Simms vs. Dan Baileys vs. Cabelas.

Chris Puma
04-12-2006, 09:38 AM

So i'm in the market for a new set of waders. I'm giving my old waders to my g/f and buying myself a pair of nice new ones. So my question is which pair should I get? Anyone have some advice, etc? I def need a pair with built in gravel guards. I wear my waders A LOT so I'm not afraid to spend my money on these. I was looking at the highest priced models for all of these manufacturers. Simms price still seems a little unreasonable for their G3.

Some of these manufacturers also have a deluxe version and a lightweight version. Is it worth spendingt he extra for deluxe? I thought some use the same material but just don't reinforce the knee area, etc.

04-12-2006, 10:19 AM
Unfortunately they will all spring a leak sooner or later if you are putting in a lot of days. There's a good article about breathables in the latest American Angler.

You might want to look at the LLBean Wickedtough and the new Cloudveils while you're at it.

I have settled on buying cheap ones and replacing them every couple years. The prices on the top-end waders are ridiculous.

04-12-2006, 10:54 AM
The simms g3s are very comfortable but are unfortunately called swims by any hardcore angler. They leak and much earlier than they should at that price. Great while they last though.

Ryan at kmans hs been raving about his new cloudveils. I will be getting a pair soon to replace my G3s.

The price bump usually comes from goretex being used which if you fish in hot environs it is a must. Cheaper waders just do not breathe like gore tex and you will defintely feel the difference on a hot day if you are doing a lot of walking.

That being said for beach fishing and such I have started using the simms travel wader. They are cheap and fit in a tiny stuff sack. I find when I am prowling the monomy beaches I do not need waders all the time and it is nice to just lash them to my fishing pack and put them on as needed.


Chris Puma
04-12-2006, 11:31 AM
cloudveil waders huh? i must be out of the loop. this is the first time i'm hearing about these. what really bums me out about waders is that i'm just about 6' with a regular build (not overweight) and have a size 13 foot. this forces me to get a XL wader. my Simms are huge on me which isn't necessarily bad but i seriously don't need all that material!

04-12-2006, 11:51 AM
cloudveil is more money than simms and is a new product for them ill wait a bit

04-12-2006, 12:12 PM
I see cloudveil is at the same price as simms according to both websites.

The only reason I have some confidence in them is Ryan is very hard on his gear and has already spent 50 days in them. Simms would last him 5.

To hear the cloudveils are still holding up is all I needed to hear. Have some other friends getting them soon and we will see how they report them to be as well.

I am hoping they are the wader I have been looking for...


Chris Puma
04-12-2006, 12:27 PM
"could you post a link to the cloudveil you're referring to? i can't seem to find them on their website. thanks"

nevermind. just found them on someone else's website.

04-14-2006, 10:52 AM

I have owned a pair Patagonia SST+ waders for about five years. They do not get as much use as I would like them to, but when called upon to perform -- in cold weather or in warm -- they are up to the task. No leaking so far and a very comfortable fit. The difference between the Patagonia breathables and my olf neoprene waders is night and day. I am not saying there is not another breathable wader out there as good as the Patagonia wader, but next pair of waders I will buy will be the Patagonia.


04-14-2006, 12:24 PM
I've had great luck with the Simms guide weights - avg 4 years per pair, used all four seasons with beach shoes and felt sole boots. I also have a pair of the lightweights but as expected they have a couple more aquaseal spots than the guide weights.

The alchohol trick is a real plus for those days when the wire fence was a little higher than the weary legs could lift.

Cloudveil has my interest, knowing Ryan. He is a good person to throw gear on to see how it fares. ;)

04-14-2006, 01:41 PM
I love my G3s... have yet to wear a better pair of waders. Patagonia, orvis and the like have not been able to hold up near as well as my G3s. I guided and fished from sept-dec in my G3s as well as duck hunted through the end of January. And then on into winter steelheading out on the o.p. These were 2 yr old waders and they are going strong.
I also just got a pair of Redington CPS waders and at half the price of the major brands they seem to be a much better value. they also come with a 2yr warranty.

04-15-2006, 02:51 PM
I've got the Cloudveil 8X waders and love them so far. I've only worn them about a dozen times so far so I can't speak to their longevity but I will say that they are well thought out. Don't forget that Cloudveil has been around for a number of years in the outdoor clothing industry. They are by no means an upstart company.

04-16-2006, 02:26 PM
Simms has gone downhill in terms of service and quality. I think they're now manufacturing their waders overseas (China probably). My G3s have not been durable at all. My older guide models were. Their original guide models were great but they've gone downhill too.

I hear real good things about Dan Bailey's waders. Everyone I know with them likes them. Most of these users have switched from Simms.

Chris Puma
04-18-2006, 08:31 AM
what i really need is a pair of large waders with a 13 foot stockingfoot. simms is the only manufacturer i've found that makes that particular combination. they have the G3 in L (12,13) i believe. anyone know another wader manufacturer has a similar size?

04-18-2006, 11:31 AM
I have size 14 feet and the redingtons fit me just fine.

04-19-2006, 04:40 PM
pescaphile Simms waders are made in the usa in bozeman not china and as far as service they are about as good as it gets. i have had my guide weights for 5 years now and no problems at all

04-19-2007, 12:00 PM
Actually Pescaphila is correct about Simms. Currently all of their manufacturing is being done in China except for some "minor assembling" which allows them to say it was manufactured in the U.S. The only exception to this is the G4 waders which are currently being manufactured in Bozemen.

04-19-2007, 01:49 PM
The Simms Guide Weights have been one of the highlights of my equip purchase history over the last decade. In fact I still have my first pair. I leave them in the vehicle and when I dont have my newer ones I put them on and am amazed at how well they still work after all these years.

Whatever they are doing I hope they dont change anything.

Geordie Shanks
04-19-2007, 02:07 PM
I have used the Patagonia and Simms waders. The Simms are hands down, the best out of the two. The Patagonia are not even close to quality, durability or style. Of course, everyone has differing needs and tastes, but in my opinion, these two waders don't even belong in the same sentence. Well worth the extra money.

Never used them, but the shop I worked in sold Dan Bailey's right when thier waders first came out. Excellent price point, and we sold the hell of them and I don't remember taking more than one or two pairs back for warranty problems. That's a pretty good indication right there of the potential quality and durability of DB's waders.

04-19-2007, 06:48 PM
my 2 cents goes to ll bean. my waders are 7 years old. i have sent them back when i even feel a hint of mist in them. what makes them stand out is a rapid exchange policy where they will send you new pair in 48-72 hours with never a question asked. a new pair. i went from bombers to wicked tough and they even credited me the difference in cash. no shipping charges. great waders and i beat on them year round. when or if they leak, i get a new pair in 48 hours and my credit card is credited inside of 10 days. works great for me and i only carry repair stuff in case something happens on a trip. they even take back repaired stuff

04-19-2007, 07:29 PM
That is a good policy for the consumer. Can't go wrong with Bean's because they subcontract some of the best vendors to re-brand goods.

I have never had to send my Simms back in all of the years I have been using the guide weights, but I would think they are pretty good too.

I also hear the Bailey's are a good deal but not sure about the warranty. I would think that Hodgemans, with all of their history and presence in the chain stores, could make a really good value wader if they got a clue.

Those in the know love the OS Systems wader for ultimate durability but they only just entered the breathable wader market. I have written them letters for years asking for them as OSS disciples. I know someone who bought the first generation and said it was not up to the expectations that the non-breathables set for OSS fans (i.e. leaky as hell).

However I do believe that they, being primary providers of dry suits to Navy Seals, will eventually put enough attention to the humble fishermen out there to make a top choice breathable in Scapoose Oregon.

04-20-2007, 04:42 AM
I bought a pair of Simms G3's a couple of years back, The second time out I had a leak. I cannot honestly say it was due to poor materials or a thorn found it's way through. Never the less I had to patch them.
So far they seem to be holding up well. But like many of us I don't get to spend much time in them due to the need to earn a living. :(

I also have a pair of Hodgeman light weight pants. The only time I have ripped those is when I fell ass over tea kettle down a rocky embankment. They are surprisingly rugged for the low price.

04-20-2007, 04:51 AM
all my freinds with G3's have had problems. Dont hear of many problems with the guide weights except a path here and there of my own fault

04-20-2007, 05:05 AM
My testimonial above was strictly for guide model Simms. I have had the lightweights which were ok but not nearly as durable (nor advertised to be) and I have also heard discouraging reports on the first model year G3. I am pretty simple-minded when it comes to something that proves itself to me like the guide waders. My only comment to Simms then is "don't change anything".

04-20-2007, 10:05 AM
I cannot compare them because I have only used Patagonia waders. They are great. No leaks, no sweat on my legs, well designed, and the foot fits very nicely -- all this and my waders are the older, unimproved models. I won't be changing brands. Finally, if you ever need it, Patagonia customer service can't be beat.

04-20-2007, 11:00 AM
My $0.02 Orvis XT Tailwaters with the integrated boots are terrific. Breathe well, tough and oh, yeah, stylish. My first pair developed a leak after a year -and-half, replaced no charge. Second pair is going strong after two seasons of abuse.:D

04-20-2007, 12:59 PM
I have used guide model Simms waders since they first started making their goretex waders. I've guided for many years and have used both simms and patagonia. I personally like both of these waders but the simms breathe much better in my opinion. All my simms waders have lasted through many seasons of abuse and are still going strong.

The other thing to consider is the customer service that you will get with both these companies that you won't find as much with something like Cabelas. I have had both of these companies bend over backwards to make sure I am happy, that combined with their quality is reason enough for me to keep buying their product. I would recommend trying the simms. I have spoken to many fisherman who fish a ton and love their stuff.

04-23-2007, 04:52 AM
I spoke to the Simms rep at one of the fishing shows and he sait the problem with the G3's was that the material they were using was rather stiff and that's why they had the early problems. I have the Simms L2 wader which I bought on the recommendation of a local flyshop who told me they have had not one bit of trouble with this wader. To me the price of waders has gone out of sight.
Wonder how many angler's are going to buy the pricey G4's? Just my .02.

05-02-2007, 04:57 PM
I've got a buddy who just showed up for a trout trip with some D.B.'s on. They had all kinds of pockets zippers toilet paper dispenser. They were nifty. Then I asked him how much he paid for em. 350.00:Eyecrazy: (He also bought some Chota's which I wouldn't walk or trout fish without mine.) But that was a little over 500.00 smacks for a wading outfit.

I've used them all and have replaced them all. I'd spend 150.00 max on some breathables and worry more about customer service and warranty......

Nothing can compare to the 99.95 neoprene red balls I bought 15 yrs ago and still don't leak.

My 0.02

05-03-2007, 11:49 AM
Neoprene? Come on guy, it's 2007.

05-03-2007, 06:54 PM

with your foot size problem take a look at the Patagonia light weight waders. The straps are designed to cross in the back so any extra chest material folds neatly over itself behind you. Mine look like they were custom made for me.

With Patagonia's guarantee you run them into the ground, bring them back when they wearout and walk away with a brand new pair that day. As long as they stay in biz I shouldn't ever have to buy another pair of waders again.

Only $200 too

05-03-2007, 09:21 PM
Waders, are we talking about waders? All I need is good pair of 80's old school Converse All Stars...tied up tight cut off levi's and I am good.

05-04-2007, 10:13 AM
I hear you SFUTE, that makes more sense that strapping on a pair of Neoprenes. Why anyone in this day and age would wear Neoprene is beyond me, maybe they like the tight grip around their nads...who knows?

05-04-2007, 05:18 PM
I have a pair of Orvis Proguides. They started to leak on the front leg where the stiches are. How do I know? I filled them up with water and the water slowly started to bead at the stitches. I have a new pair on the way no charge. Thanks Orvis!

I found the repair kit that came with them........turned them inside out and ironed on the heat tape supplied over the seam. So far so good. No more leak.


05-05-2007, 05:18 PM
I am retired and trying to fish more on less money. So I am down to buying whatever comes on sale at the best price I can find. Currently wearing a pair of Cabelas starting on the second year. The only leaks have been self induced taking anchors that were to high on snake rolls. Other than that they have been fine.

I am also not above taking donations from ??????,,,,,,,,,,, but havent seen any yet.


05-07-2007, 12:34 PM
A friend of mine's G3 waders have given out after only three months of use commercially. When he contacted Simms, they told him (I paraphrase) that "this is about the normal for durability with his level of usage (guiding) and he shouldn't expect any service."

He wont get service. And no doubt Simms wont be getting any return business or recomendations from him.

Jamey McLeod
05-11-2007, 07:45 PM
Patagonia SST's!

Had a pair 5 years before they died. It was in the days when I was single and had a cushy office job that I could slip away from at 1pm and fish everyday. Would put them on in the 2nd floor bathroom and sneak down the fire escape to my truck in the alley. Wore them from my office to the river and back atleast 5 days a week for 5 years. Outlasted 3 pairs of Simms Freestone boots.

05-11-2007, 08:27 PM
I hear you SFUTE, that makes more sense that strapping on a pair of Neoprenes. Why anyone in this day and age would wear Neoprene is beyond me, maybe they like the tight grip around their nads...who knows?

I duck hunt in em cuz. My nads like to stay warm......:hihi:

08-14-2007, 08:23 AM
Hi im after some cheap breathables

and notced on sierra post

frogg togg - canyon
albright - tri tech

and at cabella's
hodgeman wadelite

im an Australia and am ordering online so i dont want to
spend too much over the 100 mark

just incase the size isnt right

does anyone have a preference, recommentation or experience with the above


08-17-2007, 09:10 AM
I like my orvis as they may cost a bit more but if anythhing goes wrong with them they replace them free of charge! I also have a pair of Cabelas for steelhead season as they are warmer (4 mm ) and they get the crap beat out of them and my kids use them and the dog uri...well nevermind....and they hold up great too.
Just my two cents.

08-17-2007, 09:25 AM
The reason I settled on Simms after several other brands is not the service, I hear it's good.

With the others I've had I know it's good or bad because I was in contact with them all the time.

But I have never needed to contact Simms even once since I adopted the guide weight gore-tex waders many years ago. They average 4-5 years for me, and my first pair still don't leak but they are way too big (I lost weight) and have lost that "new car smell" :lildevl:

I've poked holes in them with my short legs over barb-wire fences and kneeling into blackberry bushes out west, but the isopropyl alcohol detection method and a thin dab of aquaseal is the easiest fix going.

I've had one trusted gear-head friend have a bad experience with them but only one and the newer high-tech designs had some issues the first go-around but the Guide Weights have been solid for me and I probably won't switch until they stop making them or someone comes up with a tougher, lighter, more breathable fabric.

08-17-2007, 05:55 PM
juro, do you wear stockingfoot or bootfoot Simms waders? It seems the stockingfoots are more durable than the bootfoot.In fact, I think that Simms no longer shows bootfoot models on their website but, in fact, if you want a bootfoot model, you can pay $100 additional to have a rubber felt bottom boot put on their waders. The additional $100 puts their waders out of the price range of most of us fishermen, unfortunately.

08-20-2007, 06:55 AM
What is the isopropanol detection system you speak of ????

08-20-2007, 08:17 AM
just carry a few of those alchohol pads in the glove compartment or luggage or buy a .99 cent bottle at the drug store with some cotton balls

where you think the leak is turn the wader inside out and dab the alcohol on the area the leak will turn black and obvious. As far as I know this only works with real gore-tex fabric and may be specific to the layering of Simms Guide Waders, not sure though.

apply a thin coating of aquaseal and it will be 100% by morning

I use a thin flexible coating with feathered edges on the inside - not a hard mass that can create it's own wear and I prefer to use a flat stirstick like the kind you get at starbucks