Simms breathable waders
As someone who has been wearing waders for more of my life than dress shoes, I have probably tried a fair cross-section of wader styles. I can only imagine how knowledgeable you old guys are Actually, I am forty and so have no say one way or the other!
When I was about 14, I had a pair of those rubber waders which I swear my frugal mother of 5 siblings cut off the tops and made me wear as snow boots. Maybe she didn't actually, but you couldn't tell by the bott design, and they gripped about as well in the water as they did on the ice.
It was a l-o-n-g time until neoprenes came into my life, in fact winter steelheading in the early 80's did the trick. Gone were my Red Balls forever, and I mean that figuratively as well as... never mind.
Upon moving to Seattle, the concept of winter and summer steelhead graced my life, and with it came the need for more than one style of wader. Fearing the return of the plastic bag pants, I was saved by the discovery of OS Systems Waders. These are a non-breathable uninsulated super-tough wader with the most comfortable feet you have ever worn. (See separate review)
OK - so I took the long way around to explaining Gore-tex, but here I am. Even the lightweight OS/S waders caused considerable condensation when the glacial river flow meets 98.6 for extended periods of fishing. The best one can do is wear fleece, because it holds <5% of water and wicks very efficiently. OK - it's 90 degrees out, everybody put on their fleece! NADA... and neoprene's even worse.
Enter the breathable wader. So I guess instead of saying what's so good about Simms Goretex, I mentioned what is sooo bad without them. The Guide Series are guide-tough and a top notch product. I was doubtful of their durability until I beat a pair up for a season. Looks like I'll be beating them for next season too, not even a glitch. They are a bit pricey (~$359), but if you are looking for tough and top-of-the-line this is it. If you've heard good testimonials about them, you can add one to the list. I love my pair.
If I could change one thing it would be the feet. Since I bought them to escape hot weather, the last thing I wanted was black 5 mm neoprene on my feet. I suppose the boot foot would eliminate the problem, provided they are not insulated. The above mentioned OS/S waders have the most comfortable feet on the market, unfortunately they are not interested in the breathable wader market.
Simms has introduced a lower priced breathable this year. Blue Northern had these ultra-new waders at the show. Another post (or a reply to this) will 'splain the deal with those.
Hope this helps.
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