My briefest description of these waders would be ‘G3 Guide lite’ as they are essentially the same well travelled full length design as the G3’s with 3-layer uppers and 5-layer lower legs, but with slightly different Gore-tex fabric and a smidge less weight.
They’re also lighter in price coming in between the mid-range G3’s and the imported Freestone model while still being made in the Montana factory.
While I’ve only had the waders since the start of the season, I have racked up quite a few days in them in everything from high early spring ice-flows off the snow country to unseasonably hot days on small, nearly vertical boulder hopping creeks that are probably more suited to younger players, and they remained, at all times, quite comfortable.
The breathability is, as expected, excellent and I would expect to stay dry and sweat-free in all but the most extreme heat on long days.
Outside, at the front, there’s a large zipper pocket in front of the hand warmer pocket and a small velcro patch (that works as a stand alone fly patch or holder for the optional ‘patch’ fly box or a velcro fly patch), and a row of anchor points for lanyards, forceps or other accessories.
There is also an internal zipper carrier built to sync with the optional ‘Tippet Tender’ pocket, with two mesh tippet spool holders, a fly box sized pocket and a docking station for a nipper retractor.
Together, all these storage areas provide enough space to eliminate a vest or pack if you want to travel light.
Simms wader design, in all their models, evolves with what they learn in their repair department and the new waders have all the stress points fully reinforced with patches over the internal seam sealing tape. That, along with the seam placement, makes them tough, and if my G3’s are anything to go by, they will last through many leak-free seasons.
All that aside, after a couple of months of use, the booties are my favourite feature. It seems the neoprene Simms uses has changed a lot since I last bought waders and the new stuff is very supple while being no thinner. In terms of comfort, they really hit the spot and even after three days in a row, my feet were never anything but dry happy campers.
Like the booties, the shoulder straps are improved, being thicker and stretchier and a little easier on my shoulders when I’m wearing my pack over them, and they also have a lot of adjustment.
The waders come in 15 sizes, and like every pair of waders Simms make in the Montana factory they are individually tested for leaks before they are boxed. A wading belt is included.