Epic Blog

Simms G4 Zipper Waders Review

12.23.14

Simms Zipper Waders

I originally bought zippered waders because of all the hiking we do at our fishing camps in Alaska.

BOTTOM LINE

The G4Z Stockingfoot Wader by Simms is a great product that far exceeded my expectations in function and zipper durability.

I wish I had converted sooner to zippered waders. And you will, too.

THE LONGER STORY

I’ll admit I was skeptical when zippered fishing waders first hit the market a few years back. After spending many summers fishing and adventuring in Alaska, I tend to lean towards the “less is more” mantra, especially in remote wilderness areas. In other words, simple is good when you’re a long way from spare parts or repair centers, and I often give up high-tech solutions for tried and true.

In the 90’s I did use a cutting edge (at the time) heavy-duty PVC duffel with a waterproof zipper on several unguided float trips in Alaska – the zipper never leaked but was very hard to zip in colder temperatures (as the waterproof gasket embedded in the zipper stiffened)… I never did completely trust it.

Fast forward to more recent times… Since we hike at our camps more than the typical fly fishing lodge (which often rely on long jet boat rides or fly-outs to access areas away from the lodge), zippered waders first caught my eye as a way to vent out excess body heat on longer walks, especially on warmer days in July and August. Using the zipper as an easier way to relieve myself on the river or as an easier way to wader up (or down) was secondary to me at the time. Little did I know how much I would enjoy the “secondary” features.

Simms Zipper Waders

The Simms G4Z stockingfoot waders are pricey but worth it.

WHY I LIKE THEM

  • Way easier to put on and take off
  • Way easier to take a leak
  • Easier to vent on longer hikes and hot days
  • The zipper has lasted at least 2 full seasons guiding in Alaska (on each pair I’ve owned)

(In fact, the zipper appears to last longer than the waders seams – I had to replace my first pair because the seams wore out, not because of zipper failure. Of course, with daily use over 3 to 4 months of fishing in Alaska, we are pretty brutal on our guiding gear.)

WHAT’S NOT TO LIKE

  • The biggest functional drawback is there is no longer a large single chest pocket, which is better for storage compared to the 2 split pockets
  • A $699.95 price tag

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