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Simms vs Patagonia Waders – G3 Vs Swiftcurrent

When it comes to quality fly fishing waders, Simms and Patagonia are regarded as two of the top companies. I have had several pairs of waders from both brands, and I have put hundreds of days on them. Waders are somewhat disposable—they will only last so long before you’ll need another pair. However, they are quite expensive as a short-term item. However, with some care and cleaning, a good pair of waders can last for years.

After extensive use of both, I have found that the Simms G3 wader tends to last longer without leaking. The Gore-Tex construction is simply superior, and Patagonia fabric can’t compete. However, Patagonia waders can still last for years.

This article will cover the pros and cons of each wader model. Whether you choose the Simms G3s or the Patagonia Swiftcurrents, hopefully, this article will help guide you.

Simms G3 Waders

These are my current pair, and they are 2 years old. I have put a lot of days on them, and they still aren’t leaking. Below, I will list the main features of this wader :

  • The upper wader features a 3-layer Gore-Tex construction, while the lower portion has 4 layers. This is helpful since the lower part of the waders take the most abuse
  • These waders are constructed in the USA, in Simms Montana factory
  • The air-mesh suspender system allows for more breathability on those hotter days. These suspenders also have an attachment point for carrying a net
  • The removable tippet tender attachment allows you to stay organized – store your leaders, indicators, and tippet here
  • There is also an interior pocket with a zipper for keeping your phone or other important items
  • The leg seams allow for more durability, with less wear on one another. These allow for a great fit and longer-lasting use
  • These waders come with 2 different belt loops. Use the upper or lower loop depending on your preferences and body style
  • The built-in gravel guards are very abrasion-resistant

Coming in at $700, these waders certainly aren’t cheap. With a recent price increase of $100, these waders are now at a higher price point. For $750, you can get the Veil Camo version, which is my personal pair. For duck hunters and stealthy anglers, these certainly come in handy.

Simms offers sizing for just about every body style and custom sizing if you don’t fit in their range.

As far as warranties go, Simms will completely replace the waders if they leak within 60 days. If they leak within the first year, Simms will repair them free of charge. If your waders leak after the first year, you can send them back and have them repaired for $60.

I haven’t had to send my pair of G3s back yet, but I have done some preventive Aquaseal patches on the booties, which get a lot of wear. I don’t like waiting on repairs, so I usually just do them myself. Using Aquaseal is pretty easy once you get used to it. Keep in mind that repairing your Simms waders yourself can void the warranty. I fish enough, so I don’t care about this since I buy new waders every 3 years or so. However, if you want them to last a long time, send them back and have Simms do a professional repair.

My favorite thing about the G3s is the fit. Being a tall guy, they fit me perfectly—which is pretty rare for me. Simms really nailed the sizing on their waders, and it is extremely accurate.

Not only is the Gore-Tex construction durable, but it is also very breathable. If you use your waders on cold tailwaters on hot summer days, this comes in quite handy. The Simms G3’s wick moisture really well, and I rarely sweat in these.

Patagonia Swiftcurrent Waders

These are Patagonia’s top-selling waders, with similar pricing to the Simms G3 waders. For the beefier Swiftcurrent Expedition waders, the price is $699. For the lighter, regular Swiftcurrent waders, the price is $549.

Below, I will list the top features of these waders :

  • For the fabric, Patagonia uses its signature h2No fabric. This recycled polyester microfiber is very durable and water-repellent. It doesn’t have the same breathability and durability as Gore-Tex, but it is still a top-notch material
  • These are made in Vietnam, so Simms has the advantage with their USA-made waders
  • The upper portion of these waders has a 4-layer, 6.6-ounce H2No fabric. The lower portion has a 4-layer of 9.4-ounce H2No fabric. These fabrics also have a breathing barrier, which helps on those hot days. However, the regular Swiftcurrent wader just has 5.1-ounce fabric throughout.
  • The single-seam construction on these waders allows for less wear and more durability. When 2 seams rub together, it can diminish the life of waders
  • The quick-release suspender system allows these to be worn as pants or full waders. This is a feature that Patagonia pioneered
  • The two drop-in pockets and waterproof flip-out pockets allow users to store their items easily. However, the regular Swiftcurrent wader does not have the two drop-in pockets.
  • These waders also feature foam knee pads, which you can remove. This allows you to kneel down on the river rocks without hurting your knees

All in all, these are good waders. I have several friends who have them, and they are pleased with them. They use them a lot for days of guiding and just fishing for fun. They seem to be holding up well, much better than the older Patagonia wader models. I think many guides and other fly fishers are starting to trust Patagonia waders a lot more – since their old models wore out quickly. I think if they can maintain the quality, they could see a lot more anglers switching over to their waders.

Patagonia waders come in many sizes, with extended sizing available. No matter how tall or short you are, there is a pair that will fit.

Conclusion

Although Patagonia Swiftcurrents are great waders, I think Gore-Tex is still the superior material. I see plenty of Simms waders that are 5 years old or more, but I don’t see that as much with Patagonia. Since the pricing is pretty similar, I would urge people to lean towards the Simms G3s. However, with the recent increase in build quality, I think Patagonia could give Simms a run for their money. Time will tell.