January 11, 2023
By Fly Fisherman Staff
The design team at Patagonia was delivered a difficult objective for 2023—make the lightest, most durable all-purpose waders in company history, and do it with 100% recycled face fabrics. The result is Swiftcurrent Ultralight Waders, a completely new design that eliminates baggy extra material from every part of the wader—including the feet—to create a packable and super functional no-B.S. wader that weighs just 31 ounces. That doesn’t just shave weight from your luggage, it’s less bulk while you’re walking and hiking, and the streamlined pattern means there’s less material to flag in the water, and less drag when you are wading.
The Swiftcurrent Ultralight uses a new 4-layer waterproof/breathable membrane with a face fabric made of 100% recycled post-consumer and industrial polyester. The exterior is abrasion- and puncture-resistant. The stockingfeet are thin, stretchy synthetic rubber booties similar to Patagonia’s previous Swiftcurrent Packable waders. But while those were dipped booties, these newly designed feet are 3D vacuum-molded to be more form-fitting. The booties don’t have the same bulk as neoprene, so you can either size down your wading boots, or add thick socks under the booties for extra warmth and cushion. Of note, neoprene booties tend to stay damp for a day or two, while these rubber booties do not absorb water and dry in minutes.
The waders have no external pocket, but do have a hidden waterproof internal pocket for keys or cell phone. The low-bulk suspender system works to convert the waders easily for waist-high use. When they are up over your shoulders, both suspenders have integrated gear docks for clamps and zingers. Black Hole scuff guards at the bottom inside of the gravel guards are made from the same type of material as Patagonia’s famous Black Hole line of packs and luggage. It’s a 14-oz., 900-denier ripstop polyester made of 100% recycled post-consumer waste with a waterproof TPU-film laminate.
$499 | patagonia.com