(“This review first appeared in the 2020 Gear Guide, now on sale at bookstores and fly shops nationwide, and also at osgnewsstand.com.")
Simms already had what was widely regarded as the most comfortable, durable, and feature-rich wader on the face of the planet, but that didn’t stop them from scrapping the flagship made-in-Montana waders, and starting over with a new design, new materials, and a new Gore-Tex fabric for completely redesigned G4 Pro and G4Z waders.
The new Gore-Tex Pro Shell material is what drove this redesign: It’s a tougher and more durable breathable material than the previous Pro Shell, which allowed Simms to build the new G4 with four layers in the legs—instead of the five layers in the old G4—for a wader that is lighter, more breathable, and, according to the results of more than 15,000 hours of guide testing, also more durable.
To go with the new Gore-Tex fabric package, Simms has also upgraded many of the most important components of the G4 wader, starting from the ground up, or in this case the feet. The redesigned neoprene feet on the G4s are more ergonomically shaped and sized, and Simms has used contoured, compression-molded neoprene in the feet to allow the material to crease and fold around your feet more uniformly and more comfortably. An unintended but pleasant consequence of the grooved, better-fitting stockingfeet is that there are fewer pressure points and better circulation, which in winter means your feet stay warmer.
The new waders also have a wider, more comfortable air mesh suspender system. It’s cooler on hot summer days, and more streamlined in places where you’re combining the waders with a jacket, backpack, or a lanyard. That’s a lot of stuff to have on your shoulders, so it’s important to start with the most comfortable suspenders possible.
Perhaps the most eye-catching part of the waders is the bright orange Sharkfin Buckle. This raised tab is for clamping your hemostats where you can easily grab them. It’s a hemo docking system that actually works, and stands up to the constant wear and tear of clamping.
G4 Pro waders have one large stretch mesh pocket and pass-through microfleece handwarmer pockets. The zippered G4Z has two separate fleece pockets and two zippered chest pockets.
Both waders have a looped fly field, attached neoprene gravel guards, front and back leg seams, a wading belt, and low-profile belt loops made with a Gore-Tex fabric that is more durable and doesn’t get in the way. $750-$850 | Simmsfishing.com