Reviewed by Simon McMillian from Hunting & Fishing Ballingers in Christchurch.
This time last year I wrote about my transition from neoprene waders to Simms breathable waders for duck hunting. Another season has passed, and I still love this concept. As mentioned previously I have been wearing my American made, goretex Simms G4Z wader, but I have recently had the opportunity to try out the new Simms Tributary wader in Regiment Camo, perfect for duck hunting.
Tributary has been around for several years now and has proven to be a winner as an introduction to Simms waders, or in fact an introduction to breathable waders’ full stop. For 2023 the Tributary is receiving an update on the success of the original, with an adjustment to the fit design which will improve movement and durability, but also the addition of camouflage. I am never going to tell you that breathable waders will be warmer or more durable than the likes of a 7mm neoprene product, so we need to be realistic about their use, but if you treat them right, then the comfort factor is well worth the investment. Simms have had a couple of camo variations in their range over the years, but always in the higher price bracket of their selections.
Camo is a key component to any waterfowlers concealment in the field, and I have been one over the years that has said I wear a camo jacket down to between my waist and knees what do I need camo waders for?! Two reasons, firstly, a lot of the specific waterfowling jackets are now made as ‘wading jackets’ which means they are quite a lot shorter than traditional rainwear. This means they don’t end up in the water as easily when you are deep wading setting decoys and the likes, it also makes them a lot more comfortable when wearing them over waders.
However, being considerably shorter means a lot more of your wader is exposed and having that camo wader aids in concealment, particularly if you get caught out of the blind. Secondly, mother nature will probably prove me wrong now, but the last few seasons have seen some very mild weather early in the season and I have found myself on many occasions not needing a jacket on while hunting during the middle of the day. Having the camo pattern break up my figure as opposed to the block that a solid colour gives is a true advantage when hunting wary birds. Their ability to wick moisture away on those warmer days only adds to the appeal when you are setting up decoys and getting a sweat on!
Without going over too much ground from last year, the ability to wear a good fitting, comfortable boot with these stocking foot waders, the fact that they are lighter than most other waders out there, they breathe and are fully waterproof means that they make your day so much more enjoyable. Whilst not having the full compliment of sizes that a G3 wader does, the Tributary Camo still has you covered with sizes from small to 2XL, and 3 short leg option to boot (get it, to boot!) as well.
The name that Simms has come up for this is a bit of a mouth full, but I found the Regiment Camo Olive Drab a very good fit for the varying areas I hunt. From big water ways like Lake Ellesmere, our Canterbury braided riverbeds, to small scrub clad ponds it was great mix for all situations. These are not waders to break the bank, but they are waders to suit a purpose and they certainly stand out in their part of the market!
We have a very avid bunch of duck hunters behind the counters in our stores right across the country, take the opportunity to pop in store and discuss the new Simms Tributary Regiment Camo wader with them and treat yourself to the comfort you deserve in the blind this season and beyond.