After many seasons in the G4 Pro waders, I had the opportunity to put the new 2022 model Simms G3 Guides to the test, suffice to say I knew they would pass with flying colours. The G3‘s have stood the test of time - they are the Toyota Landcruiser’s of the wader world and have a following loyal to the core.
I’ve owned nearly every iteration of Simms breathable waders since they became available on the fly-fishing scene and have never looked back with years of punishment through New Zealand’s back country, blackberry, matagouri, shale-rocks and volcanic pumice-laded rivers.
My Simms waders have been scrunched into packs, used as changing pads, been covered in fish slime, coated in road gravel and sunk deep into the stickiest mud without ever washing - and still they all soldiered on each season until I either, 1) I ate too many pies and needed to upsize, or 2) I did eventually wear them out.
There has not been a lot of major changes in wader design in the last ten years if I’m being honest. Sure, the designs receive tweaks here and there, the waders are inevitably lighter each season, and the innovative waterproof zip was a groundbreaking move on the Simms G4Z’s. But it’s the culmination of small, very well thought out improvements things that make a big difference, especially to an already market leading G3 Guide wader.
THE NEW HARNESS ON THE SIMMS G3 WADER IS A WINNER
The new G3’s inherit a few touches from the Simms G4 Pro, namely the harness is very similar and a great upgrade on current G3’s. A nicely padded affair with mesh-backed, padded shoulder pads, and the stitched cross-over design that on my G4’s never ever resulted in twisted straps, it’s a nice touch! It’s the best harness system out there and extremely comfy. Clips are male-female alternating on each side and nice and low profile.
HOW DO THE G3’S LOOK? LIKE WADERS FUNNILY ENOUGH
There is an awesome looking, bright-orange G3 logo emblazoned on the rear of the waders, and the colour is the familiar gunmetal colour that’s super stealthy in most situations you’ll ever encounter. I could get to within a few metres of a big brown in gin-clear water and not raise any suspicion.
THE 2022 G3 WADER IS BUILT TO LAST
Construction is the commonly used 4-layer Gore-Tex in the legs and 3-layer Gore-Tex in the body, a proven combination for movement and durability. There is simply NO substitute for Gore-Tex and its proven waterproofness and durability, other coated fabrics are lucky to see out a season’s hard use.
There is nothing worse than leaky waders and using the best waterproof membrane on the market cements Simms as the market leader year after year.
G3 WADER FIT, COMFORT, & RANGE OF MOVEMENT
Gusset and knee designs remain the best in the business and once you take them out of the box and glance over the “USA made” badge and Gore-Tex care instructions you immediately know that you are simply stepping into the best quality waders on the planet.
Another really neat feature on the new model G3 waders is that Simms have done away with the brass boot clips on the in-built gravel guards, instead employing a heavily elasticated and reinforced cuff comes down firmly over your boot and really does stay there with not a hint of riding up and allowing gravel into your wading boot! This is a great move.
Moulded neoprene socks are extremely comfy and allow for more breathability in the foot area as tested on long walks in the back country recently. The seam taping on the socks also looks to be more durable to my eye.
Other nice touches are that the new G3 waders no longer have side belt loops, instead opting for a two-position belt loop on the rear. I really like this as it allows for the wading belt (which is included with the waders) to fit varying body shapes and moulds nicely to both skinny-buggers, and pie-eaters like myself. It’s a step up in comfort from previous systems, with the wading belt being able to slide up or down to suit differing abdomen shapes.
OTHER WADER FEATURES
The new Simms G3 Guide Wader also introduces an innovative internal side pocket to the waders that sit below your left arm which is a great spot for a cellphone or a fly box, which is what I used it for.
Sometimes I like to have the front pouch clean and free of internal protrusions when hauling into a stiff breeze or squeezing through foliage - and for items you aren’t accessing readily, like perhaps a phone or PLB, this works great.
The hand-warmer pockets are the same and a nice Simms Velcro fly patch adorns the front left chest. The familiar, zip-out Simms tippet organiser is also included.
Having just come off five days fly fishing in the South Island back country, both Mike and I were suitably impressed. It’s not often a proven recipe can be improved upon but Simms have knocked it out of the park again with meaningful improvements in functionality and design.
They simply work so well, and you’ll sleep better knowing you have the backing of the world’s premier wader maker should anything ever go wrong.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Andrew Harding is a die hard fly fisherman that spends more time on the water than most of us do at work. Check out some of his amazing fly fishing film work over on his Youtube channel.