Simms G3 Guide Stockingfoot Waders

Simms G3 Guide Stockingfoot Waders

A breathable benchmark

  • By: Jason Borger
Simms, a company often viewed as synonymous with Gore-Tex breathable-fabric technology, has taken its award-winning Classic Guide waders and moved them ahead a generation with the advent of the "G3" model. The G3 offers tangible, real-world-useful improvements over Simms's previous top-of-the-line offering-which many anglers already considered to be the world's finest breathable wader. Perhaps the most obvious of the new-for-G3 features is the Tippet-Tender/hand-warmer assembly. The extra storage and built-in nipper retractor allows an angler to carry enough tippet, flies and ancillary items for a light-and-fast outing sans a vest or a pack.Although hot summer days will render the hand-warmer moot, the fleece-lined pocket comes into its own when the weather turns nasty. Many guides will likely find the hand warmer particularly nice during the early and late seasons. For those wanting to go cooler, the G3 can also be worn in a waist-high configuration that still provides access to the Tippet Tender pocket. Another design feature presented by the G3 is the set of built-in Schoeller gravel guards. The integrated, effective Schoellers make the whole process of using gravel guards faster, cleaner and easier. A caveat with any built-in guards: Check the compatibility of your preferred wading boots against the guard design before you buy your waders. Simms states that the G3 offers a 20 percent improvement in breathability over the Classic Guide waders. In addition, the multi-layer fabric used in the lower legs and seat of the two-tone G3 has a slightly harder/slicker "hand" to it and is said to be more abrasion/puncture resistant than before. I spent a week in a pair of G3 waders fishing in air temperatures ranging from the upper 80's to the mid 20's. I scrambled over volcanic rocks, bushwhacked through riverside scrub, and plodded into odiferous spring-creek muck. My conclusion was that the G3 outperformed the Classic waders from all aspects. A minor, but surprisingly useful "extra" provided by the G3 design is the single built-in belt loop (with belt). This feature not only helps with belt placement when wearing the waders, but it also assists in preventing loss of the belt. Other general features of the G3-which can also be found on the Classics-include well-designed (but not user-replaceable) cross-back suspenders, articulated knees and 3mm neoprene left/right-specific feet. Simms quotes a retail price of $425 for the 11 "standard" sizes, and $25 to $50 more for the eight larger sizes. You will also pay a slight weight penalty. Simms lists the Classic Guide waders at 56 ounces with the G3 coming in at 61 ounces. When it comes to one pair of waders that can just about "do it all" (and do it very well), the G3 is a breathable benchmark.