Comfort. No other word better describes the Simms Headwaters Pro Stockingfoot Waders. Immediately upon putting these waders on, I wondered if I was missing something. “Are these GORE-TEX? Are there fewer layers?” They felt much lighter than other waders, and I was quickly impressed with how good they felt. Even more impressive, despite they fact that these waders felt lighter and more comfortable, I was wearing them in a snowy Colorado canyon with a -10 degree reading on the thermostat. Not a bad start to testing waders.
The comfort went well beyond how light and warm these waders felt. Over the course of a demanding day-long backcountry hike, temperatures climbed dramatically until I was shedding layers and even ditched the beanie. Despite this, the breathability of these waders kept me comfortable from the chest down while still warm when wading the frigid waters. Warm, light, and breathable, the Simms Headwaters allow maximum control of handling the elements and regulating body temperature. As a day on the water often brings a wide range of weather and conditions, such performance is critical, and the Headwaters couldn’t have been better.
A number of small design features also enhance comfort and performance with these waders. Wader manufacturers over the years have struggled with the shape and sizing of neoprene booties. Of course they cannot be too small, but if they are too big or have excess material, anglers will feel clumps of neoprene in their boot, thereby bringing discomfort and diminishing the feel and performance of wading boots. I’m not sure how Simms has mastered this fit, but when both dry and wet, my booties glided in and out of my wading boots and felt great all day. Additionally, the elasticity of the suspenders provided the perfect amount of stretch to allow mobility.
Looking further at the small things, the chest area is designed flawlessly. The chest pockets are generous and perfect for hand warming, but the openings are low profile enough that they won’t catch fighting butts or oars. And there are numerous loops for attaching hemostats, pliers, zingers, or other tools. It’s like a mini work bench.
In short, the Simms Headwaters Pro Stockingfoot Waders are brilliantly designed waders that are tough, comfortable, and not only live up to the Simms name, but they also highlight the innovation and construction that give Simms the reputation they deserve.
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