Orvis’ evolution has a company hasn’t gone unnoticed. Always known for quality of fly fishing products, Orvis was a little slow maybe 10 years ago or so to stay caught up with the times. Fly angling changed some. Anglers became younger, more active, and tougher on gear. After announcing a reboot of sorts, the company started putting out new gear rapidly and with impressive innovation continuously coming out of their HQ.
While my first rod was an Orvis, and I’ve owned many Orvis products over the years, I have to admit I’ve never owned Orvis waders. Let’s be honest, Orvis isn’t known for their waders. But I think that’s quickly going to change.
Orvis turned heads last October when they announced their PRO Waders. Along with a website that highlighted the research and development process, Orvis stated that, “Designed for anglers and built for athletes, the Orvis PRO Wader has undergone three years of development and over 9,000 hours of testing under the toughest conditions. Built to withstand the abuse of professional guides, every detail has a purpose, every feature has been challenged, and every piece has been rigorously tested.” Okay, you got our attention.
But of course, while a company’s claims about a product are one thing, the angler experience is another, and we couldn’t have been more impressed with the Orvis PRO Waders — for both men and women.
We reviewed these waders along with several other big brand waders around the same time, and Orvis PROs really stood out. The waders have a nice, clean look, but they are also loaded with features. As a minimalist angler, features on waders usually aren’t welcomed on this end, but Orvis put some smart design into these puppies.
The first claim that Orvis makes is that these waders have an athletic fit. That isn’t to mean that you need an athletic build to like these waders, rather these waders are designed for active angling. A 4-layer Cordura® fabric shell in the upper part of the waders and a 5-layer Cordura fabric shell in the lower legs supports durability, and removable knee pads add durability to a generally vulnerable area of waders. Additionally, these waders have some of the toughest built-in gravel guards we’ve come across. Oh, and one of the most important aspects for keeping warm and comfortable wasn’t overlooked — the booties fit well without excess material and have an anatomical fit. These is big for active anglers.
But beyond the durability and fit, there are few other features that make these waders great. A puffy chest area with open pockets is maybe the most annoying thing in the world to anglers rowing boats or casting Spey rods. Orvis made a low profile chest on these waders and included zippers on all chest pockets. Thank you!
Finally, the internal removal accessory pack on the inside of the waders is a great way to keep tippet, leader, and tools accessible and organized. Great touch.
The Orvis PRO Waders are available in 20 different sizes and cost $498.
Disclosure: Orvis is in a professional relationship with the Venturing Angler. Though potentially benefiting from this relationship, we do not post what we do not believe to be true. To read more, click here.