Simms G4Z waders review: Elite Comfort and Quality

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The old saying you get what you pay for is apt when it comes to the Simms G4Z waders.

To put it simply, they are the best waders you can buy. But with a price tag of about $800, you’d expect them to be.

But as I will explain in this Simms G4Z waders review, serious fly fishers should hang the expense and stop looking for alternatives if they truly want the best.

My experience with G4Z waders

I have owned my G4Z’s for several years. I bought them after an earlier pair of Simms waders (I can’t recall if they were G3s or another model) developed so many pin prick holes in the legs they were so spattered with dabs AquaSeal it was time for an upgrade.

And with me being a coffee addict and a fan of early morning sessions in cool rivers, a zippered model was always going to be what I needed. (I also fish with a backpack a lot and another advantage of zippered waders is you can answer nature’s call without having to take your backpack off).

I also needed reinforced GoreTex in the right places – predominantly the front of the legs where thorns can easily penetrate lesser waders if you are fishing in scrubby country.

That the waders were breathable was also a non-negotiable for me. Hiking 10 or 20km in a day’s river fishing in anything but GORE-TEX or Toray is not advised.

And I wanted something that wasn’t going to fail me out in the field or fail to make it through at least three tough fishing seasons.

Simms G4Z waders review: why I chose them

The zip: for me, the completely watertight YKK zipper in these waders was a must-have feature for the reasons explained earlier.

The extra layers: Simms has made these waders far more durable than the other waders in its range with four layers in the legs and three layers in the upper section.

The comfort: Simms waders always fit well (they come in a big range of sizes) and I have never experienced any chafing or rubbing even when wearing these for long and sweaty fishing sessions in summer

The reputation: Simms are made in trout heaven – Bozeman, Montana. I’ve always owned Simms waders (as well as fly fishing vests and boots) and have fished with them throughout the world. I have found they offer unmatched durability and comfort over other brands and this particular pair have become like a favourite fishing companion.

The warranty: if these waders tear or rip in the first year,  Simms will look after the repairs. After that, repairs involving manufacturing issues are free, too. Simms offers a reasonably priced repair service for other issues that might arise. 

Other nice G4Z features:

My G4Zs are like a favourite fishing companion now and are comfortable in any conditions on any river

The pockets: the G4Zs have two secure watertight pockets high on the chest to store, say, your phone and your wallet. A little further down on either side you have a fleece-lined pocket that’s large enough to stick you hands inside on cool days.

The neoprene bits: again, these are of the highest quality. The stocking feet are durable enough to survive the wear and tear that’s normal in fishing and the gravel guards are sturdy and work well.

The suspenders and wading belt: The G4Z’s have padded and comfortable and breathable suspenders and a high quality wading belt.

My verdict

Out on the river in the G4Zs

I couldn’t be happier with the G4Zs. I love the fit and features and the zip is completely water tight and a game changer for fishing comfort.

Our last fishing trip we dealt with temperatures ranging from 40 degrees (5 degrees C) through to 100 degrees (38 degrees C) and the G4Z’s offer great comfort in all conditions.

I haven’t had a single leak in these despite crashing through some tough and thorny brush at times. I fully expect these to last well beyond five years. Who knows, I might get a decade out of them!

I can’t finish this review without touching on the price though – $800 is a hell of a lot to spend. Obviously, though, I thought it was worth it.

For me, you can’t put an exact price on having dry feet while fishing for fishing for steelhead in winter. You can’t put an exact price on not getting dehydrated will hiking a New Zealand trout stream. And you can’t put an exact price on never getting chafed or uncomfortable or let down by a breakage in the field. You can’t quantify this exactly, but for me that’s worth a hell of a lot more than $800!

So if you have the money, buy them now! If not, consider Simms’ Guide, Freestone and Headwaters models or their new Flyweight waders.

Click on this link for more info and opinions on the full Simms Waders range.

Simms G4Z Video Review

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Rick Wallace is a passionate angler and fly fisher whose work has appeared in fishing publications including FlyLife. He's appeared in fishing movies, founded a successful fishing site and spends every spare moment on the water. He's into kayak fishing, ultralight lure fishing and pretty much any other kind of fishing out there.
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