Time for New Waders? - Zippered Wader Review - Redington Sonic Dry Fly vs. Simms G4Z Wader
November 26, 2014
Ok, this is the time of year we get to reflect on the gear that either kept us dry or had us shivering and going home early. I am ready to give a review of the Redington Sonic Dry Fly Wader that I got late last year. I will preface this by saying at Red's we won't waste your time by reviewing gear that is junk or that we wouldn't use ourselves. We like good gear, so we write about good gear, and give feedback on good gear to try and help you make an educated purchase. With that said, here we go.
The Redington Sonic Dry Fly is the second zippered wader that Redington introduced that was worth looking at. They had one model early on, but it was admittedly cheap and sort of a "pilot" project for them. I personally didn't even consider it, therefore you didn't see it on our blog haha! It wasn't a varsity product, and there is nothing wrong with that. Every company has to start somewhere. Their second wader that I noticed was the Sonic Pro Zippered Wader. This was a solid product and was a good value at $400. It took me just over a year of hard use to develop complaints and I felt like it was a good value. I am fairly hard on gear and a year out of a set of $400 waders for me is about right. Eventually the feet began to leak, BUT Redington stands behind their product and they were generous enough to exchange them for my current set (which they would do for any customer). That was last fall and now that I have 13 months on the Sonic Dry Fly, I figured it was time for some feedback. The video says it all, but here are a few bullet points.
- Super Dry - legit. I didn't realize waders could breathe that effectively.
- Tough enough, I put a lot of days on them - no leaks so far.
- Zipper pulls easier than the Simms
- Very lightweight, super comfortable because they don't feel like "armor".
- The pocket configuration is as good as it gets. The two mesh pockets on the inside are much nicer and more convenient than I could have imagined.
Comparing the Simms G4Z and Redington Sonic Dry Fly
This really isn't a fair comparison because of the price gap, but we'll do it anyways and since I like lists we'll just do some of the pro's and con's that I noticed.
Simms G4Z Zippered Waders - $799.95 (we do offer a $50 wader trade-in coupon at Red's - click here for more details!)
Redington Sonic Dry Fly Zippered Waders - $499.95
- Simms - 5 layers of Gore-tex... if I were buying one pair to last the rest of my life it would be the Simms. Its just too good.
- Comfort - Redington wins here.
- Pockets - the Simms ripped off the front - see video. Redington wins here.
- Wading belt - and its Redington for the win
- Gravel guards - I prefer the neoprene on the Simms... but they did shred after a few years. Verdict is still out on the Redingtons. Tie.
- Warranty. This is where the win goes to Redington. At Red's, we stand behind every product we sell and can offer an over the counter exchange on the Redingtons for a year after purchase. If you have a problem, no questions ask. With Simms, it's a bit more complicated and we'll have to submit them for repair (which is RARE!!!). However, it does happen and you might be without your waders for a while.
The River-Bottom Line
If you fish when its cold, or you travel to far away crazy places like Tierra Del Fuego, British Columbia, Iceland, or spend long periods of time standing in cold water and absolutely cannot afford to have a leak... its hard to ignore the Simms reputation of quality. I won't kid you there or try to blow any smoke at you.
The fact is though, Redington is really getting their act together and making some very good products. Its not the same company it was a few years ago. I have a very positive experience using the Sonic Dry Fly this past year for what its worth. In the $500 range for a zippered wader I don't think it can be beat!