New Year, New Wader time
I'll admit it, I've been a big Simms wader fan for a long, long time. They are tough to beat for many reasons. However, for 2020 Patagonia released a completely new wader series, the Swiftcurrent Expedition and I have a feeling it will give my Simms a run for their money.
When we first saw these waders last summer I was definitely intrigued. A new look, a new fit, new fabrics, and a long list of new features. I had to get my hands on a pair and try them to see how all of the "newness" stacks up to the competition.
Patagonia Swiftcurrent Expedition Zip Front Wader Initial Test Thoughts:
Right out of the gate the first session with the Patagonia Swiftcurrent waders proved successful. Zip waders are very easy to get in and out of when unzipped. Being layered up for cold weather, or perhaps a long winter of IPA beer, having the extra space to get in and out of helps. I really liked the fact that Patagonia went with a T-handle style zipper for one handed operation and a stiffer face fabric. I didn't need to pin down the fabric with one hand while I zipped up, I simply grabbed the T-handle and pulled.
The other slick feature of the new Swiftcurrents is the adjustable suspenders and glide system. After I layered up I needed to adjust the height of how the inseam fit. I quickly readjusted the suspenders down a notch and improved the fit instantly. The new glide system was also pretty trick for getting in and out of. I'm looking forward to that when air temps heat up and I need to drop the waders down to a waist high.
Articulation was great. I tested the waders on the Spokane River where no two rocks are the same size and had no issue crawling over boulders, there was plenty range of motion.
Great foot insulation! January fishing is cold, the day I tested the waders on the Spokane was no exception. It was extremely miserable. As a matter of fact I wouldn't have even fished in the conditions, but I really wanted to test the Swiftcurrents in foul weather so it was about as rainy and cold as I was willing to tolerate. I only wore lightweight Simms socks and my feet were actually pretty warm. If I were to be stationary all day I woulda bumped up to a heavier sock, but the added insulation of fleece in the bootie was plenty to wear a thin sock and maintain comfort.
Pockets galore! Going from Simms G4 Pro waders to the Patagonia Swiftcurrents was a major upgrade in pockets! There were so many places to stash tippets, phone, tools, small fly boxes, etc. It was nice to have items ready for action and not have to dig into the pack especially when it was raining.
Dry factor. Zero leaks, no sweat. I didn't do any crazy hiking, but the first test run yielded good results. I stayed warm and comfortable under the Expedition weight waders.
Durability? Well I only went out for a couple hours, it was shitty out! Time will tell, but based on how heavy the fabric is, as well as the durability of the older generation, combined with the fact that the seams are double taped I highly doubt these waders will have issues. I'll do a follow up review later in the season.
Wading through the water was also easier. Patagonia waders of the past were known to be bulky, bulk adds resistance when wading through water. The cut and fit has been greatly improved and I felt no issues when navigating the Spokane River currents.
Initial Test Results:
Success. It checked all the boxes and then some. I really enjoyed the first outing and was very comfortable, not to mention dry! Mike also has a pair so we will be able to give some good feedback throughout the year.
Tested out the New Patagonia Danner Wading Boots... very nice! I bought the rubber soles as well as a pack of the Patagonia studs. I loaded up my left boot with studs and left the right un-studded for a direct comparison. Grip was excellent in both studded and non-studded, not sure which I liked more yet. I will have a review of these after some more use.
For more about the Patagonia Swiftcurrent Zip Front Wader Features - Check out our article here: