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breathable waders

2603 Views 10 Replies 10 Participants Last post by  snoryder
I'm looking to purchase breathable waders. Has anyone tried Gillies? Are these any good? What would these be compared to. as far as how the feel and look. I've never seen them before, but someone is selling them for an ok price, just not sure if its worth what he's asking. He says there comparable to the Simms brand. but I doubt it.

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With the price of the Simms Guideweights now at $330...why but anything else?? Unless you want to drop the 4 c-notes and get the G3's...which are the latest greatest!

But also, dont foget the Simms Lightweights at $199..from my experience dealing with Simms products for the last few years, I found the Lighweights to hold up just as well, if not better, then the Guideweights.
I just came across this review of Gillies Highland Breathables- they sound pretty good -


(I have no affilliation, blahblahblah...)

I had seen some on eBay, and was curious myself. I've been using Orvis silver label breathables for a couple of years and like them a lot, very comfortable, good value IMHO.

I agree with Sparkey on this one.


There is no comparison between the Simms and the pretenders. At first I resisted the the cost of the Simms (before the price drop with the intro of the G-3's) and tried some other brands. I was not happy. Even when my imitators were not leaking their breathability did not match that of Dana's Simms Guideweights. When I finally broke down and worked a deal on the Simms I was astounded by their superior breathability. I am totally sold on the Guideweights.

There are some good non-Gortex breathables out there, like the Orvis or Patagonias, however, with the price you can now get the Simms - why settle for second best?
It's hard to argue with the Simms recommendation. I know I love mine. I've put 23 rod days (I've kept track) on them to date with no problems.

I put two hook points into them this past fall; one in the front of the leg (5 layer material) and one in the back of the leg (3 layer material). No repairs required. Of course I'm not recommending putting hook points in them if you can avoid it; no breathable wader is as durable as a neoprene or rubber water, nor made for serious bush whacking. Minor leaks are also easy to detect and repair with these waders with just a spray bottle of rubbing alcohol and the repair kit that comes along with it.
My stats, although estimated, are somewhere in the order of 3.5 years with an approximate number of 224 times donning one pair. That is based on pulling up the waders on Sat and Sun half the weekends of the year (26x2 = 52) plus 12 additional days where I sneak in some fishing thru the year (dedicated trips, weekdays, Spey casting mornings, etc). Then multiply that by 3.5 (3.5x64=224). My wife would argue that's low, so I'd wager it's pretty accurate. ;)

Yes I've had leaks, and patched them once, and I have a slow leak on my left knee right now. Worth the price? Well they are pricey but I would wager that only the OS Systems non-breathables could give me a better value but could not provide nearly the comfort because the OS do not breathe.

I've asked for a new pair for Xmas and noticed a suspiciously fat garment style box in the closet :D

Count me in the Simms guideweight fanclub!
Something else to think about. How is customer service, Simms is, what customer service. Have tried a couple other company's and it 's been, if you are not satisfied send them back for repair or replacement and send you another pair to use while yours are being repaired.
The material that the Gillies feels a little bit heaver than the average wader.
Hope this helps.
Simms rules!
I recently received one of the first pairs of the G3's sent to Europe.
They are yet another big step up the design ladder where their Guide weight have ruled for several years. With built in gravel guards, better reinforcement of stress areas and a clever multi use chest pocket they are simply wonderful.
I will report on more than good looks when I have used them hard in Patagonia next month.

More later from a rushed Swede.
Vote for Simms.

I've tried 4 other brands: for exampe, Redington is good enough for one day fishing, my friends have tried much more of brands, by we're stopped on Simms - somebody on Lighweight, somebody (incl. me) on Guideweight. After 2 seasons, they are like new except one hole made by Bartleet Double #4 on the full speed of speycast:hehe: ...

Unfortunately, Simms has discontinued they Neoprene:( - it is excellent on spring rivers, when th water is 2 degrees above a freezing point... Somebody knows any lightweight, warm and strong neopene?

Alex K, Russia
I have a pair of the Gillies Highlanders and have used them off and on for the past two seasons amid various other designs(70 days tops). They have been subjected to the usual rough treatment and now reside in our guidefleet. I think they are now leaking slightly, probably just pinholes, not too bad. I would say that this product is fairly close to the simms in durability, though it is tough to beat simms.
Thanks guys for all your post. Majority rules I guess, Simms is the best. I need to find the right deal now. I haven't seen the CA prices go down yet, hopefully I can find a decent pair on Ebay. Thats where I found a deal on the Gillies. I know I don't really want to spend too much cause you really don't get your monies worth out of waders, in my opinion. A leak will eventually happen. Thats why I'm not gung ho on spending 600 bucks CA on waders.

thanks again

later guys or gals..
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