Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Redington Sonic-Pro Ultra Packable Wader

It's not the easiest thing in the world to wear another brand of waders in Simms country. You have to be willing to take a bit of grief, so it better be worth it. This, I learned while wearing the Redington Sonic-Pro Ultra Packable Wader this past year.

Photo: Ben Pierce Photography
These waders weigh about 1.5 pounds and roll up to about the size of half of a loaf of bread. They are easy to pack for camping or stuff in the backpack for a hike (most boots are still not as convenient, however), and would be great space savers for airborne fishing trips. They are quite comfortable due to their light, pliable material, and don't look particularly dweeby like some brands (although Liz tells me they're almost as flattering as another popular brand).

They use the Orvis sonic-seam technology which seems to work well, and are made of a four-layer breathable nylon apparently called High Density Mini Oxford Fabric.

Focus on the waders, not the fish...
Aside from their packability, they make a great shoulder-season option when it's a touch cold for wet-wading, but a touch warm for five-layer Gore-Tex. They include a detachable front pocket that is extremely convenient in certain situations, like when float fishing. You can take the pocket out of the equation when you're bobbing downriver, and put it back on when you need to hike over to the run opposite the island.
One draw-back, however, is the warranty. It's the limited one-year...plus that fly-fishing industry "service fee". It's only $30 with Redington, but it still gets to me a little. That said, all companies have this, so there's no disadvantage with these waders.

Ideal for hiking, too. 
Ultimately, these waders are fully recommendable. They're more affordable than other brands ($289.95), and they sprung exactly zero major leaks over a season of use (pinholes notwithstanding - they are inevitable and don't really leak, anyway). They're comfortable, packable, look fine, and most of all, functional. They might not be my go-to wader for January, but they might be for the rest of the year.

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