Simms is a well-known and much-loved brand in the angling world. The Boseman, Montana-based company has been keeping anglers dry since 1980 and was founded by John Simms. Simms saw the need for high-quality, dependable waders in the fishing industry, and sought out to create them.
And that, he did. Simms’ waders are widely considered to be top-of-the-line. They’re known for their durability and effectiveness at keeping anglers dry, no matter how extreme the conditions. The Freestone waders line is one of Simms’ most affordable. But don’t worry, the quality of this range lives up to the brand reputation.
The Freestone line features chest-high waders made for a variety of angling activities. Currently, they only come in one color and style, featuring a large zippered chest pocket, built-in belt loops, and a wading belt. If you don’t prefer or need a chest-high style, no fear! These waders can also convert to a waist-high version with the help of reversible suspender buckles.
These waders are made with material technologies including Toray QuadraLam and YKK. QuadraLam probably doesn’t mean much to you if you haven’t used waders before, but Simms describes it as, “a heavy-duty engineered fabric with a microporous waterproof coating that utilizes two-layer coated fabric, a single membrane layer, and a tricot backer to offer improved durability.” This fabric was created specifically for Waders. YKK zippers are created with nylon to minimize corrosion and provide long-term durability and wear.
The design of the waders is described as “angler-driven,” meaning they’re made not only to be effective but comfortable as well. They use a center-seam construction and articulated patterning in an effort to prioritize the fit for each angler. The waders also feature hourglass patterning on the bottom, which provides a tight, but comfortable, fit between stocking feet and boots.
Great Fit - A praise seen over and over again in customer reviews is the better than average wader fit. Their sizing chart is very accurate and reliable in terms of finding the right size for your body type. The waders are form-fitting, but not tight enough to be uncomfortable. Simms’ seam constructions and patterning contribute positively to the fit of the waders, especially the center-leg seam.
Tough and Durable - Thanks to the material technology used to construct these waders, they are super durable and long-lasting. They are tear-resistant and should not fall victim to briars or prickly bushes that could damage them. If for some reason they do get a tear or damage, Simms offers a great warranty that can get them repaired easily.
Reach-Through Handwarmer - The Freestone waders include a feature that is great for cold days. The front of the model has a reach-through handwarmer pocket lined with soft micro-fleece meant to keep your hands toasty on a particularly chilly trip. In addition, space is large enough to fit a small tackle box or other small items if you don’t have a waterproof pouch to bring along.
Breathability - The material these waders are made with is not the most breathable that Simms offers. Though they are not uncomfortable to wear, on a very warm day when out on the water for hours at a time, there’s a good chance that you will end up a little sweaty. Simms does offer waders made with GORE-TEX, a similar material to Toray waders, but with a little more breathability.
Handwarmer Leak - A product defect that one user identified has to do with the reach-through handwarmer. If water gets into the handwarmer area, it will leak into the front pocket of the waders, which can be uncomfortable and inconvenient.
What Are Simms Freestone Waders Best For?
Simms’ Freestone Waders can play an important role in angling safety. There are quite a few undesirable things that can result from not having the proper outerwear during a fly fishing trip or during any angling requiring you to be partially submerged in the water, ranging from hypothermia to trench foot.
These waders are a great option for fly fishers who need to stay dry for hours at a time in the water. They work well both in the summer and winter, all you need to change is the clothes that you wear underneath them. While waterproof boots can work in some angling situations, if you need more protection, purchasing a pair of waders is a great, reliable option.
Again, Simms has created a pair of quality, durable waders that are a great choice for all anglers who need reliable protection in and out of the water. The Freestone line is an incredible option for those anglers on a budget, as they are more affordable than the majority of Simms’ waders.
This product earns major points for its super comfortable fit, which has earned rave reviews from a multitude of customers. But not only are they comfortable, but effective as well; the material technology used to create the waders is top-of-the-line, making this product an easy recommendation.