Simms G4Z Waders Review (Hands-on Tried & Tested)

A fly fishing guide of 15 years reviews the Simms G4Z Fly Fishing Waders after 3 seasons of heavy use and testing. This is his unbiased verdict.

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I have been fly fishing for over 30 years during which I have been through about 10 pairs of waders, and I would like to draw your attention to some of my favorite waders ever in this Simms G4Z waders review.

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View the Simms G4Z Waders and compare prices on Trident Fly Fishing.

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my simms G4z waders sitting on a mossy rock by the river

I have fished in my Simms G4Z waders for going on 3 seasons now as I travel to the likes of the UK, Switzerland, and Iceland every year to get my fix of seatrout and trout fishing.

If you’re looking at the Simms G4Z waders, you may also be comparing them to the regular Simms G4 waders, or other waders in a similar class like the Redington Sonic Pro HDs or the Simms G4s (without the zipper) or Orvis Pros. In this review, I’ll help you decide whether the G4Zs are the next pair of fly waders you should own or not.

Why Trust My Simms G4Z Waders Review?

There are quite a few Simms G4Z fly waders reviews online and this begs the question, why should you trust mine? After all, I could just read the specs and some Amazon reviews and create an article.

Well, you’ll probably be delighted to know that on our website we only review gear that we (the writers) have actually used and tested in the field. I have been wearing these waders for 3 years now and have traveled with them all around Europe so I know exactly what’s great and not so great about them.

Another reason to trust my Simms G4Z fly fishing waders review is that I am a fly fisherman through and through, and have been for a long time. Guiding clients around the globe, you have to have comfortable gear that works. Believe me, I put everything to the test, and I know what we fly fishers need from our waders out on the water.

See Also: How To Fix Leaky Waders

How I Tested The Simms G4Z Waders

I have put the Simms G4Z waders through their paces in cold waters, rugged terrain, high winds, torrential rain, and lots more over the last few seasons, wearing them for about 60 days each year.

When fishing in the Alps or in Iceland, you not only have to deal with very cold waters around 7°C (44.6°F), but the hike into the rivers can also be rather challenging. Hiking through forests, down steep banks, and across loose trails shows you just how comfortable and tough your waders are.

Shop Simms G4Z Waders

View the Simms G4Z Waders and compare prices on Trident Fly Fishing.

Compare Directly at SimmsFishing.com

my simms G4z waders sitting on a mossy rock by the river

Spending hours in a river at a time, wading in over your waist to clear a client’s snag on the bottom or in a tree only adds to how much I have pushed and tested my Simms G4Z waders over the years.

Simms G4Z Waders – Features & Specs

The Simms G4Z waders are packed full of excellent features and specs that I find incredibly useful out on the water. Simms is renowned for getting things right across all their gear, and they didn’t miss a trick on the G4Zs such as the handy front zipper, excellent tackle storage options, and super comfy suspenders to name a few.

Buying waders is quite a personal choice as we all operate a little differently on the water. You might want your flies and floatant in a certain place, while I might want mine in another. Below I run through all the features and specs so that you can decide whether these waders are going to work for you while fly fishing.

Front Zipper

These were and still are the first pair of waders I ever used with a front zipper and it is life-changing. Firstly, you can slide your waders on and off with ease. Secondly, when you need to relieve yourself, there is no need to take off your fly fishing backpack and undo your suspenders, just open the zip and off you go.

Holding up my pair of Simms G4z Waders to show the zipper on the river.

The zipper is fully waterproof, rugged, and still has never leaked to this day so you don’t need to worry about going in over waist deep.

3 & 4 Layer Gore-Tex Pro Build

If you are into outdoor gear then you will know just how awesome a material Gore-Tex Pro is. It is 100% waterproof, tough, and breathable all at the same time.

It has an internal membrane that doesn’t let water in but does let air out and it works. I am never wet and I rarely overheat unless I am hiking for quite a distance in the sun.

Me showing the inside zipper of the Simms G4Z Waders during review and testing.

Simms made the G4Z waders with a 3-layer Gore-Tex Pro Shell on the upper and a 4-layer Gore-Tex Pro Shell on the lower section of the waders.

The additional extra layer from the waist down means the area that takes the most abuse has the toughness to handle it. If you’re looking for durable waders for surf fishing, these should fit the bill too.

Great Stocking Feet

The stocking feet on the Simms G4Z waders are actually patented, which is pretty special. They are compression molded, built to fit your feet, and they work.

I have never had uncomfortable feet, blisters, or anything of that nature when wearing these waders, even when I have forgotten my boots and have had to squeeze them into the large sneakers.

The booties and seams of the Simms G4Z Waders

Super Comfy Suspender System

My old waders’ suspender system used to sit heavy and rub on my shoulders. It wasn’t too bad but after 10 hours on the water, I could feel it.

The suspender system on the Simms G4Z waders is leaps and bounds ahead of this.

Simms G4Z Waders - A photo of The Suspension System.

The suspenders come with an added soft mesh which increases their surface area and thus spreads the weight across your shoulders more evenly and gives you extra padding.

I never feel like my waders are weighing down on me and they are super simple to adjust so I can always find my perfect fit depending on how many layers I am wearing.

Gravel Guards

The gravel guards on these waders are something else. Unlike a lot of other waders that use a thin shell fabric as their gravel guards, the Simms G4Z waders come with 2mm abrasion-resistant built-in gravel guards.

When you feel them you can tell just how tough the gravel guards are plus they stay in place even when your boot hooks come undone as they are quite stiff too.

Available Sizes & Fit

It is imperative that your waders fit you well if you want to be comfortable out on the water and this also helps you waders last a lot longer. Below you will find all the different sizes that the Simms G4Z waders come in, and there are quite a few to choose from so you can find the perfect fit.

My Simms G4Z Waders sitting on a mossy rock near the riverbed.

Short Medium 9-11

Largest Girth: 39-40 inches

Inseam: 31-32 inches

Stockingfoot (shoe) size: 9-11 US

Short Medium King 9-11

Largest Girth: 41-42 inches

Inseam: 31-32 inches

Stockingfoot (shoe) size: 9-11 US

Short Large 9-11

Largest Girth: 43-44 inches

Inseam: 31-32 inches

Stockingfoot (shoe) size: 9-11 US

Short Large King 9-11

Largest Girth: 45-46 inches

Inseam: 31-32 inches

Stockingfoot (shoe) size: 9-11 US

Short XL 9-11

Largest Girth: 47-48 inches

Inseam: 33-34 inches

Stockingfoot (shoe) size: 9-11 US

Regular Small 7-8

Largest Girth: 35-36 inches

Inseam: 31-32 inches

Stockingfoot (shoe) size: 7-8 US

Regular Small King 7-8

Largest Girth: 37-38 inches

Inseam: 31-32 inches

Stockingfoot (shoe) size: 7-8 US

Regular Medium 9-11

Largest Girth: 39-40 inches

Inseam: 33-34 inches

Stockingfoot (shoe) size: 9-11 US

Regular Medium King 9-11

Largest Girth: 41-42 inches

Inseam: 33-34 inches

Stockingfoot (shoe) size: 9-11 US

Regular Large 9-11

Largest Girth: 43-44 inches

Inseam: 33-34 inches

Stockingfoot (shoe) size: 9-11 US

Regular Large 12-13

Largest Girth: 43-44 inches

Inseam: 33-34 inches

Stockingfoot (shoe) size: 12-13 US

Regular Large King 9-11

Largest Girth: 45-46 inches

Inseam: 33-34 inches

Stockingfoot (shoe) size: 9-11 US

Regular XL 12-13

Largest Girth: 47-48 inches

Inseam: 35-36 inches

Stockingfoot (shoe) size: 12-13 US

Regular XL King 12-13

Largest Girth: 49-50 inches

Inseam: 35-36 inches

Stockingfoot (shoe) size: 12-13 US

Regular 2XL 12-13

Largest Girth: 51-52 inches

Inseam: 35-36 inches

Stockingfoot (shoe) size: 12-13 US

Long Medium 9-11

Largest Girth: 39-40 inches

Inseam: 35-36 inches

Stockingfoot (shoe) size: 9-11 US

Long Large 9-11

Largest Girth: 43-44 inches

Inseam: 35-36 inches

Stockingfoot (shoe) size: 9-11 US

Long Large 12-13

Largest Girth: 43-44 inches

Inseam: 35-36 inches

Stockingfoot (shoe) size: 12-13 US

Long XL 12-13

Largest Girth: 47-48 inches

Inseam: 37-38 inches

Stockingfoot (shoe) size: 12-13 US

Breathability

Breathability is a key component for comfortable wading. The last thing you need is to get wet from the inside due to sweat and overheating.

Me wearing my G4Z waders and choosing a fly to start the day on the river.

The Gore-Tex Pro fabric the Simms G4Z waders are built does a great job at ensuring no moisture builds up, but you have to get your layering right to ensure it works so wear wool and synthetic fabrics under them.

Comfort

When it comes to mobility and comfort, I can’t recommend the G4Zs enough. They never ride up, I can take large steps in and out of the river without feeling overstretched plus they never rub or feel one-sided either.

Casting into a deep clear pool wearing my Simms G4z waders

Long stretches in the water are fine and they are great to hike from one section of the river to another in.

Durability

Simms themselves hail these as their most durable waders ever and this is after 16,000 hours of field testing. My waders are almost like new after 3 years of heavy use.

Shop Simms G4Z Waders

View the Simms G4Z Waders and compare prices on Trident Fly Fishing.

Compare Directly at SimmsFishing.com

my simms G4z waders sitting on a mossy rock by the river

The only thing that has happened is a touch of seepage and the boot hooks have gone. This is most likely due to my “ok” care of the waders in all honesty and would likely happen to any waders given the way I treat them.

Seams & Reinforcements

With a reinforced lower consisting of 4-layers of Gore-Tex Pro along with abrasion-resistant gravel guards and feet, the G4Zs are incredibly tough.

I have slid down banks, slipped on sharp rocks, over-stretched, and more – the waders are still in one piece. The seams are all double sealed and my waders have never leaked to date.

Showing off the outer pockets of the Simms G4z Waders

The minor seepage mentioned above is from a spot where I caught a barbed wire fence, it is not on the seams.

Versatility

These waders can be used in any conditions with the right layering in my eyes. While they are not built for winter “steelheading” in the snow, they can handle pretty much anything else in my opinion.

Whether it is a hot summer’s day on high mountain streams or a frosty morning on the first day of the season at your local lake, these are great for the job.

Storage

The G4Z waders have a lot of storage options with 4 zippered front pockets (2 of which double as hand warmers), one internal zippered pocket, a removable velcro fly patch, a net clip, and retractor docking stations. There is a space for everything from your phone to your flies, floatant, and more.

Showing off an internal pocket of the Simms G4Z waders where I store a small fly sleeve.

However, I do not like that the pockets open on the side as things can fall out and I have lost a fly box or two. This is mostly my fault, as I forgot to do the zipper up, so be sure to do the same.

Zippers

The zippers on these waders are epic. They are all very smooth, easy to operate, never catch, and are still the same as they were when I first got them.

Outer zipper of the Simms G4z Waders

There is nothing more annoying than zippers that break/catch or get stiff, these ones seem like they never will.

Warranty

The warranty on these waders is excellent. Any leaks in the first 60 days and you get a new pair no questions asked. Within 365 days, Simms will repair them for free and after 1 year of use, it is just $60 to get them repaired plus shipping to Simms (Simms covers sending them back to you).

Simms G4Z Review: My Personal Thoughts

If you are passionate about fly fishing and you wade every year from early spring to late fall then I highly recommend these waders.

Me fishing on a local stream with a large rock wall next to me.

They are a little punchy when it comes to the price but their functionality, durability, and warranty mean you will have them for life.

What I like most about them is that I kind of feel invincible when I wear them. There isn’t really anywhere I can’t go or anything I can’t do in them while I am wading (within a bit of reason).

When you add in how comfy they are, the excellent pockets for your gear, plus the waterproofing and breathability they are hard to beat.

My one issue with them, as I have already mentioned in this Simms G4Z review, is that the pockets open on the side at the front which means things can fall out if you forget to pull the zipper up.

Simms G4Z Pros

The Simms G4Z waders have a lot of pros and I have highlighted the best of them below for you.

  • A great fit and very comfortable in all situations from hiking in the sun to wading on slippery rocks in tough conditions
  • Super durable and tough, these don’t fall apart or leak if you look after them well and zippers just keep on going
  • Long front zipper so you can pee without removing your waders and backpack

Simms G4Z Cons

While there are not very many, the Simms G4Z waders do have a few cons and here they are.

  • Quite expensive if you do not fish very often
  • Things can fall out of the pockets if you are not careful and/or forget to zip them up
  • Boot hooks could last longer, this is the one part that is not as durable as the rest of the waders

Who Are The Simms G4Z Waders For?

The Simms G4Z waders are for anyone who spends a bit of time every year wading for salmon, trout, and steelhead between spring and autumn and/or wants a pair of waders that they can use for the rest of their life.

Since they are quite expensive, you might not want to shell out for them if you only wade for a week a year. However, if you spend 4-6 weeks a year waist-deep in a river you will see their value incredibly quickly and love using them.

The Verdict

Overall, and as you can probably tell from my Simms G4Z waders review, I am a huge fan of them and in all honesty, I probably won’t ever change them.

It took me a lot of time to find waders that tick so many boxes such as comfort, storage, and having a front zipper for easy relief. Then when you throw in Simms’ awesome warranty/repair service you will have a solid pair of waders forever.

If you have been looking for a single pair of waders that will be with you throughout your fishing life and that simply make your fishing experience easier and better then you won’t regret buying the Simms G4Z waders.

Shop Simms G4Z Waders

View the Simms G4Z Waders and compare prices on Trident Fly Fishing.

Compare Directly at SimmsFishing.com

my simms G4z waders sitting on a mossy rock by the river

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Growing up fly fishing on the sea, streams and lakes of Kenya and the UK, Jamie has traveled the world in search of fishing nirvana. From his time managing bonefish lodges in the Bahamas and running fishing safaris in East Africa, all the way to guiding on the flats of Seychelles and offshore, there are not many species or environments he hasn't experienced firsthand. He has guided for over 12 years and has cast a line almost everywhere including the rivers of Norway and Iceland to the beaches of Costa Rica, the lagoons and banks of the Galapagos, the highlands of Ethiopia, Kenya, the Himalayas and the flats of Mexico, Belize, The Bahamas, and Seychelles.

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