Patagonia vs Simms vs ??? Wading Jackets


Active Member
I know we have touched on this subject a little in the last few months, but I am now ready to drop the money and wanted some fresh opinions.
I tried the Simms wading jackets at the local shop and they all felt too "short" for my liking. They felt like I was wearing one of my wife's belly shirts x( . I know they are designed like this but I would like to be able to use the jacket for other outings, not just wading for steelies? The SST by Patagonia says it has " 3-layers with adjustable length for full coverage whether deep or shallow wading ". Does anyone know anything about this jacket in particular??
I know it all comes down to fit and comfort but I wanted to get some input from experienced individuals in this area. Price is not that big of a deal, as long as it comes with the backing of a warranty I will never need to worry about. It will also need to accompany my William Joseph backpack/chestpack?? :dunno :dunno


~Patrick ><>

Steve Buckner

Mother Nature's Son
One other option you might consider is the LL Bean Wading jacket. I bought mine about 2 years ago and couldn't be more happy with it. I've been all over the northwest in it, I've been in rain storms that I thought would never end and was completely comfortable/dry, and able to cast all day. The jacket that I bought was their Guide model, but I just got their latest catalog and found the same jacket listed as their XCR Wading jacket. The cost is $275.00.

Another option is the Columbia McCaughnahey (sp??) jacket. Not quite as techy fishing oriented as the Simms or Patagonia but still 100% waterproof/breathable, full warranty and a great wading jacket. Got mine at Outdoor Emporium on sale for $108 (reg. $190). Fished a couple of days with 'icewater from the sky' conditions and was very comfortable. Might save enough $$ for a spare spool and more lines . . .;)



Active Member
I love LL bean gear. they make some great flyfishing stuff. They have a gor-tex wading jacket for 169.00. The Orvis jacket called the "no sweat" is great too. Lil hen has one and really likes it. Although it costs a bunch, I think 295.00, ouch! Currently I have a Helly Hansen packable rain jacket that I got for 50 bucks, works well, But do to its super lite weight I doubt it would handle a really good rain storm that we tend to get around these parts. I'm thinking of upgrading to the LL bean real soon. :beer2 YT


Active Member
I've had both the Simms and Patagonia jackets. I left my Patagonia jacket at a watering hole in Darby Montana on the 4th of July. My buddy was good enough to give me his Simms jacket when he traded up for a new jacket. I'm defintely grateful for the Simms Jacket, but I do miss the Patagonia. It's a great jacket in terms of sizing, durability and keeping you dry in the most inclement weather. The one knock that I would give it is that you will likely get a bit warm during the summer down pours. It's not insulated, but it's quite a bit heaveier that the Simms jacket. Also, the breatst pockets on the Patagonia are waterproof whereas they do not appear to be on the Simms. Only applies to those people who keep their can of Coppenhagen in one of those pockets. It gets a bit soggy in the Simms.


Bob Triggs

Stop Killing Wild Steelhead!
My Patagonia jacket was stolen. But when I was wearing it allot it was great for having a vest full of stuff underneath it. Kept me and everything else dry. The Patagonia is cut larger and roomier in the same sizes as the Simms jacket. I have a Simms Jacket too and love it. I wear it for my own fishing and it looks better around town etc, since it's cut a little less roomy in the same sizes as the Patagonia SST.I'll get another SST this year as it's helpful for me as a guide to have a dry change in wet seasons. Also as a spare. I guide in the Patagonia more than the Simms.One nice thing about the simms is the cut of the pockets and the nipper clips built in. Sometimes I wear it like a vest- just putting fly boxes and doo-dads right in the jacket and leaving the chest pack and vest behind.Both have excellant qualities of wear and durability, very good quality outer layer fabrics, and of course they have the heaviest and best Gore-Tex system available. Hence the price.Both companies have excellant service. Patagonia gets my rave reviews for being philanthropic too- million$ to public service and conservation. we need to see more of that in Corporate America, and especially in flyfishing.
>I've had both the Simms and Patagonia jackets. I left
>my Patagonia jacket at a watering hole in Darby Montana
>on the 4th of July.

I literally thought he was going to cry. :7

>It gets a bit soggy in the Simms.

I believe you have the Simms Freestone, which is their lightweight jacket made of only 2 layers of Gore-tex. In contrast, the Simms Guide Jacket and the Patagonia SST are made of 3-layer Gore-tex. Being lighter, the Freestone is more packable and even a bit more breathable than thicker coats, but it cannot compare to the construction and performance of the Guide or SST jackets. I think the big pockets in either of those coats will keep your tobacky dry.

Ditto the positive comments on Patagonia. I have the SST wading jacket and it has worked great for all seasons.

Yvon Chouinard is a fanatic flyfisherman and it shows in their gear. Patagonia is one of the few cases where the hype is for real. Their stuff is very pricey - but awesome quality and useability.

Check out they are having a blowout sale on Patagonia stuff including the wading jackets!

hi patrick, i have had my sst jacket for 6 years now and think it is great. the bottom does roll up and snap but i think that feature is kind of silly. i like the jacket length cut and have worn it in town as well. i sized it so that i dont wear a vest under it because the pockets are set up to hold the esentials. bottom line with gore-tex is that it will never breathe as well as skin so be ready to take it off if it gets warm outside. good luck! jer
Once you go Simms you never go back.

Interesting thoughts about being to short. The first wading jacket I had was the Columbia and man was it short. However, I think the Simms is a perfect length and use it for my field rain gear. I will admit that is not like a ski jacket type that cover the butt, but I have not had a problem with mine.

Just my thoughts.

If money's no object then don't waste your time with anything other than the two jackets you've mentioned. I have never had a simms but I've looked them over and they seem very nice. I just happen to get pro-form on Patagonia. You won't find anything nicer that their stuff and that holds true for about everything they make!
They run big though...I usually take a large but I'd almost fit a small and definately fit a medium best.
Interestingly enough, a buddy and I were out steelhead fishing yesterday and had this same conversation.

I had a Simms Guide Jacket I bought five years ago, thinking that was going to be the last wading jacket I'd ever need to buy. I am a huge fan of Simms waders and will fish in nothing else. However, my Guide Jacket leaked on my the first time I wore it, and it's failed me a number of times since then. Most notably was a particilarly cold and rainy day in Tasmania fishing Penstock Lagoon for huge rainbows. The jacket leaked so badly that I couldn't stop shivering, and finally had to leave for the shelter of the hut I was staying in.

I can't say much for the Patagonia jacket, since I've never worn one, but I have a friend that has a SST and he swears by it.

Given my bad experience with the Simms jacket, and a number of other factors, when I bought a new wading jacket four months ago, I spent a lot of time looking around. My biggest complaint about both the SST and the Simms jackets are that they are big and bulky. I don't fish with a vest, I use a butt pack, and I wanted something that I could carry with me on a fully day of exploring a headwater stream, where going back to the car was not an option.

Since I do a bit of rock climbing and used to do a lot of mountaineering, I have had previous experience with Arc'Teryx gear. I ended up buying the Arc'Teryx Sirrus SL Jacket, which is there ultra-light climbing series. Why? It only weighs 11 ounces! It packs up extremely small, it's Gore-Tex Pac-Lite material through the bottom, and Gore-Tex XCR (the strongest and most waterproof Gore-Tex material currently available) on top, around the shoulders, where it really counts. I have worn it for the last four months in some pretty nasty conditions, including two weeks of hard snowboarding, and it has been exceptional. I can attach it to my fishing bag for the day, and can't even tell it's there. It's highly breathable and is light enough that it can be worn during a heavy summer rainstorm without sweating. You can view the jacket at or go to REI and type in "sirrus sl".

The jacket cost me $300, but since it was bought from REI, for the life of the jacket I can return it no questions asked. Anytime it leaks, anytime I'm not satisfied....



Active Member
I think I accidentally hit the "Alert" button so im not sure if I caused some harm or not :dunno ? But I did go to to check on the sale, but I can not find anything related to Patagonia jackets?? Can you maybe point it out to me?? Thanks

~Patrick ><>
You can't beat Patagonia. Coonyard is a great man and has a great company. You can't beat his climbing clothing. Before the sst came out I just wore my Patagonia climbing jacket. Expensive, yes, but it takes a beating and then asks for more.
Sisu, its what America needs:rofl
I own both jacket the SST and the XCR Guide jacket and since I have a closet full of technical jackets this is the difference. The Patagonia is made from H2NO HB which is a coated nylon fabric which is more durable but stiffer and not as breathable. The Patagonia is shorter it has more pockets including an interior pocket which comes in handy. Patagonia is really good in repairing their clothing just take it into the store on 1st Street and it goes out on Wed. The Simms Jacket is made from the more exotic Gortex XCR which is more breathable and more comfortable to wear but I'm already having problems with the velcro which may need to be replaced and I'm not sure how long that will take. I'm more in love with the Patagonia neopreme cuffs since they are easier to get on and off and don't seem to snag as much as the Simms which internal neopreme cuffs. The last remark I have is the Simms jacket seems to retain stains. I wash my jackets with Nikwax which is a soap designed for the DWR coatings but the Simms didn't come completly clean and I had to touch it up. The moral of the story is the Patagonia is more practical if you don't mind wearing the fabric.