Down ‘N Dirty: Simms Women’s G3 Guide Z Waders

How many days do you spend on the water? Personally, if I had my druthers, my life would include equal parts fly fishing, biking, and skiing. But, as a wife, mother, day-dreamer, and adventure-seeker, I’d probably categorize myself as a weekend warrior and lunch-time/after-hours go-getter in those three activities. As such, I get on the water at least a half dozen times a month in the winter and a couple dozen days per month in spring through autumn. 

This winter though, I was intent on spending more time on the water because I had the opportunity to put the Simms Women’s G3 Guide Z Waders to the test.

MSRP: $645.95

Pros: First and foremost, the fit and construction are amazing. I’ve stepped into a lot of waders that I immediately knew were not made for women, but the G3 is another story. The 3-layer upper and 4-layer lower construction worked with my body, not against. On the construction side, I am a huge fan of the waterproof side zipper for easy on/off and for convertible wear when I’m not wading too deep. I also found it easy to change my strap length and appreciate the option to criss-cross or uncross for fine-tuning the fit when layering.

On the material front, the G3 also does away with the old school, spook-the-fish loud fabric (cue loud swishing fabric sound), and brings a much quieter, insanely more comfortable option to the market with Gore-Tex Pro Shell dependability. While wearing the G3, I can actually hold a conversation while walking to the river access without the swish-swash-swish-swash from materials rubbing together!

In addition to a much appreciated fleece-lined, zipper-equipped chest pocket, the flip-out Tippet Tender is also a great feature. I particularly liked this for those spontaneous, pack-free moments (i.e., a quick river session before picking the kids up at daycare). I can keep the Tippet Tender stocked with go-to flies and accessories to get on the water faster or, unzip and pull it out for the days I have a full pack.

Overall, I find the the G3 to be a solid performing wader. I’ve waded partially-frozen rivers, crawled over questionable rocks and boulders, and had dogs and toddlers jump all over me while wearing the G3…and it survived without incident. And, with over a dozen days on the Rio Grande and Arkansas River since the start of the new year, the seams have proven to be solid, the waterproofing is unwavering and the all-day comfort is second to none.

Cons: The G3 is burly. As such, it’s a little heavier compared to other waders I have tested (weighing in at 41 ounces). In addition to weight, while these can roll up and fit into a duffel or larger backpack easily, packing into a smaller fishing pack for backcountry use is more difficult. If ultralight and ultra-packable are your game, consider a different model. Also, based on the size guide, while my body “technically” fits into a small, my foot fits into a medium (size 9 shoe). Since I wanted a more fitted wader, I went with the smaller size. The booty is a little tight, but not uncomfortable by any means.

Where I took them: Winter wading on the Rio Grande in southern Colorado and Arkansas River outside Salida, Colo.

Related Stories


How to Make Your Outdoor Cabin More Weather Resistant

As residents throughout the Rocky Mountain region continue to explore barndominium cost vs house prices to help find an affordable place to live, the...

Eldora is the Perfect Escape

If you’re seeking that private hill feeling with up-front parking, zero lift lines, and wide-open slopes, Eldora is your winter weekend destination. And with...

Colorado Winter Adventures for the Entire Family

Written by: Bri Golden, Outdoor Educator and BVMA Guide As the aspens change colors and the school year gets into full swing, mountain towns across...

YMCA of the Rockies, Colorado Perfect Winter

At Two Beloved Locations—Estes Park Center and Snow Mountain Ranch— YMCA of the Rockies Offers Up Top-notch Programming for the 2022–23 Winter Season That...