Simms Waders: G4 Pro vs G4Z
I’ve spent the last six years wearing the G4 Pro Stockingfoot Waders with zero issues until the fifth year. The only issue I had was a small leak in the crotch of the waders. After some discussions with Simms customer service, I found out this is a common issue after 5 years of moderate use. Moderate use for me is about 40-50 days a year on the water. I sent the waders in for repair and had another year of no issues. The same leak started again about a year after the initial repair and I decided it was time to purchase another pair of waders.
This time around I went with the G4Z Stockingfoot Waders. While both are great options for waders, there are some key differences between the two besides the zipper. First off, the G4Z waders fit a bit snugger and are a little longer in the torso than the G4 Pros. I ordered the same size which is a large with 12-13 feet. (For size reference, I am 6'2", 215lbs, and wear a size 12 shoe.) Shame on me for not trying them on first. The snugger fit of the G4Zs has made it impossible to wear more than one thick layer of pants under the waders. (The coldweather pant is my pant of choice to wear under waders) This makes it a challenge to slide the waders off the calf section of my legs.
While the G4Zs are easier to get on, I have noticed that in order to take them off they need to be fully unzipped. This is fine except if you take your waders off in wet conditions. When the G4Zs are fully unzipped, the torso section will hang down with the inside of the waders fully exposed and typically finding their way into the mud or dirt as you’re removing them from your legs and feet. Not ideal but certainly not a deal breaker.
The ease of the zipper when you need to relieve your bladder is very nice but be careful, the zipper doesn’t go down as far as you need. When you’re all layered up for a cold day of fishing there isn’t a lot of room to just unzip and let it fly with no regard to your manhood getting hung up in the zipper. I have the shoulder straps out as far as they will go and could honestly use another inch or two of length adjustment.
I have just worn these waders for a week straight and it seems they have begun to break in somewhat and fit a touch more comfortably. I should have ordered the G4Zs a size larger to accommodate my layering needs in the winter.
If I were to do it again, I would order another pair of the G4 Pros. From fit to function, I have zero complaints about the G4 Pros. I can wear fleece lined pants with a heavy merino base layer underneath and still have good room for mobility in the legs. In the torso region, I can wear a heavy merino top with a heavy mid layer top, along with a puffy jacket without sacrificing mobility as well.
The sizing difference of these waders in the same size is unfortunate. At roughly $800 for either option, I expect sizing to be exactly the same across the board. I have read numerous reviews and cannot find anyone that has had this issue. I would have returned the G4Zs but they were custom ordered because Simms does not make the G4Zs in a size Large 12-13 foot. The stock size large only comes in 9-11 foot which is why I had to custom order these and might be why I have problems with the sizing between the two pairs of waders.
All in all, I love wearing my G4Zs from April through November here in Michigan. When the weather turns colder and I need to layer up, I’ll be back in my trusty G4 Pros.
If you’d like to see the waders in action, head to The Sportsmen’s Nation Youtube Channel where you can find steelhead fishing videos on the Hybrid Outdoor Playlist.