As a traveling angler, reliable gear is very important to me. Especially as a woman. There's nothing worse than being far away from home and having items that are sized fail you. Most outfitters don't have gear to borrow that's small enough to fit us - a lesson I've learned from past adventures. So when it comes to waders, I want mine to be tough, yet to fit extremely well and be comfortable over a multi-day stretch of serious trout hunting.
Orvis sent me their Silver Sonic Convertible-Top Waders...and I'm in love with them. Full discloser - they sent them to me to review. But I put these to their paces and was extremely impressed.
There are 13 different sizes to choose from, so finding a great fit is easy. The sizing is based on inseam - petite, regular or tall - with body sizes in XS to XL. That means, you can be a tall and lanky woman like me, or a petite and curvy woman like I wish I were, and everyone's happy. Additionally, they've kept the sock size on the smaller size, starting as low as a size 5.
The wader material is not GorTex lined, which is generally a feature I look for in higher priced breathables. These are fairly breathable anyway, though. More importantly, because the top portion can fold inside to turn chest waders into pants, I feel like can get the air I need on hot, sticky days when I'm fishing for smallmouth.
One of my favorite features is the interior pouch - it's a waterproof, zip-lock design. It's large enough to hold both my wallet and my cell phone - and yes, my lip gloss, too. I appreciate that it can be removed from its intended interior chest spot, which means I can put it into my pack on days I've converted the waders to pants, or am wet-wading.
Overall, I'm just comfortable in these waders. They don't stretch tight over the knees (or your arse) when you bend down to release a fish, the straps have stretch so they don't pull at your shoulders all day, the socks have enough room to wear something insulating with them, and they're tough enough to not worry about abrasions when climbing over logs and rocks.
Definitely the new standard for me.
And look - my guide in Chilean Patagonia liked the men's version just as much. We had a bonding moment on the first day over our Sonics.
Does anyone else have these waders? What are your thoughts?