It’s not that we didn’t love the originals…it’s just that the improvements to the Patagonia Women’s Spring River Waders are so good. I tested the new women-specific waders through the fall and winter months in various bodies of water, high and low temperatures, rugged and mellow terrain, and in and out of boats. The most notable change is to the bootie. The new neoprene bootie is anatomically cut and fits much more comfortably into boots without getting hella-bunchy.
I also applaud Patagonia designers and developers for brining in the new flat-panel gravel guards. They keep my skiff from filling with water every time I get in and out. Water no longer pools between the pant and bootie, the way the previous, elastic guards did. Of course, women will appreciate the waders’ quick-release shoulder strap system that provides a drop-seat function for more efficient squat-and-go techniques. The 4-layer, H2No® polyester microfiber fabric has a luxurious feel, but it’s tough enough for breaking rugged trail and scrambling up rocky banks. And, it’s super breathable so you won’t feel like you’ve been trekking in a garbage bag. Be sure to note the waterproof cell phone pouch, which keeps electronics and paper dry. Finally, cold-weather fishermen should be happy to warm their mits in the kangaroo-style handwarmer pocket. Oh! One more design element–you’ve gotta love the new Fitz Roy trout logo front-and-center.
Cost: $399 check out at www.patagonia.com