Patagonia’s Rio Gallegos Zip-Front Waders are one of the top waders on the market in the fly fishing industry right now, so let’s take a quick review of the product.
The front-down zipper feature is awesome! This system allows you to switch from a chest wader to pants by simply unzipping the front end which will 100% help on those hot summer days. This is especially important as the actual wader itself is somewhat heavy, which it was purposely designed this way to be extremely durable and also keep you insulated during the cold winter months.
Another great feature to the Rio Gallegos Zip-Front Waders is that Patagonia improved the pocket system in this edition– two large side pockets that are able to fit anything from your wallet and chapstick to gloves and a seine. They also include an easily accessible waterproof pocket on the inside of the wader that is perfect for your cellphone.
This is not to be overlooked, especially for all of you Colorado winter fly fishing enthusiasts, but the booties are very warm and they are especially comfortable for those with wide feet.
There are not a lot of drawbacks to review to these well designed fly fishing waders but what was immediately noticed is the gravel guards do not stretch. This was an issue that caught our eye when we were guiding opposed to fishing ourselves. There is a restriction when trying to kneel which is not a problem when you take a knee or two during the day, but from a guiding standpoint, it was uncomfortable kneeling in these waders repeatedly throughout the day. Also, there was an almost immediate leak on the inseam of the crotch. It’s understandable that this happens and Patagonia is known for their excellent warranty program, but after dropping six franklins on waders you expect them to be ready to fish. Luckily it was easy to find and a shot of AquaSeal on the seam tape solved the problem.
All-in-all, these are excellent waders, but that $600 price tag is definitely nothing to balk at. With the quality and durability of these waders they will offer great value over the course of their lifetime though.
Get out there and enjoy the water. Tight lines my friends!