Patagonia Rio Gallegos Waders Review
Over the past month and a half I have had the opportunity to fish in and test out the Patagonia Rio Gallegos waders. These are Patagonia’s high end men’s wader featuring many bells and whistles. Patagonia is known for exceptional quality in outdoor apparel, and over the past years has been developing some exciting fly fishing products. I can attest from experience that leaky waders can and will ruin fishing trips. Above all else waders need to be tough for the long haul. It is all too common for fishermen and women who fish 70-150 days a year to need to replace their waders each season due to leaks and busted seams.
Impressions of the Patagonia Rio Gallegos Waders
Right out the box the Patagonia Rio Gallegos Waders feel solid. These are not the chintzy single layer construction that will tear when you have to climb over a barbwire fence. The waders are made multiple layers of Patagonia’s H2O No fabric. In the high abuse areas such as the seat and knees, Patagonia has added extra reinforcement of fabric to protect against leaks.
The Rio Gallegos Waders are very comfortable. The shoulder straps are easy to adjust and can be done with one hand. The front of the waders have a heavy duty zipper that is worth its weight in gold when you need to relieve yourself. If you fish in waders that do not have the front zipper you understand the complications of the natural break that is bound to happen. On par with the rest of the wader construction the neoprene booties are also reinforced and very comfortable.
Performance of the Patagonia Rio Gallegos Waders
Not surprising, these were great to fish in. Well constructed and I had no issues of water getting in. These were the first waders I have used with a front zipper. I was eager to try them out in deep water that put the zipper to the test. Even when I would wade chest deep I did not have problems with water creeping through the zipper. The zipper is also easy to pull up and down. This was especially nice as I could unzip and roll them down part way to use as a wading pant when the weather was hot.
The Rio Gallegos Waders are also very breathable. I sometimes feel that that my waders are either breathable or durable but not both. On one particular trip I had hiked down into a canyon to fish. Upon rigging up at the bottom I realized that I forget to grab a fly box I needed. Instead of doing without the fly box, I ran in my waders back up to the car to get it. Although out of breath, I was not uncomfortably sweaty or overheated in the waders as they were very breathable.
The neoprene booties are well fitted to my feet and kept my toes surprisingly warm even in a partially frozen river. Next to the neoprene booties is the gravel guard that is easy to pull on and attach to my wading boots.
A surprise that I found really great was the padding on the knees. I really did not notice that these were removable kneepads incorporated into the wader design until kneeling down to unhook a fish I just caught. The knee pads really makes crouching and kneeling more comfortable. I could really see this being handy when trying to get stealthy and having to crawl to sneak up on a spooky trout.
Another feature of the Patagonia Rio Gallegos Waders are the fleece-lined pockets. It sure is nice to warm my hands in these soft pockets on the cold and snowy mornings. On the inside of the waders there is a waterproof pouch. One gripe I do have is that this pocket is not large enough to hold my Iphone 5, which is considerably smaller than the new I phone 6. That being said I am not sure what should really go into this dry pouch if a phone doesn’t fit. I am sure there are probably other good uses for it that I just have not found out… maybe a key fob?
Specs of the Patagonia Rio Gallegos Waders
Specs taken from www.patagonia.com
- H2No® Performance Standard polyester microfiber shell
- Waist-mounted EZ-Lock suspenders
- Interior welded TPU-waterproof zippered pocket
- Anatomically curved knees with removable neoprene knee pads
- Anatomically designed left and right booties with abrasion-resistant soles; 3mm neoprene booties are lined with patent-pending merino wool grid,
- Field repair kit included
- 1315 g (46.4 oz)
- Made in Vietnam.
Final Thoughts on the Patagonia Rio Gallegos Waders
The Patagonia Rio Gallegos Waders are not only comfortable but also seem bomb proof. I venture to guess that these waders should last many seasons. Having four layers of H2O No Fabric with reinforced knees and seat will keep any leaks from springing up. Not only are the waders functionally sound they are comfortable to wear with outstanding breathability, fleece lined pockets, and a front zipper.