For more detailed care and repair tips, check out our care and repair videos and tips page.
The care of your waders is a huge factor when determining the lifespan. Waders that are improperly dried, stored and transported will have a shorter lifespan than waders that are cared for properly.
Caring For Your Waders
SIMMS waders are all built from a durable breathable fabric. Whether that is Gore-Tex® or Torray®, the care that should be taken is the same.
Waders should be dried after each use, both inside and out. Simms understands that certain situations do not allow for time to fully dry between uses. It is the expectation that this circumstance will contribute to a potential shorter lifespan.
Breathable fabrics are porous in nature and can collect dirt, oils from the skin and other environmental substances. Regular cleaning of waders is a key contributor to their lifespan.
Depending on the amount of days used, annual, bi-annual or tri-annual washing is recommended.
Exposure to salt water or salt air requires special care: The waders must be rinsed thoroughly with fresh water and dried after each use.
Repairing Waders: Pinhole Leaks
While one single pinhole may not cause a noticeable leak, left unrepaired, more pinholes can form causing a larger issue. Regular inspection and preventative maintenance should be performed.
Waders are meant to be used but there will always be times that they are stored for some time. During these times, there are a few guidelines to follow:
Hanging waders is the best storage method. Simms sews a hang loop in the back of the waders. This should be used rather than the suspenders. Suspenders are elastic and will stretch out.
Store waders in a cool dry place. Humidity and moisture can promote the growth of mildew, the silent killer. Mildew can work its way beneath the seam tape and begin to lift it up. Once this begins, repairs are difficult if not impossible.
Getting your waders to and from your favorite angling spot is important.
Waders should be transported inside the vehicle. The open truck bed offers endless possibilities for issues to occur.
Waders should not be transported on the floorboards and should be kept away from abrasive items in the trunk
Driving in your waders: We do not advise driving in your waders. While it may be easy to move from spot to spot, the seatbelt, seat material, buckles and etc. can create wear spots on the waders.
Technical Fabric Care
Gore-Tex and other technical fabrics will be at peak performance when kept clean and free from dirt, sunscreen, oils from skin and perspiration. Technical fabrics should be washed in warm water (100 degrees) using a detergent that is free from bleach and fabric softener. Powdered or liquid is fine. A performance tech wash, such as Nikwax can also be used. With the exception of Simms Waders, technical fabrics can be placed in a dryer. Tumble dry on a warm setting at ten minute intervals is best. The warmth of the dryer can also renew the DWR (durable water repellent) treatment on the fabric. This is what causes water to bead up and run off the fabric.
Use a front load machine or hand wash. Use cold water and normal detergent that does not contain bleach. Once you have washed the waders make sure you dry them properly start by drying the inside first. Never put your waders in the dryer, the heat will adversely affect the seam tape on your waders and will void your warranty.
How To Maintain The Waterproof Breatheability Of Your Waders
If water does not bead off the fabric, it may be time to evaluate and consider reapplying the DWR treatment. We recommend Nikwax products for both waders and other technical outerwear pieces. Please note, many of these products recommend using a dryer which is fine for everything except for waders. A hair dryer works just fine to dry the waders and apply a small amount of heat.