Patagonia Rio Gallegos wader review

Here’s the first of quite a few gear reviews we’re doing this winter. Patagonia Rio Gallegos Waders review by Kevin Morlock.

Just before this fall’s salmon season I made a big order to Patagonia. It was time to try something new. As you may be able to see from the photo below, I needed some new gear. My waders at this point were more sealer than fabric and the boots were a few days from becoming sandals. But I do need to mention that the old gear had a good and hard life, no major complaints.

Matt and I had a double trip soon after my new gear arrived. Seeing me in them, Matt asked what I thought of the waders. I said they suck! The suspenders don’t have buckles, so I have take off my jacket and then pull the suspenders off my shoulders and then down to my waist when I have to pee. Matt is giving me the “dumb ass” look and when I finish ranting asks if I read the instructions. “Of course I didn’t, they’re waders.”

Matt informed me that they have a clip and slide system for quick, easy and tangle free peeing.

From that moment on I’ve been wearing the best waders I’ve ever owned. At $449 they should be great waders, but again, they are. Throughout a very busy salmon and fall steelhead season, these waders have seen it all.

They fit and look great and are as dry as the day the UPS guy delivered them. They have already stayed dryer longer than my last several pairs. We’ll see how long they can go without seeping seams. At this point I give the Patagonia Rio Gallegos a 9.7 out of 10. The stitching on one of the suspenders started to come loose after only a couple weeks of wear, but my wife Joan fixed that problem in a few minutes. But alas, this does prevent them from getting a perfect 10/10 rating. Several people have asked if the wool stocking liners are keeping my feet toasty compared to unlined neoprene and my answer is no difference.

I also like Patagonia’s direct message about their environmental ethic. They recently sent me an email asking that I NOT purchase anything I don’t need and in return they would commit to producing functional, high quality gear and do their best to repair my old gear whenever possible. If you’re someone that feels that the earth is for quick profits and thoughtless use and recreation, then you might find the Patagonia message annoying, but I personally like it.

If they completely disintegrate next week their rating will drop but I would still call them good waders. I’ve been so pleased with the Rio Gallegos waders that I recently purchased a second pair just to have for when these finally do fall apart.

[editor’s note: I want a pair of these badly but Patagonia doesn’t them in my size: XXL. What’s up with that Patagonia? Why you gotta hate the big man?] The KING Gallegos are where the XXL lives. Thanks Jerry Darkes and Bill Klyn for the correction.

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