Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Fly Product...TLTFF Review of the Redington SonicDry Fly Waders

Click the above photos to expand.

Christmas morning of 2012 was pretty amazing, it was my daughters first "real" Christmas (where she could actually take in what was going on) and it was the day I received my first pair of waders that didn't have the name Bass Pro Shops, Redhead, White River, or Cabelas on them. The last present my wife handed me was a pair of Simms Freestone Stockingfoot waders...I was STOKED. But due to having a baby, and honestly not fishing that much that winter, I didn't really give them a shot until Spring. And even then, I did most of my fishing in places where waders weren't really needed. Before I knew it, it was summer and putting on those waders meant two things, I was going to fish freshwater (most likely the Gunpowder) and I was going to sweat enough to wonder if my waders had a leak at the end of the day. I know some of you are asking, why didn't you just wet wade, and thats a good one. But for those of you who don't fish the Gunpowder, you don't know that in order to her to the honey holes, your going to have to hike through knee deep poison ivy and chest deep thorns.

Its a fact that when I fish I stay very well hydrated and with that, one must urinate...naturally. One of the things I have hated about every pair of waders that I've owned, is the unclipping, sliding down the waders, taking aim, and avoiding dribble getting into your front wader pocket and I know that is something any male angler is familiar with. For women, as I've heard, its even more of an inconvenient process. Now Redington hasty solved your problem YET ladies, but hang in there. As for us gentlemen, they have. They weren't the first, but if you read on, you'll find out a little something or two that gives these waders the edge, and caused me to ditch my Simms before I was at the half-way point of the review...and no, it doesn't (entirely) have to do with urinating.

With innovation, and setting the bar higher in mind, Redington kicked off the Vapen Red, a rod that would change the industry and how people looked at the sport. Not only was fly fishing modernized, but a standard was set on innovative thinking. But the engineers and designers at Redington and the Far Bank Group didn't stop there, in fact, they were just getting started. Sage released the EVOKE reel in line with the Vapen Red rod and followed that up with the release of another crucial piece of equipment for the sport that no angler can do without...waders.

The Sonic-Pro line of waders were Redington's first sonic/welded waders that set the foundation for act two, the SonicDry line. The Sonic Pro waders were phenomenal, getting excellent reviews but as more sonic/welded waders were released by other companies, Redington had to set the bar yet again and this time, they had to do it big, with a technology that was unmatched by anything on the market. Thats where Cocona© and the 37.5 technology came in to the picture. 

The only similarity between the Sonic-Pro and the SonicDry lines are the Redington name and sonic/welded seams. The SonicDry name also speaks to the key points of difference in the wader - sonically welded seams with they moisture management technology of 37.5.  So what is 37.5 technology? Check out this video from Far Bank and we'll dive a little deeper into the technology... 

Redington SonicDry from Far Bank on Vimeo.

Via 37.5:

Fabrics with 37.5TM Technology-

In fabrics with 37.5 technology, patented active particles permanently embedded at the fiber level capture and release moisture vapor. Not only do these active particles provide 800% more surface area to the fiber, they also provide a unique driving force to remove moisture vapor unlike any other technology. By actively responding to body heat, the particles use this energy from the body to accelerate the vapor movement and speed up the conversion of liquid to vapor, significantly increasing drying rates. This means the hotter the user gets, the stronger the driving force removing moisture becomes—and the more comfortable the garment remains.
Cocona fabrics work brilliantly alone, but the performance gets even better when layered—the whole is truly greater than the sum of its parts. When base layer, mid layer, and outer layer are all made with 37.5 technology, each layer actively works together to create accelerated drying of the entire system.
A wide range of fabrics are made with 37.5 technology, and more are being created every season. Our mill partners currently offer fabrics with 37.5 technology in the following constructions:
  • Natural fibers such as Merino wool, cotton, Tencel®, etc.
  • Synthetic Knit Fabrics
  • Fleece and Softshell Fabrics
  • Woven Fabrics
  • Footwear fabrics
  • Glove insert fabrics

Patented Technology That Uses Body Heat to Evaporate Moisture

Comfort in clothing is greatly influenced by the temperature and humidity next to skin known as the microclimate. For the average person, the body strives to maintain an ideal core body temperature of 37.5° C. You are most comfortable when the microclimate next to your skin has a relative humidity close to 37.5%. When you are in this ideal 37.5 comfort zone, you are also in your ideal performance zone. Cocona technology helps your body manage the moisture in your microclimate to keep you in this “37.5 zone” of comfort and performance.


Your body already has the ultimate thermo-regulating system. The perspiration vapor that comes off of skin during activity cools the body when working hard. In fact, each gram of evaporated sweat releases 580 calories of stored heat. Unless this water vapor can be removed from the microclimate, it builds up in clothing, footwear, or gloves and creates a clammy and uncomfortable microclimate. 37.5 technology works to enhance the body’s natural cooling mechanism—the body puts out sweat to cool it down, 37.5 technology removes it from the microclimate.


With 37.5 technology, patented active particles permanently embedded at the fiber level capture and release moisture vapor. Not only do these active particles provide 800% more surface area to the fiber, they also provide a unique driving force to remove moisture vapor unlike any other technology. By actively responding to body heat, the active particles use this energy from the body to accelerate the vapor movement and speed up the conversion of liquid to vapor, significantly increasing drying rates. This means the hotter the user gets, the stronger the driving force removing moisture becomes—and the more comfortable the garment remains.


  • 37.5 technology works to keep the optimum relative humidity in your microclimate so your body more efficiently maintains an ideal core temperature, enabling you to perform better, longer.
  • Fabrics made with 37.5 technology dry up to five times faster than similar fabrics, diminishing wet cling.
  • 37.5 technology is made with naturally derived materials so there are no harsh chemicals to irritate your skin.
  • 37.5 active particles are permanently embedded into yarn and will never wash out or degrade.


  • Knit Fabrics
  • Merino Wool
  • Breathable Waterproof Laminates
  • Fleece
  • Woven Fabrics
  • Insulation
  • Footwear fabrics
  • Glove inserts
  • Softshell Fabrics

So what does this have to do with Redington and waders? 37.5 technology is meant to manage moisture and temperature on the interior of the waders, keeping you cool in summer and warm in winter using the natural elements of heat and moisture your body releases.

So now more about the waders and SonicDry line...just kidding, if you want to see the press release, click here. Essentially, Redington has harnessed the 37.5 technology and placed it in a line of waders that set the bar from a comfort and strength standpoint. On to the review...

I received my SuperDry Fly Waders in the dead of winter this past year. Some of the first things I noticed while unpacking the box where your typical wader storage bag, a wader belt, suspenders, and neoprene booties and from a quick look at the exterior, they seemed to be your typical welded seam waders. I quickly found out thats where the similarities ended. The waders have a built in hemostat holder that allows you to clip them on and store them either inside or outside of the waders in the ideal spot, for easy access. There is a waterproof pocket as well as a welded seam stretchy mesh pocket, perfect for holding a small fly box, your license, or anything else you need quicker access to. Redington has also incorporated a "a new articulated knee design for increased mobility, ergonomic 3mm high-density neoprene booties, updated gravel guard lace hook, mesh in gravel guard for better drainage". The waders also feature a main zip-front design with "a YKK #5 Aquaseal zipper that is slimmer than other wader zippers. There is also a snap tab at the top of the zipper to ensure it stays closed. An angled water resistant zip pocket, two, two-sided fleece hand warmer pockets and two internal drop mesh pockets offer plenty of storage and easy access." You know I love storage, I carry more things with me on the river than are ever necessary but just to have them. This was a bonus point.

Many of you know we had a pretty harsh winter here in the Mid-Atlantic, in fact, it was pretty gnarly everywhere in the US. Although it made fishing tough, it made for reviewing these waders easy, and ideal. The first trip I took was up to the Gunpowder back in early January.  There was about 2' of snow on the ground and down in the valley of the river, temps were around 15 deg F. Although I was skunked on the river, I had a blast trekking through the snow, standing in ice cold water, and enjoying the warmth the waders provided through almost amplifying my own body heat. With only a pair of long johns and wool socks on underneath, I was impressed that after 4 hours of fishing I was still relatively warm. I typically don't stay that warm in my neoprene hunting waders during early waterfowl season (with the same clothing underneath). The fleece hand warmer pockets were life-savers as well. I did throw a Hot Hands packet in each pocket but found that they really weren't necessary. The fleece isn't too bulky that it makes the front of the wader look weird, its a perfect balance that allows the pockets to lay down well against the anglers body. There are also synch points that allow you to tighten the top of the waders around your chest on those days your looking to trap warmth in. After a few more trips through the winter, I was convinced these were fit for colder weather.

Kicking back in the snow, staying warm in the SonicDry Flys

Lots of snow to trek through on the Gunpowder

Frozen Severn River of the Chesapeake Bay (this doesn't happen all)

Heres a little clip some of you may have seen on our Instagram...

Now on to some warmer days...So we basically went from 30 degree and less temps to 75-80 degree in less than a month. Again weird winter here in the Mid-Atlantic. I looked at this as a perfect opportunity to get these waders into a situation where I could really sweat. Again, this came down to wearing them on the Gunpowder, were longer hikes to great spots aren't out of the norm. Like I said in the intro, thorns and sweat makeup a normal Gunpowder fishing trip. Since the snow had laid down the thorns and the depth of it kept me fishing closer to the car, I was time to really hike in a work up a sweat. Of course, I hydrated well and with hydration, nature calls. Right off the bat I noted how great it was to simply zip down the front of the waders and let it go.

I was quickly on my way again and didn't even have to fool with suspender straps and tucking shirts back in. I hiked from my goto parking lot on Falls road up towards the dam, about a 1 mile hike by foot. The air temp was about 72 deg F and I immediately ran into some thorns. I didn't intentionally walk through them but did give them a good run through some unavoidable bushes. I noticed a few of the bigger thorns did go through and stick my skin, which did get me a little worried. Jumping ahead quickly, when I finally got to the spot I wanted to fish, I hopped in and of course initially thought about the areas I felt the thorns. Not only did those areas stay dry then, but after about 5 hours of fishing, when the waders came off, my legs were dry. I didn't feel a single bit of moisture from a leak the entire day. Going back, I did sweat, boy did I sweat. But unlike my old Simms, I didn't have a pool of sweat in my booties, in fact, the moisture that was in the waders was quickly dissipated via the 37.5 technology fabric. Within 5-10 minutes, I felt dry and although I continued to sweat, it did not accumulate in the least bit.

I had an awesome day on the water and quickly got into the fish. After a few trout and hours of assessing the water and waders, it was time to hike back. The hike back was slightly easier, especially due to the comfort of the waders and the articulated knee design.

The Redington SonicDry Fly Waders come in at $499.95. As most of you who have followed the blog and read our past reviews, you know I'm always critical of price. I'm a frugal angler, and with our reviews and "Daily Deal" posts, you can tell I'm here to help save you all money as well. But after owning about 8 pairs of waders from neoprene to breathable, I feel as though I have a good grasp on quality and cost as well as all the benefits, features, and disadvantages of each type. When I weigh all those factors in, I've realized the importance of putting good money into something that deserves it. The gear that falls into that categorization is rods, reels, and waders. There are a few others but shortcuts can be made in for those items.

When you look at the market from a focused standpoint of a few qualifiers (men's, current model, welded seams, stocking foot, breathable, zip-front, 'premium' wader) you have a few options (sorry if I left any out, these were the ones I could find).

As you can see from the prices, there are cheaper and more expensive waders. With some, your buying the name, with others, your buying the quality, and then there also the combination of both that bring you an overwhelming price that honestly seems a little bit out of reach for a majority of anglers. Redington seems to have found that sweet spot with their price, making them affordable and yet offering technology no other company can touch. Don't get me wrong, each company and wader does have their individual advantages with the Patagonia Rio Gallegos being notorious for its abrasion resistance and thick material to Simms, simply for the brand that is known for their waders (whereas the others cover a broad spectrum of gear to cover the entire sport).

Another thing to quickly note is that my waders, after 5 months of (a lot of) use, do not have any odor, they actually still have that "new car smell". I'm not sure if Redington makes note of this or not but was interesting to me.

Redington has released two other SonicDry products to fit into the lineup next to the SonicDry Fly waders. These are the SonicDry Waders and SonicDry Pant. Both utilize the same technology and come in at a more reasonable price for those who do not find the zipper appealing or want to be more frugal and still get the 37.5 technology and SonicDry quality.

All of that said, its time to get down to the nitty gritty and rate these waders. With a great price for the quality and technology, the high degree of comfort, and features that make these waders ideal for long or even short trips that range from lots of hiking to hopping out of the car and zipping up the waders...the Redington SonicDry Fly Waders could not lose a single star. I'd say of the four or so years we've been reviewing products, this was the first ever that we've had that (despite my best efforts) I could not find a single fault. Now that said, please remember I am not a wader professional, and I'm sure there cold have been even more done to put these waders to the test. But the way we perform reviews stays the same throughout and does not falter. We have done reviews this way on a wide range of products and have indeed found plenty of faults. But with these waders, they were perfect. They fit true to size thanks to Redington's sizing chart. These waders easily receive 5 out of 5 stars for the above-mentioned factors. It was honestly a pleasure and I can say, at least for an long time, these waders are the end game. The bar has been set and I'm proud to know I'll be wearing the top of the line waders for the next few years if not longer (most likely).

A huge thank you goes out to Redington and the Far Bank Group for making such a quality line of products with their SonicDry Waders. I'd also like to give a shout out to Kara A. from Backbone Media for allowing this review to happen and being there the past few months constantly answering my nagging emails and phone calls to make sure I am as thorough as possible with understanding the product and technology.

You can find Redington on their site, on Instagram, Facebook, Vimeo, and Twitter as well. Be sure to give them a 'like' or 'follow' and put a few items in your cart while on the site. You can never go wrong with a product the Far Bank Group has released (at least we haven't had one yet going on 3 years of playing with their toys), from customer service to quality.


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