Saturday, December 28, 2013

Gear Review - Redington Sonic Pro Waders

All Bum Trout gear reviews are unbiased, honest, and nobody pays me to say anything.  I wish somebody would though...

I've learned that you can't make a good wader review after using those shiny new things one or two times.  It takes a period of punishment and abuse to judge if a pair of waders are worth one's salt. 
I've had my pair of Redington Sonic Pro waders for roughly six months and have been putting them through their paces.  Long days of walking, banging through brush, and duck hunting in freezing temps.  Needless to say, I haven't been babying these things.  Here's the verdict so far. 

Comfort/Fit:  In very few words, the Sonic Pros fit nicely.  Redington went with an ergonomic design with these waders and the results are quite pleasing.  The Sonic Pros fit better than any waders I have used in recent memory.  There is ample room to layer up if needed yet even when I only have on a thin baselayer and a t-shirt it doesn't look like I'm wearing a trash bag.  Got to look good when you're fishing, right?  My favorite part of the fit comes from the articulated seams, especially in the knee and seat.  I have full range of movement without the binding I've experienced with other waders.  I can't understate how nice this is when you are trying to scramble up/down steep banks and jump over boulders.   

No Stiches

Features:  Can't complain with the list of finishing touches on the Sonic Pros.  First off, the fleece lined hand warming pocket provides a much needed relief from frozen winter fingers, and the best part?  The pocket zips shut.  This may not sound like a big deal until you find yourself rowing a boat all day long having your oars constantly snagging in the handwarmer pocket.  This used to drive me crazy.  The simple addition of zippers fixes this annoying problem.

Continuing on, the Sonic Pros have ample storage for keys, wallets, cell phones, fly boxes, beef jerky, or a small dog or ferret.  The external pocket is handy, large, and fully waterproof.  The internal flip out pocket is water resistant.  In addition, the internal pocket has plenty of places to attach hemostats, retractors, and all those other gizmos you find necessary to carry.  Just don't carry one of those ridiculous fish counters.  You don't want to be that guy, do you?  

The gravel guard lace hooks are different from what I'm used to.  I am familiar the metal tab style lace hooks that always inevitably get flattened and never work right again.  At first I was leery about the plastic hooks but now I really think they're a good design.  The only beef I have with them is that they are a bit of a pain to get hooked on your laces.  A task exponentially more difficult with cold fingers.  Once hooked however they never come off, and help keep your fly line from tangling around your boots.  

The wading belt design is yet another simple but smart feature built into these waders.  The addition of a couple extra belt loops on the waders keeps your belt from inadvertently falling off and getting lost (Something I've experienced more than once!).  The wading belt is nice and stretchy and extra wide.  Something I like.   

 Durability/Construction:  So far so good.  After a few dozen hard uses these waders look almost new.  I stumbled across a strand of barbed wire a few trips ago and my Sonic Pro's didn't get a single hole in them.  Redington says the Sonics are constructed with a 4 layer fabric in the lower leg and seat, and a 3 layer fabric everywhere else.  The thicker fabric on the seat and not just the lower leg is a nice feature as this area takes a lot of abuse.  So far the sonically welded seams show no signs of wear and the interior double taped seams look as good as the day I bought them.  The fabric is treated with Redington's DWR coating for added waterproofing.  As of yet it seems to be working, I've managed to stay dry so far.    
Love the Zippered Handwarmer Pocket

Value: Are they worth the $300.00 price tag?  In short, yes they are.  At $300.00 the Sonic Pros aren't the cheapest pair of waders you will find but they sure aren't the most expensive either.  For the money you get a LOT more features than what you will find in most other companies comparably priced waders.  For the price, you get Redington's top of line product while with many other companies $300.00 wader, you will only get a middle of the road product.  The Sonic Pros aren't made in the USA if that bothers you, but nevertheless the craftsmanship seems solid to my eyes.   

Innovative Gravel Guard Hooks
Overall Impression:  For what it's worth I am really impressed by Redington's Sonic Pro Waders.  If I had to grade them, they would get a solid A+.  They fit great, are loaded with high end features, and seem to be well build.  For those who like to wade fish a lot and are looking for a wader that will stand up to loads of abuse during long days of walking, I wouldn't hesitate recommending the Sonic Pros.  I also like the color scheme of these waders, did I mention that?  Hey, one has to look good while out on the river after all.  Am I right?      


  1. Hi, After reading your review I would agree with every point except 'Durability' as far as this is concerned my Sonic pros are the worst pair of breathables I've owned. Mine only gave me 4 outings of leak free fishing, after the 5th outing I noticed that my trousers were damp around both knees, just to be sure and before returning them, I wore them a 6th time, the damp patches were there again. Thinking that it was the seams around the knee area, I decided to return them, but just before I did, I thought it may be worth testing them with leak detection spray and to my horror, I discovered a mass of small pin holes below and around the knee areas. Thinking that this would make the warranty void, I decided to repair them myself with Aquasure.

    Following that first repair, it became a regular thing , every time I went out I had a new leak, I'd spray them and there's more pin holes. When I waded deeper I discovered that they leaked around the crotch area also. I got my waders in June 2103 and stuck them and the leaks out until the end of our season (Sept 30th), now there hanging in the garage but they will be going in the bin.

    I don't abuse my waders, I've used breathables for many years and know the potential issues with thorns etc. in fact, after the first repair on these I was probably more careful than I've ever been with any of my previous pairs - and they still developed leeks.
    So, even though I agree, the other features are great and maybe I was just unlucky and got a bad pair, I was very disappointed with what I think is the most important feature - Durability - and even more disappointing was the fact that I emailed Redington in September 2013 and now, in January 2014, I'm still waiting for a reply !

    Great blog by the way,


  2. Geoff,

    Thanks for the feedback. It's good to hear what folks think about these waders. It stinks you had such a bad experience with your Sonic Pros. I wonder if Redington put out a bad batch and you were unlucky enough to get one of those. I have plenty of friends wearing the Sonic Pros and none have experienced the problem you have described. I suppose there are bound to be a few lemons out there no matter what you buy.

    Like I mentioned it's hard to make a firm conclusion on durability after only 6 months of use. In a year I hope to have a little more information on how these things hold up to hard use.

    I would recommend on continuing to try and contact Redington about your problem. They should be able to send you an new and hopefully better pair. Thanks for the comment.