My field test took place in late October 2007 on the Platte River a few miles from Walden, Colorado. It was cold. The evening before I tested the waders, I'd been lake fishing, but accumulated ice on my rod guides put an end to that before sunset. When I arrived at the Platte the next morning, the air temperature was 40°F, south wind was blowing at 15-20 mph and my guide measured the water temperature at 34.8°F. He commented that it would be the coldest water he'd ever guided in.
I was prepared for the cold, however. Underneath my waist-high waders I had a base layer of Cabela's lightweight MTP long underwear bottoms, Cabela's PrimaLoft®/Merino Wool Boot Socks, a mid-layer of Polartec® 200 Pants and then the waders on the outside. My wading boots were Cabela's Ultralight™ Wading Boots with felt soles, the lightest such boots the company makes. That was the extent of my preparation for cold-water wading, and even in the chilly water it proved to be more than adequate to keep me comfortable in the water all day long.
I'm a large fellow and I found Cabela's Dry-Plus Breathable Waders in size XL fit a bit snug. I attribute that to the extra layering under them that was more than one would normally use. Of course, a concern when moving, bending and climbing up banks is whether or not waders can withstand the stress. I found these to be among the toughest lightweight, breathable waders anywhere. No matter how I moved, there was never a hint of the ruggedly stitched seams in the seat or thighs giving way, and I showed the waders no mercy in that regard. Articulated knees provided freedom of motion when I was walking and kneeling. An adjustable waistbelt added to my comfort.
Cabela's upgraded the construction of the legs on these waders recently to make them even more rugged and reliable. Heavy-duty, yet lightweight five-layer fabric was put into the highest-wear, highest-stress areas of the knees, seat and gaiters for exceptional durability where it's needed most.
The high-density neoprene booties showed no evidence of wear at the end of two days of fishing, and they compressed comfortably into my size 11 wading boots. The neoprene in the feet is glued, stitched and taped for complete fusion at the seams and waterproof dependability.
These waders have very convenient, built-in gaiter gravel guards that roll easily into position and attach to boot laces with a rustproof hook, forming an impenetrable barrier to gravel and debris. I wore the waders for nearly 13 hours in light-to-moderate current over two days and nothing got into my boots.
In summary, Cabela's Dry-Plus Breathable Stockingfoot Waders were so impressive that I plan on getting another pair for my wife. This product lives up to all it is advertised to be, and then some. I highly recommend these waders, and don't hesitate to use them year-round with proper under layers during the colder months.
Click this link to purchase Cabelas Dry-Plus® Breathable Stockingfoot Waders