Orvis developed and owns the patent to construct waders using sonic welds, which are stronger than stitched seams, and are inherently waterproof as opposed to seams where threads are stitched through fabric. Their original Pack and Travel SonicSeam Waders were of a minimalist design—no bells and whistles, just lightweight, durable waders—in fact so durable that original field testers are still wearing four-year old waders that have not developed a single leak.
To construct these waders, Orvis developed a proprietary 4-layer nylon fabric that is extremely strong and abrasion resistant. (The polyester fabric used on conventional waders turns to ash when subjected to the sonic welding process.) In conventional waders, fabric is overlapped and sewn with thread, and the seam holes must then be covered with waterproof seam tape. Seams on Orvis SonicSeam waders are edge welded with an ultrasonic process producing a slim, totally waterproof seam that is stronger than a conventional sewn seam. (Although the seams of the Orvis Sonic Waders are already 100% waterproof, they still use seam tape for added strength and durability.)
In fall 2012, Orvis will introduce the men’s Silver Sonic Convertible Top waders, with added features requested by guides and anglers who had grown to love the originals. The new Silver Sonics offer true ergonomically sculpted feet for more comfort and better fit, and more pockets, including a double airlock waterproof pocket for cell phones and compact cameras. A roll down feature for the uppers transforms chest waders into waist waders instantly, without removing the suspenders. Seam strength has been improved even more, with a new process that offers 50% stronger seams.
Men’s Silver Sonic Convertible Top Waders will be available mid-September 2012 in 14 sizes and the women’s version in January 2013 in 13 revised sizes. Retail price is projected at $299. A front zip model will be available in men’s sizing in March 2013.