Gear Test: My Simms Waypoint Rain Pants Went Elk Hunting on Horseback


Many of you might remember when Tim Romano and I went through a twisted phase of testing gear in unusual ways for Field & Stream—like the “motorcycle reel test.”

One of the tests I wanted to do was to put waders on rodeo cowboys.  I wanted to see if waders could last on a saddle bronc for eight seconds without busting a seam.  Never got around to that one, but a few weeks ago I did the next best thing—I took my pair of Simms Waypoint Rain Pants ($150) on a five-day elk hunting trip on horseback in the Zirkel Wilderness in Colorado.

I wasn’t really planning a gear test, and I threw the pants in my pack almost as a last-minute afterthought.  I figured I might use them one morning if it snowed, and I was hunkered down in a ground blind, and didn’t want to get my lower half soaked.

As it turned out, it did snow (at 8,700 feet), a lot, and not only did I wear them in the ground blinds, I wore them on horseback, climbing in and out of the saddle, trotting through snowy meadows, and riding up and down narrow, brushy trails.

I have to say, I was deeply grateful I had them, and ultimately impressed with how they held up in tough conditions with no wear and tear.  Using three layers—long johns, fleece pants, and then the rain pants, I remained relatively warm and bone dry.

No, I did not shoot an elk. But I did gain new appreciation for the rain pants I keep stashed in my dory.

I still think I want to put waders on saddle bronc riders someday.  Anyone up for the challenge?

-K. Deeter


1 Comment

  1. Walt Gasson on

    KD –

    I could maybe find someone to give those waders the saddle bronc test. And BTW: The photo above is known among my horseman friends as an “earsie”. Definition: any pic framed by the ears of your saddle horse or mule. Most of my favorite photos are earsies.


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