Simms Superlight Pants Review
Updated: Apr 5
Fishing in hot weather can be demanding. On top of that, it's important you choose wisely when picking out your clothing for the day. Some may prefer to wear as little as possible, but many of us want protection from the sun's harmful rays, so shorts and a simple t-shirt aren't good options. What to do? There's tons of lightweight "technical" fishing garments on the market today, but having worn various types over the years, I can say they most definitely aren't created equal. Whether it's the fit, the temperature control, or whatever, finding clothing that checks all or most of your boxes can be a matter of trial and error. Luckily, Simms has a ton of offerings for us hot weather fly anglers!
I currently own some lightweight "technical" pants that have worked well in hot weather, but I wanted to find something that would excel in the hottest, most humid, nastiest stuff. Basically, Florida from June–September. It was then that I found the Simms Superlight pants. With the name "Superlight" in the title and the description touting them as being able to "buck oppressive heat," these sounded like the perfect match.
Crafted from 100% peach-faced nylon COR3 and Cool Control fabric, Simms says the following about these technologies:
"Products using the COR3™ Technology fabric finish have a UPF rating of 30 or greater, properties to minimize odor and outstanding wicking performance for important moisture management. The anti-odor finish helps control odors caused by a wide range of microorganisms (mold, mildew, algae, yeast) is compatible with virtually all fabrics. All of our performance cotton clothing utilizing COR3™ also feature COR3™ EZ. The "EZ" means easy care and indicates that garments featuring this treatment will travel well and resist wrinkles."
When picking up these pants, the extremely light weight and very thin fabric is immediately noticeable. Further inspection reveals a partial-elastic sliding waistband that helps improve fit, 5 snaps on the end of each leg for various adjustments, zip fly with button waist, belt loops, and one zip-closure butt pocket along with 2 mesh-lined hand pockets (the right hand pocket has a second smaller internal non-mesh pocket for storing little items like spare change). All the stitching and fabric was clean and tight right out of the package and still is to this day.
The one bummer being 6'3" can be trying to find an inseam that fits. Jeans typically aren't a huge problem, but some manufacturers make it tough or impossible to get technical fishing pants in a long inseam. I bought these Superlight pants over a year ago in early 2018, and at that time only the "Regular" version with a 32" inseam was available. Currently, several other versions exist, including a "Zip-Off" (the legs can be zipped off into shorts), a "Short" with 30" inseam, and finally yes, a "Long" version with 34" inseam which would be my choice for all-around wear on and off the water.
Although not my typical inseam for everyday use, the 32" length is perfect for me to wear as a wading/beach fishing pant. With this size, the leg ends come down to about my ankles and won't drag on the ground or get stepped on by my heels as I wade fish. This keeps the ends of the pant legs from getting frayed or simply just feeling too long and clumsy, especially when waterlogged.
After wearing these on scorching days for over a year I've been totally impressed. They do seem to fit a little slimmer through the leg than other pants I own (not a bad thing for me) and the fabric doesn't stretch much at all, but they are still super comfortable to be in and are by far the best pants temperature-wise I've ever felt in extreme temps. As of now, I personally won't even bother looking at any other pants strictly for use in blazing heat. These are simply wonderful to wear and make it much more enjoyable to walk long stretches of shoreline under the blazing sun.....and believe me, I've logged plenty of miles in these!
The leg snaps are very useful for adjusting the roominess around my ankles, while the sliding waistband does indeed stay nice and form-fitting. The rear pocket is about average in size and can fit my wallet, while the hand pockets aren't the deepest I've seen but still have ample room for my GoPro, keys, and yeah, my hands too. When water hits the fabric it beads up and rolls off very quickly, but when these do get soaked I've been impressed with how dang fast they dry.
I highly recommend you give these pants a try, even if not for fishing. I recently just bought a pair with the 34" inseam for hiking, more casual use, or when fishing off a boat, but I definitely still prefer the shorter inseam of my test pants for those wet wading situations. Sizes and colors vary between the different variations, but Simms makes the Superlight Pants from XS–3XL and in colors that include Grey Blue, Tumbleweed, and Oyster (tested). Prices range from $59.95 to $89.95 depending on model.
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