Sunday, November 25, 2012

Area 51: Redington Sonic Pro Pants

Just in time for Christmas shopping for your favorite anglers, this installment of Area 51 features the Redington Sonic Pro Pant(s).

small stream choice
This here Blogger-Angler-All Around Fly Fishing Expert was given the opportunity to review these fine wading pants at the start of the high-country season.  I jumped at the chance, figuring they'd be a perfect fit (see what I did there?) for my typical small stream adventures.  

I was right on all accounts, the Redingtons quickly replaced both my chest-hi waders and hippers in this regard, filling the high-country niche quite nicely.

Segue into the start of the season, runoff just coming down.  My favorite streams push enough water to convert a set of hippers into Sea Anchors of Death.  In the past, mitigating this risk meant packing my chest-hi's, even where streams were no more than 20' wide. On the flipside, late season's low waters previously made my venerable hippers the no-brainer, but seems I'd still manage to suffer the predictable over-topping on every other trip- brrrrr.  Enter the Sonic Pros, the veritable jack of all trades for mountain water.

Tech-wise, Redington will espouse the sonic welding technology that bonds their seams without stitching.  No big deal you might think, but I can remember back a few years to a failed wader experiment of my own, where the stitched seams proved the very point of abrasion and premature failure.  Looks like someone's done their homework here.

There is more attention to detail:
  • The fit is spot-on.  The pants have a wide waist to ease gearing up over layers, and adjustable neoprene waist straps at each hip.  Cinched up, the straps remove any bagginess in the seat, inseam that may otherwise catch on deadfall, snags, barbed wire.  Not surprisingly, the fit seems designed to facilitate the boulder hopping, billy-goat scrambling I manage to get myself into.  Nice work, that.
  • The pants come with optional suspenders, however I found they proved a necessity to keep the fit comfortably right at your waist.
  • Integral gravel guards keep sand and gravel debris at bay, natch.  However, they feature a rather innovative curved lace hook that is the best I've come across in terms of staying locked-in for the day- truly fire and forget here.
totally unscripted moment
What about improvements you ask?  The Sonic Pros sport a couple of pockets with water resistant zippers bracketing each hip.  On the face of it, a positive, amirite? However, I found their capacity somewhat limited before they begin to impact your ability to make those bigger steps up onto boulders or over deadfall.  It is also important to remember they are designed to resist water, not guarantee waterproofing, so consider your storage needs carefully before jumping in.

My favorite mtb shorts have me wondering if the Redington design engineers would ever consider cargo pockets for this application- outside the thigh, a taller pocket might be just the thing to increase volume without impacting your ability to scramble around.  Hmmm we may have something here, I hereby claim patent rights Redington Product Engineers!  Just kidding Redington Attorneys!  ;-)

Durability- no question here.  At all.  A solid season's abuse use with zero leaks due to design.  I preface that statement only in that I did pinprick the shin executing a midstream face-plant of epic proportions.  A 60 second streamside UV wader repair had me back in business in, well, 60 seconds.  

mtb shin guards put to good use
So while the Redingtons perform admirably on the water, unfortunately for this here Blogger-Angler-All Around Fly Fishing Expert, there still is no cure for in-stream knuckleheadedness.  Hmmm...I smell future marketing opportunities Redington PR Reps!  Fingers crossed you get that solved for me before next season.  ;-)

Long story, short- these Redington Sonic Pro Pants prove just the ticket for high-country angling, earning a rightful place in DFFT's Area 51 vaults, and every angler's gear bag.

oh yeah, they catch fish too


  1. What a great review! I am without hesitation ordering me a pair! Thanks for the blog brutha. Oh I'm going to be fishing the rio penasco on thursday. great fishing all year!!

    1. thx Scott- they are truly a great fit for our NM fishing. Good luck on the Penasco, send us an update upon your return whydontcha~ mike