Originally posted by Dave L:n But just how durable is heck? If I blunder into a rose thicket and fall down (shit happens), aren't I just as likely to pinhole a pair of $400 breathables as I am a pair of $100? Or has breathable wader tech advanced to a point where the material isn't, at its heart, wispy sissy shit?
On most of the higher end waders I've used or checked out, part of what you're paying for is thicker, tougher fabric. And I do think that they are often more durable than cheaper models. But nothing is idiot-proof, and obviously you can still put holes in top of the liners. And then part of what you're often paying for as well are bells and whistles, like gravel guards, fancier pockets and things like that. Still, I agree that $300+ is a chunk of cash for a pair of waders, and there's something to be said for having $$ left over for booze. I've got the Patagonia Watermaster Lights (which I got a great deal on), which are a slightly lighter material, and don't have gravel guards, and are about $100 cheaper. They're still really durable though, as long as you don't do anything too stupid. It's a trade-off - I like having the lighter, more packable version for traveling, and being able to easily fit them in my pack along with everything else for hiking into places.