Fly Fishers' Republic

CPX to Sonic Pro Zip-front

March 18, 20011


sonic pro wader

Well, it’s two seasons since I first pulled on the CPXs and I’m reporting back like I said I would. Of course, you may be wondering why I’m posting an update when these waders are discontinued, replaced by the Sonic-Pros. Well, let’s see.

First off, let me confirm that having the RiRi zip down the front isĀ veryconvenient, least ways it is if you’re a bloke. After two seasons use I’d be loathed to wear waders without a front zipper. That or I need to drink less tea!?

What of the other benefit of zip-fronts – the easy in-and-out?

I’m of the opinion that unless you have specific physical impairment, this benefit is marginal. I fish mostly with the same fishing buddy time and again, and he gets into his old Hardwares at least as quick as I get into my CPXs, if not quicker. So where’s the advantage?

O.K., I know that’s not exactly a cast iron case, but then what else do we have to go on. So, I’ll say it again, if you’re really not bothered about the convenience factor, forget about zip fronts they’re probably not worth the premium. As for me, I’m hooked! Besides, the CPXs really are very comfortable and make bushwhacking, of which I do plenty, as easy as it can be.

And the Sonic Pros? They’re near as damn it cut the same, so I think it’s safe to expect similar performance from them.

Moving on… The two zipped chest pockets on the CPXs are a nice feature and I remain a fan. The hand-warmer pockets are also zipped, allowing them theoretically to serve the dual purpose of hand warming and storage, though lacking a lining I use them for storage exclusively. The new Sonics have lined hand-warmer pockets without zippers. These are much better for your hands but no use for storage. Making up for the potential loss of storage, the Sonics have a new inner pocket… with a vertical zip closure! How dumb is that! Think about it…

Anyway, I’ll continue.

In their first season the CPX waders looked like they were going to last longer than my previous river strides, but in fact they have not.

The leg construction that promised durability has proved anything but durable. After two seasons of what I’d call light to average use, the seams on the insides of the knees have worn through and need patching. Here’s why…

While the leg construction does not involve the old fashioned single inside leg seam, it does none the less have several multi directional seams towards the insides of the legs. These result from the articulated knee construction, and from the combination of 5-layer fabric to the front of the lower leg and 3-layer fabric to the rear.

These seams are pronounced perhaps more so than in models made from less stiff fabric and those with less difference in the stiffness of adjoining leg panels. Where the 5-layer cloth is stitched to the 3-layer cloth hinging occurs. In the CPXs the combined characteristics of this method of construction has lead to the seams becoming badly abraded. The only mitigating factor I can throw in here is that where I fish the river substrate is often fine sand and silt which does exacerbate the problem of seam wear.

Looking to the future, I wonder how well the Sonics will last? Will the welded seams last longer than their stitched predecessors? Is the hinge effect less pronounced? These are questions you should be looking to answer before you buy the new models.

The problem as always is finding someone who can put twos season’s worth or wear into a wader in the space of a few weeks and then write a review… You can’t? O.K.. In lieu of that, check out Orvis from whom the weld technique is licensed and where the construction method has been in use long enough to give us some clues.

To sum up, I’d say I’m disappointed in the CPXs due to the premature wear characteristic. If Redington had gotten that right, I’d be saying they’re the best waders I’ve worn, bearing in mind the fit and features are otherwise excellent for the price. I hold the hope that the new Sonics resolve the problem as they have the potential to be a very successful product.


Price: CPXs are no longer available. At close out they went for $279.95 or less. Sonic Pro Zip-fronts $379.95.

Sizes & further spec.: For further details see Redington's website

Outlets: Currently the CPXs and Sonic Pros are not available from UK retailers. US and Canadian anglers can order direct from Redington's online shop or one of their listed fly shops. Readers outside of the UK and North America can also find outlets by contacting Redington's Global Partners.