Best Fishing Waders Reviewed
Walking in water has dangers beyond the known inhabitants, so a wader is necessary to keep those dangers away from your body. There is also a convenience factor with not having heavy clothes drag you down while you’re in the water. A good wader will allow you to move as freely as possible in the water while offering adequate protection to critical parts of your body.
- Compass 360 Deadfall
- Customizable Size
- Oakiwear Toddler & Children
- Built-in Rubber Boots
- Redington Crosswater Wader
- Three-layer Construction
The Best Brands
The big brands are easy to point out like Redington. In this industry it is more about nylon vs. rubber, so brands get pushed to the backside as companies duke it out over which materials are the best. Even today the fight still rages on and is such a big deal that some companies release waders in both nylon and rubber models. Seasons and conditions that waders are used in will keep the fight going, as there is still isn’t a ‘wader for all jobs.’
Maintenance and Cleaning Tips
Cleaning waders is very important since they will be in contact with all types of bacteria in the water. Letting a dirty wader sit without cleaning it can introduce to your body some nasty health hazards. Just merely hosing them off after a fishing trip is good enough for the short term, but when they get filthy soap water is the best clean. Then hose them off, but keep them away from a dryer- this will ruin it. Let them air dry or use a hairdryer.
15 Best Fishing Waders
Compass 360 Deadfall
This breathable wader is tried and true. A durable and tough four-ply nylon upper and flour-ply double reinforced skin and knees make it one of the classic functioning waders on the market. Seams are double-taped.
The waders are 100 percent waterproof. Cleaning done by hand washing and allowing to drip dry. The waders have been won in 17 degree weather while standing in knee to waist high water. Proper layering kept the fisherman warm and comfortable.
These waders come in stout sizes. The waders feature attached gravel guards made of four-ply nylon. Chloroprene booties are four mm thick and double taped. The elastic suspenders have quick release buckles and are fully adjustable. The adjustable web wading belt also has a quick release buckle.
Chest pocket storage is 2-N-1 nylon ‘B.A.P.’ A chest handwarmer pocket is lined with fleece. The waders also have a zippered front pocket to keep essentials close at hand and an adjustable drawcord that ensures a customized secure fit.
Cost and Value
The Compass 360 Deadfall offers classic performance. The double chest pocket design wader is available at a terrific price. The big pocket is useful for storing keys, cameras, cell phones, or whatever should not get wet. The waders have many features found in wader that are more expensive. A pleased customer felt he could do no better for the price.
Good straps and connectors
Built-in gravel guards
The bag that comes with the wader is thin and may tear easily. The waders should be kept in something else.
12. Oakiwear Toddler & Children
Oakiwear Toddler & Children waders offer a lot of the same features that adults would. They are made from well insulated and warm neoprene, taped seams, adjustable belts, and a chest pocket. You junior outdoorsman will love wading through the water with you. They are available in camo as shown or pink camo for the junior outdoorslady. They also have built-in boots so you don't have to worry about them losing a shoe as kids typically do.
Kids grow fast. There's just no getting around it. As a parent, one of the most frustrating things is buying clothes kids only wear once only to have them outgrow it in two months. These waders feature adjustable opposing shoulder belts so they grow with your kid. They also have an adjustable waist belt and are designed specifically to be easy to get in and out of. They are also easy to clean and maintain.
Cost and Value
I don't know what it is about the prices of kids clothes. You would think that since it takes less material to make them they would cost less. This typically is not the case. Kids clothes often cost as much or more than adult clothes. These fishing waders are no exception to this rule. They cost about as much as an average priced adult pair would. However, having a great time with the next generation doing something you like to do is priceless. For this, the cost is worth it.
- fully-adjustable arm straps
- Built-in rubber boot
- Warm, insulating neoprene
- Available in classic camo or pink camo
- Chest sits low
3. Redington Crosswater Wader
It is surprisingly comfortable in any season. You will enjoy wearing them if you fish occasionally or head out frequently on fishing excursions. They will keep you comfortable and dry. Being sweaty and hot or cold and wet can ruin a fishing trip.
The high-quality fishing wader does not allow those circumstances to occur. Those getting their feet wet or seasoned vets are kept dry on their fishing adventures by the three-layer, breathable Crosswater wader.
Fabric and Construction
The waders are made of 100 percent polyester. The three-layer DWR coated fabric is waterproof and breathable. DWR stands for Durable Water Repellent. It is applied with a fluoropolymer based treatment.The technique is used in making jackets and hiking boots waterproof. The style is not quite that of more expensive Redington waders, but they are comfortable and do not limit flexibility.
Cost and Value
It is standard in the industry for seams to be stitched, taped, and glued. The price is what makes this wader special. You get a durable combination of seams and fabric for a low price. The waders will withstand the challenges of fishing. You cannot expect more from waders at this price.
Included belt loop with wading belt
YKK zippered flip-out pocket
High-density neoprene booties
Integrated gravel-guards with hook
The space around the waist may be tight for some people
7. FISHINGSIR Waterproof Insulated Breathable Nylon and PVC Cleated Wading Boots
All of the seams are taped. The waders feature durable quick-release buckles and H-back web suspenders. They are designed to keep you warm and dry. A reinforced double layer of protection at the knees aids in keeping you warm and makes the waders usable for a long time.
The manufacturer offers a waterproof phone case at no charge. The nylon material has been laboratory approved. Each pair of waders is turned inside out then filled with water to ensure it doesn’t leak. It is then hung to dry.
Its knitting density performance is approximately two and a half times higher than common nylon. The soft touch feel of the waders helps in maximizing time spent in the water. There are two front D-rings for attaching accessories.
They are 35 percent lighter than conventional rubber waders. The lightweight makes them easy to carry without becoming fatigued as you fight the big fish you catch. The waders have a top cord draw and flip-out chest pocket.
Value and Cost
There is a one-year quality assurance. Value ratings come from customers who purchase the product. A happy customer wrote about being pleasantly surprised by the inexpensive product’s good quality.
Another review said the waders were taken on an astrophotography adventure where a cliff had to be scaled down and a cave with seaweed and barnacles was entered during low tide. They had no effect on the waders.
100 percent waterproof
Adjustable elastic suspenders
Seams are sealed by heat welding
The belt can fall through the loops, making it a bit challenging to put on or take off at times.
11. Hodgman Caster Neoprene Cleated Bootfoot
These Hodgman waders have a few features that stand out from the rest. They include a fleece lined pocket as well as D- rings. The D- rings make it possible for you to connect equipment such as nets or anything else you might want to take with you into the water. They also feature a top entry pocket. This helps prevent water from seeping into the pockets.
Some boots that are incorporated into fishing waders have flat, felt lined tread. While these types of boots have benefits all their own they can leave a lot to be desired when it comes to traction in muddy river bottoms. Cleated boots will help you keep traction and improve mobility if you plan on taking them into water that may have a stronger current on loose mud.
Cost and Value
The Hodgman Caster Neoprene waders come at a mediocre, if not slightly higher, price range. Neoprene is a modern material compared to canvas or rubber. The features and cleated boots are well worth the price
- Top-entry pocket
- Fleece Lined Pocket
- Rear D-ring and Two D Rings on front
- Y-back suspender straps
- Recomended to order one size up.
13. TideWe Bootfoot Chest Wader
The H-back design of the suspenders offer a few benefits in these waders. Not only are they comfortable but they may be a little easier to get on and off. These waders also offer a cinching drawstring at the top to ensure that you stay dry and safe while in the water. The waist belt is good for keeping the waders fixed or if you want to unstrap the shoulder belts.
One of the good things about these waders is that they have incorporated features that are typically found in more expensive items. Along with things like H-back belts and cinching drawstring they have taped seams to keep the water out and help keep heat in.
Cost and Value
These waders almost gained the best value spot in the top three. They are affordable and great for casual wear. However, nylon and PVC does almost nothing for moisture wicking. This may make condensation and sweat build up inside the waders. Also, they may lack what is needed by way of durability. If you are doing light activities and don't intend to try to push it these are a great option.
- taped seams
- dry and warm
- H-back web suspenders
- Reported to run small
6. LONECONE Kids and Toddlers Adjustable Neoprene Chest Waders
The waders are made of durable neoprene fabric. They are meant to be long-lasting and warm. The seams are fully taped and the waders feature neoprene insulation. Good mesh vents make them very breathable.
The moisture wicking pushes moisture from sweat out to the fishing waders exterior. You will not feel uncomfortable or overheated. You won’t soak in your own sweat. The rugged tread pattern offers balance and traction on wet surfaces. Better grip means fewer falls and slips.
Lone Cone Chest Waders were designed for kids. The waders are fully adjustable for waist width and shoulder heights. They are easy to adjust for a proper fit every time you wear them. Kids don’t grow out of them quickly.
The waders are easy to keep clean. The pliable fabric and simple design make putting them on and taking them off easy. They can be worn with socks or without. Classic brown and green camouflage is ideal for outdoor activities that appeal to boys and girls of any age.
Cost and Value
Lone Cone Adjustable Chest Waders are waterproof and durable. They provide protection in cold water. The waters are well-ventilated and breathable. They have a high-quality structure design.
They are likely the best youth wader on the market. Customers comment they are satisfied with the purchase. The waders ended what one customer was afraid would be a never ending search. They are strong and sturdy waders that are worth the price.
Waterproof neoprene material
Rubber boots built-in
Keeps you dry and warm
Could use more pockets
7. Adamsbuilt Truckee River Wader
Just like Orvis, Adamsbuilt prides itself on using high-grade materials for its waders. That means going out of their way to implement premium microfiber fabric without compromising the overall weight of the wader.
Features and Specifications
Adjustable suspenders and quick release belt
Reinforced knees and seats
Attached gravel guards
Inside flip-out accessory pocket
Adamsbuilt has introduced another of the expensive waders on the list, so customers should factor in the cost vs. value. You’re getting a product that is built tough, so it won’t need to be replaced anytime soon.
This is a serious wader for the serious customer that wants the best protection without being restricted by his equipment. Over the years you can bet on an Adamsbuilt wader outlasting even your best pair of jeans.
- Tough, strong and can take punishment
- Reinforced with four layers
- Hand warmer pocket is lined
- Great breathability
- Medium size may be a bit long
1. Caddis Two Toned Taupe Deluxe
The company realized that it isn’t just about tall, and has made sizes appropriate for any type of wearer. Starting with their medium sizes they also include a stout option, making them the only company on the list to do that. These wide varieties of size options make it possible for you to find the wader that fits you perfectly.
Features and Specifications
Stockingfoot deluxe breathables
Attached gravel guards
Seams are taped, glued and stitched
Sitting at a high price, buyers should have no trouble purchasing this wader since it is the most recommended one. There is no doubt on the value you’re getting, and it will provide great protection when you’re wading in water.
The best on the list by a good margin, Caddis Wading Systems really made a lot of people happy with this creation. Give it a try and join the many satisfied customers that have called this the best in the industry.
- No size is unaccounted for
- Four pockets with great protection
- Stocking foot is the best of its kind
- Protection is abundant without limited movement
- Doesn’t come with boots
3. Allen 118-Brule Wader
The nylon construction is a good match for the rest of the model, and is surprisingly durable. Rips will be a thing of the past with their nylon mashup, which also doesn’t add any significant weight.
Features and Specifications
Available from sizes 7-13
Adjustable web suspenders
2 ply upper and cleated soles
Allen Company has priced this at around the low-mid tier, which is just about right for what is being offered. Buyers will love the simplicity of the wader while also praising its durability.
Sometimes keeping things simple is the best way to go with a product. This wader gives you everything you need to be satisfied and has very few shortcomings.
- Their nylon material is very strong
- Keeps you dry even when things get tough
- Can withstand a considerable amount of punishment
- So light that you will forget it is on
- The drawstring top is a hit or miss depending on the person
The tool pocket can be considered an underappreciated feature, yet the custom pocket will get the most use- even more than the zipper pocket. It’s convenient and makes reaching for things in a pinch less of a hassle.
Features and Specifications
100% Nylon with 4 layers
Forcep dock and Hypalon retractor dock
Hand warmer pockets with brushed micro-fleece
This is another high priced wader, with the biggest XXL size being the priciest. Due to all the custom touches, buyers will still get a good deal.
Redington really added a lot of custom work to make this different than the other waders on the list. It needs a little breaking in, but will end up being one of your finest waders yet.
- Lots of pockets to store things
- Wader can be converted to waist high
- Several Redington custom touches
- Good insulation in colder environments
- Reinforced areas are not forgiving to movement
There is no guesswork when it comes to the sizing of their wader, with the company using an easy to access sizing list from 6-11. There is a point to point dimensions of each size, and they generally don’t run long on the bottoms.
Features and Specifications
PVC+0.55mm knitted fabric
Meets A9 standard
Two layered high-temperature welding
Antiskid shoe bottoms
The price is low, but the components made to build it are good. Buyers will be very satisfied with the value of this wader if they plan on buying more than one type.
The company managed to make it far on the list thanks to some really thorough research on sizing. You will get more than your money’s worth with this purchase, even if you don’t bulk buy.
- Suspenders are made to stay out of your way
- Waterproof with some really superior layer protection
- Great sizing choices provides comfortable wear for all
- PVC material is tough but light
- Inner bag is average
11. Sougayilang Boot-Foot Chest Waders
The heat welded seams are only part of the flexible and durable PVC construction of the waders. A comfortable built-in boot helps keep the feet protected and warm. They have one chest pocket.
They provide great protection any time you wear them in cold water. The waders are extremely breathable. They feature mesh vents that aid in moisture-wick. Sweat doesn’t build up in the waders, making them uncomfortable. There is adequate ventilation to keep from overheating.
The waders have strong, durable, adjustable suspenders. Quick release buckles are used to adjust the suspenders. The well-made wader in green camouflage blends well with the outdoor environment.
The waders have a generous cut for comfort and cleated rubber soles. The utility waders keep you dry from your chest to your toes in any messy situation, while farming or hunting,and on fishing adventures. A customer was so pleased with the fit he said they felt as if they were tailor-made.
Cost and Value
The best evaluation of value and cost comes from those who purchase the product. Reviews say the waders sell for a great price, are hard to beat, and have good quality. Other customers liked the fit, said they were made well, and worth the money. Even a person who felt the waders tended to roll around the ankles on dry land stated they had a great price.
Straps are a bit difficult to adjust
Insufficient number of pockets
9. Allen 128-Advantage
Wearing waders is like having armor on, so restricted movement in some areas will be a pain if they aren’t set up properly. Allen Cattail handled this by putting in reinforced knee pads so that it is not only comfortable to bend, but safe to kneel.
Features and Specifications
Nylon knit and laminated to 3.5 mil neoprene
Adjustable web suspenders
Semi-hard toe cap and steel arch support
At such a high price, the durability will become a question over the course of their use. If you aren’t ultra-tough on your waders, then the price fits the value for this model.
Allen Cattail makes some really good waders, and they always get high marks. This one is no different, and will give you the protection you need whenever you put it on.
- Reinforced in key areas to protect
- 1000 grams of thinsulate insulation in boots
- Hand warmer pockets
- High back design helps with support
- Not as tough as the other waders on the list
How To Make The Best Decision When Choosing A Wader
Never settle for one wader, and always have one of each. That means one rubber wader and one nylon/or neoprene wader. They each serve their purposes, and you don’t want to be caught in an uncomfortable position. At the very least you will have a backup if something happens to your main wader, with the prices now low enough that it is justified to own several of them.
Criteria Used to Evaluate the Best Fishing Waders
There are several different types of material from which fishing waders are typically made. Each type of material has its attributes. Each also has its benefits and drawbacks. Traditionally fishing waders were created out of thick waterproof canvas. Modern times and technology brought about the use of rubber and then later, neoprene, and GORE-TEX. Current fishing waders also often have other elements included in the design such as PVC.
As stated before, each material has its strengths and weaknesses:
Rubber: Rubber waders are often cheaper, easier to fix, and seal out water. However, they also keep moisture in, are hot and heavy and can also be super rigid. Since rubber waders do nothing for moisture management inside the wader, they often develop a particular smell that, if not washed thoroughly after every use, can linger and grow.
Canvas: These waders are a bit tougher than rubber. You can patch canvas, and they last a little longer. But they are also bulky and rigid. Canvas is the preferred option for professionals when it comes to fishing in areas that have a lot of debris and rocks. While rubber is also easy to patch it is susceptible to punctures and tears if you are faced with underwater debris or rocks.
Breathable Materials: There are also materials such as GORE-TEX that is classified as a breathable wader. Having fishing waders that are made from breathable material sounds a bit counterproductive. After all the whole point of a wader is to be waterproof. However, what they mean by breathable is the capability to wick away moisture. Many other wading materials do not do much for managing the sweat that is produced while being worn. Perspiration leads to uncomfortable irritation, rashes, and sometimes foul-smelling waders. Breathable waders are unparalleled regarding comfort and being lightweight. However, they cost more and usually do not do well in colder climates unless you wear additional layers of clothes under them.
Neoprene: This is the material from which a lot of wetsuits are made. There are varying levels of thickness that offer different levels of insulation and durability. Neoprene is probably the most popular material used for waders today. They are a bit lighter than canvas and rubber, are easier to take care of, and often come with patches that can be placed on the wader should a rip or puncture occur. Neoprene is an excellent material for colder water but does not do anything for wicking away sweat.
When selecting the right fishing waders, think about where, when and how often you will be using them. Keep in mind the qualities and drawbacks of each material so you can decide which material is best suited for you.
Perhaps one of the most critical aspects of a pair of fishing waders is the fit. If a pair of waders is the wrong fit, functionality, as well as comfort, is sacrificed. Again, look at when you will be wearing them. The outdoorsman who uses waders during the colder seasons might wear a pair of waders that are one size larger than they would wear in warmer months. The larger size makes room for a base layer. This room is especially important if you have a material that is not well insulated. Cold weather and water can be a lethal combination so pay particularly close attention to these details.
There are different styles of waders available on the market. This list is comprised mainly of chest-high waders. There are also knee high, over the knee, and hip high waders. The type you choose is again based on your activity. If you are mostly buying waders for fishing as your primary activity, chest high waders are an excellent choice. However, if you plan on going camping or hiking and plan on doing some fishing while you are out, the less bulky options might be better suited for you. While chest high waders offer the most protection, they can be hard to pack.
Another thing to consider is boot fit waders or bootless waders. Waders that have the boots included are the better option when it comes to overall insulation, protection, and durability. But they can also be bulky and harder to pack. Bootless waders are more convenient when it comes to the hiker or camper, but then you have to buy wading boots as well as waders.
To find the best fit for you always check the manufacturers sizing chart. The sizing of one company may differ significantly than that of another. Measure your inseam without shoes on. Also, take measurements while wearing the clothes you would be wearing while using the waders. Wearing clothes will take into account any base layer you may have on during colder trips.
Without proper fitting gear, you will have to endure annoyances such as rashes, leaks, or even abrasions. Be if no other advice is taken be sure to follow through on steps to get appropriately sized waders.
Somethings what may seem like an afterthought can be of great importance when it comes to a product’s features and accessories. For fishing waders, think about where you are going to be. Usually, it is in the middle of a stream or pond. You don’t want to have to keep wading back and forth to shore if you need something.
Many waders feature pockets. Some feature a pocket on the inside of the wader for things you want to keep dry such as your phone or other gear that could be damaged by water. Pockets are convenient when you find yourself in the middle of any activity that involves both of your hands but need access to tools and gear. Another feature a wader might have are D rings so you can clip accessories onto the wader for easy access.
Another consideration to make regarding the features of fishing waders are the buckles on the straps as well as how the straps run. Specific buckles are easier to work with than others and can offer a lot by way of safety. And speaking of safety, it is vital if you are going into deeper waters to find a pair of waders that offer a cinching top. The top keeps water from spilling over the top. Should the unthinkable happen, and you were to fall over the waders will fill with water quickly and make it hard if not impossible to stand back up and maneuver back to safety.
As you can see, accessories and features of fishing waders are not mere selling points. Many of them have very practical purposes and can make your day on the water safer and more enjoyable.
Q: Are Boots Important With Waders That Use Stocking Boots?
A: Some of the waders on the list don’t come with boots, instead opting for reinforced stockings. That doesn’t mean boots weren’t meant to be worn with them, but it is optional. If you find that an area you will be using them in may cause discomfort without boots, then, by all means, put some on. It seems the with boots or without boots debate is an ongoing argument. Each has good qualities. But getting built in waders will save you from having to buy boots separately. Booted waders also offer more by way of insulation and protection. If you are looking to buy wading boots you will come across different types of material on the tread. The most common types are felt and cleated rubber. Felt is good for gaining traction on slippery surfaces such as boat docks and ramps and the cleats are superior when getting traction on muddy surfaces.
Q: Will Extra Pockets Make A Difference?
A: You may not notice at first, yet the repeated use of a wader will show you the importance of having multiple pockets. Waders with multiple pockets are wonderful, allowing you full access to an unlimited supply of accessories. It all depends on your style and needs. It is always helpful however to have more areas of storage than less. Some waders feature an extra “dry” pocket to keep your phone or device in. However, if you are not looking for any distractions and just want to ignore calls and emails for awhile this pocket might not be the first on your list of priorities. Storage areas or D rings will allow you to keep your equipment handy and keep you from having to go back and forth to the shore to get equipment.
Q: How Do You Clean And Maintain Waders?
A: As with any outdoor expedition, the trip is not over when you get home. The sooner you unpack and clean everything the longer your equipment will last and the more use you will get from it. When you get home it is recommended that you hang up your waders as soon as possible so they can dry. Make sure both the insides and outsides of your waders are dry by hanging them somewhere inside. Open all of the pockets and turn everything inside out including the waders themselves when the outside appears dry.
Every now and then it is important to actually wash the things. Most are machine washable but be sure to check the manufacturer’s recommendations. Over time if the waders are not washed they may begin to break down and become useless. If you are machine washing use detergent without fabric softener or dyes. For waders that are not machine washable, they can be cleaned in a tub or by using a spray cleaner. Some waders have a water-resistant coating on the outside that will also deteriorate over time. This DWR coating can be reapplied.
Rips, tears, and wholes are almost unavoidable. A lot of manufacturers offer patches or other ways to keep your gear functioning at its best.
- Bass Pro Shops: You Need to Know These 5 Things When Choosing Fishing Waders
- L.L Bean: Three Steps to the Best Wader Fit
- Duranglers: Buying Waders Online
- Deneki Outdoors: Universal Fly Fishing Tips
- Orvis: Fly Fishing Waders Care
- You Need to Know These 5 Things When Choosing Fishing Waders, May 22, 2013 ,
- Three Easy Steps to the Best Wader Fit, Jan 02, 2018 ,
- Buying Waders Online, May 15, 2015 ,
- Dry Out Your Gear: Universal Fly Fishing Tips, Feb 13, 2010 ,
- FLY FISHING WADER CARE & REPAIR, Jan 02, 2019 ,