Best Fishing Waders2018-11-26T17:00:13+00:00

Best Fishing Waders Reviewed

Fishing Wader Reviews - Fly Fishing Atlas

Buying fishing waders is much less complicated than most other fishing gear.  If you were buying a fly rod you would need to consider what fish you’ll be targeting, which rod weight to buy, what reel and line the rod will cast the best.

Waders are just not that complicated.  Fishing waders that keep you dry consistently, year after year, are praiseworthy, while leaky fishing waders are despised.

Realistically, there are some beneficial features besides waterproofing that add value to a set of fishing waders.  We will get into a good number of those details.  But if you want the short version here it is: If you fish frequently then you need a solid set of waders.  It is well worth it to spend a little cash on good waders.

 

Fishing Waders – Features To Consider

While fishing guides and anglers who want to buy the best-of-the-best will see benefits from the $600-$700 set of fishing waders, you can get a respectable set of waders for a lot less than that.  That is a big expense for someone just getting started in the sport, but it might make sense for experienced anglers.

  • Durability –  The question we always have with entry level waders is: are they durable?  Lets be realistic – there are plenty of entry level waders on the market that don’t last very long.  Bargain basement waders might seem easy on the pocketbook, but two or three pairs will cost you in the long term.
  • Comfort – Even high-end waders can fit like a huge pair of bloomers.  But excess material isn’t only uncomfortable.  It also tends to snag on brush and scuff on rocks as you walk and wade.  All that extra material is asking for eventual leaks.
  • The Right Fit – In our experience, having a proper fit is a big contributor to the durability of any wader.  Tight fit causes stretching of the waterproof seams, which also eventually causes leaking.  You want a slightly loose fit on the legs so you can add under-layering if needed, with additional length for when you need to sit or kneel down to net a fish.
  • Bonus Features – Chest waders with waist-high convertibility are great for warm weather.  A fleece lined pocket for hand warming, and another flip-out internal pocket at chest level can be nice for storage etc.  And most waders today have built-in gravel guards, and you’ll definitely need them to keep debris out of your boots.
  • Stockingfoot vs Bootfoot Waders – We recommend stockingfoot waders so you can swap your boots when needed.  Bootfoot waders are usually a little less expensive initially, but will cost you more long-term if your boots fail.  Your stockingfoot also needs to fit with enough room for warm socks when you wade in cold water.

 

Best Fishing Waders

Sometimes the gear budget is pulled in different directions, but you don’t need to let that keep you from wading your favorite waters.  Most anglers invest in a lot of gear and thankfully there are good wader options available that won’t break the bank.  These waders are our top picks.

These waders will keep you comfortable and dry.  And most importantly, they will keep you on the water!

Fishing Waders Comparison Chart

Preview
Top Choice
COMPASS 360 Deadfall Breathable STFT Chest Wader
Redington Palix River Waders
Best Price
Frogg Toggs Canyon II Breathable Stockingfoot Chest Wader
Hodgman H3 Stocking Foot Chest Waders
Caddis Men's Attractive 2-Tone Tauped Deluxe Breathable Stocking Foot Wader(DOES NOT INCLUDE BOOTS)
Material Layers
4 ply upper & double knee/leg
3 ply upper & double knee/leg
4 ply upper & lower
3 ply upper & lower
Double knees
Stockingfoot or Bootfoot
Stockingfoot
Stockingfoot
Stockingfoot
Stockingfoot
Stockingfoot
Sizing Variety
Excellent
Good
Average
Excellent
Excellent
Customer Rating
Price
from $119.95
from $104.91
from $60.38
from $58.66
from $69.25
Top Choice
Preview
COMPASS 360 Deadfall Breathable STFT Chest Wader
Material Layers
4 ply upper & double knee/leg
Stockingfoot or Bootfoot
Stockingfoot
Sizing Variety
Excellent
Customer Rating
Price
from $119.95
Details
Preview
Redington Palix River Waders
Material Layers
3 ply upper & double knee/leg
Stockingfoot or Bootfoot
Stockingfoot
Sizing Variety
Good
Customer Rating
Price
from $104.91
Details
Best Price
Preview
Frogg Toggs Canyon II Breathable Stockingfoot Chest Wader
Material Layers
4 ply upper & lower
Stockingfoot or Bootfoot
Stockingfoot
Sizing Variety
Average
Customer Rating
Price
from $60.38
Details
Preview
Hodgman H3 Stocking Foot Chest Waders
Material Layers
3 ply upper & lower
Stockingfoot or Bootfoot
Stockingfoot
Sizing Variety
Excellent
Customer Rating
Price
from $58.66
Details
Preview
Caddis Men's Attractive 2-Tone Tauped Deluxe Breathable Stocking Foot Wader(DOES NOT INCLUDE BOOTS)
Material Layers
Double knees
Stockingfoot or Bootfoot
Stockingfoot
Sizing Variety
Excellent
Customer Rating
Price
from $69.25
Details

1. Compass 360 Deadfall Fishing Waders

Our top choice in this category is the Deadfall waders from Compass 360.  Initially they caught our attention because of their great price and rock-solid reviews.  On top of that, they have an exceptionally comfortable fit and shape for entry level waders.   And after looking them over it became obvious that they are well made.

Thankfully Compass 360 builds their Deadfall waders with stout durability in mind.  You can fish these waders hard and know that the durable materials and 4-ply nylon construction will keep you dry.  Compass heavily reinforced the knees and lower leg by doubling layering to resist puncture and leaks that can occur from kneeling on abrasive materials.

Compass 360 Deadfall waders feature another important characteristic that contributes to their durability.  Their noteworthy fit and shape adds tremendously to the overall life-span of the waders by reducing seam stress and stretching.  Compass has a very accurate sizing chart for the Deadfall waders, so you can avoid big puffy waders and find the right fit.

The chest area features all the storage options you would expect from high-quality waders.  On the front you’ll find a large zippered pocket for storing your personal items.  For colder temperatures compass provides a comfortable fleece-lined hand warming pocket.  And a flip-out chest pocket is conveniently located for your keys, or any other extras you might need.

Compass 360 Deadfall Fishing Waders Specs:

Material: 4-ply Upper and Lower with double layered knee/leg, attached 4-ply gravel guards.

Stocking Foot: 4mm Chloroprene booties with double taped seams.

Storage: Huge zippered front chest pocket, flip-out security pocket, fleece lined hand warmer pocket.

Comfort Features: Adjustable suspenders with buckles, adjustable chest draw cord.

What Buyers Say:

Compass 360 Deadfall waders have a very impressive online reputation with great reviews and a huge majority of reviewers leaving 4 or 5 stars.

Compass 360 Deadfall Fishing Waders Pros:

  • Excellent fit and sizing selections
  • Good build quality
  • Reasonable pricing

Compass 360 Deadfall Fishing Waders Cons:

  • Could use more fleece lining in hand warming pocket

Compass 360 Deadfall waders have a proven reputation for quality and performance.  If you are in the market for an honest pair of rugged waders that have a great price, we recommend picking up a pair of Deadfall waders from Compass 360.

COMPASS 360 Deadfall Breathable STFT Chest Wader
72 Reviews
COMPASS 360 Deadfall Breathable STFT Chest Wader
  • 2-N-1 B.A.P Chest Pocket design with zippered storage and fleece lined pass through pocket for maximum storage
  • Flip out chest storage pocket, perfect for any device you don't want to get wet
  • Durable 4-Ply Nylon construction with reinforced 2 layer knee and shin reinforcement
  • 4mm foot fit stretch neoprene booties, ergonomically designed to prevent bunching and to fit each foot perfectly
  • Adjustable elastic suspenders with quick release buckle

2. Redington Palix River Fishing Waders

Redington offers a great line of fishing waders that strike a good balance between durability and reasonable pricing.  We really like their Palix River waders and gladly selected them for our second spot.

Redington’s Palix River waders are constructed from a 3 layer waterproof polyester fabric that is DWR coated to shed water.  The lower leg and knee is double layered to provide extra protection in this high-wear area.  You’ll be hard-pressed to find another wader that matches the durability of Redington Palix River waders at this price point.

Since finding a proper fit is one of the largest contributing factors to making your waders last, Redington’s Palix River Waders provide a wide range of sizes.  Palix River waders accommodate most anglers by providing 13 different sizes that vary in width and height.

Redington also hit the mark by making the neoprene booties have a slightly loose fit.  This is particularly important for cold-water wading where maintaining good circulation to your feet is essential.  The additional space also allows for warm socks when needed.

Redington Palix River Fishing Waders Specs:

Material: 3-ply 100% polyester material with double layered knee/leg, attached 3-ply gravel guards.

Stocking Foot: High density neoprene booties with double taped seams.

Storage: Zippered front chest pocket, flip-out pocket with YKK zipper, fleece lined hand warmer pocket.

Comfort Features: Adjustable suspenders with opposing buckles for waist high conversion.

What Buyers Say:

The Redington Palix River Waders have a solid reputation with 92% of online reviewers giving them a 4 or 5 star review.  Their solid construction and reasonable price make Redington Palix River waders worth considering if you are looking for a good pair of fishing waders.

Sale
Redington Palix River Waders
14 Reviews
Redington Palix River Waders
  • 100% polyester, 3-layer waterproof/breathable DWR coated fabric
  • Opposing buckles for easy Conversion to waist high
  • Chest pocket plus a flip out pocket with YKK zipper
  • Double layer knee for increased durability
  • The color of the Wader is Canyon/Boulder

3. Frogg Toggs Canyon II Waders

Our third choice for best fishing waders goes to the Canyon II waders from Frogg Toggs.  These waders offer the most economic pricing of our fishing wader choices.  They provide a comfortable fit and good protection for a reasonable price.

Frogg Toggs Canyon II Waders are constructed from a 4-ply waterproof nylon fabric.  The fabric is quite pliable and isn’t uncomfortable and stiff.  Many waders place reinforced areas only on the lower leg, but since the entire wader is 4-layers thick you’ll get good protection throughout.

We are big proponents for waders that fit well.  Waders fail at the seams much more than anywhere else.  With that in mind, it is important that your wader’s seams aren’t overly stressed when you bend down to tie a boot lace, or land a fish.  Canyon II’s are made to avoid seam stretching, so make sure you refer to the size size chart before ordering.

Another common point of failure for waders is in the foot.  Frogg Toggs reinforced the stockingfoot in the Canyon II as well.  With double taped seams, the 4 mm neoprene booties help to keep your feet dry and warm.

For personal storage, the Canyon II’s sport a zippered splash proof external chest pocket and a zippered flip-out internal chest pocket.  Other standard features include a wading belt and attached gravel guards to keep your boots clear of debris.  The suspenders are comfortable with a good range of adjustment.

Frogg Toggs Canyon II Fishing Waders Specs:

Material: 4-ply nylon upper, attached 3-ply gravel guards.

Stocking Foot: 4mm neoprene booties with double taped seams.

Storage: Splash proof zippered chest pocket, flip-out zippered internal pocket.

Comfort Features: Adjustable Y-back suspenders with quick release buckles.

What Buyers Say:

Online reviewers have a lot of good things to say about the Canyon II waders with a huge majority leaving 5 star ratings.  Buyers again and again mention the economical pricing and good durability.  Frogg Toggs Canyon II Waders are worth looking at if you are in the market for an affordable pair of stockingfoot waders.

Frogg Toggs Canyon II Breathable Stockingfoot Chest Wader
23 Reviews
Frogg Toggs Canyon II Breathable Stockingfoot Chest Wader
  • 4-ply nylon upper
  • Splash-proof zippered chest pocket
  • Adjustable wading belt with quick-release locking buckle
  • Attached gravel guards with integral lace hooks
  • Adjustable Y-back suspenders with quick-release locking buckles

4. Hodgman H3 Fishing Waders

Hodgman H3 waders are a great choice for anglers that are looking for good features without breaking the bank.  Hodgman has a reputation for making tough outdoor gear and keeping prices reasonable.

Hodgman builds their H3’s from a flexible 3-layer breathable waterproof shell.  Their lightweight and breathable properties allows vapor to escape if you work up a sweat so you don’t get that uncomfortable clammy feeling.

We were impressed to find the 3.5mm booties feature anatomically correct left and right feet.  That is not a common design for waders in this price range.  The stocking feet provide for a truly comfortable fit.  The gravel guards keep debris out of your boots and maintain that functional design by eliminating bulk around the ankle and shin.

H3’s feature a mesh zippered pocket that sits flush against the chest to allow vests and chest packs to be worn comfortably.  This pocket is also great for extra tippet spools.  You can run the tippet material through the mesh and pull out new tippet whenever you need it.

Hodgman includes a fleece lined hand warmer pocket for those cold spring days or cool evenings.  Also included is a wading belt with a rear loop to prevent loss in the case of an accidental drop.

Hodgman designed their H3’s to accept the Core INS removable insulation system (sold separately).  This system allows you to convert your waders for cold or warm weather.  The Core INS liner simply zips-in for cold weather.

Hodgman H3 Fishing Waders Specs:

Material: 3-ply upper and lower with attached low-profile gravel guards.

Stocking Foot: Anatomically correct left and right neoprene booties.

Storage: Zippered mesh front chest pocket, fleece lined hand warmer pocket, flip-out internal chest pocket.

Comfort Features: Adjustable Y-back suspenders with opposing Duraflex buckles for durability and waist high conversion.

What Buyers Say:

Buyers applaud the build quality of Hodgman’s H3’s and like the pockets and features.  The huge variety of sizes and styles is another strong point that is referenced frequently.  That is a big advantage since proper fit will significantly extend the lifespan of your waders.  We recommend looking over Hodgman’s sizing chart here so you can order the correct size.

Sale
Hodgman H3 Stocking Foot Chest Waders
51 Reviews
Hodgman H3 Stocking Foot Chest Waders
  • Breathable 3-Layer Upper And Lower For Sweat Vapor Transfer
  • Mesh Zippered Chest Pocket For Tippet And Large Leader Exit
  • Micro-Fleece Lined Hand Warmer
  • Y-Back Elastic Suspenders With Opposing Low Profile Duraflex Buckles
  • Anatomically Correct Left And Right Neoprene Booties

5. Caddis Deluxe Breathable Stockingfoot Waders

Our fifth choice goes to Caddis Deluxe Breathable Waders.  Caddis Wading Systems has a well established reputation for affordable wading gear that continues to exceed users expectations.

These waders offer CaddisDry™ Breathable Technology which reduces the discomfort of moisture build-up by allowing small vapor molecules to escape. Less moisture means a more comfortable and warmer wading experience when the water is cold.

To raise the bar on toughness Caddis stitched, glued, and taped all seams.  The stocking foot is particularly rugged with high desity neoprene with seams taped both inside and out.  In addition, they reinforced the knees and lower legs which are high-wear areas.

In the front you will find a large easy access hand-warming pocket to defrost your cold finders.  A zippered pocket is also available for more secure storage.  A huge assortment of styles and fit provides a comfortable fit for all anglers.

Sturdy heavy-duty polyester material is tough while also remaining soft and pliable for terrific range of motion. On top of all the great features, Caddis Deluxe Breathable Stockingfoot Waders have a very fair price. We recommend you check them out if you are in the market for fishing waders.

Caddis Deluxe Breathable Stockingfoot Waders Specs:

Material: Heavy Duty polyester with reinforced knees, attached gravel guards.

Stocking Foot: Double taped glued and stitched high density neoprene booties.

Storage: Zippered front chest pocket, hand warmer pocket.

Comfort Features: Adjustable H-style suspenders.

What Buyers Say:

The look and feel of these waders is a popular characteristic among buyers leaving reviews.  They mention their lightweight nature and sturdy feel.  Reviewers like the breathable properties of these waders when compared to the clammy feeling that neoprene can produce.  On top of that, they are very inexpensive.  Buyers oftentimes mention that they would buy again in a heartbeat.

Sale
Caddis Men's Attractive 2-Tone Tauped Deluxe Breathable Stocking Foot Wader(DOES NOT INCLUDE BOOTS)
360 Reviews
Caddis Men's Attractive 2-Tone Tauped Deluxe Breathable Stocking Foot Wader(DOES NOT INCLUDE BOOTS)
  • Comfortable 2 Tone Taupe stocking foot Breathable waders with double knee's, adjustable deluxe suspenders, new Quad pocket and attached breathable gravel guards.
  • Works great in all weather conditions to keep you warm and comfortable while fishing, clamming or working in your pond.
  • We use only the highest quality breathable material with a durable Poyester outer using CaddisDry technology that allows perspiration through, but keeps water out.
  • The feet are double taped glued and stitched to make sure your feet stay warm and dry. Boots should be purchased separately.
  • This family of waders has more adult sizes than any other wader series in our line. Men and women of most body sizes are addressed here.

What About High-End Fishing Waders?

If you have your heart set on buying the best waders money can buy, then we recommend the Simms G4Z Stockingfoot waders.  These are guide-grade waders and they receive rave reviews almost everywhere they are sold.

The two big features that put these waders in the top-tier are (1) the waterproof center‐front zipper, and (2) the two zippered chest pockets with built in retractors.  They provide very convenient features, but some die-hard Simms fans don’t want zippered access and integrated gear pockets.

With that in mind, another solid choice for premium waders are the Simms G4 Pro Stockingfoot Waders.  They just subtract the pockets and zippers of the G4Z waders, but they are about $100 off the G4Z price tag as well.  They still have the 5‐layer GORE‐TEX® in seat & legs which is one more layer than the G3 Guide waders.  We’ve found the G3 Guide waders to be super rugged, so the G4 Pro waders are even more so.

 

What If I Wear Layers Under My Fishing Waders?

If you hit the stream early then you know how the temperatures can change dramatically throughout the day.  Sometimes air temperatures can change by 35 degrees or more from morning to noon.  If you don’t get comfortable waders you’ll either be hot or cold depending on your layers.

A great option is to simply wear synthetic fleece pants under your waders for cold water fisheries.  Even on warm days having your legs submerged in 60 degree water all day will cool you off quick.  And for warm water fishing we suggest wearing a thinner synthetic to help wick moisture away.

One of the huge benefits of light weight breathable waders over materials like neoprene is that you can add or remove layers to prevent over-heating.

 

How Should I Maintain My Fishing Waders?

The number one killer of waders is trapped moisture.  Anglers tend to put in a long day on the water trying to land the big one, and gear maintenance takes the back seat.  Fishing waders are often put away wet without a chance to dry.  But if they are allowed to dry on the outside, typically the inside retains a small amount of trapped body moisture.  This is another reason manufacturers recommend turning stockingfoot waders completely inside-out.

  • Dry your waders – Dry the inside of the wader first, and then the outside.
  • Keep your waders clean – The inside of  fishing waders can get funky, so wash your waders.  We recommend gently hand washing them.  I’ve seen tangled clothes in a washer enough times to not trust the machine to wash my waders. Use cold water and normal detergent that does not contain bleach.  Once you have washed the waders make sure you dry them by drying the inside first.
  • Never place your waders in a dryer – The high heat of a dryer can soften the glues that keep the seams watertight.  With that in mind, storing your waders in a hot car will have the same effect and should be avoided.
  • Use waterproofing treatments – We use Revivex and apply it to our waders once or twice a year to make the water bead off the surface fabric, rather than soak in.  It is a simple process to apply the treatment and Revivex is a very inexpensive way to get the most out of your waders.

 

Amazon Fishing Waders

Anglers who are just getting started in the sport of fly fishing need entry level gear.  Even the most experienced fly anglers usually start with inexpensive fishing gear and upgrade as needed.  With that in mind we wanted to include some good entry level options.  These are Amazon’s top selling fishing waders:

SaleBestseller No. 1
Hodgman CASTCBC10 Caster Neoprene Cleated Bootfoot Chest Waders, Size 10, Brown
152 Reviews
Hodgman CASTCBC10 Caster Neoprene Cleated Bootfoot Chest Waders, Size 10, Brown
  • 3.5mm neoprene shell
  • Reinforced double-layer knees
  • Top entry pocket with fleece-lined pockets
  • 200g Thinsulate Rubber boot with cleated sole
  • Y-back elastic suspender straps with opposing buckles. Durable
SaleBestseller No. 2
Frogg Toggs Canyon II Breathable Stockingfoot Chest Wader, Gray, Size Medium
23 Reviews
Frogg Toggs Canyon II Breathable Stockingfoot Chest Wader, Gray, Size Medium
  • 4-ply nylon upper
  • Splash-proof zippered chest pocket
  • Adjustable wading belt with quick-release locking buckle
  • Attached gravel guards with integral lace hooks
  • Adjustable Y-back suspenders with quick-release locking buckles
SaleBestseller No. 3
Caddis Men's Attractive 2-Tone Tauped Deluxe Breathable Stocking Foot Wader, Large(DOES NOT INCLUDE BOOTS)
360 Reviews
Caddis Men's Attractive 2-Tone Tauped Deluxe Breathable Stocking Foot Wader, Large(DOES NOT INCLUDE BOOTS)
  • Comfortable 2 Tone Taupe stocking foot Breathable waders with double knee's, adjustable deluxe suspenders, new Quad pocket and attached breathable gravel guards.
  • Works great in all weather conditions to keep you warm and comfortable while fishing, clamming or working in your pond.
  • We use only the highest quality breathable material with a durable Poyester outer using CaddisDry technology that allows perspiration through, but keeps water out.
  • The feet are double taped glued and stitched to make sure your feet stay warm and dry. Boots should be purchased separately.
  • This family of waders has more adult sizes than any other wader series in our line. Men and women of most body sizes are addressed here.