Not everyone likes to fish from the comfort of their boat or from the shore. Many anglers realize that some of the most fun fishing happens when they go right into the fish’s watery environment to get the job done. Most notably it takes a rod and reel setup that can handle wet conditions and a good pair of waders. Since fishing is a popular sport there are many wader brands to choose from. The trick is determining which pair of waders will best fit your own personal fishing needs.
We will discuss many things about fishing waders that will help you decide what are the best fishing waders for you. That will be done by pointing out the key characteristics of waders to focus on when shopping for them. If you don’t want to do a lot of research yourself we have also done some helpful fishing wader reviews. Our goal is to give you lots of well-rounded information on fishing waders.
Best Fishing Waders Comparison Chart
Piscifun Breathable Chest Waders
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TideWe Bootfoot Chest Wader
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Compass 360 Deadfall Breathable STFT Chest Wader
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FISHINGSIR Fishing Chest Waders
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OXYVAN Waders Waterproof Lightweight Fishing Waders
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KOMEX Chest Waders
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Best Fishing Wader Reviews – Top Picks 2020
Here is what we feel are the best fishing wader buys:
1. Piscifun Breathable Chest Waders
Here is a really nicely designed pair of breathable fishing waders from Piscifun. They are OK for wading into the water to fish in both warm and cool weather. These fishing waders have proven to be both durable and comfortable to use while fishing. They also have stocking feet which is great for those that like to choose their own footwear to use while wading.
These chest waders are made out of a 3-layer lightweight polyester fiber material. Although they are thick, they still will not bog you down as you move because they weigh less than 3-pounds. Their 100% waterproof material also wicks away moisture so you dry out quickly.
Included with your purchase is an adjustable elastic 1.5-inch belt with quick-release buckle. Other nice features in these waders include a zippered waterproof pocket and an open center pocket to help keep your hands warm. These also come with Piscifun’s 30-day no reason guarantee and a full 1-year warranty.
2. TideWe Bootfoot Chest Wader
Here is a very nice lightweight and breathable fishing wader from TideWe. They are made of nylon-reinforced PVC coated material. They are on average 35% lighter than the same size waders made out of neoprene. This 2-ply pair of waders are guaranteed to be 100% waterproof too. The seams on this style wader are also taped to provide even more water protection.
This affordable pair of fishing chest waders have other nice features built into them too. These include their adjustable H-back webbed suspenders with tough plastic quick-release buckles. They include a flip-out storage pocket and an above the waist belt to secure them and keep water out.
These waders also have 100% waterproof non-slip boots built right into them. TideWe will even include a waterproof phone case as a free gift when you purchase them. The company recommends ordering one size larger than their chart indicates if you have wide feet.
3. Compass 360 Deadfall Breathable STFT Chest Wader
Here is a really well-designed pair of breathable chest waders from Compass. The company thought of virtually everything when they did their design. It has such helpful features as adjustable elastic suspenders that fasten tightly with fast-release buckles. There is also a 2-in-1 centered chest pocket with zipper, a flip-out security pocket, and a fleece-lined pass-through pocket to help keep your hands warm.
These stocking style waders are made out of durable 4-ply nylon. They are also nicely reinforced in the knee and shin area to help protect against wear. The stocking part of them is made out of stretch neoprene to help ensure proper fit.
The nylon material they are made of allows for maximum movement while wearing them. It also helps keep them lightweight at less than 3-pounds. To help ensure proper fit, there is an included adjustable waist belt and a chest area drawcord. Compass also makes these waders in several different sizes.
4. FISHINGSIR Fishing Chest Waders
This is an affordable and very functional pair of chest waders. They are made using a lightweight nylon/PVC blend material. This material blend also makes this boot style wader 100% waterproof. These FISHINGSIR waders will keep you warm and dry all day long so you can enjoy your fishing adventure.
For an economical pair of fishing waders they have several built-in features. These include such things as adjustable elastic suspenders and a fully adjustable waistband too. There are put together using precision stitching machines and heat weld seams. Also built into them are a convenient chest pocket and a top drawstring.
The attached boots are made of all rubber and come with a slip-resistant sole. The entire wader weighs just under 6-pounds. The manufacturer even includes a waterproof sunglasses case with purchase. These FISHINGSIR fishing chest waders also come with a complete money-back satisfaction guarantee.
5. OXYVAN Waders Waterproof Lightweight Fishing Waders
These are a very nice and moderately priced pair of boot style waders from OXYVAN. They will make any day spent fishing in the water warmer and more enjoyable. The lightweight 70D nylon/PVC material that they are made of ensures this. It also makes these chest-high fishing waders from OXYVAN 100% waterproof.
Other nice features on these fishing waders include reliable heat melted glued seams to help them stay watertight. They also feature adjustable shoulder straps and an easy-on adjustable belt. There is a built-in inner pocket with key loop so you can keep your important valuables with you while fishing.
The boots are attached to the wader body using reliable high heat compression. These attached boots also have a solid slip-resistant tread. Weighing less than 6 pounds makes these chest waders lightweight and comfortable enough to wear for farming, outdoor work and other uses besides fishing too.
6. KOMEX Chest Waders
Here is a durable and lightweight pair of chest waders from KOMEX. They are perfect for fishing on warm and cool days. This wader is made out of durable and 100% waterproof nylon with PVC coating. The heat-welded seams on them keep out water and help make them more durable too. They are also very affordably priced for all they have to offer the anglers that wear them.
Nylon fishing waders are up to 35% percent lighter than their heavier neoprene cousins. Not only does the nylon material in them help keep these waders lightweight but it also allows air to pass through them to keep the user cooler on hot fishing days.
There are many other features to like on these KOMEX fishing waders too. They include such things as H-back adjustable suspenders with quick-release buckles and a quality waist belt. There is even a built-in chest pocket for storing such items as cell phones wallets.
7. Yiwu Bode Chest-High Cleated Fishing Waders
This is a very interesting chest wader that’s made by Yiwu Bode. They combine a camouflaged upper with attached boots to make a wader that’s perfect for fishing or hunting. These waders make a nice hot, warm, and cool weather fishing accessory. They are made out of a tough nylon material that is PVC coated to make it 100% waterproof.
Other features include a sturdy one size fits all waist belt and highly adjustable H-back suspenders with rigid plastic quick-release buckles. The seams are heat welded together to help keep these waders waterproof for many years to come.
Even the attached boots on this pair of waders are quality made. The extra thick gum-rubber outsoles are even cleated. So your feet stay warm when wearing them and you have better protection against slipping and falling. Yiwu Bode also stands behind these affordable and durable chest waders with a 100% quality guarantee.
Why Wear Waders?
There are many types of fishing that require an angler to wade in the water to best do them. Examples of this are surf fishing. People like to wear waders when doing these fishing activities for several reasons. If the water is cold the fishing waders will help keep you warm because they insulate you from the cold water. Most waders’ are also waterproof so the cold water does not come into direct contact with your body. This helps you keep fishing longer in cold weather or when standing in cold water for long periods of time.
Fishing Wader Buying Guide
Before you can start looking for a new pair of fishing waders, you should ask yourself a few important questions. These include:
What to Consider when Buying a Fishing Wader
- What type of fishing will you be doing when wading? Steam fishing is much less rough on a pair of waders than ocean or river fishing.
- How deep will the water be? The deeper the water the higher the height your waders have to be.
- What will be the air and water temperature? If you are fishing in colder water or on cold days you will want thicker ply fishing waders.
- Do you need 100% waterproof waders? If so then your waders will have to be made of completely waterproof material.
- Will you be wearing your own boots? If so you will choose stocking type waders.
Once you have the answers to these questions, it will help you narrow down your fishing wader choices before you start your shopping for a new one.
A List of the Most Important Fishing Wader Features & Specifications
Here are some of the main traits and characteristics of fishing waders to consider when shopping for a pair:
Of course, size and fit are two of the most important characteristics of fishing waders to consider. That’s because it does not matter how functional or waterproof your fishing waders are if they are uncomfortable to wear. It’s essential to get the correct size wader and you have some adjustability built into it to make it fit.
To get the right size wader for you it’s very important to follow the manufacturers sizing chart very closely. After all, no one knows better how a pair of wader’s best fit than the company that made them.
Most manufacturers will also tell you to go up one size if you are planning on wearing heavy clothing or thick socks under your waders in cold weather. Failure to do this last step can result in your waders being too uncomfortable to wear for long. That will shorten any fishing day considerably.
If you are purchasing boot style waders both the size of the waders and the shoe size must fit you. Otherwise, you might feel a big amount of foot discomfort after just a few hours of fishing.
Another consideration regarding fit is the suspenders and belt that come with a pair of fish waders. The more adjustable suspenders and a waist belt are the better you can make your waders fit. H-back suspenders are the preferred type of suspender to have on waders because they keep them firmly in place. Suspenders and belts not only contribute to fit but they also will help keep you safer as you fish too.
There are three different heights that fishing waders traditionally come in and they include:
These are the shortest style of waders as they are more like chaps than traditional fishing waders. They are used mainly for fishing in creeks and other very shallow bodies of water.
Those in the industry probably should have just called these wading pants. That’s because they essentially are just that. They are best used in shallow rivers or creeks where the water current is not strong at all.
These are by far the most popular type of fishing waders. That’s because the essentially guarantee that you will stay dry when fishing in any body of water that does not go over your hips.
It’s very important to select waders that have the right material for the time of year that you fish and for the type of conditions that you fish under. Some types of fishing require more durable materials like neoprene and nylon that’s PVC coated while less harsh conditions are ok to wear polyester or nylon waders in.
Neoprene and nylon coated waders offer more insulation when fishing in colder weather. Nylon and polyester blend waders allow more airflow through them so they are great to use in hot and warm fishing months.
Keep in mind the more ply’s of material a fishing wader has the more durable it is and the warmer it will keep you.
Wader materials and their best uses will be discussed in more detail later on in this article.
Boot or Stocking Feet
These days there is a lot of variety when it comes to wader features and materials. One of the choices an angler has is whether they want bootfoot or stocking foot waders. Each has its share of advantages and disadvantages. These too will be discussed in more detail following this buying guide.
Having pockets and accessories that come with or are built into your waders are good to have. Such things as waterproof storage pockets make great places to keep keys and wallets that you don’t want to leave behind in your vehicle. So if you can get waders with pockets or come with other accessories it’s a nice bonus. Our *tackle bag buying guide* will help you find the perfect tackle bag which also makes for a great fishing accessory.
How to Choose Fly-Fishing Waders
In order to pick the right waders for fly fishing you have to consider all of the following:
- Fly fishing is often done in warmer or only slightly cooler months. So you don’t want waders that are insulated or made out of non-breathable materials.
- It requires you to be constantly moving so you don’t want a wader made out of restrictive type material.
- The bottom conditions can be different wherever you go fly fishing, so you want stocking style feet on your waders. This allows you to use different boots for different bottom conditions.
Given all of these factors, it makes polyester blend or nylon waders the best match for fly fishing enthusiasts.
Check out our fishing hat reviews if you want to find a hat to compliment your new waders while fishing.
What Is the Best Wader Material?
This is certainly not an easy question to answer. That’s because different types of wader materials work best under different conditions. It’s also true that some materials significantly drive up the price for waders. This can take them out of the acceptable price range for anglers that are on a tight budget.
Here are the four main types of materials that waders are made out of and their best uses:
This for a time was by far the most popular type of material used in making fishing waders. Waders made out of neoprene fit snuggly and had a high insulation value when used in colder weather. It’s also a very waterproof type of material that is cut-resistant and does not puncture easily. This wader material is still a favorite of those that fish during cold weather or in tough surf fishing conditions were the water is always cold.
Nylon with PVC coating
Waders made out of Nylon with a PVC coating are now some of the most popular types of fishing waders. This has a lot to do with the fact that this material is highly waterproof. It also has to do with this keeping the cost down on the price of a pair of waders. This material is also very versatile. It’s somewhat breathable so it can be used in warmer months but it offers enough insulation value to be used in all but the coldest weather too. It’s also a very durable material that is easy to maintain.
When special nylon is used to make a pair of waders it makes for some of the highest quality waders you will find in the marketplace. It also drives the cost of them up considerably too. Most anglers that own nylon waders will tell you they feel great when on and stay comfortable all day long. This is true even in warm or hot weather because it’s a very breathable material. They are a favorite of fly fisherman and those that fish while standing in slow-moving rivers or creeks.
Many anglers dream of owning polyester blend waders. That’s because these types of fishing waders are extremely lightweight and comfortable. They also do a decent job of keeping someone warm while fishing in all but the coldest weather. Polyester blend waders are also a very good warm and hot weather wader. This is because the material does a nice job of letting air pass through it. Waders made out of a polyester blend also tend to wick moisture nicely and dry fast.
Neoprene Waders Vs Breathable Material Waders
For those who like to fish standing in a body of water, both neoprene and breathable waders offer advantages and disadvantages. Here are the biggest advantages and disadvantages of both types of waders.
This is the perfect choice for those that like wading into water during the colder months. They are also preferred even if the weather is warm but the water is still very cold. Neoprene material is not breathable so it insulates your body from the cold better than breathable material waders do.
These types of waders are preferred by those who fish in the warmer months or when it’s cool outside. Since they are breathable that means the air can get to your body and you don’t get as hot while fishing. Fishing in neoprene waders makes you hot even when fishing during slightly cooler weather.
BootFoot Vs Stocking Foot Waders
These are the two main choices in the types of feet you will find attached to the bottom of fishing waders. Here are the advantages that each of them offers you:
Bootfoot waders offer more convenience than their stocking foot wader counterparts. That’s because they are easy to put on and you don’t have to worry about selecting separate boots to wear. They are known to provide more warmth than stocking foot waders too. Bootfoot waders are also great for fishing in sandy areas and areas where there is heavy sediment or a lot of gravel. They do a better job of keeping these particles out of your boots than stocking foot waders do.
Stocking foot waders
For anglers that like to fish in different fishing conditions and do different types of fishing, they often choose stocking style waders. That’s because they can select boots to wear with them that fit their current fishing conditions. Stockingfoot waders are also easier to pack and store than boot foot waders are. Most stocking foot waders are also machine washable which makes them simple to keep clean.
Choosing proper fitting stocking style waders is like choosing fishing gloves; you want them to be snug but comfortable.
Wading Safety / What to Wear and Bring
If wading is not done slowly and under the proper conditions it can become dangerous and life-threatening. These are some extremely important wading safety that you must be aware of to stay safe while fishing in waders.
There is one very important safety tip to always keep in mind when wading. Just because your waders go up to your chest does not mean you should go into water that deep. If you do, you run the risk of your waders filling up. When this happens the weight of the water in your waders may overcome you and drag you under. This quite likely will result in a life-threatening situation. A good general rule of thumb when wading is to never go into water that is over waist-high.
Here are some other wading safety tips:
- Never wade into water that’s flowing very swiftly because the current may knock you over. This could lead to drowning as your waders fill with water
- Do not enter into water with your waders where the bottom is very soft and muddy. This could make maintaining your footing very treacherous
- A belt is an essential piece of equipment when wading. Make sure your wader belt is always as tight as possible without being uncomfortable. This will help keep your waders from filling up quickly in the event of a mishap
- Having a retractable wading staff with you is a good way to check water depth as you are walking
- If you fish in a river stand sideways to the current for better support
- It’s never a bad idea when fishing using waders to fish in groups of 2 or more for safety purposes
- Patience and common sense should always be at the forefront when wading
Looking After Your Waders
Even though waders are made out of some tougher type materials, this material still requires periodic care. Failure to maintain your waders properly will take away their ability to stretch and may cause dry rot too. Here are some care tips on fishing waders:
- Always clean your waders after wearing them. You do not ever want to leave mud, dirt or bio-matter on them. Soap and water applied with a wet cloth should do the trick.
- Never store your waders wet. This will cause mold and mildew buildup that will accelerate material break down. Not to mention, your waders will smell bad the next time you go to use them.
- Do not hang your waders in direct sunlight when drying them out.
- Breathable waders can be machine washed (It’s actually good for them) – waders made of other materials should never be washed. Never dry fishing waders in a dryer.
- Storing waders flat or hanging them works best. If you can’t do this, then rolling them up is much better than folding them.
- Always thoroughly rinse your waders with water after saltwater fishing.
Fishing Wader FAQ’s
Here are some questions about fishing waders that we are asked repeatedly:
- Question: Are neoprene waders ok to use when fishing in warmer weather?
Answer: This is one you might want to stay away from because neoprene is not a very breathable material. You may get pretty hot while fishing. A better choice would be breathable waders made out of lighter materials such as nylon or polyester.
- Question: What are the best waders for fishing from in the surf?
Answer: The general consensus here is it does not matter as much the type of material you choose for surf fishing waders as it does the style of feet. Bootfoot waders do a much better job of keeping sand and gravel from getting into your boots than stocking feet waders do.
- Question: My friend told me that neoprene waders are not good to fly fish in. Is that true?
Answer: Your friend is absolutely correct. Neoprene waders do not offer you the freedom of movement that anglers like to have when fly fishing. You will also work up a sweat in them very fast because neoprene is not a breathable material.
Best Fishing Wader Comparison Chart
|Product||Price||Fabric||# of Plys||BootFoot or Stocking Style?||Weight|
|Piscifun Breathable Chest Waders||$$$||Polyester||3||Stocking||3.2 lbs.|
|TideWe Bootfoot Chest Wader||$||Nylon||2||Boot||5.5 lbs.|
|Compass 360 Deadfall Breathable STFT Chest Wader||$$$||Nylon/PVC||3||Stocking||2.9 lbs|
|FISHINGSIR Fishing Chest Waders||$||Nylon/PVC||2||Boot||6.2 lbs.|
|OXYVAN Waders Waterproof Lightweight Fishing Waders||$||Nylon/PVC||2||Boot||5.9 lbs.|
|KOMEX Chest Waders||$||Nylon/PVC||2||Boot||5.9 lbs.|
|Chest Waders Cleated Fishing Hunting Waders||$||Nylon/PVC||2||Boot||5.5 lbs.|
Some Final Thoughts Regarding Fishing Waders
Without a doubt, fishing waders can make fishing while standing in water so much more comfortable. That is why they are such a popular part of many anglers fishing gear. They even work great when fishing from a boat as they will keep you warm and keep the fish and bait guts off your clothing too. Not to mention, they will keep you dry so you stay comfortable no matter how long you are out fishing.
Buying the best fishing waders for the budget you are working with is important too. Following the advice in our fishing wader buying guide will certainly help with that. We have also done some legwork for you by doing fishing wader reviews on the highest quality ones you will find in the sports marketplace. So use the information here wisely and you will surely find a pair of waders that meet your fishing needs.