8 Best Fly Fishing Waders: Reviewed, Rated & Compared

When you have the right gear you can fish better, plain and simple.  Wearing the proper apparel allows you to withstand the elements longer and more comfortably so you can focus on what you came to do.

Fly fishing especially requires the right equipment. It is important to have good comfortable waders in particular. If you are looking for quality fly fishing waders, then this review is for you.

Preview

Product

Material

Inseam

Check Price

Simms Mens Freestone Waterproof Stockingfoot...

Simms Freestone

Multi-layered Toray quadralam fabric

31”-36”

CA9901W-M Caddis Men's Breathable...

Caddis Men's Taupe

Heavy-duty nylon

32”-38”

TIDEWE Bootfoot Chest Wader, 2-Ply Nylon/PVC...

TideWe Bootfoot

2-ply nylon/PVC

34.65”-37.01”

Simms Mens Tributary Stockingfoot Waterproof...

Simms Tributary Stockingfoot

Neoprene

31”-36”

Compass 360 Point Guide II Breathable...

Compass 360 Point Guide II

Neoprene

34”-39”

Frogg Toggs Hellbender Breathable...

Frogg Toggs Hellbender

100% Nylon

34”-39”

Redington Women's Willow River Fly Fishing...

Redington Women's WILLOW RIVER

Neoprene and DWR coated fabric

31”- 33”

Hodgman CASTCBC13 Hodgman Caster Neoprene...

Hodgman Caster

Neoprene

31”-34”


Why Invest In Good Waders For Fly Fishing?

Good quality fly fishing waders aren't just for looks. They are a functional and essential tool for any fly fisherman. The key concept here though, is good quality. Poor quality waders won't do much for you in the long run. Good quality waders primarily serve to protect you from the elements.

They can keep you warm and dry, which, on some rural fishing expeditions, can be a matter of life and death when hypothermia is a concern. Fly fishing waders also serve as a wearable tool pouch. You may wear a fly fishing vest over your waders, but when that runs out of storage space, the waders serve as a backup.  


Considerations When Buying Fly Fishing Waders

Quality Material

Since you’ll be wearing these waders for long periods, it's best to make sure you get the quality of material that suits your needs. Some waders are made from neoprene, which offers excellent waterproofing and thermal insulation, but it isn't very breathable, so you're more likely to sweat.

Other manufacturers use proprietary fabric blends that provide a nice blend of qualities. Make sure to study the material and what it can and cannot do.

Type

Waders come in two different styles, and you should decide which one is best for you. There are stocking foot waders and boot foot waders. Stocking foot waders are designed so that your feet go into waterproof stockings, and then you can put boots on over that. This allows you to buy wading boots that fit just the way you like.

Boot foot waders, on the other hand, come with felt sole or rubber sole boots built into the waders. You can save money this way by not needing to buy additional wading boots, but you will also be limited by size availability.

Design/Height

Waders are made to accommodate different needs and body types. You can buy waders that are only waist-high while most others are chest high. It helps to know how deep the water is that you will be wading in. Also, if you are exceptionally short or tall, make sure you pay attention to what height ranges the waders can fit. 

Key Features

Always make sure you check out the unique features that waders often have. These can take a good pair and make them great. The extra features should also suit your needs. Extra UV protection, thermal insulation, additional water resistance, reinforced knees, and custom fit are just a few of the options you can look for. Think about the environment you’ll be fishing in and match the features to that. 

Fit, Comfort & Breathability

Your waders should fit you comfortably and be breathable, so you aren't sweating or overheating while wearing them.

This comes down to fit, and the type of material the waders are made from. Most waders are adjustable, but if you have a unique body type, you may have to shop around a little to find waders that are more appropriate for you. It may take time, but it is worth it. 

Above all, you should opt for the lightest weight waders you can afford. Next to fit and breathability, the weight of the waders is one of the most significant factors determining comfort.  

Price

When you buy waders, do not shop based on price if you can help it. You should shop based on value. This means you may pay a lot more or a lot less than you expected, but whatever you end up buying will suit your needs.

Look for the features we have mentioned here and double-check that the waders you are considering really work for you. Also, when possible, find out about the warranty included with the waders. That can really increase the value overall. 


8 Best Fly Fishing Waders Reviewed

1. Simms Freestone

Our Top Pick!

Material

Multi-layered Toray quadralam fabric

Foot Size

Stockingfoot 7-13

UPF rating

None

Inseam

31”-36”

Key feature

Well insulated quadralam fabric

The Simms Freestone stockingfoot waders are our top pick because of the unrivaled quality they offer. These waders aren't cheap, but you will get what you pay for. The wader's most distinct trait is that they are made with multi-layered Toray Quadralam technology fabric developed specifically for fishing waders.

The QuadraLam fabric is a heavy-duty engineered fabric with a micro-porous waterproof coating. It incorporates a  2-layer coated fabric, a single membrane layer, and a tricot backer for improved durability. Altogether, these 4 layers are exceptionally waterproof and breathable, keeping you warm, dry, and comfortable in even the coldest waters.

These waders also maintain a good and consistent fit with a 38 mm adjustable nylon waist belt, 5 belt loops, Duraflex buckles, and adjustable shoulder straps. You can mold the waders to fit your body exactly the way you like. The front of the waders feature a reach-through fleece-lined hand warmer chest pocket and a zippered top stash pocket for keeping all your tools within reach. You can also add the Simms Tippet Tender Pocket or Waterproof Wader Pouch, which are both sold separately.

These stockingfoot waders also have built-in self-fabric gravel guard with elastic bottom hem to help keep the stones out. The stockingfeet are made from anatomically engineered neoprene with an anti-microbial finish keeping them clean and smelling good despite hours of use. These premium waders are engineered perfectly, making them worth every penny.

Pros
  • Warranty included
  • Excellent durability and breathability
  • Good storage space
  • Well made
Cons
  • Air captured in legs can impede walking

2. Caddis Men's Taupe

Runner Up

Material

Heavy-duty nylon

Foot Size

9.5-13

UPF rating

None

Inseam

32”-38”

Key feature

Affordable

The Caddis Men’s stockingfoot waders in taupe color are our choice for the runner up as best waders on the market. While our top choice wins on premium materials and quality, these win based on affordability and sheer functionality. The waders are made with a heavy-duty polyester material that incorporates CaddisDry breathable technology. This keeps you cool, dry, and comfortable even when it is hot and muggy outside. These are waders you can start the day in when it is cool in the morning and keep wearing straight through that midday heat. 

The stockingfeet have attached gravel guards as is standard on quality waders, and from top to bottom, the seams on the waders are taped, glued, and stitched for improved durability and waterproofing. Each foot is also taped inside and out to reinforce it, while high-density neoprene soles offer comfort and protection. A quad pocket positioned on the front provides additional storage too. These waders offer all the essentials you need.

Anglers who have used these waders are not disappointed 

"These work as advertised. They fit well, do breathe, and have enough room to allow easy movement in and out of the stream.”

These are affordable, reliable waders, that will consistently perform as needed.

Pros
  • Good breathability
  • Fit well
  • Good storage space
Cons
  • Not as durable as other waders

3. TideWe Bootfoot

Most Affordable Waders For Fly Fishing

Material

2-ply nylon/PVC

Foot Size

5-14

UPF rating

None

Inseam

34.65”-37.01”

Key feature

Extra durability and waterproofing

The TideWe boot foot chest wader is the most affordable option you will find by far. Not only is it affordable, but it is also truly a very good value. For only a small drop in quality, TideWe has managed to drop their price considerably. They have managed to do this while also producing a remarkably lightweight and waterproof product.

The waders are actually 35% lighter than traditional rubber waders because of the two-ply nylon material used to construct them. This savings in weight pays significant dividends after you have been wrestling fish for hours. With other waders, you will tire quicker.

These waders are also 100% waterproof because of the nylon-reinforced PVC upper with waterproof boot attachment. The taped seams ensure this waterproofing as well. These waders also feature adjustable H-back web suspenders with durable quick-release buckles for a secure and safe fit. A flip-out chest pocket with top drawcord offers convenient storage too.

Then, as if the very affordable price wasn't enough, you will also receive a free 100% waterproof phone case with your order. TideWe takes waterproofing and added value very seriously, so they have worked to optimize both with these waders. If value and affordability are what you need, then these are the waders for you.

Pros
  • Good waterproofing and durability
  • Very affordable
  • Free waterproof phone case included
Cons
  • The fit is a little tall and wide, so it takes time to adjust

4. Simms Tributary Stockingfoot

Best Fly Fishing Waders Under $200

Material

Neoprene

Foot Size

7-13

UPF rating

None

Inseam

31”-36”

Key feature

Good storage and room for expansion

The Simms Tributary stockingfoot waders are the second Simms product featured on this list. Simms products are consistently good and, among the waders available on the market, these are among the most durable you can find. They are also the best fly fishing waders under $200. This quality build extends to the feet as well. The anatomically engineered neoprene stocking feet with anti-microbial finish offer comfort and protection under any conditions.

These waders are also equipped with two belt loops and a  38 mm nylon waist belt, a reach-through fleece-lined hand warmer pocket, and a front zippered top stash pocket for keeping your tools close at hand. The Tributary waders are also ready built to accept a Simms Tippet Tender Pocket or Waterproof Wader Pouch, which are both sold separately. This allows you to expand storage as needed or leave off the added bulk if you prefer. 

Anglers who have worn the waders consistently leave positive reviews commenting that

“They are amazing, super breathable, so light and still durable. Highly recommend.”

These waders don’t disappoint and will perform again and again.

Pros
  • Warranty included
  • Very durable and breathable
  • Good value
  • Fit well
Cons
  • Additional pockets sold separately and not included

5. Compass 360 Point Guide II

Best Waist Waders For Fly Fishing

Material

Neoprene

Foot Size

6-15

UPF rating

None

Inseam

34”-39”

Key feature

Waist-high with extra pockets included

The Compass 360 Point Guide II stockingfoot waist-high waders are the best waist waders available for fly fishing. Normally we wouldn't suggest waist-high waders because of the limitations they offer in how far you can venture in the water, but this pair is too good to pass up. They are made from a premium, highly water-resistant, breathable, 4, and 6 layer fabric which is very durable and breathable.

This is then supported with seam tape and a durable, water-resistant coating to offer additional waterproofing. A durable 6-ply wrapping is added on the entirety of the lower leg as well, while the stitching is built for a single crotch seam with no leg inseam. In short, these pants are as waterproofed as you can get.

The waders are made with contour fitted, double taped, 4mm 100% neoprene booties that are comfortable, waterproofed, and durable. Abrasion-resistant gravel guards with lace hooks designed to keep rocks and debris out of your shoes are also included.

All of this is protected under a one year warranty so you can confidently put the waders through their paces without worrying about the need to replace them. These waist-high wader pants offer all the durability, versatility, and waterproofing you need while fly fishing. 

Pros
  • One year warranty
  • Well made pants
  • Great waterproofing
Cons
  • Pants can feel bulky when worn

6. Frogg Toggs Hellbender

Best Chest Waders

Material

100% Nylon

Foot Size

6-15

UPF rating

None

Inseam

34”-39”

Key feature

Extra storage and zippered handwarmer pockets

The Frogg Toggs Hellbender stockingfoot waders don't only have an awesome name; they also perform very well. These waders check off every box you might have for your waders and then some. They are made from 100% nylon with a four-ply nylon upper offering extra durability and strength.

The material is notably waterproof and breathable while also being lightweight and abrasion-resistant. The innermost layer is made from a micro-textured tricot fabric that feels light and cool against your skin. Altogether, the layers create an advanced second skin that holds up under all fishing conditions. 

The upper also features an oversized water-resistant chest pocket with zippered handwarmer storage pockets. While other waders offer a simple single chest pouch, the tri-zippered design on these waders feels surprisingly spacious in terms of what you can keep on hand. For the lowers, you have very durable double-reinforced knees.

If you've fished along those rocky river shorelines, then you know how nice this is. These are waders designed for comfort and functionality. The stockingfeet are made from neoprene which, as a material, is the ultimate choice for durability and waterproofing. These stockingfeet are then protected by gravel guards, as is standard. With the Frogg Toggs Hellbender waders you can tackle any river confidently.   

Pros
  • Durable and breathable
  • Good fit
  • Good storage space
  • Well made
Cons
  • The chest pocket isn’t fully waterproof

7. Redington Women's WILLOW RIVER

Best Women's Fly Fishing Waders

Material

Neoprene and DWR coated fabric

Foot Size

6-10

UPF rating

None

Inseam

31”- 33”

Key feature

Built for women

The Redington Women's Willow River waders are the only waders on this list built specifically for women. Most waders are considered unisex, and they fit accordingly. The uppers might feel a little too baggy for men and a little too tight for some women because the manufacturers are trying to toe that line of universal fit. This works for some anglers, but not for everyone.

That’s what makes these waders such a great option. Not only are they specifically designed for comfort they are also tough and durable. These waders are made from a 3-layer waterproof/breathable DWR coated fabric that holds up against all sorts of conditions. Anglers can confidently wade into cold and rough waters with this equipment. Other features include reinforced knees for added durability and opposing buckles for easy conversion to waist height waders if desired. 

Unlike many other waders, these are adaptable and allow for chest high and waist-high configurations. These waders also feature high-density neoprene booties and fleece-lined hand warmer pockets to keep you warm in even the coldest waters. Wearability and functionality are the biggest considerations in the design of these waders. This makes them comfortable yet uncompromisingly durable, so you can nab fish no matter where they are hiding.

Pros
  • Excellent fit for women
  • Adaptable as chest waders or waist-high waders
  • Durable and breathable
Cons
  • The front pouch is water-resistant, not waterproof

8. Hodgman Caster Neoprene

Best Fly Fishing Waders Under $100

Material

Neoprene

Foot Size

7-13

UPF rating

None

Inseam

31”-34”

Key feature

Very durable and waterproof

The Hodgman Caster neoprene bootfoot chest waders offer exceptional value through their affordability and the quality that gets you. These waders are the ultimate choice for waterproofing, warmth, and durability because they are made with a solid 3.5 mm neoprene shell. As if that weren't thick enough, the lower section is fitted with reinforced double layer knee pads. These waders are tough.

The boots come with 200g Thinsulate construction and a cleated sole to help you maintain your grip on slippery surfaces.  The Y-back elastic suspender straps with opposing buckles offer a secure and adaptable fit as well that works for most body types. Although these waders are built for fishing, they are so tough that they even hold up against the ravages of a natural disaster.

One angler used them when a local river flooded his area and commented that

“I was able to save a lot of things from going down river and I was so dry and comfortable while doing it.”

These cold-weather all-terrain waders also feature a front top entry pocket with fleece-lined hand warmers. Front and rear D-rings are also added for attaching any additional equipment you need at the ready. These waders are functional and ready to go.   

Pros
  • Very tough construction
  • Warm yet breathable
  • Thinsulate insulation
Cons
  • Fit can be a little uncomfortable at first

Fishing Pants vs. Fishing Waders For Fly Fishing

Fly fishing often requires wading into the cold waters where the fish are so you can cast far enough to reach them. Unless you like freezing toes, you're better off using proper fishing waders, which offer better waterproofing and insulation than fishing pants.

You can use fishing pants however, in calmer and warmer waters if you have good fishing boots to go with them. You won't be able to wade as far into the river, though.  


Taking Care of Your Fly Fishing Waders

You should regularly clean your fishing waders with soap and fresh water and then let them air dry. This will keep them in good working order and prevent unwanted mold and rot developing.

Always check the material on your waders for wear, too, so you can repair them or replace them before a bad tear takes place. It is better to handle this early instead of being surprised by cold water filling your boots.


Frequently Asked Questions

Who makes the best fly fishing waders?

We are now spoiled for choice when it comes to buying great fly fishing waders. Most major brands have some high-quality options available. Our research has shown that Simms is among the best of the best. That’s why we chose one of their waders as our top choice for this guide. They consistently make great products that hold up to rugged use.

What should you wear under waders?

What you wear under your waders depends entirely on the conditions you’ll be fishing in. Basically, the colder it is outside, the more you should be wearing under the waders. A nice pair of long underwear, good wader paints, and a thick pair of wool socks are always a good choice. It is usually better to wear more than you think you need for colder weather. That way, you can remove layers as needed instead of wishing you had more to put on.

Do you wear shoes inside waders?

Normally you wear comfortable socks inside the waders. If you have stocking foot waders, you'll need to buy a pair of wading boots to wear on the outside, but you'll still want to wear socks on the inside. Boot foot waders sometimes have enough room for you to wear thin-walled shoes inside if you like, but, again, thick wool socks are probably enough. Every angler should have a pair of great fishing shoes but, with waders, you can leave them at home. 

How should fly fishing waders fit?

Fly fishing waders should never feel too tight at any point on your body. Put them on and adjust the shoulder straps so that the top edge of the waders sits at about the middle of your chest. Then, to test the fit, you need to move around. Maybe do a couple of lunges and pay attention to how the wader moves with your body. If it pinches or impedes movement anywhere, it is too tight. Also, in the boots, you should have room to wiggle your toes while wearing socks. Any tighter than that is too tight.

How can I improve the waterproofing feature of my waders?

Many fly fishermen will apply a durable water repellant such as Revivex to the outside of their waders. Properly using this treatment improves waterproofing. You can apply this when you first get the waders, but most people wait until the built-in waterproofing begins to wear off, and they then apply this to help restore their waders. Aside from this, if you've got a good pair of waders, you shouldn't need to improve the waterproofing much more.

Where is the best place to buy fly fishing waders for sale?

Although it comes as a surprise to some, Amazon is almost always the best place to buy fishing gear. Amazon offers products that aren't available elsewhere at reasonable prices, and you can read multiple reviews from people who have actually used the product. This makes it very easy to comparison shop until you find the exact product you need.


Conclusion

The waders that you buy for fly fishing need to be the best they can be because they are your last line of defense against freezing waters. It pays to get what works.

We have taken the time to compile the best options for you in this list, and top among them are Simms Freestone waders. These waders have every feature you need and then some, all built with the highest quality materials available. With this list, you're sure to find the waders you need.