Best Fly Fishing Waders of 2021 – Complete Reviews with Comparisons

Regardless of the brand, a good wader has to meet some standard specifications. Waders are there to ensure you enjoy your fly fishing sessions. Therefore, it is essential to get one that is reliable, comfortable, and suited for the job.

There are lots of wader equipment manufacturers producing different types and gear upgrades. It can be hard to choose the right choice from the numerous options. This review highlights some of the top waders to consider and a buyer's guide to assist you in making up your mind. Below is a list of some of the best fly fishing waders available. Have a look!

Comparison Chart

Waders run the gambit from cheap to expensive but all have one thing in common.  They all leak eventually!  

How long they last will depend a lot on how often you use them.  Our pick for the casual fisherman that gets out a few dozen times a year is the Frogg Toggs Hellbender Stockingfoot Chest Wader.

Only fish a couple times a year?  Start with the budget friendly TIDWE Bootfoot Chest Wader.  

For you hardcore fisherman you can't go wrong with the Simms Freestone Stockingfoot Chest Waders.

Budget Pick

TIDEWE Bootfoot Chest Wader

pro Pick

Simms Freestone Stockingfoot Chest Waders

 

Fishing Waders Reviews

1. TIDEWE Boot Foot Chest Wader

TIDEWE chest waders ensure you stay warm and dry during fishing adventures. This gear is light and flexible, ensuring that you enjoy every moment. It is also reliable and all-purpose. Consider the following product highlights to determine if it is the right choice for you.

Product Highlights

The gear is made of nylon-enforced PVC that is light and easily fits. This nylon material is also gentle on the skin, causing no irritations.

The upper chest wader is attached to waterproof boots making the gear 100% waterproof. It also has water-resistant intrusion that also keeps out the water and dust. This allows you to stay in the water and mud longer.

There are adjustable H-back suspenders that enhance a perfect grip. The straps have quick-release buckles that make it easier to put the outfit on and remove it.

The chest wader has flip-out chest pockets to create extra storage space for your phone and other accessories. There is also a top drawcord that makes it more convenient.

TIDEWE chest waders come with boot hangers. It is easier to dry your boots after fishing or hunting. They also make the boots portable and easy to clean.

The product also comes with a free waterproof phone case. This case is 100% water resistant, and you will have no worries if your phone accidentally falls.

What I Like

This gear is very light and in fact, is 35% lighter than the traditional rubber waders. The rugged nylon used is easy to fit, and you use little energy to wear or remove them.

They are also 100% waterproof. You will love how you can stay in the water or mud for a long time without your feet getting wet. The nylon-enforced material is also water intrusion resistant to back up the watertight sealing.

It is incredible how effective the H-back suspenders are. The quick-release buckles are strong and do not activate unless you want them to.

You will have an easy time cleaning the chest wader, watching the mud and dust slide off smoothly. The wader also dries fast.

What I Don't Like

The waders work well for those with tall and wide bodies. There are different sizes available, but small-bodied people have fewer options.

PROS

  • Lightweight
  • 100% waterproof
  • User-friendly design
  • All-purpose wader

CONS

  • They mostly come in large sizes, and small-bodied people have few choices.

2. Mountalk Breathable Wader

The Mountalk breathable wader is specifically made for the US market. US residents can now enjoy the reliability and effectiveness that it brings. It is a common choice for many because it is suitable for the same body type at different heights. Make use of the available chart to order the correct size.

Product Highlights

The Mountalk breathable wader is a light gear that makes it ideal for long fishing and hunting sessions. Mountalk uses new Korean technology support to make it extremely comfortable and light to wear. The waders are also very flexible.

There are adjustable straps around the chest region and at the back, which are strong and reliable. The telescopic adjustable straps are elastic, creating a solid grip between the body and the costume.

The gear comes with a backpack for portability. You can easily carry and put it on when you approach the intended areas.

Despite being light, they are durable. The Korean technology support ensures that the waders are reliable to serve you longer.

What I Like

First, the gear is 100% waterproof. You can stay in the water as much as you want without being cold. Its lightness also makes it possible to fish and hunt for long.

It is easy to put the wader on. The material is gentle on the skin, and the adjustable straps help you get the proper grip.

The Mountalk breathable wader is durable and has great mobility. It easily fits in a backpack and weighs less than the competition.

What I Don't Like

According to many customer reviews, it is clear that the waders are not flexible. Many customers complain that they are a bit tight, especially in the knee area. You will feel tired around these areas after long walks.

If you have a bigger body, it is not easy bending or squatting. Excess pressure while doing these activities can cause them to split down the sides. However, they are a good choice for those with smaller hips.

Overall, these claims result from people not getting the right wader size. If you get a smaller size, it becomes tight, and if you get a larger size, it is baggy.

PROS

  • Extremely light
  • Great mobility
  • Had a perfect fit
  • 100% waterproof

CONS

  • Not that flexible

3. Foxelli Neoprene Chest Wader

The chest wader is specifically designed to suit all your fishing needs. It is tested and approved to keep you safe and protect you from animal bites and stings.

We love the wader because of how effective it can be during fishing and hunting. There are chest pockets available where you can keep your accessories and hands warm. They also have inner mesh pockets that create extra storage space. You can safely store small belongings such as a penknife in this compartment.

Product Highlights

The Foxelli Neoprene chest wader is made from neoprene material that is damage-resistant and waterproof. Its resistance to damage ensures it lasts you longer than other similar products. The material has an insulation layer. The wader also comes with a nylon carrying bag which makes it portable.

There are double-layer knee caps present for extra protection. There will be less damage caused in case you accidentally fall. This extra padding is comfortable and gentle on the skin.

We have anti-slip boots at the bottom of the wader. These boots have great grip and ensure maximum traction when in wet and muddy areas.

There are chest suspenders available with adjustable elastic straps. You can now easily adjust the gears to get the correct fitting. The quick-release buckles are effective and easy to activate or detach.

What I Like

When you buy the Foxelli Neoprene chest wader, there is a money-back guarantee that covers you. This offer is available to all customers after 30 days. Foxelli is confident in its product and manifests this in the 30-day money-back guarantee. You are also covered by the one-year warranty available.

The wader is comfortable and easy to adjust. The chest suspenders are effective and hold the gear in position. Foxelli Neoprene chest wader gives you extra knee protection. When you go hunting or fishing, there will be no much damage if you trip and fall. The material is also damage-resistant, meaning it looks as good as new after cleaning.

Your body and feet stay dry while fishing. The nylon material is 100% waterproof. This helps maintain and keep you warm.

What I Didn't Like

At first, you will enjoy the gear to the fullest, but problems may begin when you try out extreme cases. The wader consists of lightweight material. It is hard for this material to keep water and mud out in extreme cases.

When in large pools of water, the gear tends to leak, which can be stressful if you are far out in the woods.

PROS

  • Comfortable
  • 30-day money-back guarantee
  • Damage resistant
  • Double-layer knee pads for extra protection

CONS

  • Not suitable for extreme conditions

4. Frogg Toggs Hellbender Breathable Stockingfoot Chest Wader

The Frogg Toggs chest wader is a multi-functional gear that is known for comfort and reliability. There are specific features that make it functional and reliable on mud and wet surfaces.

The wader is available in 16 different sizes. All these options have better value and quality. They also have the right amount of insulation to keep you warm. You can wear them at all times since they are all-season waders.

Product Highlights

The wader consists of a 4-ply nylon upper that is 100% waterproof. This material also makes it light and easy to wear.

There are three different layers of the wader. We have the outer layer that is a nylon shell, and this shell is durable and abrasion-resistant.

The middle section is waterproof, has maximum breathability, and is ultra-flexible. There is also an inner layer that is soft and smooth. This is the part that comes into contact with the skin. This inner layer is micro-textured for cooler experiences.

All these layers work together to keep your body safe and warm. There are also double-reinforced knee caps for extra protection.

You have 16 sizes to choose from, and they range from small, medium, and large. Before buying, there is a chart present to help you find your best fit using your foot and chest size.

What I Like

It is hard not to notice the oversized multi-functional chest pockets present. Here you can stuff things up and effectively carry them around. Feel free to insert your drinking bottle, phone, and other accessories.

You can perform almost any task with the gear on. People love how flexible they are because of the ultra-flexible inner layer. Flexibility also reduces the pressure from wearing the garment.

It lasts longer. The gear is vetted during manufacturing under extreme conditions. This gets done to ensure it is built to standard and satisfies all the client's needs.

What I Don't Like

There are no boot extensions. The Frogg Toggs's chest wader is a stocking foot with a socks extension. This means you need to get boots to navigate slippery surfaces.

If used in large water pools, water tends to enter the boots, making them heavy. This leaves the wader exposed and there are higher chances of leaking.

PROS

  • Durable
  • Double reinforced knee for extra protection
  • Variety of sizes
  • Flexible

CONS

  • No money-back guarantees from the manufacturer

5.Simms Men's Freestone Waterproof Stocking Foot Chest Fishing Wader

Men can now enjoy the effectiveness of the Simms fishing wader. The gear is specifically made for fishing activities. It has all the features to ensure it satisfies all your fishing needs.

Product Highlights

The main feature of the Simms fishing wader is the multi-layered Toray Quadralam technology used. It consists of a heavy-duty fabric that is microporous and has a waterproof coating. No water penetrates this tough layer.

This wader consists of two layers that do not quickly wear or tear. The layers are breathable and that ensures you stay warm and comfortable during the fishing sessions.

You can also use the gear for hunting. The heavy-duty material protects you from stings, thorns, and other sharp objects.

Below, there is an antimicrobial stocking foot that has a built-in fabric gravel guard. There is also an elastic bottom helm that is watertight. The stocking foot consists of neoprene material with an anti-microbial finish, and the finish prevents the growth and buildup of fungi.

This product features an adjustable nylon waist belt that you can adjust to your waist size. Other specifications that help achieve a good grip are the five belt loops for holding the belt, buckles, and adjustable shoulder straps.

What I Like

You will love the warranty attached to this wader. The manufacturer uses multi-layered Toray Quadralam technology to design it. They have full confidence in it, and they offer a 60-day warranty.

In case you experience any leaks within this period, you get a free replacement. If the leak also happens in the first year, you get free repairs. After that, they make repairs at an affordable fee.

The material used is heavy-duty; therefore, the garment handles cold and wet conditions effectively. The heavy-duty feature provides perfect insulation to keep you warm, even in swamps and rivers.

The presence of the anti-microbial finish prevents the growth and buildup of bacteria. You do not have to worry about moss growing on your garment. The finish also makes it easy to clean.

What I Don't Like

You can easily tire when working for long. The heavy-duty material puts extra pressure on the body, making you tired. The efficiency is good, but you will have to take breaks between your fishing sessions.

PROS

  • Heavy-duty wader
  • Warranty
  • Anti-microbial finish to keep away bacteria
  • Very comfortable

CONS

  • Exerts extra pressure, making you get tired during long fishing sessions.

BUYER'S GUIDE

There is no right wader choice that suits everyone. Each wader is specifically designed for a specific purpose. Our needs vary, and what works for one will not necessarily work for you.

You need to know what you expect out of a wader. There are numerous brands; therefore, you've got lots of options.

The waders above are among the best but might not be the perfect option for another. Before buying, conduct a lot of research. To find your perfect fit, use this buyer's guide and consider the following factors:

Key Feature #1: Types of Waders

Waders fall under many categories depending on the factor considered. We can classify them into fishing, hunting, or ATV waders. Some manufacturers design their products specifically for one of these purposes.

We can also categorize waders according to their design: chest, waist-high, or hip waders. Each of these groups has its advantages and disadvantages.

Chest waders offer maximum coverage during fishing. One can customize them and add accessories such as jackets for extra warmth.

Waist-high types are great for fishing. They protect your feet from the cold water. This gear is also customizable, and you can choose to insulate them.

It is best to use hip waders in gentle streams and shallow waters. They are also not the right choice for hunting.
We can also categorize waders into many other groups depending on the design. For instance, there are boot foot waders and stockingfoot gear.

Key Feature #2: Wader Materials

Wader manufacturers make their products using various materials for specific purposes. The material used is what determines the durability and reliability of the product.

The most common material choices include:

  • Neoprene is lightweight, flexible, and warm. This material is affordable and comes in different thickness levels; the thicker the gear, the warmer it is. The disadvantage of the material is that it degrades over time.
  • Breathable fabrics are the second choice. Most people love this material because it is waterproof, versatile, and allows add-ons. You can add or remove the layers for extra warmth or coolness.
  • The fabrics feature different thickness levels depending on the available layers. You will notice that high-end thick waders consist of thick and heavy-duty nylon, while cheap types feature paper-thin nylon.

Key Feature #3: Size

Size is an important factor as we want something that perfectly fits us. The adjustable straps on most of the options can assist with that. Consider the following factors that will help you determine the correct size to buy.

Find your foot size

Knowing your foot size helps you find the correct option. This should be the first factor to consider when buying boot foot waders.

Know your measurements

Take note of some key measurements, such as your waist and chest region. Having these figures makes it easy to use the provided charts.

Consult with the charts

Every manufacturer has a unique chart to recommend the correct sizes for their clients. Use them to find the right gear, be it a tight or loose fit. Ensure that you get a comfortable one.

Key Feature #4: Weight

Waders averagely weigh 5 pounds, and the boots 10 pounds. However, there are lighter and also heavier versions to consider.

Lightweight gear is mostly made from nylon material. This makes it flexible and portable, but also comfortable. Their main drawbacks are that it is suitable for shallow and gentle waters and it is not durable.

On the other hand, heavy-duty types are durable, warm, and can withstand extreme conditions. They have quality soles to achieve maximum traction. However, they are heavy and not that flexible. You get tired quickly during long sessions.

Key Feature #5: Price

You can expect to spend about $400 to get a good wader. However, this price varies depending on several factors such as the material used, brand, design, price, and many more. It also varies depending on the vendor selling the items.

Heavy-duty gear costs more but has the best value. It will last longer and serve you with great quality. Note that the more layers a wader has, the more it costs.

Lightweight types are affordable but of low quality. It is best to buy this type for gentle projects. The trick is to get one from a recognized brand as it will be more durable and have a stronger design.

Best Fishing Waders FAQs

Question 1: What Are Fishing Waders?

These are waterproof overalls, with or without boots, extending from the foot, through the thigh, and to the neck or chest.

Question 2: How Do I Choose Fishing Waders?

It depends on your intended purpose. For recommendation purposes, get a light and breathable wader. Consider other features such as the boot foot or insulated wader types if you are working in near-freezing weather conditions.

Question 3: Are Waders Necessary for Fly Fishing?

Not really. They are some people who succeed in fly fishing without waders. They are not a must, but they make it comfortable when standing on water.

Question 4: How Should Fishing Waders Be Fit?

It is better to have a wader that is slightly too big rather than slightly too small. You can use the adjustable straps and belts for the perfect fit.

Question 5: How Do I Clean My Fishing Waders?

Start by soaking it in water containing detergent. Scrub lightly using a soft brush. Rinse it thoroughly, then hang to dry.

FINAL VERDICT

Waders are must-have companions that make fishing more fun and comfortable.

The TIDEWE boot-foot wader gets great reviews for an inexpensive, light-weight, boot-foot wader, especially for those who don't fish that often.  

For the more hard-core angler, the Simms Freestone stocking-foot wader is considered best in class for overall value and durability.

Ken Sperry

About the author

Ken is an avid fisherman of 40+ years who loves to explore and find new places to fish. He created DIY Fly Fishing to help you do the same.

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