Best Wading Jacket

Join me as we take a good look at some of the best wading jackets on the market so you can always be warm and toasty out on the water.
best wading jacket

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One of the most important bits of fly fishing gear you can own is the best wading jacket you can find.

Wading jackets are not just rain jackets they are the final seal, together with your waders, that blocks out wind, rain, and the cold from entering your cocoon of warmth while out on the water. Plus, they act as a being a storage area for all the fishing gear you need quick access to.

If you are also looking for the best boots for wading, see our Best Wading Boots reviews here.

Image Product Details  
flyfisherpro-table__imageBest AllrounderSimms Men's Freestone Wading Jacket
  • Highly Breathable
  • Replacement Warranty
  • Practical Design
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flyfisherpro-table__imageBest Of The BestOrvis Men’s Pro Wading Jacket
  • Waterproof And Breathable
  • Rubberized Tabs
  • Interior Zippered Security Pocket
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flyfisherpro-table__imageBest ValueRedington Wayward Guide Wading Jacket
  • Breathable
  • Durable And Well Made
  • Waterproof
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flyfisherpro-table__imageBest BudgetRiverruns Fishing Wading Jacket
  • Great Storage Space
  • Adjustable Hood
  • Adjustable Wrist Cuffs
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flyfisherpro-table__imageBest LightweightSimms G4 Pro Wading Jacket
  • Adjustable Storm Hood
  • Spacious Rear Game Pockets
  • Catch Watertight Cuff
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flyfisherpro-table__imageBest ComfortabilityPatagonia River Salt Wading Jacket
  • Watertight Adjustable Cuffs
  • DWR Finish
  • Adjustable Hood
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Our Best Wading Jackets

Simms Men’s Freestone Wading Jacket

Simms Men's Freestone Wading Jacket

Best Allrounder

Available at:

Tech Specs

  • Material: Three-layer Toray fabric
  • Hood: Yes
  • No. Of Pockets: 3
  • Waterproof rating: 20,000 mm

Pros:

  • Great performance for the price
  • Highly breathable
  • Keeps you dry
  • Well thought out practical design
  • Replacement warranty

Cons:

  • Can leak around the neck area
  • Velcro sometimes doesn’t tighten properly

Review

First up is the Simms Men’s Freestone Wading Jacket, and it’s one of the top wading jackets around. This Simms wading jacket is made with a three-layer design using Toray fabric which is similar to Gore-tex.

The fabric creates a waterproof breathable ultralight membrane on this Simms fly fishing jacket that will prevent water and air from coming in while allowing air to flow out. This means that no matter the weather, even in the pouring rain and high wind, this Simms wading jacket is going to keep you warm and toasty while ensuring you don’t overheat thanks to its excellent breathability.

This Simms ultralight fly fishing jacket is also built tough with sealed waterproof seams, water repellent zippers, a high neck, and even a tuck-away storm hood, plus velcro wrist cuffs that stop water coming up the sleeves – so with regards to weather, it really does have you covered.

The Simms jacket also features multiple pockets. Two on the chest for fly boxes each of which features retractors for tools like nippers and one interior slot for valuables.

Overall this is an ultralight jacket with durable quality construction and excellent features that will ensure you stay dry, protected from the wind, wet, and cold, so you can fish and enjoy your casting no matter what the elements have in store.

  • Large, easy-access storage pockets for fishing gear
  • Internal storage pocket for valuables
  • Waterproof seams, zipper, and triple-layer fabric
  • Breathable to keep you cool
  • Tuck away storm hood and velcro wrist cuffs for added protection
  • Lightweight and packable
  • Durable and very long-lasting

Check out our Ultralight Fly Fishing post here for you to know more about ultralight fly fishing.

Orvis Men’s Pro Wading Jacket

Orvis Men's Pro Wading Jacket

Best Of The Best

Available at:

Tech Specs

  • Material: Gore-Tex
  • Hood: Yes
  • No. Of Pockets: 4
  • Waterproof rating: 20,000 mm

Pros:

  • Great raincoat for casual wear
  • Greta casting room
  • Guide class wading jacket
  • Waterproof and breathable
  • Rubberized tabs for tool docking
  • YKK AquaGuard water-resistant zippers
  • Interior zippered security pocket for smaller valuables

Cons:

  • Pricey
  • Charged for shipping
  • Poor fit
  • Back pocket or side pocket

Review

The Orvis Men’s Pro Wading Jacket is another awesome wading jacket that offers all the protection you need when out on the water.

The Orvis Men’s Pro Wading Jacket is made with a quality triple-layer design that is both water-repellent/proof and breathable at the same time, similar to the Simms jacket above.

The outer shell will block any water, rain, or wind from coming into the shell while still maintaining breathability. The breathable membrane will let the heat of the Orvis jacket to keep you cool when you overheat but it won’t let you get cold either.

There is also a zipper on both sides under the sleeves of the Orvis Men’s Pro Wading Jacket that you can use to dump heat when the breathability isn’t to your satisfaction and to adjust your waders through.

The Orvis Men’s Pro Wading Jacket is made with a long-lasting durable construction and features an adjustable hood, a high neck with a suede chin guard, fleece-lined handwarmer pockets, zippered chest storage for fly boxes, plus a D-ring attachment point on the back of the Orvis jacket for a net.

These Orvis wading jackets also feature tight wrist cuffs that make sure you stay dry when releasing or landing a fish by blocking any water from going up your sleeve.

  • Very waterproof to handle all weather types
  • Integrated Dolphin Skin Wrist Cuffs
  • Wind-proof to keep you warm and breathable to let the sweat out
  • Handy pockets for gear and flies, plus a D-ring for a net on the back
  • Brushed micro suede chin guard and zippered fleece-lined hand warmer pockets
  • Water-resistant side zips for ventilation and easy access to waders

Redington Wayward Guide Wading Jacket

Redington Wayward Guide Wading Jacket

Best Value

Available at:

Tech Specs

  • Material: Nylon
  • Hood: Yes
  • No. Of Pockets: 4
  • Waterproof rating: 20,000 mm

Review

The Redington Wayward Guide Wading Jacket is another great lightweight fly fishing jacket that will give you great protection from wind, rain, and water while being breathable too.

The wading jacket is durably made from quality nylon. The nylon is layered with special technology that allows air out but stops any air or water from coming in, giving you a super protective triple-layer outer shell with breathability so you don’t overheat while casting or fishing.

The jacket also features a chest storage pocket with a water-repellent zipper on each side that is the ideal size for fly boxes plus a fleece-lined neck and handwarmer pockets for comfort.

The jacket also comes with an adjustable hood for bad weather and adjustable cuffs for protection when releasing a fish back into the water. No matter how cold or wet it is while you’re fly fishing, this jacket has the technology to keep you dry and comfortable.

  • Waterproof to keep you protected in heavy rain
  • Breathable so you don’t overheat
  • Durable and well made
  • Two large zippered chest front pockets
  • Fleece-lined handwarmer pockets
  • Durable, high-quality, water-resistant YKK zippers

Frogg Toggs Java Hellbender Fly & Wading Jacket

Frogg Toggs Java Hellbender Fly Wading Jacket

Available at:

Features:

  • Imported
  • Hand Wash
  • DriPore 2 Gen technology construction and full-cut casting design
  • Adjustable full-coverage hood with extended bill and tuck-away collar
  • Expandable chest pockets and 4 zippered miscellaneous pockets
  • Full-zip front closure with storm flap and rain gutter
  • 4.3 out of 5 stars
  • $69

Pros:

  • Adjustable shock cord waistband
  • Adjustable neoprene and Lycra sleeve openings
  • Fold-away rod holder
  • 2 front accessory D-rings and 1 for back net
  • Great waterproof qualities
  • DriPore 2 Gen technology construction
  • Adjustable full-coverage hood 

Cons:

  • Zipper issues
  • Stitching problems
  • Hand warmers can be a little tight

Review:

Don’t let the price fool you the Frogg Toggs Hellbender is a great fly fishing wading jacket.

It has all the necessary pockets and storage systems. The DriPore Gen 2 is for extreme water holdout and breathability, ultra-flexible and lightweight functions work really well and are loved by most.

The ‘casting freedom’ that the jacket gives, shows that it has been well thought out and all functional things have been considered.

The adjustable hood and bill provide great protection from the elements and again show the great thought process of this wading jacket design.

 The full-zip front closure with storm flap and rain gutter assist in keeping moisture out and maintains the warm dry environment that the fly fisher needs.

At $69 -$99 you won’t find a better wading jacket for the money. It has all the needed features and has been well thought out.

You won’t be disappointed!

If you are looking for a wader from Frogg Toggs, you can check out our full Frogg Toggs Wader Reviews here.

Caddis Men’s Wader Jacket

Caddis Men's Green Natural Breathable Wader Jacket

Available at:

Features:

  • Comfortable 2 Tone Green Breathable wader jacket with fleece collar
  • Roll-up hood
  • Lots of storage pockets for all gear
  •  Highest quality breathable material with a durable Polyester outer
  • Waterproof zippers, with large pull tabs
  • 4.4 out of 5 stars
  • $80.38

Pros:

  • Great price
  • Size runs true
  •  Velcro closures at cuffs and zipper are sure to keep rain and splashes out
  • Lots of secure pockets 
  • Jacket length s great for wader use and kayaking

Cons:

  • The short design meant to be worn with waders
  • Pockets are not 100 % waterproof
  • Not as waterproof and mentioned

Review:

Caddis outdoor apparel and gear make great equipment that is perfectly priced for the novice or moderate outdoorsmen or women. while their gear won’t break the bank it certainly does the job they have served many a happy client.

The wading jacket is mainly for fly fishing but can be used for kayaking, the short design is what makes this wading jacket a perfect wading jacket to wear with waders.

It has great breathability and performs well in the harshest conditions.

Patagonia River Salt Wading Jacket

Patagonia River Salt Jacket

Available at:

Features:

  • Rugged, 4-layer H2No performance standard twill microfiber shell with a waterproof/breathable barrier
  • DWR (durable water repellent) finish
  • Sturdy Zippers
  • Two water-repellent front-zip pockets sized for fly boxes; waterproof and corrosion-resistant
  • YKK front zip; all other zips are plastic to prevent corrosion
  • Adjustable Hood
  • Adjustable, vented hood with a single-pull adjustment fits snug
  • Watertight adjustable cuffs
  • Drawcord Hem
  • Mesh-lined casing drains excess water and encloses elastic drawcord at hem
  • Weight 641 g (22.6 oz)
  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • $349

Pros:

  • Hoodie designed to stay in place even at high boat speeds
  • Fair Trade Certified sewn
  • Right pockets in the right place.
  • Cuffs keep my arms dry
  • Very warm
  • Pocket profile great for a minimalist

Cons:

  • Some say to few pockets
  • No lower hand warmer pockets

Review:

The Patagonia river salt is one of those wading jackets that when you buy it you will never need or want for another wading jacket for fly fishing ever again.

It has all the necessary pockets and trimmings to make it one of the best wading jackets available and at $349 it is really worth every penny.

It keeps you bone dry in the worse weather while having a great moisture management system so as you don’t sweat and become wet from inside out.

The cuffs are well designed to prevent any water from entering which is always a bonus as we all know how annoying it is when you have a few drops run down your arm on a cold winter’s morning.

Designed to be used as a casual jacket as well you really can get the most out of this wading jacket from both casual outings and a fly fishing trip.

If you want more selection on the best wading jackets by Patagonia, see our post here on Patagonia Wading Jacket Reviews here.

Simms G4 Pro Wading Jacket

Simms G4 Pro Wading Jacket

Available at:

Features:

  • Cut from advanced GORE-TEX® 3-layer fabrics 
  • 3-point adjustable storm hood with high vis center hood panel
  • Flip out vertical loop fly patch
  • Spacious rear game pockets accessed through the front handwarmer pockets
  • Shingled, no-catch watertight cuff
  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • $649

Pros:

  • GORE-TEX PRO SHELL fabric is waterproof, exceptionally lightweight and offers the ultimate in breathability, durability and extended comfort.
  • The AquaGuard VISLON zipper is a revolutionary new design 

Cons:

  • On the pricer side

Review:

The Simms g4 pro wading jacket is one of the best wading jackets around. It has Gore-Tex technologies that not only give it a super lightweight feel but it is also waterproof breathable and extremely durable.

The Simms g4 pro wading jacket has 3-layer fabrics, this is a guide-trusted jacket that survives and thrives in the harshest conditions.

It has a lovely streamlined pocket design which contributes to its all-around sharp look.  the long rear hem-to-collar length gives you extended protection farther down your back.

Front and rear pockets feature weep holes for deeper-than-expected wading. Every feature for serious anglers in a jacket that you can wear anywhere.

This is what I really like about this wading jacket is the fact that it has a great casual look to it, so it can be worn as a simple rain jacket in the colder months and this factor may even be the convincing note that sways your better half into you getting it.

Riverruns Fishing Wading Jacket

Riverruns Fishing Wading Jacket

Best Budget

Available at:

Tech Specs

  • Material: 3 layers waterproof/breathable polyester fabric
  • Hood: Yes
  • No. Of Pockets: 9
  • Waterproof rating: 8,000 mm

Pros:

  • Great storage space
  • adjustable hood
  • Two-lined handwarmer pockets offset the impact of icy wet weather
  • Adjustable wrist cuffs
  • Foldable Velcro fly patch above the front buckle pockets

Cons:

  • Doest repel as much water as needed
  • Single layered fabric
  • Meshy fly patch
  • Not the best for cold weather

Review

If you’re looking for a wading jacket on a budget that has a pocket for just about every bit of fly fishing gear imaginable, then the Riverruns Fishing Wading Jackets might be the ones for you.

The jacket is made from high-quality polyester with triple layer technology that makes it both water-resistant and breathable, similar but not quite the same as the other wading jackets.

Being made of polyester without a DWR coating, this jacket is only waterproof to 8000mm unlike the others which hit 20000 mm, so you might get wet in a serious downpour while wading.

These jackets feature 9 pockets in total plus tool attachment points, an adjustable hood, and cuffs for added protection from the elements.

It’s not such a robust jacket as the other jackets featured but it does have a small price tag and is great if you’re on a budget.

  • Interior waterproof pocket for valuables
  • Lots of other pockets for your fishing gear
  • Tool attachment band on the side of each pocket
  • Semi-waterproof to keep you dry and warm
  • Pit zips for ventilation and wader access
  • Not as waterproof as the others

Wright & McGill Essentials Big Horn Wading Jacket

Wright & McGill Essentials Big Horn Wading Jacket

Available at:

Features:

  • Made in the USA or Imported
  • Fleece-Lined pockets feature a small compartment for hand warmers
  • Giant gear pouch in jacket back is accessible without taking the coat off
  • Neoprene cuffs feature waterproof fabric, secure fasteners
  • Four-Layer construction made of breathable, waterproof fabric performs under all conditions
  • Oversized zippers provide easy access for cold, wet fingers
  • Two Giant tackle pockets with elastic gussets accommodate large fly boxes
  • Waterproof smartphone pocket inside jacket fits most phones
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • $184.21

Pros:

  • Made in the USA
  • HAnd warmers
  • one of the pockets for an iPhone perfectly
  • Runs true to size
  • Plenty of pockets
  • Sturdy zippers
  • Neoprene cuff works well

Cons:

  • Elastic bottom rides up
  • Fit can be a little awkward
  • Has been mentioned to have too many pockets

Review:

The Wright & McGill wading jacket is a great wading jacket for fly fishing.

In my opinion, I think it is one of the best wading jackets for its price and has had many great reviews

There is plenty of storage for all your fly boxes as well as your other gear and a bonus back pocket that can be accessed without having the remove the wading jacket.

The neoprene cuffs are a great addition and keep all water and cold out.

You won’t be disappointed with this purchase.

Aquaz Trinity Wading Jacket

Aquaz Trinity Wading Jacket

Available at:

Features:

  • Zipper closure
  • Fully waterproof waging jacket
  • Multiple pockets with easy access
  • Heavy-duty fly fishing jacket
  • Detachable hood
  • Cuffed wrists
  • Fleece-lined handwarmer pockets
  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • $279

Pros:

  • Great pocket space
  • Plenty of shoulder room for casting
  • Two way breathable, keep you cool and warm when needed
  • Winner of Fish Alaska Magazine Editors’ Choice Award 2019 for best wading jacket
  • 100% waterproof 

Cons:

  • Slightly short torso
  • Not as breathable as mentioned
  • Can be heavy after a long day on the water
  • On the pricey side of wading jackets

Review:

The Aqua Trinity is a waterproof heavy-duty breathable wading jacket. It is made from 3 layers of waterproof heavy-duty and breathable fabric, with durable water repellent YKK zippers.

It has multiple watertight pockets that can comfortably hold fly boxes and other gear. The fleece hand pockets are great for when the water is a little chilly.

All pockets have durable water repellent zippers and take all-size fly boxes.

The large cargo breathable back pocket is vented which gives you great moisture management and it will keep you dry.

It’s in the upper price range for wading jackets but you won’t be disappointed.

Why own a wading jacket?

Why own a wading jacket

No matter where you’re wading, whether it’s in Patagonia or the midwest, it’s colder than it is warm for most of the fishing season. Your wading jacket is the final layer of protection from the elements that allows you to keep going no matter what the weather has in store.

They are designed to block out the worst weather conditions and without a good one, you’ll be cold, wet, and going home early.

Things to consider when looking for a great wading jacket

Price

Like most fly fishing gear, the higher the price of a wading jacket, the better it’s going to be. Unfortunately, a good wading jacket doesn’t come cheap and you should avoid any with a price tag of under $175, as they won’t have every feature you need or be able to handle terrible weather.

Waterproofing & Breathability

The key to staying comfortable while fishing is being warm, dry, and not overheating and your wading jacket should have this covered for you. Make sure you pick a jacket that is both waterproof and breathable at the same time, like the ones featured above.

This will ensure that you never overheat or sweat too much and that no matter what the weather has in store, you’ll be toasty and warm.

Hoods & Cuffs

Hoods and Cuffs

There are two ways to get soaked while fly fishing – from the rain or the water you’re wading in.

Make sure the jacket you choose has a full hood with good coverage to block any rain from hitting your head and dripping down into the jacket.

The jacket also needs to have adjustable cuffs that will block water from coming up your sleeve when you’re landing or releasing fish.

Pockets

As with all fly fishing jackets, your wading jacket is going to need a pocket or 5 so you can make sure you have all the gear you need within reach.

Changing flies, adding tippet, nipping knots, and applying floatant are things we do often, and the last thing you want is to be going into your bag every time because your jacket doesn’t have adequate storage options.

Zippers

One place water and wear hit first are zippers so make sure the jacket you choose has quality zippers that block water and last. Look for YKK water-repellent zippers as these are about as durable as they come.

Sizing

Think about what you’re going to be wearing under the jacket so you can find the right size on your first order. If you’re winter steelhead fishing, you’re going to have 5 layers of clothes and waders under the jacket so you’ll likely need to order a few sizes up.

Size also equals mobility and if you order a jacket that is too tight then it’s going to be uncomfortable to fish in. Casting and reaching down to grab a fish require a lot of mobility from your clothing and so does rowing a drift boat downstream.

Make sure you order a jacket that will fit around all your layers while still giving you enough room to move around properly so that your fishing isn’t restricted. Tight jackets will also wear out on the seams a lot faster, so picking the right size is very important.

Which are the best wading jackets?

Which are the best wading jackets

If it was me, I’d pick either the Simms or the Orvis Pro wading jackets to go fly fishing in. Each jacket features excellent weather protection while being breathable, are both very well made, and come with all the storage options you need while fly fishing.

If you’re on a budget, go for the Redington jacket. It too has all the right fly fishing features like the Simms and Orvis jackets, will last, and it has a much lower price.

Thanks for reading my article, I hope you found the right jacket for you and enjoy using it. Until next time, tight lines and easy casting.

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