Patagonia Wading Jackets Complete Lineup Review in 2024 – Buyers Guide

patagonia wading jacket

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Not having a good wading jacket can really make or break your day out on the water.

Patagonia makes some of the best wading jackets on the market.

Image Product Details  
flyfisherpro-table__imageBest BudgetPatagonia Ultralight Packable Jacket
  • DWR Finish
  • Integrated Brimmed Hood
  • YKK Zippers
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flyfisherpro-table__imageBest OverallPatagonia River Salt Jacket
  • Waterproof Breathable Barrier
  • Comfy Adjustable Hood
  • Great Versatility
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flyfisherpro-table__imageBest Mid RangePatagonia SST Jacket
  • Waterproof Breathable Barrier
  • Water Repellant Finish
  • Out Waterproof Coat
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In my opinion, a fly fishing wading jacket needs to tick a few boxes, below I will go over Patagonia’s wading jackets in the hope to make your choice a little easier.

Patagonia Wading Jackets

Patagonia Ultralight Packable Jacket

Patagonia Ultralight Packable Jacket

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Key Features:

  • Waterproof, breathable, lightweight, 3-layer H2No® Performance Standard shell
  • DWR (durable water repellent)
  • Integrated brimmed hood has an easy-to-use cinch 
  • Large, water-resistant front-chest pocket
  • Articulated arms for a range of motion
  • YKK zippers
  • Fitz Roy logo on chest
  • 230 g (8.1 oz)
  • $249


  • Packs into a very small ball
  • Can be used for other outdoor activities
  • YKK zippers are waterproof
  • Fair Trade Certified™ sewn


  • Cuffs don’t prevent water from coming in

The Check AvidMax Price is a great lightweight wading jacket for fly fishing or any other outdoor activity really.

It comes in 2 colors, Joya blue, and a lovely salt grey.

The wading jacket itself could double as a casual rainjacket which makes it more of an attraction. The large front chest pocket could be seen as a little odd for an urban jacket but let’s not forget why you bought it originally, fishing!

The large front pocket is ideal for fly fishing and holds a large fly box with ease.

The adjustable hood is brimmed, fits very well, and doesn’t restrict movement or vision, as some of the other fly fishing wading jackets do.

All the zippers are corrosion-resistant and have the DWR (durable water repellent) finish. 

The one thing worth mentioning is that the Patagonia Ultralight wading jacket is not really suited for deep wading as its length could be an issue but if you are ok with it getting a little wet then go for it.

This Patagonia Wading jacket has the Fair Trade Certified sewn certification which is a great step in the right direction, a step that more companies should look at supporting.

Overall the Ultralight is a very versatile jacket ideal for those days on the water where the weather may turn a little nasty later on.

Patagonia River Salt Jacket

Patagonia River Salt Jacket

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Key Features:

  • Burly waterproof shell to keep you dry on rainy days
  • 4-layer H2No performance standard shell offers rugged waterproofing
  • Adjustable hood stays in place at high speeds
  • Drawcord hem with mesh casing drains quickly when you wade
  • Watertight cuffs ensure that water doesn’t sneak up your sleeves
  • Zippered chest pockets are sized to hold fly boxes
  • Waterproof front zipper stops rain and sprays from getting in
  • $349


  • Waterproof breathable barrier
  • Thick and durable
  • Runs true to size
  • Very comfy
  • Cuffs work well
  • Comfy adjustable hood
  • Great versatility


  • Minimal pockets
  • Zippers corrode
  • Zipper issues
  • Snap buttons
  • Not electronic friendly

The Check AvidMax Price is the ultimate combination of outdoor ruggedness with a slick casual-cool look. This obviously is emphasized with the Patagonia stamp of approval and ingenious design.

This fishing jacket is made from the same material that Patagonia makes their Rio Gallegos waders from. The River Salt jacket has a 4 layered polyester microfiber construction which is waterproof and breathable at the same time it also has the DWR (durable water repellent) finish — and it sheds water just as well as the waders do.

One of the key factors to this River Salt jacket is that it’s surprisingly good at wicking moisture from the inside out, which goes a very, very long way towards keeping you warm on the coldest of days. It has been mentioned that some of the pockets aren’t that great for electronics due to slight moisture build-up but then again this can happen to any pocket in any wading jacket.

The YKK Vislon Aquaguard zipper does a brilliant job at keeping all water out even when you are in the heaviest of storms, the River Salt still has the additional clip flap to cover the zipper which may not be necessary but is seen as a finishing touch to wading jackets.

Not getting ice-cold water all the way up to your arm when you have to reach into the water is a huge plus in my eyes and the lockdown cuffs on the river salt do this very well especially when you are retrieving a fly or untangling your fly line.

Another stand-out element of the River Salt is that it has a lovely slim-lined design without losing any pocket storage. Most other wading jackets that have large storage abilities are very bulky and don’t look very nice. Their pockets are most often a velcro base which snags fly line all the time but Patagonia has managed this very well on the River Salt, the River Salt’s pockets are slim-lined, and don’t snag your fly line which is great.

Let’s be honest a wading jacket that keeps you warm and dry in the toughest conditions won’t be comfortable when the weather warms a little, it just isn’t going to work well. While no wading jacket covers both of these conditions I feel the River Salt may just attempt it the best. The fabric allows for some breathability which does help.

Overall the River Salt is a great wading jacket and one that will work well for all your fishing, outdoor activities, and one that your partner will let you wear out to a casual dinner. Bonus!

Patagonia SST Jacket

Patagonia SST Jacket

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Key Features:

  • 3-layer, 100% recycled nylon double ripstop
  • Waterproof and breathable H2No performance standard shell protection
  • DWR (durable water repellent) finish
  • Adjustable hood, integrated hood with single-pull adjustment
  • Waterproof, corrosion-resistant YKK Vislon Aquaguard main zipper
  • Chest pockets are waterproof and set high for wading
  • Drop-in tippet, zip stash pocket, and tool docks
  • Two zip handwarmer pockets and back stash pocket
  • Reverse StretchCoat cuffs
  • Two center-front webbing loops; and a double belt loop at the lower back
  • Fair Trade Certified sewn
  • 496 g (17.5 oz)
  • $399


  • Great design
  • Waterproof breathable barrier
  • 100% recycled materials
  • Water repellant finish
  • Easy to adjust the hood
  • Additional belt straps
  • Great fit
  • Great out waterproof coat
  • Large front pockets for gear


  • Large front pockets can be bulky
  • Can only really be used as a fishing jacket, with no integrations
  • Hand warmers aren’t lined with fleece
  • Some pockets aren’t deep enough for guide fly boxes
  • Zipper issues

At first glance, the Patagonia SST jacket, may look a little light and unable to weather the storm but how wrong you would be to think that.

The newly designed SST jacket is made from a lighter multi-layered H2No performance standard, waterproof breathable fabric which provides fantastic mobility and protection for the harshest conditions, this is the ultimate fly fishing jacket.

The H2No performance standard fabric really does breathe well, especially when you are doing physical work and it’s very cold and wet outside, there is minimal sweat build-up.

The stash pocket on the inner chest and large chest pockets are some of the upgraded jacket features.

The chest pockets are a great size and will fit most fly boxes with ease. Another one of the SST jackets features is its back stash pocket that makes for easy stowing of any larger items needed on the water.

All zippers including the main zipper are aqua guard zippers and are waterproof corrosion resistant which means they should hold up to all the elements, they are quite big when compared to other jackets but I quite like this as there is nothing worse than trying to use a small zip when your hands a cold.

It’s all these small touches that make the SST a great fishing jacket, whether you use it for general fly fishing or deep wading everything has been thought about and considered.



When relooking at the above three Patagonia jackets, Patagonia has a very clear vision as to how they want their fishing jackets to be seen, used, and reviewed.

While they are all different in design and appearance they all carry that same trademark Patagonia style and character. These jackets are up there with the best fishing and best wading jackets out there and they have very good review scores in comparison as well.

If I were to choose I would have to go for the River Salt jacket, followed by the SST and then the Ultralight. The River Salt ticks all the right boxes for me as a fly fisherman and doubles as a bonus casual rain jacket that I would comfortably wear out.

The SST would be second the only difference for me from the River Salt is that it’s slightly bulkier with those very noticeable front pockets and the fact that I wouldn’t be able to wear it out socially, well I probably could but I would definitely get a few strange looks.

The Ultralight jacket is a great all-rounder jacket that will serve a variety of outdoor sports or passions. Its storability is a great feature as I’ve mentioned I hate a jacket that takes up my whole backpack.

I hope the above will help you in deciding on your next Patagonia wading jacket.

Stay warm and dry out there!

Tight line and happy fishing

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