best fly fishing waders

The Best Fly Fishing Waders (Reviewed and Updated for 2019!)

Are you thinking about getting yourself some waders for fishing? The best fly fishing waders will allow you to fish comfortably in colder waters, whilst staying dry and warm. If you want to take your fishing to the next level, check out our guide to choosing the best waders for you.

If you prefer staying dry then check out one of our recommendations for the best fishing kayak​ or even a fly fishing pontoon boat.

Why You Should Invest in Waders

Fly fishing waders are essential for most avid anglers – they allow you to fish in colder waters without suffering from the chill or getting uncomfortably damp. 

When you invest in great quality waders, you’ll have more flexibility, freedom and enjoyment whilst fishing. You can explore deeper waters, fish all year round and not have to worry about the water temperature, and you’ll stay warm and dry, no matter how many hours you’re out there for. 

Frogg Toggs Canyon II Breathable Stockingfoot...
TideWe Chest Wader, Camo Hunting Wader for Men,...
Compass 360 Deadfall Breathable STFT Chest Wader
Redington Sonic-Pro HDZ Mens Waders
Orvis Encounter Waders/Only Regular, XL
TideWe Bootfoot Chest Wader, 2-Ply Nylon/PVC...
Frogg Toggs Canyon II Breathable Stockingfoot…
TideWe Chest Wader, Camo Hunting Wader for Men,…
Compass 360 Deadfall Breathable STFT Chest Wader
Redington Sonic-Pro HDZ Mens Waders
Orvis Encounter Waders/Only Regular, XL
TideWe Bootfoot Chest Wader, 2-Ply Nylon/PVC…
from $63.66
from $99.99
from $117.91
from $266.22
$169.00
from $38.99
Frogg Toggs Canyon II Breathable Stockingfoot...
Frogg Toggs Canyon II Breathable Stockingfoot…
from $63.66
TideWe Chest Wader, Camo Hunting Wader for Men,...
TideWe Chest Wader, Camo Hunting Wader for Men,…
from $99.99
Compass 360 Deadfall Breathable STFT Chest Wader
Compass 360 Deadfall Breathable STFT Chest Wader
from $117.91
Redington Sonic-Pro HDZ Mens Waders
Redington Sonic-Pro HDZ Mens Waders
from $266.22
Orvis Encounter Waders/Only Regular, XL
Orvis Encounter Waders/Only Regular, XL
$169.00
TideWe Bootfoot Chest Wader, 2-Ply Nylon/PVC...
TideWe Bootfoot Chest Wader, 2-Ply Nylon/PVC…
from $38.99

What are the Different Types?

There are three main types of fly fishing waders to choose from. Let’s dive into the main differences, so you can pinpoint the type that would suit you best. 

Bootfoot waders 

A bootfoot wader is just that – it covers you from foot to chest, and has a pair of boots attached to the wader. You don’t have to purchase a pair of wading boots – you can just put this on and you’re ready to go, with full waterproof protection. 

Having said that, it can be more tricky to put on these fishing waders with boots, and they are pretty heavy, too. 

fishing waders review

Stockingfoot waders

A lot of anglers opt for stockingfoot waders. These cover you from foot to waist or more often, to chest. Instead of full wading boots, these fishing waders have a neoprene sock which you wear separate wading boots over the top. 

Many people find this type much easier to get into, and they do pack away smaller than the bootfoot alternative. However, once you’ve factored in a pair of wading boots, you’ll find that there’s not a lot of difference in weight between bootfoot and stockingfoot waders. 

Hip waders / wading pants

If you’ll be sticking to fairly shallow water, then this might be just the thing you need. Some have attached boots and others don’t. 

Designed for use in shallower depths and chilly temperatures, hip waders give protection up to the hip and tend to be more lightweight and comfortable than the above options. Wading pants are similar but they fit more closely, just like a comfy pair of pants. 

However, if you’re one to push your limits and be adventurous, you might find that hip waders won’t give you enough coverage. 

Neoprene Waders Vs. Breathable Waders – Which to Choose?

Most modern fly fishing pants are constructed from either special, breathable fabrics, or from neoprene. Waders made from neoprene are ideal for fishing in the coldest temperatures and in very cold water. 

The thickness of the neoprene does make a difference, with the range generally between 3mm – 5mm. However, it’s possible to overheat and start sweating quickly if you use a neoprene insulated wader in warmer weather. 

If you’re looking for something you can use all year round, you might be better considering something made from breathable fabrics, like Gore-tex, and just layering up underneath. Rather than holding in all your body heat and sweat, breathable waders for fishing allow it to escape while keeping the water out too. 

waterproof fishing waders

Best Fly Fishing Waders Reviews

So let’s get onto the reviews. Here I’ve pulled together some of the best fly fishing waders out there, to make it really easy for you to select the right choice for you. You’ll find the features of each model, plus the pros and cons of each style so you can find the right flyfishing waders or pants to meet your exact requirements. 

Frogg Toggs Canyon II Wader Review

These Frogg Toggs are a great choice if you’re looking for the full protection of a chest wader. You’ll be able to fish in deeper waters and really push the boundaries with this chest wader. This model is popular due to the 4mm neoprene sock booties which make it easier to put on and more versatile than a bootfoot wader. 

You’ll also find a handy, splash-proof chest pocket and a flip-out security pocket to keep your essentials safe while you fish. The material used for the Frogg Toggs Canyon II is a lightweight and flexible nylon, so you can feel free to move around unheeded by your fishing waders. 

Whether you’ll be standing, crouching or walking about, these Frogg Toggs waders won’t get in your way or hold you back. You can adjust the belt so that you can get just the right fit, and there’s generous room to suit every figure and body size. 

The Good

  • Durable - the Frogg Toggs Canyon II Wader will stand up to lots of intense use without wearing out
  • The quick release buckles on the belt and suspenders make it easy to put on and take off 
  • A great choice if you're looking for quality waders on a budget 

The Bad

  • The knee area doesn't have any extra padding to protect this sensitive area and reduce wear and tear on the waders
  • The belt is prone to breaking, so it unfortunately doesn't match up to the quality of the waders 

TideWe Chest Wader Review

The TideWe Chest Wader is definitely an eye-catching example of neoprene waders, with a cool camo design and bootfoot style. You’ll stay warm with these insulated waders, thanks to a 3.5mm neoprene upper and sturdy, triple-finished seams to prevent leaks. 

Detailed thought has gone into every element on the TideWe Chest Wader to provide superior quality and comfort, from the thick shoulder straps that attach easily with Velcro, to the cushioning, supportive boots. There’s even a hand warmer pocket so that you can tuck your hands away on the chilliest days. 

The insulated rubber boots have been specially designed to be puncture-proof and to give you excellent grip while you fish, so you can be safe at all times and prevent falls or slips. 

The Good

  • 100% waterproof 
  • Made from premium materials to prevent any leakage and ensure that you stay warm and dry 
  • With reinforced, insulated rubber boots in this bootfoot model, you'll have everything you need to get fishing straight away
  • Keep your valuables dry in a small chest pocket 
  • Easy to put on and remove due to the adjustable suspenders 
  • One of the best waders for avid anglers who take their fishing seriously and are looking for a bootfoot style! 

The Bad

  • More expensive than some other models, so not ideal if you're on a budget
  • The sizing can be misleading - TideWe recommends that you buy one size down as the fit is very long, but if you're stockier you might find it's better to stick with your normal size 

Compass Deadfall Stockingfoot Chest Waders

Check this model out if you’re looking for durable chest waders that will stand up to plenty of use and serve you well. The adjustable elastic suspenders ensure that you can get a great, individual fit, preventing the straps from slipping off your shoulders. 

The Compass Deadfall Waders have 4mm neoprene booties which are easy to get on and off and fit well to your feet, which means no annoying digging or pinching while you’re out on the water. Made from 4-ply nylon, these breathable waders are a great choice if you’re prone to overheating and want to steer clear of neoprene waders. 

You’ll stay warm in colder waters, but you can use these breathable waders in warmer weather too without getting hot and sweaty. 

The Good

  • Extra reinforcement around the shins and knees makes these waders even more durable and strong, so you can use them for years 
  • Useful pocket to keep things handy and dry while you're fishing
  • Breathable - so you can fish for as long as you like without getting sweaty or overheating 
  • Great for use in all weathers and water temperatures, helping you stay at the optimal temperature 

The Bad

  • On the expensive end of the scale, this might be too much of an investment for beginner anglers on a budget
  • As these are stockingfoot waders, you'll need to invest in a pair of wading boots too. 

Redington Sonic-Pro HDZ Waders Review

We recommend the Redington Sonic-Pro Waders for avid anglers who get out on the water at every chance they get. These waders are excellent quality, made from premium materials, and they are both comfortable and easy to get in and out of. Whilst waders do make fishing in cold water much more enjoyable, it can be a hassle to get in and out of most waders on the market. 

The unique feature of the waterproof zip in the Sonic-Pro HDZ waders eliminates this difficulty, making it easy to get in and out of your waders. This really does make a difference, especially if you plan on being out all day and may need to get in and out of your waders more than once. More than that, these waders are both breathable and very comfortable to wear, whilst being durable and hard-wearing. 

If you’re looking to get the best waders out there, these would be the ones we’d recommend, as they combine all the features you need for comfort, freedom of movement and practicality while fishing. 

The Good

  • Plenty of pockets, including internal and external water-resistant pockets, so you'll have space to carry everything you need to keep on hand, without risking water damage. 
  • The neoprene booties have a thick, reinforced sole for increased comfort and to reduce the risk of punctures.
  • You can keep your hands warm by tucking them away in the fleece hand warmer pocket - a welcome feature on chilly days when you're standing around for long periods of time. 

The Bad

  • With a hefty price tag, these waders are probably only for the most enthusiastic and dedicated anglers who will use their waders again and again and get good value from them 
  • The sizing runs large, so you might need to size down to get the best fit

Orvis Encounter Waders Review

Orvis Encounter Waders are a great budget option, combining impressive durability and breathability. These Orvis Waders are constructed from four layer nylon which is resistant to rips, tears, and leaks whilst keeping you at a comfortable temperature even in very cold water. From an adjustable belt and adjustable braces for the ideal fit to a handwarmer pocket, there are lots of useful features to make your time out on the water more pleasant. 

The Good

  • The handwarmer is a nice feature, allowing your hands to stay warm and cosy even after hours on the river. 
  • The Orvis waders are comfortable to wear all day.
  • The gravel guards provide extra protection against gravel, sand and other elements that could damage or cause wear to your waders 

The Bad

  • The front pocket isn't water-resistant, so take care if you put anything valuable in there. 
  • There's no interior pocket included, although you can buy this separately if you need one. 
  • Great value for money and a brilliant option if you're shopping for the best flyfishing waders on a budget. 

TideWe Bootfoot Chest Wader

The TideWe fishing waders with boots are lightweight, waterproof and suitable for men and women. Quick release buttons on the suspenders make these easy to put on, and they pack down to a small size. 

The Good

  • Strong and sturdy material which will stand up to a lot of hard use. 
  • Wide shoulder straps prevent digging for a comfortable fit
  • Generous pockets to keep all your gear close at hand. 

The Bad

  • The boot sizes are fairly small and tight, so you will need to size up if you have wide feet or want extra padding from thick socks.
  • The chest pocket is not waterproof but splash-proof, with no seals to keep water out 
  • The water pressure can cause the rubber of the boots to press down on your feet. 
ultralight fly fishing

Wrap Up

Having breathable, sturdy waders can make all the difference to your enjoyment when you’re fishing. You’ll stay comfortable, so you can get even more time out there and push your hobby to new limits. You won’t be limited to sticking to very shallow water in wading boots or only fishing in warm weather. 

If you’re looking to invest in the best fly fishing pants or insulated waders, any of our recommendations should do the job well. They combine the best features for comfort, practicality, and ease of use. You’ll just wish you’d bought yourself some flyfishing waders sooner!