best hip waders

Best Hip Waders in 2020

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Are you in the market for waders, but only do shallow water wading? Or, do you find your chest waders too warm to fish with during summer months? A good pair of hip waders will keep you dry and comfortable in shallow water and wet grass.

We’ll look at 6 of the best hip waders on the market. After reading this article, you will know precisely what key specifications to look for when buying a pair.

Image Product Details  
flyfisherpro-table__imageBest BudgetFrogg Toggs Pilot II
  • S - XXL
  • Stockingfoot
  • 4-ply Nylon
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flyfisherpro-table__imageBest OverallSimms G3 Guide
  • S - XXL
  • Stockingfoot
  • 4-layer Gore-Tex
Check Today's Price
flyfisherpro-table__imageBest LightweightPatagonia Swiftcurrent
  • S - XXL
  • Stockingfoot
  • Recycled H2No Polyester
Check Today's Price

If you’re looking for the best waders for fishing then check out this article.

The 6 Best Hip Waders in 2020

In this section, we’ll look at 6 of the best hip waders on the market today. These are spread out over a wide price range, ensuring there’s a wader that will suit your budget. All the waders will keep you dry, but the specific one you choose will determine the service life, comfort level, and wader’s durability.

Frogg Toggs Pilot II Breathable Pant

Frogg Toggs Pilot II Breathable Pant

Available Here: Amazon

  • Price: $179.99
  • Material: 4-ply Nylon upper with reinforced legs and knees
  • Inseam length available: Standard
  • Sizes available: S – XXL
  • Boot style options: Stockingfoot
  • Weight: Not disclosed

Pros

  • Features two zipped waist pocket
  • Durable construction with 4-ply knee and leg protection
  • Elastic wading belt included
  • Includes daisy chain accessory loops
  • One year warranty

Cons

  • Not available in different inseam lengths

The Frogg Toggs Pilot II Breathable pant is made from a 4-ply nylon fabric with reinforced knees and legs. The 4mm form-fitting neoprene booties are comfortable to wear with wading boots. An integrated gravel guard, which is kept in place by a no-rust lace hook, has an elastic built into it to ensure a tight fit. It does a great job of keeping debris and sand from entering your wading boots.

One of my favorite features about the Pilot II hip waders is the zipped side pockets. It provides just enough storage space and ensures that nothing can fall out. A wading belt is included with the wader. 

Frogg Toggs offer a one year warranty with the Pilot II to the original owner of the product. The wader must be registered online, or if you bought the wader through their website, the registration is automatic. 

Simms G3 Guide Wading Pants

Simms G3 Guide Wading Pants

Available Here: Trident Fly FishingSimms

  • Price: $499.95
  • Material: 4-layer Gore-Tex upper and lower
  • Inseam length available: Short, Regular, and Long
  • Sizes available: Each inseam length is available in sizes S – XXL
  • Boot style options: Stockingfoot
  • Weight: 40 ounces

Pros

  • Very durable construction with 4-layer upper and lower Gore-Tex fabric
  • Waterproof fly zipper
  • Wading belt included
  • Simms will repair any leaks developed in the first year for free
  • Available in a wide range of sizes and inseam lengths

Cons

  • Expensive

The Simms G3 Guide wading pants might not be reachable for everyone due to its high cost. However, those that can justify spending $500 for hip waders will not be disappointed with the G3. The anatomically correct neoprene stocking feet are comfortable and fit perfectly with wading boots. Simms has also treated the neoprene with an antimicrobial substance to prevent bacteria and fungi infections. The gravel guards are wear-resistant and are kept in place by boot hooks. 

One of the main reasons these waders are so expensive is the material Simms uses in their construction. The upper and lower sections are made using 4-layer Gore-Tex, offering unparalleled water repellency levels, breathability, and durability. 

A TIZIP waterproof fly zipper prevents water from entering through the fly of the wader. The wader also comes with a high-quality wading belt. Unfortunately, there are no storage pockets on these hip waders.

The G3 is available in three inseam sizes, Short, Regular, and Long. These inseam lengths all come in sizes ranging from small to XXL. With all these sizing options available, there indeed is a G3 that will fit you perfectly.

Patagonia Swiftcurrent Wading Pants

Patagonia Swiftcurrent Wading Pants

Available Here: Platte River Fly Shop

  • Price: $349
  • Material: 100% recycled H2No Polyester shell with a breathable waterproof, durable water repellent finish
  • Inseam length available: Extra Short, Short, Regular, and Long 
  • Sizes available: S – XXL
  • Boot style options: Stockingfoot
  • Weight: 35.7 ounces

Pros

  • Belt included
  • Made from 100% recycled polyester material
  • Features two hand pockets (but they do not have zips to close them off)
  • Available in a wide range of sizes and inseam lengths

Cons

  • Relatively expensive

At first glance, the Patagonia Swiftcurrent Wading Pants seem more like hard-core hiking pants than fishing waders. But, delve a little deeper, and you’ll notice that these cleverly designed hip waders should be on your wishlist. It features double-taped neoprene booties, which fits snuggly into wading boots. The integrated gravel guard secures to your boot’s laces with a clip. The bottom of the gravel guard includes a rubberized elastic, which ensures that no debris can enter. 

The ankles have been made from a heavy-duty scuff-resistant material, which will ensure the wader’s longevity. The wader itself is constructed using 100% recycled microfiber polyester material, called H2No. Two hand pockets are located on each side; however, they don’t have zips to seal them off. 

The Swiftcurrent hip waders have an elastic waistband that ensures a snug fit. It also includes a high-quality wading belt. The Patagonia Swiftcurrent hip waders are the ideal choice if you’re looking for war water hip waders.

Caddis Hybrid Extreme Elements Waist High

Caddis Hybrid Extreme Elements Waist High

Available Here: Amazon

  • Price: $159.99
  • Material: A combination of heavy-duty breathable polyester material above the thigh and durable and warm 5mm neoprene below the thigh
  • Inseam length available: Standard
  • Sizes available: S – XXL
  • Boot style options: Stockingfoot
  • Weight: Not disclosed

Pros

  • Extremely durable with the neoprene lowers
  • Comes with a wading belt
  • Excellent for cold water fishing scenarios

Cons

  • Not ideal for warm climates
  • May restrict the angler’s agility

Caddis waders are known to offer exceptional value offering both good qualities at a reasonable price point. The Hybrid Extreme Element Waist High pants are perfect for the angler who prefers hip waders but fishes in cold climates.

The bottom portion of the waders, below the thigh, are made from durable 5mm neoprene. The built-in neoprene gravel guards are kept in place with a lace hook and keep gravel out of your boots well. The knees are reinforced with an additional layer of neoprene, making them ultra-durable and comfortable when leaning against rocks while fishing.

The upper section of the Hybrid Extreme Elements waders is constructed from heavy-duty breathable polyester fabric. This material allows for free movement and adds to the overall comfort of the waders. 

Cabela’s Premium Breathable Hip Wader

Cabela's Premium Breathable Hip Wader

Available Here: Bass Pro Shop

  • Price: $99.99
  • Material: Nylon shell with 3-layered knees
  • Inseam length available: Standard
  • Sizes available: S – XXL
  • Boot style options: Stockingfoot
  • Weight: Not disclosed

Pros

  • Good value for money
  • Comes with a wading belt
  • Nylon stuff bag included

Cons

  • Not available in many sizes and different inseam lengths

The Cabela’s Premium Breathable Hip Wader is ideal for the beginner or the experienced angler looking for backup waders. It is good value for the money, and Cabela’s offers a trustworthy after-sales service should something go wrong.

The 3mm neoprene stockingfoot booties are comfortable inside a boot and feature non-slip traction to prevent your feet from moving around in wading boots. The black nylon gaiters stop debris from entering your boots and is kept in place by a lace hook.

The wader is constructed using a nylon shell. The knees are reinforced with the layers to add durability in areas where it matters most. An adjustable wading belt is included that is kept in place by quality belt loops.

The waders are shipped in a breathable nylon mesh stuff bag, which can be used to store them in when they’re wet. As far as affordable hip waders go, the Cabela’s Premium Breathable wader is hard to beat. 

Hodgman Mackenzie Cleated Hip Bootfoot

Hodgman Mackenzie Cleated Hip Bootfoot

Available Here: Amazon

  • Price: from $69.99
  • Material: PVC
  • Inseam length available: Standard
  • Sizes available: Boot sizes from 7 – 13
  • Boot style options: Bootfoot
  • Weight: Not disclosed

Pros

  • Very affordable
  • Comes with PVC boots

Cons

  • PVC coated nylon waders are not the most durable in my experience
  • The waders are kept in place with two clips

If you’re in the market for an inexpensive wader that will keep your legs dry in shallow water and wet grass, the Hodgman Mackenzie Cleated Hip wader is for you. These waders include PVC boots, which are lightweight and easy to walk with.

The wader itself is constructed with a PVC coated Nylon, which keeps water out. This material does not breathe, and in my experience, punctures quite easily. I, therefore, don’t recommend it for heavy-duty wading and walking through any dense overgrowth. Two cleats keep the wader in place.

As with all bootfoot waders, the Mackenzie Hip wader is sized according to foot size. It is available in sizes ranging from 7 – 13. 

Hip Waders Pros and Cons

hip waders pros cons

If you prefer wader fishing instead of wet wading in shallow water, a hip wader might be the best solution. Let’s have a look at the pros and cons of hip waders.

Hip Waders Pros

  • The anglers torso is not covered, which makes the waders comfortable and cool to wear
  • Hip waders are generally cheaper than chest waders (of the same brand and model)
  • They fold up small, which makes them perfect for backcountry hiking trips
  • Do not have shoulder straps, which makes them easy to put on and take off

Hip Waders Cons

  • Limits the water depth the angler can wade into
  • Hip waders do not have a great storage capacity with little to no pockets

What Makes the Best Hip Waders?

best hip waders

Determined anglers who spend countless hours and days in rivers during winter months are exposed to extreme cold conditions. These anglers must wear full chest waders as a matter of safety. But what about anglers who fish in warm climates? Most fly fishermen and women spend their time on the water during summer. If you don’t want to wet wade, the best option is hip waders.

In this section, we’ll have a look at the general pros and cons of hip-length waders. I’ll also go through the most critical factors to keep in mind when buying the best hip wader suited to your needs. 

Material

Waders are, in general, made from three different material types. PVC, neoprene, and breathable fabrics. Each has its own set of advantages and disadvantages. The ultimate material choice you need to make will be dictated by the amount of money you want to spend, the average climate of the intended fishing destination, and the durability required. 

PVC

Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC) waders offer the beginner or infrequent angler a cheap means to get into wading. They are low in cost and usually come with attached rubber boots. The material is notoriously unreliable and therefore does not make for the ideal wader if you’re going into dense shrubbery. PVC waders are perfect for anglers fishing in a lake.

Pros

  • Low in cost, which makes them accessible to the beginner angler
  • Very lightweight

Cons

  • PVC doesn’t breath, making the wader uncomfortable to wear in warm climates
  • The material punctures and tears easily

Neoprene

neoprene hip waders

Neoprene is used to make diving suits. It comes in various widths, ranging from 2.5 to 7mm, determining the waders’ heat retention. Neoprene waders are ideal for cold fishing situations. The material is also very durable. I recommend these waders to anglers who regularly fish in icy rivers.

Pros

  • Neoprene hip waders are very durable
  • The fabric is very durable, which means you’ll use the pair of waders for many years to come (if looked after properly)
  • Neoprene waders are relatively cheap

Cons

  • The stiffness of the material makes the wader uncomfortable to wear, especially when the fit is too snug

Breathable Fabrics

Breathable fabrics have been around for many years. Initially, waders made from this kind of material were very expensive. Nowadays, affordable options have become readily available. I recommend a breathable wader to most anglers. The fabric allows internal moisture to evaporate while preventing water from entering. 

Pros

  • Allows body moisture to pass through the material, making breathable hip waders extremely comfortable to wear during warm months

Cons

  • Not as durable as neoprene waders

Storage Pockets

Storage Pockets

One of the most significant drawbacks of waist-height waders is the lack of storage capacity. If you use your chest wader to store a phone, fly box, and spools of tippet, consider investing in a fly fishing vest or other gear storage tool. If you want storage pockets incorporated in your waist wader, the Frogg Toggs Pilot II Breathable Pant is an excellent choice. It features two zippered pockets, allowing for secure storage of small items. 

Please remember to treat all wader pockets as non-waterproof. All valuables and electronic devices must be inserted into a waterproof pouch.

Price

Most of us can’t necessarily afford the most expensive waders on the market. If you’re only going to use the waders for a couple of weeks per year, it’s even harder to justify flogging out over $500. However, as with most things in life, you get what you pay for. A wader’s price is determined by the manufacturer’s reputation, materials used, after-sales service, and quality. 

After Sales Service

Wader reviews rarely mention after-sales service and warranties as an essential factor. Most manufacturers don’t offer a substantial warranty service with their waders, which is entirely understandable because of the wear and tear they suffer. However, some manufactures do offer an above standard repair service. For example, Simms will repair any leaks developed in waders within the first 365 days for free. 

Boot Style

boot foot waders

Fishing waders are available in either stockingfoot or bootfoot. Each style has advantages and disadvantages. Your fishing needs will determine the best one for you. Here is the top-level difference between the two:

Boot foot waders

Boot waders incorporate the boot with the wader, making for a durable waterproof connection. This style of wader limits your sole choices. These waders are sized according to the boot size, making custom and comfortable fits uncommon.

Pros:

  • Quick to put on and take off
  • More affordable compared to a separate wading boot and wader combination

Cons

  • Does not fold up very compact, making it bulky to travel with
  • They have limited sole options. Most brands only offer standard rubber soles, whereas others provide the addition of felt and metal studs. 
  • The wader is sized according to the boot size. The wader itself only comes in one size, which might be too large or small for your body

Stockingfoot Waders

stockingfoot wader

Stockingfoot waders are my personal favorite. The bootie is mostly made from neoprene and must be worn with a separate pair of wading boots. Although this route does cost more, it opens up more options. For instance, if you have hip waders for summer fishing and chest waders for the winter, you can wear the same pair of wading boots. Wading boots also come in a wide range of sole options, some even with interchangeable soles. Here are some pros and cons of stockingfoot waders:

Pros

  • Allows the angler more versatility in terms of wading gear combinations
  • A wide variety of sole options are available, making it possible to match the correct boot for the traction requirements
  • Boot and wader sizes are independent of one another. This flexibility in choice means that the angler can acquire a wading system that fits as preferred

Cons

  • The wader and boot combination is more expensive than buying an equivalent bootfoot wader

Size and Fit

size fit

Buying your first set of hip waders online is a gamble, in my opinion. If you’re new to wading, or fishing for that matter, I urge you to go to your local fishing store and try on the waders. When trying them on, keep in mind where you’ll be fishing and what you’ll be wearing underneath the wader. For instance, if you’re fishing in colder water, a slightly bigger wader will work well to allow you to wear a good base layer. Always keep maneuverability in mind.

Portability

Do you need a pair of waders that you can chuck in a backpack for extended hiking trips? Or, will your waders spend most of their time working the same stretch of water from a weekend cabin? These questions will influence your hip wader choice significantly.

If you need something ultra-portable, keep weight and material thickness in mind. If you only need a pair of waders to stay in your lakeside cabin, a good pair of bootfoot waders will suffice. 

What to Wear Under Your Hip Waders?

Most anglers prefer wearing a base layer or tights under their hip waders. This layer allows moisture to wick away from the skin and to minimize chafing. In cold water environments, a thicker base layer can be worn. However, keep this in mind when selecting the wader, as it might be necessary to buy one size larger.

Conclusion

Knowing what specifications to look out for when buying a pair is of paramount importance. The correct pair will be comfortable, suit your wallet, and keep you dry in the water. A good pair of hip waders will also last you many seasons. 

If I had a limited budget and had to choose one pair from our list, I would go for the Frogg Toggs Pilot II. These hip waders are durable, have some great features, and only cost $179.99. On the other hand, if you’re an angler who spends 200+ days on the water every season, and money isn’t a problem, I recommend going for the Simms G3 hip wader. The performance, comfort, and after-sales service are impeccable.

I hope that you found the article insightful. Please share it with your angling friends or anyone you know is in the market for a good pair of hip waders. Leave any comments or questions at the bottom of the page; we’d love to hear your thoughts on the topic.

Until next time.

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