In this guide we’ll look at the best fishing waders.
We’ve compared comfort, rip resistance, boots and cost
to give you our top recommendations.
What Are The Best Fishing Waders?
More Detailed Fishing Wader Reviews
Fishing Waders Buying GuideFishing waders are a worthwhile investment if you go fishing often, especially in deeper or cooler waters.
What to Wear under Fishing WadersThis of course depends on the weather, but the one constant is that you should avoid cotton! Here’s what I typically wear under my waders in cool or cold weather:
- Moisture-wicking wool socks + a synthetic “liner” underneath
- Synthetic base layers (shirt and leggings or pants)
- Fleece insulating layers
Features to Consider When Buying Waders
Comfort, Weight, and BreathabilityA comfortable pair of waders will be relatively lightweight so you don’t feel encumbered while you’re fishing. They’ll also be reasonably breathable, keeping the water out but allowing your skin to breathe. Ideally, your waders will also be relatively easy to take on and off. My top pick in this category? The Compass 360 Deadfall waders.
Rip ResistanceThis is an important factor if you plan to wear your waders in brushy, forested areas where branches or rocks are likely to snag against the fabric. Good waders will be durable, capable of handling the great outdoors. Reinforcement in key areas (e.g. the knees) is also helpful.
Pockets and CompartmentsConvenient pockets are a major advantage to wearing waders. Look for a pair with a good chest pocket and a place to store your phone and other devices you don’t want to get wet. The Compass 360 Deadfall waders are an excellent choice here; there’s a zippered flip-out pocket for your phone, plus a 2-in-1 chest pocket that gives you some storage and lets you warm up your hands. Many waders also feature belts and/or D-rings that allow you to attach additional gear within easy reach.
Anti-Slip BootsSome waders are designated as “bootfoot” while others are “stockingfoot.” The Compass 360 Deadfall waders are an example of stockingfoot; they’ve got neoprene booties to go over your feet, and then you put on dedicated wading boots (purchased separately). The advantages of stockingfoot waders include:
- They’re usually a bit easier to put on and take off.
- You have more choice when it comes to wading boots.
- If you want to upgrade or switch boots you can do so easily (whereas with bootfoot waders, the boot is attached, so you have to replace the entire pair of waders).