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
Compass 360 Deadfall Breathable STFT Fishing Waders Review
These are excellent, super comfortable chest waders by Compass. Their zippered pockets provide great storage, including a flip-out chest storage pocket where you can put any devices you want to keep dry.
The 4-ply nylon fabric is very durable, and there’s also reinforcement over the knees and shins. 4mm stretch neoprene booties slide comfortably over your feet. You’ll need to purchase wading boots separately.
The Compass 360 waders have adjustable elastic suspenders, and the quick release buckle lets you undo them immediately if they get caught on anything.
All things considered, in my opinion these are the best fly fishing waders and some of the best chest waders for fishing overall. They’re comfortable and stand up well to the routine wear and tear that any avid angler is familiar with.
Foxelli Nylon Fishing Waders with Boots Review
These lightweight waders by Foxelli won’t weigh you down. They’re easy to put on and take off. They come with lightweight PVC boots with anti-slip soles to provide solid traction on slippery river rocks.
These waders are made of durable nylon that resists tips and tears, and there’s also reinforced knee padding. The elastic chest suspenders are adjustable.
As for storage, you’ll have an exterior chest pocket and interior pocket for storing small items and devices. The included nylon belt has two carabiners so you can attach more gear. Also included is a nylon carrying bag for conveniently transporting your waders. Foxelli offers excellent value at a very competitive price. These waders will keep you dry and comfortable during long days of fishing and are best fishing waders for the money.
TideWe Bootfoot Fishing Waders Review
Made from lightweight but durable nylon fabric, these TideWe waders are another solid choice. They’ve got some stretch to them, which lets you move comfortably and freely all day long. They are “bootfoot,” meaning that they come with a waterproof boot attachment (more on this below).
Taped seams and water-resistant material ensure that you stay dry all day. These waders have a convenient flip-out chest pocket. A waterproof phone case is also included, along with a belt at the waist, an essential feature for keeping water from splashing down into chest waders.
These waders combine great value with a good level of comfort and durability.
Allen Black River Bootfoot Fishing Waders Review
If you’re looking for the best hip waders for fishing, these are a great choice. Their waterproof membrane will keep you dry as you wade through shallow (thigh-high or lower) water.
Their sturdy construction includes durable attached boots with cleated soles that prevent you from slipping in rocky rivers and streams. I’ve taken the Allen fishing waders out several times and find them comfortable since they’re lightweight and quite flexible, so you won’t feel dragged down—I pretty much forget I have them on!
FISHINGSIR Fishing Chest Waders Review
A final contender on this list, the FISHINGSIR chest waders are made of lightweight, durable, waterproof nylon. They have a waterproof boot attachment and taped seams, so they do the important work of keeping water out.
They have adjustable suspenders and quick-release buckles, plus two D-rings at the front for attaching equipment in a convenient location. In addition, you’ll have a flip-out chest pocket for storage. These waders comes with a waterproof phone case.
These bootfoot waders do the job and keep you warm and dry when you’re out in the water.
Fishing Waders Buying Guide
Fishing waders are a worthwhile investment if you go fishing often, especially in deeper or cooler waters.
What to Wear under Fishing Waders
This 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
And don’t forget your sun protection!
Features to Consider When Buying Waders
Comfort, Weight, and Breathability
A 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.
This 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 Compartments
Convenient 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.
Some 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).
Bootfoot waders such as the TideWe Bootfoot Chest Waders, on the other hand, offer the convenience of a wader/boot combo, and as long as the attached boot is durable and offers good traction, they’ll do the job. The boots on the TideWe waders are comfortable and sturdy, and I’ve had some good fishing trips in them.
Chest vs. Hip Waders
Most of the options here are chest waders like Foxelli and FISHINGSIR, which offer more coverage and let you wade into deeper water while staying warm and dry. If you plan to wade often, I recommend getting some chest waders.
Hip waders such as the Allen Black River Bootfoot waders are suitable for wading in shallower water, and they’re generally easier to slip in and out of.
Whether you’re looking for the best waders for fly fishing or the best waders for surf fishing, I hope this guide has been useful.
There are tons of offerings on the market, and it can be hard to decide which are worth the investment. Personally, I’m a big fan of the Compass waders, which keep me dry even when I encounter a sudden hole or strong current in the water.