The best cheap waders will allow you to get out into the water when you don’t feel like wet wading, while also allowing you to keep within your fly fishing budget.

A pair of waders is about as necessary to fly fishing as a fly rod and reel are. It’s an added bonus if you can get a pair that not only keeps you dry but doesn’t cost as much as a car payment.

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If you’re looking for simply the best waders overall, check out our post of The Best Waders For Fly Fishing (2021 Buyer’s Guide).

Quick Look: Best Cheap Waders

#1 Best Cheap Waders Overall: Frogg Toggs Canyon II 

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So, if the above sounds interesting to you, check out the info below. I’ll cover some features of different waders and describe some different products.

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The Best Cheap Waders for Fly Fishing

Below, I’ll go over five different waders. Each has its own pros and cons, so think about what you need and then apply those needs to the list below.

Frogg Toggs Canyon II

  • Pros: 4 ply durable upper
  • Cons: Leaky with neoprene boots

The uppers on the Frogg Togg Canyon II are made of very strong material that will hold up to just about anything you can throw at them. The seams around the boots, though, aren’t well-made and can become leaky after a while.

This is most likely a result of poor stitching. So, ensure you keep that feature in mind when purchasing these waders. If you plan on doing some serious wading or hiking, then it might be best to avoid these.

These waders also feature a waterproof zippered chest pocket that can hold your flies, phone, wallet, or car keys. Anything you don’t want to get wet can be placed in here. A great pair of waders should have a waterproof pocket somewhere on it.

On top of this, you also get an adjustable waist belt and straps. These will help you custom fit your waders so that you’re comfortable no matter where you’re fishing.

Check out our hands-on review of the Frogg Toggs Canyon II Waders.

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Dark Lightning

  • Pros: Unisex
  • Cons: Durability

There’s no need to purchase wading boots with these. The Dark Lightning boot foot waders are great for both male and female anglers. They’re ideal for someone who doesn’t want to spend too much on boots and waders.

These aren’t great if you’re a hardcore angler. The material is rubber, so it’s not very durable. Also, because it’s rubber, they aren’t breathable.

So they’re terrible for hot days or long hikes to your favorite fishing spot. However, if you want some cheap waders for fishing to keep you dry, then these will work great for you.

These waders are ideal for the casual angler. They’re inexpensive waders and can be used casually during the fishing season. If treated properly and not run through any briars, they should last the casual angler a couple of fishing seasons before holes need to be filled or a new pair needs to be purchased.

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Ouzong Chest Waders

  • Pros: Comfortable and adjustable H-back suspenders
  • Cons: Pants run long

Of all the cheap waders out there, the Ouzong Chest Waders might be the best affordable waders you can get. Despite their price, they fit relatively well, are durable, and won’t break the bank.

These are ideal for the angler looking for a solid pair of waders but who wants to spend their money on a rod and reel instead of waders. On top of that, these are also made of breathable polyester, making them great for hot weather.

The H-back suspenders give a great fit and allow you to fully customize them. This allows you to walk and wade safely and comfortably around river banks and in the water itself. They’re easily the best budget waders.

There are also two pockets strategically placed on these waders. There’s a zippered pocket on the chest area that’s ideal for holding fly boxes and all different types of fly fishing gear. The zippered internal pocket can be used to hold your valuables, such as a wallet, car keys or cell phone.

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TideWe Hip Wader

  • Pros: Multipurpose
  • Cons: Sizes run small

The TideWe Hip Waders are made of lightweight nylon and feature PVC uppers. They’re lighter and more comfortable than a normal rubber hip wader.

The soles of the boots on these waders are also cleated. They give you ample traction over dirt, sand, mud, or anything else you might find yourself walking on while fishing.

There are also adjustable belt straps, so you can customize the fit and be comfortable all day. Feel free to use these even if you’re not fishing. They can be used for hunting or any type of outside work.

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Fishingsir Chest Waders

  • Pros: Lightweight and comfortable
  • Cons: Not much support or padding in boots

The Fishingsir Chest Waders are a surprisingly strong and durable pair of waders, considering the price. They’re great for someone looking for a solid pair of waders but who wants to spend more money on other pieces of gear.

The boots are soft and comfortable but have little to no arch support, making them uncomfortable when you’re standing for long periods. Also, they’re weak on the bottom, meaning you can feel every rock you step on.

If you’re looking for a pair of waders that will hold up, then these are the ones for you. Coming in at under $35, they’re a great starting point for a pair of waders.

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Why Are Cheap Waders a Worthwhile Investment?

Waders are an extra layer of protection from the elements. They help keep you warm in cold weather and cold water while also protecting your ankles from cuts and abrasions from rocks and other sharp objects.

orvis clearwater casting river in BC with my best cheap waders on

More importantly, they’ll keep you dry and comfortable. Being uncomfortable will cause you to leave the river early and not get a full day of fishing in.

So, if you want to be comfortable as well as protected, then you should invest in a pair of waders. Even a cheaper model can cover the most important features.

Protection

There are many obstacles you can come across when wading in a river. Submerged boulders can wreak havoc on shins and knees. The same goes for submerged trees.

So, having an extra layer of material covering your legs will help prevent you from coming out of the water all scraped and bloodied.

Waterproof

The main reason people buy waders is to keep dry in the water. Having something that makes you waterproof from the waist down will make you more comfortable.

On top of being waterproof, waders have all different kinds of zippers, pockets, and other spots to store gear. Most of those pockets are waterproof as well.

Temperature Control

On top of keeping you comfortable and dry, waders are also a great way to keep you warm when fishing in cold water or cold weather.

winter fly fishing for trout wearing the best cheap waders with temperature control

Underneath your waders, you can layer up to ensure you stay warm. Or, you can purchase neoprene waders that are made specifically for walking in very cold water.

Best Cheap Waders Buyers Guide

Below, I’ll go over a few features of different cheap fly fishing waders. Here I’ll talk about what you should be looking for and which features will work best for you.

Types of Fly Fishing Waders

There are several different types of fly fishing waders, but I’m only going to cover three. Below, I’ll go over boot, hip, and stocking foot waders. See which one you like the best!

Best Boot Foot Waders Made for Fishing with a Fly

Stocking Foot Waders

Stocking foot waders are usually made of either neoprene or nylon. The feet or boots of these waders are normally made of neoprene and are designed to be worn with wading boots. These are great all-around waders.

Boot Foot Waders

These are waders that have boots attached to the bottom of the waders. This means you don’t have to purchase any shoes to accompany your waders. Typically these are on the cheaper end of the spectrum, but not always.

Hip Wader

Hip waders are exactly what they sound like. They’re waders that come up to your hip. They’re usually made of rubber, but not always. Most of the time these waders also have boots attached, so you don’t have to actually purchase wading boots with these either.

Best Cheap Waders Important Features

Below, I’ll go over some of the main features that cheap waders should have. Just because they’re cheaper than a normal pair doesn’t mean that they don’t need to be comfortable and durable. Check out the list below!

Breathability

This comes into play when you’re choosing waders that aren’t made of rubber or neoprene. The two previously mentioned materials don’t breathe well, and you’ll be a hot, sweaty mess when fishing on those warm days. Look for nylon if you want breathability.

Frogg Togg Waders are the best cheap waders

Adjustability

Luckily, most waders these days are fully adjustable. The more expensive models might have a few more straps, but even the cheapest waders come with straps and zippers that can make your wading experience more comfortable.

Seam Reinforcement

This is where cheap waders can begin to lose their luster. They don’t always have great seam reinforcement, meaning they can begin to leak earlier than other waders. So, do your due diligence and check out waders that say seam reinforcement on the package.

Pockets

There has been a strong emergence of fly fishing packs over the last decade, but pockets on waders are still important. They can be waterproof and can give you easy access to different flies, tools, and anything else you may need.

Man Fly Fishing with a good fly fishing waders

Price

The price of waders can vary. Some of the cheapest models can be as low as $20, while the more expensive ones can be close to $1,000. So, make a budget for what you can spend and stick to that. You don’t need a $300 pair of waders to be a successful angler.

Durability

Durability is similar to seam reinforcement. Typically, cheaper waders aren’t known for their durability and are usually best for people who only need them a few times a year. Cheap, durable waders are hard to come by, but they’re out there.

Comfort

All modern waders are reasonably comfortable — some more than others, but all of them should fit you pretty well. On top of that, they also have different adjustable straps you can use to make your waders fit better.

Review of the Best Cheap Waders

Conclusion

Waders are a great tool for any fly angler. They’re not always needed, but if you plan on fishing cooler weather or cold water, then it’s definitely recommended that you have some. Otherwise, you’ll only be wet wading for a few months a year.

Cheap fishing waders are plentiful. They can be found just about anywhere on Amazon and can be used to help you get out on the water more often. Be careful, though, because not all cheap waders are created the same. Do your research and use this article to help you pick the best ones.

So, now that you know a little bit more about cheap waders, you should check out Amazon and see what they have to offer. I guarantee that you’ll find a cheap pair that’s perfect for you.

Some images in this post are courtesy of Shutterstock.