10 Best Fly Fishing Waders (2022 Guide)

The ultimate 2022 buyer's guide to the best fly fishing waders including boot foot waders, breathable waders, the best value waders, top-end waders & more.

Our team has extensively worn, tested, and fished all of these waders and many more to bring you this list of the best fishing waders of 2022.

It’s not easy picking out waders. There are so many different makes, models, and materials these days, that it seems like an overwhelming task to pick a good, reliable, and affordable set on the market. We’re here to help.

Quick Look at The Best Fishing Waders

1. Orvis Pro (Best Waders Overall)
2. Simms G4 (Best Top-End Waders)
3. Redington Sonic Pro HDZ (Best Mid-Range Waders)
4. Snowbee Prestige STX (Best Value Waders)
5. Frogg Toggs Canyon II (Best Budget Waders)
6. 8Fans Waist Waders (Best Budget Waist Waders)
7. Simms Tributary (Best Cold-Weather Waders)
8. Redington Escape Zip (Best Zip Waders)
9. 8 Fans Men’s Chest (Best Cheap Chest Waders)
10. Snowbee STX Bootfoot (Best Bootfoot Waders)

Jump To The List of The Best Fishing Waders Reviewed 

Our team of professional fly fishing guides, casting instructors, and avid anglers have been fly fishing for over 100 years between us and we’ve worn, tested, and reviewed just about every set of waders on the market.

In this post, I’m sharing our top picks from years of testing, research, and hands-on comparisons.

Disclaimer: IntoFlyFishing.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, as an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. Please see our Privacy Page for more information.

How To Choose The Best Waders

When shopping for waders, there are a few key features and things to look out for. We’ve covered these in-depth in our Buyer’s Guide portion of this guide, but I’ve listed them here as well for a quick answer:

10 Best Fly Fishing Waders of 2022

Now that I’ve gone over some reasons why fly fishing waders are so great, let’s go into depth on a few different products to give you a better idea of what you should be looking for.

→ Jump To How We Test & Compare Waders on This Website.

Below are ten different waders that will help you get out on the water in all conditions and help you catch fish. In my opinion, after much research and testing, these are the top fly fishing waders you can get when it comes to value, storage, and overall quality.

1. Orvis Pro Fishing Waders
(Best Waders Overall)

  • Pros: Lightweight
  • Cons: Run long in the leg (only con for some people)

The Orvis Pro Fishing Waders are our pick for the best fishing waders on the market in 2022. Really it is a toss-up between these and the Simms G4 Pros (Below) on which are actually the best high-end waders.

This list wouldn’t be complete without the Orvis Pro Waders, so after years of testing they’ve made the top of our list.

Our team angler and professional fly fishing guide in New Zealand, Alex, has worn these waders out.

I mean, this guy fishes these things extensively and he’s gone entire seasons without a leak, something he’s never been able to say about any of his previous waders.

My Orvis Pro Waders
Alex fishes these waders Extensively

Alex did a full, hands-on Orvis Pro Fishing Waders Review on our blog complete with an in-depth video, so make sure you check that out to see these things in action.

These waders have superb storage, they’re breathable, can easily be folded down to be waist waders and best of all, they are super durable.

Why We Chose Them

We chose the Orvis Pro Waders as the best overall fly fishing waders because they are durable, have excellent storage, and have all of the features you could ask for in a pair of waders.

Orivs Pro Waders Specs & Info

Colors: Shadow Seams: Welded low-profile
Stocking Foot Thickness: 3 mm Material: 4-layer Cordura Shell
Warranty: 60-days full replacement Storage: Waterproof zipper pocket, size zippers, fold pocket
Hand Warmers: 2-sided fleece Wading Belt: Yes (38 mm nylon)
Gravel Guards: Yes Sizes: Short, Reg, Long, X-Long in M,L,XL,XXL

SEE PRICE AT ORVIS

2. Simms G4 Pro Stockingfoot Waders
(Best Top-End Waders)

  • Pros: Full warranty, top quality GORE-TEX® Pro Shell material, 1-year leak protection warranty
  • Cons: More storage would be nice, price is super expensive

The Simms G4 Pro Stockingfoot Waders are a fantastic set of waders. That is, if you have the $800+ to fork out to keep yourself dry.

My own Simms G4 Waders

I listed these as the best top-end waders because they come sit on the rack with an even higher price tag than the Orvis Pros (believe it or not).

We’ve fished these waders extensively. In fact, one of our team fly fishing guides Kevin Main has fished these things for years up in Alaska, where waders truly get put to the test.

His Simms G4 Pro Waders are still going strong. Check out his Simms G4 Waders Review here.

If you’re looking for the absolute best, top-end waders, then the G4s are definitely up there.

Why We Chose Them

We chose the Simms G4 Waders as the best top-end waders because we’ve fished them extensively in Alaska, where conditions are often extremely hard on waders, and they’ve been up to the task, lasting one of our team guides years in the far north. They are high quality but have a price tag to match.

SIMMS G4 Specs & Info

Colors: Slate Seams: Front & Back Leg Seams Welded
Stocking Foot Thickness: 3.5 mm Material: 3-layer GORE-TEX upper/ 4-layer GORE-TEX lower
Warranty: 60-Days Replacement, 1-year Repair Storage: Waterproof zipper pocket + opt. pocket attachments
Hand Warmers:Micro-fleece lined Wading Belt: Yes (38 mm nylon)
Gravel Guards: Yes Sizes: S(7-8) to XL (9-11) in Short, Regular & Long

SEE PRICE ON TRIDENT

3. Redington Sonic Pro HDZ
(Best Midrange Waders)

  • Pros: Can convert to waist wader, very high-quality, very leak-resistant
  • Cons: High price tag

The Redington Sonic Pro HDZ are the best mid-budget fly waders on this list for a reason. Although they still come in at a bit higher of a price range, they’re well worth the investment.

These are Redington’s top-of-the-line fishing waders, and they’re built with the best materials and have one of the best warranties on the market as well. 

Redington Sonic Pro HDZ Waders

Seeing as these are chest waders, they also won the spot as the best chest waders 2022 has on the market.

Note: These are stockingfoot waders, so make sure to check out our guide to The Best Wading Boots for Fly Fishing before purchasing a pair of boots to go along with them.

They’re made of a 3 layer waterproof and breathable fabric. They’re slightly stiffer than some of the other waders I’ve tried on this list, but they feel like they have a better quality because of it.

They also feature a reinforced lower leg for increased durability. All in all, these are probably the most difficult waders on this list to damage or puncture.

The neoprene boots are high density, and there’s also a fleece-lined hand warmer pocket. Internally there’s a flip-out zippered pocket in the chest that is waterproof and can be used to store breakables.

Testing Redington Sonic Pro HDZ Waders

It also comes with a wading belt as well as gravel guards to help keep you safe in the water.

If you don’t feel like having your waders chest high, then you can use the opposing buckle to turn them into comfortable waist-high waders. That’s ideal for keeping you cool on those warmer days out on the water.

They also have handwarmer pockets and airflow technology to ensure they’re breathable in warm weather while still keeping you warm if you’re fishing in cooler seasons.

The pocket in front is large enough that it can hold a small fly box as well as some leaders, floatant, and a few other smaller items you might need for a day out.

Why We Chose Them

We chose the Redington Sonic Pro HDZ Waders as the best midrange waders because they’re a bit cheaper than the Simms G4, but are nearly as durable and high quality. We love the storage and the breathability of these waders.

Redington Sonic Pro HDZ Specs & Info

Colors: Clay Seams: Welded stitchless
Stocking Foot Thickness: 3.5 mm (4 mm bottom) Material: 4-Layer nylon fabric + durable water repellent (DWR) coating
Warranty: 1-year free replacement, 1+year $60 repair Storage: Waterproof zipper pocket, mobile sleeve, tool dock
Hand Warmers: Zippered, 2-sided fleece Wading Belt: Yes (38 mm nylon)
Gravel Guards: Yes Sizes: S, MS, M, ML, MK, LS, L, LL, LK, XLS, XL, XXL

SEE PRICE ON AMAZON

Prestige STX Best Value Waders4. Snowbee Prestige STX Waders
(Best Fly Fishing Waders for the Money)

  • Pros: Quiet material, high-quality seams, double-layered hip area, great warranty, super comfy
  • Cons: Could use more storage

The Snowbee STX Waders have recently become one of my favorite sets of waders. I love the slightly fuzzy material that keeps them quiet while you’re out on the river.

Definitely, the biggest pro to these waders is the quality of materials used. Snowbee might not be as well known as some of the other brands on this list, but they’ve been in the waders-making game for many years. These waders show off some of the best features of any on the market.

Double-seamed hips and ankle areas ensure that these waders won’t puncture or leak easily, and they have an excellent warranty to back them up. All of the seams are made using the highest quality sealing tape on the market, and the reverse suspender buckle means you can easily adjust them into hip waders if you want.

Danny Testing & Reviewing Snowbee STX Waders

These are some of our favorite waders on the market. To see why, check out our full, hands-on Snowbee STX Waders Review.

Why We Chose Them

We chose the Snowbee Prestige STX Waders as the best value waders because they come in at under $350 but they are built with high quality materials, are extremely comfortable and have lasted us multiple fishing seasons.

Snowbee Prestige STX Specs & Info

Colors: Clay Seams: 24% nylon, 59% polyester, 17% polyurethane
Stocking Foot Thickness: 4 mm, 3-panel neoprene Material: Soft-touch DWR w/Vapour-Tec® breathable membrane
Warranty: 1-year manufacturer default Storage: 2 waterproof zippers
Hand Warmers: Zippered, 2-sided fleece Wading Belt: Yes (fully adjustable elastic)
Gravel Guards: Yes Sizes: XS, S, M, MS, ML, L, LS, LL, XL, XLS, XXL, MK, LK, XLK

SEE PRICE ON SNOWBEE

Use Coupon Code IFF10 for 10% off

casting on a river5. Frogg Toggs Canyon II
(Best Budget Waders)

  • Pros: 4 ply durable upper, super comfortable, great build quality, great price
  • Cons: Could be more breathable, chest pocket not fully waterproof

The Sonic Pro HDZs are the best waders 2020 and 2022 has to offer, but when it comes to pure value for money, you really can’t beat Frog Toggs Canyon II fishing waders. Our team has put these fly fishing waders through the wringer for years and can vouch for their durability.

Looking for fishing waders reviews? Full Hands-On Review of Frog Togg Waders

These waders feature 4 ply uppers that are durable and can stand up to just about anything you can throw at them.

orvis clearwater casting river in BC
Our Team Angler Danny Loving His Frogg Toggs

The 4 mm double tapered neoprene booties, on the other hand, seem to have issues with leaking. Most likely from the stitching around the top of them where they meet, the waders can become faulty. These aren’t the most expensive waders, so be careful when ordering them.

The Canyon II also features a waterproof zippered chest pocket where you can keep essential items, such as a small fly box, nippers, leaders, or anything else you need.

There’s also an adjustable wading belt that comes with it. With this, you can ensure a tight fit across your midsection, and you can loosen it if you plan on wearing thermals beneath your waders.

The Y back suspenders give a snug and comfortable fit and also have some quick-release buckles.

The bottom of the waders has gravel guards as well as lace hooks, giving your feet as much protection as possible.

A lot of people also love the Frogg Toggs Hellbender waders, but we’re still on the Canyon train!

Why We Chose Them

We chose the Frogg Toggs Canyon II Waders as the best budget waders simply because they’re affordable and they’ve lasted us for years. Most cheaper waders would crumble after the torture we’ve put these through, but not the Canyon II.

Frogg Toggs Canyon II Specs & Info

Colors: Clay Seams: Welded stitchless
Stocking Foot Thickness: 4mm Material: 4-ply nylon
Warranty: 1-Year Manufacturer Defect Only Storage: Splashproof zipper pocket
Hand Warmers: No Wading Belt: Yes
Gravel Guards: Yes Sizes: S, M, L, XL, XXL

SEE PRICE ON AMAZON

Testing Breathable 8Fans Waist Waders6. 8Fans Waist Waders
(Best Budget Waist Waders)

  • Pros: Comfortable, Come with Knee Pads, Cheap
  • Cons: Pants run long (again, not always a con), booties not well-fitted

If you’ve seen our post all about the best budget waders on the market, you’ll know that we don’t always think you need to spend a lot of money on fly gear, particularly if you’re just starting out.

I’ve had A LOT of different waders in my day, from $600 pro guide waders to cheap, $50 waders, and the 8Fans Waist Waders are some of my favorites I’ve ever had.

These waders are cheap… I mean cheap. At under $100, I doubt you’ll ever find a quality pair of waders for this price anywhere else.

I’ve worn these waders for the past year and a half and while yes, I did have one leak, that was after a rough day of bushwacking through thorn bushes where I think any waders would have gotten a puncture.

I sealed up the tiny hole with a little wader repair kit and since then, they’ve been going strong for almost a year.

People like to bash 8Fans because they’re made in China, but here’s a news flash, about 90% of all fly fishing gear is either made in China (yes even your favorite brands), or at least some parts of it are assembled there.

These waders have a nice zipper pocket around the waste, they come with knee pads that are super comfortable and they’re relatively breathable. 

me holding a nice trout with 8fans waders
Me fly fishing in Slovenia with my 8Fans Waders

The main cons with these waders are that the booties aren’t really fitted to your foot. They don’t bunch in the boots or anything but they definitely don’t feel as good as Orvis Pro booties for example.

Also the warranty with 8Fans sucks. Just 30-days if you haven’t used them at all. I’d like to see 8Fans come out with a better warranty for sure, but still… they’ve lasted for me and I’d buy them again.

Why We Chose Them

We chose the 8Fans Waist Waders as the best budget waist waders because they’re affordable and last. Are they as durable and breathable as the top-end waders on this list? No. I’ve had a leak or two. But not until I’d fished them for a full season. For the price, it’s hard to find waders that can last that long and mine are still going strong two years in.

8Fans Waist Waders Specs & Info

Colors: 2-Tone Grey Seams: Double-layer reinforcement taped
Stocking Foot Thickness: 4mm Material: 2-layer breathable nylon w/3-layer knee & knee pad
Warranty: 30-days, Unused only Storage: Waterproof fold out zipper pocket in the waist
Hand Warmers: No Wading Belt: Yes (38 mm nylon)
Gravel Guards: Yes Sizes: S, M, L, LS, XL, XLS, XXL

SEE PRICE ON AMAZON

Simms Freestone (Best Top-End Waders)7. Simms Tributary Stockingfoot Waders
(Best Cold-Weather Waders)

  • Pros: 4-layer lowers, super high-quality material and build
  • Cons: No inside waterproof pocket

The 3-layer upper and 4-layer lower on the Simms Tributary Stockingfoot Waders provide excellent durability for fishing in rough conditions. Ideal for fishing in the mountains or on rivers, the Tributary waders will hold up to whatever you and mother nature can throw at them.

Simms Tributary Waders

They feature a fleece-lined hand warmer that can be used as extra storage and a zippered chest pocket that can be used to hold your fly fishing gear.

There’s not much else in the way of storage on these waders. If they had a waterproof inside pocket for some extra storage, then I think for sure they would have squeaked their way into my list of the best fly fishing waders 2022.

Due to having a bit less storage, you’ll have to pack light or wear a fly fishing vest (which most anglers have in their kit anyways).

Why We Chose Them

We chose the Simms Tributary Waders as the best cold weather waders because we’ve fished these things in below-freezing weather, and in hot weather, and they do well in both. Breathable enough to keep you cool in spring, and warm in the dead of winter. You can’t ask for more.

Simms Tributary Specs & Info

Colors: Tan Seams: Welded stitchless
Stocking Foot Thickness: 3.5 mm (4 mm bottom) Material: Waterproof polyester 3-layer upper & 4-layer lower
Warranty: 60-Day Replacement, 1-year Repair Storage: Attachment for interchangeable, flip-out pocket options
Hand Warmers: Reach-through fleece lined Wading Belt: Yes (1.5″ woven nylon)
Gravel Guards: Yes Sizes: S(7-8)-XXL(11-13) in Regular, Short & Long

SEE PRICE ON TRIDENT

Danny Testing Our Redington Escape Waders8. Redington Zip Waders
(Best Zip Waders)

  • Pros: Unisex (with waist belt)
  • Cons: A bit less durable than the more expensive brands, No storage

While the Orvis Pro Waders also have a zip wader orientation, we love the Redington Zip Waders because they come in at a much lower price point and the zipper design is a bit better.

Our team angler Danny has fished these Redington Escape Zip Waders for a very long time and he loves them. They’re still going strong even though he’s been bushwhacking with them in Arizona, Colorado and in many other states around the US.

We’ve done a full, hands-on Redington Escape Zip Waders Review on the blog and you can watch the video of that review here.

We’ve fished these in ice cold weather and they were warm enough, and we’ve fished them in the summer and they’re breathable enough.

Our Own Redington Escape Zip Waders

If you’re looking for an affordable pair of zip waders, we love these ones and can recommend them after a lot of use.

Why We Chose Them

Admittedly there aren’t a lot of zip waders on the market, but these things are great, especially for the price. We compared them against the more expensive Orvis Pro Zips and while the Orvis waders will probably last longer, we couldn’t justify the price when compared to the cheaper Redington Escape Zip Waders.

Redington Escape Specs & Info

Colors: Boulder / Slate Seams: Welded stitchless
Stocking Foot Thickness: 3.5mm Material: 3-layer upper and 4-layer lower
Warranty: 1-year Manufacturer Defect Only Storage: Only size zipper pockets
Hand Warmers: Zippered, 2-sided fleece Wading Belt: Yes (38 mm nylon)
Gravel Guards: Yes Sizes: S, M, MK, ML, MS, L, LK, LL, LS, XL, XXL 

SEE PRICE ON AMAZON

9. 8 Fans Men’s Chest Waders
(Best Cheap Chest Waders)

  • Pros: Large range of sizes
  • Cons: Short leg design won’t fit everybody, not fitted boots

Ranging in sizes from small to XXXL, the 8 Fans Chest Waders have a size for just about anybody. On top of that, these are also 100% waterproof and breathable. They’re made of 3-ply material using the 8 Fans drying technology, which allows sweat to leave but doesn’t allow water in.

8Fans Breathable 3 Layers Chest Waders review

The material is also abrasion-resistant and tear-resistant. These are durable waders for fishing at this price.

The H back of these waders is easily adjustable to make a nice snug fit, or they can be loosened if you happen to wear layers.

They also feature a waterproof zippered internal pocket that’s specifically made to hold a phone, keys, or anything you don’t want to be exposed to the water.

The waders also come with a mesh storage bag that’s perfect for the angler who goes immediately back to the truck after fishing but needs to be able to dry out their waders.

Simply slide them into the bag and they’ll be dry and ready to go the next time you’re ready to go out.

These are lightweight waders that are ideal for fishing in warmer or hot weather. Thanks to being fully adjustable, though, you can wear your thermals underneath and stay warm.

Our 8Fans Breathable 3 Layers Chest Waders

The team has used these waders extensively and we have a full hands-on 8Fans Chest Waders Review and video on the blog. 

These waders are great, especially for the price. For me, they weren’t as comfortable as the waist waders. For some reason, the legs seem super short to the crotch on these, so they don’t fit normal body styles all that well.

Just make sure you check their site for measurements and diligently measure your inseam before ordering.

Also, for some reason, 8Fans has 2 chest waders (we’ve worn & tested both) and one has the waist strap going right through the chest pocket making it difficult to get in and out of the zipper pocket while fishing.

If you’re going for 8Fans chest waders, be sure to purchase the “X-Back” version (linked above and below) and not their regular version.

8fans chest waders compared

Either way, these things are durable and for the price, you can’t go wrong. These are some of the best cheap chest waders on the market today for sure.

Why We Chose Them

The 8Fans Chest Waders made our list as the best cheap chest waders because they are amazingly well-built for the price. I’ve had mine for 2 seasons and while I’ve had some leaks (which is normal for the way I fish), they’re still going strong. Just be careful not to get the H-Back variation. I ordered them and sent them back because they didn’t fit right and the chest pocket was almost inaccessible.

8Fans Chest Waders Specs & Info

Colors: 2-Tone Grey Seams: Double layer taped reinforcement
Stocking Foot Thickness: 4mm Material: 3-Layer nylon fabric + Extra Knee Layer & Pad
Warranty: 1-year Manufacturer Default Only Storage: Waterproof zipper chest pocket
Hand Warmers: No Wading Belt: Yes (38 mm nylon)
Gravel Guards: Yes Sizes: S,M,L,XL,XXL,XXXL

SEE PRICE ON AMAZON

Our STX Waders Fresh Out of The Box10. Snowbee STX Bootfoot Waders
(Best Bootfoot Waders)

  • Pros: Include high-quality, neoprene-lined PVC boot
  • Cons: None. I love these waders.

Like I said, I’ve fished teh Snowbee STX Waders a lot and I love them. These are the bootfoot version of the Snowbee STX Waders that I listed above under “the best value waders”, so you know that these are also a great price.

Danny Testing & Reviewing Snowbee STX Waders

Considering they include the boots (which often cost $200-$400) these are arguably an even better value. And Snowbee didn’t scrimp on the boots either. These are comfortable, high-quality PVC boots with great grip.

Just like the stockingfoot version, these have great storage, the whisper quiet material and are built to last. I’ve had mine for nearly 2 years and they’re still going strong.

Why We Chose Them

I’m not crazy about boot foot waders. I normally prefer stocking foot waders and buying boots separately. But the Snowbee STX Boot Foot Waders fit well, are well-priced and they are just like the awesome STX stocking foot variation (with whisper quiet material, comfortable inseams, and great breathability), but with a nice pair of boots attached.

Snowbee Prestige STX Specs & Info

Colors: Clay Seams: 24% nylon, 59% polyester, 17% polyurethane
Stocking Foot Thickness: 4 mm, 3-panel neoprene Material: Soft-touch DWR w/Vapour-Tec® breathable
Warranty: 1-year manufacturer default only Storage: 2 waterproof zippers
Hand Warmers: Zippered, 2-sided fleece Wading Belt: Yes (fully adjustable elastic)
Gravel Guards: Yes Sizes: XS, S, M, MS, ML, L, LS, LL, XL, XLS, XXL, MK, LK, XLK

SEE PRICE ON AMAZON

3 Best Women’s Waders 

While most waders have a unisex fit (more on wader fits below), some of the best fishing waders are built with a women’s body frame in mind. These waders for women contour better to a woman’s body and will be slightly more comfortable than wearing unisex waders.

Orvis Women's Ultralight (Best Waders For Women)1. Orvis Women’s Ultralight
(Best Women’s Waders)

  • Pros: Best fit for women, super high-quality, stretch belt included, removable suspenders
  • Cons: Price

Orvis doesn’t just make men’s fly fishing waders. The women’s variation of the Orvis Ultralight waders are arguably better than the men’s version.

They’re comfortable, super durable, and of high quality. The stretch belt helps to keep them close to the body, which is great for the overall fit and also for staying warm in the water. Plus, you can clip things to the belt if you want.

The outer shell of these waders is 100% nylon with a polyurethane breathable membrane and microporous coating. The liner is 100% nylon tricot, which is a very high-quality material.

The only con is the price. This is one of the more expensive pairs of waders on this list, but it’s worth it for women who want great quality and an excellent fit.

These waders are available on Amazon with Prime shipping for speedy delivery. Just make sure you choose the right size, as each listing on Amazon is for a specific size.

Why We Chose Them

Finding women’s waders that actually fit a woman’s body as they should is a surprisingly difficult task. Orvis did a great job of creating properly contoured women’s waders with their Orvis Ultralights.

Orvis Women’s Ultralight Specs & Info

Colors: Storm Seams: Low profile w/ reinforcement in high stress areas
Stocking Foot Thickness: 3 mm Anatomical Material: 4-layer waterproof breathable nylon shell
Warranty: 60-Day Replacement, 1-year Repair Storage: Chest Pocket, Internal Pocket, Tool clip
Hand Warmers: Zippered, 2-sided fleece Wading Belt: Yes (1.5″ mm nylon)
Gravel Guards: Yes Sizes: XS, S, M, L, XL, XXL in Petite, Regular, & Tall 

SEE PRICE AT ORVIS

2. Simms Women’s Freestone Waders

  • Pros: Great fit for women, high-quality, good price
  • Cons: Missing some features of the Orvis Ultralights

The Simms Women’s Freestone Waders are an excellent, high-quality pair of women’s waders for a decent price.

They aren’t cheap, but they’re built to last with Simms great warranty to back them up. They are built with more flexibilty in the chest and lower back for added mobility, fine-tuned to female anglers’ movements.

Why We Chose Them

Another snugly fitting woman’s waders, the Simms Women’s Freestone Waders also come backed by Simms great warranty.

Simms Women’s Freestone Specs & Info

Colors: Striker Grey Seams: Welded stitchless
Stocking Foot Thickness: 3mm Material: Multi-Layer Toray Fabric
Warranty: 60-Day Replacement, 1-year Repair Storage: Zippered top stash pocket, add-on attachment
Hand Warmers: Fleece-lined reach-through Wading Belt: Yes (38 mm nylon)
Gravel Guards: Yes Sizes: S,SF,M,MF,L,LF,LS,XL

SEE PRICE ON AMAZON

Redington Women's Sonic-Pro Waders3. Redington Women’s Sonic-Pro Waders

  • Pros: Great fit for women, high-quality, good price
  • Cons: Poor Redington Warranty On Waders

They’re another great set of women’s waders for the money, and you really can’t go wrong with the Redington Women’s Sonic-Pro Waders.

These waders are designed with female waders in mind while keeping the price down, but they don’t compromise on quality of build or durability.

They’ve been built with a 4-layer waterproof/breathable DWR coated outer shell as well as patented SonicWeld seams, which hold up to a lot of wear and tear.

Why We Chose Them

These are some of the best-value women’s waders on the market. The Redington Women’s Sonic Pros are as good as the men’s versions, but fit women well.

Redington Sonic Pro HDZ Specs & Info

Colors: Clay Seams: Welded stitchless
Stocking Foot Thickness: 3.5 mm (4 mm bottom) Material: 4-layer, 100% nylon, waterproof/breathable, DWR coated
Warranty: 1-year Manufacturer Default Only Storage: Chest Pocket & interior drop-in mesh pocket
Hand Warmers: Fleece-lined Wading Belt: Yes (38 mm nylon)
Gravel Guards: Yes Sizes: S, M, L, XL in Regular, Short, Long & Full

SEE PRICE ON AMAZON

How We Test & Compare Waders

You’re probably asking yourself who are we to compare fishing waders? Into Fly Fishing is a group of 5 professional fly fishing guides, casting instructors, and competition anglers and we’ve tested, had our hands on, and researched all of the waders on this list.

We work directly with local fly shops and fly fishing wader manufacturers to get our hands on as many waders as we can for testing and review.

We don’t just fish each pair of waders for one day either. We test the waders for at least a full week on the water, and in most cases, we’ve fished them for years.

We test and compare waders based on the following criteria:

  • Overall Quality: We check over all seams, knee pads, buckles & straps to check for any defaults.
  • Comfort: We wear the waders for weeks or years in cold and warm weather to test comfort.
  • Durability: We fish the waders hard, walking through brush and kneeling on riverbeds to test durability.
  • Maneuverability: All waders go through a maneuverability test of squats, lunges and regular walking.
  • Breathability: We test waders in hot and cold climates to see how they breathe.
  • Warranty: We compare manufacturers’ warranties to decide which offer the best service.
  • Value For Money: After all other testing, we compare waders based on their price and overall value.

After a comprehensive test both in the shop and at the river, we narrow our decisions down to the best waders in different categories and for different fishing applications. We do the comparisons and reviews so you don’t have to.

Watch the Video

*Note: Items in the video differ from those in this blog post. The video will be updated soon. This post is the most up-to-date for 2022 waders.

Why Are Waders a Good Investment?

Waders will get you out on the water more often. You’re not always going to be able to wet wade. Rivers, streams, and lakes that feel great in July will be frigid come fall or early spring.

So, spending some money on good fly fishing waders will result in more time fishing and less time thinking about fishing.

If a cheaper set is all you can afford, then it’s worth it. Find something in your price range and get out on the water. They may not feature the same amount of pockets or clips that a more expensive set has, but at least you’re fishing.

Man Fly Fishing with a good fly fishing waders

The durability of these cheaper items may be suspect. Make sure to take proper care of them once you’ve left the water, and possibly buy a few patch kits just in case.

Now, if you can afford a solid pair of waders from a top-end brand, then you should treat those things like gold. Clean and store them properly because a nice pair of waders is expensive.

Yes, they may be more durable, but there’s nothing worse than getting a hole in a $300 pair. Check out below as I go a little more in-depth about why waders are so useful.

In the waders buying guide at the bottom of this post, I’ll talk more about all of the features to look out for and materials to expect at which price range.

Waders Give You Better Accessibility to Fishing

When wearing waders, you get to spend more time fishing. If this doesn’t convince you to start shopping for the best fishing waders, then I’m not sure what else to say.

With waders, you could be in tailwaters and spring-fed rivers fishing 12 months out of the year. Sure, the fishing may be slow in mid-January, but as a wise man once said, “You can always throw a midge.

Gear Storage

Having some fly fishing wader pockets will drastically make your fishing life easier. Most waders come equipped with a waterproof pocket that you can use to store important items such as your keys, wallet, and phone.

On top of this, you’ll find rings for hooking on your fly rod, nets, tippet, nippers, hemostat, and any other items you’d have in your fly fishing kit.

While you’ll still likely want a good fly fishing vest and a good pack for ultimate storage, your waders should also have a zippered front pouch where you can put a small fly box as well as your fly reel, fly fishing sunglasses and other gear.

Waders Offer Protection from the Elements

Waders will help keep you warm while you’re fishing on those cool spring or fall days. If you’re fly fishing in Minnesota in the winter, or even casting lines in South Dakota in the summer, you’ll want to be sure you’re protected from the elements.

An often overlooked aspect, though, is that they can help protect your skin from cuts or abrasions caused by submerged boulders or pieces of wood.

These may puncture your waders causing a tear, but it’s the first line of defense you have against mother nature. 

You’ll also want to make sure your wading boots are up to the task. So, either consider shopping for the best bootfoot waders or buy a great pair of wading boots.

Types of Fly Fishing Waders

There are three types of fly fishing waders: stocking foot, boot foot, and hip waders. Each of these has its own set of positives and negatives. So, below I’ll go over each, and hopefully, you’ll be able to tell which ones are the best for you.

a custom graphic showing the different types of fly fishing waders: Boot foot waders, stocking foot waders, chest waders, waist waders and hip waders.

Stocking Foot Waders

Stockingfoot waders are waders that come with neoprene booties on the bottom. Stockingfoot waders aren’t meant to be worn without boots. You’ll find that breathable stockingfoot chest waders are usually the most expensive models on the market.

Man on river wading and fly fishing

People like them because of how strong and dependable they are, and the use of a wading boot increases stability on the water.

Bootfoot Waders

These aren’t usually your high-end wader. That being said, there’s always an exception.

These are made with a boot already attached to the bottom that’s typically made of rubber. They’re great for the angler who only goes out a few times a year and doesn’t walk in very slippery conditions.

If this is the route you’re going, you’ll want to make sure you get breathable boot foot waders.

Chest Waders

This is the most typical type of wader design with the wading material coming up to cover your chest. 

These waders are usually slightly warmer, but also cover more of your body so that you can go deeper in the water. These waders are also better for float tube fishing.

Hip Waders

Hip waders are basically two very long boots that come up to your upper thigh. These usually come with a connected boot.

Typically, these aren’t the most comfortable or stable waders. Some people prefer them, though, because they’re lightweight and cooler to wear in warm summer months.

Waist Waders

As the name suggests, these waders come up to your high waist. They basically just look like a normal pair of pants, but they’re fully waterproof.

I love waist waders because they are more comfortable to wear than hip waders and they come up high enough, but they’re not as warm as chest waders.

The main drawbacks of these is that you can’t go in as deep of water as you can with chest waders, and they lack that handy chest storage pocket that typically come with chest waders.

How to Choose the Best Fly Fishing Waders

Your waders will be your first line of defense against the outdoors. They’ll keep you warm as well as help you keep your skin free from any cuts or abrasions that might occur in the water or on the way down.

It’s important to know what type of waders you’re buying so you know what will and won’t protect you.

What Makes a Good Pair of Fly Fishing Waders?

There are several different factors you must look at before purchasing your waders. First, though, you should think about what type of fishing you plan on doing.

Custom diagram showing the different features of a good pair of fly fishing waders including suspension system, extra padding on the knees, waist band, booties, gravel guard and more.

Are you hiking in the mountains for brook trout? Then, mobility and durability are key.

Take a second to think about where you’ll be fishing and what you need. Take a look at the list below to help narrow your list down.

Material

The material that your fly fishing waders are made out of can have a huge effect on their breathability, comfort, durability and maneuverability, which are a few of the main things that make the great waders I’ll be listing next.

So, what is the material that waders are usually made from, and which will be the best for you? Here’s a quick look at these materials.

Neoprene Waders

Neoprene waders are a bit clunkier and heavier than their more breathable counterparts, but they’re great for cold water. Neoprene is well insulated, so if you plan on always fishing in colder climates, then these may be a great option for you.

Breathable Waders

Typically, breathable waders are made out of waterproof compounds such as Gore-Tex or Dri-Plus. These are always my waders of choice because they’re easier to move around in, are more lightweight, and you can still add layers of clothes beneath them if you’re fishing in colder weather.

Breathable waders do tend to cost a bit more because materials like Gore-Tex are typically a lot more expensive. But if you have the money to spend, they’re worth it for their versatility and lighter weight.

Rubber Waders

Rubber waders are cheap, but they’re heavy, they don’t breathe and they are not comfortable at all. I highly recommend not buying any waders made of rubber material.

They’re trash and that’s why I didn’t include any on this list.

Breathability

This is important if you plan on fishing during any type of warm weather. Walking around in waders regardless of temperature can trap heat and make you hot and sweaty quickly.

If you plan on walking a lot, then look for something with increased breathability.

Men’s vs Women’s Waders

Female fly anglers rejoice! Finally, wader manufacturers are starting to produce waders that are meant to fit women specifically. If you’re shopping for women’s waders, there are a few manufacturers that excel in making a comfortable fit for women.

Having said that, most of the above waders listed are unisex and will fit women comfortably as well. Waders in general aren’t usually very contoured to the body, so the unisex fit is almost universal.

Adjustability

Waders come in a size that’s a general fit. Most also have straps and wading belts that can be adjusted to give a closer fit.

Long cast with waterproof waders in a lake fly fishing

This can make you feel more comfortable. If they don’t have adjustable straps, then you could feel like you’re wearing a potato sack instead of waders.

I also consider convertibility an important part of adjustability when it comes to waders. What I mean is that certain waders are designed to easily convert from chest waders to hip waders.

Simply unclip the suspenders and reclip them around your waist to have a cooler, more comfortable pair of hip waders while you’re in the river.

Seam Reinforcement

This is an important one. Your seams are one of the spots where a leak is most likely to spring.

This is especially true on cheaper waders. Look for anything on your wader’s box that says seam reinforcement. Having this will save you a headache in the future.

Pockets

Most waders have just enough room to hold a few non-fishing items such as a phone, keys, and a wallet. This is followed by the essentials of fishing.

Most likely your waders will have two pockets in them. Some waders, however, come with a few extra. You should be purchasing whatever will work best for you.

Price

Keep in mind that there are some great waders out there for under $100. If your budget is closer to $50, then know that you’ll have to take extra special care of them to ensure that the seams don’t rip and no holes appear in them.

If you want something expensive, then that doesn’t mean you can write off taking care of them, but typically they’ll be more durable. Find something that works in your price range. If you’re willing to spend a fortune on pro waders then go for it, but you can still get a great pair for under $100.

Note: You can click any of the buttons or links in this post to check current prices on Amazon.

Durability

More expensive waders are made better. That doesn’t mean you don’t need to take care of them, though. Still make sure to air dry and rinse with cold soapy water. If you can’t afford expensive waders, then look for waders that have 3-4 layer protection.

Female Fishing River with Fly Fishing Waders

Warranty

With their 60-day replacement policy and 1-year leak repair warranty, Simms easily has the best waders warranty in the business. Very few waders come with a warranty that will cover leakage or user damage at all.

The best warranties on waders are offered by just a few brands. These are Simms (60-day replacement plus 1-year full warranty), Orvis (1-year manufacturer warranty), and Redington (lifetime manufacturer faults).

Comfort

Comfort all depends on what you like. What’s comfortable to me isn’t to you and vice versa. Ideally, though, you’ll want something lightweight, breathable, and fully adjustable. After all, you don’t want to overheat on the river or feel too constricted.

Maneuverability

This is very similar to comfort, but even more important to many anglers. Being able to easily move freely in your waders is vital for casting with tight loops and fishing for long days in difficult spots.

I’ve had my fair share of neoprene waders that just weren’t pliable enough to allow for a full range of movement. This is where Gore-Tex really shines.

With a good pair of thin, breathable waders, you’ll generally have a lot more freedom of movement and you’ll be able to fish more effectively without being weighed down by thick wader materials.

Best Fishing Wader Brands

The below list shows the logos of what we consider to be the absolute best fly fishing wader manufacturers year after year. These brands consistently put out the best waders on the market in our opinion.

A custom infographic showing the logos of the best fly fishing wader brands on the market
Look for these logos at your local fly shop or online store when shopping for waders

Best Waders FAQs

Here are some frequently asked questions about waders for fly fishing answered quickly and concisely to help you make a decision.

What Are the Best Bootfoot Waders?

After testing many, I believe that the Snowbee Prestige STX Bootfoot waders are the best bootfoot waders.

What Are the Best Fishing Waders Overall?

Generally, you don’t have to be too concerned if waders are specifically for fly fishing or for other types of fishing unless you’re considering the best waders for surf fishing. This means that the best fishing waders are still the Orvis Pro Waders.

Why Do I Need Fishing Waders?

Fishing waders are the best way to get into those tough spots in deeper water. Most are chest waders, which means they’ll keep you dry, even if you’re above your waist in rushing river water.

What Are the Best Waders for Trout Fishing?

A lot of beginner fly anglers ask what are the best waders for trout fishing, but in reality, there’s not much difference in waders for any particular species of fish. As long as you’re keeping yourself dry, you’re doing alright.
Because trout can be caught in warm and cooler weather, I’d still say that the Orvis Pro Waders are the best waders for trout fishing as they’ll keep you warm and are breathable eno

What Are the Best Chest Waders?

A lot of people are specifically shopping for the best chest waders because they expect to fish deeper water and need extra protection. The best chest waders 2022 offers are the Orvis Pro Chest Waders. If you’re looking for a cheap pair of chest waders, then the 8Fans Chest Waders are great.
We also have a post all about the best chest waders. Check it out.

What Are the Best Breathable Waders?

The best breathable waders are the Simms G3s. They’re an excellent set of waders with a great warranty. We also have a post all about the best breathable waders, so make sure you check it out.

What Are the Best Cheap Waders?

The 8Fans Waist Waders are the best cheap waders 2022 has to offer. They’re extremely high quality for the low price tag, which puts them up there as the best value waders this year. I’ve fished them for years and love them.

What brands make the best fly fishing waders?

Orvis, Redington, Simms, Snowbee, and Patagonia consistently make the best fly fishing waders year after year.

How Did We Decide on the Best Waders of 2022?

Among our team of five fly anglers, we have over 120 years of experience in fly fishing, and we’ve tried and tested countless waders. This list is a culmination of hands-on testing and research to find the best waders of 2022 (newly-released this year or previously).

Review Waders for Fishing

Conclusion

Hopefully, you now know what your top fly fishing waders look like. They’re durable, breathable, and contain as many pockets as possible. Or, they keep you warm and are fully adjustable.

Either way, whatever you’re looking for, make sure it fits you and is right for your type of fishing.

So, go ahead and order a new pair. You can head to your local fly shop or take your measurements from home and order them online. If they don’t fit, you can always return them. Your golden pair of waders is waiting out there somewhere.

Some images in this post are courtesy of Shutterstock

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Nick Wharton is an expert fly fisherman who has been fishing since he was old enough to hold a rod. After switching to fly fishing at age 8, he never looked back. Today he writes for numerous websites and magazines about his fly fishing adventures around the world. Nick has had his writing and photography featured on Forbes, Lonely Planet, National Geographic Traveller and much more.

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