TOP 11 Best Fly Fishing Waders in 2020 Reviewed + Essential Buyers Guide


Getting wet is the nature of fly fishing.

For most of us, catching a good fish far outweighs staying warm and dry.

And who really notices the chattering teeth and shivering legs, when you’re holding up a big catch for the camera?

Okay right, I think it’s a bit difficult staying still and fully enjoying the experience!

That’s where fly fishing waders come in so useful and are a major part of keeping you warm and safe on the water.

So let’s take a look at this list of the 11 best fly fishing waders for 2020 and see if one can make your fly fishing experience a whole lot better than before.

Let’s dive in.

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TOP 11 Best Fly Fishing Waders in 2020

Redington Men's Sonic Pro HDZ Fishing Wader

If you’re looking for a fly fishing wader that is worth your money, then this version from Redington is a great investment.

This wader comes at the top of their range, due to its well-designed features and breathable, 3 layered waterproof fabric. The fabric is stiffer than some, however, it remains very comfortable to walk in over long distances and difficult terrain.

It’s also a great choice if you’re wanting a high-quality, stockingfoot wader.

Other notable features include a waterproof, zippered chest pocket for storing breakables, gravel guards, and an integrated tool dock on the front left of the chest.

Pros

  • Comfortable neoprene boots.
  • Two-sided fleece warmer pocket.
  • TIZIP waterproof front zipper.
  • Can use the opposing buckle to convert into a waist-high wader (ideal for warmer weather).

Cons

  • Expensive.

Takeaway

When looking for quality and style, this wader shouldn’t let you down in any way.

Orvis Men's Ultralight Convertible Wader

As a top fly fishing brand, Orvis always delivers on quality and value for money.

And this product is no exception.

Consisting of a laminate, 4-layer, 100% nylon fabric, this wader is made to offer ideal comfort, and for lasting you a long time.

There are also many useful features, such as 1 zippered chest pocket and an internal pocket. Perfect for storing your favorite pair of fishing gloves. The gravel guards are an additional bonus.

If you’re inclined to go for these, just make sure you buy booties that are one size bigger, as they have been reported to being a bit thicker than most varieties.

Pros

  • Trusted brand.
  • Top-notch quality.
  • Good sizing.
  • Lightweight and breathable.

Cons

  • Expensive.

Takeaway

If you’re on the lookout for a worthwhile investment in a top-quality fly fishing wader, then this version by Orvis is your best choice. It’s built for outlasting many fishing occasions.

8 Fans Men’s Fishing Chest Wader

Here’s a great stocking foot wader in the middle of the price range.

Built with waterproof, durable, and breathable fabric, these waders are also made to last a considerable length of time. It offers a double-layer, reinforcement taping on the front, to improve the quality and durability of the fabric.

The adjustable, H-back design, quick-release buckles, and wading belt design, further highlights it’s excellent features.

Storage is superb too, as it includes two front pockets, as well as an inner pocket for keeping keys or phones out of the water.

Pros

  • Rustproof D-rings on the front.
  • Sizing is good.
  • Attached gravel guards.
  • Double protection over the knees.

Cons

  • Could come in more colors.

Takeaway

For those more regular fly fishing people who can’t afford a big name brand, these waders will provide you with longer use while keeping up with the quality. A good buy!

Tidewe Men's Cleated Bootfoot Chest Wader

Wet and cold:

Generally, these go together right?

Well if getting wet is a more common occurrence while fly fishing, it will be best to find a high-quality neoprene wader to make your life a lot easier and more comfortable.

These neoprene waders by TIDEWE are ideal for cold conditions. Made from durable, 3.5mm neoprene material on the upper section, with a tough jersey shell. The seams are then secured with a triple-finish.

Also, the boots are excellent:

Providing a strong tread pattern for better balance and footing on uneven terrain, as well as stronger grip in those muddy situations.

You can comfortably wear socks or no socks, depending on what you prefer. The reinforced shoe vamp also protects against external punctures.

Pros

  • Affordable.
  • Quick-drain hand-warmer pocket on the chest, with a small pocket for storage.
  • Comes with a repair kit, boot hanger, and waterproof cellphone case.

Cons

  • Feet get cold if submerged in cold water for long periods.
  • After considerable use, leaks can occur.
  • Leg length may be short for some taller people.

Takeaway

For the more affordable waders, this is one of the best waders for fly fishing in cold water. Sure, the quality might not be as great as the top brands, but it sure offers a lot in terms of comfort and ease of use.

Orvis Women's Ultralight Convertible Wader

So let’s take a look at some of the best women’s waders available today.

I think we’d all agree:

That women are curvy.

Now if you’re looking for a wader that takes those curves into account, then this version by Orvis is a great choice. They are comfortable, highly durable, and offer superb quality.

The outer shell consists of 100% nylon, with a polyurethane breathable membrane and a microporous coating. The liner is made from a very high-quality, 100% nylon tricot.

It also features a stretch belt, so you can tighten it for a more comfortable fit – equally useful on those very cold days when you’re needing more layers.

Then below the front zippered pocket, it comes with a very handy velcro section for holding flies.

Pros

  • Adjustable and removable suspenders.
  • Neoprene gravel guards.
  • Pockets – 1 external zippered and 1 internal zippered.

Cons

  • On the expensive side.

Takeaway

While this well-designed wader is quite expensive, it sure does deliver on the quality and is considered one of the best women’s waders for fly fishing.

Redington Women's Sonic-Pro Wader

Here’s another great fit for women and one of the best fly fishing waders for the money.

Perhaps a perfect birthday gift for the misses, gentleman?

It certainly doesn’t compromise on quality, featuring a 4-layer, nylon, waterproof/breathable, DWR stretch fabric, allowing for easy fit for all body shapes.

The stretch mesh back also keeps everything secure, while also enabling great mobility.

Pros

  • Chest pocket with water-resistant YKK zipper.
  • Two-sided fleece-lined handwarmer pocket.
  • Great sizing.

Cons

  • Quite expensive.
  • Simpler design.

Takeaway

It might not have all the features of the Orvis, but if you’re looking for a high-quality, durable wader this is one worth considering.

Redington Women's Willow River Wader

What if you want a slightly cheaper, but still high-quality wader?

Well, this middle of the price range wader might just be a keeper!

Designed for a women’s comfort in mind, this wader is made from a triple-layer waterproof and breathable, DWR-coated fabric.

The knees consist of additional reinforcement, and the booties are made from a high-density neoprene material, keeping the feet warmer for longer.

Pros

  • Very affordable.
  • Easy conversion to waist waders.
  • Fleece-lined chest pocket.
  • Perfect for beginners.

Cons

  • Susceptible to wear and tear.

Takeaway

If you’re wanting a wader at a great price, then this is a great purchase for the beginner fisherwomen.

Dark Lightning Fly Fishing Wader

Now here is a bootfoot wader that delivers on the quality at an affordable price.

They are made of rubber and are therefore much warmer than other waders, so will be most suitable for cold weather situations.

It also comes with a drawstring at the top to allow for better comfort and fit. Easily adjustable suspenders and quick fasten/ release buckles, make it very user-friendly.

Pros

  • Affordable.
  • Lightweight and comfortable fit.
  • Comes with a free boot hanger.
  • Offers a nifty front pocket for storing valuables.

Cons

  • Not as durable as it says.
  • Not made of breathable material.
  • Some issues at the seams.

Takeaway

If you’re keeping an eye out for an affordable, backup fly fishing wader or need one for the odd fly fishing occasion, then this wader would be a good option. However, for the price, you shouldn’t expect it to last a very long time if you want regular use out of it.

Ouzong Bootfoot Chest Wader

Are you new to fly fishing?

If so, you might want to consider getting these great, cheap waders for fly fishing.

They are one of the best budget waders on the market today and provide plenty of the comfort you would need for a good day of fly fishing.

They feature adjustable H back suspenders and a waterproof, flip-out chest pocket. Perfect for storing those flies for quick access.

The boots are strong too – consisting of durable PVC material with thick rubber soles. These are great at preventing you from slipping or getting hurt by pebbles/stones while wading through the water.

Pros

  • Water-resistant and durable fabric.
  • Comfortable H back suspenders.
  • Lightweight.
  • Zippered internal pocket.

Cons

  • Sizing issues – around groin area or length of legs.

Takeaway

This is a great budget choice for the first time or early starter fly fisherman or women. They could also be a perfect backup wader.

Tidewe Bootfoot Chest Wader

Don’t be fooled by the low price:

The quality isn’t too bad at all!

These waders by TIDEWE offer a comfortable fit for any type of fly fisherman or woman. Their adjustable H-back web suspenders and quick-release buckles provide a very user-friendly design.

You might also like the drawcord in the front, allowing you to have a nice, snug fit. Including the front flip-out chest pocket, for you to keep something valuable out of harm’s way.

Pros

  • Lightweight fabric.
  • Durable and comfortable boots.
  • Comes with a boot hanger, repair kit, and waterproof cellphone case.

Cons

  • Some incidences of sizing issues.
  • Leakages have been reported.

Takeaway

While they may be super cheap, they are a great choice for the beginner or less frequent fly fisherman.

Hisea Fly Fishing Stocking Foot Wader

HISEA has designed quite a beauty in this version.

They are designed with a comfortable, lightweight micro-denier material in the upper section, making it fully waterproof and breathable. This keeps water out, while also allowing for moisture to escape from the body.

Neat right?

Movement is also super easy in these waders, due to the ultra-lightweight design.

A 3ply polyester construction, including a tough 420D fabric for reinforcement, drastically improves its durability, particularly around the knees and hips.

So if you tend to explore the more unreachable places while fly fishing, this wader may be a great option for you.

They also feature useful molle straps on the chest, allowing you to attach your fly fishing clippers or fishing pliers for quick access.

Pros

  • Lightweight.
  • Comes with a nylon, netting bag, and a waterproof cellphone case.
  • Reach through waterproof pockets.

Cons

  • A few leakages have been recorded.

Takeaway

Great quality at a great price and if you’re keen for a fly fishing wader that offers comfort and something a little different, then you might just love them. It’s a good option if you prefer a stockingfoot wader.

How to Choose the Best Fly Fishing Wader for You

There is a great deal of fly fishing and general fishing waders on the market today and it can get a little daunting trying to find one that suits you the best.

So let’s go through some of the most important things that should be considered, before buying a wader for fly fishing.

First things first:

fly fisherman wearing wader working on line and fishing rod while fishing

Why do You Want a Wader for Fly Fishing?

This is always a great question to start with, as this will determine what type of wader you want.

Firstly, let’s look at the benefit of having a wader for fly fishing?

If you’re looking for a way to fish longer and to reach the more inaccessible portions of a section of water, then waders will certainly help you do just that!

This will help improve your fly fishing experiences overall and can lead to some great catches.

Waders also allow you to go deeper into the water, without getting soaked or washed away. They do this by keeping you dry, warm, and safe from the natural elements.

There are other things to consider:

Do you want a wader for regular fly fishing or for an ‘every now and then’ fishing experience?

Are you generally fly fishing in cooler or warmer conditions? Do you expect to get very wet?

There are a lot of questions to take into consideration. So make sure you know exactly all the why’s, where’s and when’s around your fly fishing.

Now onto the nitty-gritty stuff:

What key characteristics are you looking for in a fly fishing wader?

For further insight, be sure to check out the different types of fishing waders you can choose from.

fisherman wearing fishing waider using rod fly fishing in mountain river

Materials

Waders can be made with a variety of fabrics. Some are even constructed with a combination of fabrics.

If you generally fly fish in cold conditions, then you will want to go for a neoprene wader. These come in different thicknesses and are perfectly suited to keeping your body warm and comfortable.

However, they can be limited in terms of movement and may be quite heavy. So if you’re expecting to walk long distances, you might want to go for another type of fabric or a version that provides better movement around the legs.

What about the thickness of the neoprene waders?

If you usually experience moderate weather, with the occasional cold spell, then it is worth getting a 3mm thick wader. This also allows you to walk a little easier over longer distances.

Those who predominantly experience colder conditions would be better suited to having a 5mm thick wader.

Other waders are made from nylon or polyester, which are way more lightweight and are often treated with a waterproof coating. It’s always good to check how breathable these types of waders are, as they can be very hot to fish in on warm days.

Then rubber waders are also available on the market. While the price of these is often very attractive, you will be needing to compromise on flexibility, breathability, and weight.

Then finally and certainly not least, there are breathable waders.

Breathability

You might be wondering why your friends keep hanging back?

Well, maybe it’s the smell, mate!

Okay, jokes aside – this is important. It really isn’t fun when waders cause you to sweat most of the time.

That is why finding a breathable fly fishing wader is very important.

Breathable waders are made of different permeable membranes, such as Gore-Tex, which keeps the water out, while allowing your body sweat and heat to escape.

So if you generally fly fish in a wide range of environmental conditions, then it’s best to get a breathable wader.

Some of your slightly more expensive waders will offer better breathability than the cheaper varieties. So if you have money to spend, and would like to keep some of your friends around a little longer, then breathable waders are a must!

fisherman waering waider using rod fly fishing in river

Sizing

Sizing is very important.

Some brands will fit differently to others, so be sure to do your research before purchasing a wader. Often, it is worth contacting customer care who can walk you through selecting the right size. You can give them your height, weight, and shoe size and they can guide you through choosing the right one.

Choosing the correct size will also determine the longevity of the wader.

If you get one too big, it will lead to considerable wear and tear. Waders that are too tight will also cause greater stress at the crotch area or near the seams.

If you don’t get the size right, it will lead to a lot of discomfort and will limit your movement on the water.

It’s always good to leave space in the wader so that you can pull on some extra layers underneath. So a wader should never be too tight.

Pockets and Accessories

Who doesn’t love a neat pocket or accessory?

Some waders come with useful pockets, including molle straps, Velcro patches, or D-rings.

Sometimes, the double-sided, fleece-lined pockets are just what your hands need to keep them snug and warm on a chilly day.

If you’re storing valuables in pockets, it’s always good to check how durable the zippers are.

However, if you have your gear neatly stored in a fly fishing sling pack or backpack, then you won’t need to worry too much about pockets.

On the other hand, if pockets and storing your gear in close reach is your thing, nothing quite beats using a high-quality fishing vest.

fly fisherman wearing fishing vest and catching brown trout

Price

For the fly fisherman or woman who’s serious about finding a wader that lasts, you’ll need to be prepared to pay the big bucks!

You really do get what you pay for.

In most cases, the more expensive fly fishing waders are built to last. So if you have the cash and plan to use waders regularly, then it’s worth purchasing a wader that will give you a good innings.

However, some mid-range waders still have a lot to offer in terms of quality and durability. It might just mean you need to take extra care of them.

For the beginner, I recommend that you get your hands on a cheaper bootfoot wader.

These are always good to start with, as they keep your feet and skin safe, while also protecting you from the elements.

Then if you do damage your waders (which happens to the best of us), it won’t be that big of a deal. Should it happen to one of the top more expensive waders, you might end up crying or pulling your hair out.

And that won’t be fun.

Most importantly, it’s all about having fun in your first wader.

fisherman wearing sling pack and fly-fishing in mountain river

FAQs

How do you know what size waders to buy?

Start by looking closely at the size chart provided by the manufacturer. Depending on the brand, these are often reliable.

Then get more in touch with your body, mate:

Whip out a measuring tape and measure the following key areas in inches:

  • your girth (chest, waist, and hips)
  • your inseam (crotch to floor)
  • and your shoe size.

If you’re shopping for a bootfoot wader, it is often best to choose one size bigger than your normal shoe size.

However, be sure to get in touch with the manufacturer’s customer care, as they will guide you through the sizing process.

Then you want to make sure the waders have enough space for you to add a jersey or any additional layers.

Here’s a helpful video to see how the measurements are done:

What is the best material for fly fishing waders?

It really depends on when, where, and how often you plan on using your waders.

Neoprene waders are generally the most popular type, due to their high durability and great insulation. You can also select different thicknesses, based on your common weather and water conditions.

However, breathable waders made from special compounds, or permeable membranes are growing in popularity. This is due to their wide versatility as they can be worn in both warm and cold conditions and can keep your body comfortable for longs lengths of time.

Do you need waders to fly fish?

No doubt about it – you can fly fish without waders.

However, you will be limited in terms of where and when you can fly fish.

Waders allow you to venture deeper into water bodies and to cast out to areas you usually can’t reach from a riverbank or shoreline. You can also stay longer in the water, as the cold water will not affect you as much.

Waders provide the perfect protection from the elements and keep your skin safe from abrasions or any other unseen damage.

Who makes the best fly fishing waders?

There are a lot of fly fishing waders out there that can offer you a great experience.

Take a look at this video to see what the experienced anglers have to say about the best fly fishing waders for 2020:

Summary

Now where to from here?

This list of the best fly fishing waders in 2020, should keep you very comfortable and safe on the water.

Be sure to let me know in the comment section, which wader you fancied the most and why – I’d love to hear from you.

But best to get out there now and give those waders a good go!

Happy wading my friends.

Bob Hoffmann

The author of this post is Bob Hoffmann. Bob has spend most of his childhood fishing with his father and now share all his knowledge with other anglers. Feel free to leave a comment below.

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