They say that fly fishing is the purest form of the sport.
It’s a beautiful experience, healthy for body and mind, and one that brings us closer to nature.
But in order to get closer to nature, you need to be wearing the right gear.
In this article, we focus on the best fly fishing waders currently on the market.
Perhaps the most important item of fly fishing clothing, good quality waders will make all the difference when it comes to warmth, protection, and comfort.
So read on, because you might have been missing out.
Table of Contents
- TOP 3 Fly Fishing Waders for 2023 & What to Look For – In Short
- How We Choose
- The 9 Best Fly Fishing Waders Reviewed
- Simms Fishing M's G4Z Stockingfoot Waders
- Redington Sonic Pro HDZ Fly Fishing Waders
- Orvis Ultralight Convertible Waders
- Tidewe Cleated Bootfoot Chest Waders
- Redington Escape Fly Fishing Waders
- Simms Women's G3 Guide Stockingfoot Waders
- Orvis Women's Ultralight Convertible Waders
- Redington Women's Sonic-Pro Waders
- Ouzong Bootfoot Chest Waders
- What Type of Fly Fishing Waders Do I Need?
- Bootfoot or Stockingfoot Waders?
- Wading Out
Disclosure: At BonfireBob, we recommend products based on unbiased research, however, BonfireBob.com is reader-supported and as an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases if you shop through the links on this page. For more information, see disclosure here.
TOP 3 Fly Fishing Waders for 2023 & What to Look For – In Short
When I am on the hunt for an excellent pair of waders, here is what I take into consideration:
- Wader type – stockingfoot or bootfoot? Chest, hip, or waist? Where and when you are fishing is going to impact the type of wader you purchase.
- Comfort – for those long days in the water, you need something that feels good to wear.
- Weather and waterproofing – it’s important to stay warm and dry – particularly in colder climes.
- Freedom of movement – waders should be as unrestrictive as possible – especially if your fishing spot is a bit of a hike away.
- Durability – we like garments that are built to last, and provide you with the protection you need. Unseen underwater hazards and critters can be a concern for legs, feet, and toes.
- Breathability – moisture-wicking technology and ventilation is key – no matter the season.
- Pockets and compartments – for storing all your fishing bits and bobs, tackle, and your cell phone.
- Price – the very best waders for fly-fishing will come in under your budget, and relative to how much you’re going to use them.
If you can find some waders that perform well in all these categories, then they are well worth buying.
|Simms Fishing M’s G4Z Waders||Best Men’s Fly Fishing Waders|
|Simms W’s G3 Guide Waders||Best Women’s Fly Fishing Waders|
|Redington Escape Fly Fishing Waders||Best On a Budget|
The Simms M’s G4Z Waders are the best waders featured in the article for men. Built from 3/4 layers of Gore-Tex Pro Shell they are 100% waterproof, exceptionally breathable, and as durable as they get.
They are designed for ultimate comfort and convenience. The freedom of movement is excellent, they are super comfy, and there is a full zipper on the front that makes life as easy as it can be.
Add the multiple storage pockets, fly patch, retractors, plus the 2 fleece lined hand warmer pockets and you can fish more comfortably than ever!
The Simms W’s G3 Guide Stockingfoot Waders are fantastic and the top women’s waders featured.
They have a similar design to the Simms M’s G4Z Waders using 3/4 layers of Gore-Tex Pro to ensure durability, warmth, comfort, and breathability. These also include Gore-Tex stretch to mold to the shape of a woman’s body, and provide great mobility!
You couldn’t ask for more comfort!
Add in the great pockets for tackle along with a fly patch, comfy suspenders and the anatomical, anti-microbial stocking feet, and you have some women’s waders that are close to impossible to beat!
If you’re shopping on a budget but still want a great pair of waders, I would recommend the Redington Escape Waders.
While these are not made from fancy material like Gore-tex, they are 100% waterproof, breathable, and the 4 layer build ensures durability too.
They even have some cool features too like hand warmer pockets and water-resistant chest pockets.
You are getting everything the Simms waders give you, but at a lower level for a much lower price, which is no problem if you don’t fish 200 days a year.
They fit excellently, are comfortable, lightweight, and overall fantastic quality for the price.
How We Choose
We’ve spent a silly amount of hours pouring over as many quality fly-fishing wader products as we could find, from all the best brands, and some of the less well known options, too.
A conservative estimate would be around 21 hours, some 38–40 waders, and several cups of tea.
Using our own guide on what to look for, we examined every detail, stitch, material, hardware, and design that makes these waders what they are, gleaned from reviews, interviews, videos, and any other useful sources we could get our hands on.
And where possible, we’ve tried them out ourselves – as there’s no better review than understanding how it works in the field.
Or in the water, in this case.
The 9 Best Fly Fishing Waders Reviewed
Simms Fishing M's G4Z Stockingfoot Waders
Simms make some of the best fly fishing gear around and their waders are one of their top products, which is saying something.
The Simms M’s G4Z Waders are about as good as they get. If warmth, durability, comfort, and convenience are what you are after, these are the waders for you.
Built from 3/4-layer Gore-Tex Pro Shell, one of the best materials on the planet, these waders are as breathable as they are waterproof. You won’t overheat on those warmer days or when hiking to the next pool, and you will never get wet.
Durability isn’t an issue either, as the 3 layer and 4 layer design means these waders are going to last longer than any others on the market.
And that’s not all!
Simms has packed these waders with incredible features. The waterproof torso zip makes for easy on/off. Plus, when you need to pee, you don’t have to take the waders off, just unzip!
You’ll find 5 pockets for fly boxes, 2 retractors for nippers and hemostats, or you can use 3 pockets and keep the 2 fleece lined pockets as hand warmers!
The suspenders are comfortable, there is great freedom of movement, and you can even convert them to waist-high waders. Simms thought of everything with these, but they are expensive!
- Incredibly durable and long-lasting.
- Great freedom of movement.
- Very comfortable.
- Exceptionally breathable so you don’t overheat.
- 5 different pockets for gear storage.
- Built-in retractors for accessories.
- Fleece-lined hand warmer pockets.
- Tough gravel guards.
- Converts into waist-high waders.
- Waterproof torso zipper for easy relief & on/off.
- Very expensive.
If you fish hundreds of days a year and are looking for some waders that can keep up, these are the ones for you! Between their durability, breathability, front zipper, storage options, and comfort, you really can go wrong and this is why they are the Best Men’s Waders featured!
Redington Sonic Pro HDZ Fly Fishing Waders
If you’re looking for a pair of top fly fishing waders that do it all but aren’t quite as expensive as the Simms waders above, the Redington Men’s Sonic Pro HDZ waders might be for you.
These waders are at the top of Redington’s range thanks to its well-designed features and breathable, 3 layered waterproof fabric. The fabric is stiffer than some, however, it ensures you don’t overheat and the 3-layers provide excellent durability.
Slipping these waders on is as easy as it gets thanks to the front waterproof zipper, plus once on they are super comfy and have great freedom of movement. They are very comfortable to walk in over long distances and you can hop over difficult terrain with ease.
Unlike a lot of waders, these come with a waterproof, zippered chest pocket for storing valuables like your phone. You also have further water-resistant pockets for fly gear plus an integrated tool dock for nippers, floatant, and more.
- Comfortable neoprene socks.
- Good freedom of movement.
- Excellent tackle storage options.
- Fleece lined hand warmer pockets.
- Durable 3 layer build.
- Good breathability.
- TIZIP waterproof front zippered pocket.
- Converts into waist-high waders.
- Front zipper for easy on/off and relief.
- Quite Expensive.
- Not as breathable as the Simms G4Z.
These waders literally do it all. From being incredibly convenient thanks to the excellent tackle storage options to being comfortable, durable, breathable, and having a front zipper. They are hard to beat.
Orvis Ultralight Convertible Waders
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% waterproof breathable nylon fabric, these waders are made to offer great comfort and durability at the same time. You will always be dry, warm, and you won’t overheat either!
There are also many other useful features, such as a water-resistant zippered chest pocket, internal pocket, fly patch and tool dock. Perfect for storing your favorite fly boxes and more so you don’t have to go digging around in your bag.
The neoprene booties are anatomically designed for comfort, the gravel guards ensure no debris gets in your boots, and the gusseted crotch gives you a great range of motion.
- Top-notch quality.
- Durable and long lasting.
- Good sizing and fits well.
- Lightweight and breathable.
- Handy tackle storage.
- No front zipper.
- Could have more storage options.
- No hand warmer pockets.
If you’re looking for some mid-range waders that are built to last and get the job done, then these are a great option. You will be warm, dry, comfortable and be able to carry your essential fly gear in them too!
Tidewe Cleated Bootfoot Chest Waders
Wet and cold? Generally, these go together right?
Well if fishing in super cold winter conditions is a more common occurrence for you, it will be best to find high-quality neoprene waders to make your life a lot warmer and more comfortable.
These neoprene waders by TIDEWE are ideal for cold conditions being 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 – so no leaks!
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. Plus, you won’t have to buy any wading boots like you would with stockingfoot waders.
They also feature a hand warmer pocket and a small tackle pocket. But, being so affordable, they are not super durable and may not last that long.
- Super warm for cold conditions.
- Quick-drain hand-warmer pocket on the chest.
- A small pocket tackle pocket.
- Comes with a repair kit, boot hanger, and waterproof cellphone case.
- No need to buy wading boots.
- Good grip.
- Feet can get cold, wear lots of socks.
- After considerable use, leaks can occur.
- Leg length may be short for some taller people.
- Heavy and not so portable.
If you fish in colder temperatures and are looking for some waders to keep you warm on a budget, these are a great choice. The 3.5 mm neoprene ensures you will be dry and comfortable, plus they come with boots so you don’t have to buy any separately!
Redington Escape Fly Fishing Waders
What if you want slightly more affordable, but still high-quality waders?
Well, the Redington Escape Waders are probably the ones for you.
Built from a triple-layer waterproof and breathable, DWR (durable water repellent) coated fabric they are made to last plus will keep you warm, dry, and stop you overheating.
The knees consist of additional reinforcement, and the booties are made from a high-density neoprene, keeping your feet warmer for longer when wading.
You will also find fleece-lined hand warmer pockets and a water-resistant chest pocket for tackle. The suspender system is easy to use and you can easily convert them to waist waders on hot days.
- Very affordable for the quality.
- Easy conversion to waist waders.
- Fleece-lined hand warmer pockets.
- Water-resistant chest pocket.
- Great for men and women.
- Comfortable and durable.
- Solid breathability.
- Not as durable as more expensive options.
These are hard waders to beat for the price as they offer all the key features we fly anglers are looking for, from comfort to tackle pockets, all while being very affordable. This is why they are the Best On a Budget option.
Simms Women's G3 Guide Stockingfoot Waders
The Simms W’s G3 Guide Stockingfoot Waders are some of the best women’s waders on the market, period!
Similar to the men’s G4Z waders, these are also made from 3/4 layers of Gore-Tex Pro. Gore-Tex Pro is one of the best outdoor fabrics on the planet as it is 100% waterproof while being incredibly breathable.
What does this mean for you?
You’ll be dry, warm, and never overheat as the fabric lets out any warmth while you are wading. Add in the Gore-tex stretch which allows for great fit and awesome mobility, you couldn’t be more comfortable in a pair of waders.
Being Simms’ top women’s waders, you’d expect some great features and these have them!
There are multiple gear pockets, hand warmer pockets, and anatomical, antimicrobial neoprene stocking feet to name a few.
While these waders are a bit expensive, they are as durable as they come and are worth the investment if you fish a lot!
- Comfy, anatomical, antimicrobial neoprene stocking feet.
- Durable gravel guards.
- Super durable 3/4 layer build.
- Gore-Tex Pro for amazing breathability.
- Gore-tex stretch for comfort, fit and mobility.
- Multiple water-resistant tackle pockets.
- Fleece lined hand warmer pockets.
The Simms W’s G3 Guide Stockingfoot Waders are packed full of features, built from the best materials, are super comfortable, and are as durable as waders can be.
They are a little on the expensive side, but worth it if you fish a lot which is why they are our Best Women’s Waders.
Orvis Women's Ultralight Convertible Waders
Let’s take a look at some more 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.
This ensures you stay warm, dry, and comfortable in all conditions.
They also feature 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.
These waders also come with excellent gear pockets, a fly patch, plus a tool holder, so you can access all the essentials you need quickly.
- Adjustable and removable suspenders.
- Neoprene gravel guards.
- External zippered pocket.
- Fly patch and tool holder.
- Internal pocket for valuables.
- Durable long lasting build.
- Designed to fit women comfortably.
- On the expensive side.
While this well-designed wader is quite expensive, it sure does deliver on the quality and comfort side of things. Made specifically for women, the fit is excellent, they are durable, and have great tackle storage too!
Redington Women's Sonic-Pro Waders
The Redington Women’s Sonic-Pro Wader are also designed to provide a great fit for women and are some of the best fly fishing waders around for the money.
These waders certainly don’t compromise on quality. Featuring a 4-layer, nylon, waterproof/breathable, DWR stretch fabric, they are built to last and to ensure you are always warm and comfortable when wading.
The stretch mesh back also keeps everything secure, while also enabling great mobility and allowing for an easy fit for all body shapes too!
Add in the great tackle storage options, hand warmer pockets, and you have some great women’s waders, especially for the price.
- Water-resistant chest pocket.
- Fleece-lined hand warmer pockets.
- Designed to fit women perfectly.
- Will keep you warm and dry.
- Durable build that lasts.
- Excellent breathability.
- Stretchy for good mobility.
- No as many features as others.
They might not have all the features of the Orvis waders, but if you’re looking for some women’s waders that are high-quality, durable, and affordable, these are a great option.
Ouzong Bootfoot Chest Waders
Are you new to fly fishing?
If so, you might want to consider getting these great, but very affordable 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.
- 100% waterproof.
- Durable build for the price.
- Comfortable H back suspenders.
- Waterproof internal pocket.
- Includes tough boots.
- Great grip on most surfaces.
- Super affordable.
- Sizing issues – around groin area or length of legs.
- Not as warm as more expensive options.
- Not that durable over time.
This is a great budget choice for the first time or beginner fly anglers. They are 100% waterproof and will keep you dry while fishing. They are not the warmest or the most durable, but that is what you get for such affordability!
What Type of Fly Fishing Waders Do I Need?
The type of fly fishing waders you choose will depend on the following factors:
- Where you’re fishing – the water depth and conditions.
- When you’re fishing – the weather and season.
- Personal preference.
Water depth is pretty straightforward. If it’s up to your chest – choose chest waders. If it’s ankle deep, then waist or hip waders will suffice.
Generally speaking, I would recommend choosing the versatility of a chest-high wader that you can roll down in warmer weather and lower water depths.
For more information, check out this in-depth article on chest waders versus wading pants.
For weather and season, you should choose something lightweight and breathable in warmer conditions, and something thicker with more protection in colder temperatures.
Neoprene waders are recommended if you’re out there in winter, for example.
Finally, only you can decide when it comes to personal preference.
Perhaps you don’t like the position of a chest wader? Maybe a hip wader feels a little weird? Maybe something just doesn’t look right?
It’s entirely up to you.
Bootfoot or Stockingfoot Waders?
This is a question we get asked time and again, so here’s the answer in a nutshell:
Bootfoot waders are heavier and bulkier, but they’re ready to go and get you right out onto the water, with no need to purchase additional footwear.
They hold more heat, and are more suitable for winter fly fishing. Follow that link for some expert advice on a full fly fishing winter loadout.
Bootfoot waders are less likely to tangle up your line, whereas stockingfoot versions have more hardware you can snag on.
Lighter and less restrictive, stockingfoot waders allow you to choose a boot that fits perfectly, or switch boots out depending on the conditions.
They offer more versatile sole options compared to bootfoot waders.
Easier to use and wear in general.
Of course, we could explore each point in more detail, but that’s the main pros and cons of each in summary.
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.
You might have to take some measurements such as:
- Girth (chest, waist, and hips)
- Inseam (crotch to floor)
- 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.
You also 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 for winter fishing due to their great insulation. You can also select different thicknesses, based on how cold it is.
However, the best stockingfoot waders are made from materials like Gore-Tex Pro, or other permeable membranes that are 100% waterproof but let heat escape from your body.
This makes them very versatile as they can be worn in both warm and cold conditions, keeping your body comfortable for long lengths of time in multiple seasons!
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 also provide the perfect protection from the elements. You will be warm and comfortable even when fishing in the pouring rain!
Who makes the best fly fishing waders?
The best waders are made by brands such as Simms, Orvis, Redington, and Patagonia. From my own personal experience, Simms are the best!
Thank you for reading my article about the best fly fishing waders in 2023. I hope you enjoyed it, learned a bit about waders, and have found the perfect pair for you!
Be sure to let me know which waders you liked the most and why in the comment section below, – I’d love to hear from you.
Also, let me know about any wading experiences you have had and of any questions you would like me to answer.