The 8 Best Wading Pants for Fishing on the Market (Compared & Reviewed 2021)


When you’re out fishing or hunting, having the right gear, clothing, and equipment is essential for success.

Not to mention your comfort and safety.

And this is especially true when you’re actually getting into the water.

In this article, we take a look at the best wading pants currently available, with a full buyer’s guide following the reviews.

Without further ado, let’s wade in.

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.

Wading Pants – What to Look For

When it comes to fishing waders, it’s important you have at least a basic grasp on the features and factors that might influence your shopping choices.

As you’re browsing the reviews, keep the following things in mind:

  • Type of wader
  • Sizing
  • Materials
  • Boots/booties
  • Hardware and fastenings
  • Pockets and storage
  • Extra features
  • Cost

We’ll explore each in more detail after the selection, so keep reading for all our buying tips and tricks.

The 8 Best Wading Pants for Fishing 2021

Simms G3 Guide Wading Pants

Simms G3 Guide Wading Pants

Given that they’re one of the best fishing brands in the world – particularly for apparel – you would expect Simms to come up with a top-drawer wading pant.

And they certainly don’t disappoint with the G3 Guide – which has durable, long-lasting quality in every stitch and seam.

Made from a lightweight GORE-TEX fabric, the G3 offers best-in-class waterproofing and breathability, with four layers of Pro Shell for the ultimate in moisture-wicking protection.

The neoprene stockingfeet are anatomically engineered for unbeatable comfort and fit, with abrasion-resistant gravel guards built-in.

A double-snap enclosure with waterproof fly zipper is there for added convenience, and it comes with a two-inch stretch wading belt for a snug fit.

Pros

  • Name to trust.
  • Market-leading quality.
  • Premium materials.
  • Built to last.
  • Rugged front and back seams.
  • Anti-microbial feet.
  • Integrated belt loops.
  • Very highly rated in the community.

Cons

  • Expensive.

Takeaway

Make no mistake about it, these are hands down the best saltwater wading pants on the market – or in any conditions, for that matter.

I’ve tried these on, and they feel as good as they look, with the only downside being the eye-watering price. Still, you’ll likely never need to buy another pair again.

Frogg Toggs Hellbender Stockingfoot Guide Pants

If you’re not quite ready to spend exorbitant amounts of money on the very best wading pants in the world, then look no further than the Hellbender model from rain-gear icon Frogg Toggs.

While they’re at the other end of the price scale, they are still going to get the job done, made with a four-ply nylon upper that’s fully waterproof.

The stockingfoot finish also has attached gravel guards to keep you protected, with non-slip, rubberized, elasticated openings for convenience.

At the waist, you’ll find a fully adjustable belt with a quick-release buckle, just in case you have to remove the pants at a moment’s notice. And well you might, as that’s the only way you’ll be able to visit the little boy’s room in the absence of a zipper fly.

Pros

  • Name to trust in wet weather gear.
  • Affordable price point.
  • Durable construction.
  • Lightweight design.
  • Thick neoprene booties.
  • Highly rated.

Cons

  • No pockets.
  • Reports that sizing is a little tricky – be sure to double-check.

Takeaway

An affordable wading pant that will get you into the water in no time, this is a great addition to the Frogg Toggs line of budget-friendly protective clothing.

And for more from the outdoor stalwarts, check out this article on the best rain gear for fishing – featuring their famous rain suit.

Redington Escape Wading Pants

Redington Escape Wading Pants

Based out of the Pacific Northwest, Redington has been in the fly fishing game since 1992, designing and manufacturing world-class rods, reels, clothing and gear to keep fishing fun.

Their aptly-named Escape wading pants have been made to make it easy for you to bolt to your favorite spot with minimum fuss. Enjoy day-long comfort with a breathable, four-ply waterproof material, with jean-style pockets for added convenience.

Ergonomic neoprene booties provide puncture protection should your boots ever be compromised, and the adjustable hook-and-loop waist belt allows for a finely-tuned, snug fit. Arguably the best fly fishing pants there are from the specialists in the art form.

Pros

  • Leading fly fishing brand.
  • Very comfortable.
  • Durable construction.
  • Gravel guards and lace hook.
  • Stylish look and feel.
  • Perfect for warmer weather.

Cons

  • None to speak of.

Takeaway

I think this offering from Redington is up there with the most stylish wading pants out there, with an excellent marriage of performance and comfort.

I’d expect nothing less from the fly fishing experts, and you should also check out their entry in this article on the best wading boots on the market, which would look super-sharp paired with the Escape pants.

Patagonia Swiftcurrent Wading Pants

Patagonia Swiftcurrent Wading Pants

As an outdoor clothing company, Patagonia needs little introduction, being at the cutting-edge of the business as far back as 1973.

Their Swiftcurrent wading pants are designed for use in shallower waters, and made from recycled materials – which is always a plus point in my book.

The fully waterproof garment is lightweight and breathable, with a DWR finish, articulated legs for ease of movement, and heavy-duty scuff guards at the ankles for extra protection.

Neoprene booties are anatomically shaped for additional comfort, and the tailored waist with expandable band allows for an easy-on/off fit.

The gusseted-crotch prevents restriction where you most need mobility, while the single-seem construction improves the pant’s overall longevity.

Pros

  • Iconic outdoor brand.
  • Environmentally-friendly garment.
  • Rugged, durable construction.
  • Elastic belt and hanger loop.
  • Hip pockets.
  • Highly flexible and nonrestrictive.

Cons

  • On the expensive side.

Takeaway

A company that can seemingly do no wrong when it comes to outdoor gear, Patagonia has knocked it out of the park with these wading pants.

Sure, they might be at the more expensive end of the scale, but you get what you pay for. And coincidentally enough, Patagonia, Argentina offers some of the finest fly fishing in the world, and you can follow that link for more angling destination suggestions.

Paramount Outdoors Fast Eddy Wader Pants

Here we have an affordable wading pant from Paramount Outdoors, a waist-high option with stockingfoot booties.

Made from a lightweight and breathable four-ply, puncture-resistant nylon, it offers fully taped and sealed seams to keep you dry.

Packed with features, the “Fast Eddy” includes gravel guards with lace hooks, dual-zippered, waterproof fly box pockets for valuables, and a two-inch elasticated belt for comfort.

Extra-wide belt loops allow for a comfortable and snug fit, and the attached booties are made from 100% neoprene that feel soft, without ever bunching up in your boot. Affordable comfort at its best.

Pros

  • Great price point.
  • Waterproof pockets.
  • Lightweight design.
  • Durable construction.
  • Quick-release buckle.
  • Easy to wear.

Cons

  • No articulation to speak of.

Takeaway

They might be at the no-frills end of the wading pant spectrum, but the Fast Eddy from Paramount Outdoors certainly offers a lot of bang for the buck.

Lightweight and versatile, they’re easy to get on and off, with a simple design that still manages to be effective. You could probably get away with wearing them as kayak fishing pants, too.

Simms Freestone Waterproof Wading Pants

If you’re looking for a Simms product without quite wanting to pay the price for the G3, then the Freestone option might just be the best choice for you.

Less bulky than their more expensive counterparts, these lightweight stockingfoot waders are exceptionally portable, and still highly durable thanks to their multi-layered, Toray fabric technology. I won’t go into the science (not that I know it, anyway), but this material was specifically designed for waders, ensuring you get the best protection and breathability possible, for all-day comfort in the water.

Neoprene booties are anatomically engineered, and the gravel guards are abrasion-resistant with an elastic bottom hem. A large, two-inch, elasticated belt is at the hip for that all-important, snug fit, and the whole garment looks and feels the part for the professional.

Pros

  • Name to trust.
  • Premium build quality and materials.
  • Gusseted crotch with zippered fly.
  • Hip pockets for storage.
  • Quick-release belt.
  • Excellent mobility.
  • Highly portable.

Cons

  • Sizing is tricky.
  • Still on the expensive side.

Takeaway

Simms has done it again with this (slightly) more affordable option compared to their flagship G3 model. Regardless, this smacks of their trademark quality, a tough, rugged, yet lightweight wading pant that is nonrestrictive, breathable, and very comfortable.

And for even more from Simms, check out this general review of the best fishing waders overall.

Kingblue Heron Waterproof Wader Pants

Something slightly different now with these waterproof stockingfoot waist waders that actually feature detachable suspenders.

The Heron waders from Kingblue are made from a highly waterproof, four-ply nylon, with a nature-friendly, certified water-resistant coating.

The neoprene booties offer four millimeters of comfort, warmth, and protection, with redesigned ankle dimensions to ensure they’re easy on and off.

Two pockets with water-resistant zippers are located at the hip, with YKK hardware throughout, including the webbing waist belt and quick-release buckle.

But it’s the suspender braces that most catch the eye, here, easily detachable, and capable of providing additional comfort and a secure fit. If you’re concerned your wading pants could fall down in action, these might just be for you.

Pros

  • Great price point for what you get.
  • Durable, quick-release buckles.
  • Elasticated suspenders.
  • Taped seams.
  • No crotch inseam.
  • Carry bag included.

Cons

  • Logo design is likely to rub off.
  • Reports that the booties run large.

Takeaway

At this price point, you’re getting a great deal with these waders, and the addition of the suspender belt for comfort and support is a real winner.

Perfect for anyone who struggles to get wading pants to fit, it will just give you a bit of extra help for keeping things in place, similar to full-on chest waders. But if that’s more what you’re looking for, check out this review on the best chest waders currently available.

Compass 360 Deadfall Wading Pants

We finish with another no-frills, budget-friendly wading pant that is a great option for beginners, or anyone looking to keep costs down.

The Compass 360 Deadfall waders offer stockingfoot pants, with a breathable, four-ply polyester waterproof construction, and four millimeter neoprene booties for added comfort.

Finished with a smart, army-green look, they feature an elasticated waist-band at the back, a durable webbing belt, and quick-release buckle.

Gravel guards with lace hooks are located at the ankles, and while it’s not going to win any prizes for style, the Deadfall is one of the cheapest wading pants out there – that won’t let you down.

Pros

  • Excellent price point.
  • Ideal for beginners.
  • Lightweight design.
  • No-nonsense belt.
  • Highly rated.

Cons

  • No pockets.
  • As basic as they come.

Takeaway

While they might not be the best quick dry wading pants ever made, they’re still perfect for anyone on a budget, and they offer affordable, comfortable, entry-level quality.

But if you’re looking for something a bit more upmarket, try this review on the best fly fishing waders available today.

How to Choose the Right Wading Pants – A Buyer’s Guide

In the introduction, we touched upon the features and factors you should be considering when you’re looking for new wading pants.

Let’s explore them in more detail now, with our handy buyer’s guide. A brief FAQ section will follow in case we’ve missed anything.

And don’t forget a good-quality wading jacket if you’re out in colder climes. Follow that link for some excellent options.

fly fisherman wearing wading pants and fly fishing in river

Type of Wader

First, you’re going to want to decide on the type of wader you’re looking for. If that’s a wading pant – then you’re in the right place.

But chest and hip waders are also available.

The type you choose will depend largely on when and where you’re fishing, as well as your own personal preferences.

Check out this article exploring the differences between hip and chest waders, or this piece on wading pants versus chest waders.

In a nutshell, it’s mainly about the water level and season – and for the purposes of this article, you should choose pant waders if you’re fishing in water not much higher than the top of your thighs, and usually in warm temperatures.

Sizing

There’s no two ways about it – waders can be tricky garments to size. Most people aren’t going to be lucky enough to just buy the equivalent of what they wear in a pair of jeans, for example.

With thicker, denser material involved – plus the need to possibly layer underneath if fishing in colder weather and water conditions – waders tend to be on the bulky side.

One reviewer even said it was easy to look like a clown.

With that in mind, make sure you double-check your sizing, and read reviews from anglers who are roughly the same size as you for their experienced opinion.

Try to get the correct size first time, but remember – making online returns is easy nowadays, so don’t let that put you off if you’re concerned about making an error.

For more information, check out the video on wader sizing, below.

Materials and Design

Wading pants are made from a variety of materials, but for the most part, particularly the items in this review, it’s going to be a combination of nylons, polyesters, and neoprene for the booties.

Fully neoprene waders are more popular in chest waders, but improved fabric technology has shifted the market largely towards more breathable materials.

Some garments might also be made from recycled materials, which I always heartily recommend.

GORE-TEX is one of the best materials for wading pants, as it offers unbeatable weather protection as well as the best-possible moisture-wicking technology.

And that’s where the real trick is with this fishing gear – given the heavy-duty nature of these pants, and the activity they’re used for – you need something that’s going to help keep you cool and sweat-free.

You should also pay attention to the cut, fit, and design of the pants.

Good waders will offer nonrestrictive movement – given the nature of the activity they’re used for. I can’t stress the importance of this enough.

Look for articulated knees, and legs, as well as a gusseted crotch, for the ultimate in comfortable, fishing freedom, and to minimize the chances of rips or tears when you’re on the go.

man with fly fishing equipment fishing at river

Boots/Booties

Waders generally come in three types when we’re talking about the ankle-end of the garment.

Barefoot waders have no sock or boot attached, as the name suggests.

Stockingfoot waders will come with booties you slip into fishing or wading boots.

Bootfoot waders take all the effort away by having boots already built into the garment.

The vast majority of wading pants in this review (all of them, in fact) fall into the second category. They all come with neoprene booties attached.

Look out for anatomically shaped booties that have been designed to offer the ultimate in comfort, easy-wear, and range-of-movement.

They’re also available in a variety of thicknesses, so make sure your choice is going to suit your needs – usually to do with the temperature of the water, and how much extra protection you want for your feet.

Hardware and Fastenings

Nobody likes ill-fitting clothes, especially when you’ve got a job to do. And that job – is catching fish while standing in the water.

It’s a moment you certainly don’t want to be caught with your trousers down.

As such, you should pay attention to the hardware and fastenings of the pants. By that, I mean the belt, buckles, zippers, buttons, straps, or anything else that is used to aid a secure and comfortable fit.

Does the garment have an open fly? Is that something that is important to you? Make sure if it does – the zipper is fully waterproof.

Quick-release buckles are also very useful, especially if you need to remove your pants in a hurry (for any number of reasons, so get your mind out of the gutter).

Some pants might come with braces, which offer additional help with support and comfort as they strap up over your shoulder.

But the most important thing is that everything should be fully adjustable, so you can fine-tune your setup for a tailor-made fit. We anglers come in all shapes and sizes, after all.

Pockets and Storage

Wading pants will either come with pockets, or they won’t. It’s that simple. The question is – how much do they matter to you?

Sure, they can offer an extra space to store gear or equipment, but you really ought to be rocking one of these amazing fly fishing packs if you’re looking to stay properly organized.

Personally, though, I always like having at least two, jeans-style pockets on my outer garments, as they will always come in handy for something.

And if you’re intending to store valuables, or anything you don’t want to get wet, then make sure that the pockets have waterproof zippers.

fly fishing wading boots close up

Extra Features

The most common “extra feature” when it comes to wading pants, will be the addition of gravel guards.

Gravel guards are to be found at the ankle end of the waders, and they’re designed to do exactly as their moniker suggests – keep gravel out of your boots.

You pull them up as you’re putting your boots on, and then roll them down over the top, to produce a seal around anywhere dirt and debris might sneak in at your ankle.

Look for gravel guards that have non-slip lace hooks that help keep them securely in position.

Additional extra features include things like logos and color schemes. For the most part, these garments share similar, muted, earthy tones of greens, grays, and browns, with unobtrusive logos.

There’s no technical advantage here, as the jury is still out on whether fish actually see color. As such, it just comes down to personal preference.

Cost

As you can see, wading pants are available to suit a range of budgets.

While you should obviously try to stick to yours, I would suggest you choose a pant relative to how much use you’re going to get out of it.

There’s no point spending top dollar only for it to be left hanging in your closet for most of the year.

Still, I wouldn’t spend any less than $100 on these things – at the bare minimum.

fly fisherman fishing at river

FAQs

What are the best wading pants for fly fishing?

There’s no definitive answer to this question, as what could be the best for me, might not be the best for you.

That said, if I had to choose, I would say either the Redington Escape waders, or the Simms G3 – if money were no object.

What type of waders do I need for fishing?

It depends on the who, the when, and the where.

What is going to suit your fishing style and preferences, what time of year are you venturing out, and what are the conditions like?

In a nutshell, if you’re in deeper water and colder temperatures, in an easy-to access location – you’ll need chest waders.

For shallower waters, in warmer climes, that might be more challenging to get to, go with hip waders or wading pants.

What are wader pants used for?

Wading is the obvious answer.

But joking aside, wading pants are used for shallower waters, in warmer temperatures, and/or anywhere you might have to walk some distance to get to and from a fishing spot.

How do wading pants work?

Unlike chest or hip waders, wading pants are designed similarly to ordinary, everyday pants.

As such, they come up to your waist, and over your hips. You put them on as you would a regular pair of hiking pants, with the exception of the neoprene bootie attached to the ankle.

Then, if you’re wearing any of the pants in this review, your lower half should be 100% waterproof, up to your waist.

I highly recommend not pushing your luck with this, though, and you stick to fishing water levels that don’t come up any further than the tops of your thigh.

Are waders 100% waterproof?

They should be – otherwise, what’s the point?

If you think the waders you’re purchasing are not going to be waterproof, then I would heartily recommend you choose a different pair.

Here’s a hint – choose something from the review above, and you won’t go far wrong.

What do I need for wading?

Glad you asked! At the very least, you’re going to need waders and wading boots – and the types and styles will depend on where you’re fishing, and what time of year.

To keep things easy, head on over to this article for a complete fly fishing 101 for beginners, which will tell you everything you need to know to get started.

And this article is useful as a full fly fishing checklist, so you know exactly the clothing, gear, and equipment you need in your arsenal, before heading to the water.

Summary

The best wading pants are going to keep you comfortable and protected, so you can concentrate on a successful day of fishing.

Let me know which option you’ve gone for and why, or if you have any other general questions or comments you’d like to fire my way.

Stay safe out there, tight lines, and happy fishing!

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.

Recent Content