man wearing wader and fishing in lake

Top 14 Best Fishing Waders of 2019 + Must-Have Buyer’s Guide & FAQs

When it comes to fishing, everybody talks about reels, rods, and lures.

Don’t get me wrong: sure, these things are important. But you’ll never be able to use them if you can’t make it into the water.

That’s where waders come in.

Protecting you from the water while allowing you to get closer to your catch, they’re a must-have in any angler’s arsenal.

Read on to discover my top 14 choices for the best fishing waders on the market today. Below the list, there’s a buyer’s guide, which will help you make your own choices, as well as an FAQ section to handle any queries you may have.

Top 14 Best Fishing Waders Reviewed 2019

Compass 360 Deadfall Breathable STFT Chest Wader

Review: Featuring a chest pocket design with zippered storage and pockets lined with fleece, which allow you to safely store more necessary items than ever, the Compass is a good all-round fishing wader.

Priced reasonably, the suspenders are elastic and include a quick release buckle for more convenience. It was constructed using 4-ply Nylon material, and is reinforced at the knees and shin.

The Compass comes in five sizes, from small through to extra extra large.

Pros

  • Versatile sizing.
  • Made with sturdy, resilient material.
  • Not too expensive.

Cons

  • The bag they come in isn’t as sturdy as the waders themselves.

Takeaway

Although they’re not cheap, they’re not expensive either, and they’ve been constructed in a way that will last you for a long time.

An easy inclusion on any list of the best fishing waders of 2019.

Frogg Toggs Canyon II Stockingfoot Chest Wader

Review: This pair of fishing waders include a splash-proof chest pocket, which opens with a zip to ensure nothing gets out unless you’re trying to take it out yourself.

Double-taped neoprene booties combine with gravel guards (which themselves have integral lace hooks) to keep your feet dry no matter how deep in the water you are.

Quick-release locking buckles are standard all over the product, including on the suspenders and the belt.

Frogg Toggs themselves are a company whose employees love to fish, so their products come from experience more than imagination.

Pros

  • Can be used with a wading boot of your choice.
  • Material is tough but not restrictive.
  • Double-taped boots are a nice touch.

Cons

  • Sizing is awkward.
  • Breathability is questionable: they can heat up.

Takeaway

This option from Frogg Toggs looks great from the outside and will keep you secure inside, as long as you can find a pair that fit.

Caddis Men’s 2-Tone Tauped Stockingfoot Wader

Review: Unusually for waders, this item comes with a very helpful sizing guide, which is sure to help you find a pair that fit you perfectly.

Suitable for all weather conditions (which makes them some of the best waders for float tube fishing) the highest quality breathable material used in the construction is reinforced with a durable Polyester outer layer, allowing perspiration out but ensuring that no matter gets in.

Coming in a dizzying array of twelve sizes, men and women both will be able to discover easily which is the best option for them, and the attractive 2-tone color lends the item a timeless look which is sure to turn heads out in the water.

Pros

  • Excellent sizing.
  • Cutting-edge technology has gone into the design.

Cons

  • Stockingfoot shoe sizes don’t live up to the versatility offered by the main body part of the gear.

Takeaway

Even though they’re let down somewhat by the way the stockinged feet have been constructed, these are still a great choice for fishermen looking to fish in all manner of weather conditions.

A very respectable choice from Caddis.

Hodgman Caster Cleated Bootfoot Chest Waders

Review: Designed especially for cooler weather conditions, the durable boots on the Hodgman include Thinsulate technology insulation, while the cleated outsole promises top-class traction no matter where you’re walking.

While they’re definitely not a good option for warm-weather fishing owing to the lack of breathable material, the fleece-lined hand warmer pocket is a nice touch to protect your fingers from getting too chilly.

The top-loading storm pocket adds even more versatility, and given that all the seams have been stitched, taped, and glued, this is an item that will survive many fishing trips to come.

Pros

  • Reinforced material keeps cold out, no matter how chilly.
  • Fleece-lined pockets are custom-made for keeping your hands warm.
  • Boots insulated with Thinsulate technology.

Cons

  • Not breathable: will trap heat and make you uncomfortably warm if you’re fishing in the summer.
  • No information about the warranty (at least I couldn’t find), you must call customer service specifically if you want to know.

Takeaway

As long as you’re not fishing in the warmer months of the year, these waders will keep you toasty and dry, even in the most frigid of waters.

Sylphid Bootfoot Chest Waders

Review: Constructed with rugged nylon (featuring 2-ply upper fabric), these waders are 35% lighter than traditional products, which helps prevent the onset of fatigue.

Designed to keep you warm and dry in any kind of situation, they’re 100% waterproof and include technology to help seal out water and dirt during long hours spent out in the water.

One of the cheapest pieces of equipment on the list, the outsoles on the boots are made out of extra thick gum-rubber, which resists wear and skidding in equal measures, while the easily adjustable suspenders add to the classic chest high design and lend the product an appealingly retro look.

Pros

  • Very cheap compared with some other items.
  • Lightweight.
  • 100% waterproof all the way up is an excellent feature.

Cons

  • Sizing isn’t ideal, and could well take more than one try to get right.

Takeaway

As long as you can get the sizing right for you, this is one of the least expensive options on the market today and is sturdy enough to handle most challenges you’ll encounter, including different fishing techniques, which makes them one of the best fly fishing waders of 2019.

Compass 360 Stillwater II Breathable Fishing Wader

Review: The second appearance of a Compass product on the list, the Stillwater II is guaranteed to be 100% waterproof and 100% breathable.

Boasting a fleece lined pass-through chest pocket with zippered top entry, fully adjustable elastic suspenders, 4mm neoprene booties which come with attached gravel guards and a flip-out device security pocket (ideal for a smartphone or iPod), this is a seriously versatile piece of equipment.

Despite being so tough, they’re lightweight, and won’t weigh you down as you move through the water, no matter how long you’re planning to be out fishing.

Pros

  • Innovative, versatile design.
  • Affordable price tag.
  • 1-year warranty.

Cons

  • None!

Takeaway

This is one of the very best sets of waders on the market today. My top pick!

Tung Hsing Lon Fishing Chest Waders

Review: With a stylish monotone color scheme and 420D Nylon fabric coated with PVC, the Tung Hsing offers strength and durability in equal parts.

Comfortable and rugged, the PVC cleated boots are designed to prevent slipping on reef and boss, and the anti-abrasion measures ensure that they’ll last a long while into the future.

These waders are breathable and lightweight, although they still offer 100% waterproof protection.

Instead of stitching and seaming, the boots and pants are integrated together, which according to the manufacturer guarantees no leaking whatsoever.

Pros

  • Tough all over while remaining lightweight.
  • Belt and buckle remain stable while wading.
  • Adjustable suspenders are suitable for people of all heights.

Cons

  • Sizing chart is completely incorrect.
  • The integrated design doesn’t prevent leaking the way it claims.

Takeaway

Not ideal due to the leaking problem and sizing issues, which is a shame, because this product offers a lot of really great features otherwise.

Sizing aside, these are really good fishing waders.

Piscifun Breathable Chest Waders

Review: Coming in five different sizes (S, M, L, XL, XXL) and featuring all the essentials fishermen need when wading in the water, this is a relatively new arrival on the market and as such hasn’t yet been tested as much as some other options.

These waders weigh less than 2.53lb all told, which grants the angler excellent range of motion and prevents fatigue from setting in early enough to ruin the expedition.

Built to be the best with an ergonomic design, there’s a waterproof pocket in the center that seals with a zip, as well as a reversible pocket which you can trust with your valuables.

The warranty is generous, even including a 30-day no reason to replace service, as well as 365-days wader repairs, free of charge.

Pros

  • Ticks all the right boxes: waterproof, lightweight, durable.
  • Budget-friendly price combined with the warranty means you might as well give them a shot.

Cons

  • The fit is a little higher than most others, which can be uncomfortable.

Takeaway

Although relatively untested, the Piscifun offers all the features you could want at a fraction of the regular price. Strongly recommended.

Probably the best fishing waders for the money they cost.

Hodgman GMWDE Gamewade Chest Waders

Review: One of the cheapest (probably the cheapest) pair of waders out there, offered by Hodgman, provide the bare minimum at a rock-bottom price point.

Featuring an interior storage pocket, elastic webbing shoulder straps, 25mm PVC waterproof protection and a compact storage bag included, they’re not going to change the game for you, but if you’re on a tight budget this product might be worth looking into.

They won’t perform like other waders, and will almost certainly leak sooner or later, but for how much they cost they may well still be worth it.

A bottom-shelf offering at bottom-shelf prices: no surprises here.

Pros

  • Dirt cheap.
  • Don’t come with boots, so you can wear your own pair, if you have one.

Cons

  • Will almost certainly leak sooner or later.
  • No waterproof protection.
  • Not breathable fabric.
  • No reversible pockets for valuables.
  • Unimpressive sizing.

Takeaway

My advice would be to only consider this pair if you absolutely can’t afford any of the pricier options.

Apart from the price, they offer very little to any angler, whether they’re a novice or more experienced in the water.

Ouzong Bootfoot Chest Waders

Review: Constructed using 70D Nylon and PVC material, these waders are 35% lighter weight than the more traditional, rubber options.

Guaranteed to be 100% waterproof, including a waterproof boot attachment and taped seams, every set of waders is turned inside out, filled with water, proven leak free, hung to dry, and only then put on the market: this extensive testing is carried out by Ouzong themselves.

Anti-slipping and anti-abrasion coating on the PVC boots means you’ll be safe in these, and the H-back adjustable suspenders with quick release buckles make taking them on and off a piece of cake.

Pros

  • Impressive attention to detail for such a cheap product.
  • All-purpose utility means they’re suitable for almost any environment.
  • The durable material used in construction will keep you safe for many fishing trips ahead.

Cons

  • Despite being lightweight, these waders are not breathable.
  • Shoe sizing is inaccurate to the extreme.
  • Length: boot ratio is less than ideal and looks a little strange.

Takeaway

Although this offering by Ouzong is by no means a bad product, there are better items out there at a similar price point which offer more features.

Although these are some of the best surf fishing waders around owing to their high levels of versatility.

8 Fans Fishing Waist Waders

Review: These waders don’t reach all the way up to your chest like most others. Stopping at the waist, they are nonetheless breathable, durable, and 100% waterproof.

The material has been double-taped and is resistant to wear and tear, while the waist-high gravel guards reach the entire length of the pants to keep you safe from abrasion.

An adjustable fit waist combines with a quick release locking buckle to allow the angler to easily take them on and off.

They even come with a mesh storage bag included, which is ideal for packing items you need to keep dry.

Pros

  • 3-Ply breathable material offers protection and comfort at the same time.
  • Suitable for men and women both.
  • No bulky, uncomfortable connection point on your shin because the gravel guard reaches all the way up.

Cons

  • The obvious disadvantage is that they don’t reach up to your chest.
  • Surprisingly expensive given how short they are.

Takeaway

If, for some reason, you don’t need waders which will reach all the way up to your chest, these are terrific pants which offer comfort, durability, and versatility in equal measures.

Among the best breathable fishing waders, you’ll find, despite the size.

Frogg Toggs Amphib Stockingfoot Chest Wader

Review: Another product from Frogg Toggs, this product offers a special, high-back design which is custom-made to allow for wading in deeper water than would be otherwise possible.

Reinforced knees, in addition to the high-density neoprene booties (with sliding gravel guards), save you from the typical shin pain that can often come with fishing waders.

They range in size from small to extra extra large, and even feature hand-warmer pockets which are lined with fleece to keep your hands dry and toasty when you’re not actively fishing.

A variety of colors are available.

Pros

  • Offers a lot of protection at a low price.
  • The ability to wade in deeper water is excellent.

Cons

  • Not available in women’s sizes.
  • Fabric is not breathable.
  • Despite the range of colors, this product is uglier than most.

Takeaway

If you’re planning to be wading in deeper water than usual, this is a great choice: maybe the best on the market, and certainly one of the best chest waders for fishing out there.

If you’re not, give these waders from Frogg Toggs a miss.

Plusinno Bootfoot Chest Waders

Review: Coming equipped with features like a flip-out chest pocket and three stainless steel buckles for accessory attachment, these Nylon/PVC waders are weighed 35% less than traditional fabric and chafe less.

100% waterproof guarantee combines well with the tough, anti-slipping rubber boot, providing the ability to stay in the water longer without worrying about slipping on whatever terrain is underfoot.

Designed for all weather conditions, this product is suitable for just about anything.

Pros

  • Thick rubber sole protects the fisherman from sharp rocks on the river bed.
  • Plenty of convenience offered by pockets and buckles.

Cons

  • One-year warranty does not include man-made damage.
  • Versatility comes at the cost of more advanced, fishing-specific features.

Takeaway

Although the fact that you can use these for a number of activities is attractive (they’re probably this list’s best waders for surf fishing, for example), there are some features they simply don’t offer.

Magreel Chest Fishing Waders

Review: 100% waterproof, the welding techniques and reinforced stitches used in its design guarantee you’ll be kept warm and dry.

The boots are made from PVC, which means they’re anti-slip and wear-resistant, and the thicker-than-usual soles protect you from any sharp rocks.

This product from Magreel comes equipped with a waist belt and chest drawstring, which means you can easily adjust them according to your own height.

There’s also a front pocket which is a convenient place to keep your phone, keys, and lures, given that you can quickly access them without needing to leave the water.

Pros

  • The science-inspired design offers a lot of features at a relatively low cost.
  • Specially thickened soles save your feet from anything you might come across.
  • Hot melting technology used to connect boots to trousers prevents leaking

Cons

  • They’re not that lightweight, with most sizes weighing around 6 pounds.

Takeaway

A solid all-rounder at a remarkably reasonable price, if you’re lucky enough to fit into one of the sizes they offer, these are a very respectable set of waders.

man wearing wader and fishing in lake

Now that we’ve gone through some of the products available, let’s talk about what information you need to keep in mind when you’re making your own purchase.

Must-Have Buyer’s Guide

What Should I Look For?

Fishing waders are a complicated piece of kit. There’s nothing straightforward about them – from the material used to the variety of features offered, it can be overwhelming.

Don’t worry, though.

There’s a solution.

The three big things to keep in mind are comfort, versatility, and price.

  • Comfort’s going to come down to how much they weigh and how much they chafe. Traditional rubber waders weigh 35% more than the nylon options, and aren’t as breathable. This means you’ll sweat more and get tired quicker, potentially ending your fishing trip prematurely.
  • Versatility can be judged by how long the waders are (chest-high, waist-high, whether they have a high back or not) and by what kind of pockets are offered. Chest pockets are good for keeping valuables in, while fleece-lined pockets designed to warm your hands are always a plus.
  • Price is, well, price. It comes down to what you need and the size of your budget. As you conduct your own research, you’ll develop a sense for what’s a good price considering what the product provides.

man fly fishing during daytime in river

How Should Waders Fit?

Waders should fit tightly, but not so tightly that your movement is restricted.

If they’re not tight enough, water will get in; if they’re too tight to move in, you’re not going to have any fun.

Owing to the kind of product they are, sizing is going to vary hugely from angler to angler. To make matters more complicated, the waders don’t always fit like the manufacturer says they’re going to.

You need to take into account your shoe size (for the boots), as well as how the product is made.

Adjustable belts and straps will make it easier to ensure you find a pair that fits properly.

Reinforced Stitches or Integrated Pants – Which is Best?

The weakest point of any pair of waders is where the pants meet the boots.

Typically, manufacturers solve this problem by reinforcing the stitches using a variety of methods: glue, tape, double or even triple sealing.

More recently, however, some companies have started offering integrated pants, where there is no seam between the boots and pants.

While this is a stronger connection than any kind of stitch, no matter how well-protected the stitch is, you’re going to have to pay more for the privilege.

Moreover, integrated pants are going to compromise how many boots you’ll be able to wear with the waders.

Given that they’re constructed together, your favorite pair might not necessarily fit.

man wearing wader standing on the seashore and fishing

FAQs

How do I Wash My Waders?

The process for keeping your waders clean is a little involved and takes a degree of experience before you can be sure you won’t damage your product.

I recommend watching this video I found on YouTube: it answers this question well, but more than that it provides a visual aid, which is key when it comes to maintenance of products.

How do I Size My Waders?

Sizing is the most difficult aspect of buying a pair of fishing waders.

There’s no one-size-fits-all way to do this.

It’s going to vary hugely, based on your body shape and size as well as the company that makes them.

The most important part is getting somebody to take your measurements: chest, waist, hips, and leg length.

Combine these figures with your shoe size, and then compare them to the sizing guide offered by the manufacturer.

If you’re in between sizes, go for the bigger one.

This is absolutely fundamental: buying a size slightly too small is a complete waste of purchase, and you’re going to have to send them right back.

What’s the Best Material for Waders?

This one comes down to personal preference.

Old-school fishermen might well prefer the classic rubber material, and they’d have good reasons for doing so: it’s strong, it’s reliable, and it’ll last a long time.

Unfortunately, those benefits come at a cost, which in this case is reduced maneuverability and increased the potential for overheating, as well as chafing.

If those things bother you, you’d probably be better off going for the newer, Nylon / PVC material. It’s 35% lighter and just as durable.

Be careful, though.

Not all Nylon waders are breathable, so if that’s a priority for you, make sure the pair you’re looking at provide that feature.

Summary

So there you have it: the best fishing waders, demystified.

I hope the prospect of buying a pair isn’t quite so intimidating anymore.

Remember to consult the buying guide so you know what to keep in mind when doing your research.

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