Wader season is here in #Troutcountry, the mornings are crispy, water temps are cold, and flip flop season is officially over. Like it or not fly fishing waders are an essential if you want to cover water effectively 365 days out of the year. While some of our float fishing guides may disagree and say that their muck boots will do just as well through the winter months. Waders are definitely necessary for wade fishing and for keeping you warm on the water. Below we will outline the best waders for fly fishing for 2023 and 2024. None of the wader brands are planning to drop any new and exciting waders in the next year as far as we know. So without further ado below you will find the best waders for fly fishing.
The waders makers over at Simms Fishing are proud of what they do, as they should be. Simms, the Bozeman-based fishing manufacturing company has built its business on making quality waders that withstand a beating. The G3 wader lines have been released in the past year with some quality upgrades. The most notable are a new material package, improved fit, low and high profile belt loops, updated abrasion-resistant gravel guards, and an all new adjustable spacer air-mesh suspender system with a fabric suspender divider and integrated webbing attach point for net carry.
The G3 Waders are the flagship waders that Simms produces. The fly fishing waders have a 3-layer waterproof upper and 4-layer waterproof lower, all in the breathable Gore-Tex Shell. This recipe is perfect for anglers looking to invest in a pair of waders that will last and hold up to some heavy abuse.
Being Made In America, these waders also come with the best warranty in the business and the ability to offer a wide range of different sizes. The Simms warranty includes a 60-Day replacement for leaks, no questions asked. 365 Days repairs on Simms. “If your SIMMS product fails due to a defect in workmanship or materials, SIMMS will repair or replace your gear and get you back on the water as soon as possible. If your SIMMS product fails due to excessive wear, accidents involving barbed wire or campfires, or the natural breakdown of materials over extended time, SIMMS will make every effort to repair your gear for a reasonable fee.” I personally just sent back a pair of heavily used G3 Waders for about 3-4 years and they fixed all the pinholes and put on new neoprene booties all for a nominal fee of $60.00.
The fit on these waders is slimmer than other wader brands, the waders are the most form fitting which can be nice for certain scenarios but also not nice for others.
Coming in at a $649.00 price point just below the $699.95 of the Simms G3 Wader, the Orvis PRO waders are another great option for anglers looking for an all around wader that will last. The PRO waders are a little thicker that than the Simms G3 Waders with a 4 layer Cordura fabric shell in the upper and a 5 layer Cordura fabric in the lower legs. Which will provide anglers with more durability than the Simms G3 waders but will not be as breathable.
The Orvis PRO wader does come with all the bells and whistles with removable knee pads, an External storage pocket with YKK AquaGuard® water-resistant zipper, fly patch, and daisy chain, Kangaroo-style fleece-lined handwarmer pockets, and adjustable elastic suspenders for easy waist-high conversion. The Orvis PRO wader does have a bulkier fit to them, with a Gusseted crotch and low-profile seam construction. Making them more comfortable when squatting and moving around.
The product designers over at Patagonia definitely took their time with this wader as it is well thought out with the angler in mind. The Swiftcurrent Expedition Zip Front Wader is made of 100% recycled polyester microfiber H2No performance standard shell with a waterproof/breathable barrier and DWR (durable water repellent) finish. The one difference between this wader and the other two listed above is that given their durability, these waders are lighter in weight.
Let’s talk about some of the accessories of these waders that we like. The Submersible, waterproof YKK® front zipper is bomber and while other waders like the Simms G4Z wader have the same zipper, these waders come in at a lower price point. The Swiftcurrent Expedition Zip Front Waders also have a quick-release suspender system which is nice in warmer weather. As well as an all-new top-hem drawcord cinch system, which ultimately keeps you nice and snug on your upper body, as you remove and add clothing layers. The hand warmer pockets and front zip pockets are well placed, the waders also have an interior drop-in stretch pocket under the armpits which can be super useful for stashing gear you want to keep dry. The waders also have removable knee pads.
These waders are backed by Patagonia’s wonderful lifetime gear warranty which could come in handy as we all know that waders do not last forever. They are made in Vietnam and the sizing is a bit limited when compared to Simms.
If you aren’t trying to break the bank and still want a wader that will hold up, look no further than the Simms Freestone Waders. Priced just below $400.00 these waders will last a long time and still provide comfort on the water. The main difference between these waders and say the Simms G3 waders is they are made of Today QuadraLam 4-Layer upper and lower. Whereas the G3 waders are made of GORETEX. Which provides more breathability.
The Freestone Waders have low and high profile belt loops, updated gravel guards, an upper chest pocket array that features a top access stretch woven storage pocket, micro-fleece lined hand-warmer pockets, and an integrated loop fly patch.
It is unclear if these waders are made in the United States or if they are made overseas. But, they still are covered by Simms’s wonderful warranty as well as offered in a variety of different sizes.
The more budget-friendly Orvis Ultralight wader is the best wader you can buy for the money, hands down. The wader features a 4 layer water breathable nylon shell fabric. External storage pocket with YKK AquaGuard® water-resistant zipper to keep essentials dry and prevent loss. Rubberized tabs on suspenders and front pockets for tool docking offer multiple locations for essentials and eliminate the chance of puncturing waders or losing tools. Fly patch on the front pocket. Large, four-way stretch, power-mesh interior pocket expands to fit larger items yet stays out of the way when empty. This wader is now on sale so grab it before it is out of stock.
Best Overall Wader: Simms G3 Waders, Simms flagship wader will never die, the best performance and warranty in the business. Plus MADE IN AMERICA!
Best Features in a Wader: Patagonia Swiftcurrent Expedition Zip Front Waders, accessories that are built for the adventurous angler.
Best Waders for the Money: Orvis Ultralight Waders
Best Female Wader: Simms G3 or Freestone Waders, a variety of different sizes that are built to fit females.
Other notable fly fishing waders:
If you are in the market for a new pair of waders, swing by the shop and we can get you sized up. Every wader brand has a different fit, so swing by the shop to find a fly-fishing wader that fits. Or give us a call at 970-926-0900 and we can assist you in an online purchase. Browse our whole 2023 fly fishing wader lineup HERE.