Best Breathable Waders 2017

For those of you who are looking for the best fishing waders in 2017, you have come to the correct page. The following article outlines both the best breathable waders in 2017 and also the best neoprene waders in 2017.  Choosing breathable waders and choosing neoprene waders can be very difficult. There are hundreds of styles, brands, specifications and an enormous range in price points. In my opinion, some of the top of the range (expensive!) waders actually represent good value over the product life, but justifying the high cost upfront is difficult. Discount waders or cheap waders can be OK for light use, but if you are fishing or shooting a lot, you will usually spring a leak quite quickly.

How to Choose Best Breathable Waders

It is a bit of a mine field, so how do you choose which waders to buy? Well hopefully the info below will be useful.
So, to start with, which are the best breathable waders in 2017? I would say without a doubt, these are the made by Simms. Simms waders are fantastic quality, their GORE-TEX is all US manufactured in approved GORE-TEX manufacturing facilities, where the quality assurance and quality control procedures are second to none.  However, they are very expensive!… or are they? I believe that Simms waders are actually good value for money when considered over the life time of the waders. Simms waders last for ages. These are my personal favourites (fantastic price for Simms waders):

Simms Freestone Breathable Waders (£299).

My Dad is a very ken salmon and trout fisherman and needs good quality fly fishing waders. He fishes on small rivers in remote locations that are often overgrown. He also walks many miles in a single days fishing. He has tried lots of different wader brands and styles over the years, from entry level waders for beginners to good quality Simms waders. What he has found is that the budget waders are almost disposable. The quality of the materials and manufacturing is so low, that they leak within two or three fishing trips and never last a whole season without leaking. These include budget waders, such as:

Leeda Volare Breathable Stocking Foot Chest Waders (£69.99).
Fladen Breathable Chest Waders (£109.99)

If you are only intending on fishing once or twice per season, and you tend to go to fairly benign, easily accessed fisheries, then these budget breathable waders are probably fine for you. However, if you are in more difficult environments, fishing regularly, or walking large distances in your waders, then you need higher quality materials and workmanship.

Mid Price Breathable Waders

The next level of waders that my father has tried are mid price breathable waders, such as:

Greys Strata CTX Breathable Chest Waders (£299)
Greys NEW Strata CTX Breathable Chest Waders (£164.94)
Orvis NEW SilverSonic Breathable Chest Waders (Trout Fisherman, Best in Test – £235).

These waders are reasonable quality and will last the average fisherman between 1 and 4 seasons. These are a good choice for many anglers as the price point is acceptable and they last a reasonable amount of time. The best mid-range waders in my opinion are the greys:

Greys Strata CTX Breathable Chest Waders (£299)

As mentioned above, I believe that the best breathable waders, and in particular the best breathable waders for river fishing are made by Simms. My father has found that even the lower specification Simms waders last significantly longer than lower priced competitors. These are what I believe are the best Simms waders 2017:

Best Simms Breathable Waders


Simms New Fly Fishing G4 Pro Guide Fishing Waders  (£699)

Simms Fly Fishing Freestone MKII Waders (£299)

The cheapest of these waders are £299, which is a lot of money. However, it is possible to get over 10 seasons fishing out of these waders. If you go fishing 20 times a season, that is 200 fishing trips, which equates to £1.49 per fishing trip. For comparison, if the Greys waders last 2 seasons and cost £175, that equates to £4.37 per trip. The budget waders usually last about 5 trips, making them the worst value for money at around £10 per fishing trip.

So… as long as you look after your waders, the best value for money waders could actually be Simms. You often see guides and ghilles in Simms waders, they know what they are doing! However, having said this, some of the Simms waders are very pricey and would require at least 10 years service to make sense on a purely financial basis.

Wader Problems and Wader Failure modes:

In my experience, waders leak along the seams on the inner leg (from bending and friction associated with kneeling down and walking). The other common failure point in stocking foot waders is in the heal of the neoprene sock. The heals rub and often start leaking.Stocking foot or bootfoot waders. The following pictures show where waders often leak:

Stocking foot wader, neoprene sock.

Stocking foot wader, neoprene sock.

Seams on breathable waders.

Inner leg breathable wader seam.

Inner leg breathable wader seam.

Outside of Breathable wader seam

Outside of Breathable wader seam.

With the above failure modes in mind, it may appear obvious that the best waders are bootfoot, so that the neoprene sock issue is removed. If you are going for short fishing trips, bootfoot waders are great, as you can slip them on quickly, without waste time lacing up boots. However, when considering stocking foot vs bootfoot waders, you need thing about the following questions:
· Which waders are most comfortable?
· Do I need sturdy wading boots?
· Which waders have most grip?
· Which waders are best for walking long distances?
· How long will I be wearing the waders in each trip?

If I am going for a full days fishing, i.e. over 6 hrs, I prefer stocking foot breathable waders and good quality wading boots, such as these Greys Wading Boots:

Greys GRXI Wading Boots (£50)

You can also get budget wading boots, such as:

Airflo DELTA WADING BOOTS (£19.99)

I find that stocking foot waders and sturdy wading boots are the best when you need to be mobile, agile and walk long distances. Where as, bootfoot waders are fine if you are just popping down the river or lake for a couple of hours of easy access fishing.

Neoprene Waders vs Breathable Waders

When considering whether to buy breathable waders or neoprene waders, the main considerations are the weather and water temperature. You do not want to be wearing lightweight breathable waders when fishing for salmon in January in the north of Scotland…

Neoprene waders today

Neoprene waders today

Best Neoprene Waders

Neoprene waders come in a range of thicknesses, but even the thinnest neoprene waders are significantly warmer than any breathable waders.  The best neoprene waders include:

Daiwa Endura Neoprene Chest Waders (£89.99)

Shakespeare Sigma Neoprene Chest Waders (£67.75)

as you can see from the neoprene wader selection, they are significantly lower priced than the breathable waders, therefore on a purely financial basis you may want to choose neoprene waders. If fishing in the winter or in cold snow melt waters, then choose neoprene waders. However, if you are fishing in the summer, particularly if you are walking long distances, then choose lighter weight breathable waders. You will sweat a lot in neoprene waders if you walk any kind if distance in the summer.

Waist Waders or Chest Waders

When weighing up chest waders vs waist waders, your first obvious consideration is how deep you want to go. You don’t want to be wading up to your belly button in waist or hip waders!! The other consideration is again down to weather and walking distances. The most comfortable waders are breathable waist waders, they are lightweight and excellent when walking long distances. You hardly know that you are wearing them. Deep wading is essential in some circumstances, particularly on large rivers. in these cases you will need good chest waders.

If you are considering breathable waist waders, I would recommend looking at these:

Scierra cc3 waist wader (£89.99)

Hopefully this article gives you some tip on the best breathable waders, as well as some options fo goo neoprene waders and breathable waist waders.

Tight Lines!

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