11 Best Value Breathable Waders: Compare & Save

breathable waders

123RF (goodluz)

When the temperature out on your favorite stream, lake or estuary becomes anything more than unbearably cold, it’s time to break out the breathables and get fishing!

Durability, comfort, and functionality are what it’s all about when finding your ideal pair of breathable waders; with so many options on the market it’s important to keep these three specs at the forefront of your decision-making process.
The way I see it, a pair of value breathable waders keep you bone dry, fits comfortably in and out of the water and lasts at least a few seasons before becoming worn out without breaking the bank — anything else is a bonus.

What Are The Best Value Breathable Waders?

Simms Tributary Stockingfoot Waders Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Nylon 3-layer upper and 4-layer lower for maximum integrity and mobility
  • Anatomically engineered neoprene stockingfeet have an anti-microbial finish
  • Reach-through fleece lined hand-warming pocket features a zippered top stash pocket
Price: $251.31 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
orvis ultralight convertible wader Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Remarkably ultralight 35 ounce weight wears and packs super minimally
  • Integrated tool dock and fly patch on front pocket
  • 4-layer waterproof breathable nylon shell fabric
Price: $298.00 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
redington sonic pro Amazon Customer Reviews
  • High degree of organization
  • Good quality zips and clips
  • Reinforced knees
Price: $249.99 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
Redington Sonic-Pro HDZ Mens Waders Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Zip-up front allows for easy layering, changing and bathroom breaks
  • Impressively lightweight and durable
  • Awesome internal and external pocket schematic
Price: $499.99 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
caddis wading systems breathable waders Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Streamlined fit great for more active anglers
  • Suitable for wading in all different temperatures
  • Excellent price point
Price: $104.88 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
caddis wading systems breathable wades Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Hand warmer pockets
  • Both lightweight and warm
  • Very reasonably priced
Price: $109.99 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
breathable waders, caddis wading systems, best waders Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Double thick knees and seat
  • Hand warming pocket
  • Can be a good fit for women
Price: $145.84 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
lone cone womans waders Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Thoughtful water resistant chest pockets
  • Kangaroo hand warming pocket
  • Excellent Value
Price: $49.99 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
breathable waders, Redington, best waders Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Lightweight and pack compact
  • Easily convertible to waist height
  • Large interior flip out pocket
Price: $144.13 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
breathable waders, hodgman, best waders Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Very economic option
  • PVC boots are lighter than rubber and remain rugged
  • Includes an internal pocket
Price: $34.90 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
adamsbuilt waders Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Chest and hand warming pockets
  • Flip out accessory pocket
  • Four layer reinforced knes and seats
Price: $259.95 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
Our Unbiased Reviews
  1. 1. Simms Tributary Stockingfoot Waders

    Pros:
    • Nylon 3-layer upper and 4-layer lower for maximum integrity and mobility
    • Impressively lightweight at just 36 ounces
    • Reach-through fleece lined hand-warming pocket features a zippered top stash pocket
    • Integrated gravel guards with gathered elastic bottom hem
    • Anatomically engineered neoprene stockingfeet have an anti-microbial finish
    • Built to accept a Simms Tippet Tender Pocket or Waterproof Wader Pouch (sold separately)
    • Simms guarantee
    Cons:
    • On the expensive end of value waders - but still an excellent price point
    • Some may prefer three, rather than the two belt loops offered here
    • accessory pockets and pouches must be purchased separately

    The Simms Tributary Stockingfoot Waders are a killer affordable option from a high-end, typically top-dollar outfitter that are perfect for fishermen seeking a lightweight, but dependable wading system.

    First things first – Simms offers one of the better gear guarantees in the industry, so if your Tributarys fail on you, the brand will be sure to make things right. 

    These are an impressively lightweight (36 ounces), fairly streamlined pair of breathables intented for the highly active angler who wants to remain quick on their feet. There are not a ton of bells and whistles with this option, but if you’re seeking a minimalist, comfortable to wear and low profile pair of waders this is a great go to.

    Built with a nylon 3-layer upper and 4-layer lower for maximum integrity and mobility, the Tributarys are not as susceptible to wear and tear as they might seem. Simms has engineered these waders knowing you’re going to cover ground in them, so they won’t quit on you due to the regular abuses of fishing.

    The reach-through fleece-lined hand-warming pocket features a zippered top stash pocket, so there is a bit of organization potential with this option despite its overall lack of features. The Tributarys are furthermore built to accept a Simms Tippet Tender Pocket or Waterproof Wader Pouch (sold separately), so if you choose to more extensively outfit these waders down the line, they’re easily added to.

    The anatomically engineered neoprene stockingfeet have an anti-microbial finish, while the integrated gravel guards have a gathered elastic bottom hem. This may be Simm’s budget option of breathables, but definitely don’t count them out when it comes to top-notch craftsmanship.

    All things considered, the Tributarys are a stellar choice of breathable waders for anyone seeking a minimalist option from a highly accredited brand backed with a rock-solid guarantee.

  2. 2. Orvis Ultralight Convertible Wader

    Pros:
    • Remarkably ultralight 35 ounce weight wears and packs super minimally
    • Low profile seam construction with strategic reinforcement in high-stress areas built with a nylon outer and nylon-tricot liner
    • 4-layer waterproof breathable nylon shell fabric
    • FIDLOCK SNAP magnetic fasteners allow for quick and easy waist high conversion
    • External storage pocket with YKK AquaGuard® water resistant zipper
    • Integrated tool dock and fly patch on front pocket
    • Low profile belt loops won't snag up on fly line (1.5 inch stretch belt included)
    • Integrated neoprene gravel guard
    • Patch present within the interior pocket to attach an Orvis waterproof pocket
    • Internal zipper pocket with four-way stretch power mesh
    Cons:
    • Fairly expensive, yet still an excellent value
    • These waders will offer even less warmth than your standard breathables due to their ultralight construction
    • Some anglers might not like how the shoulder strapping does not clip on and off - they're always affixed to the waders

    The Orvis Ultralight Convertible Waders are a brilliant high-end option offered at a mid-range price point that are perfect for anglers who enjoy wearing their chest waders at waist height.

    This option is convertible in the sense that there are integrated FIDLOCK SNAP magnetic fasteners that allow for quick and easy waist-high conversion. Essentially, if you want to free your torso and are wading at or below waist height, Orvis has made it a piece of cake to simply “convert” these waders to more or less waist height.

    As the name implies, this option is remarkably ultralight at just 35 ounces, and they wear nice and low profile as well, despite their willingness to be folded down. If you’re the type of angler who treks far and wide in search of fish, you’ll love the high speed/low drag freedom these waders provide.

    Built from a 4-layer breathable nylon shell fabric and equipped with some killer features, the Ultralights aren’t as minimalist as they may come off to be. These waders can handle a fair amount of abuse in terms of abrasion from wilderness hazards and furthermore feature an external storage pocket as well as an integrated tool dock and fly patch on the front pocket. 

    The brand has also integrated a patch on the interior pocket to attach an Orvis waterproof pocket if you want some submersible dry-storage.

    High quality gravel guards, YKK AquaGuard® zippers, and streamlined belt loops (stretch belt included) all take the Ultralight Convertibles into the big leagues, separating this breathable wader option from the comparably priced competition.

    If you have the fishing funds to spring for a pair of breathables that borders on expensive – this is an option you’d be crazy not consider.

  3. 3. Redington Sonic Pro Stockingfoot Wader

    Pros:
    • High degree of organization between all the pockets and atttachment points
    • Material around the knees is reinforced
    • Rank comparably with some of the much higher priced, top of the line breathable waders on the market
    • Good quality zips and clips
    Cons:
    • A good bit more expensive than a lot of other adequate breathable wader options, you get what you pay for however
    • Some customer complaints that the stocking feet are a bit long
    • Not a lot of smaller sizing available

    The Sonic-Pro Waders by Redington are an excellent option for the angler willing and able to spend a bit more money on quality. For waders in this price range, they offer a lot of top-quality features.

    I have purchased a good bit of fishing equipment by Redington and have always been pleased with the quality of their gear as well as with their great customer service.

    Redington’s warranty policy covers all their waders for one year against any defects in material and or workmanship, so if you discover your new pair of waders is defected and leaking after a few uses (it happens on occasion to even the best-made waders) then you’re covered as long as you provide a dated proof of purchase.

    The material of these waders is a 100% Nylon, 4-layered, waterproof/breathable wading fabric crafted using a high-tech ultrasonic welded construction (no sew) and double taped seams. I think the “no sew” construction is quite neat, and customer reviews support that the design is durable and sound.

    These waders also offer a killer array of features, including hand warming pockets, a 2 inch stretch wading belt and a custom flip-out tool pocket containing a mesh pocket, forcep dock, hypalon retractor dock and additional pocket ideal for stashing tippet.

  4. 4. Redington Sonic-Pro HDZ Mens Waders

    Pros:
    • Zip-up front allows for easy layering, changing and bathroom breaks
    • Impressively lightweight and durable
    • Awesome internal and external pocket schematic and gear attachment points
    • Integrated waterproof storage for your phone or fishing license
    • Lots of available sizing options to acheive the perfect fit
    • Sharp, two-tone aesthetic
    Cons:
    • Expensive option
    • Some might not feel comfortable relying on the waterproof zipper despite it's sound design
    • Issues with the zipper pull tabs falling off

    This variation of the Sonic Pro Waders by Redington features a unique zippered front. The zipper of the Sonic-Pro HDZ Waders makes it exceedingly easy to add and shed layers, get in and out of your waders, and of course, to relieve yourself out in the field.

    Redington sent me out a pair of the HDZs a while back, and they have served me wonderfully so far. I’m particularly hard on my gear, and both the waterproof zipper and wader material has remained as good as new. Trust me when I say you can beat up on these.

    This variant of the Sonic-Pro Waders furthermore has a stellar pocket schematic for brilliant storage of all your angling essentials. There’s a built-in tool dock, several interior and exterior pockets, and even some waterproof storage for your phone or fishing license. There’s also a kangaroo style pocket to slide your hands into when things get chilly.

    These waders are built impressively rugged for how streamlined and lightweight they feel. Redington has reinforced them in all the right places, as well as effectively articulated the knees for a full range of motion. Whether you’re hiking several miles into the backcountry to find productive water or just stepping out of the car to cast, these breathable waders remain comfortable and won’t bunch up on you.

    I’ve worn these waders in the absolute freezing cold, as well as in some pretty aggressive heat, and they chameleon to the climate quite well. These waders are robust enough to stay toasty with the right base layer, and also stay effectively cool (As breathable waders should) when the weather is hot.

    All in all, if you have the budget for a pair of zippered waders like these, you’ll likely fall in love with this style of wading system. Extensive and orderly storage, comfort in virtually any climate or context and a sharp aesthetic that’s built to last – you can’t go wrong with the Sonic-Pro HDZ Waders. 

  5. 5. Caddis Men’s 2-Tone Tauped Deluxe Breathable Stocking Foot Wader

    Pros:
    • Streamlined fit great for more active anglers
    • Chest pockets
    • Suitable for wading in all different temperatures
    • Attached gravel guards
    • Excellent price point
    Cons:
    • Due to the materials lightweight nature, material has potential to wear out sooner than some more tougher built waders
    • If purchasing on Amazon, product is only shipped domestically within the US
    • Limited pocket space

    The 2-Tone Tauped Deluxe Breathable Stocking Foot Waders by Caddis provide an excellent fit for the angler looking to find a sporty wading system that feels snug yet free.

    This model comes in more adult sizes than any other wader series in Caddis’s line. If you have trouble finding a nice fitting pair of waders for your body type, you might want to check out some of the size options offered here.

    Customer reviews support Caddis’s claims that these waders are a good choice for a wide spectrum of temperatures. Constructed with “CaddisDry fabric”, these waders are designed to allow perspiration out while still keeping you bone dry, making them suitable for both cold temps as well as hot days on the water.

    Reinforced knees are a feature I find particularly important for fishermen who find themselves often kneeling on sand, gravel or stone. The Chest pockets and attached gravel guards are also great included features considering the low cost of these waders.

    Caddis backs up their wading products with a one year warranty, so fret not if your new waders are defective within the first year of purchase.

  6. 6. Caddis Men’s Taupe Breathable Stocking Foot Wader

    Pros:
    • Includes hand warmer pockets and gravel gaurds
    • Both lightweight and warm while retaining breathability
    • Very reasonably priced for the quality
    Cons:
    • Some complaints claiming the stocking feet are oversized
    • No interior chest pocket
    • If purchasing on Amazon, this product only ships domestically within the US

    The Caddis Men’s Taupe Breathable Stocking Foot Waders are very comparable to the Caddis Men’s 2-Tone Tauped Deluxe Breathable Stocking Foot Waders but have a slightly lower price tag.

    Although the legs and knees are not reinforced like the previous pair by Caddis mentioned here – customer reviews still insist these waders are tough and capable of taking a beating.

    There is also a good range of sizes available for these waders, making them a good choice for almost all body types.

    The CaddisDry technology employed in crafting Caddis’s breathable material is praised by fishermen for being both lightweight and warm. The material used for this pair of waders as well as the other waders by Caddis mentioned here is one of the top reviewed materials in affordable breathability.

    If you’re a diehard angler but struggle to come up with fishing funds, why spend $500 on a pair of premium waders when there are perfectly adequate options such as this on the market?

  7. 7. Caddis Men’s Northern Guide Breathable Stocking Foot Wader

    Pros:
    • Double thick knees and seat making for an extra durable pair of waders
    • Includes a quick release hinged wading belt
    • Equipped with practical chest pockets as well as a hand warming pocket
    • Reviews from female anglers claim these waders can be a good fit for women
    Cons:
    • Some customer complaints about tightness around the legs
    • Difficulty finding the correct sizing for some anglers, consult Caddis’s size charts wisely if interested in this product
    • Some anglers might not like the aesthetic of the brighter color

    Another pair of good quality breathables from Caddis. The Northern Guide Breathable Stocking Foot Waders are a bit more high end than the other waders by Caddis previously mentioned and still come at a reasonable price.

    Also crafted with CaddisDry technology, these waders are double thick in the knees and seat making for a lightweight yet tough pair of breathables.

    Caddis claims this model is built to last a fishing guide an entire season of 200 fishing days, a bold statement for such a modestly priced pair of waders. When purchasing waders (or any fishing gear), I always take notice when manufacturers explicitly claim their product is built to last. Comparable to a lot of the other mid-end waders offered by Caddis, these breathables will likely outlive the rest of the lot – hence the slightly higher price tag.

    Remember that Caddis covers all their wading products under warranty for a full year, so you can purchase with confidence knowing you’re covered if you receive a defective pair. Customer reviews insist these waders can also be a good fit for women, so ladies don’t overlook these as a high quality and affordable option.

    Furthermore, this model comes fully equipped with adjustable deluxe suspenders, a hand-warming pocket, breathable gravel guards and water-resistant chest pockets.

  8. 8. Lone Cone Women’s Deluxe Breathable Waders

    Pros:
    • Kangaroo hand warming pocket for those hand numbing days on the water
    • Thoughtful water resistant chest pockets
    • Tough material on legs for moving through vegetation
    • Very affordable given the array of included features
    Cons:
    • Only one color option (charcoal grey) for those ladies looking for a more personalized pair of waders
    • Lone Cone is a relatively new outfitter with little customer satisfaction/product quality history to draw on
    • Reviews claim these run a bit long

    The Lone Cone Women’s Deluxe Breathable Waders are a stylish, high quality option for women’s chest waders. Lone Cone crafted these waders with comfort in mind, incorporating some give into the fit in order to accommodate for various body types and sizes.

    The wading material used is an effective polyester-nylon that keeps the wearer dry without compromising breathability. These waders are meant to be cool in hot temperatures, and also provide some space for layering clothing for those cold days on the water.

    The knees and legs are triple-layered in order to give the wearer confidence in moving through vegetation without fear of a puncture or tear. Lone Cone does not specify their warranty coverage for defective waders but insists on their web page that they will resolve any issues.

    For a pair of waders in this price range, this product has quite a few features including gravel guards, a fleece-lined kangaroo hand warming pocket and an array of water-resistant chest pockets. Not a dire necessity by any means, but you gotta love those easy access chest pockets for pulling out a camera or snack!

    All in all, a stellar value wading system for women!

  9. 9. Redington Palix River Chest Waders

    Pros:
    • Lightweight and pack compact for trekking into your favorite fishing hole
    • Easily convertible to waist height
    • Large interior flip out pocket
    • Wide array of sizing available
    Cons:
    • Complaints about tightness in the crotch/inseam area
    • Pockets lack advanced organization potential
    • Some of the sizing borders on the expensive side

    These chest waders by Redington are a solid choice for a pair of middle of the line waders. Constructed with a 100% Polyester, 3-layer DWR coated material, the Palix River Chest Waders are both lightweight and comfortable.

    The knees are doubled layered for added durability but customer reviews insist that these waders will still fold up quite nicely for fitting into a backpack or bag.

    This model also comes equipped with both interior and exterior chest pockets, gravel guards and a fleece-lined hand warmer pocket – the works! The opposing buckles on these waders are furthermore great for converting them to waist height.

    A very solid, straight forward and effective option by Redington that comes at a more than fair price point!  

  10. 10. Hodgman Mackenzie Cleated Nylon/PVC Boot-foot Hip Waders

    Pros:
    • Very economic option
    • Comes ready to fish with attached boots
    • Includes an internal pocket
    • PVC boots are lighter than rubber
    Cons:
    • PVC boots although durable and built to last may be quite slippery depending on the bottom you’re walking on
    • The retention strap that holds the waders up is made of a cheaper elastic that may wear out
    • Limited smaller sizing available

    This pair of breathable hip waders by Hodgman might be all you need depending on where you’re fishing. If you’re looking to fish from low-level water or just need a bit more wading height than a pair of knee boots than consider this model by Hodgman.

    A great deal less expensive than high-end chest waders, why shell out your hard earned cash if you only need to stay dry in a few feet of water? These hip waders even come with attached PVC boots, more lightweight than traditional rubber and sparing you the purchase of wading footwear.

    Made from a tough nylon shell fabric, these bad boys are a surprising 30% lighter than rubber and could potentially last quite a few seasons with the proper care. Hodgman covers their waders under a one year warranty, so if you find your pair defective you’re covered.

    If you can get away with hip waders where you fish, then put that money you save purchasing these waders towards some other gear!

  11. 11. Adamsbuilt Truckee River Waders

    Pros:
    • Chest and hand warming pockets
    • Good customer support from Adamsbuilt concerning issues with sizing and product defects
    • Attached gravel guards
    • Wide array of available sizing
    Cons:
    • Some customer complaints claiming the leg length is excessive for some body types
    • Lacks external gear attachment points
    • Some complaints about restricted movement around the crotch

    The Truckee River Waders by Adamsbuilt are a crowd favorite. Another product ranking middle of the line in price, but sporting top of the line features and customer satisfaction.

    Hand warming pockets, gravel guards, a quick-release belt and both interior and exterior chest pockets really make this pair of waders the full package.

    The super lightweight microfiber material is 4 layered reinforced on the knees and seat, adding solid durability to the stats. The Adamsbuilt Guarantee ensures products are exchangeable if defective.

    Adamsbuilt may not be a huge name in the wading world, but this product is a top contender for customer satisfaction and equipped with the whole 9 yards.

Wader Sizing Is Important!

Always take the time to match your measurements with the correct size before making a wader purchase - nothing is more frustrating than an inseam that's too tight or a floppy chest section that doesn't stay properly secure. 

New waders are an investment type purchase no matter how "value" of a pair you choose, so be sure to select an option that will fit you nicely.

Durable Breathable Fishing Waders

A big tradeoff when utilizing breathable waders is the fact that they don't offer the integrity of neoprene when it comes to abrasion and puncture damage.

Yes, they offer a far less restrictive fit and are more comfortable in warmer climates and water conditions - but if where you fish has a lot of wilderness and water hazards that have the potential to pop a leak in your wading system, breathables can be dicey.

That being said, there are some breathable wader options that offer greater durability and overall integrity than the norm, so if you trek in and around briars, jagged stone, or overgrown trails, you'll want to go with a tougher option to avoid leaks.

Some of our favorite breathable wader options that are built particularly tough include:

Lightweight Breathable Waders

While most breathable waders offer far lower weight than alternative materials like nylon and rubber, there are some models that are particularly ultralight.

Streamlined, low weight waders are ideal for anglers who trek longer distances into the backcountry or down the coastline in search of fish - anyone who's trudged more than a mile or two in a heavier pair knows the struggle.

Some of our top picks for particularly lightweight, low profile breathable wader options for trekking and hiking longer distances include:

Bootfoot Breathable Waders

While most of the options above are stockingfoot style waders, there are some bootfoot options on the market that don't require you to purchase wading footwear separately.

Some of our top picks for bootfoot breathable waders include:

See Also:

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