A good pair of waterproof wading pants are an essential gear item for any serious angler. Depending on when and where you’re fishing, it’s crucial to have the right kind of wading pants for each type of scenario.
In this article, we’ll list some of our top picks for the best wading pants available in today’s fishing industry, as well as cover some of the more frequently asked questions related to buying a good pair of wading pants for fishing.
Best Wading Pants on the Market: Quick Picks
The Simms G3 Guide waders are easily the best of the best when it comes to toughness, comfort and keeping you dry. They're a worthy investment that can be used for a lifetime.
If you're looking for a solid pair of waders that offer better quality features, the Simms Freestone wading pants are a great choice. These have the feel and fit of a premium wader without the hefty price tag.
Best Wading Pants: Full Reviews
The Frogg Toggs Hellbender Stockingfoot Guide Pants are arguably the best entry-level pant waders for fly fishing anglers who want good quality that won't cost a small fortune. They're reasonably priced and offer everything from an adjustable wading belt to stockingfoot waders that will keep your legs and feet bone dry.
These Frogg Toggs waders are a great option for anglers who want to remain comfortable and dry without dealing with the restrictive nature of chest waders. You can comfortably wear these wading pants in warmer temperatures, as well as for winter fishing.
- Best wading pants for beginners
- Integrated gravel guards and neoprene booties
- Adjustable belt with quick-release buckles
The Simms Freestone Wading Pants are one of the all-around best wader pants you can purchase today. They might be out of the price range for beginner or novice anglers, but experienced fly fishing experts can easily see the value in these waist waders.
They're made from durable and breathable material and even have zippered fly and hip pockets where you can store any small fishing gear you want to have quick access to. These are comparable to some of the top chest waders you'll find today but are made to allow you to enjoy your time on the water in the cold or warmer weather.
- Integrated belt loops and elastic waist belt
- Best wading pants for more experienced anglers
- Breathable waders with zipper fly
If money is not an object in your search for the best fishing wading pants, the Simms G3 Guide Wading Pants are likely the best overall wading pants for fishing that are currently available in today's market. Made from Gore-Tex Pro Shell material, these breathable waders are the pinnacle of toughness and abrasion resistance that's essential for fly fishing.
The G3 Guide waders come with neoprene booties, a stretchable wading belt, and attached gravel guards that will fit any wading boots. Simms design experts went the extra mile in making sure the G3 Guide pants are able to stand up to the elements by making these pants with articulated knees and a gusseted crotch.
- Built-in gravel guards
- Breathable waders with neoprene booties
- Adjustable waist
Redington is one of the top brands in the fly fishing industry and their Escape Wading Pants are an easy addition to our list of the best wading pants for this year. They're made from a 4-layer material that's both breathable and flexible, meaning you will have excellent mobility for navigating around rocks and steep banks along rivers and creeks.
These wader pants are not ideal for ice fishing or for snow pants, but they are an outstanding choice for anglers who often fish in warmer climates. Made with ergonomic neoprene booties and gravel guards, these waist waders are complete with lace hooks for ultimate convenience and comfort.
- Integrated gravel guards and lace hook
- Comfortable and tough
- More stylish look compared to most waders
If you're looking for a solid pair of wading pants you can wear on any fly fishing trip that won't break the bank, the Compass 360 Deadfall Wading Pants are another excellent option. These stockingfoot wader pants are made with an army-green color and an elastic waistband with a quick-release buckle.
These wader pants offer everything you need for a day on the water at your favorite fly fishing spot. The 360 Deadfall wading pants come with stockingfoot booties, gravel guards, and lace hooks. These are a great pair of budget-friendly pants that are a good choice for beginners, and their only downside is that they don't feature pockets.
- Lightweight and comfortable
- Elastic belt with quick-release buckle
- Breathable material
Last, but certainly not least on our list of the best wading pants for fly fishing is the Paramount Outdoors Fast Eddy Wader Pants. These are another affordable pair of wading pants that are packed with useful features, including zippered pockets, neoprene booties, and gravel guards with lace hooks.
The Fast Eddy wading pant is made out of a breathable 4-ply material that's very lightweight and offers excellent puncture resistance, which is crucial for fly fishing anglers that venture into remote, rugged areas. These waist waders are great for any outdoor activity where you want to keep your legs and feet bone dry.
- Zippered waterproof pockets
- Elastic belt and quick-release buckle
- Lightweight and comfortable fit
Many avid fly fishing anglers will opt for a solid pair of pant waders like the Patagonia Swiftcurrent Wading Pants over a heavier and more restrictive chest wader. These pant waders are expensive but ideal for warmer water temperatures as they are made from breathable recycled materials that help you stay cool at all times.
The Swiftcurrent wading pants offer a snug fit and can be ordered to fit any waist size. They have a quick-release buckle, adjustable belt, and hip pockets to store small items easily. These tight-fitting wader pants are perfect for any fly fishing trip or when you want a good pair of wear-resistant pants that will keep you dry.
- Elastic bottom hem
- Quick-release locking buckle
- Excellent abrasion resistance
Frequently Asked Questions on Wading Pants
Why Wear Wading Pants?
Wading pants are a great option to have as opposed to chest waders. When fishing in warmer climates, chest waders often cause the angler to get too hot underneath, even when fly fishing in ice-cold waters. It’s very convenient to have a good pair of wader pants when you plan to fish a small creek or stream and won’t have to worry about stepping into deeper water. Of course, in warm areas, wet wading with either bare legs or a pair of thermals is perfectly fine.
Wading Pants vs Hip Waders?
Wading pants are great to have when fly fishing along knee-deep streams, but they might not be absolutely necessary in some cases. If you plan to fish or wade along shallow waters, sometimes it’s best to go with a good pair of hip waders.
Unlike wading pants, hip waders can be worn over your normal pants in situations where you don’t expect to wade too far into the water. They offer a quick and easy alternative to bulky chest waders and wading pants for hikers and anyone else. Hip waders are also less expensive than wading pants or chest waders and offer a more cost-efficient means of navigating shallow water.
The one thing to remember with hip waders is they can be dangerous to use in big rivers with high flow rates as it is easy to go in beyond the level of the hip waders, in which case they will fill with water. This makes it hard to move, and if you fall over, it can be fatal. Be careful!
Wading Pants vs Chest Waders?
Chest waders are an extremely valuable part of any angler’s gear list, especially when it comes to fishing in cold weather or frigid streams. However, sometimes it’s not necessary to have chest waders when you’re fishing in water that’s only about thigh-deep.
Wading pants offer an easy and convenient alternative to chest waders that are more comfortable to wear, especially in warmer weather. If you’re going to be ice fishing or taking fishing trips during the cold winter months, it’s better to have a good pair of insulated chest waders on hand that will keep you warm and dry.
Stockingfoot vs Bootfoot Wading Pants?
Years ago, bootfoot waders were among the only type of wading pants available for anglers across the world. Now, thanks to recent innovations in the overall design of waterproof waders, brands are producing stockingfoot waders that are much more comfortable than bootfoot versions.
Bootfoot waders require you to purchase a pair of waders with the right shoe size, and it’s often difficult to find a decent pair from online retailers as you’re not able to try the pair of wader pants on before buying them.
Stockingfoot waders allow you to select your own pair of wading boots that will be much more comfortable than anything you might find in a standard bootfoot product.
Wading pants for cold areas?
Staying warm is crucial if you plan on fishing during the ice-cold months of winter. The outside temperatures are cold enough, but the frigid waters can often lower one’s body temperature to dangerous levels if you’re not careful.
Neoprene waders are best for fishing in cold weather as they will help you stay warm, but they are much thicker than the average pair of wading pants. If you’re planning to fish in freezing temperatures, it might be wise to look for a good pair of neoprene waders that cover up your chest.
Some brands offer fleece leggings that anglers can wear underneath their wading pants. You might also look for an insulated pair of wading pants that are guaranteed to keep you warm and dry. These fleece or spandex material liners are a wise investment if you plan to fish in cold weather.
Do wading pants protect against snakes?
Wading pants are great for keeping you warm and dry when you’re fishing along the creek or river banks, but they are no guarantee when it comes to protecting against snakebites. They are better than bare skin when you are wet wading or in a pair of normal pants. Most wading pant material is thick enough that a snake’s fangs might not puncture all the way through to your skin, but you shouldn’t rely on a simple pair of waders to protect against venomous snakes.