As fly fishing has become more popular, companies are starting to create waders that fit their specific clientele. Often, waders and other fly fishing apparel are made in a unisex fit, but the influx of women entering the sport has encouraged companies to make female-specific waders. The sizing, style, and fit of these waders make access to the sport even easier.
Here’s our guide to the best fishing waders for women.
Best Women’s Waders: Quick Picks
The best value waders for women are going to be the Simms W’s Tributary Waders. For around $200, you’re receiving the best fishing waders you can for the money. They have all the features you need including large pockets and easy conversion to waist waders.
It’s no surprise that the Simms W’s G3 Guide Waders take the top spot for the best overall waders. The comfort, features and style make them everything you would want in waders and more. An included fly patch, fleece lined pockets and high end gravel guards are going to keep you warm and dry.
Best Fishing Waders for Women: Full Reviews
Simms waders are hard to beat. Some may argue for Orvis, but the G3 Guide Stockingfoot waders likely take the prize for the best option. The women's specific fit is comfortable and extremely reliable. The Gore-tex Pro 3-layer upper and 4-layer lower sections of these waders are the most breathable waders you can find. Also, it's all made of Gore-Tex stretch material that allows for easy maneuverability in higher conditions. The dark grey colors with the blue accents look great and offer a bit of style on the water! At $600, you're making an investment, but if you spend many hours on the water, they're worth it.
- Zippered waterproof pocket
- Reach through fleece-lined inner pockets
- Reinforced knees for especially tough environments
The Simms Freestone waders have been favorites for fly anglers of all levels for years. Now, Simms has created a women's set of these waders, and they're arguably the best women's waders on the market. The women's specific cut allows for more natural movements and fit. You'll keep the same breathable 3-layer upper and 4-layer lower layers! Simms offers regular and short lengths as well as regular and full sizes for the fit. At $300, you'll struggle to find a better deal.
- Reach-through hand-warming chest pocket
- 1.5-inch elastic waist belt
- Large, zippered chest pocket
If you're looking for a more affordable wader option for female anglers, then the Simms Tributary Stockingfoot Waders from Simms are a perfect option. Similar to the Freestone, you'll have a 3-layer upper section and 4-layer lower portion of these waders to keep you warm in cold water! The style of the waders are more form fitting and the neoprene booties fit well on women's feet. The Tributary waders are less than $200!
- Reach-through hand-warming chest pockets
- Built-in gravel guards
- Large, waterproof chest pocket
Regardless of whether or not you're purchasing men's waders or women's fishing waders, it's smart to go with Redington. The escape waders are a more budget-friendly option with the necessary features for a long day on the water. The 3-layer upper and 4-layer lower section of these waders are great for all-season fishing. These waders look sharp with the small, light blue accents on the zippers! At under $300, you will be very pleased.
- Large, waterproof pocket
- Internal valuables pocket
- 1.5-inch adjustable wading belt with loops
The Sonic-Pro waders from Redington are a great option for women. Both the upper and lower portion of these waders are 4-layers, so if you fish in colder water, use these. They have all of the necessary features for a die-hard fly angler. Plus, the tan, brown and light blue accents make them one of the better looking set of waders on the market. At $380, you're getting something you can trust.
- Stretch side panels for easier maneuvering
- Fleece lined pockets for keeping your hands warm
- Waterproof phone pouch is included with the purchase
Patagonia is sometimes a forgotten brand in fly fishing. The women's Swiftcurrent Waders offer a comfortable and stylish feel for female anglers of all skill levels. They're breathable waders that work for all types of weather. Plus, the rear buckle system included allows anglers to quickly unbuckle when they're feeling especially warm. The amount of features you get for under $500 is pretty incredible.
- EZ Lock shoulder straps that allow your waders to become a waist wader
- Reach through hand warmer pocket
- Reinforced knees for those especially rocky conditions
Top of the line Orvis waders are favorites for diehard fly anglers. The women's pro wader has an athletic fit and has a 4-layer upper shell and 5-layer lower shell for that cold weather. You will, however, find that these waders are very breathable and won't be uncomfortable on warm days. The removable ortholite breathable knee pads are durable even on those rocky shores. Yes, they're $600, but they're some of the best women's fishing waders that you're going to find. The amount of features on these allow you to not have to carry as large of a pack!
- Waterproof external storage pocket with a fly patch and daisy chain
- Mesh interior pocket
- Zippered fleece lined hand warmer pockets
Similar to the Clearwater rod, the Clearwater waders are one of the best products that Orvis has. They don't have all of the same features as the Orvis Pro women's waders, but they have a similar fit and performance! Both the upper and lower portion of these waders has a 4-layer breathable fabric ready for any adventure. The side release buckles allow for them to be converted to waist waders on especially warm days. The neoprene boots are anatomical and fit very well. They look great with the blue accents and are under $250!
- Zippered front pocket
- Kangaroo-style handwarmer pocket
- Neoprene gravel guards for extra protection
A new product from Orvis are the Ultralight Convertible Waders. These are easy to transport and can perform well in almost every single weather condition. They are 4-layer nylon waders even though they feel thin. These waders weight less than two pounds! The contoured fit for females looks great and you will receive every single necessary feature you may need for a full day on the water. They're a bit more expensive at $400, but the performance is hard to beat.
- Fidlock Snap fasteners for waist high waders
- Integrated tool dock and fly patch
- Large, zippered pockets
Women’s Waders: FAQ
What’s Different About Waders for Women vs for Men?
The primary difference you’re going to see in women’s and men’s waders is the fit. Women’s waders are more form-fitting where men’s waders are a general, athletic fit. Plus, women’s waders have a bit more stretch to allow for maneuverability.
The sizing is also different for women’s waders. Women’s waders generally have a petite, small, medium, large and extra large sizes. Also, they’ll have regular or full options depending on your body types. Take a look at the sizing guides before you make your purchase.
What’s the Best Material for Women’s Waders?
Gore-Tex or Toray are the best materials for women’s waders. Simms is well-known for their Gore-Tex material that they use for their waders. It’s a nice combination of warm and breathable. It’s challenging to make waders that are fully breathable, but the Gore-Text material comes close.
It doesn’t matter the weather, you won’t find that your sweat is being trapped whenever you happen to fish on a bit warmer day.
How Do You Find Your Size?
Finding size in fishing waders doesn’t have to be overly complicated. Whether you’re worried about the neoprene stocking feet or the length, most companies have sizing guides for all of their waders.
The sizing guides will include measurements for chest size, waist size, leg size, and feet size. Find a pair that fits all of your measurements, and you’ll be good to go.
Some anglers suggest going into stores and trying on different sets of waders, and that definitely helps. However, if that’s not a possibility, you can easily get close to your size from the online measurements and make a return if necessary.
Should You Size up in Waders?
When you’re purchasing waders, it’s smart to choose a size that’s a little bit bigger than you would normally wear. Since you’re likely going to be layering underneath your waders you don’t want to choose something that’s more of a tight fit. There’s nothing worse than being uncomfortable in your set of waders.
Even though they may feel a little loose without layers, you’re better off getting something that you can layer up on during an especially cold day.
Do You Wear Shoes When Wearing Waders?
Yes, if you purchase stockingfoot waders, you’re going to want to wear wading boots. Many of the same companies listed above also make high-quality wading boots. You want a set of wading boots that are comfortable and fit. It’s a good idea to go a half-size or full-size larger with your wading boots since you have to fit neoprene booties inside of them.
Make sure you choose the proper bottom material for your boots. Some bodies of water don’t allow felt-bottom wading boots, so rubber is always a good option!
Hip Waders vs Chest Waders
The best fishing waders are chest waders. While hip waders have their pros, chest waders offer you more opportunities. You can fish on colder days as well as in deeper water. The beauty of the new designs of chest waders is that you can turn them into waist waders on those especially warm days.
Hip waders have to be synched to a pair of pants with belt loops, and they’re generally bulkier since they’re more of a one size fits all design. If you’re spending several days a year fishing, get a set of chest waders. They’re going to last, and they look far better on the water.
What Do Your Wear Under Waders?
What you wear under waders entirely depends on the weather you’re fishing in and the temperature of the water.
If you’re fishing in warmer weather, you likely need a pair of light outdoor pants or shorts under your waders. If you don’t like feeling sweat on your legs, go with the pants to keep moisture off of them. For your top, you likely need a fishing shirt of some sort, and you’ll be good to go. Many anglers choose not to wear socks under their neoprene booties on those warm days. Waders do a great job of keeping you warm!
If it’s a cold day, a set of long underwear is important. You want a nice base layer. From here, a set of warm outdoor pants or leggings can work. On top, a wading jacket or sweatshirt with a waterproof jacket overtop is ideal for cold weather. You’ll also want socks under your booties!
Women’s fishing waders are a great addition to the world of fly fishing apparel. They allow females to bring their own style to the water. Plus, they’re made with all of the same necessary materials that makeup high end waders. You can’t go wrong with any of the options listed above. Find a set that fits you and your budget and you’ll be happy with them for years to come.