Categories: Gear Review

The Best Waders For Men

First the good news – there’s a proliferating number of brands, models, and designs of men’s waders, with more features than ever at reasonable cost.  The other news – there’s so many to pick from, it’s kinda crazy, actually.  We’ve done a whole lot of legwork to boil it down and bring you the best waders for men.

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New wader brands and models are flooding the market, thanks to improved materials, design and manufacturing.  How do you “wade” through them all to choose the best for your needs?  We’ve done a whole lot of legwork for you, so you have the information at your fingertips to make a solid decision.

One note – of course anyone can wear the waders in this review, not just men.  At the same time, so many customized waders are now available for women and kids, you may want to read our reviews of those before making a decision.

How To Choose The Best Waders For Men

What do we look for in fishing waders? Our reviews consider whether the brand is proven in waders overall, features, fit, style, colors, material, design, construction, durability, and of course prices and warranties.

It wasn’t that long ago that manufacturer’s focused on creating the best breathable materials.  How they are concentrating on adding accessory features such as smart pockets (for more easily finding your tools), fleece lined pockets, more straps, and more at the same time keeping the cost the same or lower.  Of course, it’s still the case that the more & better features you prefer, the higher the price.  But durability and comfort should never be compromised.  We’ve assembled detailed information to sure you get exactly what you need, at the price that’s right for you.

Summary of Reviews

The waders we recommend in this article are summarized in the table below, followed by detailed reviews.

PRACTICAL ($100 – $200)

BEST VALUE ($200 – $400)

HIGH END ($400 – $850)

Name Image Summary Check Price And Order
Frogg Toggs Hellbender II Breathable Stockingfoot Chest Waders With the number of features the Hellbender offers for the price, you’re getting a good value for an entry or casual fly fisherman.

Hodgman H3 Stockingfoot Fishing Waders Hodgeman has offered entry level waders for decades, if a good entry point is what you are looking for, you can’t go wrong with Hodgman’s.

Cabela Premium Breathable Stockingfoot Waders These entry-level waders from Cabela’s include all the basic features you’ll need, with increased mobility, comfort, and flexibility built into the design.

L.L.Bean Angler Super Seam Tek Chest Waders Lightweight and comfortable, L.L. Bean’s entry level waders come with a year-long satisfaction guarantee.

Orvis Ultralight Convertible Wader Orvis has simplified the setup and focused on lightweight waders that give optimal movement and fit, with a level of quality found in more expensive waders.

L.L.Bean Kennebec Stockingfoot Waders Even at a mid-range price, the Kennebec waders come with high-end features, with a great range of motion despite a durable 4-layers of fabric.

Redington Sonic-Pro Waders The sonic-pro’s stand out due to their super strong lower portion, ideal for riding in a pontoon boat, drift boat, or resting on logs and boulders.

Patagonia Rio Gallegos Waders A level of quality you’ll want for extended trips, with more flexibility and breathability than most brands can achieve while building in strong durability.

Simms G3 Guide Stockingfoot Waders Among the best waders in the world, once you’re in them, you’ll immediately feel the combined quality, breathability, and durability that come with guide level waders.

Simms G4Z Stockingfoot Waders The G4Z’s excel when you’re spending a lot of hours in the water., and don’t want to build up a pool of sweat, with optimal breathability in a highly robust design.

For a more detailed description of how we rate men’s waders for fishing, read our article “Ultimate Guide To The Best Fishing Waders”.  For the most part we present gear in the Practical, Best Value, and High End categories.  We usually don’t include Cheap and Outrageous, except sometimes for fun. To get the best value out of your investment in waders, be sure to read the sections about storing and caring for your waders.

This article covers primarily 3-season, breathable chest waders.  If you are looking for the best waders for cold weather, or other types of waders check out the Ultimate Guide as well.

Comparison of Specifications and Features

We want you to know exactly what you’re getting for your dollar.  So, our team goes to great effort to present you with a detailed comparison of specifications and features.  This is because while buying online can be very convenient, we want you to first have a full view into exactly what you’re getting, beyond the usual marketing pitch, before you hit the button.  This way you can be assured the waders will meet your needs, without having to return them.  [NOTE – this section is under development]


Detailed Reviews of Best Waders For Men

Each of our reviews is designed to get you all the information you need, in one place.  For starters, here are our entry level waders, in the classification of “practical” using our proprietary value rating system.


Frogg Toggs Hellbender II

For many years, the Hellbender waders have been a popular choice for many anglers.  Frogg Togg has increased their presence from an entry player to an established manufacturer of men’s waders.  Now with the improved Hellbender II, they are among the best entry level waders, with strong value for money.  Here are some of the many reasons why you’ll like these stockingfoot waders:

  • Gravel gaiters built into the waders
  • Multiple pockets, including a chest pocket with triple entries and a flip-out, zip security pocket
  • Four plies of fabric, with reinforced shins and knees
  • Double-taped 4mm neoprene booties

With all the features the Hellbender II offers, you’re definitely getting solid entry level waders at a very reasonable price. These waders are perfect for casual or new fly fisherman.


  • Versatile sizing allows fly fishers to find the perfect fit
  • Lightweight, breathable outer shell
  • Four-ply fabric with reinforcing at key stress points
  • Generous pocket space


  • Boots tend to get stuck on the foot


Hodgman – H3 Stockingfoot Fishing Waders

For several decades, Hodgman has been producing cost-effective, entry-level wading boots and fishing waders. Of course, there are many reasons this brand has stayed in the market for many years. If you’re looking for entry-level waders, you can’t go wrong with Hodgman’s stockingfoot waders. Here are some of the features and good qualities of these waders:

  • Multiple pockets, including an internal pocket, a large chest pocket, and a handwarmer pocket lined with microfleece
  • Gravel gaiters built onto the waders
  • Attached wading belt
  • Anatomical neoprene booties
  • D-ring attached to the back where you can hang your fly fishing net
  • Three size options available: Regular, King, and Tall

PROS (relative to competitors)

  • Fleece-lined warmers at comfort
  • Gravel guard helps avoid shin pain
  • Added D-ring for net


  • Legs may feel a bit baggy
  • May leak at times


RELATED ARTICLE: Best Waders For Women



Cabelas Premium Breathable Stockingfoot Waders

For several decades, Hodgman has been producing cost-effective, entry-level wading boots and fishing waders. Of course, there are many reasons this brand has stayed in the market for many years. If you’re looking for entry-level waders, you can’t go wrong with Hodgman’s stockingfoot waders. Here are some of the features and good qualities of these waders:

  • Multiple pockets, including an internal pocket, a large chest pocket, and a handwarmer pocket lined with microfleece
  • Gravel gaiters built onto the waders
  • Attached wading belt
  • Anatomical neoprene booties
  • D-ring attached to the back where you can hang your fly fishing net
  • Three size options available: Regular, King, and Tall

PROS (relative to competitors)

  • Fleece-lined warmers at comfort
  • Gravel guard helps avoid shin pain
  • Added D-ring for net


  • Legs may feel a bit baggy
  • May leak at times


L.L. Bean Angler Super Seam Tek Chest Waders

L.L. Bean’s entry-level chest waders also cover all the basic requirements you’ll need for a comfortable fishing experience. The built in features include gravel gaiters, stitch-less seams, a chest pocket, a waterproof removable internal pocket to protect your phone, and ergonomically shaped neoprene booties. What’s more, when you buy these waders, you are the benefit of a satisfaction guarantee that will cover the product for an entire year, no questions asked.


  • Lightweight and comfortable
  • Extremely durable
  • Reasonable price for features
  • Gravel gaiters built in
  • Stich-less seams
  • Waterproof removal pocket (for phones)
  • Ergonomically shaped neoprene booties


  • Belt may not be sturdy enough to support heavy items


Best Value Waders For Men

We only selectively give waders our “Best Value” rating, which means the manufacturer has figured out how to add many features and deliver quality for a relatively reasonable price.


Orvis Ultralight Convertible Waders

When you check out Orvis’s recent changes to their wader lineup, you’ll notice they have simplified the setup, and focused on lightweight waders with optimal movement and fit.  They way they accomplish this in the Ultralight Convertible Wader, is they use a new seam design that is first stitched then sealed for even lighter weight.

Orvis also improved durability with a four-layer breathable, waterproof nylon shell. This material is both robust and flexible, resulting in a nimble and comfortable wear even when you’re in the water for long periods of time.

You might notice that the size of the outer chest pocket is a little bit smaller.  This is offset by an internal zipper pocket that has multiple points for attaching forceps, nippers, and a zinger. Orvis looked at ways to reduce the overall weight for on-the-go fly anglers, and simultaneously designed new ultralight wading boots to complement the waders.

The standout feature of these waders is their ability to convert from chest waders to waist waders, which is especially a good idea when it gets warmer out.  To do this, you just need to wrap or slide the top portion down and up on the straps at the shoulder area.  The attachment point uses a Fidlock Snap magnetic fastener system, which allows you to quickly loosen the attachment.

Overall, you can expect the best value relative to price when you purchase the Ultralight Convertible.


  • Comfortable and lightweight
  • Excellent price-to-value ratio
  • Ability to convert to waist waders
  • High quality materials despite lighter weight


  • Shorter lifespan than several other brands and models


L.L. Bean Kennebec Stockingfoot Waders

Even at a mid-range price, the L.L.Bean Kennebec Stockingfoot Waders come with a number of high-end features. You will get excellent durability with four layers that are highly breathable.

On top of durability, the fit is more comfortable compared to previous editions of the Kennebec. The torso is lighter for casting movements, while the backside and legs are fabric weightier.  Instead of relying on stitched seams, the Kennebec’s ‘Super Seam’ uses adhesives. As a result, these waders have seams that are simultaneously stronger, lighter, and watertight than other waders seams in this class.

L.L.Bean has also reduced the edges on the waist belt and front pockets, to keep them from catching your fly while casting. There are several pockets on these waders, including:

  • Two zip chest pockets
  • A removable, waterproof interior pocket
  • A microfleece-lined pocket that serves as a hand warmer

You can enjoy an excellent range of motion because of the articulated design of the knees. Aside from that, the waders are available in Tall sizes, ensuring a comfortable fit.


  • Won’t leak
  • Long lasting and highly durable
  • Numerous pockets
  • Super seam construction
  • Lightweight upper for mobility
  • Heavier duty lower sections for durability
  • Available in tall sizes


  • May not be as comfortable as other waders within the same price range


RELATED ARTICLE: The Best Kids Waders



Redington Sonic Pro Waders

Redington has built their latest Sonic-Pro’s to be more durable with sonic-welded seams. These waders sport a four-layer design including strengthened lower backside and legs.  This construction is particularly durable when you’re sitting in a pontoon boat, drift boat, or resting on boulders or logs streamside.

Some of the notable features of the Redington Sonic-Pro’s are:

  • Both front zippered pockets and handwarmer pockets
  • Flip-over inner pocket that’s ideal for tippet, a small fly box, forceps, and nippers
  • Wading belt
  • Gravel gaiters in

One thing that anglers have expressed concern about is the wading belt itself.  While it’s handy, it doesn’t seem as durable as the rest of the materials. It tends to tear faster. Nevertheless, when you look at the overall performance of the Redington Sonic-Pro Waders, you won’t see the wading belt as a considerable disadvantage, especially if you have a backup from another pair of waders.


  • Sound welding ensures durability for active anglers
  • Offers plenty of storage
  • Excellent price-to-performance ratio


  • Aside from the wading belt, there’s none that we can think of


High End – Best Waders For Men

We assign a “High End” rating when the manufacturer provides maximum features and quality specifications for a higher price.  While the price tag on these may be reason to pause, if you are a pro, use your waders frequently, travel for fly fishing, or fish in challenging conditions then you can have confidence that these waders will do the job.


Simms G3 Guide Stockingfoot Waders

As many anglers know, Simms has developed a reputation for producing some of the best waders in the world, consistently. The widely talked-about G3 Guide waders have been redesigned to include 4-layer GORE-TEX.  All you need to do is try them on to feel the incredible quality, breathability, and durability. Another recent improvement is extending up the backside section, which helps prevent punctures and abrasions even when climbing over rocks or logs as you navigate the river.

Notwithstanding the durability, you won’t need to be concerned about getting too hot, because the upper sections has fewer layers to enable breathability and flexibility.  Add to those improvements the recently added reach-through hand-warmer pocket, improved chest pockets, and updated loops for the waist belt.  In addition to cinder and shadow-green as basic colors, Simm’s now offers a new ‘river camo’ color to help avoid spooking fish in mountain streams and shallow casting situations.


  • Addition of Gore-Tex fabric
  • Upper designed with flexibility for maximum movement
  • Lower 4 layers for durability and puncture-resistance
  • Well thought-through pocket design
  • Updated belt loops
  • Three color options – cinder, shadow-green, and river camo


  • No fly patch


Stay tuned – we are adding to this article on a daily basis!

Summary of Best Fishing Waders

Not too many few years back, only generic waders or those designed specifically for men were available in the market. Today, manufacturers have used advancements in technology to serve the quickly increasing number of anglers of all types and sizes, with an expanding set of offerings designed for specific uses and conditions.

The good news is, there are many more waders available today for you to chose from.  The other news is, there are many more waders available….making a choice sometimes difficult if not time-intensive.

That is the genesis for this article, to help you distill it all down to the features and functionality you need.  We hope that our list of recommended best fishing waders for men will help you choose the right one for you.  Whether or not you buy a into new pair, or just want to be aware of what’s out there, be certain to read our Ultimate Guide To Waders.  This thorough article includes many details about how to evaluate, choose, store, and care for your waders, with specific tips for breathable waders compared to neoprene waders, to help you get the most out of them as possible.


How do I choose the right size waders?

You’ll want to know your key measurements in order to ensure your comfort, starting with your largest girth (no matter whether waist, hips, or chest).  Next measure your inseam (from crotch to floor), and also of course your shoe size for the booties and boots.  Give some thought if you’ll be fishing in a cold climate or freezing weather, to leave extra space for really warm clothes (without cutting off your circulation!).  Also, something angles tend to miss is climbing up and down banks, over logs and boulders, or hopping out of a drift boat, be sure to leave a little more flexibility and room to avoid tearing your seams.


Which chest waders are the best?

For men’s chest waders we recommend:

  • Frogg Toggs Hellbender Breathable Stockingfoot Chest Waders
  • Hodgman H3 Stockingfoot Fishing Waders
  • Cabela Premium Breathable Stockingfoot Waders
  • L.Bean Angler Super Seam Tek Chest Waders
  • Orvis Ultralight Convertible Wader
  • L.Bean Kennebec Stockingfoot Waders
  • Redington – Sonic-Pro Waders
  • Patagonia Rio Gallegos
  • Simms G3 Guide Stockingfoot Waders
  • Simms G4Z Stockingfoot Waders

Are Simms waders worth the money?

We feel that the level of functionality and quality you purchase should meet the demands of the fishing you do.  While Simms and Patagonia waders may be more expensive than others, if you are traveling for the trip of a lifetime, you’re offer guide services, or you fish in challenging environments, then the steeper price may be worth the features and quality.  Even if they cost a mint, if the features and quality are needed to meet the match, then they very well may make sense.

What do you wear under waders?

Here are some guidelines we like the follow, that you can modify depending on whether you’re fishing in warm vs. cold water.  Be sure to always wear breathable clothing, no matter what temperature it is out, that won’t cold and and clammy like cotton does.  A quality wading jacket is a plus especially if there’s poor weather, one you can carry in your pack or back of your vest that is hooded and insulated.  If it’s really cold out, wear a fleece sweatshirt as a midlayer, which you can also wear by itself when it’s not too windy or rainy out.  Under extreme conditions (such as winter steelheading), wear extra leggings or long underwear plus thick (if not too tight) socks.

Are waders safe?

Yes if you put safety as #1 and are certain to follow safe wading practices.  These include wearing a wading belt, extra support with a wading staff, fishing with a buddy, and always testing each step before you commit to placing your weight on it.  While waders do come with risks that every angler should be aware of and manage, such as filling up with water if you do happen to fall in, you can avoid hazardous situations in the first place.

Next Article: Best Waders For Cold Weather

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