We still have vivid memories of growing up fishing in men’s waders — and they never fit quite right. In 2023, however, female anglers are offered a variety of equipment made specifically for them.
While some brands still adhere to the “shrink it and pink it” philosophy, others are making major strides into the women’s market, creating gear that’s just as tough as the men’s but designed for the unique needs of women in the field.
We’ve waded through all the options out there, weeded out the styles that don’t make the cut, and narrowed down the best waders for women in 2023.
- Best Overall: Simms Women’s G3 Guide Stockingfoot
- Best Budget: Caddis Women’s Deluxe Breathable Stockingfoot
- Runner-Up: Orvis Women’s PRO Wader
- Best Ultralight: Patagonia Swiftcurrent Ultralight Waders
- Most Versatile: Orvis Women’s Ultralight Convertible Wader
The Best Fishing Waders for Women
- Weight 59 oz.
- Material GORE-TEX PRO 3-layer upper and 4-layer lower
- Sizes 2-2XL; short, regular, and tall
- Built with serious stretch
- Most expensive wader on the list
- Affordable option for beginners or casual anglers
- “Queen” sizes available for fuller-figure women
- Thinner and less durable than pricier styles
- Only available in a vibrant teal color
- Weight 44 oz.
- Material 4-layer Cordura upper and 5-layer Cordura lower legs
- Sizes XS-XL; petite, regular, and tall
- Tons of storage
- Slim Neoprene Stocking to prevent bunching
- On the expensive side
- Weight 35.5 oz.
- Material 4-layer polyester face bonded to a polyester backer with DWR
- Sizes XS-2XL; short, regular, and long
- Constructed of 98% recycled materials
- Ultra packable and lightweight
- Baggy fit
- Not the best option for cool water
- Weight 31 oz.
- Material 4-layer waterproof breathable nylon shell
- Sizes XS-XXL; petite, regular, and tall
- Easily convert from waist to chest height
- Matching boots and jacket make a complete kit
- Sizing can be a bit off, especially in the booties
- Some reviewers report leaks and durability issues
- Weight 2 lbs. 4 oz.
- Material 4-layer nylon with DWR
- Sizes S-XL; short, regular, full, and long
- SonicWeld seams prevent leaks and boosts durability
- Neoprene booties stand up to years of wear
- Some reviewers found them a bit bulky
- Snug gravel guards make them challenging to put on
- Solid mid-range option
- Super durable
- Not available in short or tall sizing
- Lack some technical features of high-end options
Fishing Wader Comparison Table
|Simms Women’s G3 Guide Stockingfoot||$700||59 oz.||GORE-TEX PRO 3-layer upper and 4-layer lower|
|Caddis Women’s Deluxe Breathable Stockingfoot||$158||3.5 lbs.||Heavy-duty polyester|
|Orvis Women’s PRO Wader||$598||44 oz.||4-layer Cordura upper and 5-layer Cordura lower legs|
|Patagonia Swiftcurrent Ultralight Waders||$449||35.5 oz.||4-layer polyester face bonded to a polyester backer with DWR|
|Orvis Women’s Ultralight Convertible Wader||$398||31 oz.||4-layer waterproof breathable nylon shell|
|Redington Women’s Sonic Pro Waders||$380||2 lbs. 4 oz.||4-layer nylon with DWR|
|L.L. Bean Women’s Double L Stretch|
|$249||N/A||Durable polyester with built-in stretch|
Why You Should Trust Us
We understand the importance of reliable waders and the frustration when they leak or just don’t fit right. We’ve suffered through ill-fitting men’s designs and know what it takes to make a high-quality pair truly built for women.
Our team of anglers has worn waders in ice-cold creeks and warm summertime rivers from coast to coast.
We’ve put pairs to the test, pored over reviews, compared specs, and found the best of the best so you don’t have to.
Buyer’s Guide: How to Choose the Best Fishing Waders for Women
As companies continue to listen to feedback, there are more and more options out there built specifically for women. And it can be a little overwhelming to sift through styles.
Every angler is looking for something a little different, but these are some of the most important factors to consider when investing in a pair of women’s waders.
No matter what waders are made of, they should provide comfort, durability, and warmth in your particular conditions so you can fish without worry.
Waders constructed of neoprene can provide warmth in frigid waters as well as lightweight flexibility at a relatively low cost. But because it can become brittle over time, neoprene is not super durable. The material also provides no breathability, so you’d be baking in neoprene waders on a balmy day.
Waders built with nylon or polyester as well as a membrane such as GORE-TEX or DWR treatment offer breathable waterproofness that makes them versatile enough to wear on warm days or pair with base layers on cold days.
These waders come in different thicknesses, based on the number of layers of material, which do more to add durability than warmth. The nylon or polyester will typically have more layers on the lower legs, which take more abuse, than the chest. All of our top picks are made of nylon or polyester.
Some waders, like the Patagonia Swiftcurrent Ultralight Waders, are almost entirely constructed of recycled materials, making them a great planet-friendly choice.
Fishing waders are available in styles that hit at the hip, waist, or chest, depending on the water height and temperature where you’re fishing. Some options, such as the Orvis Women’s Ultralight Convertible Waders, can convert from waist height to chest height to adapt to current conditions.
While full chest waders will add some weight, they’re a great all-around option that can work in just about any scenario. That’s why we focused on chest waders for this list.
Bootfoot vs. Stockingfoot Waders
Fishing waders are available with either built-in boots attached to the legs or with neoprene booties that require you to wear a separate pair of wading boots over top. While bootfoot waders mean one less thing to buy and pack, they’re also heavier and don’t allow for a customized shoe fit or sole choice. Because we prefer the comfort and versatility of a tailored boot style, all the options on this list are stockingfoot waders.
Fishing Wader Features
Beyond the basics, some women’s waders offer extra features that make them more functional in the field. Built-in wading belts, a variety of waterproof and fleece-lined pockets, removable knee pads, and drop seat designs can all bump a solid pair of waders from good to great. Decide on your must-have features to help you choose the best option for your needs.
Wader Fit & Sizing
The major upside to women’s-specific waders is the improved fit on the average woman’s frame. But not all women’s waders meet that criteria or work for everyone. Each manufacturer has its own sizing and terminology, so be sure to check size charts before purchasing waders.
Consider the conditions in which you’ll be wearing the waders and if you’ll need to sport several layers underneath. Do you prefer a more streamlined fit or a roomier style? Adjustability in elements such as suspenders or wading belt can provide customization for a broad range of body types.
If you’re shorter, taller, or curvier than average, look for styles that offer additional sizing parameters for the best fit possible.
The best waders will depend on where and when you’re fishing as well as personal preference. A great pair will be comfortable, durable, relatively lightweight compared to the warmth and performance they provide. On this list, we named the Simms Women’s G3 Guide Stockingfoot our top choice for checking all these boxes.
While any angler can wear any waders, women’s styles typically fit most women’s bodies better than men’s models. Women’s-specific waders account for differences in chest, hip, and inseam measurements and can provide a more tailored fit for most ladies.
Waders aren’t always necessary for every fishing outing, but they’re essential gear for serious anglers who hit the water when the weather’s winter-like. A quality pair of waders can keep you warm and dry for hours, even when water temps are chilly.