I’ve found myself buying and returning women’s flyfishing waders more times than I’d like to admit.
This one is too long in length, that one doesn’t fit my curves, another is just a men’s version with some pink on it. It’s 2021 — shouldn’t we be able to find a solid pair of women’s flyfishing waders designed specifically for women?!
Well, Patagonia heard my cry. Last winter, the brand launched its Swiftcurrent Waders — designed, created, and field-tested by an all-female team of anglers.
I’ve been using Patagonia’s previous wader style, the Spring River Wader, for the past several years. And I was excited to test out the new Swiftcurrent Waders to see if Patagonia continued to lead the pack with its low-bulk, female-flattering fit and its environmental approach. Made up of 100% recycled face fabrics, the new waders are puncture-resistant and dependable.
In short: I tested the women’s version, but it also comes in a men’s style that carries the same innovations as the women’s. At $499, they are targeted toward serious female anglers who want to move athletically in their waders and are looking for more customizable fit options. Their comfortable fit is ideal for long days on the water and in all conditions.
Who Are the Patagonia Women’s Swiftcurrent Waders For?
All Female Anglers. Women’s bodies come in all shapes and sizes. We don’t all fit it into the industry-standard sizing buckets of small, medium, and large. One of the highly anticipated changes made to the Swiftcurrent waders is the added inclusivity sizing.
With its 10 sizing options, you have a wide variety of options to choose from. It comes in sizes from extra small short to extra large regular and everything in between. To dial in your sizing even more, Patagonia added an adjustable waist and suspenders to create an all-around custom fit.
Year-Round Anglers. The Swiftcurrent Waders were designed for all-season and all-water versatility. These midweight waders have room to add layers during cold months and are light enough for hot, sunny days.
The Swiftcurrent Waders are environmentally friendly and don’t trap in the heat — they allow you to breathe. They use a 100% recycled polyester microfiber “H2No Performance Standard” shell with a waterproof, breathable barrier. And for those scorching days when you need more airflow, the suspenders easily pull down and convert to waist height.
Adventurous Anglers. You won’t have to worry about sliding down a rock or bushwhacking to a hidden spot, as these are highly puncture-resistant waders. Single-seam construction and scuff guards add to the Swiftcurrent Waders’ incredible durability. The gusseted crotch gives you plenty of movement and comfort when jumping from rock to rock, or getting low to sneak up on that next honey hole.
Patagonia Women’s Swiftcurrent Waders: Review and Highlights
My absolute favorite part of these waders is the rear-buckle system. In general, it’s just not as easy for women to relieve themselves in the wild as it is for men. With the rear-buckle system, it means no more awkward, dangling straps during bathroom breaks.
This system also makes it easy to get in and out of your waders. Especially if you have lots of layers on.
Trout are coldwater species, so naturally, trout streams can be frigid! A slow stalk in chest-deep water can chill your bones, and constantly dealing with a wet fly line can numb those hands.
This is when the handwarmer pocket comes in handy. While I do wish the chest pocket was lined with more felt, it certainly does the job of drying and warming your hands. I’m not a super big fan of the Velcro Patagonia added to the hand warmer pocket, but it is nice to keep the elements out and perfect for quickly stashing a half-eaten granola bar.
Even though Patagonia’s variety of sizing options was great and a much-needed addition, I found it challenging to find the right size. And to be honest, I’m still not sure I chose correctly.
I’m a petite 5’ 3”, so I ordered a small (SRM), the same as my Patagonia Spring Waders. When I tried them on, I quickly found I was swimming in them. I swapped them out for the small short (SSS) and while they fit much better, I still found them a bit bulky.
I could potentially go one size smaller, but overall I’m happy with how they fit. My recommendation is to try on a couple of sizes if possible to find the perfect fit.
Overall, these waders are top-of-the-line, but they come with a top-of-the-line price tag too — $499. With any big purchase, you want to be sure it’s exactly what you want and need.
I would take the time to think about how often and where you typically fish. If you only get out a few times a year, these waders might be a bit of overkill. However, if you find yourself out most weekends and bushwhacking to get to your hidden spot, these waders are a solid option.