Winter waders for women

Discussion in 'Spey Clave' started by unrooted, Nov 21, 2010.

  1. My wife wants to get in the water, but she gets cold really easily. I'm not sure if she'll be doing a lot of winter fishing, but I still think a neoprene wader is the way to go. Does anyone have a wader they would suggest for women? She is 5'7 and 115 lbs, so I think they may need to be womens specific. Do the cheap cabelas or caddis waders suck?

    She also is going to need boots, any suggestions there? Thanks.
  2. I put this is the spey section cause I know most of you fish COLD water.
  3. Simms makes a womens bootfoot. That would be suggestion. Lots of layers, fleece, wool, get the boot foot a little big for two pair of socks. I wouldn't get neo's. A good set of loose fitting gortex bootfoots is what I would recomend.
  4. I'll just say this; took my wife out yesterday for her first outing in the cold. We dressed her for the arctic, and she FROZE even though it was only 40 degrees. We both agreed that would be the last time she attempt to go fishing in the "cold."
  5. I bought a pare of caddis wadders from sportsmens wharehouse last summer for $150 and love them,they have different quality and price range for caddis depending on the double knees and pockets.I went real cheep with my neopreen waders ,caddis, and got them at fredmyer for $70 because I dont do as much winter fishing, they work just fine and they have them for women.
  6. I have used neoprene and breathables and prefer the latter. If she is going to use them year around, the breathable with a boot is the way to go. With breathables pile underwear and a couple of pair of socks works for all but the coldest temperatures.

    Red Shed has women's sizes in Bailey breathable waders.
  7. I have two thoughts for you:

    First, whatever kind of wader she gets, its all about the layering to stay warm. Make sure she's got layers & they are wool, polypro -- gear that's not cotton. Make sure the top layer is a solid windbreak and she's got a warm hat and gloves.

    Next -- I'd say no to neoprene. Along with being warm, she'll want to be comfortable. Sometimes its hard enough to hike around with all the cold weather gear, don't make it worse by adding a gumby suit to the equation.

    Plus - go back to rule #1, its all about layering! And... like Evan learned - choose a day that isn't 32 degrees!
  8. Boot foots and neoprene if warmth is paramount- If you'll be having her walk alot, I agree with Kristin, layers under breathables . You will never keep the feet as warm in stocking foot waders , as you will in boot foots-.
  9. As a woman who gets cold easily, I agree with Kristin - NO neoprene. I freeze to death in neoprene as it compresses the layers and normal perspiration makes you damp and therefore colder. Best case, have her buy breathable insulated bootfoot waders but make sure the waders and boots have lots of room for layers. Insulated bootfoot breathable waders can be hard to find; don't buy the uninsulated ones or she may still be cold and most of the ones I've seen have really flimsy boots especially the women's ones. If you can't find insulated bootfoot waders, just buy stockingfoot waders and boots at least one size bigger than she'd normally wear. Since the waders will be big, you may find that mens waders fit just as well as womens but she'll have try them on to be sure. In the store, have her put on every layer that she may ever need, then add one more and try it all on. Make sure it is not too tight and that she can still sit, bend, squat, etc without stressing the seams. If the boots and waders aren't big enough to accommodate the layers, the insulation will compress and she'll be cold anyway. I will often wear up to 5 layers in the winter, including a puffy (synthetic) insulated jacket and pants under my waders. I look like the Pillsbury Dough boy but I'm warm and able to steelhead all winter in E WA. I also wear 3 pairs of socks (liner, mid and heavy weight) and toe warmers. But if my waders and boots were my normal summer size, I couldn't do this so I have another set of everything bigger for the winter. If you can only afford one set, get the bigger size and live with the bagginess in the summer. I also put hand warmers in my pants pockets and often in the chest pocket of my waders. I hate wearing hats but I do in the winter as one losses tons of heat from their head so make sure she has a very warm hat and a balaclava or neck gaiter. Fingerless gloves with a flap are another must for me.

    And probably most important of all, never ever ever tell her she can't be cold or question how much crap she needs to bring to stay warm - that is, if you want her to keep going with you. Let her bring her whole closet if she wants to and trust that she knows her body and what it takes to stay warm. I'd be rich if I had a buck for every time a guy said "You can't possibly be cold" or "Gee, how much stuff do you need!" A doctor once told me that on average, a woman''s body temp is 1.5 degrees lower than a man's. I don't know if that is true but my normal temp 97-97.2 so I'm already halfway to hypothermia before I even leave the house; if she gets cold easily, she may also have a low normal body temp and it sounds she doesn't have a lot of natural insulation, so to speak. So buy an extra duffel or dry bag and let her fill it up with extra warm layers, gloves, hats, hand warmers and a thermos of hot water, tea, etc. Make sure she stays hydrated and eats snacks throughout the day as that will help her stay warm too.

    I don't know if these will work but a quick search turned up a pair of women's bootfoot waders on sale at Orvis. There is a new Orvis store down your way so I'd stop in and try a pair on if they have them. The men's waders with the Bog boots are probably warmer buy they are twice the price. Simms used to make some awesome bootfoot waders so if you can find them, they would be great. Then if she doesn't have synthetic or wool layers, get a bunch in different weights so she can add or subtract as needed. If the budget is tight, you can find lots of fleece garments at the Goodwill. With all this crap on, it may not be the sexiest look going, but she'll hopefully be warm! Good luck!

  10. Don't forget those foot warmers, hand warmers, back warmers, etc. in addition to all the good stuff mentioned above. They make a big difference.
  11. Rick nailed it. Kristin amplified it, Freestone knows much and is showing off. Follow their advice to keep her comfy and warm. Circulation in the feet and a hat on for keeping the heat in will help.
  12. Thank you,

    I use breathables and typically stay warm enough. We have a lot of cold weather clothing, we used to live in Logan Utah so long underwear, fleece and down jackets were normal for 1/2 the year.
  13. neoprene waders don't keep u warm eh? That's a new one! Tell that to millions of duck hunters !
  14. As a woman steelheader, I completely agree with Kristen & Sue (Freestone). I will always choose to wear many layers under my breathable waders while my neoprene waders hang un-used in the garage.

    I'll add a comment to Sue's note about insulated bootfoots (which I have on my neoprene waders): think twice about this option if you intend to do a lot of hiking/walking/wading -- especially if she ends up with men's waders. (Whether she gets stocking-foot or bootfoot waders, the feet will usuallly be two sizes too big for her if they're men's.) I thought that I could easily just fill this extra space with lots of socks to stay warmer, but the boots just feel awkward and huge. It makes hiking and wading very unpleasant, and even unsafe since it is difficult to feel the boulders and other obstructions around the feet while wading. For someone who isn't moving much, this is OK and it will definitley be the warmest option. But if you plan to cover a lot of territory in a day, it really sucks.

    Good socks and those stick-on toe warmers have become my good friends when fishing in the winter months.

  15. Thanks for chipping in Kim! (Kim only steelhead fishes so she knows cold!) I've never bought bootfoot waders as I also like the support of regular boots even though my feet get cold. Are you and Mike back from the Ronde?
  16. Damn Kim and freestone..don't be giving out all that knowledge...woman look really good in Neo's, kind of thought that the fairer sex were the only ones those damn things were actually designed for???

    where's K8 when you need her? oh hell, bet she's gone to the darkside now for awhile too now?
  17. I want to get them as a gift, and I'm eyeing a pair of cloudveil waders in an xs, but I'm not certain they wi be long enough. Any advice? Are there a pair of boots you would suggest? Simms freestones look nice and found in smaller sizes on eBay.
  18. Orvis doesn't have very many sizes available in the bootfoot wasders, so I ended up ordering these waders:

    And these boots:

    Supposedly those boots are really warm. I don't think she'll be out trying to catch the chromers with me, unless it's above 50 degrees, but I can guarantee she'll still be cold.
  19. For most people, the biggest problem with fishing in cold weather is cold feet. My wife has terrible circulation to her extremeties. For skiing, she uses a battery-operated boot heating system and it has made all the difference in the world to her. I know there are battery operated heated socks too. Some of them are pretty inexpensive and work on a 9-volt battery but I don't really think this style would work inside waders because the battery is at the top of your sock (mid-calf). Others are more like the boot heating system my wife uses in her ski boots, with a rechargeable battery pack. ThunderBolt is one brand. Normally the battery pack/controller is clipped to your belt, but they have a longer wire option that allows you to put the battery pack/controller in your chest wader pocket. They are spendy, but if you're super serious about keeping your wife warm in cold weather conditions, something like this might be worth thinking about. Personally, I usually get by with wearing larger boots in the winter so I can really layer up with good socks, but if all else fails, I find that several snorts off a flask of good whisky numbs the pain.
  20. Unrooted,

    I find it funny that you find neo's attractive on women, since I never feel attractive in any way when I'm wearing them and have never met a woman who does. That's probably because there aren't many neo options available that are designed to fit women, so we're stuck with men's sizes that are too big in the feet, and too big on the top so they slide down in the crotch and feel like a bulky, uncomfortable diaper-like wad around the hips & thighs. (At least that's been my experience with them.)

    The waders that you've selected look like they would work fine for her. The chest pockets are a nice feature that she can use for hand-warmers, and I like the attached belt as well. I will agree that neoprene is (objectively) warmer; but if she has room to put layers under the breathables, she'll probably overall be more comfortable (subjectively) and have the versatility of being able to use them throughout the entire year. The boots that you've selected also look like they'll suit her well, if the fit is right. I've heard folks report that that solid style of boot (as opposed to mesh sides) do actually help to keep the foot warmer. She will likely have ample space in the wader-booties for some good merlino wool socks -- with a thin liner sock -- to help keep her feet warm(er). ("Warmth" is always a relative term when on the water in cold weather.) The boots should be big enough to fit comfortabley over the wader's bootie, her socks and toe warmers -- but not so big (as in my previous post) that they feel like clown-shoes when wearing them. If the boots are too tight, they'll restrict circulation and make her feet feel colder. Don't forget to include a package of chemical hand-warmers and foot-warmers with her gift, too. Some half-finger fleece gloves may also be a good thing for her to use, as well. I've also seen half-finger gloves with a fold-over mitt that will cover the fingers when needed. (Hands and feet are always difficult to keep warm.)

    Good luck. You've put a lot of thought and care into helping her to be comfortable so she'll enjoy her time fishing with you. That's a great way to start. Best wishes for a happy, warm, best-new-fishing-buddy!


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