Your preference in waders

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I have a pair of neoprene waders. Maybe it's me but I have found them to be very hot and make me sweat even in cold weather. I have been looking into some of the breathable waders like Simms. Are the breathable kind warm in cold water or do you have to wear extra layers with them? I have noticed most of the members have the breathable kind. What is your opinion on this?

Kent Lufkin

Remember when you could remember everything?
The subject of wader brand preferences comes up about every two or three weeks on this forum. Try doing a search on waders to see the posts in previous threads.

Unlike neoprenes, breathable waders are NOT insulated (which is why you don't sweat when wearing them) and so you will need to wear something beneath them to keep you warm in all but the warmest water. Try a pair of polyester fleece pants and/or long underwear bottoms, NOT cotton or a cotton blend.

Since our feet perspire much more than any other part of our bodies and since they'll be inside the neoprene feet of your new breathable waders, try wearing a couple pair of socks for moisture control: an inner pair of polyester undersocks (from a hiking store like REI) followed by an outer pair of thick wool blend socks (like Smartwool from REI or merino wool from Costco.) The thin socks 'wick' away moisture to the wool ones which keep it away from your skin making your feet feel a LOT more comfortable.

Yo, Slow! ya got to hurry up and get some breathable waders, cause they are way way better than neo's for three + seasons.

I now use nothing but breathables unless water and air temp is in the 30's, even then I put on neo's most reluctantly. Otherwise, use long underwear that wicks moisture away from the skin, layered with polar fleece, and most of the time you will be comfortable as you adjust the layers for the temperature.

I have shopped around and researched, and everybody has their favorites with different stories about longevity for the same manufactured goods. So, far, it seems that the most you get out of a pair of waders is 4 years, tops, if you pay over $300. Everything else is about 1-3 years, depending upon use, until it starts leaking. Like the man said (Gierach), "Death, Taxes and Leaky Waders...." these are indeed the certainties of life.

The fit of your boot with the wader boot is important, and if the boot fits poorly you can bet the wear on the wader will accelerate. If you have a wide foot, research the site to find who makes the wider boots; several discussions of the same can be found.

Buy cheap until you become a one time owner expert, then buy what you know you want. In short, this must be your next equipment purchase without a doubt.

signed - no longer a sweathog in seattle salt dog.


Only 3 more years until I can think like a fish.
I have tried seveal brands of Neos and Breathables. I use both. Mainly Neo's when it is really cold but in cold weather just wear fleece pants under breathables. Simms guides are by far my favorite pair of waders, but I own some Orvis and flytechs that have done me right for many years. Stay away from the Hodgeman breathables.
Breathables are really the only way to go-that being simply my opinion. They're cooler in the summer and in the winter you can layer all you want to underneath them. Like Kent said, no cotton. Stick to wool or synthetic, wicking materials. I wear Orvis, but I reckon most guys are on the Simms bandwagon, and they are indeed good waders.

I keep my old neoprenes in my truck, and the last time I wore them was a few months ago when I had to go dismantle a downed plane in a lake at the last minute, and I had to stay warm with only my jeans underneath, and didn't want to mess up either of my nice breathables on torn metal! Other than that, I haven't fished in them for over four years.

Thanks guys. I have been thinking about breathables for a little while now. I guess I will sell my neos (only been worn three times) as they are in excellent condition and buy some breathables. Plus breathables just look better too.

Bob Triggs

Stop Killing Wild Steelhead!
My sugge3stion: Keep the neoprenes as backup for winter wear. Get the breathyeables for comfort year round. Buy the best, heaviest weave, you can afford: Simms Guide or Patagonia are top level contenders.

Do a Search on this site Forum on "Breatheable Waders", "Waders" etc. This has been heavily discussed here for years. Many relevant suggestions and shared ideas, experiences.
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