Fit and function are the two main factors in choosing waders, wading jackets and boots. In this section we cover several of the brands that we feel put out quality products in this category.
Best waders and wading gear for Alaska in 2021
|Korkers Terror Ridge Wading Boot|
Korkers makes comfortable, feature-rich wading boots that perform well. We tested the Terror Ridge with the Kling-On and Studded Kling-On Outsoles. For trips in the boat or for hiking to the fish, our tester used the standard Kling-On Outsole. When wading in various rivers, he switched to the studded version and reported better traction on slimy rocks. The Terror Ridge uses synthetic materials in the uppers, which is strong, tough, and dries quickly. Boots also incorporate PU cast quarter panels and a molded TPU toe cap. Our tester put on a lot of miles in these boots in 2020 and says they are holding up well.
|Simms G3 Guide Waders – Stockingfoot |
Though Simms produces many great products these days, waders are where they first made their mark on the angling world. Simms G3 waders are not Simms’ top-of-the-line wader, but they are still outstanding. Our tester used these waders in float tubes and streams, big and small. He also hiked a fair number of miles in them. The 3-layer GORE-TEX upper breathes well, keeping you cool when hiking, while the durable, four-layer GORE-TEX seat and legs provide durability. The wide, elastic waist belt is comfortable, and this wader features well-designed neoprene stockingfeet—perhaps the best-fitting stockingfeet our tester has worn. With a flip-out Tippet Tender pocket and micro-fleece-lined, hand-warmer pockets, you can’t go wrong with a pair of G3s.
|Korkers Darkhorse Wading Boots |
The redesigned Darkhorse Wading Boots are extremely comfortable, easy to put on thanks to their Boa M2 system, and with interchangeable-sole options, provide great traction in any environment. Our tester used Triple Threat Aluminum Hex Disc soles and attests that these soles provide excellent traction in all wading situations you’re likely to encounter in Alaska, both in the river and on the hike in. The boots are light, durable, fast drying and abrasion resistant. With a wide variety of OmniTrax interchangeable soles, these are very versatile wading boots.
|Patagonia Men’s Swiftcurrent Expedition Waders|
These high-end waders are tough, adjustable, comfortable and good looking. We appreciate the handwarmer pocket, the interior pocket to store personal items and how the waders convert from chest to waist height. Patagonia’s H2No performance fabric combines a four-layer polyester microfiber that is waterproof and breathable with a durable water repellent (DWR) finish. The waders fit well in the leg, chest and feet, confirmed by our tester after miles of wade angling.
|Orvis Women’s Clearwater Wader|
These waders are as rugged and reliable as any wader of this price point on the market, but what sets them apart for our field tester is the fit. She feels like she has a good deal of mobility in this design and they kept her dry from the elements.
|Caddis Waders Breathable Stockingfoot Youth|
Breathable youth waders by Caddis are worth looking into. They are an affordable and comfortable option for fisher kids. Features include built-in gravel guards, taped seams, wader belt and neoprene stockingfeet.
|Orvis Women’s Ultralight Wading Jacket |
When you want a waterproof, breathable layer but it is fairly warm out and you don’t want bulk, it is nice to have a movement-friendly wading jacket like this one made by Orvis. Our tester gave it a good work out on the Situk River this summer in Alaska’s rainforest region. It kept her dry and she commented that it looks nice too.