best waders and wading gear 2020

The best waders and wading boots for fishing should keep you dry and comfortable.

From breathable chest waders to wading boots and jackets, we have tested the best wading gear for fishing in Alaska.

Choose the best wading gear from our list of favorites below.

These are the best fishing waders and wading gear for 2020

Caddis Zippered Deluxe Plus Breathable Stockingfoot Wader
Breathable Stockingfoot WaderOur tester reported that this offering from Caddis is a great choice for wading in Alaska’s rivers. The zipper makes it easy to get the waders on and off and gives easy access to layers worn beneath the waders. This model is available in either stockingfoot or bootfoot models, features reinforced knees and seat, has two zippered accessory pockets, and showcases CaddisDry breathable technology. All seams are taped, glued and stitched. The waders come with a repair kit and wading belt; they are available in sizes S to XXL.
Korkers DarkHorse Wading Boot
Korkers DarkHorse Wading BootThe DarkHorse is representative of Korkers’ continued efforts to take customer feedback seriously. These boots provide sneaker-like comfort yet are very durable. The Korkers interchangeable OmniTrax sole system makes these boots more versatile than those which have a built-in sole. The DarkHorse has a beefed up OmniTrax peg—part of the boot that occasionally failed in earlier boots. The drainage holes in the footbed really help lighten the boot when you step out of the water. The DarkHorse is offered with two different sole packages: Felt and Kling-On soles, or Kling-On and studded Kling-On soles. (Keep in mind, we can’t use felt soles in Alaska). The BOA M2 lacing system is really convenient. It sure is nice to be able to slip the boots on, twist the BOA knob a few times and not have to deal with wet, abrasive, sometimes frozen laces. Great wading boots!
Chota Caney Fork Wading Boots
Chota Caney Fork Wading BootsThe first thing that our tester noted is that these boots are easy to put on, thanks to the QuickLace system, which allows you to tighten and loosen the laces quickly. They are also easy to take off due to the integrated “Kick-Off” plate. He also noted that they were comfortable to hike and wade in. Chota’s Dual Density ATX100 rubber outsole provides excellent traction over a range of surfaces and the system is designed to accept steel or carbide cleats for added traction. Versatility is intrinsic to the boot, as the EVA insole and ¼-inch EVA footbed liner are both removable to accommodate a range of sock-foot sizes, as well as give the user the option for wet wading without waders when conditions allow like they did during record heat waves in Alaska in 2019. Other features include a leather upper and micro-screen ports for drainage.
Aquaz Dryzip Chest Wader
Aquaz Dryzip Chest WaderThese waders are well designed, incorporating a 100%-waterproof zipper, two water-tight chest pockets, two side hand-warmer pockets, two tool docks, integrated gravel guards, an elastic waist belt and adjustable suspender system. Our tester thought these waders are among the best he has ever worn. The lower body of the wader is made from four layers of AQUALEX, which provides protection from all that Alaska can dish out. This is the 3rd generation of this wader and the continued improvement is evident. Many sizes are available.
Patagonia Women’s River Salt Jacket
Patagonia Women’s River Salt JacketWe put this jacket through the paces in 2019 and it came out on top. It’s made with Patagonia’s 4-layer waterproof and breathable H2No fabric, which served to keep our tester dry. Melissa Norris had this to say: “I wore this jacket on the Situk, Kanektok, and Agulowok rivers and beyond in 2019 and stayed dry throughout. I appreciate the design of the jacket, including the front zippered pockets, adjustable hood, and watertight cuffs.” The two-tone gray and purple coloration is eye-catching.
Redington Crosswater Youth Wader
Redington Crosswater Youth WaderOur youth tester, now 12 years old, finds these waders to be comfortable and easy to wear. The stocking feet provide warmth and cushioning; the DWR-coated material kept him dry without overheating on warm days. He likes how you can convert these waders to waist-high wading pants. The integrated gravel guards are convenient, as is the flip-out pocket. Our tester successfully paired these with Crosswater Youth Boots.
Simms Women’s G3 Guide Z Stockingfoot Waders
Simms Women’s G3 Guide Z Stockingfoot WadersLike most Simms products, these waders perform well and kept our tester dry. The side zipper makes it easy to get them on and off. The high-waist conversion provides versatility with the ability to convert these into wading pants. Gore-Tex fabric insures breathability while keeping the wearer dry. Integrated gravel guards are a nice convenience.
Orvis Men’s Pro Wader
Orvis Men’s Pro WaderOur tester liked how easy it is to move in these waders and that they are tough and built from multiple layers of Cordura fabric shell. He commented that the neoprene booties are exceptionally comfortable and that the waders kept him dry throughout many nasty days on the river in 2019. He also likes the kangaroo-style, hand-warmer pockets.

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