The Best Women's Fishing Waders

For women in particular, the leap forward in this category has been nothing short of revolutionary. And better-fitting waders can do a lot to encourage more women into the traditionally male-dominated sport of fly-fishing. “Most women don’t want to wear something that looks like a trash bag,” says Camille Egdorf, one of Simms’ sponsored pros. “Just 10 years ago women had to wear the exact same thing that men did,” Egdorf says. “But the industry is getting more friendly to women, and the development in women’s waders has been huge.”

Simms, Orvis, Patagonia and Redington have all recently designed women’s-specific waders tailored for feminine sizing. Booties are scaled for women’s feet (which tend to be slimmer and shorter than men’s). Thoughtfully-placed seams flatter ladies’ hips and thighs, and smart construction throughout the chest accommodates breasts.

Review Year
Best in Class
Overall Rating
Price
Name Overall Rating Ratings The Good The Bad Price
Patagonia Women’s Spring River Waders
94
Best in Class
2017
Fit 10
Breathability 9
Durability 9
Features 10
Versatility 6

Fit is outstanding

Booties are extra-warm

Breathability is above average

Drop-seat feature is tricky to operate

MSRP
$400.00
BEST DEAL
P
P
Simms Headwaters Convertible Stockingfoot waders
89
Fit 7
Breathability 8
Features 7
Versatility 9
Value 8

Going topless was never so easy

Moderately priced

Finding the right fit requires a lot of tinkering.

Few extra features

Fit was a bit snug in lower leg/feet

MSRP
$399.95
BEST DEAL
$399.95
Simms Women’s G3 Guide Stockingfoot
89
Fit 8
Breathability 9
Durability 8
Features 9
Versatility 5

Excellent breathability

Fabric is soft and quiet

Flattering, non-bulky fit

Suitable for frequent, hard use

Constrictive range of movement

Expensive

MSRP
$500.00
BEST DEAL
$349.97
Redington Siren
86
Fit 7
Breathability 8
Durability 7
Features 6
Versatility 8

Priced affordably

Lightweight

Accent patterning looks cute

Available in “Kate” (regular) and “Marilyn” (full) silhouettes

Too insubstantial for diehards or harsh weather

Generous fit borders on sloppy

Not available in short lengths

MSRP
$220.00
BEST DEAL
$112.46
L.L. Bean Women’s Kennebec Waders
81
Fit 5
Breathability 6
Durability 6
Features 7
Versatility 7

Sturdy, comfortable wading belt

Unrestricted range of motion

Limited number of seams reduces likelihood of leaks

Baggy, sacklike fit

Not available in various lengths

Breathability is adequate, not excellent

MSRP
$220.00
BEST DEAL
N/A
Cabela’s Women’s Dry-Plus Premium Stockingfoot Waders
78
Fit 5
Breathability 5
Durability 6
Features 5
Versatility 7

Affordability

Extra cushioning on the knees

Adequate length for tall women

Lightweight

Knee pads compromise breathability

Limited size range

Inner-leg seams exposed to abrasion

MSRP
$160.00
BEST DEAL
$119.99
Patagonia Women’s Spring River Waders

The fit is dialed and the features are smart on Patagonia’s first-ever pair of women’s waders. They strike the ideal balance between performance and practicality. No doubt, these are premium waders at a premium price.

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Women's Fishing Waders Review Results

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Fishing waders have undergone some exciting changes over the past few years – and men aren’t the only ones to benefit. Companies are now investing significant time and money into designing women’s waders that fit female proportions and perform as well as the men’s gear.

The Patagonia Women’s Spring River Waders, for example, achieves its flattering (yet non-constrictive) fit with multiple darts and seams: Each leg features four stitch lines in addition to the main seam up the back. The booties are anatomically shaped to match the curve of the right and left foot, and they get a boost in warmth from wool-lined neoprene. Most women (who typically suffer from colder extremities than men) will appreciate that feature.

The Redington Siren comes in two versions: The “Kate” for slim fly-fishers, and the “Marilyn” for plus sizes. And it does a better-than-average job of accommodating breasts: Two elastic gussets under the arms adapt to various bust sizes, expanding to fit larger cups or cinching for a tidy fit on small-chested wearers.

One common complaint among dedicated female anglers is that guide-worthy waders only come in men’s sizes. But the Simms Women’s G3 Guide Stockingfoot features five-layer construction and a Gore-Tex Pro Shell membrane – making these breathable waders extra-tough. The fit is also dialed to feminine shapes.

This category’s best all-arounder, the Orvis Women’s Silver Sonic Convertible-Top Waders offers a winning balance of fit, performance and value. Not as bomber-built as the Simms, but significantly more affordable, this is a great choice for women who want durable, great-fitting gear at an approachable price.

L.L. Bean and Cabela’s also offer low-priced options for women. Their fit isn’t as streamlined or flattering as the top performers, but they give aspiring anglers an affordable way to get started in the sport.

Looking Ahead

Women are still fishing’s minority gender, but that gap is closing – and companies are increasingly catering to women by producing gear they’ll actually want to wear.

Trends
The trend in waders for both sexes is to move away from the excessively baggy fit of yesteryear. Partly, that’s because neither men nor women enjoy being saddled with bulky fabric (or the double-wide silhouette). But mostly, streamlining waders’ fit improves their durability: Leaks are most likely to occur in those creases and folds, which abrade the fabric over time.

For both sexes, most high-end waders now use a slimmer cut than they once did, and articulated seaming (rather than extra material) allows for full freedom of movement when hiking or stepping into a boat.