I just did a paddle/fish trip on the coast of SC, met some great yak fish’n folks from the KFS forum there. The wind was bad in the lagoon that we fished, and the locals were taking advantage of using chest waders to stay dry, and make wet launches simple.

I have an old cheap pair, but after digging them out when I got home…they are shot.

Any suggestions on brand, breathable, or neoprene? I prefer stocking-foot, rather that bootfoot.

Or are there any other suggestions? I have several wetsuits, full, farmer jon, ect. Would a good set of neoprene socks/booties, and wading boots do as well?

Breathable chest waders
I use the White River brand breathable chest waders. White River brand is the Bass Pro Shops house brand of fly fishing tackle.

My wife bought me some Simms waders, but they didn’t fit quite right. We returned them and were able to purchase White River brand breathable waders AND wading boots for less money. I’ve been satisfied with them for several seasons, though I am not a heavy user.

  • Big D

Some use the wetsuits and farmer
johns. Like Big D says, the breathables are good, don’t sweat like in neoprene waders. Just remember to belt up at the chest in case you flip. Keeps water from gettin insde and weighting you down.

Waist belt, and maybe a chest belt too. You don’t want water coming in over the top in case of an immersion. It makes it real hard to get back out of the water. Getting back out of the water and into your boat is the idea. So definitely protect yourself against water coming in over the top.

  • Big D

Simms L2
Take a look at the Simms L2 waders about $225. The flyshop where I got these said they were trouble free waders. The high end $425 Simms waders have a lot of problems. I won’t pay that much for waders , when they will eventually leak. Put your money into a good mid-price wader and you’ll be better off in the long run. I’ve tried the low priced waders and they just don’t last that long. Tired of returning them after a years use. Careful when wearing waders in a yak. I won’t do it too dangerous in my opinion. FishHawk.

My own opinion is that wearing waders
in a kayak is no more dangerous than when wading rocky streams or the flats. In either case, one should be properly belted at the chest, possible,as Big D says, at the waist too. If that is done, water won’t get in the waders. On rivers and the flats, there are holes that go over your head, step into one of those without belted waders and you have a sack of water sloshing around you. Way back when, Lee Wulf, a famous fly fisherman, did a trial with waders unbelted. He didn’t find them exceptionally dangerous, but did find them cumberson if filled with water. Its probably less of an issue of the waders causing drowning than hypothermia if the water gets in them and you can’t get dry and warm soon enough. As for spending big bucks on waders not used for wading, but for winter protection while sitting in a kayak, I don’t see a need. Like Big D said, his White Rivers from Bass Pro Shop have worked well at a reasonable cost.

I’ve racked my brain, but can’t come up with a do-all solution.

I don’t mind getting wet, but I do mind drowning, and getting too cold.

My needs will range from paddle fishing local ponds, slower rivers, and coastal lagoons/tidal waters…but mainly freshwater in or near western NC during the winter.

I don’t fit most non neoprene waders very well…tall, skinny feller. The wetsuit/wetsocks/wading shoes idea keeps popping up as #1 choice…but I have no experience with them. Second comes the neoprene wading “pants” stockingfoot, with wading shoes, but the pants are hard to find locally. Third choice seems to be the breathable chest waders, but this choice could go to the top if I could find a pair that fit well enough to be used in the yak…and in the local wading (no yak) rivers that I typically just wear my 2pc hip waders in.


Get breathable Gortex chest waders
and do as Big_D stated, wear a belt at waist and chest. To keep warm, wear fleece pants and shirt when it is cold. I have used this combination in the Rockies and South Korea when fishing rivers with ice chunks floating down them! Nice and toasty.

The advantage of Gortex, is in the spring/fall months, especially where you live, you will be warm in them even if you have light weight pants and a t-shirt on underneath.

Oh…Sorry about not contacting you while up there…The wife had my days well planned out, and I didn’t want to call you after 9 P.M.


Got me some!
Picked up a pair of breathable chest waders this morning. Sure glad I found some locally, so I could try them on! I’m amazed that a “small” fit best! They let me take them outside where I could get into and out of may kayak with them on, probably looked silly, but who cares.

The small size still has enough room for layering if need be, and the neoprene sock/foot on this size waders fit me best too.

I didn’t care for the boots that they had, Dick’s had a better selection, and better prices.

Thanks to all for the advice!