View Full Version : Chest Waders or Waist Highs

07-10-2009, 07:47 PM
I can't remember wading in water high enough to need chest waders, but that's what I have used for decades. My present waders have developed multiple leaks, and I'm considering replacing them with waist high waders. I expect they would be cooler and less cumbersome. Having recently become eligible for Medicare, I don't plan on wading much deeper than my knees, but then... Are chest waders necessary? What are the advantages and disadvantages of waist high waders? Please comment freely.

07-10-2009, 08:05 PM
I prefer chest waders, and have waded into some deep water in the Clinch.
My chest waders have a chest pocket for a camera.

07-10-2009, 08:45 PM
I like waist highs. By the time I need chest waders, I'm shipping water into my lower vest pockets anyway. Waist highs feel just like you are wearing a pair of pants. Much cooler. Most chest waders these days convert, so maybe you can get the best of both worlds, if you can figure out what to do with the suspenders.

07-10-2009, 09:32 PM
Look at the convertible waders and get the best of both.

07-10-2009, 09:43 PM
Ever consider hip boots? That's my preference for the small streams. You can get to all your pants pockets. I don't wade deep water anyway, so it is no hardship.

07-11-2009, 07:30 AM
I think hippers would work well for the mountains, but they won't do for the tailwaters.
Convertibles are in consideration.
I just need more input from those who wear waist highs.

07-11-2009, 10:44 AM
Even though your not wading much over your knees, it's nice to have extra coverage if you slip, or step into a hole, sometimes a few more inches can keep you from getting your pants full of water.

07-11-2009, 08:06 PM
I can attest to the fact that, with a good slip, you can fill up chest waders as easily as waist waders. :eek: Have done that on Lynn Camp Prong.

My first pair of waders were chest waders but my next pair will definitely be waist-high. Even though I can convert my chest waders to waist-high using my suspenders, they just feel bulky.

07-11-2009, 08:53 PM
Although I have both types, the waist waders are my preference especially in the summer. They get used on tail waters, mountain streams and big river float trips. Will work anywhere. If you fall in water of any depth you are going to get wet with either type of waders. Just part of the fishing experience.:biggrin:

07-12-2009, 11:23 AM
Thanks for the opinions and experiences. Keep'm coming.

David Knapp
07-12-2009, 01:49 PM
I would personally never buy waist highs when you can get chest waiders that double as waist high waders... I've had many close calls, both intentionally and not, where the chest high waders kept me from getting soaked...to be fair though I'm a very aggressive wader... If you were only going to fish small streams then waist high waders would be fine. I fish tailwaters enough that the extra height of the chest high waders allows me to cover a LOT more water. When I slip and fall in the Smokies, the chest high waders (which I only wear in the winter in the park) keep my dry...

07-12-2009, 05:36 PM
I have waist-highs and love them. BUT, I only fish mtn streams with them (in the winter). If I fished tailwaters with any regularity, I would own chest-highs or at least convertibles.

07-13-2009, 01:00 PM
I've got the convertibles from Simms and love them. Waist-high in the mountains, chest high on the tailwaters.

07-13-2009, 09:28 PM
Okay, guys...you've convinced me to examine the convertibles. I like the idea of waist highs, but if the convertibles are comfortable, having an option may be the way to go. Thanks for all your advice.

Ah, now who had the best convertibles...

07-22-2009, 09:16 PM
Simms has the best hands down. Actually, they have the best waders on the market. I know they are a bit more pricey, but I have owned several pairs of different brands of waders, and I am now totally sold on Simms.
Of course, this is only my 2 cents and opinion. Good luck in your search and tell us what you decide on.

07-28-2009, 07:49 PM
I've been out of town but will check LRO's inventory on my next visit.