Chest Waders vs Wading Pants

WorknPlay

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I have always either wet waded or worn chest waders depending on the water and weather. Lately I have been thinking more and more about buying a pair of wading pants. What is everyone's opinion on the advantages of wading pants compared to chest waders. I really like my chest waders I use now, with the different pockets and in deeper water, but it seems like more and more I really do not always need them. I did some different searches and came up with a few answers, but I was just wondering if folks out there are currently using both or not? Take Care
 

markmark444

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I have worn Patagonia Gunnison Gorge wading pants the last 5 years or so most of the time when it isn't warm enough to wet wade. Pretty durable; for example, I fell and cut my knee yesterday but it didn't hurt the pants. I had the butt section repaired once and it was prompt. There are less expensive ways to go for sure and if you are out in the winter you will need something underneath. I am not a puppy so I don't want to wade too deep anyway. I still have my much patched Redington chest waders too. I hope this helps some.
 

Hayden Creek

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Both. But as stated above I wear pants most of the time unless wet wading. I have the Simms Freestone pants. I think Freestone is right. Not the guides. They have held up well to alot of crawling and boulder hopping.

Seems DRYFT makes quality pants as well. They even make them that look like jeans if style is important while on the river.
 

ontheflymn

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I only use wading pants - mainly because I cover a lot of ground and we don't wade water in the Midwest Driftless that chest waders are necessary. I've been a huge fan of the Redington pants. I wear them for three or so years, and then start over. They aren't very thick, and it seems the usual culprit is loose barbed wire. Patagonia are too small for my build. Redington's price point is very appealing as well.
 

WNCtroutstalker

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I wear both. Choice depends on where/water level and temperature. My waders and pants are both Simms G3s.

Advantages of Pants: Cooler, go on and off quicker, easier when, um, nature calls
Disadvantages of Pants: can't wade as deep (though even in chest waders if water is above my waist I probably made a bad decision), if you slip and fall your clothes will get wet
 

PEN|OUT

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I bought a pair of Simms wader pants once, I always seemed to end up going just an inch too deep in them LOL

Now I just wet wade or wear waders.
 

COTater

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I have both, I wear the waders in late fall, winter and early spring. Really depends on the temps for me. Switch to pants when temps permit. I do love the pants. I wet wade when temps dictate.

I went to Dryft Waders last year to test vs Simms & Patagonia. I must say that I am impressed. Way better price point and fantastic quality.
 

WorknPlay

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I appreciate all of the ideas. I do believe that I will try some different brands out at the shops when I am in Wyoming next week to see which kind works the best for me. Have a great day everyone.
 

bonefish41

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My venue is Northwest Michigan and I do not walk allot to the usuals PM, Little Manistee and Baldwin...in me youth Pine...I have both, Patagonia pant and Frogg T chests(both boot foot and stocking). I don't use them allot say 10-20 a year so cheap Froggs work for me that said every time I think to wade with pants because they are easy...I get wet or I don't go where I can make the cast because I'm going to get wet...so the pants are worn when in the guide's drift boat as rain pants or as get in or out of the boat...and maybe out to maneuver a fish...
 

Acheron

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I have always worn wading pants. Glad they came back "in style" because it was getting a bit hard to find them some years ago. Most places still only carry one brand/pair/model of them. I am unsure why more people don't wear them out here where wading deep isn't necessary. They are comfortable, cool, easy on/off, unrestrictive, and pack smaller.
 

WNCtroutstalker

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I do believe that I will try some different brands out at the shops when I am in Wyoming next week to see which kind works the best for me.
Obviously the correct approach. But one piece of friendly advice. Make sure you get something that breathes. On my first pair of wading pants I somewhat "cheaped out" because they weren't something I thought I would wear often. After most outings my pants (those quick-dry nylon pants) and socks would be soaked, so much so that I often wondered if the wading pants had sprung a leak. Last year I replaced them with the Simms G3 pants and it's a world of difference. Not saying I don't sweat some, but nothing like the prior pair I had. Good luck.
 

Lamarsh

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I never saw enough of an advantage to buy wader pants, but I know a lot of people like them. I find I stay cool enough in my Simms G3 breathable chest waders even with the bibs up, and if I ever felt like I needed the bib off my chest I have no issue with rolling it down and buckling the suspenders around my waist.

If I find myself fishing a spot that only requires ankle or knee deep wading, I just put on my water shoes and wet wade.
 

el jefe

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I got the Simms Freestones recently. I have worn them only once so far, and got a bit sweaty in them. On that day, I was hopping up and over deadfall, boulders, and up and down hillsides following the trail, so that may have happened even with Gore-Tex wading pants. The shop where I bought them said that the Simms Guides (the Gore-Tex version) were way better, even though the Freestones are also made of breathable material. So I'm not sold on the Freestones yet. I really need more time in them to know if it was the way I was fishing that day, or the material that was leading to me being a little sweaty. In any case, I couldn't pull the trigger on the Guides, anyway, as I thought the price was ridiculous for wading pants. The Freestones seemed like a much better value, particularly for the limited use I think they will see. To me, they are an "occasional" piece of wading gear, and as such it's going to take me some more time to get some more time in them, and really form a realistic opinion.

Typically, if I need waders for wading, and not just for water temperature and brush protection, I go with chest waders. If not, I wet wade.

One other approach that I use is to wet wade, but wear Gore-Tex Paclite pants over quick dry fishing pants. That protects against wind and cold and rain, and gives some brush protection. When wet wading, I tend to get cold when the wind comes up and the rain soaks the upper part of my legs, which aren't usually in the water. The Paclite pants fix that problem, and you can thrown them in a backpack and they don't take up much room.
 

WNCtroutstalker

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In any case, I couldn't pull the trigger on the Guides, anyway, as I thought the price was ridiculous for wading pants.
This was several years ago before I bought my first pair of wading pants, but I was in my local fly shop and saw a pair of Simms wading pants hanging next to a sign with the product ID and price. I said to an employee, in all honesty, some thing along the lines of "I think you have these mis-marked. They're the same price (or maybe just a tiny bit less) than the full waders." Was told it wasn't a mistake. I know a pair of dress slacks costs a lot less than a suit, but not the same with wading pants. I definitely struggled with the price of the Guide pants, but now have no regrets.
 

COTater

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Here are a few options. They have been great and the pricing is far better. Fantastic Quality and Fantastic Customer Service.



I did a combo deal of full zip waders and the SEEKR pants as they are 4 layer instead of 5 layer. Got both for less than waders alone with Simms or Patagonia. Have a lot of time on both pair and no regrets. Next time I buy, it will be DRYFT again.
 

quattro

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I use both depending on where I'm headed. Really like the pants in hotter weather - and lots of water I fish doesn't require the depth of chest waders. I do wear the chest waders in the winter regardless of depth for added warmth. One caution - is to also think about your jacket choices. If you are going to be fishing in the rain. - some of the shorter wading jackets won't provide full coverage with pants - so you'll end up needing and wearing a longer jacket. The Patagonia STS jacket is too short to wear with pants (at least for me) for example. I have the Patagonia pants which I'm very happy with.
 

dtaylo1066

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I have both. Unless the water is deep, it is much more comfortable and cooler to wear wading pants. I have Redington Palix River models in both. They have discontinued that line, and now have an Escape line in its place.
 

quattro

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also - these look kind of interesting - available only at backcountry - a partnership with Simms. Sort of in-between pants and waders... tall pants with suspenders. And currently $100 off retail.
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