Are wading pants the next big thing? 10 reasons why you should own a set of waist waders.

You may be familiar with waist waders, but are you still using full chest waders every time you go fishing?

Big fishy while wearing dryft waist high waders

There are a lot of reasons why you may want to consider using waist high waders for some of your fishing adventures. From comfort to backups, there are a lot of reasons to consider using wading pants instead of full waders at least some of the time. Read below for 10 reasons why you should consider adding a set of waist high wading pants to your gear collection.

1. Waist high waders are comfortable and easy to use

Especially on warmer days wearing waist high waders can be much more comfortable than full waders. Most of the time when we’re fishing out of a boat we never wade deeper than our waist, and in small creeks and rivers it’s easy to cross in many places without wading deep. Waist high wading pants are the easiest and quickest waders to get in and out of. Since they only pull up to your waist there is no shimmying or working the shoulder straps up and into place. For quick and dirty fishing missions they can’t be beat.

2. Wading pants work great as a backup set

Rotating between multiple sets of waders means you aren’t fishing your main chest waders every time you go out. This means you can thoroughly dry them out between uses and get an overall longer usable life out of them. Things happen with normal use, and if you need to do a repair or send your main waders in for repair it’s nice to have a backup. Wading pants are great for that as they cross over to many other uses, and generally cost less than comparable chest waders.

small river fishing in waist high waders

3. Versatility.

A large percentage of the average anglers fishing trips do not involve wading beyond waist deep. This is leading to more and more people realizing the benefits that waist high waders provide, for comfort and ease of use. Should you only own wading pants? Probably not if you intend to wade new waters and do deep crossings at times. Owning a set of full chest waders and wading pants helps you choose the right tool for the job.

4. Long term durability

Having and rotating between multiple sets of waders will extend the usable life of each. By allowing a wader to fully dry out between uses it helps to keep the materials from breaking down over time. The main reason to fully dry your waders inside and out after every use is to avoid mildew growing on the inside which can damage the fabric and seam tape. Some amount of condensation will always be present on the inside of waterproof breathable waders, simply because of how the waterproof breathable fabric functions. We recommend rotating between different sets of waders while on multi day fishing trips, or at home if you’re fishing every day, and hanging each to dry fully between uses.

Warm weather alpine fishing with waist high wading pants

5. Waist waders are better for summer and warm weather use

Wading pants are cooler during periods of warm weather. Heat is trapped in the core area of chest waders, making them a great option for cool weather. But when the mercury climbs and the water is still too cool to wet wade (or unsafe to do so) a good set of waist high waders is invaluable.

alpine lake hike in backpacking with waist high waders

6. Wading pants rule for packability

If you’re like us then you probably enjoy getting out beyond the crowded access points and exploring areas where you are more likely to encounter bear tracks than signs of other humans. Wading pants are lighter and smaller than full waders, so pack down and fit inside backpacks better. For this reason we like to carry the SEEKR waist high waders in our backpacks up into alpine lakes for summer backpacking trips.

7. Wading safety

Waist high waders limit how deep you can wade, which can help prevent wading too deep. A lot of guides prefer their clients in wading pants, which helps keep them in shallower water and avoids the need for an emergency rescue. If you tend to wade beyond safe limits at times, maybe consider trying waist high wading pants to put a cap on how deep you can go in.

waist high waders are great for boat fishing

8. Great for boat fishing

If you do a lot of boat fishing a good set of waist high waders will suit your fishing style well. When boat fishing all day then the deepest you’ll likely wade is knee deep or so to get in and out of the boat. Having waders on will keep you dry from rain, and give you the option to wade deeper than rain boots will allow if needed.

9. Style. Wading pants just plain ol’ look cool.

‘Nuff said.

10. Value (cost) of waist waders is lower than full chest waders.

Coming in below the cost of comparable waders, they make a great second set for warm days and to use as backups. The SEEKR waist high wading pants complement our S14 chest waders well, while in the GD series you can set yourself up with the Session GD Wading Pants for the full featured and most durable option. For the ladies we offer a full featured women’s waist high Session Wading Pant option that complements the S14 Women’s waders well.

And those are our 10 reasons why you may want to consider adding a good set of wading pants to your fishing gear collection. Check out the styles we offer below and click through on each to read more details.

DRYFT Waist high wading pants

Stalking the shore. Spotting cruisers.

Getting hooked up!

Gear featured in this short IG reel

New Sun Wizard UPF hooded shirts

The new Sun Wizard UPF hoodie is here. Featuring a full printed water camouflage pattern that blends into the background for stealthy ambush approaches on the flats, river, or while boat fishing. This UPF shirt is comfortable, and keeps you safe from harmful UV radiation from the sun.

  • UPF 50+ solar protection.
  • Antimicrobial and moisture wicking microfiber polyester.

Combine this new shirt with a Grey Wizard Sleeve for neck and face protection, and the SEEKR Wading Pants and BKCNTRY Waterproof Hip Pack for a bomber day on the water.

Cutthroat release sequence [photo gallery]

Sometimes the release is the best part. Watching this cutthroat swim back to go do fishy things was a highlight of the day. Flip through the images for the release sequence.

Happy Earth Day 🌲

Year round we plant one tree along salmon bearing streams in the Pacific Northwest with every wader purchased through our website, but in celebration of Earth Day we’re doubling that to two trees planted through the end of April.

Please join us in planting trees as well by following the link below to our partner, One Tree Planted, where you can make a difference today by planting a tree.

Earth Day 2022 - One Tree Planted and DRYFT

Five star products that plant trees for Earth Day

Extended Play – The Ethan Parsons story

Ethan lost the use of his lower body as a teenager due to a rare medical condition. Facing the very real prospect of not surviving a series of surgeries that could help alleviate his paralysis Ethan has decided to learn to live with the cards life dealt.

Fly fishing has become a saving grace for Ethan as he returns to the water and the sport he loves in this triumphant story.

Please enjoy this short film while considering the strength of the human spirit and the power of positivity that Ethan displays.

Extended Play Trailer

The story of Ethan Parsons is a tale of the human spirit and the power of positivity. Stay tuned for the full film releasing Friday, April 1st.

Ethan lost the use of his lower body as a teenager due to a rare medical condition. Facing the very real prospect of not surviving a series of surgeries that could help alleviate his paralysis Ethan has decided to learn to live with the cards life dealt.

Fly fishing has become a saving grace for Ethan as he returns to the water and the sport he loves in this triumphant story.

This is his story.

Want more steelhead fishing in your life? Check out 10,000th Cast from Waist Deep Media.

New BKCNTRY waterproof hip packs are available now

Introducing the new BKCNTRY Waterproof Hip Pack.

The BKCNTRY fishing hip pack is a pint sized bomber of a waterproof pack designed for comfort and utility. The 5 liter main compartment rolls down to be watertight, and allows easy access with clips on each side. Inside the main compartment are inner mesh pockets to help compartmentalize your small items. Continue reading…

BKCNTRY Waterproof Hip Pack from DRYFT

Unleash the Kraken

Unleash the Kraken with the new 2022 DRYFT™ Primo Zip GD Waders. For when nature calls.

unleash the kraken

Update on America’s Salmon Forest and the Roadless Rule

The Tongass is the Nation’s largest national forest; it supplies habitat for abundant fish and wildlife and ample
recreation opportunities in the southeast Alaska region. When you imagine yourself on a remote fishing or
hunting trip, a wild landscape where large trout, wild salmon and steelhead, and big game are plentiful, or
breathtaking scenery where you can get away from it all, the odds are good you’re thinking of a roadless area in
the Tongass National Forest.

From the Situk River in the north to Prince of Wales Island in the south, the Tongass provides hunters, anglers
and outdoor recreationists some of the best and most diverse outdoor opportunities available in North America.
Taking care of the land that takes care of Southeast Alaska businesses is just common sense.

Recently, the U.S. Forest Service has proposed restoring protections for more than 9 million acres of roadless
areas in the Tongass National Forest, reinstating the 2001 Roadless Rule after it was hastily repealed late last
year. The removal of the rule went against the wishes of 96% of all public comments, Southeast Alaska Tribal
governments, and local anglers, hunters and outdoor recreationists. This news has spurred a 60 -day comment
period to provide the public’s input on the reinstatement of the roadless rule on the Tongass National Forest. If
approved, the roadless rule will be reinstated on the Tongass and will safeguard important fish, wildlife and
recreation areas.

Take Action now to restore roadless protections on America’s Salmon Forest

This comment period is the next step toward implementing the Forest Service’s new “Southeast Alaska
Sustainability Strategy”. The strategy ends large scale, old-growth logging on the forest and will, instead, prioritize
recreation, restoration and resiliency, and make significant new investments in projects that support sustainable
economic growth and community health.

The strategy is part of the Forest Service’s effort to align its forest management with the ecological and economic
realities of the region. The Tongass produces more salmon than all other national forests combined and
supports fishing and tourism industries that account for 26% of local jobs in the region. In contrast, logging
supports fewer than 1% of local jobs while harming the fishing and tourism industries, costing taxpayers million
annually, and supporting export markets instead of local demand. This strategy recognizes the Tongass is most
valuable for its wild salmon, abundant wildlife, and scenic landscapes, and will support Southeast Alaska’s
diversified economy and help conserve scarce forest resources.

Reinstating the roadless rule is what’s best for the land, wildlife, people and economy of Southeast Alaska. Tell the
U.S. Forest Service you agree and take action today. We are happy to speak up for the Tongass and encourage
everyone to submit a comment supporting continued protections on wildlife and recreation habitat in
Southeast Alaska. To learn more, visit