What Is The Difference Between Neoprene vs Breathable Waders

Well, that is quite a question to keep you brainstorming about the features and the pros and cons of those waders before you step foot in any fishing ground. Now, you are probably wondering which of the two can be dignified as a good wader, but traditionally any pair that didn’t leak too badly was crowned with that title.

This is 2016 though, advancements in technology has raised our standards and determining what is good mostly depends on the fishing environment. Today we will discuss the wader options for the modern angler and we are going to put emphasis on neoprene and breathable waders since they are the most popular materials.

Neoprene Waders

Neoprene waders were the hot fishing item when they came into the market several years back. One surprising statistic about neoprene is that they were three times expensive 25 years ago as they are today. What happened along the way to cause such a triple overturn of the price of neoprene is a story to be told by their breathable rivals.

Neoprene Material And Application

Neoprene waders are made from a thick rubber material going by the name neoprene. This material can really get hot on you in warm weather environments. They are purposely designed to insulate and protect an angler in cold weather. For instance if you are going to fish in extremely cold environments like Alaska where water is glacial-melt water or maybe you are going to fish in icy lakes, neoprene is the best option for such situations.

Modern neoprene waders however have a lining on the inside which makes them a little more comfortable when the weather is warm. They used to rise the thermometer back then when they came without the inner lining and they were very uncomfortable in hot weather conditions. How do I know? Because I used them, yes am that old!

When it comes to longevity, neoprene beats any other wader material in the market. Its durability is said to be up to 20 years, according to Reaction Baits. This material is also said to be repaired effortlessly in case of a pinch on the material; a quick application of superglue will plug a hole on neoprene material unlike breathable waders.

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Neoprene Waders

Breathable waders

These waders have really embraced the advancements in technology. They are made from fabric that allows water vapor to escape through the membrane of the waders; that is what makes them breathable. As much as it seems quite impossible to find a quality pair of waders that coordinate all seasons, breathable waders come close to reality.

Material And Application

Breathable wader material has more advantages over neoprene. They are 100% waterproof and they have zippers are that also waterproof. How wonderful is it to submerge yourself in the deep end of your fish hole and water will not go through your wader!

Breathable waders are light weight and to a great degree very comfortable. They are developed with layers that lock out dampness on the outside while allowing your sweat vapor to escape in the meantime. What that means is that you can stay dry throughout the day whether you are angling passively or covering water rapidly in warm situations.

When it comes to versatility, breathable waders allow you the comfort of being dry whereas not overheating, which can be a case with neoprene waders if you exert yourself so much. For instance if you hiking in a neoprene wader and you are two miles downstream from your car, you are more likely to get hot by the time you get back. While in a best breathable waders, you will have that experience like it’s just a normal day outside.

Unlike neoprene waders that have a lining on the inside, breathable waders have custom made separate liner that you can wear underneath and make yourself warm as you want. Breathable waders just tries to cater for your needs in almost all conditions. If you plan to fish in warm waters, you might not need to wear the liner though, but then if you are going to fish in cold waters just add the layer inside and you can deal with cold temperatures comfortably.

Breathable waders’ manufacturers have waders that just reach up to the waist of the angler. They come with a belt that you can buckle up and they are extremely comfortable than chest waders. Waist waders are becoming popular these days as they are ideal for fishing in streams and shallow waters which form most angler’s explorations. They are the best option to wear in summer months especially.

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Breathable Waders

Wader Fitting

While both neoprene and breathable waders come in bootfoot apparel, breathable waders are relatively easier to get into than neoprene waders. Neoprene material is a little tight and you have to pull it up your body to fit into. However, the sleekness of the fabric on breathable material allows you to put them on within seconds and you are off.

So if you want to beat the clock and get to do your other business, like you are on your lunch break and you opt to catch one from the nearest stream to be on your menu, a breathable bootfoot wader will save you the explanation of clocking back late. It is even a better option for those who carry a wader with them ready to go fishing any time.


A piece of advice here is, if you are angling in cold weather temperatures and very low ambient temperatures, you are going float tubing and mostly you will be submerged in water, neoprene waders are the better option to keep you safe and angling for long. However, in other weather conditions, breathable waders will give you incredible performance, you will be comfortable long enough and keep angling as long as your hunger demands.

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