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ultralight waders
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Phil H

Locale: Northwest Iowa
ultralight waders on 11/30/2013 20:04:22 MST Print View

Anyone have a recommendation for ultralight stocking foot chest waders? Very hard to find basic waders without many bells and whistles that add needless weight.

Ike Jutkowitz
(Ike) - M

Locale: Central Michigan
ul waders on 12/01/2013 05:24:58 MST Print View

I mostly just wet wade in the same nylon pants and minimalist trail runners I hike in, a reasonable approach in Michigan, with a fishing season that runs from May through September.

In Alaska, waders become more of a necessity. I just use the most basic Frogg Toggs. Couldn't tell you what they weigh but they have held up to 3 seasons of use so far. I wear them for hiking, paddling, and wading. The biggest weight savings trick I learned was to wear an oversized pair of flats shoes instead of wading boots.

John S.
(jshann) - F
Re: ultralight waders on 12/01/2013 05:27:31 MST Print View

Phil H

Locale: Northwest Iowa
Reddington Wader on 12/01/2013 07:10:46 MST Print View

Sonic Pros look great but are among the most expensive Reddington. Anyone know weight of the lesser priced Reddiington waders?

John S.
(jshann) - F
Re: Reddington Wader on 12/01/2013 11:20:03 MST Print View

If you could go with a leg only wader, then Wiggy's has a pair weighing 10 oz at $60.

Phil H

Locale: Northwest Iowa
ultralight waders on 12/14/2013 17:57:44 MST Print View

Unfortunately, I am in need of chest waders. I use an ultralight float tube in high mountain lakes....the water is typically about 60 degrees in late summer and early fall so long underwear under chest waders is a necessity for a day of fishing.

Jay Johnson
Redington Crosswater on 02/04/2014 21:31:46 MST Print View

I think Sierra Trading Post lists the Redington Crosswater Waders as 1lb11oz for size large. For about $100 dollars that is a pretty good deal for chest waders with shaped feet and gravel guards. If the weight is accurate, it is pretty close to the Redington ultra packable ones at 1lb8oz for a large although the cheapest I've found those are for $220.

I'm buying my first waders soon and also worry about pack weight. I think I'm gonna go with the Crosswater waders. Good entry level wader with good value and fairly light weight.

Thomas Rayl
(trayl) - MLife

Locale: SE Tx
Ultralight waders on 02/14/2014 12:46:16 MST Print View

If you're getting into the water seriously enough to require chest waders, float tube, and long johns, perhaps another option you might consider would be to shift from floating-in-waders to a packraft. You're still floating, can still get about anywhere you could with the waders + float ring setup, and would be less immersed in cold water. Plus, it would open up MANY more options (deeper water, river/lake crossings, ???). Granted, this is a heavier solution, but might be worth considering what with the expanded horizons available and all.

William Segraves
(sbill9000) - F - M
Re: ultralight waders on 02/14/2014 20:42:35 MST Print View

What type of float tube, what shoes and what fins? Know what it all weighs? Would be useful to compare complete systems for getting around in the water.


Bill S.

Paul Lewer
(Idahoan) - M

Locale: Boise, Idaho
Weight Saving Wader Modifications on 03/15/2014 22:40:43 MDT Print View


I am in the same boat as you at the moment. I think that any given pair of commercially available waders can undergo some modifications that will bring the weight down 1/4 or more pounds. Some of these modifications are specific to float tubing, but you and I are in the same "tube" here :)

1. Get rid of any belt.

2. Cut off the gravel guards.

3. Cut out the pocket(s) from inside the waders.

4. Cut off "reinforced knee" layer, which doesn't help us float tubers at all. Depending on the wader, it may or may not even have this layer. Or it may or may not be something you can cut out which depends on the construction. On the Cabela's G-II and RVG II, the construction enables you to cut it out.

5. Cut off a couple of inches from the top and re-hem. Depending on the float tube, you may not need true chest-high waders. Another thing to look at is the geometry of the wader when you sit down into the float tube. The wader will not come up nearly as high on the back as it will the front. Even if you need every inch on the back, there will be a lot of material on the front that you don't need.

6. The straps are usually made from very heavy material. When float tubing, you don't need heavy duty straps to keep your waders in place. I am going to sew my own straps on whatever waders I settle on.

When I settle on a pair of waders (looking hard at the Reddington Crosswaters/Sonic-Pro Ultra Packables or a Cabela's Bluestream/RVG-II/G-II) I will take a lot of weight off using the above modifications.

I'd love to know where you're at in the search!


John S.
(jshann) - F
Re: ultralight waders on 03/16/2014 06:29:45 MDT Print View

One hiker that goes with us uses a modified contracter bag and duct tape for stocking footed waders up to the hip.

Jennifer W
(tothetrail) - MLife

Locale: So. Cal.
Drysuit on 03/16/2014 08:20:55 MDT Print View

Not exactly sure what is required for something to be considered waders, but would a modified drysuit work?

My Gore Tex Kokatat with the Gore Tex feet was about $800 new, but I've seen them for less than $200. They are especially cheap when they need new wrist and neck gaskets, which you wouldn't need anyway.

Seems like you could get one and remove the arms and neck while keeping the upper portion intact. Mine is the heavy duty version with lots of cordura for canyoneering. It weighs exactly 3 lbs. But you'd just need the lightweight version.

The key for you will be finding one with the feet attached.