Breathable Waders

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    Larry Tullis
    BPL Member


    Locale: Wasatch Mountains

    Although not counted as typical UL gear, I consider my lightweight breathable chest waders to be essencial equipment on trips around water. Multiple uses are:

    1-As waders for fishing/float tubing.
    2-As lower part of rain gear.
    3-As bivouac outerwear (insulated inside).
    4-To wade to fresh campsites seldom used by land based hikers.
    5-For hiking in rainy, bogy, puddled trails and fording streams.
    6-Hiking down streams/canyoneering.
    7-Rolled into a bag and used as a pillow
    8-Wade right into the stream to wash dishes or filter water
    9-Sit in shallow water to cool down on hot day without getting soaked.
    10-Adds 15 deg. f. warmpth and waterproofness to clothing.
    11-For getting into or out of watercraft easily, without worrying about getting wet.

    Sage and Dan Bailey’s etc. have waterproof/breathable waders that weigh under 1 pound. Wear with old hiking shoes or water shoes on feet.

    Anyone else use waders as part of their UL gear? Any other uses?

    Bryan Redd



    Good points on lightweight waders. While I love my G3 waders, they are a bit heavy to be carrying around on a backpacking flyfishing trip. So, I’ve been considering buying a light weight pair.

    BTW, are you the Larry Tullis who is a guide and author? If so, I’ve learned quite a bit from your writings. And, I enjoyed the references and photos of you in Martin Carincross’s fine book.


    Justin Gunn


    One of my first backcountry forays was a fly-fishing trail camp deep in the Gros Ventre Wilderness of Wyoming outside of Jackson. Since shelter, sleep systems, and food were provided already, we could afford to pack along a few more toys for the 10 mile hike into the camp.

    Since we were fly fishing, we brought nylon stocking waders and Teva sandles. I loved the feeling of walking through water, very fun. Of course, the sandles and waders must have weighted 3 pounds. Eventually, though, they did suffer punctures caused while hiking around the rivers.

    A good pair of lightweight waders that could withstand a bit of bushwhacking would be terrific, but you still have to add a lightweight water shoe if you don’t want to constantly have wet footwear. Or is there another way to resolve the issue of additional footwear?

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