Breathable Waders vs Neoprene: When to Buy What?

Written by Jessica Herron

Both neoprene and breathable waders offer protection against specific weather factors. Over the years, I have experienced significant differences between the two, yet many anglers seem to get confused, and there’re reasons. Many still have the question, “Is neoprene breathable?” Well, keep reading this critical ‘breathable waders vs neoprene’ discussion and you’ll know what matters between the two.

Breathable Waders vs Neoprene

Let’s begin with the critical differences between the breathable waders and neoprene waders. The essential facts about the neoprene vs breathable waders list include:

  • Thickness
  • Density
  • Weight
  • Puncture-resistance
  • Thermal features
  • Versatility
  • Storing

8. Price

Let’s talk about the budget. One thing is clear: if you are on a tight budget, you will opt for the neoprene waders. Let’s be clear and point out that there are many different types of neoprene waders and you can pay a significant amount of money for a good model. However, it is true that they are cheaper than the breathable ones.

The breathable waders can be two times more expensive than the average neoprene model. On the other hand, consider the repairs as well. The neoprene waders will need more money for repairs than the quality breathable ones you have invested in.

9. Types/Variations

There are several variations of each wader type. First of all, the neoprene types include the 3.5-mm models and the thicker, 5-mm models.

When it comes to the breathable waders, there are the insulated and uninsulated waders. The latter ones provide better thermal stability and comfort, especially in cold hunting or fishing conditions.

10. The Difference in Basic Features

Basic features of these two types are not very different. The shape is generally the same, with the difference that the neoprene ones are tighter than the breathable ones.

Moreover, these two types of waders are suitable for different climates. While the neoprene ones are the best choice if you plan your fishing trips in cold waters, the breathable ones are more suitable for warm climates. However, there are breathable waders with insulation. Therefore, if you invest a little bit more money, you can get the perfect waders for any activity.

11. Materials Explained

Now, let’s talk about the materials. Since the beginning of this article, we have been mentioning neoprene. What is neoprene? It is a particular type of thick chlorine compound rubber. This material was invented to protect the users from cold in low temperatures, including water and air.

However, do you know what happens in the hot weather? Neoprene is not so comfortable at higher temperatures. The inside tends to become too hot and sweaty. Luckily, high-quality models have a special inner layer that protects the user’s skin and makes the product more comfortable.

Breathable waders are made from special breathable fabric that is suitable for the exchange of water vapor between the interior and exterior. Moreover, this material is not too tight, and it does not squeeze the legs of the user. Therefore, it is more comfortable than neoprene.

12. The Difference in Uses

The neoprene waders are better for cold climates. Moreover, they are more puncture-resistant than the breathable ones. The material is durable, and the inner layer that comes in modern neoprene waders provides more comfort. They come in the following thicknesses:

  • 5 mm
  • 5 mm.

On the other hand, the breathable ones are better for warmer climates. They are also suitable for users who are used to wearing more layers of clothes under the waders. They are lightweight. They allow more comfort from the sweating point of view as well.

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TIDEWE Breathable Waders, Waterproof Stockingfoot Chest Waders with Zippered Pockets, Lightweight Fly Fishing Waders for Men and Women (Size M) Green
  • 100% WATERPROOF & BREATHABLE - Stay dry, cool and comfortable with our waterproof breathable polyester when moving around. Wading in the water can never be such an awesome air light experience!
  • DURABILITY - The TideWe fly fishing waders feature all of the essentials that anglers need when wading in the river. Wear resistance is guaranteed by the 3-layer polyester construction. More still, you can count on the 4mm neoprene booties that are designed to prevent bunching.
  • User in Mind Always - Your accessories stay dry and safe because we give the fly chest waders waterproof zippered pockets and a flip-out pocket. Waders comes with a hand warmer chest pocket for easy storage. Customize waist fit thanks to the adjustable elastic 15 inch belt with buckles. Your waders dry quickly and remain perfect with the mesh storage bag.
  • Honestly-Priced Quality Waders - Details tell the truth. Without the up-charging, you will get breathable waders coming with a lot of amazing features which are only found in more expensive waders, namely breathable materials, built-in wading belt, gravel guards, good straps/connectors, hand warmer pocket, etc..
  • Worry-Free One Year Warranty - We firmly believe that we make the best stockingfoot chest waders in the price range. You are backed up by 30-day hassle-free replacement. A new product will be sent to you if your waders are determined defective. Besides, we will repair your waders without charging you nothing if your waders leak within the first year.


Finally, let’s say that we hope that you have learned something from these breathable waders vs neoprene comparison article focused on the pros and cons of each wader type.

Simply put, the advantages of the neoprene ones would be increased puncture resistance, stretchy nature, as well as thermal properties if you come from a cold climate. Also, let’s not underestimate the price.

On the other hand, the advantages of the breathable waders are their lightness, versatility, as well as easy repairs. They are also resistant to snagging, which makes them the favourite waders among millions of users.

About the author

Jessica Herron

Hi! This is Jessica. I can be your virtual outdoor buddy, lol! My friends call me a devotee of adventure. I believe, as any outdoor enthusiast does, adventures are all about the thrill. My love consists of a mix of fishing and camping in the wild, if you ask (what thrills you most?). So, I could be of help (through my articles on this website) to any adventure seeker as long as backpacking, survival, camping, hiking, and fishing are concerned. Are you planning to take a trip to the wild next weekend? Maybe, you already are in the middle of a journey. No matter where you are, my words are on the air!

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