Do Neoprene Waders Float?

fisherman fishing in a river wearing a wader

There are many concerns in the fishing and hunting community that if water levels rise above your wader, it will cause you to sink. Because of this concern, there have been many debates about whether submerging your neoprene wader in water will make you float or sink. Thankfully, many people have performed floating tests to decide if neoprene waders float in water.

Neoprene waders will float once they’re completely filled with water. These waders are incredibly buoyant and will help keep you afloat. However, neoprene waders aren’t as effective as life jackets, and it can take a few minutes for the waders to fill with water before you start to float. 

Knowing that your neoprene wader can help keep you afloat can be reassuring if you fall and slip while fishing or hunting. Read on to learn more about the features of neoprene waders.

What are Neoprene Waders Made From?

Neoprene waders are made from a unique type of rubber and nitrogen. They have small nitrogen bubbles inside of them, which support insulation. The combination of tiny nitrogen bubbles and thick rubber make neoprene waders suitable for working outdoors in frigid temperatures

on a white sewing machine sewn product cover of blue neoprene

Neoprene waders are unique because they’re moisture-wicking and waterproof. You can take them into swamps, lakes, and oceans, and your body will stay dry. 

Even if you completely submerge yourself in water, the neoprene wader will remain intact so that you can comfortably navigate while remaining dry. In this video, they conducted a floating test, the neoprene booties and pants maintained their structural integrity and were comfortable even while submerged in water.

Because neoprene waders are moisture-wicking, you won’t get any water inside your wader. But it’s easy to accumulate sweat in these waders, making them uncomfortable for working in warmer conditions. Neoprene waders are made from heavy and durable materials, making them best for hunting and working in colder temperatures where you won’t be prone to sweat.  

What’s the Purpose of a Neoprene Wader?

Neoprene waders are designed for hunting or fishing in cold weather, and their insulation can vary by several millimeters. They’re waterproof and made from thick rubber and nitrogen components. 

Additionally, they’re highly insulated and keep you warm while fishing or hunting waterfowl. These waders are superior choices if you’ll be wading in lakes or swamps, and they can help keep you afloat. 

In various wader tests, people wore their neoprene waders into swimming pools, filled them with water, and still they floated. 

You must completely submerge the wader in the water to get a neoprene wader to float, and this process can take several minutes. Therefore, it’s important not to treat a neoprene wader as a life jacket or vest. A life vest or other floatation device will keep you afloat as soon as you jump in the water. 

Instead, purchase an inflatable fishing vest to ensure your water safety while you work. A wading belt is another essential safety device that can help keep you from drowning, especially if you’re only wearing neoprene wading pants instead of a full chest wader.

What are the Different Types of Neoprene Waders?

Neoprene Chest Waders

Most neoprene waders in the floating tests were chest waders. A chest wader is ideal if you want to float because it covers your entire body. It’s important to know that neoprene chest waders are available with or without boots.

asian female standing fly fishing in a riffle on a river

Wading boots are an essential tool that keeps you from slipping in the water. They are well-insulated and offer traction on slippery surfaces underneath or above water. Those waders without boots come with waterproof socks that will help keep your feet dry and warm. Fortunately, your neoprene wader will still float regardless of if it comes with boots or not.

This Dark Lightning Neoprene Hunting Wader is ideal for both men and women. The camouflage material is great for duck hunting or working outdoors. This neoprene wader comes with 800G insulated rubber boots, so you don’t have to worry about purchasing additional footwear. It also has reinforced knees and adjustable suspenders, so you can adjust the wader to fit your body type.

Neoprene Pants Waders

Neoprene waders are also available as pants. These waders are ideal for working in shallow water or swamps, where your chest won’t need to be covered. Because they’re made of neoprene, pant waders will float. But remember that only the pants will float. If you want your whole body to float in the wader, you’ll need to purchase a neoprene chest wader.

Pants waders are convenient because you can easily slip them on or off. A chest wader has suspenders and covers your entire body, down to your feet, so it’s challenging to change your clothes quickly. Pant waders also make bathroom breaks much more efficient and accessible because you don’t have to take off the entire wader to use the restroom.

This CAMOZONE Neoprene Waist Wader comes with boots equipped with ergonomic patterns that increase your grip on muddy and slick surfaces, and the shoes are easy to remove. Both the pants and boots are insulated, and it comes with an adjustable wading belt–an important safety feature for those wading in various water conditions. Because these pants waders are neoprene, they are 100% waterproof

Final Thoughts

Many people used to think that if the water rose higher than your wader, the weight would pull you down and cause you to sink. Fortunately, that’s not true. Contrary to popular belief, neoprene waders do float. If water overtakes you or you slip and fall, your neoprene wader can help keep you afloat. Neoprene waders are waterproof, well-insulated, and highly buoyant, which allows them to float so easily.

It’s important to know that even though neoprene waders have floating capabilities, they shouldn’t replace a life vest. Their floating ability serves as a last resort in an emergency situation. Be sure to purchase an inflatable fishing vest and a wading belt so that you can protect yourself in the water.

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