How To Dry Waders

man fly fishing wearing wader

Waders are extremely useful, making them any outdoorsmen’s best friend. Whether you’re going fishing or just taking a stroll through waterlogged areas, waders will have you covered. However, taking care of them after they’ve done their job can sometimes be difficult. 

Here are some of the best ways to dry your waders:

  1. Air dry your waders.
  2. Use a wader dryer.
  3. Dry your waders next to a furnace.
  4. Use old papers.
  5. Use a makeshift dryer.

Drying your waders and taking proper care of them is extremely important. Like any other equipment, the better you take care of it, the better it takes care of you. The rest of this article will detail how to dry your waders after use and highlight the best methods for different budgets and levels of convenience.

1. Air Dry Your Waders

Air drying your waders is the easiest way to dry them. You don’t need any fancy equipment to do this; just the sun and somewhere to hang your waders like a line or hook exposed to sunlight are enough.

Try to turn your waders out inside out as much as possible. Doing this helps the waders dry properly, especially if you’ve been sweating a lot or have just washed them. This step can be extremely important because leaving the insides of your waders damp will promote bacterial growth — not good for your waders and your health.

The problem with air drying is that while it’s cheap, it can take excessively long amounts of time and leave your waders exposed to the elements. Depending on your waders’ material, it can take anywhere from a few hours to a day. If your schedule allows this, it might be fine for you.

For some people, the occasional fishing trip is fine, and they end up not needing their waders very often. For others that take more frequent trips, this might not be the best option.

2. Use a Wader Dryer

Using a wader dryer is one of the most efficient ways to dry a pair of waders. While air drying is cheap and accessible, a wader dryer is specialized for maximum efficiency and is a great investment if you use your waders frequently. 

Most dryers work by passing warm air through prongs attached to a base that provides heating. You only place your wading boots on the prongs and let the device work its magic. Unlike air drying, which can take a significant amount of time, using a dryer is usually a lot quicker, getting your waders ready in a few hours.

winter boots with electric shoe dryer

A good thing about these dryers is that you can use them for all types of boots and footwear, making them perfect for winter when you constantly come in with wet shoes. For some people, it brings a degree of versatility that justifies spending the extra money on it. A good choice is this PEET boot dryer — silent and will dry most of your footwear overnight.

3. Dry Your Waders Next to a Furnace

If you happen to have a furnace at home and don’t mind running it for extended periods, it can be a great option for drying. Using this will likely give you results somewhere between air drying and using a dryer, but it’s a good choice if you want to speed up the drying process using something you already have at home. 

All you need to do is the furnace and a hook or somewhere similar to hang your waders. Ensure the waders aren’t hung too close to the heat source to avoid damage to the material, and you should be fine.

4. Use Old Papers

One tried, true, and seemingly unconventional drying method is to stuff them full of old papers. As unconventional as it might seem, it’s one of the best ways to get your waders dry and is even recommended by many manufacturers.

Gather a bunch of paper you don’t need (old newspapers or loose sheets work great here), ball them up, and stuff them in your boots.

Using paper works so well because it’s absorbent, and stuffing your boots will keep them open, promoting airflow. One of the best things about this method is combining it with a furnace or something similar to make the drying process even faster.

You do want to be careful of the type of paper you use. Things like printing paper and newspapers are the best options because they’re highly absorbent. However, depending on the amount of moisture inside the waders, you might want to avoid using something soft like tissue because it might break off inside your waders, leaving you with a mess to clean up after.

5. Use a Makeshift Dryer

Your house might be chock-full of potential dryers that you don’t know about. If you’re looking to save some money on a conventional dryer and don’t have the most sunlight where you live, you can opt for DIY options that’ll help dry your waders without too much of a hassle.

The first and easiest thing to try is to use a hairdryer. If you have one lying around at home, either belonging to you or a roommate, you can turn it on and face it towards your waders to speed up the drying.


The best thing to do is turn them inside out and point the hairdryer at them intermittently. Depending on the costs where you live, this can increase your electricity bill, so it’s best to use it in short bursts over the drying period.

Another great option to try is to use a fan to prompt airflow around your waders. The increased airflow promotes evaporation, making it easier for the water in your waders to move out of them and into the atmosphere. 

Finally, many people use a leaf blower as the dryer of choice. While it might seem impractical, it’s one of the fastest ways to dry them and has been known to get the job done far faster than anything else.

The only thing to be careful of is that some drying methods might be more suitable than others depending on the brand. Some methods can destroy your waders over time and leave you with no option but to purchase a new one. While DIY methods are cheap and accessible, ensure you read through the brand specifications for your waders to keep them in the best condition.


Waders are great items to have for many reasons. However, proper care can be the difference between a good set of waders that keep you dry and waders that develop problems like holes and mold over time. 

The good thing is you have many options to try depending on your preference and budget. Whether you choose to buy a specialized dryer or you prefer to go another route, you should always dry your waders after use to ensure they stay usable for as long as possible.

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