Expert Review: Orvis Women's Clearwater Wader
This review is my honest opinion of the waders, which I purchased with my own money in October of 2020.
About this Review: This review is my honest opinion of the waders, which I purchased with my own money in October of 2020.
Orvis Women’s Clearwater Waders are a great pair of basic waders for someone just looking to get into the sport or try it out that isn’t going to fish terribly often.
About the waders
- Model: Orvis Women’s Clearwater Waders
- Size: Medium
- Material: Cordura®
- Type: Chest waders
- Boot Style: Stockingfoot
- Height: 5’5”
- Weight: 165lbs
- Preferred type of fishing: Fly fishing
- Preferred fishing style(s) : Hopper dropper, dry flies
- Experience: 26 years of fly fishing
- When I bought this: October 2020
- Days tested: 100 days
- Waters I’ve used it on: Freshwater
- Boots paired with waders: Orvis PRO BOA®
How they perform
What I was looking for
I was looking for a pair of less expensive waders to wear for a couple of months out of the year between the wet wading season and the really cold winter months when I wear full neoprene waders.
Why I chose this gear
The six-year warranty and the price are why I chose this gear. I also considered the Orvis Ultralight Women’s stockingfoot waders, but they didn’t fit me as well as these did. The torso wasn’t long enough without the overall body of the waders being too baggy and loose.
What I love about them
- Use Case: These are great waders for someone just looking to fish a few times a year or to use during some of the early season fishing. They are only three layers, so they are not very warm, and the active fit means one isn’t able to layer enough underneath to make them a great option for winter fishing.
- Materials: These waders are three layers of Cordura fabric.
- Fit: These are what Orvis calls an “active fit” meaning they are slimmer. For a lady with curves, the Ultralight waders are going to be a better option. It also means someone is not going to have as much room for layering, so they are not great for winter fishing. This is a great option for spring and fall.
- Literal Weight: These are surprisingly lightweight. If one is hiking a long distance though and it’s more than about 65°, one is going to want to check out a pair of ultralight waders for better breathability.
- Storage: These waders are only three layers, so they pack down easily and don’t take up much space.
- Suspender System: These suspenders come together in the back, so the waders fit snuggly and I am not constantly losing them off my shoulder, nor do I have to crank down on them to get them to fit and stay up.
- Wading Belt: Nice, tight, and functional elastic wading belt that sits low on the hips and is easy to adjust.
- Packability: Being only three layers, these pack down almost as well as the ultralight waders Orvis also offers.
- Warranty: There is a six-year warranty for repair or replacement. After that, Orvis gives a $75 credit toward one’s next pair. I have had to send mine back once for a slow leak in one foot, but it came back great and only took about four weeks.
Issues I’ve encountered
- Quality: I have only owned them for a year and did not fish in them that much, and they did develop a small leak in the right leg that I had to have repaired.
- Durability: I have owned them for a year and I have already had to send them off for repair this summer. There are signs of wear at the gravel guards also, and I’m not sure how many more years I will get out of them.
- Versatility: These are great for fishing in ideal temperatures of 45–65°F. But if I am fishing in colder weather they are thin and the active fit doesn’t give me much room to layer, and they are not very breathable, so they get clammy above 65°F when I wear them.
- Insulation: Not great. These are wonderful from about 45–65°F.
Favorite moment with this gear
I was fishing a tailwater this summer that is 55° even in the middle of July so it was far too cold for the wet wading even though the air temperature was about 90°F. Other people that were wet wading couldn’t fish the full day because they were too cold, but these were perfect and I was able to get further into the water. As a result, I was able to cast further across the river to where the good fish were sitting. I ended up catching my personal best brown trout — a solid 20-incher.
Value for the money vs. other options
For the price, these waders are great, especially with the six-year warranty and the $75 credit toward a new pair. If I were looking for a good pair of all-year-round waders though, I would definitely spend the money and go for the Orvis Pro Waders.
Orvis Women’s Clearwater Waders are great waders for someone looking to try out the sport who doesn’t fish many days out of the year or who is just looking for something for when it is too cold out to wet wade. If someone does a lot of small stream fishing or winter fishing, these are not going to work out for them. However, if they only fish a little or during spring or fall, these will be perfect, and they can’t beat the warranty.