May 23, 2022
Skwala designed the Carbon Wader ($500, skwalafishing.com) as part of a lightweight, breathable wader-and-jacket system that’s compact and functional for travel anywhere in the world. The kit is also perfect right here at home—especially when it’s hot, and you need to be prepared for changing weather that may include afternoon thunderstorms.
These waders are built with a dense nylon face fabric that’s smooth so it doesn’t make a lot of swishing noise when you walk. The textile proved durable enough for me to push through thickets of thorns on two continents, and still keep the 4-layer waterproof/breathable laminate intact, and the inside dry. The articulated fourchette leg pattern adds to the comfort and mobility of these waders, and when you slide the chest portion down in hot weather, you might just confuse them with a pair of comfortable pants. They even have a cuff at the bottom that eschews the neoprene “gravel guards” we’re all accustomed to, and works more like jeans over the top of cowboy boots.
I wore Carbon Waders for a week in Chile, where the nights are cold and the sun is blazing hot in the day. The sleek waders fold up small, but they have everything you need for a full day of adventure—inside and outside zippered pockets, comfortable booties for long hikes, and best of all a comfortable shoulder yoke with a sliding drop-down system that lets you lower to waist-high when it’s hot, and slide back up for deep river crossings. The closures are super slick, magnetic hooks that snap themselves together when you pull them up to chest height. They’re quick and easy to release, but they never come undone inadvertently. If you’re fishing in rapidly changing conditions—or halfway across the world—Carbon Waders have you ready for anything. They come in seven standard men’s sizes and two foot sizes.