Orvis Encounter Waders review

Orvis Encounter Waders may be the cheapest in the Orvis range, but they're superb quality breathable chest waders for the money. They're also available for women and children as well as men and come in a massive range of shapes and sizes.

Orvis Encounter Waders review
© Fly and Lure
Orvis Encounter Waders review
Picture copyright © Fly and Lure
Orvis Encounter Waders review
Orvis Wading Estimated reading time 7 - 12 minutes

What are Orvis Encounter Waders?

The Orvis Encounter Waders are the lowest-priced waders in Orvis' range but are really great quality, especially for the asking price. They're breathable waders chest waders and are available in boot-foot versions, which Wellington style boots attached to the feet, or the more popular neoprene stocking-foot booties.

Orvis Encounter Waders are the cheapest in the Orvis range.

How are they made?

Orvis Encounter Waders are breathable chest waders made from a durable four layer nylon fabric. The material feels a bit like the kind of thing modern waterproof jackets are made from and it keeps water out and protects from punctures caused by thistles, bushes or stones. A polyurethane laminate keeps moisture from getting in. They feel very well put together for the price and they look great.

They shed water well and haven't leaked yet.

What features do they have?

Orvis Encounter Waders come with belt loops and are supplied with an elasticated wading belt that you tighten around your waist to reduce the amount of water that gets inside the waders in the event of you falling in. They come with a set of adjustable braces to help you adjust them for height and have a really nice "kangaroo-style" hand warmer pocket on the front and a zippered mesh pocket for storing your fly box.

The bottoms of the waders have elasticated gravel guards which pull over the tops of your wading boots (which are sold separately) and which prevent grit and sand getting inside the boots and causing leaks. The stocking feet themselves are excellent. They're ergonomically designed, soft, spacious enough to allow thick socks to be worn and very comfortable.

Orvis Encounter Waders in action on the Dee.
George has had 18 months of regular use out of his Orvis Encounter Waders without so much as a pinhole leak. They still look like new.

What styles are available?

Orvis is one of a handful of fly fishing gear manufacturers who makes its waders in different shapes and sizes to suit women and children as well as men of various statures. We originally bought this pair for Mrs Fly&Lure but they got handed down to George who as a lanky 5'4" 10-year-old had outgrown his original pair of waders in record time. Despite being supposedly cut for a woman's curvy bits, they actually proved to be a decent fit for a ridiculously tall child, and nobody would ever know. Providing they don't read this review...

Orvis makes waders for children and women as well as men.

What sizes are available?

The mens' Orvis Encounter Waders come in sizes to suit men from as small as 5'5 to as tall as 6'5" or more. If your children fly fish, the Orvis Encounter Kids' Waders will fit them from heights from 4' to 5'3". The Orvis Encounter Womens' Waders fit women from a "petite" 33-25-33" to an "XL" 32-44-46". The womens' ones cater for a wide range of hip, waist and bust sizes too, so "can look nicely fitted with a made to measure appearance" - so says Mrs Fly&Lure.

Orvis Encounter Mens' Wader size chart 

Body sizeChest sizeInside legBoot sizeHeight rangeWeight range
Small34-36"28-30"7-95'5"-5'8"130-160 lbs
Medium/Short38-40"28-30"7-95'5"-5'8"140-180 lbs
Medium38-40"30-32"8-105'7"-5'10"140-180 lbs
Medium/Long38-40"32-34"9-115'10"-6'1"140-180 lbs
Large/Short42-44"28-30"8-105'7"-5'10"180-220 lbs
Large42-44"30-32"9-115'10"-6'2"180-220 lbs
Large/Long42-44"32-34"10-126'1"-6'4"180-220 lbs
Large/XLong42-44"34-36"10-126'5"+180-220 lbs
XL/Short46-48"28-30"9-115'7"-5'10"210-240 lbs
XL46-48"30-32"10-125'10"-6'2"210-240 lbs
XL/Long46-48"32-34"12-146'1"-6'4"210-240 lbs
XL/XLong46-48"34-36"12-146'5"+210-240 lbs
XXL/Short50-52"28-30"10-125'7"-5'10"220-260 lbs
XXL50-52"30-32"12-145'10"-6'3"220-260 lbs

Orvis Encounter Womens' Wader size chart

Body size Inside leg Bust Waist Hips Boot size
XS Petite 30" 33.5-34.5" 25.5-26.5" 35.5-36.5" 5-7
XS Regular 32" 33.5-34.5" 25.5-26.5" 35.5-36.5" 5-7
S Petite 30" 35.5-36.5" 27.5-28.5" 37.5-38.5" 6-8
S Regular 32" 35.5-36.5" 27.5-28.5" 37.5-38.5" 6-8
S Tall 34" 35.5-36.5" 27.5-28.5" 37.5-38.5" 7-9
M Petite 30" 37.5-39" 29.5-31" 39.5-41" 7-9
M Regular 32" 37.5-39" 29.5-31" 39.5-41" 7-9
M Tall 34" 37.5-39" 29.5-31" 39.5-41" 7-9
L Petite 30" 40.5-42" 32.5-34" 42.5-44" 7-9
L Regular 32" 40.5-42" 32.5-34" 42.5-44" 7-9
L Tall 34" 40.5-42" 32.5-34" 42.5-44" 8-10
XL Petite 30" 44-46" 36-38" 46-48" 8-10
XL Regular 32" 44-46" 36-38" 46-48" 8-10

Orvis Encounter Kids' Wader size chart

Body sizeChest sizeInside legBoot sizeHeight range

What are they like to use?

George has been using his Orvis Encounter Waders for the past 18 months. They've been used on dozens of trips for wading in the river in subzero temperatures, fishing for grayling in the height of summer, protecting him from the cold and rain when fishing from a boat during the spring and for fishing the reservoirs and stillwaters all year round. They've proven to be reliable and comfortable, whatever the weather and have remained leak free so far.

They keep you warm in the boat as well as in the river.

How much do they cost?

The most popular stocking foot Orvis Encounter Waders cost £179 a pair and are available in models for men, women and children. You'll need to purchase a pair of wading boots separately to use them. These can be picked up from £50-100 a pair, depending on the brand. They're great quality waders for the money.

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