Listen… there comes a point in time when patching your lucky waders isn’t a good idea anymore (see below).
When shopping for waders it really depends on how much you fish.
If you are a casual fly fisher then you can probably milk a cheaper pair for years as long as you are storing them correctly. Storing waders in a hot, sunny place (like the back seat of your car) is no good. If you fish hard and a lot, you are going to need to drop some coin for the more durable stuff. You definitely want 3 or more layers of protection from the knees down. Shop for deals and you can usually find the right wader for you at an affordable price. We highly recommend Simms Gear but there are other companies out there that make some great products. To patch waders we highly recommend getting something like Loon’s UV Wader Repair. This with a little UV light can save the day should you pop a hole in your waders on the way to the water.