Quote Originally Posted by Fly Goddess View Post
Rick in your case, it sounds like the opening hit the water before anything else. While the material is breathable, air can escape but it takes awhile due to the tight weave. You basically took a pillow case and held it in the water opening first, of course the bottom of the pillowcase will fill with air, but push on it and it would sink. Same would have happened to you.

I personally feel that the belt is more for keeping water out than air in. As you stated your waders filled with water. Increased your weight and you are now trying to climb out with that extra weight...Tis tuff.

I have waded rivers where I have had to grab the shirt of the guy in front of me, because even standing, I was having a hard time getting my feet on the bottom, as the current kept pushing them aside. I was floating, and there was NO air in them there waders. They were like a second skin up to my chest.
I've had that experience once when I remembered wading at chest level was asking for trouble and I didn't want to test a myth so I backed out. I'm sure you can't trap air under your waders unless you go in head first because as you start wading in the water pressure forces any big pockets out the top. I think your best bet is a wading belt/waist cinches, a good staff and plenty of common sense. BTW, both my falls on the water were in knee deep water where I just got to much in a hurry and didn't think fast water that shallow was an issue. An old army buddy of mine found out the same way but his mistake was not wearing a belt and it near killed him- also in knee deep and fast water. I found him a half hour later soaked, drinking and drunk trying to warm up and babbling about how life flashed before his eyes.