The presence of polar pesticides in environmental waters is a growing problem. After application their migration into the aqueous phase is promoted by their high water solubility. Transport processes are usually complex and inputs are generally stochastic; this makes monitoring of this class of pesticides challenging using low volume spot samples of water. Recently there has been a trend to use passive samplers to monitor pesticides in river catchments as it is an in-situ time integrative sampling technique. The three main types of device used for this purpose are, Chemcatcher®, POCIS and o-DGT. This article reviews the fate and current state-of-the-art for monitoring polar pesticides in aqueous matrices. Principles and the theory of passive sampling and strategies for passive sampler design and operation are presented. Advances in the application of passive sampling devices for measuring polar pesticides are extensively critiqued; future trends in their use are also discussed.