- 1 Top Duck Hunting Waders
- 2 Important Criteria Must Be Considered When Buying a Pair of Duck Hunting Waders
- 3 What Should you Wear under the Waders?
- 4 How To Store Your Chest Waders?
- 5 Best Duck Hunting Waders Comparison Chart
- 6 Wrap Up
Everybody knows that if you’re a hunter, you’re never warm during duck hunting season. No matter how good of a caller you are, you won’t be able to shoot as many ducks as you’d like if you can’t hunt for long enough. Chest waders will allow you to stay immersed in waist-high water and still be warm, no matter how cold the water temperatures are. The best duck hunting waders will keep the cold water away from your skin and trap the warmth produced by your body within them, keeping you warm and comfortable for a long time, so you can continue hunting even when other people gave up.
But did you know that you can use waders for more than one season if you store them properly? In the following article, we will explain how to care for your waders at the end of the hunting season so you will be able to use them for longer periods of time, and how to store them. We review the best selling waders in 2017 and show both their pros and their cons, so you can make your own decision on which is the right model for you. Don’t know how to choose the best wader model for your needs? Don’t worry! In the following article, we explain which are the most important features of duck hunting waders, and what you should look for when buying one.
However, waders can also be used for different purposes besides hunting, so you might want to pick the best model for fly fishing or gathering shellfish, so make sure you read our comprehensive buying guide before you decide on buying a certain model. Some might be more suited for warm weather than others, and the traction different waders offer might vary, so picking the right one is very important.
Top Duck Hunting Waders
LaCrosse Swamp Tuff Ultra Insulation WadersThis wader’s construction is made out of neoprene. Every double stitched seam is taped and bonded on the inside, and then the neoprene is coated on the outside with a non-abrasive liquid rubber for waterproof protection and increased durability. These waders are also lined with fleece for extra warmth and come with well-insulated boots which provide a comfortable and warm wear. The outsole of the boots provides good traction. A special combination of Lycra and Spandex is layered over the neoprene to increase its durability. The wader’s camouflage pattern is specially designed to make you blend into the background when you’re hunting in marshes or areas with flooded timber.
- Large Shell Pocket – This wader has a large shell pocket, and you should be able to fit an entire box of shells in it.
- Very Warm – The wader is so warm you’ll be able to use it in the cold season without any problems
- Bad Boots – The boots are designed to hold your ankle, so it won’t get chafed inside them. However, some people might have some problems getting their feet past the ankles, and they might feel some pressure after they do it.
Allen Bootfoot Chest WadersThis neoprene waders feature a storage pocket and an oversized hand warmer. The mossy oak camouflage will make you blend in the background whenever you’re out hunting, making you less visible to animals. The waders have a 3.5 mm thick neoprene construction and come with 600G insulated rubber boots that feature a semi-hard toe cap and a steel arch. The waders have a high back design and reinforced knee pads. Both the suspenders and the waist belt are adjustable, so you will be able to wear the waders as closely as you see fit.
- Warm And Dry – These waders do exactly what you buy them for. They will keep you warm and dry when you’re wading in the cold season. You don’t have to worry about getting into marshes or water when you’re wearing these because they’re going to keep you dry.
- Accurate Boot Sizes – These waders’ boot have accurate sizes, so if you know you wear a size 10, you should buy a size 10 boot for these waders, as well.
- Ordered By Boot Size – These waders are ordered by boot size, so some people can expect to have some fitting problems. If you have large feet but you’re short, you might find yourself buying waders too big for you.
Allen Cattail Bootfoot Chest WadersThese waders are constructed out of 3.5 mm neoprene and have a mossy oak blades camouflage to allow you to blend in with your environment every time you go out hunting. The waders have a large storage pocket and an oversized hand warmer. The have a high back design and 1000G insulated rubber boots. The boots feature a semi-hard toe cap and an outsole designed for traction. These waders will keep you warm and dry in the cold season, even if you stand in cold water above your waist. The stitching is well done and not a drop of water will enter your waders.
- Cushioned Knee Pads – These waders’ cushioned knee caps will allow you to kneel and crawl easily and comfortably, if necessary.
- Keep You Warm – The waders’ stitching is well made, and the lining will keep you warm and comfortable at all times. You don’t have to worry about water reaching into your waders, as this model is very well insulated.
- Boots Too Large – Most customers complained about these wader’s boot size. If you order your regular size, you might feel that they are too large for you, so the safest bet would be buying a pair one or even two numbers smaller.
Frogg Toggs Bootfoot Cleated WadersThese waders are made out of 3.5 mm thick neoprene and have additional neoprene reinforced knee pads. The waders’ hand warmer is fleece lined and spacious, allowing you to keep your hands warm in the colder days of the year. The high back design is will help you go in the deeper water for your wading, and will also be an advantage for float tube use. The suspenders have a hook and loop adjustment, so you will be able to make the warders fit you snugly whenever you go hunting. The wader’s boots are also made out of neoprene and have sliding gravel guards. They are much warmer than regular rubber boots, and they will keep you comfortable for a longer time.
- Very Comfortable Boots – These boots are warmer and more comfortable than the ones you’ll find on other warders. They will keep you in the field for a long time.
- Boots Sized Correctly – The boots that come with these waders are warmer than others, but they are also sized correctly. So if you’re a size 9 1/2, you can order a size 10 and wear some thick socks.
- Too Long – Some customers complained that the waders might be too long for their size.
Allen River Bootfoot Chest WadersThese waders have a nylon construction and a PVC coating which makes them waterproof but keeps them lightweight and comfortable. This fabric is lighter than rubber and will allow you to move more naturally, but it will not protect you from the cold weather and water so much. The waders use the web suspenders over your shoulders for height adjustment and a drawstring at the top for width adjustment. The boots are wide and comfortable, and they will keep your feet warm and dry. Nylon is a durable material and it’s used for many purposes, and the pants will be last you a long time if you protect them from tears.
- Lightweight – These waders are light and comfortable, so you’ll be able to wear them for long periods of time. They are thinner than rubber pants so they won’t offer much insulation, but you can wear warmer clothes underneath
- Unhindered Movement – Rubber waders can somewhat limit your movements, but this is not the case with this model. You will be able to move as well as you would wearing normal pants.
- More Fragile – These waders are more fragile than rubber ones, so you will have to be careful not to tear them with a fishing hook or in a bush.
Hodgman Mackenzie Nylon/PVC Bootfoot Chest WadersThese waders are constructed out of nylon and have a thin PVC coating which increases their water resistance and durability. The waders are up to 35% lighter than rubber ones, and they will allow you to move freely. The coated nylon will not insulate as well as rubber does, but it will still keep the water from touching you. You should be able to use these waders in the colder days of the year if you wear warmer clothes underneath. The PVC boots are lighter than rubber ones, and they should be more durable as well.
- Lightweight – These waders are light and you won’t tire from wearing them for a long time when you’re out hunting or fishing
- Good For Beginners – These waders are a good choice for every beginner because they won’t cost too much, and you’ll be able to use them at least once so you can experience wading. If you realize you don’t actually like it, no problem, you didn’t spend a fortune on them anyway.
- No Wading Belt – These waders don’t come with a belt, and using them without one might not be such a good idea. Water can actually get in your waders if you don’t have a belt, and you might find getting up difficult if you happen to fall in the water.
Important Criteria Must Be Considered When Buying a Pair of Duck Hunting Waders
If you’re going to invest in a pair of waders for duck hunting, you might as well make sure you buy a good model. The following section will show you which criteria you should look for when buying waders.
- Material: Even though most manufacturers rely on neoprene for their waders, some use nylon instead. Both materials have advantages and disadvantages.
- Neoprene – Neoprene is the same waterproof material that’s usually used to make scuba diving suits. The material’s thickness can vary, but most manufacturers use a 3.5 mm thickness.
Neoprene is a great choice for waders because it’s waterproof and a good insulator as well. You will be able to use waders made out of neoprene with only short pants underneath and still be warm and comfortable. The weakest point of neoprene waders is represented by the seams and stitching. Manufacturers usually place the stitching on the inside of the waders, and they also coat it with a protective film, but sometimes the seams can allow water to pour in. The good news is that small cracks in neoprene waders can be repaired with silicone or super glue, so you don’t have to break the bank to adjust them. Neoprene is thick and can somewhat limit the range of your movement. However, the waterproof and warmth combination still make this material very good for waders.
- Nylon – Some manufacturers choose to make their waders out of nylon. Nylon is also a waterproof material, and manufacturers also coat it with a layer of PVC, increasing their durability and waterproofing them even more.
Nylon is lightweight, and waders made out of it won’t hinder your movement so much as the neoprene ones. However, nylon is not such a good insulator, so you will need thicker clothing underneath your waders if you want to stay warm. A disadvantage of using nylon waders is that they can tear or rip pretty quick. You will have to be careful not to pinch them with your fishing hook, or not to catch them in a bush or fallen branch because that might cause a rip. Fortunately, you will be able to repair most small rips with superglue, so it will be easy and affordable.
- Design: Hunting waders have more designs, but most of them can be split into two categories
- High Back Design – If the waders have a high back design, you will be able to wade into deeper water or marshes. They also provide some extra protection if you’re immersed in running waters, as more of your back will be covered by waterproof material.
- Low Back Design – These waders are usually designed for shallower waters, where there isn’t any risk of water reaching your back. Instead of having a patch of waterproof material over your back, the waders won’t offer any additional protection.
No matter which type of waders you prefer, the best thing to do is to buy a waist belt before using them, if they don’t come with one. Besides allowing you to fit the waders closer to your body, a waist belt will also keep the water out of your waders in case you trip and fall into the water. If a lot of water would enter your waders, you might find getting up more difficult than you would expect.
- Size: Finding the right sized chest waders for duck hunting might be more tricky than you would think. There is more than one way in which manufacturers sell their products, and you should be aware of all of them before making a purchase.
- Boot Size – Some manufacturers sell their waders according to the boot size. This can lead to many problems because people with the same size feet have different constitutions and heights. If you’re short and slim but you have large feet, you might find that your shoe sized waders will be too large for you. On the other hand, if you’re a big person you might need to order a larger shoe size so the pants and chest of the waders can fit you properly. The best thing to do in this situation is to carefully read the reviews for the product, and if that doesn’t give you sufficient information, contact customer support.
- Boot Size And Constitution – Some manufacturers will also provide a constitution besides the boot size. This should simplify your decision making and make the waders fit you better. The first thing you should do is to check out the reviews and look for people who have your boot size and constitution and see what they say. Maybe the waders fit like a glove, or maybe you have to buy a larger size of them to fit. These details should help you in your decision making, but if you’re still not sure which size to order, you can contact customer support.
What Should you Wear under the Waders?
Many people who are new to wading have the same problem. They don’t know what to wear under the waders to be comfortable while they’re hunting or fishing. The following section will give you some ideas of what to wear in different scenarios.
- Wearing Waders In Cold Weather: Most people buy waders because they want to keep fishing or hunting even in the cold season. Of course, this can be done without waders as well, but why shouldn’t you buy the best equipment for the job?
- Nylon Waders – If you buy waders made out of nylon and you want to use them in cold weather when the water temperatures are low, you should wear thick clothes underneath. Nylon waders will help with keeping the cold water from touching your skin, but they won’t offer too much insulation against the low temperatures, so you will need to wear thick socks and pants underneath.
- Neoprene Waders – Neoprene waders offer more protection and insulation than nylon ones, so you might not have to dress so warmly. Not only will the neoprene stop the cold water from touching your skin thus preventing your body’s temperature from dropping, but it will also keep most of the heat produced by your body from escaping the waders. This will help you keep warm for a long time. However, you should always tighten a waist belt around you, so the warmth will not escape the waders easily.
- Wearing Waders In Warm Weather: If you plan on wearing your waders in late spring, summer, or early autumn, there’s no need to dress too warm.
- Nylon Waders – Nylon waders are more suited to be worn when it’s warmer outside. They will provide sufficient protection against the cold water, keeping it from touching your skin, but they will also allow your skin to breathe a little, making your fishing or hunting trip comfortable throughout. Depending on the temperatures outside, you can either wear shorts or only your boxers underneath.
- Neoprene Waders – Neoprene waders are designed as good insulators, so they will keep you warm both in the summer and in the winter. Neoprene is rather thick and it will get warmer under the sun, so might start to sweat even in the spring, let alone summer. The waders will keep the cold water from touching your skin, but they will also block some of the heat produced by your body, making you uncomfortable at times.
How To Store Your Chest Waders?
The most important thing when you’re caring for your waders is to avoid making holes in them. Most people want to use their waders for more than one season, but as soon as they take them out from storage, they find cracks, leaks, and holes in the waders, making them unusable. The following section will show you some tips and tricks on how to store your chest waders properly, so you will be able to use them for more seasons.
- Don’t Fold Them: The most common problem people do when it comes to storing their waders is to fold them and put them in a closet. It doesn’t matter if your waders are made out of rubber, neoprene, or nylon, if you’re going to store them folded until the next season, chances are they will crack at the fold.
- Use Wader Hangers: Wader hangers are a cheap way you can use to store your waders. Most of them cost under $15, and you can hang them in a closet, over a rod in your garage, or even over a door. Some wader hangers are fixed, so they will only fit in some places, while others are adjustable, so you will be able to hang them in more places. Here are some of the advantages of using wader hangers
- Keeps Them Straight – If you hang your waders from a wader hanger, they will be stretched at their fullest, so there won’t be any folds and wrinkles in their material. The knee pads will also stretch under the waders’ weight, so they will keep intact as well.
- Work With Every Type of Wader – It doesn’t matter if you have high-backed waders, or if you have low-backed ones, you will be able to use the wader hangers to store all of them. You simply put the boots through the hoops of the hanger and you hand them somewhere, and you’re all set. Next season when you pick the up, they’ll be as good as you left them.
- Work With All Materials – Even the more expensive waders made out of neoprene can crack at the folds when you store them improperly, so make sure you hang your pair if you want to use it for a longer time. Wader hangers are a good storing choice, no matter the material used for your pair, nylon, rubber, or neoprene.
Best Duck Hunting Waders Comparison Chart
|LaCrosse Swamp Tuff Ultra Insulation Waders||$$$$||Realtree Max 5||7 M 10 KING 11KING 12 KING||Neoprene|
|Allen Bootfoot Chest Waders||$$$||Mossy Oak||7 / 8 / 10 / 11 / 12||3.5mm neoprene construction with 600G thinsulate insulated rubber boots|
|Allen Cattail Bootfoot Chest Waders||$$||Mossy Oak||7 / 8 / 9 / 10 / 11 / 12 / 13||Nylon knit Mossy Oak Blades camo jersey material laminated to 3.5 mil neoprene|
|Frogg Toggs Bootfoot Cleated Waders||$$||Dark Green||11||Neoprene|
|Allen River Bootfoot Chest Waders||$||Green||7 / 8 / 9 / 10 / 11 / 12 / 13||Rugged nylon fabric|
|Hodgman Mackenzie Nylon PVC Bootfoot Chest Waders||$||Brown||7 / 8 / 9 / 10 / 11 / 12 / 13||Nylon/PVC|
No matter how well you develop your duck hunting technique, you won’t be able to shoot as many ducks as you would like if you don’t have all the proper equipment. And when we talk about equipment, we don’t just mean your shotgun, rifle, decoys, or blinds. Waders are also a part of that equipment, and you should always wear a pair if you want to hunt for a longer period of time.
People usually think that the best duck hunting waders should cost a lot, but that’s not necessarily true. The best waders for you might be the ones that allow you to move freely, while for another person the best pair might be the one that offers the best available traction. Every hunter is different and prefers different shooting conditions. Some like to hunt when it’s sunny, while others prefer to hunt ducks when it’s cloudy or even raining or snowing. No matter what your hunting preference is, there is no doubt that you should feel warm and comfortable throughout the entire season.
Hunting waders are made out of different materials, each of them with certain advantages and disadvantages, so you should have a clear idea on how you’re going to use the waders most before buying them. In our comprehensive buying guide, we explain how different materials used for making waders can alter your experiences, and which design is better in certain scenarios, so make sure you check it out before you decide on buying a certain model.
Most people use waders for shooting, but they can be used for fishing, especially fly fishing, and shellfish gathering with great results. No matter how you intend to use your waders, you should always make sure that the pair you’re going to buy is the right choice for your favorite activity.
Whatever tactical outfit you are searching for: tactical vest or pants, tactical backpacks or waterproof backpacks, you’d better keep looking for a good investment, and sacrifice neither durability nor comfort in this order. You should try to choose the gloves that match the objectives of your mission the best so that you have the right tactical gear.