The word “waders” is a waterproof boot that extends to the chest and is usually made of rubber. There are some made of PVC material, neoprene, or Gore-Tex. When they were first introduced and mass produced, rubber became more perfected for use as well as more durable.
When it comes to waders, almost nothing else gets you as close to your work as a hunter or fisherman. Waders do just like the name implies, and help you get through water without getting your regular clothing wet. But buying a pair isn’t as simple as it seems. There are a few different kinds of waders to consider, depending on how you expect to use them. Here’s some of the criteria we uses to choose the best chest waders for duck hunting.
How to Choose the Best Duck Waders
In order to stay warm and comfortable while hunting, you should expect to invest some extra money in order to get high-quality waders. Duck hunting, for example, can be wet, muddy, and windy. In order to stay dry, the best thing to do is have good equipment, starting with the best waterfowl waders.
There are three main materials to consider when looking for a pair for good waders, nylon, neoprene, and rubber. Nylon waders will be the lightest weight, and will be much easier to put on and take off. Most trout fishermen will opt for nylon waders, since they are much better during warmer weather. But, if you are duck hunting or in colder, wet conditions, you might want to consider a different option for the best duck hunting waders.
Neoprene waders are by far the warmest choice for hunting applications, and are very comfortable and durable. There are multiple thicknesses available, such as 3-mil and 5-mil designs. In warmer conditions, go for 3-mil, while the 5-mil is better for colder weather. Also consider the thinsulate rating on the boot-foot wader.
Rubber waders are the last option and are the most traditional and classic among hunters and anglers. These waders are durable and not quite as expensive as some of the newer options on the market. Rubber will make you sweat a little more, as well as get a bit stiffer when its cold out. With all of these options, let’s take a look at some of the best hunting waders on the market today.
Made by Sitka in the USA, these waders are built to go the entire season with ease and offer reliable versatility. They include lacrosse aeroform boots that are lightweight, warm, and durable, and come insulated to keep you warm on those cold days. The shins and knees are reinforced with foam padding to help endure years of wear and tear, and will withstand breaking ice and rugged brush.
Sitka gear is known for their high quality gear, and these waders are no exception. These waders are some of the most versatile, adaptable pieces of gear across all terrains and climates and would make a welcome addition to any outdoorsman’s arsenal of gear. They might be the best breathable hunting waders on our list and the best waders for duck hunting period.
Frogg Toggs is a great brand that is well known for its waterproof materials. These waders include a zippered, removable 120 gram insulated liner for more versatility. Heavy duty abrasion resistant nylon covers the shins, knees, and seat areas in order to provide more durability for those rugged places you might take them in.
It features a quick access 10 shell holder, and a big zippered chest pocket for additional storage. The 1200 gram thinsulate boot is extured on the outsole and a wool felt midsole, making it very comfortable.
For hunters who want a quality pair of waders without spending their entire budget on them, these are a great choice and will get the job done, and Frogg Toggs stand behind their product lines.
The most lightweight option on this list, the Hodgman Mackenzie waders weigh 35% less than your traditional rubber waders. They are very flexible and provide less chafing than rubber waders, while the tough nylon shell keeps out all of the water.
The cleated PVC boot is 25% more durable than rubber, and while they may seem very basic, still include adjustable suspenders and internal pockets for storage.
These waders are perfect for outdoorsmen who want to try out waders and save a lot of money. These might not be the best option for super cold weather or situation, but are great to dip your toes in the water. These are cheap hunting waders, but will do the job in certain situations.
Drake is a great waterfowl brand dedicated to providing hunters with the best gear that makes hunting even more enjoyable. The Eqwader 2.0 is proof of this, and are the most dependable waders on the market. All of the seams are covered with liquid seam weld that will keep the water out no matter what.
With additional features like higher sides, two front pockets, and flexible knee pads, these waders provide a lot of extras for no extra cost.
Add these features in to an already bomb proof pair of waders, and you have yourself a piece of gear that will outperform any others. Drake has hit a home run with these waders, and they are a quality piece of gear. As far as chest waders for duck hunting go, these are close to the top.
Made of both neoprene and nylon, the LaCrosse Alpha Swampfox Waders feature 600 gram thinsulate ultra insulation, keeping you plenty warm but still giving plenty of flexibility and versatility. Both lightweight and breathable, the nylon upper is still 100% waterproof and features double-stitched seams to improve durability.
The great thing about these duck waders is their ability to convert from chest waders to pant waders by simply rolling the taslon nylon upper down and securing it to the belt. The outsole is durable and built for superior traction in snow, mud, and loose terrain.
A great pair of waders for just about any application, the Alpha Swampfox waders would be a great choice for anybody. According to a lot of hunters we talk to, these might be the best chest waders for the money or best waders for the money.
At the end of the day the best waders for duck hunting are the ones you can afford that check off all the boxes you’re looking for like type, fit, and feel.