If you’re a waterfowler or a fisherman, then you understand the importance of having a nice pair of waders while you’re out in the middle of the water. If you’re new to these hobbies or you haven’t been able to find a decent pair of waders for yourself, then you’ve come to the right place. Before we discuss some of the best waders on the market today, let’s talk about what you should be looking for when you decide to make a purchase!
Buying Guide: Duck Hunting Waders
Durability and Toughness
One of the most important features that you should be looking for when you purchase a pair of waders are how durable and tough they are. You don’t want to get a hole in your waders while you’re out in the middle of a pond during the cold months, so looking for a pair of waders that have puncture resistant outer layers and reinforced knees will help you out a lot in the long run. Also, make sure that the stitching is reinforced, as well.
Typically, waders come in a boot-foot configuration, which allows you to walk through mud without getting suctioned or stuck. Most waders come with tread that can function in just about any type of conditions that the waterfowler could end up in, so there’s really no need to purchase more than one pair of boots.
Making sure that your feet are kept warm is one of the most important things to think about when you’re waist-high in cold water. This is why it’s absolutely essential to find a pair of waders that have excellent insulation. People enjoy this hobby because it’s fun, not because they want to test their resilience to freezing cold temperatures in the middle of a pond. With the right waders, this won’t be a problem.
Top 10 Waders for Duck Hunting- Reviews
1. Compass 360 Deadfall Breathable STFT Chest Wader
It goes without saying that it can be quite a bit uncomfortable to spend your day standing in the middle of a pond waiting for something to bite, but with the right waders by your side, you can feel a little more relaxed and at ease. If you’re looking for a new pair of waders for this fishing season, then check out these 360 Deadfall Breathable STFT Chest Waders by COMPASS. These waders not only have a two-in-one B.A.P chest pocket design with a zippered storage pocket, but there’s also a fleece lined pass through pocket that will give you maximum storage access. Not to mention the flip out chest pocket included with these waders, which is perfect for any of your devices that you don’t want to get wet.
These waders are created out of durable 4-ply nylon, as well as two layer knee and shin reinforcement. The booties, which are 4mm foot fit stretch neoprene booties, are ergonomically designed to prevent them from bunching up. The booties are also designed to fit each foot perfectly, allowing you to move through the water with ease. Because these waders come with adjustable elastic suspenders with a quick release buckle, people of any shape or size will be able to comfortably wear them with no problems at all. If you’re looking for a great pair of waders that will keep you warm and dry for quite some time, then you should certainly consider purchasing these 360 Deadfall Breathable STFT Chest Waders by COMPASS.
- Reinforced layering
- Inseam can leak
- Can get holes after a couple years of use
- Tight fitting gravel guards
2. OAKI Toddler & Children’s Neoprene Waterproof Fishing Waders for Kids
If you’re the type of person who enjoys bringing their kids out with them while they’re fishing, then you can understand how frustrating it can be to have them out there all day, especially if they’re uncomfortable. While most waders are far too big for children to wear, these waders were made with children in mind. If you’re looking for a reliable pair of waders that will keep your little ones warm at all times, then you should consider purchasing these impressive Toddler & Children’s Neoprene Waterproof Fishing Waders by OAKI. Thanks to the fact that these waders come with adjustable straps, built-in boots, and a belted waist, these waders will make sure that your child is comfortable at all times, while ensuring that they’re protected from the wet and cold conditions. These waders are not only extremely lightweight, but they’re also unbelievably easy to put on and take off.
In fact, your children should be able to put these on without too much help from you, which is nice when you have your own equipment and gear to worry about. These waders were made with adventure at the forefront of the mind, especially when it comes to the active lifestyle that most children enjoy. Thanks to the rugged boot tread patterns, falls and slips are minimized, so your child will have no problem jumping around on wet surfaces with these waders. If you’re looking for a fun, reliable pair of waders for your little one, then these might just be the right waders for you!
- Comes in a variety of colors
- Comes with multiple pockets
- 800 gram thinsulate insulation in boots
- Can leak
- Sizing is a bit off
- Soles wear out quickly
3. Hodgman Caster Neoprene Cleated Bootfoot Chest Waders
For some people out there, fishing is the type of sport that you’re able to take part in all year long, which means that it’s unbelievably important to find a pair of fishing waders that will keep you warm during the cold months of the year. These Caster Neoprene Cleated Bootfoot Chest Waders by Hodgman were created with exactly that in mind. If you’re looking for a pair of waders that will be sure to keep you warm and dry in cold climates or on rainy days, then you should make certain to check these waders out before you buy anything else. With their reinforced double layered knees and 3.5mm neoprene shell, you can be rest assured that these waders will have no problem keeping you nice and warm no matter what the conditions are like.
These waders not only come with an internal pocket, but they also come with a top entry pocket that has a fleece lined hand warmer, which is perfect for those cold days out on the pond. These Caster Neoprene Cleated Bootfoot Chest Waders have Y-back elastic suspender straps with opposing buckles, as well as, a D-ring in the rear so you’re able to comfortably carry your net with you wherever you go. The boots on these waders are made out of 200 gram thinsulate rubber, and they have a cleated sole, so you’re able to make it through the worst type of terrain. If you’re looking for a reliable pair of waders that will be able to keep you warm, then these might just be the right ones for you.
- Leaks after a few years of use
- Glue on the inside of some pairs
- A bit heavy
4. SITKA Gear Delta Zip Wader
It can be a bit difficult to find the right pair of waders, especially if you plan on using them year round. WIth so many companies doing the bare minimum when it comes to the quality of their products, it can be hard to trust a company when they say that their product is reliable. Luckily, when SITKA says that you are able to rely on them, that’s exactly what you can do. If you’re looking for a pair of reliable waders to use this fishing season, then you should definitely look into purchasing these Gear Delta Zip Waders made by SITKA. One of the greatest benefits of these waders is the undeniable attention to detail that SITKA had when they created the boots of these waders.
Not only are the boots lightweight, durable, and warm, but they’re also able to make you a bit more agile so you’re able to get through the muck at the bottom of a pond or lake with ease. The boots are also attached to the waders with advanced heat-activated technology for a strong and streamlined joint, so you never have to worry about water leaking into your boots. Thanks to the waterproof YKK AQUASEAL zipper, you’re able to take these waders off and on without any kind of difficulty, which is great when you’re in a hurry or too exhausted to think. The shins and knees of these waders are reinforced with a rugged foam pad to endure years of difficult terrain and harsh conditions, so if you’re looking for a reliable pair of waders, these might just be the ones for you.
- Comes in different patterns/colors
- Straps can come undone
- Could benefit from an insole insert
5. Drake MST Eqwader 2.0 3.5mm 800 Gram Insulated Chest Waders Neoprene
As we said before, it’s imperative to find a pair of waders that you can feel comfortable to use for quite a few years. Well, thankfully, these MST Eqwader 2.0 3.5mm 800 Gram Insulated Chest Waders put on the market by Drake are considered to be one of the most dependable waders on the market today! Thanks to the fact that all of the external seams are covered with a unique Liquid Seam Weld and all of the internal seams are made with an extra wide waterproof seam seal tape, you will never have to worry about water finding its way into these waders while you’re enjoying your fishing trip.
While other companies choose to use one or the other of these waterproofing methods, Drake understands the importance of making sure that their customers are satisfied with the quality of all of their products. Drake also understands the importance of making sure that their customers are comfortable at all times, as well. Thanks to the higher sides, the two front pockets, and the Hydro-Flex knee pads that were added to reduce tension on the seams, you will feel comfortable the entire time you’re standing in the pond or lake fishing or hunting ducks. Drake prides themselves on being the producers of the best top of the line hunting and fishing products on the market today.
- Comes in a variety of colors
- Extremely waterproof
- Consumers must pay attention to sizing
6. Lacrosse Mallard II Expandable 1000G Insulated Wader – Men’s
As a fisherman, you understand that there’s really nothing worse than spending several months of your time planning and getting excited for a fishing trip with your family or friends, only to find out that your waders have a leak in them the moment you step into the pond. So when Lacrosse set out to make these Mallard II Expandable 1000G Insulated Waders, they did so with the avid fisherman in mind. They understand the frustration that can come with searching for a pair of reliable waders, which is why they created these Neoprene waders complete with double stitched seams and polyurethane reinforced knees and seat for extra durability.
The 1000G Thinsulate Ultra Insulation that is used in these waders is a unique combination of spandex and Lycra to ensure you that these waders are as durable as you need them to be. While a lot of companies boast that their waders are expandable, these waders provide up to an additional 16 inches of room in the torso, as well as, additional room in the thigh area. Thanks to the Swamp-Lite outsole, you’re able to gain incredible traction in the snow, mud, and loose terrain that you may come across. The buckle strap included with these waders is able to be used as a belt when the waders are folded down. Also, there is plenty of room for storage in these waders that have a top loading pocket and a hand warmer pocket.
- Comes in a variety of colors/patterns
- Heavy duty
- A bit heavy
- Run a bit small
7. Guide Gear Men’s Insulated Hunting Chest Waders
If you’re the type of person who enjoys fishing no matter what the season is, even if it’s 30 below and snowing, then you most likely know that it’s important to find a solid pair of waders that will undoubtedly keep your body warm at all times. These Arctic Circle-ready waders were not only made to be comfortable, but they were also made to be affordable enough for anyone to be able to purchase them. These Men’s Insulated Hunting Chest Waders by Guide Gear were made out of 5mm neoprene, which puts an extra strong barrier between you and the icy lake or pond. Thanks to the aggressive rubber-lug outsole of these waders, you’re able to keep moving forward without having to worry about slipping every few feet or so.
When you’re out in the pond fishing it’s pretty easy for your feet to become numb, but not with these waders. The 2,000 gram Thinsulate extra insulation included with these waders surrounds your feet to prevent them from becoming numb while you’re in the water. It goes without saying that fishing can be a little bit rough, which is why it’s important to find a pair of waders that can take the abuse. Thanks to the abrasion resistant coating and padded knees on these waders, you won’t have to worry about holes or tears that would destroy your fishing trip.
- Comes with zippered shotgun shell pouch that attaches to the D loop accessory rings
- Hand pocket lined with warm fleece
- Front hook and loop pocket
- Run on the longer side
- Boots run a bit large
8. Frogg Toggs Amphib Neoprene Bootfoot Chest Wader
No one likes having to spend unnecessary money on something that’s going to stop working the right way after only a few uses. When it comes to waders, this means that water is entering into your waders through holes or tears, which isn’t something that anyone wants to deal with. Luckily, these Amphib Neoprene Bootfoot Chest Waders by Frogg Toggs will allow you to wade into the water without having to worry about them getting ripped or torn along the way. These waders were designed with a high back to allow sportsmen the ability to wade out into the deeper water, which is where a lot of the fish and waterfowl like to hang out. The Neoprene suspenders are adjustable, meaning that these waders are suitable for people of all types of sizes.
The hand warmer pocket included with these waders allows you to give your cold hands a chance to warm up while you’re waiting around for something to bite your line. The reinforced knees make it easy to move around without the fear of tearing the material, which would allow water to get in and ruin your fishing trip. The rubber boots, which are made out of 200-gram Thinsulate insulated rubber, are cleated so you’ll have no problems moving across rocky terrain or the mucky floor of most ponds and lakes.
- Great for deep wading
- Sizing can be a bit confusing
- Can leak after a few years of use
- Can make you sweaty
9. Allen Cattail Bootfoot Neoprene Chest Waders
There are certain products that you can get away with buying for a cheaper price, but when it comes to waders that you’ll be using in the cold water of a pond or lake, you want to go with something that may cost a bit more, but will provide you with a great service. This is where these Cattail Bootfoot Neoprene Chest Waders by Allen Company will come in handy. They may cost a bit more, but you can be guaranteed that they will last through quite a few seasons right by your side. The nylon knit Mossy Oak Blades Camo material is laminated to 3.5 mm of neoprene, meaning that you’ll not only be comfortably dry, but you’ll also look good at the same.
Thanks to the adjustable suspenders, you won’t have to worry about these waders not fitting you if you gain a bit of weight or if you choose to gift them to your growing son. Also, these waders come with a D ring in the front and the back, so you’ll be able to carry your net or any other gear that you might need. With the high back design, reinforced knee pads, hand warmer pocket, and web waist belt, you can be rest assured that these waders would be a perfect choice for this fishing season. Not to mention, the semi-hard toe cap and steel arch support included with these waders will ensure that your feet are protected at all times.
- Great for keeping warm
- Well insulated
- Great for extreme terrains
- Run a bit big
- Boots can get holes in them after use
- Can rip along seams
10. Waterfowl Wading Systems Max-5 Neoprene Stockingfoot Wader
It can be quite tiring to look through pair after pair of waders trying to find the one that you should settle on. After all, spending hours on end in the potentially freezing cold water requires that you have a pair of reliable waders that you don’t have to return after one use because they ripped. These Max-4 Neoprene Stockingfoot Waders by Waterfowl Wading Systems comes with double layered knees so you don’t have to worry about them splitting while you’re trying to enjoy your fishing trip. Thanks to the large front storage pocket that has an additional pocket for warming your hands during the cold months, you have plenty of room to store extra things while you’re out on the water. The extra wide adjustable suspenders with easy connect buckles are made for easy use and will fit plenty of different body types. The tough outer nylon fabric was created with the highest quality of neoprene material, ensuring buyers that it will make it through plenty of fishing trips without ripping. If you’re looking for a pair of waders that offers sliding gravel guards, reinforced double knees, and hi-density neoprene soles, then these waders by Waterfowl Wading Systems might be the perfect waders for you this season.
- A bit heavy
- May leak
How to Choose Duck Hunting Waders
If you’re looking for one tip when choosing duck hunting waders, the best advice would be “Don’t try to cut corners to save a little money.” If you do select your waders based on price alone, you’ll soon regret it, according to outdoor veterans. The amount you spend on your equipment, such as a gun, vest, even your vehicle, should be matched by the money you invest in your waders.
If you use a valued canine companion in your hunting, you don’t try to cut corners with care and feeding, so why not care for yourself at the same level? Trying to stay on the low-end with duck hunting waders can mean that someday, when you’re out with your dog and your excellent gun, you won’t be able to relax and enjoy the experience because cheap waders are leaking and stiff in the cold.
Unfortunately, too many people go straight to the lowest price, or try to buy their waders from someone selling them at a garage sale, because they don’t hunt anymore. If you do get your waders from a friend or neighbour, make sure you know what you’re buying. If they were a high-quality product when they were originally purchased and the seller has taken good care of them, you should be fine.
However, you should take the same steps with this item as you do with any other purchase – be an educated consumer. Read as much as you can on the top waders, making sure you get your information from traditional, reliable sources. Read customer reviews and testimonials as well, but be careful not to fall into the trap of believing everything you read. One person’s experience shouldn’t be enough to persuade you to buy that brand, just as one review shouldn’t turn you away.
There are certain features and benefits you should look for when you begin shopping for duck hunting waders. One of the first things you should look for is the thickness of the material. You’ll come across measurements such as 3mm and 5mm. It’s probably best to stop and ask a question at this point, because weight and thickness of material will help you answer the question: “What are you going to use your waders for?”
If they’re going to be for fishing in spring and summer, you should be searching for a different product than you would if you’re shopping for duck hunting waders. If you can afford only one pair, but you take part in both fishing and hunting, you may have to decide which activity is going to put the waders to work most often. Give serious thought to the temperature of the water you’re going to be in. It’s better to be a little too warm on a hot day than to be cold on a cold day.
You should also consider the base material your duck hunting waders are made from. At one point, the old-timers only had rubber waders, which kept them dry but could be uncomfortable in both hot conditions and cold conditions. They would cause you to sweat during the summer, then would be cold and stiff in the winter. Many of the hunters had to rely on extra clothing to keep warm.
Neoprene is the top choice for both manufacturers and for those buying the waders. It’s durable, will generally keep you dry, and it is usually available in 3mm and 5mm. Duck hunters should give serious consideration to the thicker neoprene. While colour isn’t necessarily the most important feature, you may want to think about quality waders with good camouflage finish. Waders may also be available in brown and green.
Boot Foot? Stocking Foot?
As you shop for duck hunting waders, you’ll see two major categories: boot foot and stocking foot. Obviously, if you choose stocking-foot waders you’ll need to get a good pair of boots to go along with these. Several companies make high-quality waders in the boot-foot style. These will probably be best for the duck hunter because they perform so well in cold weather and water.
These attached boots are usually insulated, so you’ll need to look for that as well. Thinsulate, a trademarked product that will keep you warm and comfortable, is another feature to look for when shopping for duck hunting waders. Stocking-foot waders are popular when lower weight is the key factor. If you using stocking-foot waders with a separate pair of boots, you may struggle with gravel and sand in the boots, which isn’t a problem with the all-in-one design.
Make sure you buy boot-foot waders with strong, lugged soles for wear and traction. Never try to take short cuts with cleaning and storing the waders, since they will be the most important item you have for personal comfort while duck hunting. There are a couple of other key factors to consider when you’re buying quality waders.
One thing you should consider is Gore-Tex®, which makes your waders breathable. This permeable membrane allows moisture to escape through your waders, even when you’re in the water. These can be an excellent choice for summer use, but are also quite capable of standing up to winter conditions if you add sweat pants or fleece pants for warmth.
Chest, Hip, Fitting
While it may be tempting to just buy a pair of large, loose waders, you should spend plenty of time getting a pair that fit you well. You certainly want to be warm and dry, but you also want to be comfortable with the fit. Waders that are too loose or too tight can present problems when climbing in and out of the boat, getting up to get into the water, and, of course, while wading.
Don’t buy waders that fit tightly. They should be loose enough so you can add a layer of clothing for cold days. If you decide to buy from an online source, take some time to get the right size, even to the point of contacting the company or the website owner to discuss fit and sizing. If you provide your weight, height and shoe size, you can usually get solid advice about the waders to fit you. When you buy from a shop, try waders on. Walk in them and do some knee bends to get an idea of the comfort.
This is a good time to think about whether you need hip-high waders or chest waders. If you’re going to invest your money in one pair only, buy chest waders. They’ll work in almost every situation and will keep you warm. Hip waders are fine for fishing and hunting in shallow creeks or small ponds, but chest waders will provide protection in all situations.
You may want to look for duck hunting waders with a shell pouch on the chest. Get the one with “D” rings and shell holders as part of the chest material. You may also need to look for pockets, if you carry a phone or other items with you. As you shop, be sure to look for quality waders with reinforced knees and pay particular attention to the construction of the seams. Some waders even have a hand-warmer pocket.
After getting through all these details (it will be worth the time) you can focus on colour and pattern. For duck hunting waders you definitely want camouflage. Look for specific names for those patterns, such as Realtree. If you can’t go with camo, you should always get a dark brown or a green.
Next, you have to decide which color, or pattern, you want. If you are going to be wearing them duck hunting, you are going to want a camo pair. Now all you have to do is simply decide which pattern you like most, Realtree Max-5 seems to be the most common. Camo does cost more usually, and if they are out of your budget, you might want to go with a dark brown or green.
Knees and Patches
Talk to the seller or online supplier about repairing waders too. Do you get a patch kit with your new purchase? Do you have access to a kit so you can have it on hand? This is strongly recommended by veteran duck hunters and fishermen alike. Don’t take chances with not being to use your waders when a stick or branch causes a tear.
You’ve already read a bit about getting waders with reinforced knees, but this feature should not be taken lightly. Without reinforcement you’re going to be vulnerable to leakage. It’s that simple. In addition, you should always ask about warranty. Some of the leading suppliers often lifetime replacement if damage or wear occurs during normal use. You should certainly get duck hunting waders with a one-year or two-year warranty, minimum.
If you follow these tips and guidelines, you should be able to enjoy hunting without being wet or cold, thanks to a pair of high-quality duck hunting waders.