Which duck hunting waders are best?
When duck hunting, you will be spending a great deal of time in the water. The best duck hunting waders keep you dry without limiting your mobility. If the waders include boots, the boots should have cleated, slip-resistant traction so you can easily and confidently move through treacherous terrain such as mud. TIDEWE Chest Waders are a favorite because they include all of the desirable features, plus they are manufactured to be extremely durable.
What to know before you buy duck hunting waders
What type of waders are best for duck hunting?
To be successful (and comfortable) when duck hunting, you need to stay warm and dry. A quality pair of waders, like one that would be used for fly fishing, is the clothing item that makes that happen. If you are only venturing into the shallowest of waters, you could get by with waist-high waders or even hip waders. However, because you may be squatting or bending over when setting and collecting decoys and picking up birds, it is best to consider chest waders for duck hunting, even if you are only in knee-deep water.
- Nylon/polyester: Breathable duck hunting waders are manufactured using nylon or polyester that has a waterproof membrane. This option is lightweight and best for warmer days, but when the proper clothing is worn beneath, it can work on chilly days as well. The downside with this type of material is that it is not as durable as the other options.
- Rubber: Rubber duck hunting waders are waterproof and resistant to punctures and tears but not very breathable. They offer the least range of motion of all the options.
- Neoprene: Neoprene is a great material because it is waterproof and offers insulation. It is highly durable and can be manufactured in a variety of thicknesses. On the downside, neoprene can add a little buoyancy and it is not a very breathable material, making it best for warmer days. However, despite these cons, neoprene is often a top choice wader material for duck hunters.
Bootfoot waders vs. stockingfoot waders
- Bootfoot waders: These are the waders that have boots sewn on. The best models need to be durable so they won’t easily tear under adverse conditions, and they must be cleated to provide traction on murky bottoms.
- Stockingfoot waders: These waders feature neoprene booties instead of boots. They are lightweight waders that can help keep your feet warm and dry. To use these types of waders, you need to purchase a durable pair of boots separately.
What to look for in quality duck hunting waders
The most important element to look for in a pair of duck hunting waders is an ideal fit. If they are too long or too short in key areas, it won’t take long for your new waders to split. When purchasing, do not forget to factor in the clothing you will be wearing beneath the waders when it comes to getting that good fit.
The best duck hunting waders are highly adjustable so you can get a great fit. This adjustability may be achieved using buckles or hook-and-loop attachments for convenience.
Range of motion
While duck hunting involves a lot of patience, there are periods of slogging through swamps and setting decoys. Because of this, you need a pair of waders that allows you to have a full range of motion. The best duck hunting waders are extremely durable but won’t restrict your movements.
How much you can expect to spend on duck hunting waders
A pair of duck hunting waders can range from $40-$600. The average user, however, should be able to find a quality pair for around $150.
Duck hunting waders FAQ
Should waders be insulated?
A. While you will be out in colder weather when duck hunting, and it is important to stay warm, there is a great deal of logic in buying duck hunting waders that are thin and lightweight without much insulation. The reason for this is simply because the temperature can vary a great deal over duck hunting season: One day, it might be very cold while the next could be mild. Duck hunting waders should keep you dry, but what’s under the waders is what keeps you warm. On days when it isn’t quite so cold, wear less so you do not sweat excessively. If you have heavily insulated duck hunting waders, this won’t be possible.
How long do duck hunting waders last?
A. The answer to this question depends on how often you use your duck hunting waders and how rough you are on them. In general, a good pair of duck hunting waders should last about three or four seasons. This number can go down if you are hard on your waders and up if you use them infrequently.
How do you find a leak in your duck hunting waders?
A. If you find yourself getting wet when using your duck hunting waders, you need to inspect them when they are dry. Focus on the areas near where you are getting wet, putting a little rubbing alcohol on the inside of the waders in the area that is suspect. If there are any defects, you will see a darker spot when you cover the area with the rubbing alcohol.
What are the best duck hunting waders to buy?
Top duck hunting waders
What you need to know: These neoprene waders are designed for the individual who is looking for a top-of-the-line product.
What you’ll love: These waders are manufactured using a tough crosshatch facing to be extra rugged. They are waterproof and have a heat-welded seam for durability. There is an adjustable buckle on the suspenders to ensure a proper fit and the cleated design of the boots gives the wearer superior traction.
What you should consider: While these waders are considered excellent by most users, the one caveat is they fit a little better on a taller person.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Top duck hunting waders for the money
What you need to know: These affordable chest waders have a rugged design and a number of features usually only found on higher-priced options.
What you’ll love: These waders are manufactured to be lighter than the typical offering. The adjustable elastic suspenders provide a comfortable fit and have quick-release buckles for easy removal. The knees are reinforced with padding for extra protection and the material is rip- and tear-resistant. For peace of mind, these waders come with a 30-day money-back guarantee.
What you should consider: The biggest concern with these waders is to make sure you get a size that fits properly or they will split easily.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Worth checking out
What you need to know: The user-friendly design of this popular brand of waders makes them a top choice for many hunting enthusiasts.
What you’ll love: The triple finished seams are stitched, taped and glued for increased durability. The minimal layer of Thinsulate is enough to keep you warm but not so thick that it will make you hot. The hook-and-loop attachments make the waders easy to adjust while the zippered chest pockets provide additional security.
What you should consider: These waders are available in a limited number of sizes compared to other options.
Where to buy: Sold by Dick’s Sporting Goods
Sign up here to receive the BestReviews weekly newsletter for useful advice on new products and noteworthy deals.
Allen Foster writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.
Copyright 2022 BestReviews, a Nexstar company. All rights reserved.