Top 5 Best Duck Hunting Waders for the 2020 Waterfowl Season
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Duck and waterfowl hunting is undoubtedly easier when wearing waders because they allow you to get up close and personal with your target.
Unless you like to walk into a lake in your usual jeans and shirt, hunters who don’t use waders are often left at the sidelines, or rather the side of the lake.
Waders can really amp your hunting trip up a notch, allowing you to penetrate the prey’s natural environment and leave them with nowhere to run … or fly.
There is a load of gear that benefit duck hunters such as waterproof backpacks and blind jackets, but arguably the most important piece of equipment you could own is some high quality waders.
The last thing you want to be doing is stepping into a body of water and realizing that your waders are malfunctioning. Not only will you have wasted your money, you’ll also be stuck dripping wet at the side of a lake.
Waders are high waisted waterproof trousers which end at around your chest or underarms, and they usually have straps that go over your shoulders to keep them up and working efficiently.
They’re often camouflaged to look similar to duck’s habitats so that you can blend seamlessly into the background.
Below we’ll look at five of the best waders for duck hunting on the market right now as well as what to look out for when deciding which ones to purchase. Let’s dive in (while remaining nice and waterproof, of course).
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There are a number of excellent duck hunting waders on the market, however we have found the best of the best for you to choose from.
We’ve displayed a range of waders, some of which have boots attached, some which don’t.
Most are made from neoprene however we’ve also looked at some which are made from nylon, giving you a full rounded image of what to expect from your duck hunting waders.
Our particular favorite of the five we’ve chosen is the Foxelli Neoprene Chest Waders, because:
The attached boots are lightweight without lacking on durability.
All the seams are glued, stitched and taped to offer triple protection at the weakest areas of the waders.
Foxelli offers a one year warranty.
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Foxelli has constructed their chest waders out of durable neoprene material with elastic in all the right places to keep them flush to your body. No one wants water flowing in their waders, and you won’t be disappointed with these.
The shoulder straps have quick release buckles to ensure they’re easy to take off after your hunt, and there are even double layered knee pads to give your joints extra protection.
How much thought and effort that has gone into the design of these waders should be a testament to how high the quality is. They are 100% waterproof thanks to the 4mm of neoprene, giving the wearer excellent insulation for colder days.
What’s more is that the seams are not only stitched, they’re also glued and taped as well. This provides two additional layers of protection from water seeping in.
These waders are boot footed, however don’t let this deter you. Unlike many other models on the market, the attached boots are made from lightweight PVC, meaning they won’t hinder you by adding too much extra weight.
They have a neoprene sock inside which means you don’t even need to wear your own socks, as well as adding another barrier in case water gets into the boots. Moreover, this makes them easier to get on and off.
The waders have a highly placed chest pocket to keep your belongings dry while duck hunting, which also works as a hand warmer.
There’s another inner pocket which can be used to hold smaller things, and a number of D rings to attach your most necessary gear. These all keep your gear close and quickly accessible when you need it fast.
These waders differ slightly from the norm of our list thanks to the fabric used to make them. Instead of the popular neoprene, this is an alternative made from Next Generation Nylon and PVC 2 ply waterproof fabric.
This keeps the waders strong and durable while making them more lightweight than neoprene designs. This is particularly helpful for bootfoot waders, which these are, as the lightweight nylon allows the extra weight of the boots to not be as noticeable.
Next Generation Nylon has 2.5x higher density than regular nylon fabric, allowing the hunter to spend more time out in the water before having to leave to warm up. Nylon also allows the wearer to take them off easier than other fabrics.
Pair this with the quick release shoulder straps and you’ll have these waders off in minutes!
The seams are heat taped to ensure no water will be getting through to underneath the wader. FISHINGSIR is so sure of this that their workers fill each suit with water to test whether there are any leaks or not before shipping them to customers.
This guarantees you won’t get a defective set of waders.
There are a number of additional features that are included in the design of this model, such as the free wading hanging belt, the free waterproof phone case, a flip out chest pocket and two D rings to keep gear close.
The tough rubber boots have a lot of grip on the soles so you can be sure you won’t go slipping after coming out of the water.
Another set of waders made of 3.5mm neoprene, however these waders only use this on the upper portion.
The design also adopts a poly/jersey shell and stretch liner which makes the waders very sturdy and durable, ensuring no floating rocks will tear this bad boy while you’re out hunting.
The seams are triple protected thanks to being glued, stitched and taped - it’s going to take some serious conflict to get any water seeping through the cracks of these waders.
If this wasn’t enough waterproof protection, all of the stitching is actually double-stitched rather than singularly, and there are a pair of polyurethane-coated leggings included in the design.
These work to make the already waterproof waders much more reliable and strong.
The boots are made from durable 200g rubber and have 600g Thinsulate insulation to give the wearer the option to go with or without socks while keeping your feet free from numbness and tingling.
Going back to the sturdy rubber boot - these are excellently tough and prevent punctures easily. You never know what’s going to be at the bottom of a lake, so this is particularly handy for murky waters.
The suspenders are easily adjusted to keep them in place so you don’t need to keep adjusting them while trying to get a clear shot.
This uses a hook-and-loop method and makes them very easy to get on and off, even with the attached boots.
Unlike the other designs on our list, these waders from Caddis Wading Systems are actually stockingfoot waders, meaning they do not include an attached boot.
This means you can wear your own wading boots rather than spending more money on a pair of bootfoot waders that you don’t need.
They’re also easier to transport as there are no bulky boots sticking out at awkward angles. Moreover, they’re more lightweight than the alternatives.
The material used is a breathable yet durable polyester for the outer shell, with CaddisDry technology being used for the sandwiched layer. Between the outer and inner layers of fabric there is a breathable layer which allows perspiration to flow through and out of the suit without allowing water in.
Sounds mythical, but we assure you it works. This keeps your waders working great in all seasons without allowing you to overheat.
Caddis designed its waders with reinforced knees to keep the weakest part of your submerged body safe from the wonders of under the water.
The seams are all glued, stitched and taped to keep every drop of water out, and the foot of the suit is taped both inside and out.
Just because the boots aren’t attached to the waders, it doesn’t make them any less efficient than bootfoot waders.
Frogg Toggs is a well known name in the world of hunting as it offers high quality gear at affordable prices. Well, you’ll be happy to hear that their Amphib waders are no different.
They’re made from 3.5mm neoprene while the attached rubber boots are padded with 600g of Thinsulate insulation to keep you warm and comfortable on your hunts.
The design is well thought out with a high back as well as a high chest, as what is the point of only your chest being protected from the icy water if your back is vulnerable?
This design feature allows the wearer to delve deeper into the lake, potentially giving you a more accurate shot of your target.
You’ll be able to adjust your waders easily to ensure they don’t sag and allow water in thanks to the hook-and-loop system on the shoulder straps.
The chest pocket is not only highly placed to keep your equipment accessible while wading, it’s also fleece-lined so you can also use it as a hand warmer.
The reinforced knee pads keep your joints, which are already at risk thanks to the underwater pressure, protected from unseen risks such as sharp debris. This will keep you worry free when wading in murky waters.If you’re looking for a pair of stockingfoot waders rather than bootfoot, but like the sound of the Amphib waders, you can also get them without the boots attached here.
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Type of Waders
There are three different types of waders to choose from when buying a pair for duck hunting. Choosing which type you want to purchase is going to narrow your search drastically and quickly, so it’s best to get this done first.
These types of waders cover you from the sole of your foot to your chest. They include an attached boot that is completely sealed to be waterproof so that you don’t have to worry about water getting in through the gap between your waders and your boots.
You also won’t have to worry about buying separate wading boots for a lot more money.
The main drawback of this type is that the overall weight is increased and therefore they’re harder to transport around.
These are also harder to put on as you have to put a shoe on while a load of excess fabric is bunching around you.
Unlike bootfoot waders, this type isn’t weighed down by the attached boots. In its place you’ll find a neoprene sock which keeps your foot from getting wet. These also extend from your toes to your chest.
As there is no boot attached, these waders are more lightweight and easier to transport, and they’re usually easier to put on and take off.
As stockingfoot waders are boot-free, you can wear your boots separately if you need to but don’t want to climb into a full pair of waders.
Moreover, you can replace both the waders and boots separately should one of them falter.
A disadvantage to stockingfoot waders is that the attached socks are less durable than a bulky boot, meaning they’re more likely to break or rip and therefore water is more likely to find its way into the waders.
However, good maintenance and a high quality pair of waders should prevent this from happening.
Hip waders only cover you from your foot to your hips, meaning they have no chest plate or straps to keep them up. These are best used for hunting in shallow waters where you’re only going to be up to your knees or thighs in water.
You can get these types of waders with boots attached or not, so essentially they’re exactly the same as bootfoot and stockingfoot waders, they just don’t come up as high!
There are three main materials used for duck hunting waders: nylon, rubber and neoprene.
Nylon waders are lightweight to transport and are considered the easiest kind to put on and take off. As this is the thinnest material they are considered the comfiest kind to wear in the warm summer months.
Having said this, they’re perhaps not best suited for hunting in the winter months as there is little to no insulation.
Rubber is the traditional material duck hunting waders are made from, and therefore many hunters still enjoy using them.
If it’s not broken, why fix it? Rubber waders are durable and cheaper alternatives, so it’s a win win all round, really.
However, there are some drawbacks to rubber waders as they tend to become stiff in cold weather, which can impair your range of motion and therefore your shots. Moreover, rubber is a less breathable material so you may find yourself sweating more in these waders.
Neoprene is by far the warmest material for your waders to be made out of, making them the most comfortable.
Remember that even if you’re hunting in summer months, standing in a lake for a prolonged period of time is going to become cold very quickly, so warm waders are always desirable.
They often come in varying thickness so check this before you purchase a pair. If you’re going to be hunting in warmer climates, you won’t want the thickest option. Waders made from neoprene are also very durable and therefore effective for duck hunting.
Frequently Asked Questions
What do you wear under duck hunting waders?
Depending on the weather and the material of your waders, you can wear fleece lined clothing, woolen clothing or even sweatpants.
Remember that even on warmer days, the water is likely to be colder and you’ll feel the effects after prolonged exposure if you’re not wearing the correct clothing, so don’t go only wearing shorts and a short sleeved shirt!
There are many thermal suits that you can wear under waders, and even come wader inserts that are designed to sit under your protective gear to keep you warm. However, bear in mind that this may make your waders thicker and therefore tighter.