Hunting waterfowl can be a lot of fun. It can also become very wet and very cold if you’ve got an inferior set of waders on. The best duck hunting waders will let you hunt comfortably so you can have success in the wetlands. We’ll show you how to identify the best waders from the wide selection that is available today so you can find a great deal on something and even save a few bucks.
The Best Chart for Duck Hunting Waders
You’ll notice that most duck hunting waders are chest waders. Although hip waders do have some uses, you’re going to be much better off with chest waders when hunting virtually any waterfowl. The chart below offers you a look at the proven winners in this category.
|Waterfowl Wading Systems Neoprene Waders|| 4.2 || $$
|Allen Company 3.5mm Shadowgrass Duck Waders|| 4.2 || $$$
|Allen Company Jersey Mossy Oak Waders|| 4.0 || $$
|LaCrosse Men's Swamp Waders|| 4.5 || $$$$$+
|Titanium Advantage Wetlands Neoprene Waders|| 4.8 || $$$
|LaCrosse Alpha Swampfox Mossy Oak Duck Waders|| 4.4 || $$$$$
|Duck Commander Breathable Deluxe Chese Waders|| 3.9 || $$$
|Oakiwear Youth Neoprene Waders|| 4.5 || $$
How to Find the Best Duck Hunting Waders for Me
“Back in my day, the best duck hunting waders were the ones that didn’t really leak on you,” is something grandfathers like to tell the current generation of hunters. “Sure. You might have got a little cold and you might not have always been successful, but at least you had fun.”
Duck hunting waders have matured over the last four decades to become tough and durable. Many are made from neoprene rubber, which is highly resistant to puncturing while keeping you warm by using your own body temperature as a tool. Look for waders with reinforced knees for the best waders in this category so when you bump into a stick that was strategically placed in your way by a beaver, you won’t feel a cold gush of water soon after.
Don’t ignore the warmth of your feet either. Most duck hunting waders today come with some boot or foot configuration. You need insulation to protect your feet from the cold of the wetlands or pond where you’ll be hunting so you can stay out as long as you need. Up to 1000g of insulation can be found in the best waders. This will be covered by nylon, standard rubber, or Neoprene – go with the Neoprene if at all possible.
Pay attention to each review and look for comments about stitching, buckle quality, and adjustments that are available to the straps. Better features in these areas will give you a more customized fit, which will only keep you dryer and warmer. Additional features such as looped shell holders on the chest are also a must for hunters who do not purchase a separate shell holder accessory.
As a final consideration, think about how easy it would be to repair your duck hunting waders should the need arise so you can protect your investment.
Chest vs. Hip Waders for Duck Hunting
If you’re only going to be hunting in a shallow pond or perhaps a creek on your property, then hip waders could get the job done for you. Hip waders for duck hunting, however, are only suitable in shallow water situations and many duck species aren’t attracted to shallow waters.
This is why chest waders are the better investment for a majority of hunters. Not only will they keep you dry in most wading situations, but they can even double as hip waders if you’re in shallow conditions. The last thing you want to have happen is to be equipped with the wrong waders when there are prime hunting conditions.
Be sure to look at the insulation ratings. Southern hunters can get away with 600g of Thinsulate protecting them from the cold. Northern hunters will want a minimum of 800g, but higher is always better – especially in the early season. If your feet get cold, then you’re going to be cold all over and that makes for a miserable experience.
Remember to make room for your wool socks when ordering your preferred duck hunting waders. Since most waders are purchased based on shoe size, people with non-standard body types might also need to add or subtract another whole size. Look to see if the waders run large or run small to get a feel of what you’ll need to do in this area.
How to Repair Duck Hunting Waders
In the past, a puncture of your waders was just something you lived with until you could afford a new set or could sew the puncture shut. Once you’ve found the leak in your waders, it is really easy to repair your neoprene waders. This video will take you through the process of finding the leak and then patching it.
For those with camouflaged waders, this process may affect the pattern you have. Although most wetlands patterns are colored well enough to hide a repair pretty effectively, some patterns can be negatively affected. Keep this in mind as you proceed through the repair to limit any increased visibility, which could fire up the paranoia of the ducks you’re trying to hunt.
What Are the Prices of the Best Duck Hunting Waders?
The best duck hunting waders are not going to come cheap. Even entry-level items in this category are going to cost around $100 in most instances. Certain wading systems or hip waders may be priced around the $75 mark, but may have limited usage options for many hunters.
Premium waders in this category are priced above $300. Although it can be quite the investment, these are the waders that you can also take just about anywhere and still be warm and dry. If you take your duck hunting seriously, then these are the wader reviews you’ll want to look at first.
Most hunters will find a good set of waders that meets their needs for $150 or less. Some feature-rich models may be above $200.
What Do Our Reviews Have to Say?
With a Neoprene shell and fleece lining, these chest waders are nice and warm. An adjustable waist belt works with the shoulder straps to give you a custom fit. Included is a rollout game bag that is removable. Forget about water getting into these waders or losing traction on a slick bottom. These are dependable because they are contoured to prevent slipping. A shell pocket holds an entire box, while the top-loading chest pocket and waterproof front pockets let you carry all your extras along. If you can only buy one set of waders, then give this set a strong look.
The abrasion resistance of these duck hunting waders was about the best we’ve seen in this category. A combination of DuraTex and titanium helps to keep you warm, while 800g of Thinsulate keeps your feet functioning. Steel shanks in the boots help to keep your balance right while the grip on the boots works for most hunting situations. We liked the Neoprene shoulder pads for comfort, although prolonged wear does make your shoulders a bit sweaty. Overall we were impressed with these waders and think you will be as well.
Made from a combination of Talson nylon and rubber, these chest waders are true to size on their fit. They aren’t the warmest waders you’ll ever wear, but do work well for those early-season hunts even if the weather begins to warm up on you. The suspenders are made from elastic and there are only a few extra pockets, the reinforced exterior is very puncture resistant so you can keep moving in tough environments. The legs might be a little short for some folks, however, so keep that in mind as you look at sizing options.
They don’t just make some of the best duck calls for hunting in the industry. They also make a solid set of duck hunting waders. They are very breathable so you don’t feel like the sweat builds up on you during the day. A standard lug boot keeps your feet warm and it’s comfortable enough as a fit. You can hold 9 shells with the front pocket shell loops and the nylon suspenders don’t dig into your shoulders. These chest waders do run a bit small, so if you’re a half-size, you might need to go up 2 whole sizes to get a comfortable fit.
This is a nylon knit jersey set of duck hunting waders that has been laminated to 3.5mm Neoprene. The suspenders are easy enough to adjust, though these don’t sit very high on the chest like more traditional designs tend to do. The knees are reinforced pretty well and there is a hand-warmer pocket for those cold days. They’re a little tight if you happen to be a little on the larger size, say 215 pounds or higher, but you can counter this if there is a bigger whole size to order. Check the stitching before taking them out on your first hunt.
The best duck hunting waders will do more than keep you warm and dry. They’ll help you reduce your profile so that you can convince some stubborn ducks to come your way. Use them with your other hunting tools and you’ll be able to make the most out of your hunting license this year.