Duck hunting can be a really strenuous activity; you’ve got to wade through freezing cold water in frigid temperatures, trudge through muck, and keep completely quiet, lest you scare the birds away. It’s near impossible to do any of that if you don’t have a the best waterfowl waders that will keep you dry and warm through the worst of it.
That’s why we’ve made a list of our favorite waterfowl waders, keeping features and price in mind. This isn’t an exhaustive list by any means, but it’ll be a great jumping off point for you to do your own research if you wish. With each wader, we’ve provided a small list of specs for easy comparison.
The Best Waterfowl Waders for Hunting in 2017
Here’s a rundown of what each spec means:
Material: This is probably the most important spec because of its importance in the insulation process. Considering the entire point of waders is insulation, the material should be the first spec you check. The cheaper waders will usually just have rubber insulation, though it may be breathable. The best material is Neoprene, however, which will cost a little extra, but provide huge amounts of extra warmth.
Boots: Some waders don’t even have boots! Though that may seem strange, it can be a good thing since you might already have boots that you’d like to use; the wader fits tightly over the boots. Bootless waders are usually found in the budget tier. When you go into higher tiers, you find the best boots, and they’re almost always already attached to the wader itself.
Weight: When trudging through a few feet of water, you don’t want to be too weighed down by your wader, which is why weight can be an important spec to take note of. This is a spec that really comes down to personal preference; if you’re able to lug around a lot of weight, you might not mind a heavier and more insulated wader.
Budget Waders (Under $100)
These waders are almost always bootless, which can turn off some people. However, when you combine a bootless wader with a good pair of boots, you get an excellent complete wader, and for a price that beats many waders with attached boots.
1. Max-5 Neoprene Stockingfoot Wader
- Material: Neoprene
- Boots: None
- Weight: 1 pound
Neoprene is also incredibly resistant to general weathering, which means this wader will likely last a lifetime. Extra features include a hand warmer pocket in the front, gravel guards, and double knees for extra flexibility. The interior lining is 100% Cotton, which is both comfortable and warming.
The wader itself is quite thin, which makes it very easy for anyone to walk around in. Don’t let that thinness fool you, either; the neoprene lining is 3.5 mm thick, more than enough to keep anyone warm. The wader is designed for a normal sized person, but the company makes multiple sizes that can fit anyone who wants one.
It’s important to emphasize how good of a deal this wader is; the waders in later ranges will cost hundreds more as you’ll see. If you’re on a low budget, but still want a great fowl hunting experience, try this wader on for size.
Mid-Range Waders ($100-250)
Waders in this range are made from pretty good materials, and most importantly, come with attached boots. You’ll likely find less neoprene than you’ll see in the higher cost waders, but it still is a common material. These waders are perfect for the less-experienced hunter, or just someone who wants some bang for their buck.
2. RedHead Canvasback Boot-Foot Waders for Men
The lining handle the muck and grime of nature with no problem, and so can the excellent boots that this wader comes with. The boots are covered in a protective Thinsulate Ultra layer, which keeps water out and heat in. It’s also a very thin layer, which keeps the boots from being too cumbersome.
This wader has some very comfortable suspenders, which is key to making your hunting expedition a comfortable one. They’re very adjustable, with YKK quick-release buckles that’ll fit perfectly on any hunter.
Some other great features are the hand warmer pocket on the front, the rubber knee pads, and the molded outsoles on the boots for extra grip.
High-End Waders ($250 and up)
These are the best of the best when it comes to waterfowl waders. The best materials can be found in this range, as well as the best boots. Expect to find extra features that you might not see on cheaper models, like extra-light boots and super-adjustable straps.
3. Cabela’s Instinct™ Men’s Accelerator Hunting Wader
The suspender straps are completely adaptable, which allows you to switch from waist-high to chest-high in a split second! The polyurethane knee patches can break through obstacles with ease, including ice and brush patches.
The boots are equipped with Zero Gravity technology, meaning they’re lighter, stronger, and tougher than most wader boots you’ll find on the market. On top of that, they are incredibly insulated, keeping your toes warm in the most frigid temperatures.
The boots are also molded to OrthoLite specifications, making them both incredibly comfortable and grip-able. There are three pockets on the front: a small waterproof one on the chest, an exterior chest pocket, and a hand-warmer pocket.
As you could probably tell from the 5-pound weight, this is a surprisingly light wader, and one of the most flexible we’ve ever seen! If you’re looking to spend some more money on a wader to get the best of the bunch, this could be the wader for you!