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Best Hunting Waders Reviewed
Hunters sometimes downplay the importance of hunting waders. You’ll hear things like, “Good waders will keep you dry.”
While that is true, staying dry doesn’t necessarily mean your waders are comfortable, or even warm.
Realistically, there are beneficial features besides waterproofing that add value to a set of hunting waders. That is why Rustic Pursuits brings you our take on the best hunting waders.
Whether you are looking at neoprene or breathable waders, we offer all the details. But if you want the short version here it is: If you hunt in wet conditions then you need a solid set of waders.
Hunting waders are designed to perform at a much higher level and keep you warmer than waders intended for general use, or even fishing.
There are a huge number of methods and tactics to hunting so your favorite ways to hunt will guide your choice on which hunting waders will provide for your particular needs.
Hunting Waders – Features To Consider
Hunting guides and die-hard hunters will see definite benefits from the $300-$400 set of hunting waders. With that said, you can get a respectable set of waders for a lot less than that. That is a big expense for someone who only hunts once a year, but it might make sense for hunters who want to buy the best-of-the-best.
- Durability – Waterfowl hunting is notorious for the best hunting in flooded timber and swamps scattered with downed limbs and debris. All that riffraff can take it’s toll on a pair of waders. Waterfowl blinds are often covered by brush or even made from brush and could deliver damage as well. The last thing you want is a surprise leak when water temperatures are icy cold.
- Comfort – Just because a particular pair of waders are expensive doesn’t guarantee against a poor fit. No one likes a huge pair of oversized waders. Aside from just being uncomfortable, all that extra material can snag on brush and cause damage as you walk and wade. While a measured amount of additional material might be necessary for warm under-layers, unnecessary material is just asking for leaks.
- Neoprene vs Breathable – We cover them both, but its worthwhile knowing which type might work best for you. Using lightweight breathable waders in cold water will likely require under-layers, such as thermal fleece underwear. The advantage with breathable waders is when temperatures are warmer layers can be removed to have a cooling effect. However, neoprene waders are usually less expensive, warmer in extreme cold, and usually less vulnerable to puncture and tears.
- The Right Fit – We have mentioned the downfalls of excess material in waders, but a tight fit will be equally if not more damaging. Tight fit stresses the waterproof seams inside the waders which causes premature leaking. If you need to add under-layers for warmth, then you’ll want a slightly looser fit so you can avoid stretching seams. A little extra length will also help to avoid stressing seams while sitting in the blind.
- Bonus Features – Chest waders with pockets to warm your hands are great for cold weather. External shell holders are helpful when you need to do a quick reload. Cargo pockets and flip-out internal pockets at chest level can be nice for quick access to your phone.
Top Breathable Hunting Waders Comparison Chart
Best Breathable Hunting Waders
When you need a lightweight pair of waders for warm weather hunting, nothing beats breathable waders. Early season hunts can prove to have some fairly warm days. And if you purchase the right size, you should have additional room to add warm layers for when the temperatures really drop off.
Banded hit the mark with their Redzone Breathable Insulated Waders. Nothing beats the warmth and comfort of hunting bibs when the weather turns cold. Along with quality fabrics and advanced waterproofing, Banded incorporated a bib-style fit into these waders.
Hunting waders need to be rugged, waterproof, and puncture resistant. Since the vast majority of those punctures occur below the knee, Banded integrated an over-the-boot gaiter for additional protection for brush and unseen underwater debris. The articulated knee and seat areas are reinforced with 900D fabric for tremendous strength.
Proprietary HARS™ insulation technology provides a comfort rating from -10 F to 50 F degrees. And for warm feet in cold water, Banded integrated a 1600 gram Thinsulate™ insulated boot with the Redzone Breathable Insulated Waders.
The bib-style fit provides further comfort with adjustable shoulder suspenders and side zip chest adjustments. The upper chest features a fleece lined chest pocket to keep your hands warm or your call from freezing up. Just beneath the fleece pocket you will find 6 shell sleeves for fast reloads. An additional water-resistant chest pouch is available for any extras.
The waders shed water like a duck, with fully taped seams for 100% waterproofing. They also have a great range of motion partially due to their light construction. Beyond that, Banded articulated key points of movement throughout the waders to maximize range of motion.
Its not easy finding a pair of waders that can perform throughout all the extreme conditions the waterfowler commonly encounters. With a wide range of fit for any hunter, and everything you have come to expect in a hunting wader, we chose the Redzone Breathable Insulated Waders as our top choice for breathable hunting waders.
Here is a video on Banded Redzone Breathable Insulated Waders:
- SHEDS waterproof breathable technology
- 100% waterproof fully taped seams
- 1624 gram Thinsulate insulated boot
- 900D reinforced knee and seat for maximum durability
- Comfort rating -10 F to 50 F degrees
Our second choice goes to Waterfowl Northern Guide Hunting Waders. Waterfowl Wading Systems® is Part of the Caddis Wading Systems® family of companies. They have a well established reputation for affordable wading gear that continues to exceed users expectations.
Northern Guide Hunting Waders have a lot to offer in both cold and warm weather hunting. The un-insulated upper leaves the choice up to you. You can add warm under layering when it is cold, or just enjoy the cool and lightweight properties of breathable waders in warm temperatures.
CaddisDry™ Breathable Technology reduces the discomfort of moisture build-up by allowing small vapor molecules to escape. Less moisture means a more comfortable and warmer wading experience when the water is cold. 1200 gram insulated boots with aggressive knobby soles ensure great grip and warm feet when water temperatures fall.
To raise the bar on toughness, Waterfowl Wading Systems stitched, glued, and taped all seams. In addition, they reinforced the knees, lower legs, and seat which are high-wear areas. The waders sport the super popular Max-5 Camo pattern which blends well with a variety of environments.
Storage pockets are placed conveniently on the Northern Guide Hunting Waders. Two large cargo pockets are located on the hips. In the front you will find an additional large easy access storage pocket with 6 external shell loops that accommodate both 12 and 20 gauge shells. A fleece lined hand warmer front pocket is another welcome feature.
A good assortment of styles and fit provides a comfortable fit for all hunters. Sturdy super-duty polyester material is tough while also remaining soft and pliable for terrific range of motion. On top of all the great features, Northern Guide Hunting Waders have a very fair price. We recommend you check them out if you are in the market for hunting waders.
Here is a video on Waterfowl Northern Guide Hunting Waders:
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Drake Waterfowl Systems is well known for super high-quality hunting products, and their hunting waders are just plain bomb-proof. Hard working hunting guides and serious waterfowlers who pound on their equipment swear by Drake gear, and for good reason.
Yes, Drake’s Guardian Elite Breathable Waders are high-end hunting waders, and their worth every penny. They are warm, dry, rugged, and remarkably comfortable. These breathable insulated waders are packed with 300 grams of quilted poly insulation that guards against the iciest wind and water.
Guardian Elite Breathable Waders have everything you expected in top-tier hunting waders. The chest features a large hook and loop front cargo pocket, a vertical call pocket, and another vertical pocket protected with a Fowl-Proof™ zipper for your phone and valuables.
The waders sport an exceptional against-the-body hand warmer pocket that helps body heat to warm your hands quickly. Horizontal shell loops are perfectly oriented for faster reloads when the flock is circling into the decoys.
Hunters looking at insulated breathable waders are often looking for improved range of motion over the resistance common to neoprene waders. Drake integrated an articulated knee design into the Guardian Elite Breathable Waders which enables easy movement when compared to other breathable hunting waders.
Drake constantly innovates and improves on their gear designs. Guardian Elite Breathable Waders are another step forward with improved materials and construction. The new Buckshot Mudder Boot reduces weight by nearly half when compared to previous models. The new boot design also provides critical heat retention in extreme temperatures with 1600 grams of Thinsulate insulation.
We particularly like the increased durability from a wider and thicker seam tape to prevent lifting, creasing, and seam leaks. Drake has long-held that they have the lowest wader return rate in comparison to competitors and their dealers certify that to be a true. We are huge fans of Drake gear, and we highly recommend their Guardian Elite Breathable Waders.
Here is a short video on Drake’s Guardian Elite Breathable Waders:
Frogg Toggs Rana II Hunting Waders are non-insulated which makes them a great option for warm weather hunting, or fishing. Frogg Toggs has a reputation for affordable wading gear that is designed to be tough. Frogg Toggs are the answer for those looking for a competitive price in hunting waders.
The waders feature an upper that is made from rugged nylon-reinforced fabric to provide 100% waterproofing from top to bottom. Since most wader leaks happen at the seams, Frogg Toggs taped all the seams to keep hunters dry and comfortable.
Rana II Waders sport a non-insulated 2mm PVC boot with a cleated outsole for increased grip. Adjustable H-back web suspenders feature a quick release buckle for a comfortable range of adjustment.
The top draw cord can cinch up any excess material and secure the waders comfortably around your chest. Inside the front chest you’ll find a flip-out pocket for all your personal items and outdoor necessities.
Frogg Toggs Rana II Hunting Waders also have a good variety of sizes to fit most hunters. If you expect to hunt in both warm and cold conditions, then be sure to buy a slightly large fit so you can add under-laying when needed.
Hunters looking for a lightweight pair of waders to keep cool in warmer temperatures will find a terrific option in the Rana II waders. The quality construction and competitive price make the Frogg Toggs Rana II Waders worth considering if you are in the market for hunting waders.
- Non-insulated 2mm PVC boot with cleated outsole
- Nylon-reinforced PVC upper with waterproof boot attachment and 100% taped seams
- Adjustable H-back web suspenders with durable quick release buckles
- Flip-out chest pocket and top draw cord
- LIGHTWEIGHT: The Ouzong bootfoot chest waders are 35% lighter weight than traditional rubber waders.The new 70 Dnylon and PVC material of the waders is more flexible and durable in water and less energy spent.
- 100% WATERPROOF: Nylon-reinforeced PVC upper with waterproof boot attachment and taped seams guarantee 100% waterproof reliability. Every Ouzong Chest Waders is turned inside out, filled with water, proven leak free, and then hung to dry.
- CONVENIENT:H-back adjustable suspenders with quick release buckles and free high quality waist belt make you so easy to put the waders on or off. 100% waterproof flip-out chest pocket can store your belonging.
- SAFETY:Durable PVC boots are anti-slipping, anti-abrasion, giving you a secure footing in the mud or on slippery ground.The thick rubber sole helps you to protect your feet from sharp rocks on the river bed.
- ALL-PURPOSE: The waders are designed to keep you dry and warm, handle even the toughest work and sport situation. They are the best for fishing adventures, hunting, farm working, or any messy situations.
Neoprene Hunting Waders Comparison Chart
Best Neoprene Hunting Waders
When you need waders that can keep you warm through long days of cold water hunting, neoprene waders are the big boys on the block . As the season progresses temperatures can regularly drop down below freezing. We celebrate lightweight breathable waders as much as the next hunter. But when you need to wade through that thin sheet of ice, we prefer wearing a rugged pair of neoprene waders.
Our top choice for neoprene hunting waders goes to the MST Eqwader 2.0 from Drake. We are huge fans of Drake hunting gear. They constantly innovate and improve their designs to push quality and durability to net level. And Drake maintains surprisingly reasonable prices despite producing top-tier industry leading hunting gear.
Drake designed their MST Eqwader 2.0 to be the most reliable wader on the market. Typically, wader manufacturers glue and stitch their seams. Drake opted to seal all external seams with a liquid seam weld, and all internal seams with extra wide waterproof seam tape. In addition, they also performed the traditional seam gluing and stitching to ensure maximum protection.
MST Eqwader 2.0 waders have top-notch comfort features, like higher sides to keep you dry when you wade deep. The two front “High Ground” pockets are great to hold your duck call to prevent freezing.
For sensitive personal items Drake provided the ‘High and Dry’ security pouch with a waterproof zipper. Hydro-Flex knee pads drastically cut down on the resistance and seam stress typical of neoprene waders when kneeling or sitting.
Drake’s MST Eqwader hunting waders are constructed with 3.5 mm neoprene which Drake geared toward mid season use. The boots are lined with 800 gram Thinsulate insulation. With that said, many hunters find the MST waders to strike a good balance for mid-season and even fairly cold weather hunting.
We thoroughly support Drake’s innovative approach to hunting gear. Their MST Eqwader 2.0 hunting waders are reliable and comfortable option if you are looking for hunting waders with a rock-solid track record.
Here is a video on Drake MST Eqwader 2.0 Hunting Waders:
- No-Buckle Shoulder Straps
- High & Dry Security Pouch with Waterproof Zipper
- Large Front Cargo Pouch with Magnattach
- Vertical Call Pocket with Magnattach
- Vertical Zippered License/Key Pocket with Waterproof Zipper
If we were giving away the prize for best value in hunting waders – TideWe Camo Hunting Waders would take the blue ribbon. For the price, we just haven’t seen anything that offers features and performance anywhere near these waders.
There is no denying that these are entry level waders. With that said, there is also no denying that these are a very good pair of entry level waders. TideWe Camo Hunting Waders are constructed from 3.5mm neoprene with a tough poly/jersey shell.
When waders fail and begin to leak it is usually due to failure at the seams. The seams in TideWe Camo Hunting Waders are triple-finished, double stitched, armor weld glued, and taped to make for extra solid and durable water protection.
The built in rubber boot foot is comfortable and lined with a smooth 600 gram Thinsulate insulation. For cold water the insulated boot is warm and solid – exactly what you need for setting decoys and picking up ducks.
Neoprene suspenders feature adjustment straps and clip-in buckles for a custom fit. Loop attachments are another helpful feature that allows you to pull the waders on and off easier. The front chest pocket features a center drain for those times when deep water wading allows a little water to splash in.
- ATTENTION - PLEASE MIND THE SIZE CHART AND CHOOSE THE RIGHT SIZE BEFORE BUYING!
- STURDY & DURABLE –3.5 mm neoprene upper with tough poly / jersey shell and stretch liner and triple-finished seams that are stitched, glued and taped, makes it extra solid and durable, you will always have peace of mind that your waders will perform while out in the waters and woods hunting and fishing.
- 100% WATERPROOF –Besides premium quality material guarantee, the TideWe waders also feature with armor weld double-stitched and sealed seams, polyurethane-coated leggings, all these give extra protection and make sure there is no leak.
- SOLID & INSULATED RUBBER BOOT - Built-in rubber boot is comfortable and can be worn with or without socks; 600 Gram 3M Thinsulate ultra insulation makes your feet warm; Reinforced shoe vamp for added puncture protection ; Our rugged boot tread pattern provides you with better balance and traction on wet and muddy surfaces; better grip means fewer slips and falls.
- ADJUSTABLE & USER-FRIENDLY - Adjustable neoprene suspenders with and loop attachments allow you to pull the waders on and off super easily due to the simple design. Quick-drain chest hand-warmer pocket with small pocket inside to keep things dry.
Lacrosse Brush Tuff Extreme Hunting Waders are the big boy on the block. These are serious waders, made for serious hunting and extreme weather conditions. When you are facing really cold hunting, with ice and wind, 2.5mm and 3.5mm neoprene might keep you warm, maybe. But why take the chance?
Lacrosse makes their Brush Tuff Extreme Hunting Waders with thick 5mm neoprene so you can be comfortable even when the weather is brutal. The waders are fleece lined throughout the upper.
Durability is truly stout, with double stitched seams and polyurethane reinforced knees and seat. A unique combination of spandex and lycra is layered over the 5mm neoprene for additional dependability.
They included all the comforts and features that make a hunting wader perform when the birds are working the decoys hard. Complete with a top loading pocket, a hand warmer pocket, and a built in shot shell holder that holds up to 8 rounds.
Lacrosse knows that standing in cold water on a long hunt can sap away body heat quickly. Lacrosse made the Brush Tuff Extreme Hunting Waders to buck the cold. The whopping 1600G Thinsulate Ultra Insulation in the boot makes for unmatched warmth.
When the weather breaks and temperatures rise, the buckle and touch fastener straps allow for waist-high conversion to a belt when waders are folded down.
Here is a video on Lacrosse Brush Tuff Extreme Hunting Waders:
- Hand warmer, top loading pocket and built-in shell holder provide storage (Upper)
- Buckled straps can be used as a belt when the wader is folded down (Upper)
- Hand-laid premium rubber for durable, waterproof comfort (Boot)
- 1600G Thinsulate Ultra Insulation for superior warmth (Boot)
- Multilayer rubber on the toe, heel and vamp for added protection and support (Boot)
Compass 360 has a rapidly growing reputation for top of the line wading gear with fair pricing. Their DuraTek Hunting Waders build on that reputation with a lot of features you’d normally see in high-end waders.
DuraTek Hunting Waders are constructed from rugged 5mm neoprene to battle the cold wind and water. Compass 360 also covers the waders with a puncture resistant Dura-span stretch nylon shell to avoid damage and leaks.
Warm 1200 gram Thinsulate insulated rubber boots will help to keep your feet warm even when you stand in the cold water for hours. The ankle fit boot design provides a more comfortable experience for those long days of hunting.
DuraTek Hunting Waders uses triple sealed seam technology so you’ll stay dry whether you’re in the boat or the blind. Compass 360 uses reinforced tough oversized knee pads so kneeling down is comfortable while keeping your waders protected from puncture.
Storage in the DuraTek Hunting Waders is on par with high end waders as well. They feature a deep fleece lined handwarmer pocket as well as two front waist storage pockets. To keep personal items dry Compass 360 includes a flip out inside security pocket.
The front chest features 10 neoprene shell loops so you can make a quick reload when the flock is still circling the decoys. An expandable chest call pocket will keep your call warm and working on those really cold days.
- Triple seal seam technology; Stitched, taped, and glued
- Adjustable neoprene & web suspenders with quick release buckles
- Puncture resistant Tripwire PU boot protection strip
- Deep chest handwarmer pockets with neoprene shell loops and flip out device pocket
- 1200 Gram Thinsulate insulated rubber boots
Our final pick for neoprene hunting waders goes to Frogg Toggs Amphib Camo Hunting Waders. These waders offer the most economic pricing of our hunting wader choices. They provide a comfortable fit and good protection for a reasonable price.
Frogg Toggs Amphib Waders feature 3.5mm neoprene upper with a poly-jersey shell for added resistance to abrasion and puncture. The waders feature a stretch-jersey liner and triple-finished seams that are glued, stitched and taped for a solid watertight seal.
Though these waders are a high-value and reasonably priced, you might notice that storage options aren’t overly abundant. Frogg Toggs includes a nice handwarmer pocket with a quick drain as well as a security pouch inside the waders for items you need to keep dry.
The boots are lined with 600 grams of Thinsulate insulation which is great for cold water temperatures. There is still enough room to add a warm pair of socks as temperatures drop close to freezing.
The suspenders are also constructed from neoprene and are fully adjustable with hook and loop attachments. D-rings are located just below the shoulders for attaching add-on accessories, like shell holders.
- 3.5mm neoprene upper
- High-back design for deeper wading
- Neoprene suspenders with adjustable hook-and-loop attachment
- Handwarmer pocket
- Reinforced knees