Duck Hunting 101: Selecting Waders

 Duck Hunting Waders
Contributed by Cameron Simot

The choices for waders for duck hunting are endless, but with these simple tips, you can find the pair that will suit you best.

The first factor is what kind of climate you hunt in. If you are always hunting in the warmth, a pair of breathable waders will best suit you. If you are out in the cold, then you are most likely going to want a pair of insulated neoprene waders. These can be found most everywhere in either 3mm or 5mm neoprene. They also have all different varieties of insulated boots. Something to remember is that, the warmer the waders are, the heavier they will be.

There are many small factors to consider as well. If you like a shell pouch on your chest, make sure they have D-rings. If you want integrated shell holders on your chest, look for those. Some will offer pocket options for small things you might take hunting, such as phones. Reinforced knees and seams are always a good thing. Some even have a hand warmer pocket, might be something for the northern guys to look into while others have padded shoulder straps for added comfort during long hunts.
Lacrosse Waders
Next, you have to decide which color, or pattern, you want. If you are going to be wearing them duck hunting, you are going to want a camo pair. Now all you have to do is simply decide which pattern you like most, Realtree Max-5 seems to be the most common. Camo does cost more usually, and if they are out of your budget, you might want to go with a dark brown or green.

You are going to want to find a pair that are not only durable, but repairable. Many waterfowl hunting spots are stricken with hidden sticks, and other debris that could puncture your waders. Many will come with a patch kit, and this is something you want to know before buying the waders. If they do not come with a kit, I highly recommend getting one. This way if something happens to your waders, you can patch it up so you’re not standing in cold water every hunt.

Buying waders that come with reinforced knees will help a lot with protecting the waterproofing. Your knees are one of the most vulnerable spots of the waders. When both reinforcement, and repairing fail, many companies allow you turn to a warranty. A warranty is something you should check into before purchasing any pair of waders. Some companies may offer free replacement for the lifetime of the product, some may be for just one or two years. They vary greatly, and it is very important to read the fine print when it comes to warranties.

Finally, make sure you try the waders on, this can be difficult if you are more of an online shopper. If you can find somewhere that sells the same waders as you are looking at online, you can try them on in store, then purchase them online. Try to think about how you are going to be able to move in these waders doing typical hunting activities. Just think about your budget and buy what YOU can afford. Always check the reviews online before buying a pair of waders. If you properly take care of them, they should last a few years.

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