Best Hunting Waders of 2020 – Ultimate Review

Jeff
| Last Updated December 11, 2020

Whether you are fishing or hunting ducks and waterfowls, doing so in a good wader will ensure your clothes remain dry, and you are comfortable to achieve your goals.

Waders are of different types, depending on how you intend to use them.

Picking the best waders is not an easy task. There are numerous brands on the market, but we’ve done this detailed review to help you choose the best hunting waders.

Our Top Picks for Hunting Waders

  • Many extras
  • Easy to fit
  • Durable, lightweight
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  • Quick, easy storing
  • Convenient clothing
  • Lots of storage
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  • Best Breathable Hunting Waders
  • Waterproof, lightweight
  • Easy to use
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Comparison of the Best Hunting Waders

IMAGEPRODUCT
  • Waders and boots included in package among other things
  • Convenient easy to close buckle for quick easy fit
  • Made from lightweight polyester materials
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  • Carry bag included for easy carrying when not in use
  • Easy fit and remove option for convenience
  • Large pockets attached for easy storage
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  • Best Breathable Hunting Waders
  • 100 percent waterproof and lightweight materials
  • Versatile and functional to be used in many different applications
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  • Best Chest Waders For Duck Hunting
  • Easy and quick buckle closure for quick fitting
  • Very lightweight and strong materials used
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  • Best Cold Weather Duck Hunting Waders
  • Made from strong neoprene materials to last longer
  • Thinsulate insulation in boot for better comfort and warmth
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  • Best Women's Chest Waders For Duck Hunting
  • Very lightweight and strong materials used
  • 100 percent waterproof and lightweight materials
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What Are Waders?

Waders are waterproof gear used to keep hunters from getting wet whenever fishing or hunting in water for long hours. They are constructed from different materials like neoprene and PVC, designed to keep water out.

The best waders should be waterproof, have excellent traction and balance in muddy situations, and the size should be fitting. Bad quality waders tend to leak, boot sizes do not fit, and the waders are not adjustable.

Stockingfoot waders have sock-like extensions at the end where you slip the boot on.

How Do Waders Work?

Waders keep you dry by preventing water from reaching you. They are made from durable and waterproof materials. Wading boots are also waterproof, and others are insulated to keep you warm in cold weather.

Some have adjustable suspenders to custom fit them and a waist belt to prevent water from getting inside.

Are Waders Important While Hunting?

Yes, they are. Here are some benefits that come with wearing waders when hunting:

  1. They protect you from getting wet

  2. Insulated waders keep you warm in cold seasons

  3. They protect your clothes from getting dirty and torn

The products on our list are made from superior quality, thus tough and durable. Most designs are waterproof with water repellent protection to prevent leakage, unlike the generic ones, which tear easily; these last for a long time because of the solid construction.

Insulated waders will keep you warm when it’s cold, while breathable waders will prevent your body from overheating when it’s hot.

OXYVAN Waterproof Lightweight Waders (Source)

Quick Take | Best Hunting Waders

Just looking for the three best hunting waders? Here they are:

  1. OXYVAN Waterproof Lightweight Waders
  2. Foxelli Neoprene Camo Chest Waders
  3. Komex Chest Waders

Review of the Best Hunting Waders

Here is our honest review of the best hunting waders on the market today:

OXYVAN Chest Waders Waterproof and Lightweight Fishing Wader with Boots for Men and Women (M5/W7, Army Green)

PROS

  • More flexible and lightweight
  • Non-slip sole with thicken PVC
  • Can be used on water and land
  • Inside pocket with loop and hook
  • Durable PVC and 70D mixed material

CONS

  • Straps tend to loosen
  • Bigger sizes than expected

What Recent Buyers Report

Buyers love how lightweight the waders feel and fit. They also feel comfortable even when bending and walking around. Few people have reported small leaks, but that could be a damaged stitch, but most of them are watertight.

Why it Stands Out to Us

Oxyvan has used mixed materials on these waders to achieve a more durable light design. They are made from a mix of PVC and 70D nylon, unlike traditional fabric waders made from thick and heavy fabric.

The sole is non-slip with thicken PVC, a light material that helps you remain safe in the water. It also features adjustable belts to give you balance. If you have your phone or other items, you can keep them in the inside pocket, which has a hook and loop to prevent them from falling into the water.

Most importantly, this wader is multipurpose as you can use it when fishing, hunting, or doing other activities.

Bottom Line

Overall, this wader is an ideal option for an affordable yet quality wader that you can wear in any season. Its straps may loosen a bit, but it makes up by being watertight, durable, and lightweight. 

Foxelli Neoprene Chest Waders – Camo Fishing Waders for Men with Boots - Use for Duck Hunting, Fly Fishing, Emergency Flooding – 100% Waterproof, Carrying Bag Included

PROS

  • D-rings for clipping your gear
  • Comes with a nylon carrier bag
  • Adjustable suspenders to custom your fit
  • Made from waterproof 4mm Neoprene with insulation properties
  • Nylon belt has carabiners to attach fishing gear and clip to your waders

CONS

  • The grip could be better
  • Boot sizes tend to be small

What Recent Buyers Report

Apart from the materials’ superior quality, most buyers are impressed as the waders hold up like expected. They keep them warm with the insulation, and the carabiners allow them to attach their accessories and bring them along with no hassle.

Other features seem insignificant, like the chest pocket, which doubles as a hand warmer, turns out to be very useful. However, getting the right boot size seems like a gamble.

Why it Stands Out to Us

The comfort they offer even when in cold water is probably their best feature. They have insulation properties to prevent you from feeling cold. Chest suspenders are adjustable with detachable quick-release buckles and double-layered reinforced knee pads for protection.

If you need to carry accessories for hunting or fishing, you can clip your gear to the D-rings, keep your phone in the inner mesh pocket, or use the exterior chest pocket. It comes with a nylon belt with two carabiners to attach your gear and a nylon carrier bag.

The boots have a neoprene lining for insulation, are lightweight, and have non-slip PVC sole for balance and traction in muddy situations.

Bottom Line

These waders will give you the best experience in mud and water. People who love hunting or fishing in waders will appreciate the accessories storage and clips for attachment. Just ensure you order a size up from your normal shoe size to avoid frustrations.

Best Breathable Hunting Waders:
Komex Chest Waders

KOMEX Chest Waders,Fishing Boots Waders Hunting Bootfoot with Wading Belt Waterproof Boots Breathable Nylon and PVC Wading Boots for Men and Women

PROS

  • Solid and durable
  • Incredibly comfortable
  • All-purpose chest waders
  • Lighter than traditional waders

CONS

  • Boots could use more support on the bottom
  • The belt runs across the front pocket, so you can’t use it as a hand warmer

What Recent Buyers Report

Buyers cannot stop praising these waders for their solid and comfortable design. Almost all buyers have not had a problem with leaking boots, a clear indicator of quality. They have surpassed their expectations of being waterproof and durable.

However, several of them have had to put insoles to make the boot more comfortable when wearing for long hours, and others have complained that the rubber is smeller. Nonetheless, it’s no dealbreaker.

Why it Stands Out to Us

For such cheap waders, their quality is incredible. Although there are no advanced features, the basic ones are almost perfect. They are 100% waterproof, and each one is tested before packaging.

The waders are made from breathable nylon and the boots PVC. They are lightweight, and you can use them in virtually all weather conditions and when doing various activities like fishing, hunting, farming, and others.

The H-back suspenders are adjustable and feature quick-release buckles. There’s also a waist belt and a chest pocket to keep your phone and small accessories.

Bottom Line

These waders have the basic features you require and are of high-quality. They lack advanced features like accessory attachment loops but will still do the job at a very affordable price. If the rubber boots are smelly, you can try cleaning them after every use and allow them to dry completely. The smell might disappear after wearing them for a while.

Best Chest Waders For Duck Hunting:
Hodgman Mackenzie Cleat Chest Bootfoot Waders

Hodgman MACKCBC08 Mackenzie Nylon and PVC Cleated Bootfoot Chest Fishing Waders, Size 8, Brown

PROS

  • Adjustable suspenders
  • Flexible than rubber waders
  • Inner pocket to keep small items
  • Lightweight than traditional rubber waders
  • Made from PVC and nylon, thus strong and durable

CONS

  • No insulation
  • No pockets for fishing accessories

What Recent Buyers Report

The price of these waders has attracted many buyers who have no regrets except for some complaints of leaking boots. The material is waterproof but very thin, so you have to put on some warm clothing if you’re going into the water. 

Outdoor enthusiasts loved the thick material on the legs and torso plus the durable rubber boots. Others have expressed their concern about the lack of pockets for keeping accessories or even a hand warmer.

Why it Stands Out to Us

These waders are simple and capable of performing basic functions. They are also affordable and an ideal option for people who don’t need to carry many accessories.

They are made from a tough nylon shell for durability to keep water out, while the boots have a cleated PVC construction, which is 25% more durable than rubber. You will not get tired after being in them for a long time as they are lightweight.

The suspenders are adjustable to fit you well, have a buckle closure, and an internal pocket where you can keep small items like your phone and keys.

Bottom Line

You won’t have to break the bank to buy these waders. The best part is that they still function well and are durable. If you wish to go fishing, consider carrying a separate bag with your accessories as these waders can only hold so much.

Best Cold Weather Duck Hunting Waders:
Lacrosse Super Brush Tuff Insulated Waders

Lacrosse Men's Super Brush Tuff Wader Realtree Max 5 (8)

PROS

  • Reinforced knee pads
  • Front and back D-rings
  • Removable EVA footbeds
  • Thinsulate Ultra Insulation boots
  • Made from neoprene and covered lycra stretch fabric for durability

CONS

  • Expensive
  • Some people have reported bruised shin and calf muscles

What Recent Buyers Report

Many buyers are impressed with these waders’ high-quality construction. They remain warm enough in cold water on a cold morning thanks to the boots’ insulation. Others have loved how they remain tough, even in rough conditions.

However, some people have experienced pain in the shin and calf muscles because the point where neoprene meets the boot is narrow and squeezes the legs. 

Why it Stands Out to Us

When it comes to waders meant for hunting, shore fishing, and more activities that involve dipping in water, they should be durable and prevent water from leaking and getting you wet. These waders are made with neoprene and Brush Tuff spandex for more toughness and puncture resistance.

They are double-stitched and taped on the inside to make them waterproof. The boots have 1200G Thinsulate Ultra Insulation for warmth, are made from rubber, and have removable insoles.

The waders also feature knee pads, D-rings in front and back, a 10-shell holder, and Buckle and Velcro straps that turn into a belt when you fold down the waders. Their Realtree MAX-5 camo pattern blends well into open fields and marshes.

Bottom Line

These waders are of supreme quality. They are durable and will keep you warm and dry and well blended into the surrounding. Except for the leg-hurting issues, they are an excellent option for cold weather duck hunting,

Best Women's Chest Waders For Duck Hunting:
TIDEWE Bootfoot Chest Wader

TIDEWE Bootfoot Chest Wader, 2-Ply Nylon/PVC Waterproof Fishing & Hunting Waders with Boot Hanger for Men and Women Brown Size 5

PROS

  • Top drawcord
  • Fits incredibly well
  • All-purpose waders
  • Flip-out chest pocket
  • Comes with boot hanger and waterproof phone case

CONS

  • Not warm in cold weather
  • Some feel the boot is too soft

What Recent Buyers Report

Almost every buyer has their waders fitting well. The quality is great, and they are lightweight. With such a low price, customers are impressed by the numerous features, including many stretches, making it easy to wear it for a long time. The boots are made from decent material, are comfortable, and the chest and waist belts improve the fitting.

Why it Stands Out to Us

The waders are made from 2-ply nylon/PVC, which is lightweight and, at the same time, tough and durable. It easily fits into a backpack and has a Water Intrusion Resistance processing to keep out water.

Its features include a top drawcord, a flip-out chest pocket, and H-bad adjustable suspenders with quick-release buckles. They come with a waterproof phone case to prevent your phone and belongings from soaking in water and a boot hanger.

These are all-purpose, and you can wear them when doing different activities. However, they lack insulation and won’t keep you warm in cold seasons.

Bottom Line

If you plan fishing during summer and want to spend less money, these TIDEWE Bootfoot chest waders are an ideal option. You can comfortably wear them as a woman, and the best thing is that they come with a boot hanger to solve your drying issues and a waterproof phone case.

TIDEWE Chest Waders, Hunting Waders for Men Realtree MAX5 Camo with 600G Insulation, Waterproof Cleated Neoprene Bootfoot Wader, Insulated Hunting & Fishing Waders (Size 10)

PROS

  • Sturdy and durable
  • Insulated rubber boots
  • Excellent Realtree camo
  • Adjustable suspenders with loop attachments
  • Reinforced shoe vamp for additional puncture protection

CONS

  • Has size issues
  • It may not be 100% waterproof

What Recent Buyers Report

Although several customers have reported leaks and issues with sizes, there have been good reports too. The waders are well-made and comfortable to walk in. The insulation works well for people who have used them in cold weather or water.

With the features they come with, buyers are impressed with the excellent price and said they are worth the money.

Why it Stands Out to Us

First of all, these waders are made from neoprene and with tough poly/jersey, triple-finished seam, and stretch liner to make them solid and durable. The rubber boots are insulated to keep your feet warm and have a reinforced shoe vamp to protect them from puncture.

The suspenders are adjustable and have loop attachments to put them on and remove them easily. On the front is a chest pocket that acts as a hand warmer. 

The materials are well stitched and sealed to prevent any leakages. You’ll also love the boot soles’ tread pattern that gives you traction and balance in mussy and wet conditions.

Bottom Line

These waders are ideal for people on a budget but still can’t compromise on the quality. They are probably the best waders you can find at that price. Ensure you double-check the size chart before placing an order.

Types of Waders

The market is full of many different types of waders. Here are some types that stand out:

Bootfoot Waders

These extend from the hunter’s foot to the chest. The boots are attached to the waders permanently. This means you don’t have to buy separate wading boots, but they add to the overall weight of the waders. Also, it’s harder to put them on compared to other types that are not attached.

Stockingfoot Waders

Instead of the permanent attachment to the boots like the boot foot, stockingfoot waders have an extended neoprene sock at the end. You can then put on separate wading boots on the sock.

Since the boots are not attached to the waders, the waders’ overall weight is lighter, and you can easily change or upgrade your wading boots if they get damaged or don’t fit anymore.

Hip Waders

Some hip waders have boots attached to them while others are not. They extend from the foot to the upper part of the leg of the hunter. They are designed for hunting and wading in slow-moving waters.

Hip waders are easy to get in and out and are more comfortable than other types of waders. If you don’t want to get wet while fishing in shallow waters, hip waders will keep you dry.

Chest Waders

Chest waders go up to your chest and are one-piece of a garment. Unlike hip waders, they allow you to wade in water up to your chest. You can wade in deeper waters with them, and even when there are strong currents, you’ll not get wet. Always remember to put on a waist belt with chest waders to prevent water from getting inside.

Comparison Overview

If you wonder what the difference or similarities are between the many types of waders, worry no more. Here are some differences and similarities that should help clear things up.

Bootfoot vs Stockingfoot Waders

Similarities

  1. Both keep you from getting wet

Differences

  1. Bootfoot waders have the boots attached to the waders, are harder to get into, heavy, and cumbersome

  2. Stockingfoot waders have sock-like booties attached at the end, are easier to get into, and lightweight

Neoprene vs Breathable Waders

Similarities

  1. Both are waterproof by design

Differences

  1. Neoprene waders have insulation and are good for cold weather, are cheaper, reliable, heavy, and less comfortable. They are made of neoprene rubber, which is waterproof

  2. Breathable waders have no insulation and are thus best suited for hot seasons, are more expensive, lightweight, comfortable, and made from breathable material

TIDEWE Waterproof Camo Chest Waders

Hip Waders vs Chest Waders

Similarities

  1. Some hip waders have boots attached to them like chest waders

Differences

  1. Hip waders reach up to the hips and are designed for shallow water hunting. Chest waders are one piece of garment that reaches up to the chest, and you can wade in deep waters without getting wet

Stout Waders vs Regular

Similarities

  1. Both are made from the same materials and have similar features; only the measurements differ

Differences

  1. Regular waders have long inseam measurements and are best for hunters and anglers, while stout waders have shorter inseam measurements and have extra room in the upper body and mid-section area

Foxelli Neoprene Camo Chest Waders

How to Size Waders

Most people complain that their waders don't fit properly. You should size them first before buying them.

Sizing OXYVAN Waterproof Lightweight Waders 

  1. Make sure you’re in the fishing gear or clothes almost similar to the ones you’ll be wearing when wading

  2. Put on the waders and try them in different positions like when sitting, kneeling, and unhooking fish

  3. Kneel on the floor, sit on your heel and place your hands on the floor and slowly push them forward. If you don’t feel any tightness and you’re comfortable in them, that’s the right size. If not, pick a larger size

How to Size Chest Waders

For chest waders, pull back your arms with the elbows pointing back and the chest moving outwards. If it feels tight, you can adjust the straps until you feel comfortable or go for a larger size.

How Should Waders Fit?

Waders should not be too tight so that walking and breathing in them is difficult. They should not be loose to prevent water from entering. A perfect fit will not leave any gaps and will be comfortable.

Tips For Putting on Waders

Here are some tips on how to effectively put on waders:

  1. Loosen all the straps and belt to put them on easily

  2. Ensure you are completely dry and your clothes too

  3. After putting them on, fasten the belt and adjust the straps so that the waders fit you well without leaving spaces

How Tight Should Waders Be?

They should fit you well but not so tight that it’s even hard to breathe. There should be no space or bagginess left.

How to Wear Waders

You put on waders the same way as trousers and fasten the waist belt. For chest waders, you’ll need to adjust the straps to a perfect fit. Then wear the boots unless it’s boot foot waders where the boots are attached to the waders.

How to Put on Hip Waders

Hip waders go up to your hips. You should slide them on your legs and pull them up to the hips, then fasten the belts and wear the boots.

How to Clean and Store Hunting Waders

To get the most out of your money with the hunting waders, you should take good care of them. Proper maintenance goes a long way in keeping your waders in shape and lasts for a long time.

Watch the video below to learn how to clean your waders.

1. Remove Mud, Sand, and Debris

Regardless of the type of waders you were using, wash away the sand, debris, and dirt using a hosepipe before it can dry up on the gear. Hose from top to bottom, making sure not to miss any spots, including the boots.

2. Scrub Using a Brush

Using a stiff brush and warm water, scrub off any remaining dirt and clean any folds, welts, and the backside until they’re properly scrubbed.

3. Hang the Waders to Dry

Ensure the waders dry completely before you store them. Sun drying is recommended, and you can use wader hangers and boot hangers to hang them for drying. 

4. Look for Tears and Holes

Branches and twigs can make holes in your waders without your knowledge. When they are completely dry, look out for any tears and repair them if there are any.

5. Storage

Store your waders away from direct sunlight, and if you’re storing them for an extended time, you can reapply the water repellent protection as reinforcement.

Conclusion

Waders are as important to a hunter as an apron to a chef. Your choice of a wader will determine how comfortable and dry you will be by the time you are done. The waders featured above will make your sessions enjoyable.

People Also Ask

There’s so much about waders apart from buying them and putting them on. Buyers always have other concerns like maintaining their waders, repairing them when they get torn, whether it’s safe to swim in waders, and other questions. Here are the frequently asked questions about waders.

Are Chest Waders Dangerous?

Waders are not as dangerous as they are assumed to be. The myth that waders cause drowning is just that—a myth. If you wear properly-fitting waders, adjustable to your size, and put on the belt, there will be no space to hold the water. However, loose and bagger waders without a belt can be problematic.

How Do You Get the Smell Out of Waders?

Clean your waders after every use and turn them inside out to dry. Ensure they dry completely before storing them. If the smell is too much, add odor eliminators to the water when washing them. Some odor eliminator products should not be rinsed to be effective. Make sure you read the instructions on the package.

Are Breathable Waders Warm?

Breathable waders are less insulated compared to neoprene waders. They are meant for hot seasons, but if it gets cold or you’re wading in cold water, you can put on a pair of socks and warm clothes under the waders to keep you warm.

Can You Swim With Waders On?

Yes, you can swim with your waders on. Contrary to the old myth that waders will drag you down when they get filled with water, you only need them to be adjustable and fitting not to hold any water. Ensure the belt is tightly tied, and the pockets are zipped.

How Much Thinsulate Do I Need in Waders?

A 400g Thinsulate is ideal for not so cold days. For early winter, 1200g should help you keep warm, plus a pair of warm socks. But for icy days or fishing in a frozen lake, you can consider a 1600g Thinsulate with warm clothes and socks. 

Should I Wear Socks With Waders?

You can wear socks with waders if the waders are breathable and lightweight and the weather is cold, or you intend to wade in cold water. Also, if your boot size is big for you, wearing socks will help you fit in them better. However, if it’s not cold, your boots are insulated, and the boots are fitting, there’s no need for wearing socks.

How Do You Waterproof Waders?

To waterproof your breathable waders, start by cleaning them, then spray the exterior with a water repellent such as Revives Durable Water Repellent. To activate the repellent, use a warm iron. You can also opt to air dry the waders. Allow 48 hours before use for the repellent to set in. You should never iron neoprene or rubber components.

What to Wear Under Waders

What you wear under your waders depends on the type of waders and the weather outside. If it’s hot out and you have breathable waders, you can wear a t-shirt. For cold seasons with uninsulated waders, wear warm clothes under the waders such as sweat pants, a sweater, and a pair of socks. But, for insulated waders, you don’t need much clothing unless the insulation is not dependable.

How to Find Leaks in Waders

If your waders are leaking, but you can’t find where they are leaking, you can try filling them with water when they are dry to see the leaking points. Ensure the outer side does not get wet; otherwise, you won’t find what you’re looking for.

How to Fix Leaking Waders

Get an epoxy-like material and make sure the waders are clean. Then stick the patch either on the outside or inside of the wader. Make sure the patch covers the tear and overlaps it by at least 1cm in all directions. Put the patch on the tear (adhesive down) and apply pressure with your finger.

How to Repair Neoprene Waders

Look for the leak by filling the waders with water. You can also look for tears or punctures on the waders as they often result in leaks. Apply SG-20 or Acquaseal (a flexible, epoxy-like material) to the leak. SG-20 takes an hour, while Acquaseal requires 12 hours before you can put it on.

What Does Stout Mean in Waders?

Waders come in different sizes. Stout is for average-sized people who can’t fit in the king size. For instance, a size 12 stout can fit an averagely large person.

What Shoes to Wear With Waders?

Waders come with wading boots, which are also waterproof, and others are insulated to keep your feet warm. You do not need to wear shoes with waders as you already have boots. The boot size should be fitting and have a non-slip sole for balance and better traction when wading in the muddy area.

What Kind of Waders Does Duck Commander Use?

Duck Commander announced in late 2019 that Frogg Toggs, a famous manufacturer of affordable, lightweight, breathable rain gear and wade gear, would become the official waders for Duck Commander. 

How to Care For Breathable Wader

You should clean your breathable waders at least twice every season to remove dirt, smell, and keep them comfortable. Always remove loose parts like shoulder straps to prevent them from being caught in the machine when washing, don’t use fabric softener or powder, and hang them outside to dry. If the outer coating on the waders starts falling off, reproof it to keep it functional.

Jeff

My name is Jeff and I have been hunting and fishing for over 40 years. I am an avid archery lover, bass fisherman, and all-around outdoorsman. Currently, I'm obsessed with elk hunting but I'm sure I'll move onto a different favorite soon. You gotta love hunting for that reason :) If you have any questions, or just want chat about your latest hunting score or big catch, you can reach me at admin@biggamelogic.com. Read more about Big Game Logic.