Best Breathable Hunting Waders – 2020 Buyer’s Guide

Are you tired of having cold legs and wet clothes to deal with when you go fishing and hunting? If so, then it’s time for you to look into breathable waders.

Breathable waders will give you the comfort of remaining dry, both while hiking to your destination and after wading in.

Our review will give you information on how to choose a pair of hunting waders and highlight some of the best currently on the market. 

Comparison of the Best Breathable Hunting Waders

IMAGEPRODUCT
  • Durable material for long use
  • Secure, non-slip foot coverings
  • Adjustable shoulder strap for size
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  • Attached rubber boots
  • Lightweight nylon material
  • Adjustable shoulder straps for size
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  • Handwarmer pockets for comfort
  • Internal seams to ensure waterproof
  • Reinforced material to prevent tears
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  • Attached rubber boots
  • Neoprene insulation in boots
  • Adjustable shoulder straps for size
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  • Wide sizing range
  • Adjustable Shoulder Straps for size
  • Neoprene foot coverings to prevent slipping
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  • Best Frogg Toggs Breathable Waders
  • Shins and knees covered with strong abrasion-resistant nylon
  • Material is lightweight, durable, breathable, and abrasion-resistant
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  • Best Banded Breathable Waders
  • Manufactured from waterproof and breathable material
  • Comes with a removable webbing belt
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What Makes Waders Breathable?

Waders are breathable because of the type of material they are made with. They work by allowing water vapor to dissipate through the material while stopping liquid water from entering. This means that if you are fishing or hunting on a warm day and have to hike and move around a lot to get to your destination, your sweat will evaporate through the waders, keeping you dry and cool.

Breathable waders are made with either nylon or polyester, which facilitate comfort and sweat evaporation, and have an outer covering of Gore-Tex, which provides a waterproof barrier to prevent leaks.

How to Choose Breathable Waders

Now that you understand how these work, it’s time to think about what makes the best pair. Here are some things to keep in mind while shopping for breathable waders:

Comfort

One of the main things you want to think about while shopping for waders is whether or not you will be comfortable in them. These are worn for long periods of time to fish or hunt, so you need be able to move well and have waders that aren’t uncomfortable; otherwise, you will not enjoy your trip.

Sizing

The second thing to consider is sizing. You have to get waders that fit you well, whether they are stockingfoot or booted waders. Make sure that you understand the sizing instructions if buying online and measure yourself as instructed.

Storage

Lastly, make sure that you will be able to keep all your hunting and fishing essentials with you while wearing your waders, preferably so that you don’t have to haul around an extra bag.

Quick Take | Best Breathable Hunting Waders

Just looking for the three best breathable hunting wader options? Here they are:

  1. Compass Deadfall
  2. FISHINGSIR
  3. Drake MST Eqwader 2.0

Review of the Best Breathable Hunting Waders

Now that you know what to look for in your waders, it’s time to start comparing brands and types of waders to make sure that you get the very best match for you.

Best Overall:
COMPASS Deadfall

Compass 360 Deadfall Breathable STFT Chest Wader

PROS

  • Adjustable shoulder straps
  • Reinforced knee and shin coverage
  • Neoprene booties to prevent slipping

CONS

  • Sizing complications

These are extremely well built. They are made with durable 4-ply nylon to keep you dry and cool. They have double-layered reinforcement on the knees and shins to prevent leaks due to wear. They also sport adjustable shoulder straps to make sure that they fit you comfortably.

Their stockingfoot design is built with neoprene booties to prevent your feet from slipping in wading boots. These also have insulated chest pockets to allow for easy access and storage of keys, phones, or small fishing equipment that will come in handy. It also has a flip-over pocket to protect phones and other equipment that need to be kept dry.

Bottom Line

COMPASS Deadfall Breathable Stockingfoot Chest Waders are an excellent choice for anyone who is going to be moving a lot to get to their fishing or hunting destination. Having neoprene booties to ensure that your feet aren’t slipping around while hiking will provide comfort for long use and save you the time of having to adjust your shoes all the time.

The reinforced material over your knees and shins will prove helpful when you need to be kneeling to clean a kill or to get in the best place to wait for your prey. The only con of these is any possible complications that can arise with sizing, but if you read the sizing instructions this shouldn’t be an issue for you. 

Plus, the adjustable shoulder straps can serve as extra sizing insurance. Overall, these chest waders are great quality that will be sure to serve you well in your fishing and hunting trips.

Best for Duck Hunting:
FISHINGSIR Chest Waders

PROS

  • Lighter material
  • Adjustable shoulder straps
  • Heat welded tough rubber boots

CONS

  • Attached boots

These are built with comfort in mind. Nylon material is used in production so that the waders are lighter than others but still provide the same waterproofing. These are of the boot foot design and have tough rubber boots that are heat welded to the leg material of the waders to ensure a waterproof seal.

They have adjustable H-back shoulder straps to make sure that any added weight to the waders is evenly distributed to keep you comfortable. They have a flip-out chest pocket for storage of personal items and two D-rings in front for any equipment you might need to attach.

Bottom Line

FISHINGSIR Chest Waders are a great choice for someone who is looking to be comfortable and still have all the perks of other heavier options. The use of lighter material makes them more comfortable for long use and if you are going to be in warmer weather while wearing them. Having the adjustable straps adds extra ease for sizing and use, although you will still need to make sure to size your waders carefully so that they fit well.

Having the heat welded attached tough rubber boots can be seen as both a pro and a con. If you are going to have to do a lot of hiking to reach your destination, these may not be the waders for you, as hiking in rubber boots can cause blisters and discomfort. However, the boots will not be a problem if you are going to be doing less walking and more wading in the water for your prey. Overall, these are excellent for comfort in warmer weather.

Best Drake Breathable Hunting Waders:
Drake MST Eqwader 2.0

Drake MST Eqwader 2.0 3.5mm 800 Gram Insulated Chest Waders Neoprene

PROS

  • Reinforced knee padding
  • Against-the-body handwarmer pockets
  • Internal seams with extra wide waterproof seam seal

CONS

  • Velcro adjustable shoulder straps

These are built to last you a long time. With their reinforced knee padding, you can spend time kneeling to clean what you have caught immediately and not have to worry about ripping your waders by kneeling on a rock. They also have internal seams that have extra wide waterproof seam seal tape to ensure that you stay dry the whole time you are in the water.

In addition to this, these have against the body handwarmer pockets to keep you comfortable. They also have a large waterproof chest cargo pocket to keep any personal items that you need. Along with this pocket, these have buckshot sleeves for added ammunition storage in case you run out.

Bottom Line

Drake MST Eqwader 2.0 Chest Waders are great for uses in colder temperatures and long exposure to cold water, as the internal seams are sealed with extra wide waterproof tape to make sure you stay dry.

These are excellent for duck hunting in particular, as you can store extra ammo securely in them and gain extra comfort from reinforced knee padding while kneeling during a stakeout. The only downside is that the shoulder straps are Velcro adjustable. While they can wear down over time, this a very small con that can be easily overlooked for all of the perks that these have to offer.

PROS

  • Ankle contour to prevent slipping
  • Neoprene insulated boot bottoms
  • Adjustable shoulder straps and belt

CONS

  • Attached boots

These are built to be easy to use and durable in many conditions. They have neoprene insulated boot bottoms to make sure that your feet don’t get cold from standing in cold water for long periods of time. They also have ankle contour to prevent slipping around the heel of your foot, providing stability while walking and comfort as well.

They also have adjustable shoulder straps to ensure that your waders fit you properly. These also come with a detachable, adjustable belt for a good fit and to hang equipment on as needed. They also have a large chest pocket to store any items that you may need while hunting or fishing.

Bottom Line

LaCrosse Men’s Alpha Swampfoxs are a great choice for folks who are looking for a pair of simple yet quality waders that are easy to use and durable for different times of use.

With well-insulated boots to keep your feet dry and warm, even in cold water for long periods of time, these can be used in many different areas and at different times in the year. If you are going fishing in the colder months, you can use the adjustable shoulder straps and belt to allow you to layer up warm clothing underneath the waders while still keeping dry.

The only downside is that the attached rubber boots can cause some discomfort if you need to do some hiking in order to get to your destination. Overall the LaCrosse Men’s Alpha Swampfox are a great choice for you if you need easy use, durability, and reliability.

Best for the Money:
Hodgman H3

Hodgman H3 Stocking Foot Chest Waders

PROS

  • Many sizing options
  • Adjustable shoulder straps
  • Designated left and right neoprene booties

CONS

  • Limited storage

These are a great buy for many reasons. Built with easily adjustable shoulder straps, they also have a wide range in sizes to make sure that you can find the perfect fitting pair for you. They are the stockingfoot design and have designated left and right foot neoprene booties that will be comfortable and prevent slipping in your wading boots.

These also have a large chest pocket that is perfect for storing keys, phones, and hunting or fishing licenses to make sure that you have everything you need. They also have fleece-lined handwarmer pockets to make sure that you can stay comfortable even while hunting or fishing in colder temperatures.

Bottom Line

The Hodgman H3 are an excellent choice for people of any size who are looking to find a pair of waders that will keep them comfortable with proper sizing and adjustable shoulder straps. 

While these do have fleece lined hand warmer pockets to keep your fingers warm in the cold, they do have a limited amount of storage in the chest pocket and no additional rings or loops to hook other equipment that might be needed onto.

However, this is a small downside if you are going to be using a boat or stakeout sight in which you can keep additional gear. Overall, the Hodgman H3 are a great option for people looking for a simplistic and practical pair of waders that don’t have too many additions to get in the way.

Best Banded Breathable Waders:
Banded Redzone Breathable Insulated Wader

PROS

  • Keeps you extremely dry with evaporating moisture material
  • 100% waterproof and designed with securely taped seams for extra protection
  • Designed with a movement-encouraging pronounced knee for ease of mobility
  • Comes with a fleece-lined chest pocket to keep your hands warm in extreme weather
  • Made with breathable linen and laminate keep you comfortable

CONS

  • Size can be an issue
  • Lacks a drawstring near the neck

What Recent Buyers Report

Users report that this unit doesn’t leak, and it’s incredibly comfortable to move in. The fact that it’s lined makes it extremely comfortable. Moreover, securely taped seams keep them completely waterproof. Also, the soft material discourages chaffing or rubbing near the thigh area.

Why it Stands Out to Us

When you are wearing waders, apart from security, they also need to be incredibly comfortable, and Banded Redzone knows how to keep its loyal customers happy. These are comfortable and waterproof, as well as designed with articulated knees, and these are the qualities that stand out to us most.

Bottom Line

All in all, RedZone are the best of conventional neoprene type waders. They are 100% breathable, and they also let moisture escape, so you stay dry completely. Wear them like comfortable bibs and enjoy an extended range of motion.

Best Frogg Toggs Breathable Waders:
Frogg Toggs Grand Refuge 2.0

PROS

  • Also has ten-count bullet pocket for easy access while hunting
  • Features an adjustable belt to make the fitting snug and comfortable
  • Designed with lightweight, comfortable, and adjustable shoulder straps
  • Comes with two pockets; one removable and one flip-out chest pocket
  • Sturdy skin and articulated knees, as well as seat area for extreme durability and comfort

CONS

  • Heavy usage may cause leaks
  • Possible sizing issues may occur

What Recent Buyers Report

All the hunters out there who recently bought this unit fell in love with it on their first adventure. The design is super-efficient and comfortable. It’s waterproof with sturdy and secure seams. The comfort level of this wader is also unmatched. There are possible size issues, but with proper measurements, these are easily resolved.

Why it Stands Out to Us

There are many qualities that stand out, including the comfort level as well as efficiency. Dual pockets, bullet holders, sturdy knees, and seat area are some of those qualities. For hunters who like to keep it heavy and rough, there is abrasion-resistance nylon sewn into knees and seat area, comfort, and durability all in one.

Bottom Line

To cap it all, this ingenious wader is breathable, comfortable as well as extremely efficient. It comes with a 120-gram insulated liner and heavy-duty nylon in the shin that keeps chaffing. If that’s not enough, the comfortable shoulder straps are also adjustable.

How to Clean Waders

Maintaining your waders and washing them is one easy way of prolonging their lifespan. If you want to use them year after year, cleaning them and keeping them free of oils, fish slime, dirt, and more are extremely important. Also, washing it keep the stick away.

If you are looking for tips to easily wash your waders, here are a few pointers that will help.

Washing with Hands

There is no better way to wash your waders than with hands. Use mild dish soap with cold or warm water, whichever suits you better. With a soft rag, you can rub off all the gunk from it. With a bar of mild soap and scrub, the waders will clean easily and repel water as it should. Do not machine dry them; always hang them dry and use a DWR spray afterward.

Why Don’t We Recommend Machine Washing?

With machine wash, the wader may experience abrasion, and it will also get bunched in the machine as well. All of this can easily shorten its life. The dryer is a big no as well as the heat from the dryer can seriously damage the seam tape. Always store your waders in a cool and dry place when you are done with the cleaning.

Pros and Cons of Breathable Hunting Waders

A majority of breathable hunting waders are made from synthetic as well as a lightweight material. This is efficient and also very comfortable. Material and make slightly vary with all different manufacturers, so one can easily describe all. Breathable hunting waders are lightweight; hence they are prone to rips and wear and tear more than the other kind.

Here are several pros and cons that will help you understand breathable waders better.

Pros

Let’s first go through the pros.

Waterproof

They are always waterproof and breathable, so the water from the outside will not penetrate the wader, and the moisture inside will easily escape, keeping the wearer comfortable and dry.

Light

As they are made with synthetic material, they are pretty lightweight. This one quality makes long hikes and wading through marshes easier.

Cool

Light material and breathable quality also make them cooler than any other kind, so if you are in extremely hot weather, this will be a huge plus for you.

Versatile

Breathable waders are very easy to pair with clothes underneath. You won’t feel stuffy or hot while wearing socks or other warmers inside.

Compass Deadfall Breathable Stockingfoot Chest Waders

Cons

Meanwhile, a few limitations include:

Not Warm Enough

They are a huge disappointment if you are hunting in cold weather. Breathable waders aren’t insulated, so they don’t give you any warmth. However, with extra clothing underneath, you can easily resolve this issue.  

Breathable Material is Prone to Puncture

Wear and tear is pretty much apparent on breathable waders; they are prone to puncture more than the other kind.

How to Size Waders

Buying online can be confusing when you are ordering clothes. However, with waders, things are double confusing as they are not like typical clothing.

Ordering the correct size guarantees not only comfort but also ensures a long lifespan. Too many folds in an oversize wader will make the wader prone to wear and tear more than a snug fit wader. So always make sure you have ordered the right size.

Always check the provided size chart when ordering online; never play a guessing game with the size of the wader, as tight ones can get extremely uncomfortable. Use a measuring tape, or get your measurements done by a professional before ordering online. For a perfect fit, you need to measure the following.

  • Largest girth in inches; chest, waist, and hips
  • Inseam in inches; crotch to the floor
  • The shoe size

Conclusion

Now that you have seen some great options of different waders, learned how breathable waders work, and know what qualities to look for in a great pair of waders, you are ready to find the perfect pair for your hunting and fishing needs.

People Also Ask

While we have covered a lot in this article, you still may have some questions about breathable waders that were not covered. Hopefully, these following answers will help you understand what you need to know before you buy your own.

What Are Waders?

Waders are waterproof gears that extend from foot to your chest, they come in all shapes and sizes, and you can also get ones that extend to your knees or thigh. They are also available in all kinds of material, including neoprene and Gore-Tex variants. One can use them for angling, waterfowl hunting, etc.  

How Do Waders Work?

Waders are basically to protect you from water and gunk of marshes. They are lightweight and versatile. They easily let perspiration and moisture escape the suit making your feel comfortable so you can hunt in warm conditions. To make breathable waders work in cold conditions, all you need is to add insulation underneath it.  

What to Wear Under Waders?

You can wear all sorts of clothing under your waders. This is the beauty of ordering a breathable option. Adding a thermal layer or socks will not look bulky or feel uncomfortable in warm conditions. Breathable lets you enjoy your hunting and also enhances efficiency and mobility while hunting.

How Should Waders Fit?

Always get one size up your actual measurements when you are ordering waders. As for shoe size, go half a size up while ordering online. Also, it’s best if you use a measuring tape to size yourself. You will need to measure your largest girth in inches; chest, waist, and hips, inseam in inches; crotch to floor, and shoe size.

Do I Need a Camouflage Design?

No, it is not necessary to have a camouflage design on your waders. While the design can help you blend into some environments, that would be mainly useful for duck hunting. If you are planning on using your waders primarily for fishing, then you won’t need camouflage.

How Do I Store Hunting Waders?

The best way to store hunting waders is hanging them up. Before taking them off, make sure you thoroughly clean off all dirt, grass, mud, or sand, then hang them up and let them air dry. Folding would put pressure on seams and can cause leaks to form.

How Do I Know What Size Waders To Get?

If you are shopping for your waders online, make sure to look at the sizing chart and carefully measure yourself as instructed to ensure that you get the best fit. If you are shopping at a store, ask an employee to help you find out what fits you the best.

Are All Waders Waterproof?

Initially yes, all are waterproof. How long they stay waterproof depends on the quality of the material used to make them and how well they are cleaned and maintained by the owner. If not properly cared for, they will likely develop leaks faster than if they were properly maintained.

Do You Wear Shoes With Waders?

Yes, although the type of shoe that you need varies with the design you buy. Some have rubber boots built right onto them and the tops heat welded to prevent leaks. Others have neoprene booties that serve as a waterproof sock and you have to buy wading boots to wear with them.