Waterfowl season has come to an end and if you are like most hunters, you start taking stock of all the repairs or replacements you need to make before next season. We start thinking about how our gear performed last year and if it has enough life to go another round. We start making a list of new gear, new gadgets, and new ideas that will lead to next season’s success. For the hardcore hunter the first thing on the list will either be to repair the current pair of waders or toss em’ and start fresh. We took it upon ourselves to research and test the most used waders on the market today and bring the findings to you. So before you go an empty the pocket book, check these digs out!
Early Season- Warmer temperatures, more walking, lots of fun!
In the early season chasing around teal, you don’t need your heavy duty Thinsulate to keep you in the field.
LaCrosse Footwear – Alpha Swampfox $ 230.00
LaCrosse took this weather under consideration and made a ruggedly tough, breathable, early season boot foot wader. With patented ArmorTex chaps lining these waders you don’t have to worry about catching on harsh thorns or thistles when walking to the blind. With elastic suspenders and a connecting v-point in the back, no longer will shoulder slippage be a problem during the early season. Check them out at LaCrosse.
Millennium Hunting Chest Waders $ 199.00
For the waterfowl hunter who doesn’t do much early season hunting, but still needs a breathable alternative. These chest waders are affordable and rugged for early or mid season hunting. With lace to toe wading boots built into the waders, you will be able to slosh through the marsh on cold September mornings and still be comfortable when the day starts to heat up. With v-construction style shoulder straps you will no longer have to worry about slippage or shouldering your gun when the birds fly through.
Mid Season- Cooler Temperatures, more retriever work, mixed bag of birds!
Hunting the mid-season is a perfect opportunity to try all your tips and tricks you learned in the off season. This is also where the gear you bought really starts to prove its worth.
A strange design that pulls off big numbers. Cabela’s has done it again, by creating a unique design that caters to all duck hunters. An ambidextrous strap that can connect to either side in the front allows for unimpeded shouldering of your gun and thus putting more bids in your bag. The rugged Armor-flex covering on all the important stress points make these waders tough enough for any season; but the breathable side gussets make them light enough for warmer use.
Rogers Toughman Waders $119.00
You get what you pay for. More often than not this little anecdote is saying “pay a little and you will get less.” However, with the Rogers Toughman Waders you get a whole lot more than you pay for. A hand warmer on the inside keeps heat where it belongs; next to your body. And with double layered knee pads and the super seal seam system will keep you warm when the weather and the birds start to head south. At less than 120 bucks you can afford to put these through the ringer, but trust me you won’t need another pair.
Late Season- Freezing temps, Retriever dominant, December Mallards!
When the temperatures drop below freezing you need a pair of waders that will stand up to the harsh conditions and keep you in the marsh long after others pack it in.
Cabela’s 1600 Super Mag Waders $ 229.00
Warm, durable, reasonably priced, but heavy, are the best words to describe these waders. When Cabela’s says that they have created the warmest waders on the market, they are right! These boot foot waders trap 1600 gram Thinsulate throughout the entire wader resulting in warmth that will keep you in the marsh longer. However, warm these waders may be, they are extremely heavy. You better have yourself a good retriever because slogging through knee deep snow will not be happening in these. Besides the detachable shell holder these waders are stock. No extra frills and gadgets but they are super warm.
Talk about tough! ATS stands for Advanced Tracking System which uses tough 5mm neoprene with abrasion resistant bio-directional layering on the knees for continued abuse. These waders will keep you red hot throughout the day, so you don’t even notice the temperature plummet. For quick loading of 3½ inch shells, the eight attached shell holders create easy access to those deadlier loads. At 11.8 pounds these waders may weigh a little more, but they will keep you warmer than virtually any other on the market.
Drake EQWADER LST $ 320.00
The first line of defense and the last wader you will ever need. Drake Waterfowl created the Eqwader LST (Late Season Technology) catering to the hunter who doesn’t quit it’s so cold hell freezes over. With more innovative features that you can shake a stick at, and HD2 Reinforcement on the areas duck hunter usually wear out; these waders will go the extra mile and wonder why you are lagging behind. 6 horizontal shell loops give easy access to those big loads when the geese come in, and a magnetic call pouch stores that precious million dollar duck call when you’re working with fido. These waders do everything except get you out of bed in the morning.
For The Pup- In the Mid and Late season dogs are hard charging and the temps are cold. A hunting vest for your partner is like getting them a pair of waders. It keeps them warm and allows for a longer hunt.
Cabelas Neoprene Floatation Vest $ 54.99
When your dog hunts his heart out for you each time you visit the marsh, why not pay him in advance. A 5mm neoprene vest with flotation built into the sides, creates a warm layer of body heat and water similar to a wetsuit. This will allow your retriever to stay out longer and keep them happy, but most of all keep them healthy. A cold dog is a recipe for disaster, so get him a pair of waders built specially for him.
For every duck hunter the season never really stops. We plan, dream, and build in hopes of the ultimate season where it all comes together. So check these waders out and give em' a try. Have fun and safe hunting.