Best Breathable Waders for Duck Hunting – Buying Guide

Duck hunting requires you to be at your best, which can be hard when your waders keep you down with the combined weight of water and your own sweat.

If this is a problem, breathable waders are a better option for you. The standard neoprene waders don't wick sweat and don't allow moisture to pass through its material and dissipate. Instead it locks in the moisture, creating a funky situation for you.

Below we’ve got a list of the best breathable waders for duck hunting that you can find, and write ups about why we think they are the best pair for the job.  We have a buyers’ guide and an FAQ so you can learn more about what goes into manufacturing the best waders.

This way you can make an informed purchase so that you don’t embarrass yourself in front of the ducks.

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Our Pick

Why it's our top pick?

If you need to get the best breathable waders for duck hunting soon, this is our #1 pick.

This way you can get the best product without having to do some light reading. We chose the Frogg Toggs Grand Refuge 2.0 Bootfoot Wader due to the balance it strikes between its features and its affordability. Why we liked them:

  • Neoprene shell includes three layers.
  • Fleece-lined pockets with some glue-treated leak-proof internal pockets.
  • Thinsulate boots with cleated soles.

Comparing the Best Breathable Duck Hunting Waders

Best Breathable Waders for Duck Hunting - Reviews

Our fifth product on this list are the Hodgman Caster Neoprene Bootfoot Chest Waders, a set of neoprene-shelled waders whose three layers includes one for breathability to keep the body dry and warm while hunting.

Some of the pockets on these waders are fleece-lined for comfort whereas the internal pockets are glued and taped so that no water gets in.

It uses Thinsulate rubber boots that have cleated soles to help keep your footing while wading in mud or other wet terrains. The shoe size may be something to keep an eye on though, since the sizing with these waders can be inaccurate.

Consult the sizing chart on their product page for exact measurements.

The waders come in a solid color that isn’t ideal for those waterfowlers who prefer to have some camouflage on the hunt. These waders are a great option if you’re on a budget.

Pros

  • Neoprene shell includes three layers
  • Thinsulate boots with cleated soles

  • Fleece-lined pockets with some glue-treated leak-proof internal pockets

  • Great option for those on a budget

Cons

  • Sizing can be off, especially at the shoes

    Solid, non-camouflaged color

The second wader we chose for this list is the SITKA Gear Delta Zip Wader, season-long and water-resistant waders made in the USA. Upon putting them on, the first thing people notice is the YKK AQUASEAL zipper, which is easy to zip despite being completely waterproof.

The boots are high quality, thanks to LaCrosse AeroForm that creates lightweight boots that are flexible, warm, and insulated. They allow you to be agile and are durable enough to take the punishment of duck hunting.

The boots aren’t the only durable part of these waders, with the shins and knees of these waders being reinforced with rugged foam padding that can break through everything from the brush to ice for several years before sustaining damage.

To add to all of these great features is the fact that the waders retail in two camouflage colors, that are for hunting in timber or marsh. This way you can get the right waders for the right hunting grounds you’ll be operating in. 

All of these features don’t come without a price, and there’s a reason these waders are at our number two spot, that being the fact they’re pricey. The best product for everyone needs to be one that’s affordable, and the price of these waders alone keeps them from the top spot. If you can justify the price of these, they’ll be a very safe investment for your activities as a waterfowler.

Pros

  • Season-long water-resistant waders made in the USA
  • YKK AQUASEAL Zipper is waterproof and easy to manage

  • LaCrosse AeroForm Boots are lightweight, insulated boots for trudging through mud

  • Shins and knees reinforced with rugged foam

  • Available in timber and marsh camouflage

Cons

  • Very pricey

The third pair of waders we can recommend are the Foxelli Breathable Chest Waders. This is a great set of waders for duck hunting since they have both a chest pocket and an inner pocket to store fishing and hunting gear. The inner pocket is best for fragile, personal items, whereas the outer pocket is better for hardier hunting gear. There are other storage options built into the waders, such as a nylon belt and two carabiner clips that you can use to attach duck lures or decoys.

Foxelli makes sure to tell you that they make their waders rugged. Their waders are resistant to damage, including the rips and tears that are disastrous if you’re knee-deep in some duck’s favorite lounging spot. It’s made from durable material, and the seams are glued, stitched, and taped for three layers of protection.

Since these are stockingfoot waders, you can choose the footwear you wear with these. This is a double-edged sword, of course, since that could mean buying footwear to go with them. For those of you who have a trusty pair of boots, you can wear them with these versatile waders. Foxelli suggests that 4mm neoprene boots work with these chest waders since they prevent bunching at the bottom of each leg.

Foxelli offers a thirty-day money-back guarantee if you’re not satisfied with your purchase. If you keep the waders, you can take advantage of a two-year warranty for defects that are out of your control.

Pros

  • These waders have an external chest pocket and inner pocket for fishing and hunting accessories.
  • Includes a nylon belt and two carabiners to keep more gear on.

  • Foxelli make their waders to be damage resistant.

  • Stockingfoot waders allow you to choose your own footwear.

  • 30-day money-back guarantee and a 2-year warranty for defects.

Cons

  • Footwear isn’t included, meaning you may have to buy boots.

At number four are the Bassdash Breathable Ultra Lightweight Hunting Waders, a pair of waders that are made from three layers of breathable shell fabric. It’s lightweight, and front leg seams allow you to move more than you would be able to with constrictive waders.

YKK waterproof zipper tech makes these waders easy to get in and out of and their zippers won’t have trouble performing if wet. They won’t let any liquids in. The suspenders and belt are elastic so they can adapt to the bodies of different hunters, making a snug fit out in the field.

These waders use the patented DESOLVE veil camouflage to break up the shape of the hunter, meaning any spooked birds will hesitate before fleeing due to the uncertainty. Those extra seconds can be the difference between losing or bagging a duck. 

A mesh storage bag and a repair kit are included with this purchase, making it a handy option for those who want to get a little more out of their cash than usual. Even if they weren’t included, these waders are one of the most affordable in this list.

The boots of these waders can run smaller than you’d expect from the sizing. Boot sizing is something a lot of wader manufacturers suffer with, and Bassdash seems to be no exception.

Pros

  • Three layers of lightweight and breathable shell fabric
  • Patented DESOLVE Veil Camouflage keeps animals oblivious

  • YKK waterproof zipper tech

  • Adjustable elastic suspenders and belt

  • Mesh storage bags and repair kit included

Cons

  • The boots can run small

The Frogg Toggs Grand Refuge 2.0 Bootfoot Waders are breathable and insulated, thanks to a 12-gram insulated liner and a convenient zipper. This adds some variability to these waders depending on the terrain and the state of weather you’re hunting in.

These bootfoot waders have a 1,200-gram Thinsulate cleated boot, designed to tackle treacherous conditions. Don't let unsure footing doesn’t impact shot accuracy .

At the shins, knees, and seat of these waders are abrasion-resistant, heavy-duty nylon patches to protect the harder parts of your body from any knocks or scrapes that can happen during the thrill of the hunt.

The waders are easy to wear, having adjustable elastic suspenders and locking buckle wading belt so that you can be confident that these waders will fit in a way that won’t be restrictive and distracting. They also have an ample storage room with two zippered storage pockets at the front and a polyester upper that has quick access storage to ten shotgun shells.

Pros

  • Removable 120-gram insulated liner
  • 1,200-gram trademarked Thinsulate boots with cleats

  • Heavy-duty nylon at shins, knees, and seat to protect those areas

  • Zippered storage pockets at front

  • Adjustable elastic suspenders and wading belt

Cons

  • The boot size can run large

Best Breathable Duck Hunting Waders - Buyers Guide

Learn How to Choose the Best Duck Hunting Waders

This guide will help you learn what to look for in waders, including breathable waders. 

Since we’ll be going through breathable waders over older, neoprene ones, we’ll say that neoprene hasn’t got the properties you’d want in a breathable wader. Neoprene is heavier in the water and keeps moisture in, though this makes them durable.

On the other hand, breathable waders aren’t as durable like neoprene, but they’re lightweight and comfortable to wear. They don’t have as much insulation built into them but give you the option of adding your own if necessary.

For the rest of this guide we’ll be going through the other different types of waders, whether you should go for insulated or uninsulated, and some of the features to look out for the best breathable waders for duck hunting.

Types of Breathable Waders

Waders can be separated into three sub-categories, hip boots, waist waders, and chest waders. All of the waders in the above list are chest waders and this guide will focus on them. 

For the sake of explanation, hip boots are boots with long stockings that you attach to your clothes to hold them on. They’re best for shallow waters instead of deep. Waist waders are like chest waders except they don’t come up to the chest, sacrificing storage space and functionality since these are designed for water levels beneath your waist.

Chest waders come up to your, well, chest. They’re the most common style of wader since many assume if you’re spending money on waders, you can make a one and done purchase by getting chest waders.

There are different types of wader bottoms, being split between stockingfoot and bootfoot. Stockingfoot waders are useful for fishing since they end in neoprene socks that have good traction on them, which allows them to remain steady on wet surfaces. Bootfoot waders, on the other hand, have boots on the end that won’t come off in the mud. These waders have built-in insulation.

We prefer bootfoot waders, which is what the majority of the above are, since the boots can get to high quality. This is because it’s not uncommon for the boots to be designed by pedigree boot manufacturers, such as LaCrosse with our second option from SITKA. Duck hunting is a muddy way of life, so we think it’s best to go for bootfoot. You have the option of premium comfort and better performance on most terrain.

Insulated vs Uninsulated Waders

You should consider how your body reacts to certain seasons and temperatures when hunting. If you plan on hunting in cold weather, you should go for insulated waders, whereas uninsulated is suitable for warmer climates. 

If you get hot faster than others, you’ll want to hedge your bets and go uninsulated if you hunt in a neutral environment. Some waders, like our number one pick, have removable insulated liners so you can change your insulation with the literal changing of the weather. If layering up with insulated waders, you’ll need to factor that into the sizing.

Duck Hunting Features

You’ll want the features of your chosen waders to complement the activities you have planned. We’ve mentioned variable insulation as one such feature that negates the insulated wader versus uninsulated wader dilemma.

Let’s start with a feature that’s universally a plus, pockets. Storage space in your waders allows you to bring whatever you want out with you, and this includes pocketable gear for your hunts. There are hand-warming pockets that are fleece-lined to keep your hands warm.

You can get waders which have reinforced elbow and knee pads, and reinforced shins, which add some durability and protection to the hard and vulnerable parts of your legs.

Shell storage is a great feature to look for in waders that you want to wear while duck hunting. This can come in the form of chest-mounted slots for eight or ten shells, or waders will have D-rings that allow you to clip the shell holders to. These are a variable option since you can clip a wide number of attachments like landing nets to these rings. 

Frequently Asked Questions About Waders

What should you wear under breathable duck hunting waders?

There are wading leggings and wading socks that are a good option for wearing under breathable waders as a good year-round option. It is important to stay warm during the winter months and that’s why some prefer fleece pants under their waders.

For the summer months it’s a lot easier, you can dress for the weather under your waders since you don’t want to sweat much. You might get away with a normal pair of socks in the spring and summer time, but that depends on how cold the water is at your hunting ground.

Do you need to wear waders when duck hunting?

Of course not! All you need to bag some ducks is your trusty firearm, shells for that firearm, and any licensing or other permissions you may need from your local authorities to have that gun and the freedom to hunt.

Waders are a popular option since they keep you relatively dry, since you need to trudge through marsh to get to the ducks. They come in camouflaged styles, meaning many find it easier to invest in some good waders instead of piecing their outfits together with camouflaged clothing. 

Waders are a convenient way to make many of the average waterfowler’s distractions, like being damp or having a boot come off, a nonfactor in their hunting adventures.