What To Wear Under Waders Duck Hunting

Duck hunting is a thrilling experience. However, it can be hectic if you lack the proper gear. Since waders are essential in this activity, you’ll also have to consider what to wear under them to brace the harsh conditions.

Here’s what to wear under waders duck hunting: 

  1. Pants
  2. Jackets
  3. Undergarments
  4. Socks
  5. Gloves

In the rest of the article, I’ll discuss what to wear under waders while duck hunting in detail. Read on to learn what factors you should consider when choosing the perfect gear.

1. Pants

Pants are one of the best under wader garments. However, that doesn’t mean that all pants are appropriate for duck hunting. Weather conditions will determine what pants to wear under waders.

For summer or spring duck hunting, lightweight fishing pants will keep you cool and dry. However, on those cold winter days, you’ll need insulating pants to keep you warm and moisture-free.

Here’s a selection of the best under wader pants.

Sitka Gear Merino Core Lightweight Bottoms

These are wool-nylon blend pants that ensure that you’re warm, comfortable, and dry.

Pros

  • Versatile
  • Scent-controlled
  • Durable

Cons

  • Unsuitable for low temperatures

Mataura Women’s Pants

These pants are elastic waterproof ladies’ pants with a dual-fabric elastic waistband. They are slim and breathable to ease your hunting.

Pros

  • Have four pockets and a zip closure
  • Fast-drying

Cons

  • Unsuitable for cold weather
  • Pricey

Orvis Pro Under Wader Pants

The pants have an interior high-pile fleece to keep you warm. They’re waterproof with an elastic exterior, allowing you to navigate the waters seamlessly.

Pros

  • Have pockets
  • Stirrups keep them intact

Cons

  • Pricey
  • Unsuitable for warmer weather

2. Jackets

Insulation and moisture management are factors to consider during duck hunting. Jackets come in handy as a base layer for your waders to keep your chest area warm. You may only need something lighter, such as a T-shirt, when the weather gets too hot in summer.

Here are our top picks of jackets to wear under waders.

Orvis Pro Insulated Jacket

Orvis Pro Insulated jacket is a high-quality garment that blocks the wind and keeps moisture at bay. It is stretchable with a side panel and underarm ventilation.

Pros

  • Breathable
  • Internal zippered security pocket
  • Trim cut to fit under waders

Cons

  • No hood
  • Quite costly

Simms Women’s Exstream Bicomp Fishing Hoodie

The water-shedding insulating hoodie is a perfect wader base layer. Its nylon stitchless upper body repels moisture, while its fleece interior maintains warmth.

Pros

  • Elastic insulated hood
  • Zippered chest pocket
  • Arm panel with thumb-loop cuffs

Cons

  • Some parts are tight
  • Fleece may clump after washing

Riverruns Wading Jacket

The three-layer wading jacket is waterproof, breathable, and high-quality. It is perfect for outdoor activities in varying temperature conditions.

Pros

  • Waterproof zippers and pockets
  • Foldable fly patch
  • Has pockets
  • Underarm zippered slots

Cons

  • Costly

3. Undergarments

The first wader base layer mostly entails light garments, including underwear, leggings, and vests or t-shirts. Ideal outfits for this category should be lightweight, breathable, and moisture-wicking.

Here are some top-rated examples.

Simms Women’s Mid-weight Core Legging

The comfortable, stretchable, and well-fitting women’s leggings are ideal for cold weather. They maintain body temperature and keep moisture at bay.

Pros

  • High waistband for easy fitting
  • Have a slide thigh pocket

Cons

  • Run small
  • Unsuitable for warmer weather

Orvis Drirelease Short-sleeved Crew

Orvis Drirelease will keep your body cool and dry under waders. Its polyester-cotton blend helps in moisture management.

Pros

  • Lightweight and fast-drying
  • Moisture-wicking
  • Scent control

Cons

  • Best suited for warm weather

Patagonia Women’s Air Crew

They’re breathable and ultra-comfortable long-sleeved shirts, and keep you warm when temperatures are extremely low.

Pros

  • Moisture-wicking material
  • Lightweight and comfortable
  • Odor control

Cons

  • May run small

4. Socks

A nice pair of wading socks keeps your feet warm and dry, which should be comfortable and cushion your toes and ankles from injury. The best choices are thin-layered, synthetic, or wool-blend socks.

Here are a few examples.

WetSox Insulated Wading Socks

These frictionless wading socks allow you to slip in and out of your waders seamlessly. They’re made from poly-spandex material with nylon bands, preventing seam rub. WetSox insulated socks guarantee comfort, dryness, and warmth under the waders.

Pros

  • Lightweight
  • Well-fitting
  • Durable

Cons

  • Pricey
  • Unsuitable for cold weather

Frog Toggs Wool Wader Socks

Featuring a rib-knit style neck, these wader socks provide a nice fit inside waders and boots. They’re specially designed for wading during cold weather as they are insulated and moisture-wicking.

Pros

  • Ideal for wearing under stocking-foot waders
  • Odor control
  • Long and provide maximum warmth

Cons

  • Unsuitable for warm weather
  • Not waterproof

Ducks Unlimited Merino Wader Socks

These wader socks provide maximum warmth and comfort. They have a pull-on closure, keeping them intact under the waders. Though ideal for cold climates, you can also wear them in any season.

Pros

  • Versatile
  • Cushion and arch support for legs and feet
  • Flat seam for enhanced comfort
  • High-quality

Cons

  • May shrink after washing

5. Gloves

Keeping all your body parts warm and dry is vital as most duck hunting seasons are usually cold and wet, so a pair of water-resistant gloves are an ideal choice. Moreover, consider those with palm or finger grippers to minimize slippage. 

Here are some of the top-rated wading gloves.

Sitka Gear Men’s Hunting Gloves

These are breathable and waterproof hunting gloves. They have a variety of sizes and well-articulated fingers and provide warmth and dryness even in the worst weather conditions.

Pros

  • Flexible
  • High-quality
  • Backhand absorbent pad

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Can run small

DecoyPro Decoy Duck Hunting Gloves

The elbow-length insulated gloves will keep your hands warm and dry during duck hunting. They have a soft inner layer for enhanced comfort and a textured exterior for a firm grip.

Pros

  • One size fits all
  • Perfect for cold weather
  • Comfortable

Cons

  • It may be small for users with long arms
  • Not long-lasting

Glacier Glove Aleutian

The high-performance neoprene gloves will protect you from extreme conditions. They’re heavyweight, with enhanced functionality.

Pros

  • Versatile design
  • Warm and comfortable
  • Durable

Cons

  • Unsuitable for warm weather
  • Not 100% waterproof

Factors To Consider When Choosing the Right Gear

Waders come in handy during dunk hunting as they protect your body from the cold waters. Now, what you wear under the waders will depend on several factors.

Here’s what to consider when choosing what to wear under waders.

Season

Weather conditions significantly determine the type of under-wader gear. In summer, the temperatures are quite high around 86°F-104°F (30°C-40°C ), and you’re bound to sweat. This is why you’ll require moisture-wicking garments. 

Lightweight linen fabrics will be ideal for your body as they dry fast and are comfortable.

During winter, your priorities should be warmth and dryness, as the temperatures are low, 32°F-50°F (0°C-10°C ). Of course, depending on where you live, temperatures get much lower than that during the winter. In fact, the average temperature in the northern US in the winter can get as low as -20℉ (-28.8℃), or lower at times.

You can have two layers of insulated and fast-drying garments. However, they shouldn’t be too heavy as duck hunting is strenuous.

Warmth

Keeping warm is critical, as exposure to cold water leads to some health complications. This is why you should wear under-wader garments that keep your body warm and dry. You can also wear apparel that blocks wind and prevents external moisture.

Moisture

Sweating is common during duck hunting. Though sweat helps the body cool down, maintaining a lot of moisture may result in hypothermia (very low body temperature). Therefore, you’ll require garments that will wick moisture and maintain dryness.

Breathability

Breathability refers to a fabric’s ability to allow your skin to perspire as sweat evaporates. Therefore, it’s essential to consider your gear’s material for maximum comfort. Fast-drying loose garments would be ideal as they facilitate evaporation and maintain body temperature.