A Midwest Flyways Review
*Not sponsored by Drake Waterfowl in any way.
I finally found a pair of waders that beat the season and here is why:
The padding in knees and ass stood the test. Whether is was barbed wire, logs, stumps under water, getting out of the boat, getting in the boat, kneeling on the rocks, twisting in your chair while pass shooting… all these happened this season and there is absolutely no harm done.
2. Shell Holder
Right on your chest is a spot to hold 12 shells! That helps a lot when there is quick shooting going on. If you combine that with a shell belt, you’re going to be ready for anything.
Up here in Minnesota it gets really cold. It’s hard to feel the trigger pull with gloves on and even harder to call. With fleece lined pockets at the chest, I never even needed gloves. I was able to warm up my hand no problem and keep the bulky gloves in the blind bag. The other pockets are also magnetic which are awesome when you are moving around as much as water-fowlers do.
After the first hunt, I was soaked. I used my waders from last season and they had developed several holes in them. After that I knew it wasn’t worth it and I decided I would just sweat it out in my 1600 gram Eqwaders. To my surprise, that did not happen. The entire season I was very comfortable and had no problems. They aren’t quite “breathable,” but they are definitely comfortable to hunt in all year. Next season, I’m going to be start with these from day one.
1. The Straps
The shoulder straps are a pain when it comes to shouldering your shotgun. I have had this problem with almost all the waders I have tried so it is nothing new. All I do is go with one strap when it actually is time to shoot. It also doesn’t fit as snug as I would like and it is a “no-buckle” strap so there isn’t any way to get around this.
2. The Ankles
The straps on the ankles are also a bit bulky. They are there so you can tighten the grip around your ankle and prevent your boot from slipping out in the mud, but I never used this feature. They just get in the way and catch on things like the side of the boat when getting in and out.
3. The Ankle Cloth
The cloth that is suppose to protect the boot not only gets in the way sometimes, but it also hold water long enough to get it in your boat. I get in and out of my boat at least 20 times a hunt and so a lot of water collects over time. Not a deal breaker, but definitely annoying. On the plus side, there is little to no mud that gets caught in the cloth.
I recommend these to you because they stood up against an entire season. I have NEVER use a pair of waders for a second season because they all have failed. The welding on the seems is fantastic and the durable material is second to none. I highly recommend them.
The only reason I would buy another pair next season is if Sitka came out with some in their Optifade Marsh Pattern.