If you are a duck hunter, chances are that you’ve had to choose between jeans or sweat pants, or chosen some other clothing to wear under your waders. It’s quite possible you have even tried a few of the specialty wader pants in the past but to no avail. I was in the same boat until a few weeks ago when I tried out the Drake Waterfowl wader pant.
This is a new design for 2017. In fact these are quite lightweight and high tech. offically these are known as the Jean Cut under Wader Pant,fleece lined. They retail for about fifty five dollars and come in brown, tan and a brown/tan color combo. I noticed right away that these are probaly half the weight of my daily jeans. I questioned how warm they might actually be, then I noticed the thin fleece lining. Once again I had my doubts on warmth,but my experience with Drake gear gave me confidence that wouldn’t be an issue.
As I continued my initial inspection, I noticed waist band adjustments as well as reinforced areas on the knees and seat region. I did some research and found out the outer material is Refuge HS fabric, which is used on the new Refuge outwear. This is a very unique material the sheds water. The lining is fleece like you might expect in a Drake product but it seems to be a lighter weight version which I appreciate for long walks in or warmer days.
At the ankles, hunters will find a unique drawstring type setup. Pulling the drawstring tight cinches up the ankle of the pant leg thus preventing the pant leg from riding up. Of course the pants have typical front and rear pockets for your wallet and keys. The medium size that I chose was perfect for me but if doubtful, go to the next larger size and utilize the waist adjusting straps.
I really like the fit and color, but the real test is in the water! Thus I began a two week trial period. I wore these wader pants in the constantly fluctuating weather here in Missouri. I had cold days of 19* and some in the 65* range. My Drake wader pants kept me nice and comfy in both. I didn’t notice any sweat buildup during the warmer days even though I was wearing neoprene waders. A couple days I had to hunt areas that were laden with barbed wire fences and brush. Needless to say I didn’t want to risk new waders to the harsh environment so I wore my older,questionable pair.
I had no idea they leaked as bad as they did until after the hunt. When I pulled my waders off, it appeared as if someone sprayed me with a garden hose down the pant leg. I had been wearing leaking waders for hours but had no idea. These Drake wader pants wicked that moisture away from my skin preventing wet clothing from touching my skin. I have no idea how the process works but I was truly impressed. A few days later, I repeated the process; wearing those old leaky waders but with Drake Wader pants underneath. Even though I knew water was seeping in I couldn’t tell. My legs felt dry and comfortable. This is what we are all ultimately after. A pair of pants that keeps us warm and dry, and can handle the rugged lifestyle of a duck hunter.
I am giving the Jean Cut under Wader Pant from Drake Waterfowl, two thumbs up. It’s the perfect companion for any hunter or fishermen who spends much time in waders. They are even priced right at approximately $55 a pair. In my opinion these are a necessity!
Review by Tom Cannon, Outdoor-Z.com