what to wear under waders duck hunting

What to Wear Under Waders for Duck Hunting with Bows?

Any and every bow hunter will tell you how important a key it is to wear the right gear. Without being properly dressed and geared up, you are not only going to face discomfort but also may fail miserably.

Duck hunting can be an exhilarating experience, given that the best time and place for it are often the harshest ones: having to battle knee-deep water, muck, colder temperature, etc. Waders are high waterproof boots, or often a long garment to cover both legs and body, that can be very useful to pair and layer with your garments for bow hunting and bow fishing.

Whether you are a beginner trying your hand at duck hunting with bows or a seasoned bow hunter, we are here to talk you through what to wear under waders for bow duck hunting and making layering it as comfortable and convenient as possible.

Types Of Waders:

What kind of wader you are using/purchasing can influence your decision of how to layer it, what to wear with it, and how to make the most of it. There are three different types of waders:

Bootfoot Waders: These waders usually have boots permanently connected to the legs of the wader body. No need to purchase or invest in extra or separate waterproof/wader boots.

Stockingfoot Wader: These kinds usually have sock-like booties attached at the end and needs to be paired with wading boots. The sock-like end provides a better fitting, while you can invest in wading boots, which are also better fitting.

Hip-Wader: Also known as hip-boots, these are long boots that cover the legs up to the top of the thighs or the waist.

Qualities You Should Look For:

You need to carefully pick your clothing before you go bow duck hunting- depending on what type of wader you have and what time of the year you go hunting. But it is important to remember that no matter what those two conditions are like, there are a few other factors you should keep in mind while choosing what layer under the wader.


When you go duck hunting with a bow, you will be spending a lot of time walking around or standing perfectly still. Whatever you choose to wear should be comfortable, breathable duck hunting waders will not be tight on the skin and make you uncomfortable after you spend that long doing strenuous work.

More importantly, breathable fabric will help the sweat to evaporate from your skin, storing the warmth between the layers. It will help your skin breathe properly, a

nd the stored heat will help keep you warm.

Hunting waders


Since you are going duck hunting, you will mostly be spending a long time in knee-deep water. You’ll be simultaneously exposed to water and moisture constantly, and this may lead to some serious underlying health issues or even lead to hypothermia. So, it is surely extremely important to choose layers and pack up with breathable pieces of clothing that provide warmth.

Moisture Absorption:

As mentioned previously, the fabric of your clothing should be breathable. But not only that, as duck hunting is a strenuous activity and you will be sweating even in colder weather- the fabric should have the ability to absorb sweat off of your skin. In humid cold weather, fabrics that provide warmth can also trap sweat- which is not good for your health or hygiene.

Season Based Guide:


Since the temperatures are higher in the summer, you will be sweating more while archery duck hunting outdoors at a stretch. You should choose your layers, keeping that as the most important concern in mind.

Body: During Summer, when we are choosing clothes for our body, we will like to leave as much room for breathability and comfort as we can. We need to choose something that can help us manage moisture and sweat effectively. Hence, we should choose clothes made out of light fabric like cotton, linen, etc., to cover your torso and limbs.

If you are a person who gets chilly very easily, you may consider wearing quarter/full sleeves, otherwise exclude these. You can wear shorts or quarter pants made of the same fabric. Most definitely avoid heavier fabrics like denim/jeans, which retain moisture or sweat.

Feet: If you are wearing bootfoot wader, you only need to worry about your socks for extra warmth and comfort. You can opt for lighter single wool socks or lighter socks that can provide warmth without encouraging the retention of moisture leading to bacterial growth.

If you are wearing a stockingfoot wader, you need to buy waterproof boots for a more comfortable walk in the water. Invest in boots that fit you nicely but not too tightly.


Women winter waders for bow duck hunting
Image Source flickr

The temperature can drop quite a lot in winter, so you need to prepare for the cold that comes from being in constant contact with water.

Body: To keep your warmth, consider wearing clothes with heavier fabric such as wool, etc. You can use fleece over this as an additional layer as needed.

Try to wear full sleeves and full pants, for which you may now consider denim. As duck hunting requires some mobility, keep the weight of these in mind while layering.

Feet: Follow our recommendation from some, but use thicker socks or double socks for added warmth.

Head and Hands: To avoid catching a cold, you may consider wearing a windproof fleece cap or muffler. This will help provide extra insulation and cover.

For hands, you may be exposed to cold water a lot, so you must insulate it to keep it warm. The best suggestion is to use neoprene gloves. If you feel uncomfortable, go for thicker waterproof, water-resistant gloves.


As waders are already waterproof, you have less to worry about if it rains. But, to avoid mishaps and saving your head and upper body, you can consider the purchase of a raincoat with a hoodie to pair with your wader.


With the right preparation and right gear, make the most of your bow duck hunting experience. Investing in a quality wader is crucial, but knowing and deciding what to wear under duck hunting wader and how to layer them is also important. We hope this article helps you prepare before the activity and helps you make smarter choices while layering using the factors and knowledge acquired with us!

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.