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Devoted waterfowlers (myself included) normally haven’t any drawback splurging on shotguns, decoys, boats, and blinds. If a chunk of substances will make a hunt a bit extra environment friendly—we would like it. However spending over $1,000 on a pair of Chêne waders will make even probably the most obsessed duck nuts suppose twice.

That’s most likely the rationale you’re studying this assessment. Is a thousand-dollar wader actually value it? I’ve requested myself that query many instances over, and as I entered my first season in a pair of premium duck looking waders, I got down to reply it.

So, I hunted arduous—from early season to late season—chasing geese and geese in various situations all throughout the nation. I hiked over 30 miles within the Chêne waders all through the season and sat in -3 diploma temperatures. I put these waders by means of the wringer after which some. Regardless of the scenario—boat rides, barbed wire fences, ice cabinets, or blistering warmth—the waders got here out on prime. 

The fast reply to my aforementioned query is that the Chêne Gear waders are made for the diehard and obsessed waterfowl hunter. And when you’ve made it to this assessment, I’ve a sense you match that class. Right here’s all the things it’s worthwhile to find out about probably the greatest duck looking waders in the marketplace.

What Is Chêne Gear?

For those who haven’t brushed up in your French lately then you definitely’re most likely questioning what Chêne means and, extra importantly, what does it need to do with duck looking? The straightforward translation is Oak—which refers back to the flooded timber that southern duck hunters discover themselves standing in each winter. The historical past, tradition, and custom of the flooded woods served because the inspiration for the waders and the remainder of the Chêne Gear line.

Primarily based in Memphis, Tennesse, Chêne Gear launched their first wader in 2021. Founders Jeff Jones, Discipline Norris, Jeff Farmer, and John Unusual wished to design a premium duck looking wader that was constructed to final. This began with supplies and building strategies that allowed for elevated sturdiness. Lead product designer Jeff Jones landed on a water-resistant/breathable nylon that enables for seamless building. This resulted in a greater waterproof connection than a standard stitching design that tends to leak on the seams.

Chêne took it one step additional by providing a restricted lifetime guarantee on their waders. This contains full repairs on any manufacturing defects for the lifetime of the waders. Hunters can even ship non-manufacturing broken waders again to the Chêne headquarters for restore at an affordable charge.

How I Examined Chêne Waders

I first tried on the Chêne waders after they confirmed up at my condominium this previous summer time. I used to be impressed with how snug the boots had been out of the field and the way properly they match. However the hardwood flooring of my condominium weren’t the most effective testing grounds. So I waited till duck season and wore the waders on over 20 hunts in three totally different states. 

I ended my wader check in Arkansas on a flooded timber hunt with the Chêne workforce. Right here I obtained a firsthand take a look at the precise setting which impressed the waders. My pair featured the Mossy Oak Bottomland sample that blended in completely with the tall oaks. Nonetheless, my favourite sample is the basic Mossy Oak Authentic Bottomland. Each camo patterns excel in most waterfowl habitats, however I desire the darker camo. Chêne additionally encompasses a new stable sample annually (brown for 2023) and their newly launched Mossy Oak Authentic Authentic Treestand camo sample.

Chêne Waders Review: Are the $1,100 Waders Worth It?
The creator with the Chêne Gear workforce within the flooded woods of Arkansas. Chêne Gear

What I Like About Chêne Waders

Throughout the early season, the waders excelled in 60-degree-plus temperatures. The nylon cloth allowed for a snug match when strolling, tossing decoys, and looking in hotter climate. Because the season continued and the temps fell, the waders solely obtained higher. It was simple so as to add layers to regulate for colder temperatures, and I by no means felt uncomfortable. On a -3 diploma hunt in early November—the place all the things froze—the waders by no means failed. They didn’t rip, snag, or leak, even when fully coated in ice.

The zippered pockets on the entrance of the waders are good to maintain your cellphone and pockets safe, and the handwarmer pockets are excellent for when the flight is gradual. I’m an 11 ½ shoe measurement, and I sized right down to an 11, which match completely. Chêne additionally gives a wide range of physique sizes to suit all totally different physique varieties.

What’s extra spectacular is how snug my ft stayed throughout each hunt. Chêne waders have probably the most snug wading boot I’ve ever worn. The key to this consolation begins with a neoprene higher that gives good ankle help and a agency match with out being too unfastened or pinching your foot. I placed on greater than 30 miles in these waders—which isn’t typical for a sport with extra sitting and boat rides than strolling. Not as soon as this duck season did my foot pull out of the boot whereas wading—whether or not on a mushy river mattress in Colorado or within the quicksand-like mud of the saltwater bays on Lengthy Island. 

You’ll additionally discover a canopy over the higher a part of the boot. This was one thing that appeared pointless to me at first, and it wasn’t till I used to be on the Chêne headquarters in Memphis that lead designer Jeff Jones defined the reasoning for it. Jones knowledgeable me that neoprene uppers give the boot help and luxury however are vulnerable to abrasions and punctures—the precise space I reduce a pepperoni measurement gap in my final pair of waders. The quilt prevents injury to the neoprene higher from underwater particles, sticks, and different sharp objects. 

The important thing ingredient to those boots is an EVA foam insert that sits in between the rubber backside and higher a part of the boot. This midsole is what makes it really feel extra like a snug sneaker than a cumbersome wading boot—and the key to staying snug whereas standing subsequent to an oak tree in knee-high water for over six hours. Even with all of the mountaineering, my ft stayed blister-free due to the EVA midsoles.

Chêne Waders Review: Are the $1,100 Waders Worth It?

What I Don’t Like About Chêne Waders

My solely beef with these waders is the shoulder straps. They’re adjustable, however a bit awkward to do within the subject. There have been a couple of hunts the place I observed my shoulders wanting a bit extra room. A stretchy shoulder strap design, like seen within the wading belt, can be a pleasant enchancment. I’d additionally wish to see kneepads in future redesigned fashions. Kneepads are one thing I’ve come to cherish and had been one of many few issues I felt these waders lacked.

Are Chêne Waders Price Shopping for?

Crucial takeaway after a full season of utilizing the Chêne waders is that they don’t leak. I do know it feels like I’m setting the bar fairly low for $1,000 waders, however the identical can’t be mentioned for one more pair of premium duck waders I additionally hunted in all through the season. So when you’re going to spend over a grand on waders you need to most likely get ones that may hold you dry. 

The zipfront design is extraordinarily helpful. It makes it simple to take the waders on and off, add/shed layers, and be environment friendly when mom nature calls. I additionally just like the stretchy wading belt that gives a comfortable match regardless of what number of layers you have got on.

However the shining star of those waders is the boots. The EVA midsole makes these probably the most snug wader boots I’ve ever worn. They aren’t heavy, and your foot stays safe the complete time—a vital side of any looking wader. This consolation and sturdiness are a part of the rationale Chêne waders earned one of many prime slots in our greatest duck looking waders roundup.

Chêne Waders Review: Are the $1,100 Waders Worth It?

Different Nice Merchandise from Chêne

Chêne doesn’t solely make looking waders. They’ve a full assortment of jackets, vests, pants, headwear, and layers. I had the prospect to check out a few of their different gear. Listed below are my favorites:

Sherpa Fleece Wader Pant

chene wading pants

These pants are the piece of looking gear you didn’t know you wanted. Comprised of polyester with a four-way stretch, they’re lined with a 300g sherpa bonded fleece that may hold you heat on the coldest days. They’ve an adjustable belt, and you’ll put on them round city after the hunt and never look misplaced, in contrast to different wader pants.

Over-and-Underneath Jacket

Chene Over/Under Jacket

This jacket is designed as an outer layer to be worn underneath your waders. This can be very snug and heat. I wore mine over a baselayer all through a lot of the season and by no means had an issue being chilly. Whether it is freezing, toss on one other mid-layer beneath, and also you’re able to go.

Hydro-Lok Shell

Chene Hydro Lok-Shell jacket

It is a through-and-through rain jacket. It’s constructed from a three-layer nylon building and might stand up to heavy downpours. The adjustable cuffs assist hold your arms dry when taking pictures and choosing up decoys. I wish to retailer my cellphone within the waterproof chest pockets and hold my arms snug within the handwarmer pockets.

Sixty Collection ½ Zip

chene sixty series

That is the right mid-layer that’s helpful from September by means of January. I wore mine with out every other layers within the early season after which transitioned it to a mid-layer to enrich my Over-and-Underneath jacket when the snow began to fall. It’s snug, heat, and breathable.

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