5 Things You Need to Know to Purchase ATV Waders
Waders were originally intended for anglers and fly fishing. Waterproofing was the most important feature and range of movement was not as important, so your typical bootfoot waders were fine. ATV and UTV riders needed waterproof gear too, but the existing waders were too bulky, heavy, and vulnerable to punctures and wear. New waders were born, breathable and flexible waders with a wide range of movement and made to last. To get the most comfortable, effective, and long-lasting water and mud riding waders you can for your buck make sure to look for the features in this post when you buy ATV waders.
5 Things to Consider When Choosing ATV Waders
Wader Type – Stockingfoot or Bootfoot
Stockingfoot waders, or ATV waders with wading boots, are breathable, flexible, and lightweight, making them perfect waders for ATV riding. The boots also fit better, provide foot and ankle support, and offer better traction. The only true benefit of bootfoot waders is that they are more likely to come in models suitable for extremely cold weather, but they are still pretty much heavy and will restrict your movement and leave you exhausted at the end of the day.
Stockingfoot off-road waders also offer more customizable sizing options for both your comfort and the durability of the wader. When a wader is too small or too large, it limits your movement and puts pressure on the material, and frequent straining of the material or creasing can lead to premature damage.
Bootfoot waders are easier to slip on and off, but stockingfoot waders are more like your clothes, and putting on clothes is something we do all the time anyway. You slip on the wader and add on separate boots, just like your pants and shoes. Not a biggie. The benefits far outweigh the extra seconds.
Breathable stockingfoot waders, like Finntrail waders, are actually the most suited to all weather conditions because you can adjust your layers under the waders for cooler or warmer weather. Bootfoot waders will basically make you hot in anything but cold weather.
Material – Membrane or Neoprene
Neoprene is helpful in extremely cold environments for keeping the cold out, but it isn’t good at keeping you dry inside the wader, meaning you can get clammy in there. Without accounting for that with wicking and absorbing layers, you may not stay dry or warm.
Membrane waders are the all-around best ATV waders because they are breathable so they can protect you from moisture outside and inside the wader.
Neoprene is also vulnerable to punctures and abrasion where specially reinforced membrane is must less so. Membrane waders can also be laundered, which is particularly beneficial for ATV mudding waders, and if you reapply the waterproof coating when needed, they will last a very long time.
Abrasion and Puncture Resistance
ATV waders take a beating from branches, frequent movement, and impacts. Purchase waders that are extra reinforced with strong materials like Cordura to protect your investment from abrasion and punctures that can ruin the waterproofing of your waders. Weakened fabric or fabric with holes can’t keep water out.
Each seam is an opportunity for leaks, tears, and weakening. Purchase ATV waders with the fewest number of seams and make sure the seams are also secured with tape.
To get the most natural range of movement in your off-road waders, look for an anatomical cut and articulated knees. Articulated knees have been designed to curve specifically to allow full range of movement.
All zippers are not equal, you need water and mud resistant zippers to stay good and dry. Also, keep in mind that YKK are one of the best zippers and buckles.
In ATV chest waders, top drawstrings fit the top of the waders to your body so you don’t have that wide gap at the top that can allow water to easily enter the top of your waders should you fall or simply get splashed. Anything can happen on the trail, making waders with top drawstrings the best waders for ATV mudding.
Breathable stockingfoot waders that resist abrasion, and have fewer seams, anatomical features, and quality workmanship are the best option for most ATV riding and mudding. The durability, flexibility, and all-weather comfort of stockingfoot waders is your best bet.
*All photos are obtained from the manufacturer’s web resources.