Hunters know how important a pack full of the essentials is, as the last thing you want to be is stuck out near-freezing cold bodies of water without a vital piece of equipment. A piece of gear that is often overlooked is a waterproof duck hunting jacket, otherwise known as a waterfowl jacket.
A waterfowl jacket is an absolute must when on a duck hunting expedition as it’ll protect you from the cold, harsh weather that ducks love. They don’t say “it’s lovely weather for ducks” for nothing! It’ll also keep you hidden from your prey and more likely to get a clear shot.
Many waterfowl hunters often find themselves wading into the middle of lakes and rivers to get a better view of their prey, which is why it is vital to have a waterproof jacket handy. Not only will it keep you dry, because who wants to be stuck waist-height in a lake with cold water seeping in, it’ll also help keep your hands and body warm.
No one wants to continue their hunt while they’re soaked, muddy and shivering thanks to a long morning of setting up traps on the lake – your whole hunting adventure will be ruined.
Now we’ve shown you why waterproof jackets are so important for duck hunting, let’s look at which jacket to buy. We’ve found our top five favorite jackets to narrow it down for you, with reviews and a buyers guide.
Frogg Toggs’ designs and creates several jackets and full suits perfect for hunting and wading expeditions, and their Pilot II is no different. It is created from their DriPore 2 Gen Technology, consisting of a 100% waterproof DriPore layer sandwiched between the polyester outer shell which is Teflon DWR coated and a soft inner insert made from micro-textured tricot fabric.
This technology makes for a perfect balance of completely waterproof and lightweight feel. The Pilot II will keep you comfortable and dry without weighing you down and compromising your range of motion, nor will it be overly noisy when you’re trying to blend into your surroundings.
The hood is large and uses cord locks to keep it securely fitted around your face. However, if not necessary it can be removed easily while only leaving a high rise collar in its place. Just because it’s not raining doesn’t mean you have to suffer through having a cold neck. The hood is also vented to keep your head cool in warmer months.
There are plenty of pockets included with this jacket, with internal storage pockets on the arms, handwarmer pockets and higher positioned pockets to provide easy access to your equipment while wading in deep water. All of these pockets are closed with zippers to provide maximum waterproof protection.
You can also buy a matching bib to go with this jacket to keep your whole body fully waterproof while wading. This jacket features internal zips to attach this, keeping everything seamless and watertight. What’s more, is you can also buy a liner for this jacket to keep you fully insulated in the coldest weather.
Neoprene sleeve cuffs which are fully adjustable
Matching bib that will fit perfectly with the jacket
Internal storm flap to keep the inside of the jacket ventilated
Have to buy insulation separately
One reviewer received their jacket with a strong chemical odor
Wildfowler Outfitter has created their hunting jacket to have a multi-layered shell to keep the jacket 100% water and weatherproof. There is a waterproof membrane sandwiched between the warm lining and the outer material to add another layer of weather protection. This keeps the jacket breathable while keeping you dry and warm.
This jacket is double waterproof as the seams are taped to keep as much water out as possible, as well as the hem and hood are both equipped with a drawstring to keep the jacket tight to your body, giving you peace of mind that water droplets are much less likely to get in.
Moreover, the sleeve cuffs have Velcro clasps to keep your sleeves watertight (as well as the tape). The zipper also has a buttoned flap to prevent water seeping in through the zipper.
Your hands are often the first part of your body to suffer from the cold and water, but they’re also one of the hardest parts to keep away from the extreme weather. However, the Wildfowler Outfitter Parka comes with front pockets to keep your hands for short periods when they’re not needed.
When you find yourself with a longer period of not needing your hands however, there are also side hand warmers to keep your digits toasty.
Many waterproof hunting jackets are bulky and hard to move in, however, Wildfowler Outfitters has created their design to be lightweight enough to not affect your flexibility. Having said this, this handy feature means that the insulation isn’t the best on this jacket, so you may want to wear a fleece underneath.
Wildfowler Outfitters has created several realistic designs to keep you hidden in wetlands and near the water. There are eight unique patterns to choose from depending on where you’ll be hunting.
Breathable material while remaining completely weather and waterproof
Taped seams as well as other methods to keep water out
Side hand warmers which are incredibly beneficial while waterfowl hunting
Not insulated as well as other designs
Velcro around the wrists is a little loose for some users
Another Frogg Toggs jacket on our list – we just had to! Their Tekk Toad jacket is as beneficial for duck hunters as their Pilot II, trust us you’ll love it. This jacket is fully waterproof and weatherproof to keep you dry even in the wettest of conditions, as well as being breathable to prevent that horrible sticky feeling waterproof jackets can sometimes give you.
The DriPore 2 Gen Technology features fully watertight seams to keep water out of every single area, even places that are often forgotten about. The nonwoven fabric is both durable and flexible so you can be sure you’re going to be comfortable while hunting, with zero chance of becoming soaked and uncompromised in range of movement.
The hood of this jacket is specifically designed to handle stormy weather and harsh weather conditions, so should you find yourself caught out in the rain, you won’t suffer the miserable effects.
This can be adjusted to pull tight around your face to maximize eyesight and minimize dampness. It also features a rain gutter and storm flap to ensure you’re prepared no matter what.
The sleeve cuffs are made from neoprene and can be adjusted to the size of your wrists. Moreover, the adjustable waistband is equipped with a shock cord to prevent it from becoming loose.
Two normal front pockets can be closed with zippers, as well as expandable pockets higher up on the front of the jacket which can be accessed while you’re wading in high water. If this wasn’t enough, there are also highly positioned hand warmers to use in the water as well.
Designed for wading with high pockets
Hood with a lip to prevent water from running onto your face
Great and affordable price point
Only one pattern may only suit one or two environments
No insulation so will need a fleece underneath if you’re using it during winter or whilst wading in cold water
ReFire Gear’s Soft Shell jacket is constructed out of DINTEX fabric to make this piece of equipment fully water and windproof. Use this jacket in the heart of winter with snow and blistering cold winds, or in the warmer months to keep you dry in the water. This jacket can work excellently in winds up to 45 MPH, which is extremely beneficial to hunters who are outside for prolonged periods.
The tactical design features a massive hood to keep you fully safe from harsh weather, however, if you have no need for it you can easily roll it up and store it in the collar, creating a windproof barrier for your neck even without the hood.
The waterproof outer layer is fixed on the top of a layer of breathable membrane, which is on top of the fleece lining. The fleece will keep you warm in the colder months while the breathable membrane will prevent you from getting sticky and sweaty. Moreover, the outer layer keeps you completely waterproof while all this is happening.
There are also large vents around the upper arm areas to keep a nice flow of air circulating through the jacket. However, if you’re using this in the winter or during a wading session, you can also zipper them up to close them.
The hood and hem both have drawstrings that can be pulled incredibly tight to keep the water out. What’s more is that the wrist cuffs are adjustable using the hook and loop contraptions to keep them watertight, even whilst wading through the water.
Seven pockets which all are zippable and waterproof so you can keep all your valuables on your person
Fleece-lined to provide reasonable insulation
Sizing isn’t the most accurate. Be sure to check the product description for proper measurements from the manufacturer
All the pockets are inside the jacket so there are no front pockets for easy access or to keep your hands warm
Drake Waterfowl are well known for their waterfowl hunting gear, and their Max 5 jacket is no different. The material of this jacket is made out of 100% waterproof and windproof material thanks to the HyperShield Technology. While keeping it fully weatherproof, the material also manages to keep breathable to prevent you from overheating.
A contingency plan is in place, however – there are vents located in the most heat-sensitive areas such as the underarms. With these vents you’ll be sure never to overheat, all the while remaining warm enough and completely dry.
This jacket features a full-length zipper and zip on and off hood, in case you need a hoodless jacket. This makes the jacket much more versatile and, if you don’t need it up, you can remove your hood so that it doesn’t rub against the material covering your back to give you a more incognito approach.
The waist and hood have drawstrings attached to keep them tight against your body, avoiding water intake at all costs.
Additionally, the neoprene sleeve cuffs keep out the harsh weather and keep you comfortable during your hunt. If this wasn’t enough, the seams are also taped to add another level of waterproof protection.
Other features of the Max 5 jacket are the magnattach call pockets and an easily reachable pocket designated for your keys and your license which can be closed tightly with the zipper.
HyperShield Technology keeps you safe from the weather while remaining breathable
Vents are placed in the most common areas to overheat to keep you at your most comfortable
Removable hood for better range and less noise when the weather is nice
Not insulated so will need a fleece underneath if you’re wearing it in the coldest months
A few reviewers have found issues with their zippers after a couple of months or years
Best Waterproof Jacket for Duck Hunting – Buyers Guide
No matter your circumstances when hunting waterfowl, whether it be ducks, geese or swans, from the middle of the lake to within a duck blind, there are a few factors that have to be taken into consideration when determining which waterproof jacket to purchase.
Water and weatherproofing
It goes without saying that waterproofing is the main feature that we’re looking for when looking for a waterfowl hunting jacket, and each of the designs above offers different, effective waterproofing technologies. When hunting near any body of water, it’s wise to take some waterproof gear just in case.
Having said this, a jacket that’s also weatherproof will greatly benefit you during your expedition. Waterfowl hunting can be wet, windy and cold, and once you experience this without weatherproof gear, you will see why it’s so beneficial.
A weather and waterproof jacket will keep you warm and dry throughout the day, whether there’s snow, rain or high-speed wind. This is important depending on the climate and season that you’re hunting in, so bear this in mind when choosing your new equipment.
Waders are a form of waterproof overalls which allow you to wade into deep water without water finding its way to your skin, so you can stay out in the water for longer without becoming uncomfortable or putting yourself at risk. However, waders only reach up to your chest, so it’s helpful to have a jacket that works effectively with them.
Some waterfowl hunting jackets are designed specifically with waders in mind, with fully insulated and waterproof arms and shoulders and thinner material towards the bottom of the jacket so you can fit it comfortably underneath your waders.
The jackets above do not feature this capability, however, most of them do include thin materials and drawstring hems which can be pulled tightly around your body. This will help the jacket remain flush against you while you fit your waders over the top, as no one wants to be walking around with an uncomfortable bunched up jacket.
Depending on where you’re hunting, you’re going to want your jacket to blend into the environment around you. Think about where you hunt most often and choose a camouflage pattern accordingly.
Water and weatherproof coats are often thick and warm, which is great to insulate you and keep you comfortable, but often affects the flexibility of the coat and your range of motion. Not only will this potentially ruin your shot, but it may also make more noise when you’re trying to move without being noticed.
There are a few waterproof jackets that manage to remain lightweight and flexible so it’s almost unnoticeable, however they’re a rare find and you have to look out for them.
Well, there you have it – our top five favorite waterproof jackets for duck hunting. We hope you like them as much as we do, and maybe you’ve even found your new favorite piece of waterfowl hunting gear!
Our top pick is the FROGG TOGGS Pilot II thanks to its waterproof technology and versatility with multiple different inserts that keep you insulated and dry while remaining seamless and completely watertight. Whichever you choose, we’re sure it’ll keep you warm and dry on even the harshest of hunts.