When the duck-hunting founders of Memphis-based Chêne Gear set out to make the best waterfowling waders possible, they began with the simple belief that waders should not leak. They rejected the long-accepted mindset that all waders leak and sought materials and designs for making the comfortable, durable, high-performance hunting gear they had always dreamed of owning. Developed with “best” quality in mind, Chêne’s waders include the rubber-soled comfort of form-fitting neoprene boots, four-layer waterproof-breathable nylon fabric, an Aquaseal zipper and a warranty behind every pair. Chêne’s waders are the opposite of cheap and disposable.
That said, most waterfowling mentors don’t choose investment-grade waders for young hunters for obvious reasons: The best waders are expensive, and kids will quickly outgrow them. But sloshing around in ill-fitting, leaky, hand-me-down waders is poor inspiration for the joys of duck hunting.
So in mid-2023 Chêne introduced a collection of youth gear that builds the company’s performance ideals into kid-sized packages with a wader exchange program to help reduce the cost of replacing outgrown gear. Made in three sizes intended for ages 6 to 14, the $800 zipperless waders can be exchanged for a larger size in subsequent years for $125. If a child outgrows the youth sizes, he or she can make one additional exchange up to an adult size. Children graduate the program when they turn 15.
Chêne’s youth waders come in brown and Mossy Oak Bottomland camo in three boot sizes: 4 (intended for kids 6 to 8), 5 (for kids 9 to 11) and 6 (for kids 12 to 14). The complete youth collection works together as a system and includes the Over-and-Under Jacket, Hydro-Lok Shell and Sherpa Fleece Wader Pants.
For more information, visit chenegear.com.