The TideWe MAX5 Neoprene Hunting Waders are a very unique piece of gear with some serious strengths. They are the best waders for the money that I have found thus far. I nearly passed on them because they seemed too “entry level” but I was very impressed once I finally had them in hand. These are perfectly fitting, comfortable, warm, and durable waders with a few helpful features. And above all, they keep you dry!
I have used high end waders that cost easily 3-5 times what these TideWe waders cost. And while those more expensive waders do have a few nice touches, these beginner waterfowl hunting waders are just as good in numerous areas. So good in fact, I wish I could have bought these for my first pair of duck hunting waders. I probably have only used TideWe waders ever since.
Before writing this review, I reached out to TideWe and asked them if they would give a discount code for my readers, and they were very kind to do so. Enter this 18% off discount code at checkout: GK18 for the TideWe MAX5 Neoprene Hunting Waders or any other waders TideWe sells. This discount is in addition to any sale prices.
Fit & Comfort
I have used some really high quality neoprene waders in the past, in fact I still do. But the fit and comfort on the TideWe Max5 Neoprene is the best of anything that I’ve worn. They are cut well and give you room where you need it as well as the perfect amount of stretch. I was very impressed the first time I tried them on. In the field, hunting, they proved themselves even better.
Sitting on a short stool for long periods of time in neoprene waders can be challenging, but not with these. Whether I was in the water, sitting motionless, or running after downed birds, these waders felt like a second skin. They didn’t pull, chafe, or restrict my movement. This is about the best-case scenario you can have with neoprene waders.
When it comes to waders, I don’t like a lot of features. To me they distract from the main purpose of the waders, add cost, and they are extra things that can fail over time. Instead, I want waders that have the highest possible quality with the best functionality. TideWe did a great job of keeping these simple and effective. The main features include:
- 3.5mm neoprene with very nicely sealed seams.
- Extra layers of material in high wear areas like the knees.
- Realtree camouflage pattern. It is about my favorite all-purpose waterfowl hunting camo.
- Reinforced Rubber Boots with good fit and comfort.
- 800-gram Thinsulate insulation in the boots, which keeps them nice and warm for most hunting conditions. The waders themselves are not insulated, just the boots, however neoprene is a naturally insulating material, so they keep you very warm.
- Adjustable straps, which should be a given, but they are quite comfortable.
- Internal water-resistant zip pouch for your phone.
- External Velcro storage pouch.
- Hand-warmer pockets in the front, though they are not lined, nor would you want them to be.
- Integrated shell holder loops in the front.
- Removable belt with extra shell holder sections you can add.
- A small patch kit in case you poke a hole in them.
All and all, these waders have everything I need and want, and then some. I do not use the extra belt or extra shell holders; in fact I don’t use any of the shell holders. I have trained for years to pull my shells out of a pocket, without looking, and I’m pretty fast at it. For more on how to find quality waders, here is a podcast episode I did titled Duck Hunting Waders – What You Need To Know.
When I think about wader functionality for duck hunting, I am thinking about three major areas. First, do they keep you dry. Second, how do they work in the water, and last how do they work on land.
Do they keep you dry? In short, yes. So far so good. I have used them in shallow water, deep water, still water, and moving water. No leaks, no issues, no signs of future leaks. You would think this is a given, however not all waders are watertight right out of the packaging and of those which are, not all are still waterproof after the first hunt… These passed every test.
Water functionality. Waders need to work well in the water, they need to keep you dry but they also need to enable good mobility. These worked well walking through rocky bottomed streams and in muck. They are very natural fitting, and I can maneuver just fine with them. I have learned that 5mm neoprene waders can be exhausting to spend much time in, especially when wading through muck. These 3.5mm waders do nicely.
Land functionality. Like most duck hunters, I spent more time wearing these on land than in water. I setup my blind, sit in my chair, and then chase down ducks. These have been the most comfortable and functional neoprene waders I’ve ever used on land. I have ran in these, climbed through stuff, and sat motionless and they work well. They are not too bulky, the boot print is not too large, you can still be reasonably nimble, and they are not too heavy causing you to overheat during average levels of exertion.
Check out my video review on these waders to see more:
When it comes to waders, I am the most critical about durability. So many waders only last a few hunts, and too few live to see a second season. The average lifespan for a pair of waders these days is about 2 years. That said, I have to be honest, I have not hunted in these for multiple seasons yet. So I cannot tell how long they will really last.
But I can say this. I have used them in all normal situations as well as running, pushing through heavy brush, and jaggers. I have crawled in them, and fell, trying to outrun a wounded bird. At the end of the day, they still look brand new. No signs of wear, tear, or separation. That is about the best that you can ask for. They also feel durable, the material itself feels strong. I’ve touched some waders that felt like they might come apart after the first use. These feel very strong and have some heft to them.
TideWe has been making some really good gear lately at excellent prices. I have been surprised again and again. Check out my TideWe See Through Hunting Blind Review.
This is where these waders shine perhaps the brightest. If you use my 18% off discount code at checkout: GK18 for the TideWe MAX5 Neoprene Hunting Waders, as of this writing you can get them for $90. I realize that price will fluctuate some over time. But to get waders of this caliber for $90, with free shipping, blows my mind. I so wish I would have found these years ago when money was tight, and I needed something to help me get started.
There are waders on the market that cost well over $1,000 and have a 10-year warranty. For that much money, I think you would be better off buying 11 pairs of these TideWe Max 5 waders. They would certainly last you well over 10 years. Probably double that. Spending big money for ultra-high-end waders does not make much sense when you have an option these waders on the market for $90. The price and value are just unbelievable. And they are not cheap quality either. They are a solid wader, easily worth double the price.
Pros & Cons
- Strong and durable
- Great fit and comfort
- Plenty of pockets and shell holders
- Great look and feel
- Outstanding value
- Free shipping from TideWe
- Good straps
- The boots are fine, but this is one area that more expensive waders shine brighter
- I have not been able to hunt with them for years to really know how they will hold up over time
- Boots could have higher level insulation options. I would prefer 800 and 1600-gram options
Conclusion & Recommendations
Are the TideWe MAX5 Neoprene Hunting Waders the best waterfowl hunting waders on the market? No, they aren’t. But are they the best thing you could possibly buy for $90? I think so. If you are a new hunter or just on tight budget, I think these could be the best waders you can buy.
Even if you are not on a budget, consider thinking about your waders from a cost per season standpoint. Even if these waders only last the industry average of 2 years, that is $45 per year. I can assure you, a $500 pair of waders won’t last 10 years. So the TideWe is the better value. And if they last longer than 2 seasons, they become even better still. Rember to enter this 18% off discount code at checkout: GK18
Till next time. God bless you, and go get em in the woods!
George Konetes Ph.D. – Founder and Host of the New Hunters Guide.
The New Hunters Guide is simply what George wishes he would have had when learning how to hunt; a single place to get practical hands on knowledge about different kinds of hunting, gear, strategy, and tips that can improve your comfort and fun factor in the woods.
As a note, TideWe gave me these waders to do this review, thanks to them for their support.