The secret behind the best waterfowl hunting wader: Time
Duck hunters know there are no shortcuts to success, and this adage holds true when it comes to building dependable hunting gear. But in the hunting industry, there’s a never ending race to launch new products every season. Unfortunately, many customers have learned a tough lesson: marketing hype will never be a substitute for product development.
Chêne’s founders set out to create a class of hunting gear they always dreamed of owning but was never actually available on the market. To make this dream a reality, the founders agreed to the “two-year policy”, which required any technical hunting product to be field-tested for two years before Chêne sold it to the public. It’s a commitment that’s unheard of in the hunting industry — and why Chêne’s waders, jackets and other technical apparel are unrivaled in performance and durability.
“Making a commitment of spending no less than 24 months hunting in waders and other key items, that’s huge,” says Jeff Jones, a veteran of the hunting industry and co-founder of Chêne. “Our fundamental principle behind product development is never rushing any product to market. That’s just not what you see day-in, day-out in the industry. There’s always a rush to market.”
Years before Chêne ever sold a pair of waders, the founders began designing a high-performance wader that would remain waterproof season after season. This required the team to start from scratch and ignore industry trends, which relied on derivative designs and cost-effective materials.
Chêne’s disruptor mindset inspired the team to build the wader out of breathable, waterproof four-layer nylon, which had never been used for hunting waders. Nylon has many advantages over polyester, which is the most commonly used material in hunting waders.
Nylon is highly waterproof and breathable, and it’s more abrasion resistant polyester. Nylon also allows for stitch-less seaming, a construction method that is more waterproof than traditional stitching, which creates holes in the fabric that eventually leak. Chêne’s flagship wader was field tested for two years by Chêne’s founders and the brand’s team of product testers, which includes hunting guides and diehards who spend 60-plus days in the field each season. This process required patience, but it revealed flaws and inspired design improvements that ultimately made Chêne’s wader the best on the market.
“This has been a lifelong journey of building products and using products we’re all passionate about, and the product development process was worth the time and effort,” Jones says. “We hunt different environments and conditions, and we all know what it takes to survive in those elements. Our wader, it really was born in the elements where we all grew up hunting.”
If you’re ready to experience the Chêne difference, check out our full line of waders, jackets
and other performance waterfowl hunting apparel.