Accomplishing something good doesn’t just happen overnight; it takes time and effort and experience. You probably remember hearing someone in your life say “luck is not a strategy,” and it's true. The rewards that you earn are always sweeter than the ones you get because you are lucky. Whether it's time on a tractor developing food plots, or time spent scouting, one thing remains true: a limit of ducks you work for is always a little better.
Chêne Gear wasn’t born out of thin air. She is the culmination of tremendous time invested in the field, and she’s been a long time coming. At our core, we are duck hunters. We are deeply entrenched in the tradition of flooded timber duck hunting, and we think about gear like duck hunters. We’ve tried the other gear and we understand what is missing. We’ve shared your disappointment with both the quality of construction and the customer service experience during those times when something needs to be fixed. That shared frustration is where the simple phrase “Built Better” originates. Built Better is both a statement of our product design intentions, and a commitment to our customer service interactions. It’s the single greatest way we know to remind you of our ongoing commitment to both build better waders, and build a better brand.
There’s a tendency in product design to accept the premise that “more” of a thing makes it better. Our experience, however, leads us to reject this premise. We are driven to design for the sake of functionality and efficiency. After all, efficient function is what we all require from our tools. More pockets, more magnets, and more shell loops don’t make a better pair of waders. Focusing on features probably simplifies consumer marketing for a large corporation, and oftentimes probably leads to additional sales revenues. However, the inclusion of these features is intended to influence a consumer’s interest level instead of their efficiency level. They are not efforts to build better products, they are efforts to sell more products. We’re not interested in building waders with gimmicks. We want to build gear that enables you to do what you love, and do it better.
In an effort to deliver on greater efficiency and function, you will only find six pockets on our wader design. Two chest pockets, two high hand warmer pockets, and two internal pockets. You’ll notice that all of our pockets are situated high on the chest of the waders. This keeps them well above the water line and as far away from potential submersion as possible. Placing the pockets up high also eliminates the uncomfortable pinching or bunching that occurs around your waist line when you need to bend over or turn and move quickly. There are zippers on the four exterior pockets that are coated with a hydrophobic material to ensure that the contents of your pockets can be contained.
It’s impossible to think about wader pockets without significant consideration for the ever-present cell phone. You will find that there are two outer pockets that open from the center of your chest. This is the most natural place to store your phone and to tuck away your duck calls. Our legal counsel, however, insisted that since these are not completely waterproof compartments, we should not label them as cell phone pockets. Given their concerns, here’s our overall polished disclaimer about the outer pockets along with some free hunting advice. Despite being dimensionally perfect and ergonomically ideal, these two outer pockets are not designed for submersion. If you are planning to hunt in water above your belly button you should probably store your phone in a zip lock bag or somewhere a little more bullet proof. While these two outer pockets are highly water resistant, they are not designed to be water tight. Fully waterproof zippers are not as easy to operate as water resistant zippers and would defeat the convenient benefits that our pocket design offers. Our advice is to spend more time hunting #CheneDeep and less time hunting #BellyButtonDeep.
The two high hand warmer pockets are located behind the outer chest pockets and open on the left and right sides of your chest. They are deep and lined with a lofted fleece material that will keep your hands warm and dry as they wick water away from your body. After we received valuable feedback from our research and development team this past winter, we increased the depth and the angle of these hand warmer pockets to create multiple zones. This allows you to drop a few shotgun shells in the hand pockets and still have room to keep your hands warm and dry above the shells.
On the upper front interior of the wader, we added two “dump” pockets with magnetic closures. These two pockets are great for things like a flashlight, a dog collar remote, or a snack. Many of us don’t like to wear gloves while we are hunting because it affects the sound of your duck call. Instead of gloves, we opt for HotHands® in the interior pockets. This keeps the HotHands® dry and allows the heat to pass through to the front high hand pockets.In some ways, you may find the design of our pockets simple. We believe our design to be efficient and functional. It was never our intention to build complicated waders, rather we set out to build better waders. Our aim is to deliver efficient, functional performance without gimmicks; gear that enables you to do what you love, and do it better.