By Mike Willis
In the Pacific Northwest, a quality set of hip waders is an essential piece of gear for the outdoors enthusiast. With water temperatures just above freezing, gear failure can have some serious consequences! Therefore, choosing the right product is extremely important.
In an effort to find some quality waders that wouldn’t break the bank, I looked to Frogg Toggs for my next investment. Frogg Toggs is best known for its lightweight raingear which is very popular within the outdoors community. I first learned of Frogg Toggs about eight years ago when I purchased a set of their rain gear for hunting in Alaska. Lightweight and packable were what I needed, and their gear fit the bill.
When looking for a quality set of waders, I searched for something durable. I commonly find myself busting brush and sliding down rocky embankments with my waders, and I needed something that was up for that challenge. Not only did I need something to keep me dry while standing in the river, but I also needed something that wouldn’t fall apart after hiking several miles.
Out of all the hip waders that I have ever used, I found a gem among the Frogg Toggs product line. The Bull Frogg 3-Ply Canvas Hippers are a standout for anyone looking to purchase a great all-around hip wader.
The Bull Frogg 3-Ply Canvas Hippers are unique in that they have two quality layers of canvas for protection. I really liked the durability and softness of the canvas. I often felt like I was wearing a pair of jeans with boots attached rather than some stiff pair of waders.
I have usually found hip waders to be irritating as they pull on my belt with every step. Frogg Toggs ingeniously designed their waders with some elasticity in their adjustable belt leash. This clever design absorbs the shock that would typically present itself as a constant tugging at your waistline. The adjustable belt leash is also equipped with a quick-release buckle.
I found these Frogg Toggs waders to have a fit that was superior to its competitors. I have always disliked the sloppy fit of cheap waders which makes you feel like you are swimming in them. The Frogg Toggs 3-Ply Canvas Hippers do not have excessive amounts of material. This secure fit is extremely helpful when trying to navigate through swift water.
After test driving my new waders, I am convinced that the canvas layers greatly aid in my comfort when hiking as well as enhances the durability of the product. I slid down countless hillsides and climbed through thick brush without ever worrying about my waders.
Manufacturing and Quality
The Bull Frogg 3-Ply Canvas Hippers are available in a cleated boot foot, or a felt boot foot. Since I wanted to be able to hike long distances in my hip waders, I elected for the cleated boot foot. While cleated boots don’t have the same grip on slimy rocks as felt boots do, I found these boots to perform superbly in all conditions. The boot has an excellent traction pattern that closely resembles a heavily siped snow tire. The tread comes up the side of your foot (outsole), further enhancing your ability to gain traction or recover from a loss of footing. Additionally, these boots have a hard toe cap and heel kicker.
Upon first inspecting my new hip waders, I immediately noticed the generous overlaps in the seams of material, which gave me confidence in their waterproofing qualities. There are two layers of canvas with a layer of rubber in between them. All seams are taped and vulcanized (hardening process involving heat and sulfur). These waders are relatively light in weight when compared to traditional rubber waders which are heavy and cumbersome.
One of my favorite features of this product is the steel shank. I like having a steel shank in my boot because I feel more sure-footed as I sidehill and walk on uneven surfaces. Some people dislike having a steel shank in their waders because they make your feet get cold faster. I always buy waders large enough to accommodate a thick sock. Thick socks will help with warmth and blisters. Additionally, these waders do have some insulation.
Some products are thicker and better suited for heavy brush conditions. For those who need absolute bomb-proof durability, it will come at the cost of comfort. I feel that this product does a good job of striking a balance between being a lightweight product and one that is durable enough for most reasonable conditions.
A person who has very large legs may find this product to be restrictive. However, I’m a pretty big guy, and I felt very comfortable in them.
I am very pleased with my new Frogg Toggs waders. For the price, I don’t think that anything can beat them.
Frogg Toggs has assigned a very nice price point to the Bull Frogg 3-Ply Canvas Hippers. For $129.99 you can purchase this reliable set of waders that should last many seasons. Whether you
are using your waders for hunting, fishing, water trapping, or utility use, these waders will serve you well.
To learn more about Frogg Toggs waders, or to get a pair of your own, visit http://www.froggtoggs.com