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Posted on January 5, 2012
Sizing waders can get a little tricky and make buying a pair difficult, so when I had a chance to field test some LaCrosse waders, I was all over it.
The first set of waders I tried were the LaCrosse Brush-Tuff Extreme ATS 1600G. Having never owned a set of waders, I was anxious to see if my guess for sizing was right. And it was … to an extent.
I ordered the 12 King. The 12 refers to shoe size, and King refers to the overall chest size and inseam length. I stand 6’2”, and as you can tell from the picture above (I’m on the right), I haven’t missed too many meals in my life. I have a wife who loves to cook, and I love to eat … you get the point.
Anyway, the waders fit well but were snug on my legs, which prevented me from being able to wear anything but shorts under them. They also constricted around my legs as I walked out into the water. The deeper I went, the tighter they got, and after about 15 minutes of standing waist deep in ice cold water I couldn’t take it anymore. I don’t believe the coldness was due the lack of warmth provided by the 1600 grams of thinsulate, but more from the blood being squeezed from my legs.
But then my dad tested my pair out and loved them. He’s about the same height as me (as you can see) but weighs about 100 pounds less. He was able to wear long johns and blue jeans under these waders with no problem.
Now, I didn’t want to just stop there and say big guys can’t wear waders, so I contacted our rep at LaCrosse who suggested I try the LaCrosse Mallard Expandable Chest 1000G waders.
The moment I tried these waders on, I could tell they were the ones. The legs were wider and allowed me to wear jeans underneath, the chest portion is (as the name says) expandable to allow for a custom fit, the size 12 fit well, and best of all, no constriction. I was able to stand in the water for an hour and not feel a bit of cold.
Both waders have built-in, hand-warming pockets with additional top-loading pockets to hold shot shells or other items. They both also have reinforced double-stitched seams, but only the Brush-Tuff has reinforced knees.
So it all worked out. My dad and I both found a pair of waders we love and have been wearing them while fishing and hunting — I even wore my set sledding with my son last winter.
Need help sizing a pair for yourself?
Let’s take a look at these waders and equate it to the actual sizes shown. The numeric number is just your regular shoe size. I wear a 12 medium shoe, and both sets of waders were dead on for size, actually even allowing for a wider foot to fit comfortably.
The other portion of the size — “stout, regular/medium or king” — refers to the chest size and inseam of the wader. Here are some good rules to follow:
What’s your favorite pair of Lacrosse waders?