It's not uncommon for companies who make products for the U.S. military to dip their toes into the civilian sporting market. But it's pretty rare for a tactical equipment maker to make waves in the world of waterfowling.
Under Sea Industrial Apparel introduced one of the first custom fit and configurable hunting waders that are made right here in the good old U.S. of A. The St. Helens, Ore.-based company specializes in dry suits and other gear for special operations troops and commercial divers, but recently the company began offering waders for hunters and fishermen.
There's been some scuttlebutt about these on the interwebs already, but the company says it can build waders for hunters in custom colors, a personalized fit, bells and whistles (thigh pockets, chest pockets, d-rings) and will even attach your favorite muck boots if you don't want to go with one of their stock pairs.
The cool thing is you can build your own waders in most military camos — which will work just fine in most waterfowling situations — such as Multicam, Woodland, MarPat and ATACS. Or you could go trad and just build them in olive drab or coyote brown.
Most reviewers say the USIA waders are bomber, with thick 1000D Cordura overlays that'll plow through thick brush better than breathables or neoprene bibs. But that's a compromise with some hunters who need to hike to their honey holes — these puppies aren't breathable, so the company recommends layering in hydrophobic threads to keep heat-sucking sweat away from your skin.
At $200 for a basic build, these waders are well within reach for most waterfowl hunters. And with custom fitting and American craftsmanship to boot, USIA waders may not be a bad bet for duckers who want their waders to last more than just a season or two.