Hunting waterfowl is an exciting hobby, but it requires reliable gear to accomplish successfully. Certainly, you want a good shotgun, but that is just the beginning of your adventures in the marshes and waterways. Without the right gear, you could suffer a great deal of discomfort, and even put your health and safety at risk.

Whether you are an experienced, expert hunter or are new to the game, knowing some of the most respected brands for outfitting is important. Check out some of the best duck hunting brands around, and read an overview of the type of gear every hunter may want to have on an excursion.

Trivia Question: What are the 4 North American migratory flyways? (Answer at the bottom)

Beginner Duck Hunting Essentials: What To Have In The Field

For those new to duck hunting, it can be easy to become overwhelmed with the sheer level of gear, gimmicks and gadgets available. Everyone claims that their technology, clothing or equipment is “essential,” but there are some basics to always keep in mind. Naturally, a shotgun, nontoxic shells and a hunting license are important. Aside from those, however, essential gear for duck hunting includes:

1. Blind Bags

Duck hunting can take you through many different types of terrain and expose you to all sorts of weather conditions. The right blind bag can protect your equipment on your way in, while you are hunting and when you are done. It organizes everything from your hunting license and shotgun shells to duck calls, thermoses and spare articles of clothing.

2. Duck Decoys

Duck decoys are, for many hunters, an essential part of the process. They have been employed by hunters for over 2,000 years, with some archaeological finds dating back to the last ice age. A few reliable decoys can make all the difference in a hunt.

3. Clothing

Boots, pants, a good coat and gloves are potentially the most important elements of gear. Be sure to choose heavy-duty clothes that are rugged enough to endure heavy wear in difficult conditions, will conceal scent and have good camouflage properties to help obscure physical outlines from the birds. Choose top hunting clothing brands that are well-insulated and weatherproof, which keeps one warm when out in the chilly mornings before dawn and protects against wetness, whether from rain or wading.

4. Waders

There’s little doubt you will be heading into hip-deep (at least) water on your hunt. Often, waterfowl take to the air, and when you shoot them down, they splash into the water. If you don’t have a retriever dog (and sometimes even if you do), you need to retrieve them. The right set of chest or hip waders is an essential part of your equipment (and don't forget to pick the right thing to wear underneath those waders too!)

5. Duck Call

Not every hunter uses a duck call, and if used improperly, they can scare the ducks away. When used properly, however, the right duck call can be an invaluable accessory to attract birds to the decoys you use. Pick up a quality call and practice with it. Duck calls can take a great deal of practice to use properly.

Things to consider when purchasing a call include the species, the number of reeds in the call, what the call is made and, of course, the cost. For beginners, look for calls that sound realistic and are easy to blow. You will likely go through many of these as you dial in your specific needs over the years.

6. Boat

Those who intend to hunt ducks on the water will likely want a boat. Some of the best manufacturers of waterfowl boats include TDB, GO-DEVIL and MOmarsh. The type of boat you need will depend on whether you are hunting on large bodies of water, you need something versatile or you want something easily portable for small water hunting.

7. Blind

Those who normally hunt from a boat may not need a blind. Those who undertake field hunts, however, will want a blind because concealment from the birds is essential. A blind (and of course a good dog blind) can also help protect against inclement weather. Many reliable blinds are on the market that won't break the bank while providing protection from visibility and the elements.

Where To Find Great Duck Hunting Gear

While you can certainly order directly from many manufacturers online, supporting brick-and-mortar stores is always a good approach. These outlets help to foster the community of hunting and allow you to see and feel the things you purchase before buying.

Some of the most highly regarded national stores for hunting gear include Sportsman’s Warehouse, Bass Pro Shops, Dunham’s Sports and Cabela’s. These outlets not only offer quality gear from the above manufacturers and others, but they actively support hunters and the outdoor lifestyle.

Many brick-and-mortar retailers offer an immersive experience and knowledgeable staff who can help answer questions and provide additional advice and guidance if needed. In addition, when the time comes to purchase a new shotgun or ammo, it is much easier to do so from a local retailer than it is to do online.

When shopping for gear, be sure to look at some of the most respected and well-regarded brands. You may be able to find less expensive gear from other companies, but those listed here offer superior-quality gear balanced with good prices.

Best Duck Hunting Gear

Best Duck Hunting Brands

1. Drake

Drake has been around since 2002 and began with a mission to produce and offer the best waterfowl gear available. For the past 20-plus years, they have kept to that mission, offering rugged gear that runs the gamut from waders and boots to jackets and vests, gloves, blinds and even accessories for your gun dog.

Drake stands out for their rugged gear that is waterproof and breathable as well as long-lasting. Features like tear-away lining ensure an additional level of versatility. They offer a broad range of products from big game and wildfowl gear to camping and casual lifestyle wear.

2. Banded

Banded focuses on rugged gear that is capable of handling the rigors of wear caused by harsh outdoor conditions. The company was founded by avid outdoorsmen who spent years working in harsh environmental conditions. Banded offers a complete line of gear for men, women and youth hunters, from breathable undergarments to neck gaiters, coats and even insulated hand warmers.

What makes Banded stand out is their GOSystem, which consists of layered hunting gear consisting of a “shield,” mid-layers and core layers, all designed to protect against cold weather, rain and other inclement conditions. They offer more than 600 items across nearly 20 product categories.

3. Higdon and MOmarsh

Higdon and MOmarsh offer a wide range of practical gear beyond clothing that the avid waterfowl or other bird hunter will find useful. These associated brands have a deep connection to the tradition of hunting and are driven by innovating new and exciting technologies, all inspired by the idea of moving decoys.

MOmarsh and Higdon stand out due to their dedication to three overarching principles: mobility, comfort and concealability, factors that are essential to bagging your limit. They are also known for their status as lifestyle brands. In addition to outstanding quality gear, they offer free instructional programming, videos and information.

4. RNT Duck Calls

RNT stands for Rich-N-Tone Calls. They are an Arkansas-based company that performs every part of manufacturing on-site at their location. Founded by a champion duck caller in 1976, for the past four-plus decades they have offered some of the best fowl calls in the business, and they are known for longevity as well as quality.

RNT stands apart from other brands because of their focus on a broad range of high-quality duck calls. A duck call should be an essential part of any hunter’s gear, and learning how to use one can take some practice. By selecting the right calls for the right situation, you can greatly improve your results, and RNT offers hand-crafted, elegant and functional duck calls for everyone from beginners to advanced users.


SITKA is a well-regarded manufacturer of hunting clothing and gear for men, women and youth hunters, ranging from waders to jackets, shirts and pants, undergarments and other items of clothing for various types of hunting from waterfowl to big game and beyond. They also provide hunting packs, gloves and casual wear.

SITKA is known for its Optifade concealment technology, the first camouflage built around animal vision rather than human eyesight. They are also owned by the same company that creates GORE-TEX, the gold standard for waterproofing technology. Finally, they offer an outstanding warranty including returns as well as reasonable repairs for damage due to wear and tear.

6. Rig’Em Right

Rig’Em Right is focused on innovation and high performance in hunting gear and products. The company was founded by a lifelong woodsman who grew up in the outdoors of Eastern North Carolina. After obtaining an engineering degree from North Carolina State, he applied his knowledge and experience to a diverse product range running from decoys and rigs to blind bags and blinds, shooting accessories, calls and even field gear for dogs.

What makes Rig’Em Right shine is that they place quality above all other things and are willing to take bold steps to stand out from the competition. They are famed for their customer service and take great pride in the honesty and integrity with which they operate. Their owner and operator, Matthew Cagle, tests all their products in the field personally.

7. Final Approach

Final Approach offers a complete line of decoys, blinds, gear, calls and apparel for all of your duck hunting and lifestyle needs. They started in 1993 when the founder was unable to find a blind that met his specific needs, and for the past 30 years they have been one of the biggest names in duck blinds.

Final Approach is notable for innovating the concept of layout blinds that have since become a standard used by many companies. Everything they do is based on the principles of rugged wear, comfort, preparation and success in the field. As a bonus, they feature instructional blogs and videos as well as recipes to prepare your take.

8. First Lite

First Lite was conceived after the founders noted the use of merino as a premier fabric in competitive ice skating. They adapted this wool blend for use in fall hunting gear, finding that it absorbed odors, kept them warm in the mornings and kept them cool in the heat of the day. This led to a wide range of garments for hunters of all varieties from big game to waterfowl.

Innovation in fabric is what sets First Lite apart. From those original brightly colored merino wool garments, First Lite innovated the creation of synthetic garments in camouflage that mimicked the warming, cooling and weatherproof effects of merino. Their gear also allows for the piecemeal removal of layers to address widely varying hunting conditions.

These are just a few of the best duck hunting and waterfowl brands on the market today. From clothing and boots to decoys, calls, blinds and boats, they offer superior-quality gear and can get you going with everything you need for a successful excursion to bring in your daily limit.

Answer: Atlantic, Mississippi, Central, and Pacific Flyways

My Final Thoughts

These are just a few of the best duck hunting and waterfowl brands on the market today. From clothing and boots to decoys, calls, blinds and boats, they offer superior-quality gear and can get you going with everything you need for a successful excursion to bring in your daily limit.

For a blog about the Best Duck Hunting States, we have that too!