Ice fishing shelters – Buying Guide, Reviews, and Comparison
If you don’t have the time for any extensive research on the subject but still want a quick suggestion for a good ice fishing shelter for your next trip, then you’ve come to the right place. After considering the feedback from both expert and amateur anglers alike we’ve concluded that the Eskimo 69151 is the product that will likely meet most needs. A highly convenient two-person tent, it’s ideal for beginners and people who don’t want the hassle of carrying and setting up a large shanty. The small size and high thread count material mean it will be easy to keep warm while the good ventilation makes a mobile heating unit safe to use within its confines. If you tend to ice fish in a large group and want to share a common space, then the Eskimo 24105 might be a better option.
3 Best Ice Fishing Shelters (Reviews) in 2023
With so many products out there to choose from, finding the right one for you is sure to take you a while. We’ve looked through the best ice fishing shelter reviews and from what’s available for sale made a selection of some top scoring products for you to consider. We selected them to cover a wide range of demands and you can find them below.
1. Eskimo Quickfish
It seems that most people favor convenience over maximum capacity when it comes to ice shelters, as this two-person Eskimo model is one of the best selling products of its kind on retail sites. “Small” in this case doesn’t necessarily mean “confined” or “claustrophobic” since the Eskimo offers plenty of room for two people with a 60 x 60 inches base and 76 x76 inches around its middle.
At slightly upwards of 20 lb, it will be easy enough to carry to the fishing spot by only one person, neatly tucked in its own oversized zipper bag. Putting it up won’t pose much of a problem either, as users duly noted, and chances are it will stay in place with six self-tapping ice anchors.
We believe the commercial success it enjoyed speaks volumes about its quality but will also mention that it’s made out of extra-dense wind and water-resistant fabric with a denier coefficient of 300.
To cut down on weight and packed size, no special insulation material was used, but the small amount of air it holds should be easy enough to heat and keep warm, while the four air vents — one on each side — make the use of portable propane heaters acceptably safe.Buy from Amazon.com
2. Eskimo 24105 Quickfish 5I Pop-Up Portable Ice Fishing Shelter
Designed and manufactured by Eskimo, which is arguably the pioneer of portable ice fishing shelters, the 4-5 person Quickfish 5i model has all the features and functionality we came to expect from this American brand.
Its shape is intended to maximize elbow room and cut down on un-usable interior space in order to keep it practical without adding extra volume. This will make it warmer than other tents that provide a similar level of comfort, since less air is always easier to heat up, either from the occupants’ bodies or a portable heating unit.
The insulation material used will add a lot to this effect, with the manufacturer claiming that it offers 35% better heat retention over common fabric and customers corroborating this by reporting that “it heats very well”.
A number of vents, removable window panels and two main openings situated opposite from one another will provide enough ventilation to accommodate a heating unit while also making it easier for you to move gear in and out of the shanty.
At 45 lb in weight, a moderately strong person could carry it for a while without breaking his back and the installation shouldn’t last more than a few minutes once you get the hang of it.Buy from Amazon.com
3. Clam Outdoors 10136 XL6000T
We didn’t mention the car just to make a comparison either, as you could practically fit one in there given that one of the walls is fully unzippable to allow for easier access.
Of course, the Big Foot also features the full number of access panels, removable windows and vent shafts you would expect from a double, 6 person tent intended for ice fishing.
Expectedly, so much interior space won’t be particularly easy to keep warm, that’s why this model features a full thermal skin for added insulation, although you might want to invest in a portable heater for extra-cold nights, as the ventilation allows it.
The water repellant material used has a 600 denier rating, which will make it suitable for most torrential rains, let alone the snow that is to be expected when ice fishing.
Given its size, you shouldn’t expect it to be a cakewalk to set up, but the super duty poles it uses are sure to keep it in place.Buy from Amazon.com
There are a lot of things to weigh in when determining what particular model would make the best ice fishing shelter for your needs since a lot of their most attractive features come as the result of trade-offs. As with everything else, good overall quality plays in as a factor, most easily ascertained by considering the manufacturer’s reputation and the reception a particular model received. But outside of that, a responsible buyer should guide his or her purchase by the specific conditions that are most likely to be encountered.
How does size play into it?
A fishing shelter works best when it’s just large enough to accommodate the occupants and their gear. That’s because smaller spaces are easier to keep warm, even with a relatively large opening to allow the angler to do his fishing. Also, narrower confides allow for smoother air circulation, which means there won’t be as much draft.
Without a dedicated heat source, fairly sizeable tents that allow for up to eight people will only prove heat-efficient when there are enough occupants to warm up all that additional space
The best portable ice fishing shelters are designed to allow for a lot of elbow room for as little an increase in actual volume as possible. This usually gives them a hexagonal shape, with the midsection wider than the roof and base, since humans tend to concentrate their movements around waist level.
Needless to say, size also affects portability and convenience. Most 2-person units are easy to carry and should prove no problem to install in less than 5 minutes, while a larger shanty might require some planning in getting it from the car to the fishing spot.
Resistance to the elements
Ice fishing shelters are expected to offer adequate protection from environmental factors, such as wind or snow. High-density fabric for the body and flexible steel poles as an armature are employed to hold up against the wind, while water repellant coating is added to prevent melted snow from going through the fabric and potentially freezing it stiff.
Since they aren’t expected to go up against monsoons, a water denying factor of 300 will often be enough for most ice fishing shanties, with somewhat higher than that being recommended for larger units, that might offer large enough surfaces for pools to form on their roofs.
An extra layer of thermal insulation is sometimes added to shanties that are also intended to serve as sleeping areas. This is a great feature to have in larger units, but it comes at a significant expense to portability in items that are intended for two people or less.
Sleeping bags for fishing – Buying Guide, Reviews
Finding the best sleeping bag for fishing might prove a daunting task, since besides the general specifications, there’s also the specialized purpose to have in mind when shopping. After consulting dozens of fishing sleeping bag reviews, we’ve narrowed down a list of product suggestions that we hope will help you out.
Mekkapro Three-Season Sequoia
At only 3,3 pounds of easily compactable material, the Sequoia should prove very easy to carry on top of most backpacks, without getting in the way of more important stuff like the fishing rod or landing net. It also comes with reinforced buckles to ease transportation and to offer it better support when placed on a camping mat.
With its 210 T nylon shell and polyester filling it provides both good insulation and water resistance, making it very usable in a damp mountainous environment or in rainy weather. It’s rated for a minimum temperature of 20 F, and thanks to the tight fitting provided by its draft collar and draft tube along the main zipper line, there’s a lot of reason to feel confident in the manufacturer’s specifications.
As a convenience feature, it contains a 6” x 6” interior pocket for safe storage of sensitive material such as a phone or documents.
It’s only discernible downside comes as a trade-off for the good portability it offers. Some larger campers find it too tight or constrictive, with not enough room being left for their legs due to its “mummy” construction style. So people that are over 6’ tall might want to try it out before buying.Buy from Amazon.com
Slumberjack Big Timber
The Big Timber Pro had been designed with comfort in mind and at 80 x 38 x 6 inches it’s roomy enough to provide adequate space even for the biggest camper. But ample room to lie around is far from the only thing it offers. The foot section has been specifically designed to bulge in order to accommodate your toes in an upright position, so you can comfortably sleep on your back.
The upper section can fold forward to give you more room to breathe during summer months while the buffalo plaid flannel liner provides for soft bedding.
During the colder seasons, the Big Timber Pro won’t have much trouble in keeping out the cold, since the poly-canvas outer shell and flannel liner offer enough insulation for a 0 F temperature rating while also providing for adequate humidity resistance.
This all comes at quite a deal of weight, and quite a deal of monetary cost, however. At 9,1 pounds, the Big Timber isn’t the lightest bag to carry around, but it somewhat makes up by being relatively thin and easy to roll.
Another interesting feature is the ability for multiple units to be zipped together, preventing them from rolling on uneven ground and allowing for even more space for you and your partner.Buy from Amazon.com
This product offers a great deal of versatility if you’re looking for both a lightweight bag for easy carry or a heavier and more comfortable unit for camping. It can be bought in either a standard version with 2 lbs of hollow cotton fabric as filler and an extra-large version with 3 lbs of filling. They are rated for a minimum temperature of 32 F and 23 F respectively and can weigh between 4 and 5 pounds.
A well-rounded product, it’s big enough to comfortably fit a 6’2” man or two children while the flannel lining provides a soft surface for sleeping on. It does allow for two units to be zipped together for added stability and comfort, and it’s machine washable for extra convenience.
Due to the natural filing, however, this product might not be perfectly suited for a damp environment, since natural fiber absorbs humidity and tends to retain it to a great degree. It’s nylon covering should offer some water repellant properties, but make sure to dry it when necessary.
The same natural materials, however, add to this bag’s portability, making it thin enough to fold into a small package for easy carry.Buy from Amazon.com
There is no such thing as a “best fishing sleeping bag,” with various building solutions and materials proving advantageous in some areas and detrimental in others. With this in mind, here are some things to be mindful of when choosing a bag to suit your needs.
Size and style
There are three main styles to choose from, each with its pros and cons. The “mummy” style is ideal for backpacking due to its small frame but bigger people might find its Egyptian sarcophagus shape (tapers towards the feet in keeping to the contour of the human body) too restrictive and uncomfortable.
The rectangular shape is better suited for people who enjoy having space to move around in, but due to its large size and weight, it is only really usable for camping in allotted spaces or next to the car.
The semi-rectangle combines features of both. It has a similar opening section to the mummy’s, but it allows for more space for your legs. Depending on the model, it can either lean in the more portability or more comfort direction.
Both synthetic and natural fibers can be employed in the construction of a sleeping bag. Synthetics such as nylon and polyester provide great warmth, wind and water resistance but come with the drawback of being harder to press into a small package than their cotton filled counterparts. However, they make up in the portability department by being significantly lighter.
Models filled with natural cotton and lined with flannel offer good insulation but are easier to absorb humidity while also being harder to dry off. They tend to be heavier than synthetics, but you can easily fold them into a tight little package which makes cotton and flannel suitable for use in larger bags.
The temperature rating, provided by the manufacturer, tells you what is the lowest Celsius and Fahrenheit value you can comfortably use the sleeping bag in. The figure’s accuracy can vary greatly, depending on several factors, so it is recommended to always buy sleeping bags with a smaller rating than the temperatures you expect to encounter.
How warm the bag will fill to you is also dependant on size and fit. Smaller and tighter models, such as a mummy generally have a more accurate temperature rating and warm up faster because there is less air your body is required to heat up.