Ice fishing heaters – Buying Guide, Reviews, and Comparison
If you are looking for the best ice fishing heater but don’t have the inclination to go through dozens of pages of product descriptions, then we’ve got you covered. One of America’s most popular propane heaters, The Mr. Heater F232000 MH9BX Buddy is very easy to recommend, with hundreds of reviewers and satisfied customers praising its near perfect functionality which leaves for little to be desired. At only 9 pounds in weight, it can generate as much as 9,000 BTU of radiant heat on the maximum setting which gives it a remarkable power to size ratio. The advanced safety features will let you sleep easy, since the unit shuts itself off if low oxygen is detected or if tipped over. If the Mr. Heater Buddy isn’t available, or you are adamant on a smaller unit, then the Texsport 14215 will work well outdoors as well as indoors.
3 Best Ice Fishing Heaters (Reviews) in 2020
We read a significant number of ice fishing heater reviews and customer reports in order to compile a short list of the best goods now available on the market to assist you in making your decision from the enormous number of options available. These are shown in the gallery below.
1. Draper 17111 Infrared Diesel/Kerosene Space Heater
This is one of the most highly regarded and sought-after portable heating devices available, boasting an excellent track record for safety, functionality, and exceptionally effective heating performance.
This portable heater can be connected to either a disposable propane tank or a foreign power source (via an adaptor that is sold separately), and it can produce either 4,000 or 9,000 BTU in either of its two operating modes, which is more than enough to heat spaces up to 225 square feet in even the most extreme weather conditions.
It is said to be extremely efficient, burning through about 100 percent of the fuel, which means it will not fill the room with a disagreeable odor that, if present in sufficient quantity, may also pose a fire threat.
It is equipped with a comprehensive set of safety measures, including an oxygen detection sensor that instantly shuts down the machine if the oxygen levels fall below a specified threshold. Additionally, the heater will switch itself off if the pilot light goes out or if it is placed on a sloped surface, in order to minimize accidents if it is accidentally tipped over.
The Buddy includes a fold-down handle that allows it to be carried like a briefcase on short hikes, which makes it easier to move around its compact, 9-pound frame.
2. Texsport Portable Outdoor Propane Heater
While more of a burner than a household heater, the Texsport Portable will provide a wide range of versatility for both outdoor and interior use while generating enough heat for a large fishing tent or shack, depending on the size you choose.
It may be fed from either a 16.4 oz or a 14.1 oz propane tank, and when the control knob is turned all the way to the right, the heating element can generate up to 2,890 BTU. The heat generated by this is sufficient to properly warm an ice fishing shelter or to fry a marshmallow if the shelter is kept close enough.
With its convection system that doesn’t dissipate heat, this unit will be just as handy in the great outdoors. You’ll be able to warm your hands and nose by coming closer to it without worrying about the wind extinguishing your flames.
It is appropriately constructed of stainless steel and does not have any moving parts, such as a flexing head, that could become a source of failure in the future. It should be able to withstand some uneven terrain due to its wide base and low center of gravity, though it is always advisable to use it on a flat area.
In order to increase safety, the machine will immediately shut down if the initiating flame is extinguished.
3. Mr. Heater F215100 MH4B Little Buddy 3800-BTU Indoor-Safe
Mr. Heater’s Little Buddy, as the name suggests, is designed to be a tiny and easy-to-transport type. Similarly to the Texsport we examined, it is lightweight and small enough to be transported in your luggage while yet providing ample heating for up to 95 square feet of surface area, which is sufficient for a small tent, shed, or ice fishing shelter.
According to customer feedback, it appears to be as odor-free as its larger brother, and it also incorporates some of the same safety measures, with the obvious exception of the pilot light, which is not present due to the dissimilar design of the two appliances. It features an embedded oxygen sensor that automatically shuts it down in potentially life-threatening scenarios, and the same thing happens if it is mistakenly tipped over on its side.
We discovered some comments about the item’s size, which appears to be a touch on the large side for the purpose it is intended to serve (for instance, the Texsport weighs 1.5 lb, while the Little Buddie weighs 5 lb). This is partially compensated by a similar increase in heat production, which at 3,800 BTU places it in the high echelon of small-unit heat output ranges.
Guide to Purchasing
A person’s own needs and preferences must be taken into consideration when purchasing a good ice fishing heater. These considerations include not only the amount of space that needs to be heated and ventilated, as well as the expected outside temperature, but also less obvious criteria such as how accident prone the person is and what type of floor he expects to be using the heater on, among other things. What we discovered to be the most essential functional and safety factors are outlined in the next section.
The amount of heat produced and how to calculate it
The output of a heater is generally measured in BTUs, or British Thermal Units, and you can simply infer how the raw amount provided by the manufacturer relates to your day-to-day requirements by utilizing a calculator.
To do so, you’ll need to know how big the space is where the heater will be installed, as well as a figure for the desired temperature increase, which is the difference between the current outside temperature and the ideal temperature in your room.
When dealing with temperatures in Fahrenheit, the following formula will provide you with the necessary BTU: Cubic Feet x Temperature Increase x.133, where the last figure is always the same. If you’re working in Celsius, you’ll want to replace.133 with.2394.
The difference between convective and radiant heat
The word “radiant heating” was previously only connected with floor or wall-integrated residential systems, but the phrase has since come to refer to portable heating devices that have certain characteristics.
That is, the heating element functions indirectly, sending its energy to a ceramic plate rather than to the air, which in turn radiates the energy over the entire space. While less effective in terms of energy use than more conventional approaches, this technology also contributes to a more equal heating of the entire room. The most obvious disadvantages are the high cost and inherent fragility of ceramic materials.
A further disadvantage of this is that the plaque will never reach the same temperatures as a direct heating element, making it less suitable for outdoor use, in which case a standard heating element will be more effective.
The threat of a heater exhausting all of the oxygen in a poorly ventilated room is always present, and a unit that automatically shuts off before this occurs will prove to be a wise purchase.
Another factor to consider is how well the heating element is shielded against impact, or how close the heating element will be to the floor in the event that it is flipped over. You should search for a good metal cage that keeps it well away from touch with the possibly flammable material, since this will keep it safe.
Because many of these tents are made of heat sensitive synthetic material, the best heater for an ice fishing shelter should ideally switch itself off when the temperature is not maintained at a consistent level.
Charles Reynolds is an engineer from New York University with a passion for fishing. His earliest memories of fishing go back to the days spent on the lake with his grandfather who taught him the sport. Reynolds spends a large part of his holidays fishing with his son and passing on the skills to the little one.