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 2021
When there are so many products to choose from, it is likely that you will spend some time identifying the best one for you. For your consideration, we’ve reviewed the best ice fishing shelter reviews and selected some of the highest-scoring models now available for purchase from among those that were reviewed. We chose them because they meet a wide range of requirements, and you can find them listed 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.
2. Eskimo 24105 Quickfish 5I Pop-Up Portable Ice Fishing Shelter
The Quickfish 5i model, designed and manufactured by Eskimo, which is widely regarded as the inventor of portable ice fishing shelters, has all of the features and functionality we have come to expect from this American brand. It can accommodate 4-5 people.
Its design is meant to increase elbow room while minimizing unusable internal space in order to keep it functional without adding additional volume to the vehicle. Due to the fact that less air is always simpler to heat up, whether from the occupants’ bodies or from a portable heating unit, it will be warmer than other tents that provide a similar level of comfort in this manner.
With the manufacturer saying that it provides 35 percent better heat retention than typical cloth and consumers verifying this by reporting that “it heats quite effectively,” the insulation material used will have a significant impact on this effect.
Vents, removable window panels, and two major apertures located opposite one another will provide ample ventilation to accommodate a heating unit while also making it easier for you to move equipment in and out of the shanties.
At 45 pounds, it should be manageable for someone of average strength to carry for a short period of time without hurting his back, and the installation should take no more than a few minutes once you get the hang of it.
3. Clam Outdoors 10136 XL6000T
A car could fit inside the Clam Outdoors Big Foot, and it could also accommodate up to 8 fishermen in relative comfort or 6 anglers with room to spare on the available surface area of 96 x 168 inches.
We didn’t bring up the automobile just to make a point; in fact, you could probably squeeze a car in there considering that one of the walls is completely unzippable to allow for easier access to the interior.
It goes without saying that the Big Foot is equipped with the full complement of access panels as well as retractable windows and vent shafts that you would expect from a double, 6-person tent designed for ice fishing.
It’s understandable that a vehicle with this much internal room would be difficult to keep warm, which is why this model has a full thermal cover for additional insulation. However, because of the ventilation, you may want to consider investing in a portable heater for extremely cold nights.
The water resistant material used has a 600 denier rating, which means it will be appropriate for the majority of torrential rains, leave alone the snow that can be expected when ice fishing in the winter.
Although it won’t be easy to set up because of its size, the heavy-duty poles it is built with will ensure that it remains in position for the duration of the event.
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.
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.
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.
Guide to Purchasing
While there is no such thing as a “best fishing sleeping bag,” there are a variety of construction options and materials that can be beneficial in some situations and detrimental in others. With this in mind, here are some considerations to keep in mind while selecting a bag to meet your requirements.
Dimensions and design
There are three basic styles to pick from, each with its own set of advantages and disadvantages. As a result of its compact frame, the “mummy” form is perfect for backpacking; but, larger individuals may find the Egyptian sarcophagus shape (which tapers towards the feet in order to follow the curve of the human body) to be overly confining and unpleasant.
However, because to its big size and weight, it is only truly suitable for camping in designated areas or right by the car. Because of its rectangular shape, it is better suited for people who like having plenty of space to walk around in.
The semi-rectangle is a hybrid of the rectangle and the square. This one features an opening part that is quite similar to the mummy’s, but it provides greater space for your legs. Depending on the model, it can either be more portable or more comfortable, depending on the user’s preferences.
Synthetic and natural fibers can be used in the manufacture of a sleeping bag, depending on the use. Despite the fact that synthetics, such as nylon and polyester, provide excellent warmth as well as wind and water resistance, they have the disadvantage of being more difficult to compress into a small package than their cotton-filled equivalents. They make up for this in portability, as they are substantially lighter than their predecessors.
Models that are filled with natural cotton and lined with flannel provide high insulation, but they are more susceptible to humidity absorption and are more difficult to dry off. Cotton and flannel are often heavier than synthetics, but because they can be folded into a small bundle with ease, they are excellent for use in larger luggage.
Temperature ranges are specified.
The temperature rating offered by the manufacturer tells you what the lowest Celsius and Fahrenheit temperature you can comfortably use the sleeping bag in without it becoming too uncomfortable. Because the accuracy of the number can vary substantially based on a variety of conditions, it is always advisable to choose sleeping bags with a lower temperature rating than the temperatures you expect to encounter.
The size and fit of the bag will also have an impact on how warm it will keep you. Models that are smaller and tighter, such as a mummy, often have a more accurate temperature rating and warm up faster since there is less air that your body has to heat up to function properly.
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.