Are you looking for the best ice fishing bibs money can buy? Not sure where to begin.
In this post we will discuss what to look for when it comes to purchasing ice fishing suits and bibs, but also in our opinion which ones are the best.
So let’s get to it
What are the best ice fishing bibs?
Here is a quick preview of our favorite ice fishing bibs, please continue reading for more information on each option below…
Of course the key to keeping warm when ice fishing is keeping dry. So before we talk about what are the best bibs for ice fishing, let’s talk a little about waterproofing.
When it comes to waterproofing there are two different methods. One of these methods is applying a waterproof coating or a water repellant to the bibs. The advantage of a waterproof coating is the end product is much cheaper. The disadvantage, however, is the waterproofing may not last as long and you may actually need to reproof the waterproof item.
The other method of waterproofing is using a waterproof membrane. A waterproof membrane has microscopic pores that are big enough to allow the fabric to breathe, but small enough to keep water out. The most effective waterproofing method would the combination of both a waterproof membrane and applying a water repellant.
Also to be considered is an important aspect to waterproofing is called sealed seams. What this means is that the seams are actually heat sealed thus stopping any water from entering the seams. Interestingly, an item cannot be considered 100% waterproof without having sealed seams.
By now you may be wondering just how waterproof is waterproof?
A test was designed to do just that, to rate how waterproof a piece of fabric really is. This test is called the Hydrostatic Head test. In a nutshell, water is put over the fabric and observed until water is seen coming through the other side. Based on how much water was put on the fabric, the fabric is given a waterproof rating.
0-1,500mm is the rating given for fabric that is consider water-resistant, good for very light rain.
1,500 – 5,000mm is considered waterproof and it is good for average rain.
5,000 – 10,000 is very waterproof and it will keep you dry in moderate to heavy rain.
Lastly, 10,000- 20,000 is considered very waterproof and is designed for heavy rain.
Now that we have talked about what it truly means to be waterproof, let’s get down to business. Let’s talk about what are the best ice fishing bibs.
One of the best pair of ice fishing bibs are the Frabill I Series. These ice fishing bibs were built to withstand some nasty ice fishing conditions. Once of the best features to these bibs is the Waterproof rating. The i2, i3 and i4 all have a waterproof rating of 10,000mm. So, as you can see based on the ratings mentioned above these bibs are designed to keep the rain out and to keep you dry. The seams have been heat sealed meaning these suits are 100% waterproof.
For many staying warm can be a concern, but another challenge that others face when bundled up for the cold is becoming too warm. This can lead to sweating which can actually cause you to become even colder. The Frabill I Series has added some nice features to help you avoid becoming to warm. The first, is the breathable 300 denier nylon shell. Also, if you are one of those fishermen that just can’t sit still and things start to get a little toasty from moving around, these bibs are equipped with zipper vents to help you regulate the temperature.
Being warm and dry is great, but if you are not comfortable it is going to be a long day. Have no fear each pair of bibs is equipped with internal knee and seat padding making it even comfortable to sit on the jagged ice. Another nice touch is the hand warmers located on the front and the very comfortable yet easily adjustable shoulder straps. The front zipper comes down to the waist making it very easy to slip in and slip out. You can even slip in while still wearing your favorite ice boots. Top that off with more cargo pockets then you will know what do to with.
One of my favorite things about the Frabill I Series is their concern about safety. As we know, fishing on the ice can be dangerous at times. These bibs are designed to keep you safe even in a dangerous situation. One such feature is the drainage mesh. In the event that you fall in the water this drainage mesh helps to allow water to pass through the suit making it easier for you to get to safety. Another safety feature is the conveniently located ice pick holsters. In fact, if you buy the whole suit, the I-Series jacketscome included with a set of ice picks. Lastly and still very important is the Scotchlite reflective material that can help you become more visible to drivers when walking along the road at night.
You simply cannot go wrong with these bibs. However, don’t just stop at the bibs.Buy the Jacket and you have yourself possibly the best ice fishing suit on the market.
As you can see, Frabill designs their ice fishing suits for very cold conditions. They are also concerned about the comfort and safety of the ice fisherman. Yet, things have only gotten better with the newest model, the Frabill Ice I5 Bib While the i2, i3 and the i4 have an 10,000 mm hydrostatic resistance rating the i5 has a 20,000mm hydrostatic resistance rating. Yes, these bibs are designed to keep you dry in the toughest situations. With an upgrade on waterproofing and removable insulation there are no other pair of bibs that can compare. Couple that with the internal knee and seat padding, the hand warmers, and the added safety features these just might be the best ice fishing bibs that Frabill has on the market.
One final note: Before you make your decision I must warn you, there is no fly. Yes, you read that correctly and I know what you are thinking, “You have got to be kidding me”. However, you will be happy to know that this wasn’t a mistake. This was part of the design. As zipper can leak and this is the last place you want water seeping in. With that in mind, Frabill decided to make it without a fly. Instead they designed a zipper that comes down to the waist and adjustable shoulder straps so you can still have access and yet remain dry.
Another great pair of bibs by Frabill are the Frabill Mens Frabill I-Float Bib.Couple it with its counterpart jacket the Frabill Mens Frabill I-Float Jacket and you could possibly have the best ice fishing suit on the market
These pair of bibs are made with a double laye,r two hundred denier nylon shell with a durable water-repellent treatment making it windproof as well as waterproof. It also includes padding in those most important areas such as the knees and the rear area to offer the maximum amount of protection as well as comfort when out on the ice.
What I like most about these pair of bibs is they are designed for safety. No matter how careful a person is, there is always the risk of falling through the ice. With that in mind, Frabill has installed a few safety features right into the design of this product.
Not only are do these pair of bibs have a mesh that will drain the water in the event that you fall in, but they also have an addition safety feature. This unique feature is, as the name implies they float. This in my mind is an ingenious idea by Frabill because if you think about it, very few of us would go fishing without wearing a life vest, so why would we go ice fishing without some sort of safety device?
To enhance your safety even more, I would definitely recommend that you pair it with the Frabill Mens Frabill I-Float Jacket.
This jacket along with these pair of bibs are actually recognized as a U.S. Coast Guard certified personal flotation device. On the inside of the jacket are a few important safety reminders that we at times forget when going ice fishing. Lastly, the jacket comes with ice picks that could save your life in the case of any emergency.
Learn more about the complete suit in the video below:
What are the best ice fishing bibs?
Simply because it is more practical for the average ice fisherman. Yes the i4 and i5 are awesome. It has amazing waterproofing and insulation, but for the everyday ice fisherman it may be a little more than what is needed. So unless you will be fishing in extremely wet and cold temperature I would recommend the Frabill i3.
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Now it is your turn. What do you think are the best bibs for ice fishing? Please share your thoughts in the comments below.