Just what is the best ice fishing shelter? Well to give you preview, below are a few that we would consider to be the top 5 ice shelters, but don’t stop there! Scroll down further to learn why we consider these to be the best.
- Eskimo Quickfish
- ArcticShield Double Layer Ice Fishing Shelter
- Clam 9127 Vista
- Frabill 6180 Predator
Before we continue it is important that we address some important questions to consider before making such a decision. One such question is:
What to look for in a good shelter…
As we know ice fishing by oneself can be very relaxing, but fishing with friends can be fun. With that in mind, before purchasing a shelter it is important to decide what size shelter you will need. Ice fishing shelters are available in all sizes.
They range from one just big enough for one person or you can purchase a very large 6-9 person shelter. Another important factor to consider is: how much gear will you be taking? A shanty may say it has the capacity for two people, but if you are one of those fishermen who like to bring everything including the kitchen sink you may need to think about getting a bigger one.
Another reason why it is important to think about the size of the ice shelter is because of their durability. Let’s say you buy an ice shanty today, there is a good chance you will have it for many years down the road.
So before making your purchase, make sure to think of your fishing needs 5 or even 10 years down the road.
Is the ice shelter portable?
One of the greatest things about ice shelters is their portability. Many ice fishermen like to fish different lakes throughout the winter.
Others like to move around to different locations on the same lake. Whichever case applies to you it is important to choose an ice shanty that is portable.
To help you do just that, consider the following questions: How heavy is the ice shelter? Is it easy to set up and take down? Will it be difficult to carry out onto the ice? If so, is there an option to tow it behind a snowmobile? Once out on the ice, will it be difficult to maneuver to different locations?
How difficult is it to set up?
Of course, when out on the water we want to spend less time setting up and more time fishing. After all, that is the reason we love fishing, isn’t it? The same is true when ice fishing.
We want to spend the majority of our time with our line in the water rather than figuring out how to set up the shelter. So before you go out on the ice you want to find an ice shelter that you can set up with ease.
For example, let’s say you really like fishing by yourself. However, unknowingly you bought yourself an ice shelter that needs two people to set it up. It kind of defeats the purpose of fishing alone right.
Now you will always need someone else to be there to help you set up the shelter.
Avoid allowing this to happen to you by researching how easy an ice shelter is to set up before making your purchase.
Will this ice shelter keep me warm?
If an ice shelter doesn’t keep you warm (even if it is the best ice fishing shelter), what is the point of having one in the first place right? This is probably the most important question to ask yourself when shopping for an ice shelter. Some things to look for are heavy-duty material that is insulated. You want an ice shelter that is made of a fabric that will not only keep the cold out, but that also helps against the wind. Just as critical to keeping the cold out is keeping the warm in. This is especially true if you plan on using a portable heater such as the Mr. Heater Propane Portable Buddy Heater . One feature that I really like that many newer ice shelters have is a removable floor. This removable floor acts as a shield between you and the ice thus ensuring your feet will stay toasty warm. One of these such ice shelters that we will discuss in fuller detail below, is the ArcticShield Double Layer Ice Fishing Shelter .
Now that we have addressed some important questions, let’s continue with the main question:
What is the best ice fishing shelter?
Not sure what fishing gear you should bring or what gear you should leave at home? You can bring it all with the Eskimo Fatfish . With 80 square feet of the fishable area this shelter is huge!
It is made from high quality insulated fabric meaning you no longer have to worry about the cold seeping in, or more importantly, the warm air seeping out.
There are 2 doors located on either side which is great for easier accessibility.
Not looking for such a large shelter? Eskimo made a smaller version called the Eskimo Fatfish 949 . Made from the same great material, just a little bit smaller.
- Has the capacity for up to 7 people
- Made from high-quality Insulated Fabric
- Extremely easy to set up
- 10 removable windows
- 2 doors located on opposite sides of the shelter
- Doors are small, making it difficult to enter with fishing equipment.
To learn more about this shelter, check out the following video:
Looking for the perfect ice fishing shelter for just you and one other? The Eskimo Quickfish may just be your answer. Weighing in at 26 pounds makes it the lightest ice fishing shelter we are featuring.
Being that it is lightweight and it comes with an oversized backpack, makes it extremely easy to transport to your favorite ice fishing location.
With 34 square feet of fishing area, you will have plenty of room for yourself and one other.
- Very easy to set up
- Includes a backpack for easy transport
- Removable windows to regulate the shelter’s temperature
- Many storage pockets to keep your fishing gear off the ice
- Doesn’t handle very well in the wind
Arctic Shield Double Layer Ice Fishing Shelter
Cold feet can quickly ruin an ice fishing trip. I can promise you that you will never have cold feet again with the ArcticShield Double Layer Ice Fishing Shelter.
This shelter is made of a double layer quilted material. This double layer fulfills a dual purpose.
First, it is very durable against cold and harsh weather. Second, the double layers work nicely in holding in heat, in the event that you do use a portable heater such as Mr. Heater Propane Portable Buddy Heater.
Another great feature is the removable floor that has heat retention technology. If you decide not to use it you can easily it up. It has the capacity to hold up to 4 ice fishermen at a time. Very easy to set up and overall relatively lightweight.
- Quick and easy to set up
- Double layer designed to keep the heat in
- Removable floor to keep your feet off the ice
- Has the capacity to hold up to 4 anglers
- The velcro strips on the floor do the job, but not the best option available
Clam 9127 Vista
Are you looking for an ice shelter that not only will withstand the cold, but also the wind? You will not be disappointed with the Clam 9127 Vista.
Made from very durable Denier fabric this shelter was built to last you not just this ice fishing season, but many more to come. It features a skirt located on the outside ensuring that snow stays where it belongs, outside.
Lastly, no longer waste precious time setting up with this extremely easy setup and take down. It has the capacity of 2-3 fishermen.
If you are planning an ice fishing trip with just yourself and a buddy, I would say this is the best ice fishing shelter for you.
- Made from a durable Denier fabric
- Easy to set up and take down
- Has the capacity of 2-3 people
- Includes ice anchors secure against windy conditions
- Features an oversized skirt to protect against the snow
- Includes a carrying bag
- A little more expensive than others
Frabill 6180 Predator
As we learned from a previous post ( What are the best ice fishing bibs?) Frabill knows how to make warm winter clothing. From the looks of it, the Frabill 6180 Predator has proven without a doubt that they also know how to make a durable ice fishing shanty as well. This ice fishing shanty features 27 square feet of fishing area, with the capacity to hold 2 people.
Tired of sitting on upside down buckets or cold hard wooden benches?
Leave the buckets and benches at home and enjoy sitting on a comfortable chair while ice fishing. This ice shelter includes 2 chairs. The best feature of this shelter is the whole thing sits on a sled, making transportation a breeze.
You also have the option to tow it behind a snowmobile or an ATV with a tow bar such as this one Frabill Ice Universal Shelter Tow Bar
- Easy setup
- 27 square feet of fishing area
- Made from a durable 900 Denier fabric
- Fits 2 people comfortably
- Includes two comfortable seats
- Part of the structure is a sled making it very easy to transport
There you have a list of our top 5 ice fishing shelters. Now it is your turn, share with us in the comments below what you would consider being the best.
Enjoy the following links on ice fishing: