If you’re planning to go on a fishing trip to your favorite lake this winter, having a portable ice fishing shelter can make your life so much easier.
One of the biggest problems that ice anglers have when fishing during winter is how to keep themselves comfortable in the freezing cold.
This is especially true for anglers who are a long way from home and want to camp out in the wilderness.
For instance, if you want to make a fire, you’ll have to find a way to shield your catch from the heat, or else they’ll go bad fast.
If you want to prevent wild animals from turning you into prey, it’s also best to have a safe place to stay in.
Ice fishing shelters are the best solution to your problem.
These shelters can keep you safe and comfortable without all the hassles and potential headaches.
Portable shelters can even help you have a better ice fishing experience overall.
After all, with a portable ice fishing shelter, you can move to different spots every day if you wish.
The shelter can protect you from the weather, the elements, and any other common issues that ice anglers can encounter.
Plus, the best ice fishing shelters are now quite affordable compared to years ago, so there’s no reason for you not to get one before your next fishing trip.
In this article, we’ll take a look at the best portable ice fishing shelters on the market right now!
Here's What's In Store For You...
- Top 7 Ice Fishing Shelters
- 1) Best Overall: Eskimo QuickFish Series Pop-Up Portable Ice Fishing Shelter
- 2) Second Best Choice: Eskimo Outbreak Pop-up Portable Insulated Ice Fishing Shelter
- 3) Most Spacious: CLAM Portable Pop-Up Ice Fishing Shelter Tent
- 4) Best for Small Groups: Eskimo FatFish 949
- 5) Most Compact: Thunderbay Ice Cube
- 6) Best for Sight-Fishing: Voyager X Thermal Stealth
- 7) Most Lightweight: Outsunny 4-Person Ice Fishing Shelter
- Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
At a Glance
- Best Overall: Eskimo QuickFish Series Pop-Up Portable Ice Fishing Shelter
- Best Runner Up: Eskimo Outbreak Pop-up Portable Insulated Ice Fishing Shelter
- Most Spacious: CLAM Portable Pop-Up Ice Fishing Tent
- Best for Small Groups: Eskimo FatFish 949
- Most Compact: Thunderbay Ice Cube
- Best for Sight-Fishing: Voyager X Thermal Stealth
- Most Lightweight: Outsunny 4 Person Ice Fishing Shelter
Top 7 Ice Fishing Shelters
1) Best Overall: Eskimo QuickFish Series Pop-Up Portable Ice Fishing Shelter
Eskimo is a well-known brand for winter-related equipment.
They also have a line of the best ice fishing shelters on the market, the Eskimo QuickFish Series Pop-Up shelters.
- Capacity: 2-6 (depends on variant)
- Fishable space: 61 sq. ft.
- Height: 80”
- Weight: 27-52 lbs
- Color: Red
- Large fishable space
- Fully insulated fabric
- Great design
- Good ventilation
- Plenty of size options
- Doesn’t have a floor
- Heavier than usual
If you want an ice fishing shelter that can fit you and your entire group and allow you to fish together, the Eskimo Quickfix Series Pop-Up is a fantastic option.
For one, it has a flared design that tapers at the bottom, resulting in a bigger fishable space.
You can enjoy the space with one to five other people, depending on the exact variant you choose.
The smallest variant can hold two people, while the largest variant can hold six.
It’s also fully insulated with IQ technology, which means that you can stay warm inside the shelter even if the weather is literally freezing outside.
If the warmth still isn’t enough, you can also use a heater inside.
In case you want to use a heater inside or just improve your ventilation, the Eskimo QuickFix Pop-Up has two windows that you can open.
That said, there are a few downsides to this option.
The first one is that it can be quite heavy.
Depending on the variant you choose, you’ll be lugging along 27 to 52 additional pounds, along with your other gear.
If you don’t have some kind of transportation, even just a sled, you’ll probably have a hard time with this.
The second downside is that it has no flooring.
Keep in mind that Eskimo really doesn’t have a floor for these ice fishing tents, so you’ll be forced to buy from third-party options.
That said, it’s still the best portable ice fishing shelter you can get for your money – provided that you can handle the weight and don’t mind buying your own floor.
2) Second Best Choice: Eskimo Outbreak Pop-up Portable Insulated Ice Fishing Shelter
If you’re an avid ice fisherman looking for the perfect shelter to keep you warm and comfortable on even the coldest days, then look no further than the Eskimo Outbreak Pop-up Portable Insulated Ice Fishing Shelter.
- Capacity: 2-7 people (depends on variant)
- Fishable area: 75 square feet
- Height: 80”
- Weight: 48 pounds
- Color: Red and black
- Plenty of vertical space
- Roomy area for fishing
- Can be converted into a dark house
- Good insulation
- Not all the poles are sewn in
The Eskimo Outbreak Pop-Up Portable Shelter is an amazing option for anglers looking for the best ice fishing shelters to keep them cozy while they fish in their favorite frozen lake.
This innovative and highly versatile shelter offers users plenty of elbow room, especially when it comes to vertical space.
Tall people won’t have to crouch down in this ice fishing tent, thanks to its 80 inches of headroom.
It also comes fully equipped with everything you need to stay warm and dry while you’re out on the ice.
It’s constructed from durable, high-quality materials that are lightweight yet sturdy, making it easy to transport, set up, and take with you in just a matter of minutes.
The door is also trip-proof, which means you won’t slip on ice accidentally as you’re entering or leaving.
It can even be converted into a dark house just by shuttering the windows.
And with its built-in insulation system, the Eskimo Outbreak will keep you toasty even in the harshest conditions, providing you with all the protection, comfort, and convenience you need to have a successful day of fishing.
Of course, it’s not perfect – not all the poles are sewn in so you should double-check that you have all of them before heading out.
But that’s pretty much the only issue with this ice shelter.
Ultimately, if you’re pretty tall and want the best ice fishing shelter for you, there’s no reason not to get the Eskimo Outbreak.
3) Most Spacious: CLAM Portable Pop-Up Ice Fishing Shelter Tent
If you’re going out with your friends on your next ice fishing trip, consider bringing the CLAM Portable Pop-Up Ice Fishing Shelter Tent and its 60 grams of insulation per sqm with you.
- Capacity: 3-4 person
- Fishable area: 89 sq. ft.
- Height: 90”
- Weight: 58 pounds
- Color: Blue
- Spacious enough
- Great material
- Easy to setup
- Can withstand the elements
- A bit pricey
- Not really for overnight use
CLAM is one of the leading brands in the world of portable ice fishing shelters – with each one designed to be durable, insulated, and easy to set up.
The CLAM Portable Pop-up Ice Fishing Shelter Tent is one of their most popular models, offering plenty of room for three to six anglers, depending on the variant you get.
This shelter features a large zippered door for easy entry and exit, along with an oversized viewing window that makes it easy to keep track of your catch.
It even has a swivel chair included, so you don’t have to bring yours anymore.
This can be quite helpful to anglers who’ve come a long way and don’t want to be slowed down by too many accessories and gear.
Besides, this 3 person tent’s highly insulated design and sturdy construction make sure that it will keep you warm and protected from the elements even in the middle of winter.
The only main downside is that it’s not really suitable for overnight use, so if you’re planning to camp out for your next fishing trip, it’s best to look elsewhere.
Nevertheless, whether you’re a seasoned angler looking for a reliable shelter or a newbie just getting started, the CLAM Portable Ice Shelter is sure to have exactly what you need.
4) Best for Small Groups: Eskimo FatFish 949
If you’re thinking of fishing with a small group of friends in the middle of winter, the Eskimo FatFish 949i’s insulated design can make your fishing trip a lot more pleasant.
- Capacity: 3 to 4 people
- Fishable area: 61 square feet
- Height: 65”
- Weight: 44 pounds
- Color: Red and black
- Extremely durable
- Has a carrying bag
- Doesn’t come with flooring
- Pricier than others
- Weak to strong winds
The Eskimo FatFish 949 is a heavy-duty shelter designed for use in frigid conditions.
With its 61 square feet of fishing area, this insulated tent is spacious enough to accommodate several people without feeling cramped or claustrophobic.
The 600 denier fabric of the tent itself, which is made with Eskimo’s very own IQ (Insulated Quilt) technology, is highly wind and water-resistant.
This is thanks to its unique construction, which combines durable materials like ripstop nylon with an insulating layer of fleece on the interior.
Meanwhile, the base of the shelter features non-slip pads that help prevent it from sinking into soft ground, making it ideal for use on snow or ice.
Finally, to further ensure its effectiveness in cold weather conditions, the Eskimo FatFish 949 also comes equipped with various ventilation options including two large door flaps that can be propped open as needed.
Unfortunately, despite its high price tag, it doesn’t come with a floor, but it does come with a carrying bag.
Still, whether you’re heading out on a mountaineering expedition or just camping in your own backyard, the Eskimo FatFish 949 Portable Ice Shelter is sure to keep you warm and comfortable despite the freezing temperatures outside.
5) Most Compact: Thunderbay Ice Cube
The Thunderbay Ice Cube is a great companion in case you and your friends want to go on a short camping and fishing trip.
- Capacity: 3 people
- Fishable area: 34 SF
- Height: 80”
- Weight: 26 pounds
- Color: Red
- Can be turned into a dark house
- Keeps the draft away
- Durable enough
- Doesn’t have any insulation
If you’re looking for an ice shelter that can protect you from the elements, the Thunderbay Ice Cube is a great option.
It’s made from durable polyester that can withstand high winds and heavy snowfall, and it has a waterproof design that will keep you dry even in the worst weather.
It also has a reflective surface that helps to keep it cool in summer months, making it a great choice for camping or hiking in hot climates.
The skirting is wider than usual, which means you’ll be protected from the cold winds outside.
Inside the three person shelter, you’ll find 34 square feet of fishable area.
It’s spacious enough to even accommodate some sleeping gear, so you can use this overnight if you’d like.
In fact, although there are windows, you can convert this ice shelter into a dark house instantly.
Plus, at only 26 pounds, it’s quite light, especially compared to most of the options on this list.
Best of all, the Thunderbay Ice Cube is easy to set up and take down, so you can use it as needed without any hassle.
That said, it doesn’t have any insulating material on it, so it can’t withstand super extreme conditions.
If you’re looking for protection from the sun or the cold, the Thunderbay Ice Cube is a fantastic choice.
6) Best for Sight-Fishing: Voyager X Thermal Stealth
- Capacity: 2 people
- Fishable area: 26 square feet
- Height: 75”
- Weight: 116 pounds
- Color: Black
- Great for blending in
- Fantastic insulation technology
- Deluxe swivel seats
- Heavy duty pole system
- Very heavy
The Voyager X Thermal Stealth is one of the most advanced and technologically-advanced ice fishing shelters on the market today.
Made from high-quality materials, this shelter provides ample room and protection from the elements, making it perfect for long days spent on the lake.
This ice shanty can fit two people comfortably, even with their ice fishing gear in the overhead mesh storage.
It also includes two removable swivel seats that can move in multiple directions.
The tent is made with 900 denier fabric that uses Tri-Bond Thermal Tech in order to keep the people inside warm.
Plus, the insulation material used in this two-person shelter is also pretty good since it can minimize the condensation inside.
Its pole system is pretty heavy duty and is guaranteed to withstand less-than-ideal conditions.
In addition, its unique design allows it to blend in seamlessly with the surrounding environment, providing the ultimate level of stealth.
Whether you’re a seasoned angler or a newbie looking for a sturdy and reliable insulated shelter, the Voyager X Thermal Stealth is sure to meet all your needs and exceed your expectations.
That said, the biggest issue with this shelter is that it’s not light at all, so you’re probably going to have to tow it using a snowmobile or bigger vehicle.
Also, for a flip-over ice fishing tent, it’s a little bit pricey.
Don’t get us wrong – it’s still one of the best flip-overs on the market right now if you’re going solo, but if you want to bring more friends, it’s probably best to look for another shelter.
7) Most Lightweight: Outsunny 4-Person Ice Fishing Shelter
- Capacity: 3-4 people
- Fishable area: 61 square feet
- Height: 70”
- Weight: 23 pounds
- Colors: Red, black
- Can’t compare to high-end options
The Outsunny 4-Person Ice Fishing Shelter is a great option for those looking for a bit of extra space while ice fishing.
With a fishable area of 61 sq. ft., it can comfortably accommodate two to four people.
The shelter is also insulated, making it ideal for use in cold weather conditions.
The material is made of 300 denier fabric that’s both waterproof and frost-resistant – able to withstand temperatures of up to 22F.
It also has plenty of other features, such as a double-zippered door to allow people to enter quicker and easier and two triangle-shaped mesh windows, which results in improved ventilation.
If you enjoy looking at beautiful views, you’ll also be able to do that with this pop-up shelter, thanks to its two PVC windows that you can roll up anytime.
Additionally, the Outsunny 4-Person Ice Fishing Shelter features an easy setup and takedown, making it a great choice for those who want to be able to move around easily on the ice.
In fact, it even includes a carrying case that makes it easy to transport.
That said, the insulation isn’t as good as other high-end options, so if you want an ice shelter that can keep you toasty warm at all times, you should probably look elsewhere.
Overall, the Outsunny 4-Person Ice Fishing Shelter is one of the top ice fishing shelters for those looking for a bit of extra space and protection from the elements while ice fishing.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
How do you secure an ice fishing shelter?
Securing an ice fishing shelter is an important part of preparing for a day on the lake. One of the most common methods is to use ice anchors to hold the shelter in place. Depending on your location and the severity of wind and weather conditions, you may need more than one anchor to keep your shelter stable.
Ideally, these anchors should be heavy enough to penetrate through the ice, making it less likely that they will shift or fall. Other techniques that can be used include stringing ropes around the edges of the shelter or using anchor weights with spikes that can be drilled into the ice. Whatever method you choose, it is essential to stay safe and secure while enjoying this popular winter pastime.
What do you use as the floor for an ice fishing shelter?
There are a variety of flooring materials that can be used for an ice fishing shelter. Some common options include linoleum and pressboard, as these materials are durable and easy to clean. Alternatively, many anglers prefer to use removable floor mats made of rubber or vinyl. These types of flooring offer good traction and protect the floor from sharp hooks and other fishing accessories.
Ultimately, the best flooring option will depend on your personal preferences, as well as any specific considerations related to weather conditions or the type of fish that you hope to catch. Regardless of which flooring material you choose, however, it is important to ensure that it is secure and properly insulated so that you stay warm and comfortable on even the coldest days out on the lake.
How do I choose a portable ice fishing shelter?
When choosing portable fishing shelters for the cold weather, there are a few things to keep in mind. First, consider the size of the shelter. How many people will you be ice fishing with? Do you need a shelter that is large enough to stand up in, or will a smaller shelter be sufficient?
Second, think about the type of ice fishing you'll be doing. Will you be fishing in deep water or shallow water? Will you be targeting small fish or large fish? Depending on your answers to these questions, you may need a different type of ice shelter.
For example, if you're ice fishing in deep water, you'll need a shelter that is sturdy and can withstand strong winds. If you're ice fishing for large fish, you'll need a shelter that gives you plenty of space to move around. Lastly, consider the features of the ice shelter. Does it have enough ventilation? Is it easy to set up and take down?
Taking all of these factors into consideration will help you choose the best ice fishing shelters for your needs.