Best Ice Fishing Shelters – Reviews and Comparison
To me, and many other people, ice fishing is one of the ultimate experiences of being an angler. And it’s one that I like to do for as long as I can once I get out on the ice and drill my fishing hole. So having the best ice fishing shelter I can afford really helps to prolong my time on the ice. So I believe a shanty or a portable ice-fishing shelter form a vital and mandatory component of any ice fishing gear.
There are two types of ice fishing shelters – one of them is permanent, meaning that their location is fixed and they can’t be moved, and the other is temporary and can be taken down or erected at any time. To put it simply, they work like tents that can be moved freely around. And with today’s fabric and insulation technology, you’d be surprised how well these things can keep you warm, and protect you from wind chill.
In this article, we’ll focus on the latter to help you find the best ice fishing shelter of this kind. Below mentioned are the basic types of portable ice shelters – Let’s dig in and see which are the best ice fishing shelters for the money.
BEST RATED ICE FISHING SHELTER REVIEWS
Frabill Ice Fishing Shelter
This hub style shanty more than adequately meets the demands of any serious angler. Ingrained with the biggest innovation in shelters to date, it easily shelters two to three anglers and comes with a deluxe full-length, padded bench seat.
Bearing the patented Fishouflage walleye pattern, its unique feature is its two large side doors which has heavy duty zipper for convenient entry and exit from either side.
Its Thermo formed base is extremely durable and lightweight. Made of 300 Denier, the unit is 70″ Long by 70″ wide by 80″ Tall. With an decent online rating, it is an impressive and high value shanty.
Eskimo Fatfish 949 Insulated Ice Shelter
Designed to provide maximum space than any other similar sized shanties, it also delights its customers with more electronics and more space between holes. It is made of an exclusive IQ fabric for enhanced heat retention.
It has two doors on opposite doors for easy access and comes equipped with ice anchors. Its easy design literally allows one to “pop it up.” It’s very easy to set it up.
Additionally, it is so light that it easily be carried like a backpack.
It comes with a carry bag for proper packing and easy mobility. Equipped with all metal ball-and-socket design and larger diameter poles, it is a very strong and durable shanty. This is my personal top pick for anyone looking to buy an insulated ice shelter.
Clam Ice Fishing Shelter
It is definitely one of the best ice fishing shelter for about a team of 2-3 anglers. Constructed of a thermal fabric, it is inculcated with high insulating properties and excellent heat retention. It is designed such that it minimizes the entry of cold air and wind.
Some of its notable features include oversized skirt for ample snow banking along with oversized carry bag for easy packing. With 4 ice anchors and tie downs, this shanty can withstand tough windy conditions. For many the brand equates to dependable, durable, and tough.
Most reviews deem it as the best ice fishing shanty because of its generous height, easy setup and light weight design. The light blue color facilitates better visibility in a whiteout.
Hub Style Shelters
This style is considered the best in all ice fishing shelter reviews as it provides the maximum fishing space with least expenditure. Additionally, its set up is also fairly easy and quick. Its internal Hub-Style framework has an extremely easy pop to lock into the sturdy tent-like structure.
However, since it is extremely lightweight material, this pop up ice shelter may not be able to withstand the force of strong winds and could be a challenge to handle by a single angler. Its set up might need the assistance of multiple anglers. But once the framework has been set up, it provides a fantastic sheltered fishing experience.
This style is not recommended for highly mobile ice-anglers even though its initial setup is quick and easy. This is so because this pop up ice fishing shelter, after setup needs to be screwed to the ice to help it anchored in the wind. This shanty does not come with any ice sled for transport or seats of any kind and thus needs an extra purchase as per the need. Just grab the best ice fishing rod an you’re ready to go!
Hub style shelters are still the most popular, and brands are getting better and better at making them. Some excellent new shelters have been released in the last few years. For example, Frabill Bunker 210 model is excellent new hub-style shelter by Frabill. Prices still vary depending on size. Trustworthy brands like Clam, Eskimo and Frabill are selling small 1-2 person hub-style shelters for roughly two to four hundred dollars. The cost of buying these shelters increases as you go up in size.
Flip Style Shelters
These highly portable shanties are specifically designed for a quick set up and breakdown and are the best choice for the ever mobile anglers. It comes with its own locked-down sled that houses all of your gear. To set it up, all you need to do is lock its poles into place and then flip the shelter over the top of the fishing area. Often, this design includes built-in padded seats for extra comfort.
Many of these best ice fishing shelters have handy storage areas where your fishing equipment can stay out of the way and secure. Even though, this design is the most expensive and quite bulky, it is extremely wind resistant but not something you want to carry on your back all day.
When I first wrote this article, I mentioned their weight as one of the flaws of flip style shelters. That used to be true, but considering how much progress the manufacturers have made in reducing these shelters’ weight, I’m not so sure that my statement still stands true today.
Last winter, my friend invited me on ice fishing trip. He had just bought new flip-style shelter by Eskimo – the new EVO IT model. It was absolutely lovely. Set-up speed exceeded my expectations, despite how high they were, knowing Eskimo to be excellent brand making quality products. Price isn’t that much high either, compared to hub-style shelters of similar size.
My friend was setting it up for the first time in outdoors and just by following simple instructions, we were up and running within minutes. Plenty of space and very well insulated as well. I don’t know what materials they used, but it worked wonders – while the sun was out, I was only wearing t-shirt and felt very comfortable in it.
Based on customer and expert reviews I’ve read, I’m not the only one feeling this way. 10/10, would definitely recommend to anyone looking for quality flip-style ice fishing shelter. Even if you aren’t looking for specifically this type of shelter, it’s so well designed that you should consider it.
Cabin Style Shelters
This type of shanty has its own built in floor which obstructs the coldness of the ice and boosts the effectiveness of any heater you might be using. The floor comes with predetermined one or more holes for drilling of ice holes, thereby giving you a warmer and comfortable ice-fishing experience. Their framework is light and being like a tent they are not very mobile. They too lag any ice sled or built-in seats.