Best 10 Portable Ice Fishing Shelters [2021 Update]

If you have ever fancied trying your hand at a spot ice fishing but have been put off by having to sit out in the freezing temperatures, then a portable ice fishing shelter could be the answer. Some might say that using a tent to ice fish is cheating.

What a load of baloney. What does it matter anyway what anyone else thinks, so long as you have an enjoyable time participating in this fantastic social sport?

Portable Ice Fishing Shelter?

When you first go ice fishing, you’re likely to find permanent shelters erected on the ice. These wooden constructions have a couple of disadvantages. Firstly your fishing is restricted to one spot, and secondly, the ice inside the tent could easily begin to thaw. A portable fishing shelter gives you the option of choosing where to fish as they’re so easy to transport around.

It’s so easy. Just pick your spot, pitch your shelter, and get all your belongings inside, such as rods, bait, heater, clothing, etc. It is just a case of enjoying your fishing without the worry of getting frostbite or having a shower of ice pellets raining down on you.

Let’s face it. You want to be able to enjoy your fishing. Using a shelter will enable you to enjoy it without freezing in the process.

What Type Should I Get?

Unlike many years ago, when these shelters were unaffordable to the masses, nowadays, there are ice fishing shelters to meet most budgets. There are many factors to consider when purchasing a portable ice fishing shelter, such as size, type of material, style, comfort factor, and, of course, price.

Let’s start with the material. The type of material your tent is made of all depends on where you’re going to fish. It stands to reason that if your trip is taking place where high blustery winds are the norm, then a stronger material is going to be needed. Otherwise, you’re likely to end up with tears and rips in your shelter.

If your location does often experience high gusts of wind, you would e better opting for a shelter made of poly-cotton. The thick and durable material will give better protection from the extreme elements and allow you to fish without the worry of finding a rip or tear in your shelter. The downside to these types of shelters is they are more expensive.

A thinner material such as nylon will suffice if you will be fishing in an area that benefits from calmer weather conditions with minimal winds. As you can imagine, shelters made of these materials will not only cost less, but they will also be easier to transport as they will weigh a lot less. There is more than just the durability factor to consider when choosing your material, such as condensation and its ability to sustain heat.

Heat, Condensation, and Moisture

Certain materials will retain the heat while others won’t be able to hold the warmth inside. Choosing a nylon or poly-cotton shelter, for instance, will ensure heat is collected and maintained within the shelter. The downside to opting for this type of material is that it creates excessive amounts of condensation and moisture inside the shelter.

Canvas, on the other hand, is a much lighter material that enables it to breathe well. When choosing a shelter made from this type of material, the drawback is that it doesn’t hold heat. Colors are just as important as materials, especially when it comes to retaining heat. Try to choose a darker color; that way, you’re likely to attract more sunlight, which will save you money on the fuel you need to heat your portable ice fishing shelter.

Size Matters

It’s a good idea to scale up. If you’re going solo, you may think a one-person shelter will do the trick, but remember, you need space for all your gear, so scale up to a two-person model. Something else that needs to be taken into account is the holes that you create inside the shelter. Again, these will take up space inside, meaning a smaller area for yourself.

The more people on your trip adds to the space needed for the extra equipment such as seating and fishing gear. Ice fishing shelters can cater for up to six people. For this reason, it would be a good idea to go for at least a five-person version if there are three or more of you on the trip.

The disadvantage that comes with the bigger shelters is it means they are harder to move around. Because of this, you may need specialized transport such as a snowmobile.


Whether you want to spend time threading poles through the material like you would a regular tent, or you prefer to opt for a popup type of shelter, whereby you get it out of the bag, and it erects itself, is again dependant on the environment you’ll be fishing in.

Although a framed shelter will be more time consuming, it will be a lot less flimsy than a self-erecting type. Taking a popup shelter to a place renowned for extreme weather would be a bad idea.

The Importance of Comfort

Some shelters come with seating already installed, which is great if you don’t wish to be lugging around your own chairs over the ice. Just bear in mind, some of these chairs are on the basic side and not the most comfortable.

Height is another factor to take into consideration, yours as much as the shelters themselves. With these portable fishing shelters ranging from a back-bending five feet high up to eight feet tall, make sure you choose one that will allow for headroom, or else you could have a very uncomfortable time in there.

Keeping warm is very important; after all, that’s one of the main reasons for purchasing a shelter in the first place. But take into consideration the ventilation you will need inside your shelter.

Using a propane heater will cause a lot of fumes to congregate inside your warm and cozy habitat, which could result in dizziness and lightheadedness. Choose a shelter that comes with plenty of vents enabling the fumes to escape.

Best 10 Portable Ice Fishing Shelters [This Month]

Bestseller No. 1
Eskimo FF949i FatFish Pop-up Portable Hub-Style Ice Shelter, Wide Bottom Design 61 sq ft. Fishable...
817 Reviews
Eskimo FF949i FatFish Pop-up Portable Hub-Style Ice Shelter, Wide Bottom Design 61 sq ft. Fishable...
  • MORE FISHABLE AREA: Flared, wide-bottom design provides significantly more fishable area than other shelters on the market.
  • 600 DENIER FULLY-INSULATED: IQ Insulated Quilted fabric is 35% warmer than a comparable non-insulated shelter.
  • STRONGER HUB DESIGN: The FatFish 949 features an all-metal ball-and-socket design as well as larger fiberglass poles.
Bestseller No. 2
Eskimo Quickfish 69151 2 Pop-up Portable Ice Shelter, 2 Person
  • 60-SECOND SET-UP: Hub design makes set-up and take-down quick and easy
  • 300 DENIER ICETIGHT FABRIC WITH 59% HIGHER THREAD COUNT: Higher thread count results in a tighter weave, and offers the wind and watertight performance Eskimo is known for, at an average weight...
  • PORTABILITY: Everything fits into a cinch carrying bag that can easily be carried on your back
Bestseller No. 3
PEXMOR Ice Fishing Shelter, Pop-up Hub-Style for 2 Person, w/Portable Carrying Bag, Detachable...
39 Reviews
PEXMOR Ice Fishing Shelter, Pop-up Hub-Style for 2 Person, w/Portable Carrying Bag, Detachable...
  • ✔ QUICK SET UP & PUT DOWN: Pop-up design takes less than 2 minutes even when alone. Capacity: enough room for up to 2-3 person. Dimension: L 58x W 58x H 65 inch. Please kindly note that height of...
  • ✔ PORTABLE: It’s lightweight and comes with a carrying bag making it easy to pack and carry around. Length of bag: 44 inch.
  • ✔ WELL VENTILATED & KEEP COLD OUT: There’re two ventilation holes and four detachable windows for aeration. Also you could use the transparent windows to keep inside warm and enough light. Made of...
Bestseller No. 4
Popsport 2 Person Ice Fishing Shelter Tent 300d Oxford Fabric Portable Ice Shelter Strong Waterproof...
  • 【Packing List】Everything fits into a cinch carrying bag that can easily be carried on your back,Included 4 guy ropes,4 ground stakes,4 total covered windows on the tent are detachable Available...
  • 【Keep Warm】With poles made from D 9.5 solid glass fiber and 300D oxford fabric for keeping warm from the cold and wind with a 59 percent higher thread count vs comparable shelters
  • 【More Stable】Heavy-duty material sewn over corner joints for reinforcement. Self-tapping ice anchors that are easier to grip and will not bend under pressure
ON SALE $34.00 OFFBestseller No. 5
THUNDERBAY Ice Cube 3 Man Portable Ice Shelter
139 Reviews
THUNDERBAY Ice Cube 3 Man Portable Ice Shelter
  • Extremely durable 300 denier fabric blocks the wind!
  • Blackout coating insures the light stays out unless YOU want it in.
  • Hook and loop fastened windows are easily adjustable and replaceable
Bestseller No. 6
Nordic Legend 3 Person Ice Shelter with 300D Heavy Duty Fabric
  • High Duty Material!!! made out of tough 300d oxford fabric ,Heavy-duty material sewn over corner joints for reinforcement.Adjust your shelter's ventilation with detachable hook and loop windows
  • Easy Carrying!!! Easy to put into the bag after fishing
  • Big Fishing Space!!! It allow 3 Person for ice fishing,90" x 90" hub to hub, 80" ceiling height
Bestseller No. 7
CLAM 14474 C-360 2-3 Person 6 Foot Lightweight Portable Pop Up Ice Fishing Angler Hub Shelter Tent...
  • 2-3 PERSON CAPACITY: 4-sided hub with 36 square feet of fishable area and lots of headroom for 2-3 people. There is also plenty of room to store accessories in the triple-layer corner pockets
  • DURABLE FABRIC: Made of strong 300 denier fabric to withstand the elements
  • SNOW BANKING SKIRT: Comes with an oversized skirt for ample snow banking plus tie-downs and ice anchors; includes 4 ice anchors and tie-downs
Bestseller No. 8
Vikiullf Ice Shelter Tent - 2 Person Waterproof Pop up Ice Fishing Tent Portable Ice House with...
  • 🐟【60-second Setup】-- This ice tent can be easily opened and organized in one minute! You just pull up the roof and then four sides, easily get a large ice shelter tent.
  • 🐟【Large Inside Room】-- Perfect for 2-3 person to ice fishing. Stand up size is 58”(L) x 58”(W) x 65”(H). It can hold all your fishing tackles, folding chairs, fishing buckets and all the...
  • 🐟【Durable Material】-- Made of 300D oxford fabric and 9.5mm solid fiberglass rod. Waterproof and minus 30℉ frost resistance. Four detachable ventilated windows provide enough light and warm...
Bestseller No. 9
Happybuy 2 Person Ice Fishing Shelter, Pop-Up Portable Insulated Ice Fishing Tent, Waterproof Oxford...
  • 【60 SECONDS SET UP】- This ice fishing tent with hub design comes fully assembled and can be easily set up in 60 seconds. All you need to do is to pull out each side and the roof hub. The tent is...
  • 【DURABLE 300D MATERIAL】- Our ice fishing shelter is durable, stable, waterproof, and resistant to cold, wind, and rain thanks to its 300D Oxford fabric. Solid fiberglass poles ensure high...
  • 【WITH ONE CARRY BAG】- We offer you one carry bag for easy transport and storage. After folded, the tent fit perfectly in the included bag for you to carry away. Carry Bag(L x W x H): 110 x 20 x 20...
Bestseller No. 10
Nordic Legend 4 Person Portable Ice Fishing Shelter with 2 Big Doors-Diamond Door Guard System
  • Enough Room!- The full set-up size of the tent is 90"X 90"X 78" (L x W x H).elbow room of 99" x 99", Wide bottom design provide more fishing room, fishing area,55.5 square foot
  • Innovative Diamond Door! The oversized diamond-shaped door with Door Guard webbing system ensures easy entry access and exit.
  • High Quality! Solid 11mm fiberglass poles, 300 Denier polyester, reinforced corners and in-skirt grommets guarantee high quality.

Russ Egan

Russ is an avid angler. He has fished all over the world, primarily for Saltwater game fish but also for local prize fish. Russ writes reviews for all of his fishing gear to help others achieve their own fishing goals. His favorite reel is a Shimano Tyrnos for an overhead reel or a Shimano Curado for a baitcaster. His dream is to catch a Black Marlin.

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