Best 10 Portable Ice Fishing Shelters [2021 Update]

This article will explore the best portable ice fishing shelters available on the market right now and explain the key criteria you need to make a buying decision.

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 Buying Guide

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.

Design

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 69143 Quickfish 3 Pop-Up Portable Hub-Style Ice Fishing Shelter, 34 Square Feet of Fishable...
  • 60-SECOND SET-UP: Hub design makes set-up and take-down quick and easy. Shelter fits 3 people with a set-up size of 5.8ft L x 5.8ft W x 6.7ft H, with extra elbow room measuring 7.5ft x 7.5ft
  • 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. 2
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.
ON SALE $14.00 OFFBestseller No. 3
Happybuy 2-3 Person Ice Fishing Shelter, Pop-Up Portable Insulated Ice Fishing Tent, Waterproof...
  • 【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. 4
Happybuy 8 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. Tent Net Weight: 29 lbs/13.2 kg....
Bestseller No. 5
Nordic Legend 6 Person Portable Ice Fishing Shelter with 2 Big Doors-Diamond Door Guard System
  • The 2pcs oversized diamond-shaped door with Door Guard webbing system ensures easy entry access and exit
  • Incredibly spacious inside 138" x 70" and hub to hub "Elbow room" of 160" x 90" , fishing area 67.5 square foot
  • The Ice Shelter features extra heavy duty fiberglass poles, zippers, and an extra wide skirt
Bestseller No. 6
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
Bestseller No. 7
Frabill Ice Hunter Sidestep 200 | Insulated Ice Fishing Flip Over Shelter with Boat Seats Mossy Oak...
  • Frabill Ice fishing gear | Since 1938, Frabill has been trusted to position anglers for success
  • The Ice Hunter Sidestep Flip-Over Shelter is designed for aggressive ice fishing hole-hopping | Incorporates consumer research, pro-staff feedback and field study
  • CLEAR VIEW: Panoramic front window and improved window material for clarity & durability
ON SALE $64.01 OFFBestseller No. 8
ibigbean Ice Fishing Shelter 4 Persons Portable Water-Proof Ice Tent with Carry Bag -...
  • With sturdy oxford fabric covering all over the body, it guarantees you a waterproof using experience and also minus 22¡ãF frost resistance design surely doubles your joy in outdoor activities. 4...
  • Light and Sturdy Design: Integrated solid glass rod with 300D oxford fabric, this tent with only 22lbs weight can well stand up to the test of time. It features weather resistance allowing you a...
  • Easy Transport: It is quite suitable for outdoor fishing for its portable and lightweight characteristics. It contains steaks to hold the tent down and a traveler bag to easily transport the tent to...
Bestseller No. 9
Kapler Ice Fishing Shelter, 3-4 Person Portable Ice Fishing Tent with Bag, Water-Repellent and...
  • Large Size: The ice fishing shelter size for 3-4 person, large space approve convenience movement. Wind resistant and keep warm,quick fishing ice tent for outdoor in winter.
  • Quick Set-Up: The ice fishing shelter has a convenient pull in design,1 person can easily set up the ice fishing tent and fast take down within a few minutes.
  • Durable To Resistance Wind/Snow/Rain: The ice fishing shelter is made up of 300D Oxford fabric, also equipped with ice nail, fix the ice fishing tent on the ice, which make the ice shelter extremely...
Bestseller No. 10
Happybuy 4 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. Tent Net Weight: 19 lbs/8.8 kg....

Last update on 2021-05-24 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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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