3 Best Ice Fishing Heaters

Hey there my ice fishing enthusiasts and welcome to my post where we will check out my three best ice fishing heaters to warm those shelters with this year.  Fishing in winter can be a lot of fun but there are times when the cold can really test our patience.  Frozen lines, iced-over guides and more importantly, cold bodies can ruin even the best of days, especially when the fingers get too numb to tie a new jig on. 

So if this is you and you plan to spend a bit of time out on the ice then a good solution here can be an ice fishing heater.  And to help you out, I have had a bit of a look around and come up with three decent options below.  Let’s check them out…

My three recommended ice fishing heaters

I will review these in more detail below however if you want to get moving without all the carry-on, my recommended products are listed here for your convenience: 

10/03/2023 09:43 pm GMT Lasso Brag

What are ice fishing heaters?

Ice fishing heaters are accessories that provide a convenient and efficient way to keep an ice fishing shelter warm. They are lightweight, portable and typically run on propane or batteries (as there is rarely any power out there of course). 

And as most ice fishing shelters are small, the heaters can quickly warm them up and furthermore they will keep your hands comfortable and dry, allowing you to handle your fishing gear much more effectively.

Ice fishing heaters - propane heater

Check out these: Ice Fishing Shelters

What should you be looking for?

The following factors should be considered as you look around for a good heater to meet your ice fishing needs.

  1. BTU rating
  2. Portability
  3. Safety
  4. Fuel source
  5. Oxygen depletion sensor
  6. Auto tip shut off
  7. Additions

BTU rating

One critical factor to consider is whether your heater is large enough to heat your space which is determined by two factors: the size of the shelter and the heater’s power or BTUs. Common sense would dictate that as the size of our shelter grows, so should the BTUs on your heater.

Based on my research, a traditional 2-person ice fishing shelter is 36-48 square feet so is critical to ensure that your heater can heat that much space at the very least.  I would see a 3000 – 5000 BTU heater as adequate here.  In fact, try and avoid higher BTU options so that you will not get too many fumes in your shelter.


This probably goes without saying but if an ice fishing heater is too large or heavy to transport safely, then it becomes too cumbersome to deal with if you want to move around. Whereas a compact ice fishing hole heater will be invaluable if you are transporting gear by hand in a gear bag or a sled.

If you are traveling by snowmobile or truck, you can choose a larger ice fishing heater and bring a 20-pound propane tank with you. On the other hand, the best ice fishing heaters are those that can be easily transported without breaking down.


Of course, you should also be mindful of how safe the ice fishing heater is when you use it to warm up your ice fishing shelter. Even though they are useful, ice fishing heaters could still pose a hazard. Outdoor heaters can emit lethal amounts of carbon monoxide, which could adversely affect anglers staying in ice shelters.

Unfortunately, many websites fail to do their homework and recommend heaters that are not intended to be used in tents or other enclosed spaces. Because of this, look for indoor-rated ice fishing heaters.

Fuel source

Portable ice fishing heaters typically use propane canisters as a fuel source. Typically, one-pound propane canisters are what would work for your small heater however, you might come across a heater that requires a different size.

Consider the length of time you’ll be on the ice when selecting a heater. If you’re only going to spend the day, you will not require that much fuel also remembering that you’ll be dressed in heavy clothing and sturdy boots.

Some also run on battery which will emit less gases etc. but will not last as long on the ice.

Ice fishing heaters - shelters in snow

Oxygen depletion sensor

Another hazard when it comes to ice fishing heaters is the removal of oxygen from its surroundings. The best fishing heater has an oxygen depletion sensor that detects low oxygen levels and automatically shuts down.

Auto tip shut off

If an ice fishing heater or ice heater tips over without shutting off, it is a fire hazard whether it is for indoor or outdoor use. As a result, the most popular ice fishing heaters include an auto tip shutoff.

When the ice fishing heater is accidentally tipped over, this feature is activated, preventing any accident.


Other potential additions include:

  1. Stable base: Buy ice fishing heaters that offer stability by having a well-designed base. This feature is an effective deterrent against accidents.
  2. Ergonomic handle: Ice fishing heaters equipped with this feature allows you to carry the item quickly and with ease.
  3. Flame control: This quality allows you to set the flame according to your preference.

My three recommendations broken down

So based on the information above and my own experience, I recommend the following options:

1. Mr. Heater F215100 MH4B Little Buddy 3800-BTU Indoor Safe Propane Heater

If your ice fishing shelter is roughly 80 square feet, then you will need a small-sized ice fishing heater that effectively turns up the heat. My first product review suits your situation as it is small yet performs as per larger models. See its specifications below:

  • Brand name: Mr. Heater
  • BTU: 3,800 BTU
  • Running time; 5.6 hours
  • Fuel source: Propane cylinder
  • Weight: five pounds
  • Dimensions: 11 x 11 x 11 inches

Other inclusions:

  • Heavy-duty wire guard
  • 45-degree heating angle
  • Easy-grip handle
  • Auto tip shut off
  • Oxygen depletion sensor

Why have I chosen it?

This brand can provide 5.6 hours of heating from a single one-pound propane cylinder and  at just under 6 pounds, is extremely portable. The ice fishing heater has an oxygen sensor and a tip shut-off for safety as well as easy grip handle for ease of movement too.

2. Campy Gear Chubby 2 in 1 Portable Propane Heater & Stove

My second recommended ice fishing heater gives you heat and can cook your food at the same time. It is also built for safety with a flame control adjuster and is also suitable for fishing without a shelter as well.  See its specifications below:

  • Brand name: Campy Gear
  • BTU: 9000 to 10,000 BTU
  • Running time; 2.5 hours
  • Fuel source: Propane cylinder
  • Weight: 3.88 ounces
  • Dimensions: 7.28 x 7.28 x 8.27 inches

Other inclusions:

  • Flame control adjuster
  • Compact dual design
  • Functions as cooking stove and ice fishing heater
  • One-year warranty

Why have I chosen it?

This portable heater has a maximum BTU output of 9000 to 10,000, sufficient to keep you warm and cook your meals. The 2-in-1 heater and stove is compatible with 110g, 230g butane, isobutane, and propane fuel canisters making it extremely versatile for a variety of cooking tasks such as preparing breakfast or heating coffee as well as keeping you nice and warm.

3. Mr. Heater Indoor-Safe Portable Propane Radiant Heater

My last ice fishing heater has dominated the market for a time thanks to its high-performing design. This indoor-rated heater ticks several boxes in terms of warming qualities and is built for safety as well. See its specifications below:

  • Brand: Mr. Heater
  • BTU: 4000 to 9000 BTU
  • Running time: 5.4 hours
  • Fuel source: Propane cylinder
  • Weight: 3.88 ounces
  • Dimensions: 7.28 x 7.28 x 8.27 inches

Other inclusions:

  • Auto tip shut off
  • Oxygen depletion sensor
  • Low and high heat settings
  • Ergonomic handle

Why have I chosen it?

In terms of durability, this heater is unrivaled with a simple push-button ignition for ease of use and a power range of 4,000 to 9,000 BTUs to suit many conditions and environments. You’ll be able to run it for approximately 3 hours at maximum or 6 hours on low power.  The heater is also equipped with safety features such as a mechanism that turns off immediately if it is tipped over and it can also detect low oxygen levels to ensure you do not suffocate while fishing or sleeping.

10/03/2023 09:43 pm GMT Lasso Brag


There you have, my three best ice fishing heaters to keep you warm and cozy during your next adventure. I would be pleased to know how this article helped you, and as usual,  let me know of your experiences with them.

Also, please do not hesitate to comment below if you have any questions, concerns, or corrections or would like me to check anything else out for you.

Until next time.

Have fun


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Hi, I'm Paul

I am a passionate fishing, camping and four wheeled driving hobbyist who researches, tests and educates around issues and equipment relevant to them.

I am by no means a professional however my passion is to assist you in making informed decisions about buying and using awesome gear that will give you the best chance of success at whatever you are doing for the best price.

Please get in touch if you have any questions.