3 Best Portable Ice Fishing Shelters

Hey there my ice fishing enthusiasts and welcome to my post where we will check out my three best portable ice fishing shelters to keep us protected this year. As the name may suggest, Ice fishing often necessitates braving the negative degrees of temperature when out on the lake or river.

And if you plan to stay there for any length of time, or the winds are up, then a portable ice fishing shelter can be a good idea. However, as usual, there is a bit to choose from out there hence I have had a bit of a look around and come up with some good options below.

Let’s check them out…

My three recommended portable ice fishing shelters

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

 Ice Fishing ShelterPriceGet it
Best Ice Fishing Shelters - Eskimo QuickFish Series Pop-Up Portable Ice Fishing ShelterEskimo QuickFish Series Pop-Up Portable Ice Fishing Shelter$CURRENT PRICE
Best Ice Fishing Shelters - Frabill Bro Series HubFrabill Bro Series Ice Fishing Shelter$$CURRENT PRICE
Best Ice Fishing Shelters - CLAM Portable Pop-Up Ice Fishing Shelter TentCLAM C720 Portable Pop-Up Ice Fishing Shelter Tent$$$CURRENT PRICE

What are portable ice fishing shelters?

Ice fishing shelters are specialized tents that you bring with you to your ice fishing spots. These are typically lightweight, portable and fold into a small package, making them compact enough to fit into a storage bag or ice fishing sled.

Ice fishing shelters should be durable with a waterproof exterior to keep the cold, snow and sleet out and a quilted, insulated interior to keep the heat in. The structure’s rigidity is provided by a framework of poles inserted into rigid hubs.

Once inside, anglers have access to a more fishable area away from the elements.

Best Ice Fishing Shelters - Ice fishing shelter

What should you be looking for?

The following considerations can assist when looking for a decent ice fishing shelter:

  1. Type
  2. Capacity
  3. Durability
  4. Portability
  5. Additions

Type

When it comes to portable ice fishing shelters, you have two types to choose from – a pop-up shelter or a flip-over option.

  • Pop-ups are typically transported to your location by hand or vehicle and set up. This setup is similar to how dome tents are constructed when camping. Internal supports are extended, pushing the materials outward that form a specific shape.
  • Flip-over fishing shelters are usually attached to a sled, allowing the fisherman to pull the gear to the desired location. The tent is then formed by pulling the bars up and over. Typically, it is finished with some internal support bars. These are a good option for those who want to protect themselves from the wind at a low cost. They are A-shaped and can be made of various materials, including nylon and plastic.

Capacity

This feature describes the “roominess” of the ice shelter. The capacity then depends on how many anglers will fit inside as well as gear and the fishing hole of course too. However, a spacious ice shelter won’t warm up inside as easily either.

It is also preferable if you can stand inside of your winter enclosure for comfort’s sake as well.

Durability

The main reason for an ice fishing shelter is for protection hence you need something that can shield you from the strong cold breeze, and this explains why buying durable products makes sense.

Here I usually prefer shelters made from heavier materials, equipped with solid seams that withstand snow and wind. But there is a trade off with the product’s weight coupled with a pricier tag because the better the shelter, the heavier and more expensive it tends to be.

Best Ice Fishing Shelters - Ice fishing shelter on ice

Portability

AS with any fishing type, lightweight items are easier to move around however as above, a portable ice shelter may mean it is not thick enough to protect us from the chilly winds of winter. But of course, portable ice shelters benefit us greatly when there is an immediate need to relocate, as they are easy to disassemble.

Additions

Other potential additions include:

  1. Storage bag: This item is handy in organizing the ice shelter once you are done using it.
  2. Internal pockets: These additions are helpful to store your small personal items such as smartphones, accessories, etc.
  3. Doors: Obviously doors grant you access to the ice shelters. It is advantageous that the ice fishing shelter has durable zippers to withstand any punishment from the subzero environment.

My three recommendations broken down

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

1. Eskimo QuickFish Series Pop-Up Portable Ice Fishing Shelter

This first product is made from sturdy materials that will definitely protect you from the elements. It will fit two people and the ease of assembly is a definite plus for this one as well. See its specifications below:

  • Brand: Eskimo
  • Type: Pop-up
  • Material: 300 Denier ‘icetight’ fabric
  • Dimensions: 43.3 x 8.25 x 8.25 inches
  • Weight: ‎22.95 Pounds
  • Headspace: 5.6 feet
  • Elbow room: 6.3 feet

Other inclusions:

  • 60-second setup
  • Removable windows
  • One-year warranty
  • Durable metal hubs

Why have I chosen it?

The first product can be set up within a minute with removable windows, which will help you get a clearer view of what is happening outside. It has a wide fishing area provides 35% more warmth than most non-insulated shelters. I great option for those who like to move around a bit on the ice.


2. Frabill Bro Series Ice Fishing Shelter

This next ice fishing shelter will keep you warm due to its holistic insulation with a broad fishing space and full zipper entry. See its specifications below:

  • Brand: Frabill
  • Type: Pop-up
  • Material: 600D Polyester (Top & Bottom) 900D Polyester (Skirt)
  • Dimensions: 80 x 80 x 80 inches
  • Weight: ‎36 pounds
  • Headspace: 6.6 feet
  • Elbow room: 6.6 feet

Other inclusions:

  • Carry bag with straps
  • Sternum strap
  • 900 D skirt

Why have I chosen it?

There is wide enough space for this shelter to accommodate two to three anglers and body of the product is crafted from a 900-D, super-tough skirt, which protects you from the cold. Add to this the complete insulation of the product, from roof to bottom, giving you enough heat to carry through your ice fishing excursion. This is a great option for when it is really cold.


3. CLAM C720 Portable Pop-Up Ice Fishing Shelter Tent

My last ice fishing shelter houses 3 to 6 people with super easy installation perfect for any situation. It is made of durable material with great insulation and triple layer corner pockets for added storage. See its specifications below:

  • Brand: Clam
  • Type: Pop-up
  • Material: 600D fabric
  • Dimensions: 72 x 144 x 80 inches
  • Weight: ‎60 pounds
  • Headspace: 6.6 feet
  • Elbow room: Not indicated

Other inclusions:

  • Triple-layer corner pockets
  • Anchors
  • Tie ropes

Why have I chosen it?

This wide-area hut gives you a fishing space of 89 square feet allowing you to bore a few more holes on your preferred fishing spot. The 600 denier fabric grade can handle harsher environments and it is also equipped with two doors for ease of movement of anglers and equipment within the ice shelter. This is a fantastic option for those who like to fish with a few friends.

Conclusion

There you have it, my three best portable ice fishing shelters that can serve as your true companion for winter fishing. I would love 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, corrections or would like me to check anything else out for you.

Until next time

Have fun

Paul

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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.

Paul