I hope you love the products I've recommended below, just a heads up that as an Amazon associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. This means I may earn commissions on products bought via links on this page.
Being equipped with the best insulated ice fishing tents means you no longer have the need for hiring ice shanties and fighting off frosty cold winds as you wait for your tip ups to go off. Staying warmer over several inches of ice in freezing conditions is the perfect way to go ice fishing.
With an insulated ice fishing shelter, this is possible. The extra layer of insulation that lines the tent walls provides a much more comfortable experience compared to your regular ice fishing shelters without insulation.
While some people prefer to take on the cold with their thermals, a cup of hot chocolate and possibly a heater. Using a tent that is insulated gives you much more comfort in knowing that regardless of the weather, you can at least be protected from snow slapping you in the face from gale-force winds.
Quick Links To Info On This Page
- 1 Best Insulated Ice Fishing Shelter
- 2 Best Pop Up Ice Fishing Shelter With Insulation
- 3 Waterproof Portable Ice Fishing Tent
- 4 Sierra Eskimo Ice Fishing Tent Reviews
- 5 Extra Large Insulated Ice Fishing Tent
- 5.1 Ice Fishing Tent With Floor – Such A Thing?
- 5.2 Can You Sleep In An Ice Fishing Shelter
- 5.3 Heating An Ice Fishing Shelter
- 5.4 Can You Get A Ice Fishing Tent With Stove Jack
- 6 How Ice Fishing Insulation Works
What Makes An Insulated Ice Shelter The Best
When it comes to finding the best insulated ice fishing shelter, there are a number of factors to take into consideration. First, you need to work out what your actual needs are for an ice shelter.
As shelters come in varying shapes and sizes, knowing first hand how many people you need to accommodate will help eliminate a few of the options. I know I like the privacy and serenity of ice fishing while there’s not another person in sight. So I would be best suited to a smaller 1 or 2 person shelter. But this may not be the case for you.
Portable & Lightweight
I’m assuming you already have enough ice fishing gear to lug around in your sled that you don’t really want to bulk it out much more. Once you add up the weight of an ice auger, scraper, bait, spud, folding chairs etc. There’s no need to add a ton of extra weight on top of your load.
So choosing a lightweight yet portable shelter option is probably the best option for the average ice fishing trip. Don’t forget to allow weight and storage space for the large quantity of fish you are going to be bringing home to showcase to the family and friends. basically ensure you are strong enough to carry all your gear over a long distance, depending on how far out in the frozen lake you go. Its always harder and heavier on the way home.
If the weather all of a sudden turns sour on you, you want a shelter that is quick and easy to set up. This is why pop up ice fishing shelters are so popular. Being able to have instant protection from heavy wind and snow is a godsend.
Best Insulated Ice Fishing Shelter
There are a lot of reasons to like this ice fishing shelter that makes it hard to pass up for a lot of people. One of the best things about this Otter tent is how well insulated it is compared to some others. This is in big parts thanks to its quilted thermal inner shell that helps with keeping the warmth in.
But it’s not just the thermal insulation that makes this one of the best, its the 3 layers the Otter tent utilizes. The outer layer is designed to block out light and UV rays while deterring wind from lifting it via its incredible downforce. The 3 layer insulation design also reduces the level of condensation build-up inside the shelter.
Decent Size Shelter For 6 To 8 People
There is a good amount of room in this shelter with a good size fishing area with it being 101.5 square feet. This is a great amount of room that can fit a good amount of fishing gear and have a few people in there as well. Depending on the amount of gear you travel with, it’s possible to fit 6 to 8 folks inside. Not that I would personally want that many inside the tent at one time.
Anyone whose been ice fishing will know that the wind can put a quick end to a good trip and no fisherman wants that! Being able to handle some strong wind is a big selling point of this tent, it was designed to handle the more intense wind due to the ice locking anchor system.
It does have two ports for hoses that can be used for propane hoses so you can have a heater inside. Not the biggest thing but I like that it has two, unlike some other shelters out on the market.
How often have you bought a tent and the first thing that the company cut costs on was the “stakes”, so you had to go buy replacements that are stronger. Well, that’s not the case here with the anchors being of a high quality that as I mentioned above, great at handling the windy conditions.
If there is one slight downside to this tent is the zippers themselves. It seems that there isn’t a lot of tension in the door originally compared to the rest of the shelter. So this makes the zippers a little difficult to get up, so I’d recommend zipping it up and down a few times. This would wear them down and get into position a bit easier. A small problem but not unsolvable.
Overall it’s a great ole ice fishing shelter. Built strong with just the right amount of features to satisfy most fishermen. Including the overhead storage inside the tent. The design of the tent is magnificent right down to the color selection. Being blue and black helps to attract radiant energy from the sun to turn this tent into a portable sauna on the ice should you please.
Best Pop Up Ice Fishing Shelter With Insulation
Having a quality ice shelter when you go ice fishing is essential with just how dangerous ice fishing can be. Having a lower quality tent will cause you some avoidable issues that going with something more high quality, like this Eskimo pop up ice fishing shelter would help you avoid.
This tent comes in two versions with one being insulated and one that isn’t. I still think it’s better to spend the extra and get insulated as this will save you money in the long run, as you won’t be buying another tent when you realize you should of got it insulated.
3 Layer Pop Up Design
Much like the above Otter Hub, the FatFish by Eskimo utilizes 3 layers in their iq insulated fabric. Two layers of ice taught material surround the insulation so that the insulation is the middle layer. What this does is helps to keep the tent up to 35% more warmer, but also reduces the amount of condensation build up.
Snow Shelter For 3 To 4 People
Any ice angler will know just how important the fishable area is, having more of an area is always a good thing. But being protected from the elements and having such ample space is even more important. This shelter has a really good size with it measuring 94″ x 94″. This gives you a fishing area of 61 square feet. Not the largest size out there but a good size for a 3-4 person sized shelter like this one.
Being a pop up shelter has some great advantages over other non pop up shelters. The biggest advantage is how quick and easy it is to set up, which is possible to do with just one person. This is something I like with all my tents\shelters.
To set up this pop up ice fishing shelter, you simply elevate the sides one at a time. This will force the ceiling to raise, which by the way stands a nice tall 80 inches. The whole process literally takes less than a minute. So if a sudden snowstorm blows in, you can be protected in no time.
When it’s folded down you put it into its bag and then it can be carried as a backpack. This makes transporting from your vehicle or to where you’ll be setting up easy, especially since this version of the tent only weighs 27lbs.
Heavy Duty Features
Besides being a great pop up shelter, one of the underrated features of this tent is the zippers used on the door. Eskimo have used high end quality YKK zippers, which any camper knows are the best. If zipper jams are something you despise, you need YKK zippers.
Another feature that should not be overlooked is the wide bottom design. What this does is creates an even larger space for ice fishing while inside the warmth of the tent. Which in my opinion also adds to the sturdiness of the tent. But should you be concerned about how well it performs against the winds, Eskimo have also included guy lines and 6 ice anchors which are self tapping. So ensuring this shelter doesn’t blow away can now be achieved.
Options are things I like in almost anything that I’m considering, even if sometimes they’re not the best choice. This tent does have the option to come in 3 different sizes with the largest being 7-9 people with a fishing area of 109 square feet. This is a good option if you like this tent but want more room.
Waterproof Portable Ice Fishing Tent
For mine, the most important factor to consider for an ice fishing tent is the insulation. It’s an even better tent if it’s also waterproof, which is one of the reasons I really like this Elkton insulated ice fishing tent.
The combination of protection gives you peace of mind when you’re out on the ice. When the sun melts the snow that has floated onto your tent, the last thing you want is icy cold water dripping in on you.
What makes this tent so reliable and great protection from the outside elements is what it’s made of. They made the smart decision to make it with three layers of 60 gsm quilted insulation. Combine this with watertight tarpaulin to handle the water, makes this a solid tent for those more intense months.
This tent has several ventilation ports on the top of it which is something I really like. It gives you the ability to control how the air will flow inside of the tent, allowing it to keep the heat in or let it out depending on what it’s like inside it.While also staying on top of any condensation build-up.
One thing that really stands out about this tent is just how quick it is to set up. While they claim it takes seconds it does take longer and it’s a little difficult to do by yourself. So it’s recommended to have two people to set it up if possible.
Single Hub Or Double Hub Size Options
There is a lot of room in this tent that can fit a good amount of gear in it. The measurements of it are 137.5 inches x 68.5 inches and 81 inches tall. Which makes this roughly a 6 person tent, tho it’s better with 3 and gear in my opinion.
Do Note: This ice fishing shelter comes in either a single or double size. So the measurements for the single tent are 70″ x 70″ with a ceiling height of 80″.
If there is one thing to consider in the setting up is that it can be a little difficult for older people. So if you’re of the older generation then it might be a good idea to go with one of the other tents on this list, as they’re all high-quality tents.
This doesn’t take anything away from this tent and that was more just to let people known that some people have issues with setting up and pulling the sides of the tent out to create the full shape. This is why practicing at home first is key to any successful setup.
Sierra Eskimo Ice Fishing Tent Reviews
Eskimo are responsible for some of the best ice shelters on the market. They make high quality gear that you can count on time and time again. Which in my opinion, is what makes them the market leaders! This trend continues with this incredible Eskimo ice fishing shelter.
The quality of this tent stands out when it comes to its insulation. The insulation of this tent is excellent at keeping the heat in and the cold out. Its material is made of a tight weave fabric that is tough, durable, and can handle the ice temperatures.
One of the things I like about this model of ice shelter is the Versa seats that it comes with. Having these strong chairs that flip out, means you don’t need to pack your own chairs. Meaning a lighter and more compact trip to the ice. Or you can put them up if you still want your own seat, so it gives you options.
Heavy Duty 2 Person Ice Shelter
This is a heavy tent, so it’s not one that you can carry on your back easily. Weighing 74lbs makes it difficult to really carry it while also moving gear. It works really well if you’re one of the people who drive out onto the ice with an ATV, it’s very doable then.
The fishable area of this tent is 22.5 square feet which is a good amount of room for this sized tent. It’s a smaller tent overall with it being designed to be a 2 person tent, so it’s good for those who only need something smaller.
There are some really clever design choices with the framework of this shelter. With them using square aluminum poles that have a simple locking system. This locking style system enables the tent to be very sturdy. If you combine this with the double-walled hinges, you’re left with one of the more sturdy small shelters in my opinion.
This extra strength frame makes it handle the wind really well and a really good feature of this tent. So it suits those types of conditions really well. Finishing the tent off is the YKK zippers, they are high quality and durable enough to handle the colder climate.
Extra Large Insulated Ice Fishing Tent
If you spend a lot of time out in the cold, you will want something that is more heavy-duty than your average shelter. The cold environment can quickly take its toll on a shelter not designed for the harsh conditions which ice anglers face on a daily basis.
Which is where this Nordic Legend ice shelter comes into the picture. It’s one of the more heavy-duty shelters on the market. But its not only built tough to handle some severe weather, its also quite a large ice shelter. So you and your buddies can all camp inside the one tent, saving on buying additional shelters and carry excessive amounts of gear.
What makes this so heavy duty is the high-quality fiberglass poles. These are really strong and durable poles that give it a solid standing in the wind. This is an important thing to me as the wind out on the ice can be disastrous, so having something that stands up to it is great.
Ice Fishing Tent For Up To 8 People
Having a lot of fishable area is something that makes your trips more comfortable when fishing with your buddies. As this tent has 100 square feet of fishable area, its the ideal choice for those who need that extra room. This is something that I really like about the Nordic Legend Hex Hub.
Thankfully this tent is insulated for the colder weather which is a plus for those keen long term ice anglers. The insulation helps to keep the cold out and allows you to heat up the inside of the hub. Using this tent with a small propane heater provides a lot of warmth out on the ice.
Setting up this ice shelter is fairly simple and it doesn’t take too long to do. It’s very easy to do by yourself and doesn’t necessarily require two people. However, as with all ice shelters, two will make it easier to do. Taking it down isn’t too difficult, but it can be tricky to get back into its carry bag. Like most tents, practice makes perfect when it comes to fitting it back into the compact carry case.
This tent was designed and made by a Wisconsin based company. This may not mean much to some people but Wisconsin gets incredibly low temperatures and there’s a good ice fishing community there. This really shows just how well this ice shelter handles the cold area.
I also like how Nordic has gone the extra mile to include 9 anchor points. The ice anchors can penetrate into the ice in 9 locations ensuring the tent is nice and secure. As this is quite a large tent, the extra ice anchors are certainly worth putting into place. Don’t get lazy and only do half.
Frequently Asked Ice Fishing Shelter Questions
Ice Fishing Tent With Floor – Such A Thing?
Do ice fishing tents come with floors is one of the concerns many first-time ice anglers have. The majority don’t, but there are ways around it. One of the biggest issues with an ice fishing tent is the floor itself or the lack of a floor.
There are a number of things you can do to make this a more comfortable and safer experience. This is something you should consider before your next ice fishing trip if the idea of your ice fishing tent not having a floor.
The lack of a floor for an ice fishing tent has some issues that are uncomfortable and can even be dangerous. The ice itself is slippery and can be slush like at times as well. That is without addressing the issue of it being ice cold. All of these are issues, but thankfully there are ways to make it easier with some ingenuity.
DIY Floors For Your Ice Fishing Shelter
One of the most common things that people like to use is a combination of rubber mats and some thicker plywood. This is a good combination that helps with the slippery ice and keeps some of the warmth in. This is a good combination for a lot of ice anglers since it’s fairly simple to do and doesn’t break the bank.
However, you have to weigh up the pros and cons of carrying such a bulky and heavy object whilst you traverse over the ice.
Some people out there like to use a roofing grade level Styrofoam, since this gives a good level of insulation. Usually, they use this in a combination with plywood as well which makes it safer and warmer overall. Tho this can be expensive and again, bulky. So it may not be for you.
Can You Sleep In An Ice Fishing Shelter
Camping in Ice Fishing Shelter
The question of whether you can sleep in an ice fishing shelter or not is a question that gets asked a lot in the ice fishing community. With a very over-simplified answer to this question being, yes you can sleep in an ice fishing tent, but to do this there are things to consider.
Heating An Ice Fishing Shelter
The first thing that I want to bring up is in regards to heaters and whether they are doable or not. They are possible to use but there are some serious safety factors you need to consider beforehand with them. It’s no different to using a propane heater inside a tent.
The CO2 levels of a heater in an enclosed space are dangerous and shouldn’t be underestimated. You should either have one that has a sensor that cuts itself off, a well-ventilated tent with a CO detector.
Elevate Yourself Off The Ice
Having a sleeping cot that is off the ground is a must-have since it gets you off the cold floor. Even if you have plywood and rubber floor. When you combine a cot and a sleeping bag that’s designed for such colds will make a big difference to the temperature.
Tho having some insulation between cot and ice is still a good idea. As the coldness of the earth transmits through layers in direct contact with it, airbeds are not a good choice. The air inside the bed can become very cold and what this does is sucks out your body heat. So the airbed never warms up and as a result, neither do you.
The most important thing is to just do it safely and use common sense. Ice camping can be very dangerous and you don’t want to risk serious injury or worse! Following basic winter camping tips and tricks to stay warm in a tent is very much relevant to an ice shelter as well.
Can You Get A Ice Fishing Tent With Stove Jack
Having an ice fishing tent with a stove jack is a bit of a controversial subject in the ice fishing world. Some people like them, but the majority don’t like them and for good reason. Unless you have a specialized tent and know exactly what you’re doing, they can be dangerous. However, with that said, it’s certainly possible to do.
Like all Winter tents, if you don’t have the right type of tent, you run the risk of it catching on fire which is something no one wants. Not to mention the danger of the CO2 that’s caused by burning wood in such a small enclosed area. These two reasons alone are enough to warn most people off.
A Suitable Option
While a full-on winter tent defeats the purpose of an ice fishing shelter “Lightweight and portable” if you decide to sleep on the ice, a tent like the Russian Bear found on amazon here could be a good choice as it can be staked down into the ice and has a stove jack.
One of the most simple reasons for me and not using a stove jack tent is that it takes to much of my time from fishing. I’m out there to relax and fish not to constantly be dealing with a wood stove. This is just a personal thing but I know quite a few people who think the same way.
For some people, the main reason they don’t like this type of thing is that it defeats the purpose of a fishing hub. This is that they’re more lightweight and portable which is one of the bigger appeals for some people. When you start adding and adding to your gear, you start to get seriously weighed down. All of a sudden, you need a trailer to carry all your gear.
How Ice Fishing Insulation Works
Some folks may think that insulated ice fishing tents are just a big scam, but the truth is, if you want to stay warmer inside your shelter, insulation is key. When comparing which tent or shelter is best suited to you, one of the easiest ways is to look for the insulation R-value.
This will be a number represented with R in front of it. The larger the number, the more effective the insulation is. So while 2 tents may both be insulated, this does not necessarily they will oth keep you warm. One may have a very low R-value, while the other has a moderate to high R-value.
Insulation Creates A Barrier
How insulation actually works on an ice fishing tent is by creating a barrier between you (warm) and the cold windy conditions on the opposite side. The insulation basically reduces the heat transfer from your body as rapidly.
Think of the inside of your ice shelter as a cup of tea. For a normal cup of tea, the type of cup will determine how quickly the tea loses its heat. Its the same principal for insulated ice shelters. The better quality, high R-value the insulation is, the longer the warmth will stay inside the tent.
Insulation is basically adding another layer to the ice shelter. The more heat insulation the tent has, the less energy can escape through the thin nylon walls of the tent. The insulation acts as a buffer between the cold elements and the warmth.
But regardless of the amount of insulation your tent has, it will never be sufficient enough to maintain a consistent warm temperature. Heat trapped inside the tent will always escape through the much cooler ice. Which is why some people opt to have an ice shelter with an insulated floor. To try and minimize the amount of heat energy escaping into the coldness beneath them.
At the end of the day, whether you want the creature comforts of an insulated ice fishing tent is completely up to you. As you can see from the photos above, its certainly not required to have a load of fun and catch a load of fish.