When winter arrives and the temperatures drop low enough to freeze lakes in the Northern states, it's time for ice fishing to begin. While ice fishing began as a means of finding food, it is now mainly for sport, although many anglers eat what they catch.
Ice tents protect against the weather and provide the shelter and warmth needed for a long stay on the ice. Choosing the right one depends on several factors, but for its convenient setup and roomy design, the best ice fishing tent is the Eskimo Quickfish Pop-Up Portable Ice Fishing Shelter.
One of the first questions to answer is whether you'll be fishing in one location or moving around. If you plan to move from site to site, you want a tent that breaks down and sets up easily.
There are three main types of ice fishing tents:
It's a good idea to double-check your tent's dimensions before purchasing it. A three-person tent might be a tight fit for three adults wearing parkas. You can measure the dimensions in your yard to determine if there's enough space for when you are on the ice.
While all ice fishing tents have a fabric exterior designed to repel cold winds and snow, an insulated tent provides greater warmth. It also can save money on gas if you're using a portable heater. Insulated tents are more expensive than uninsulated ones.
Ice anchors are tapped into the ice and screwed in place to hold the tent securely. Some tents come with ice anchors, but others require they be purchased separately. Six ice anchors are ideal, but four should hold the tent in place.
Flip-over and pop-up tents have doors and windows. Look for doors with large zippers that are easy for gloved hands to operate. Windows provide both ventilation and sunlight.
Ice fishing tents cost $200-$1,000. The three biggest variables influencing price are the size of the tent, the thickness of its outside material, and whether it's insulated. Most multi-person tents run $200-$500.
A. The Denier rating is a measurement of fiber thickness, not warmth. Warmth is determined by many things, including insulation, the number of people inside the tent, and the outside temperature. Fabric thickness has more to do with longevity and durability.
A. It's always safest to fish with someone else. You should carry ice safety spikes with your gear in the event of an emergency. If ice is making noise underfoot, it may be shifting and should be avoided. Remember that snow can have an insulating effect that weakens the ice below.
What you need to know: With a quick setup, this fully insulated shelter gets you fishing right away and keeps you warm throughout the day.
What you’ll love: The hub design sets up in one minute. The skirt has grommets built in for easy anchoring. There are ventilation window panels and mesh storage pockets. The corner joints are sewn for reinforcement. When packed up, a duffel bag carries everything.
What you should consider: The carrying case can be challenging for some users.
What you need to know: This versatile shelter is durable and ideal for two or three anglers with top and side insulation.
What you’ll love: This tent is an 80-inch cube with 44 square feet of fishable space. It has a modular seating system. The poles are reinforced for strength, and it has window openings for ventilation. It is easily set up by one person.
What you should consider: The tent is not insulated, which can be too cold for some users.
Where to buy: Sold by Dick’s Sporting Goods
What you need to know: This durable tent works well for two or three anglers and has two points of ventilation.
What you’ll love: This tent has a blackout coating for keeping the light out. Hook-and-loop fastened windows are adjustable. The ceiling height is 80 inches. It includes six self-tapping ice anchors and a carrying bag.
What you should consider: The zippers are hard to close once the tent is pitched.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
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Steve Ganger writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.