Top 9 Best Ice Fishing Shelters (2021 Review & Buyer’s Guide)

Let’s face it, ice fishing is not as comfortable compared to spending a day on a sunny lake in the summer.

It’s cold, icy cold, and to make it a little bit more bearable, you’ll want the best ice fishing shelter to build around your ice hole. 

You’ll be able to set up some chairs, hide from the cold wind, and enjoy your ice fishing just that little bit more, tucked away nice and cozy in your ice fishing tent than if you were sitting out open to the elements.

Before we start with the reviews here is a quick summary of the top 5 ice fishing shelters…

The Best From The Review

Pick the best ice fishing shelter for you with our lineup…

Best Pop Up Ice Fishing Shelter

Eskimo QuickFish 3i

Weighs just 28 lbs and comes ready to go in a backpack making it light and easy to carry to your fishing spot.

Eskimo QuickFish 3i

The best pop up ice fishing shelter is the Eskimo QuickFish 3i. 

It’s a spacious pop-up ice fishing tent, insulated for warmth, durability, and pop’s up in 60 seconds.

It couldn’t be easier to put up and is ideal for moving around the lake when you have to chase the fish.

Best Portable Ice Fishing Shelter

Eskimo Evo 2it

It feels very spacious inside, the chairs are comfy, there are mesh pockets for storing your ice fishing gear, and it’s toasty for those cold days.

Eskimo Evo 2it

The best portable ice fishing shelter is the Eskimo Evo2it. 

The sled-based flip design means you can drag your shelter and chairs across the ice with a sled and once you’re ready to fish, just flip over the shelter, anchor it down and start catching at your best ice fishing spot.

Best One-Man Ice Fishing Shelter

Eskimo QuickFlip 1

Super easy for one person to set up plus it has just enough fishable area to be comfortable and stay warm too

Eskimo QuickFlip 1

The best ice fishing shelter for a single fisherman is the Eskimo QuickFlip 1.

It’s an easy shelter for one man to handle that comes in a sled with a chair and to set up all you have to do is pull the tent over and anchor it down.

It couldn’t be simpler or easier and once set up you’ll have a durable, warm home in the ice to catch fish from.

Best 6-man Ice Fishing Shelter

Clam Jason Mitchell X5000

An ideal choice for anyone who wants a lot of space for their fishing gear and likes to fish with their family or buddies.

Clam Jason Mitchell X5000

The best ice fishing shelter for 6 people is the Clam Jason Mitchell X5000. 

This best ice fishing shelter is warm, insulated, spacious, portable, made from durable materials, can handle high winds, and is full of handy features like gear storage and multiple doors for easy access.

Best 2-man Ice Fishing Shelter

Clam Nanook XL

A portable shelter that comes in a sled with 2 built-in chairs and an insulated ice fishing tent.

Clam Nanook XL

The best ice fishing shelter for 2 people is the Clam Nanook XL.

It’s super simple to set up, comes ready in a sled with chairs, and gives you ample room for 2 people to fish with ease.

There are two doors for easy access, storage pockets, windows, and more.

Our Best Ice Fishing Shelters

Best 6-man Ice Fishing Shelter

Clam Jason Mitchell X5000

An ideal choice for anyone who wants a lot of space for their fishing gear and likes to fish with their family or buddies.

Clam Jason Mitchell X5000

The Clam Jason Mitchell X5000 4-6 person ice fishing shelter is an ideal choice for anyone who wants a lot of space for their fishing gear and likes to fish with their family or buddies with its 64 square feet of fishable area.

This shelter is built with rugged durability to withstand the winter element and has enough insulated ice fishing in freezing temperatures.

Build

This insulated ice fishing shanty is made from heavy-duty 900 Denier insulated fabric with 90 grams per square meter of insulation which is what gives it such great thermal properties.

This shelter is light for its size and is easy to pack with the carry bag it comes with.

Inside the shelter, you’ll find removable windows for light and ventilation, plus mesh storage pockets to keep your gear dry and off the floor.

Assembly

This pop up portable ice shelter is easy to set up and to take down and with some practice, you can get the shelter up in a matter of minutes. It features two doors for easy access, so you won’t have to climb over each other’s fishing rods to get in and out.

The shelter comes with self-tapping ice anchors and an excellent frame that handles high winds exceptionally well, so no matter the weather you’ll be protected.

Portability

It comes in a handy carry bag that’s easy to pack the ice shelter into and at 50 lbs, it’s very light for its size and easy to carry to your fishing spot. 

Overall it’s an excellent ice fishing tent.

Specs

  • Size: 4-6 person
  • Material: 900D fabric
  • Insulation: 90 grams per square meter
  • Weight: 50 lbs
  • Packed Size: 63" x 12" x 12"
  • Doors: 2

Pros

  • Fits 4 to 6 anglers comfortably
  • Easy to set up and takedown
  • Super durable fabric and construction
  • Great insulation for staying warm
  • Two doors for easy access
  • Built to handle high winds
  • Lightweight for portability
  • Good fishing gear storage areas

Cons

  • Quite expensive

Best 2-man Ice Fishing Shelter

Clam Nanook XL

A portable shelter that comes in a sled with 2 built-in chairs and an insulated ice fishing tent.

Clam Nanook XL

The Clam Nanook XL is a great insulated ice fishing tent that has been designed in a flip-style.

It couldn’t be easier to drag to your fishing spot and to set up, and here’s why. 

The whole portable shelter comes in a sled with 2 built-in chairs and an insulated ice fishing tent.

Assembly

To set it up, pull the sled to your spot, then simply flip and unfold the ice fishing shanty over the sled and chairs and anchor it to the ground.

Within a matter of minutes, you have a little ice shelter ready to go with two chairs and two doors for easy access.

Once you have pinned it down with the self-tapping ice anchors, you have a sturdy windproof place to enjoy ice fishing from.

Build

Like the X5000 above this flip-style shelter is made from heavy-duty 900 Denier insulated fabric that is super thick, durable, windproof, and waterproof.

It’s great at keeping the heat and you’ll be toasty inside no matter the weather.

Once you’re inside you have multiple storage pockets for ice fishing gear storage and lots of windows to let light in too so you can see what you’re doing.

Space

There is ample space inside this portable ice shelter for two people with 23 square feet of wide bottom fishable area and it’s tall enough for a 5ft 10 in person to stand up straight and stretch their legs. 

The only downside to the ice fishing shanty is that it’s heavy at 76lbs for a 2 person ice fishing tent and quite expensive but you get what you pay for. The design is so easy to set-up, take down, and comes with luxury chairs for you to fish from.

Specs

  • Size: 2 person
  • Material: 900D fabric
  • Insulation: 90 grams per square meter
  • Weight: 76 lbs
  • Packed Size: 20.32 L X 90.17 W X 157.48
  • Doors: 2

Pros

  • Easy access through the side door system
  • Tall for walking around in
  • Comes with deluxe seats
  • Great space for 2 anglers
  • Easy to open up on non-windy days
  • Durable and warm
  • Simple to put up
  • Made to handle serious winds
  • Comes in a sled for portability

Cons

  • Heavy for portability and expensive for the size

Eskimo Evo 2it

It feels very spacious inside, the chairs are comfy, there are mesh pockets for storing your ice fishing gear, and it’s toasty for those cold days.

Eskimo Evo 2it

The Eskimo Evo 2it is another 2 person flip-style shelter like the Nanook above. 

Space

It has a wide bottom fishable area of 34.25 square feet thanks to the use of hub style technology.

It feels very spacious inside, the chairs are comfy, there are mesh pockets for storing your ice fishing gear, and it’s made of 600 denier fabric to keep it toasty for those cold days. 

Build

These portable ice fishing shelters are made with heavy-duty 300 denier ice tight fabric with an insulated 600 denier fabric over the top and back for extra warmth.

The 300 & 600 denier fabric is very high-quality, resistant to wear and tear, and blocks all the wind and cold.

It sits on a sturdy fiberglass frame that once pinned down with the self-tapping ice anchors does well in the wind, but it could do with a few extra anchor points for those really gutsy ice fishing days.

Assembly

These kinds of ice fishing shelters are so easy to set up, everything is pretty much done for you which is what makes them one of the best in my eyes.

The whole rig comes in a sled with chairs so you can easily drag it to your fishing spot. To set it up, just pull out the ice shelter on one side then the other, and anchor it down. It’ll fully cover the sled and chairs, and you have a cozy little shelter for 2.

Specs

  • Size: 2 person
  • Material: 300D fabric
  • Insulation: Insulated Quilted 600 denier fabric covers the top and back
  • Weight: 95 lb
  • Packed Size: 60" x 37.5" x 22.5"
  • Doors: 2

Pros

  • Comes with a sled for portability
  • Includes 2 Swivel Versa chairs
  • Great height in the middle for fishing under
  • High-quality durable materials
  • Warm and cozy
  • Easy to set up
  • Easy to access thanks to 2 doors

Cons

  • Only has 6 anchor point
  • Heavy overall

Best Portable Ice Fishing Shelter

Eskimo Evo 2it

It feels very spacious inside, the chairs are comfy, there are mesh pockets for storing your ice fishing gear, and it’s toasty for those cold days.

Specs

  • Size: 2 person
  • Material: 300D fabric
  • Insulation: Insulated Quilted 600 denier fabric covers the top and back
  • Weight: 95 lb
  • Packed Size: 60" x 37.5" x 22.5"
  • Doors: 2

Pros

  • Comes with a sled for portability
  • Includes 2 Swivel Versa chairs
  • Great height in the middle for fishing under
  • High-quality durable materials
  • Warm and cozy
  • Easy to set up
  • Easy to access thanks to 2 doors

Cons

  • Only has 6 anchor point
  • Heavy overall

Best Pop Up Ice Fishing Shelter

Eskimo QuickFish 3i

Weighs just 28 lbs and comes ready to go in a backpack making it light and easy to carry to your fishing spot.

Eskimo QuickFish 3i

The Eskimo QuickFish 3i is one of the top 3-4 person pop up ice fishing shelters on the market in terms of portability. 

This 3-4 person pop-up ice fishing shelter weighs just 28 lbs and comes ready to go in a backpack making it light and easy to carry to your fishing spot. 

Assembly

Once you’re ready to pitch, the pop-up mechanism has this 3-4 person hub-style ice shelter up in under 60 seconds making it super easy to set up.

Once up it has a rigid and tough structure that can handle whatever the ice fishing weather gods want to throw at you and comes with tapping ice anchors to ensure the ice shelter stays in place. 

Build

The 300 denier ice tight fabric does a great job of keeping you warm thanks to its higher thread count.

This is one of Eskimo’s selling points. They add a 59% higher thread count to make their fabric have better wind and watertight performance while also saving up to 19% of weight through using a lower denier.

It’s smart and very effective. 

Space

Once the ice shelter is pitched you have 34 square feet of fishable area and two doors for easy access.

It’s the perfect 3 person size. 

The only downside is that the Eskimo Quickfish 3 person pop up shelter is not insulated but you can go for the 3i model that is fully insulated but a little more expensive.

Specs

  • Size: 3-4 person
  • Material: 300 Denier ice tight fabric
  • Insulation: Fully
  • Weight: 28.5 lb
  • Packed Size: 52" x 8.5" x 8.5"
  • Doors: 2

Pros

  • 60 seconds to set up
  • Lightweight and portable
  • Durable and handles high winds
  • Warm and spacious for a 3 person shelter
  • Affordable for all
  • Comes with storage pockets
  • Includes a backpack for portability

Cons

  • No light hanging options
  • Not insulated

Best One-Man Ice Fishing Shelter

Eskimo QuickFlip 1

Super easy for one person to set up plus it has just enough fishable area to be comfortable and stay warm too.

Eskimo QuickFlip 1

The Eskimo Quick Flip is one of the best portable ice fishing shelters in my eyes for a single fisherman.

Eskimo has made it super easy for a one-man fishing team to get this ice shelter in place and set up plus it has just enough fishable area to be comfortable and stay warm too 

Portability

Being a flip ice shelter, it comes with a chair and shelter ready to go in a sled.

All you have to do is drag the sled to your spot, unfold the ice shelter, and put in the self-tapping ice anchors and you’re ready to start fishing. Simple. 

Build

The shelter is made from durable 300 denier fabric with a high thread count to make it ice tight, and stop wind or water from getting through the gaps, this is also what makes it so light at 52 lbs. 

The only downside to this shelter is that the chair is not that comfy and you might want to take something padded to put on it.

Specs

  • Size: 1 person
  • Material: 300 denier ice tight
  • Insulation: None
  • Weight: 52 lbs
  • Packed Size: 50" x 32" x 17"
  • Doors: 1

Pros

  • Includes a sled and rope for towing
  • Durable and well made
  • Thick, high-quality, warm fabric with a high thread count
  • Comes with a folding chair
  • Handy mesh storage pockets
  • Almost waterproof and windproof
  • Easy to set up once you know how

Cons

  • The chair is not that comfy

GYMAX Pop-Up Ice Shelter

One of the best in terms of affordability and is the least expensive of all in the review but it’s not the best for freezing temperatures or heavy winds.

GYMAX Pop-Up Ice Shelter

The GYMAX Pop-Up shelter is one of the best in terms of affordability and is the least expensive of all in the review but it’s not the best for freezing temperatures or heavy winds. 

Build

It’s made of durable 300D oxford fabric and being a pop-up shelter is very quick to pitch with some practice. It’s light at 22lbs and comes in a backpack carry bag making it easy to carry to your fishing spot.

Space

Once pitched it’s quite spacious for 2 people and comes with 4 PVC windows to let the light through so you can see when you’re fishing, but it is still a little dark and you may need to take a lamp with you.

There are quite a lot of negatives to this ice shelter. The door is small and awkward to use and the 300d oxford fabric is not fully waterproof so any snowmelt will eventually penetrate through it.

It’s also not insulated and will tend to flex a lot in the wind, but it does stay warm with a heater.

Specs

  • Size: 2 person
  • Material: 300D oxford fabric
  • Insulation: 22°F frost resistance
  • Weight: 22 lbs

Pros

  • Affordable for everyone
  • Made from durable materials
  • Warm with a heater in minus 20
  • Light to carry
  • Easy to pitch with some practice
  • Good space for 2 anglers
  • Comes in a backpack carry bag for portability

Cons

  • The door is small and awkward
  • Doesn’t let much light in
  • Not waterproof
  • The structure pops in with gusts of wind

Goplus Portable Ice Shelter

Made out of durable 300d oxford and does a good job of protecting you while you’re out on the ice.

Goplus Portable Ice Shelter

The Goplus Portable Ice Shelter is another affordable ice shelter but unlike the GYMAX above it has very few shortcomings.

It’s a pop-up shelter that does a good job of protecting you while you’re out on the ice. 

Build

It’s made of durable 300d oxford fabric that offers good waterproofness and frost resistance to stop the cold from the ice penetrating inside.

It’s super light at 18.5 lbs and it comes in a handy carry bag to get it from A to B with ease. 

Assembly

Popping it up is super simple and takes under a minute to pitch.

Once up you have the multiple windows open to let light in, fully open for ventilation, or fully closed for extra insulation. When in PVC light mode you get ample light for fishing with. 

The only negative to this shelter is that it’s not very high inside with a max height of 5 ft eight inches.

Unless you’re quite short, you’re not going to be able to stand up in this ice fishing shelter.

Specs

  • Size: 2 person
  • Material: 300D oxford fabric
  • Insulation: minus 30℉ Frost Resistance
  • Weight: 18.5 lbs
  • Packed Size: 43.3”(L) X 8”(W) X 8”(H)
  • Doors: 1

Pros

  • Affordable
  • Light for portability
  • Made with durable fabric
  • Stays warm and cozy
  • Good space for 2 people
  • Easy to pitch
  • Lots of light through the windows
  • Good at blocking the wind

Cons

  • Only 5’8” high, so most people can’t stand up straight

Nordic Legend

The Nordic Legend 6 person shelter is about as spacious and portable as an ice shelter of this size can get. Easy to pitch and with a low weight of 60 lbs, you’ll manage to get it to your fishing spot with ease.

Nordic Legend

The Nordic Legend 6 person shelter is about as spacious and portable as an ice shelter of this size can get. 

This shelter has a wide bottom area to give a huge 67.5 square foot of fishable area and comes complete with 4 ice fishing rod holder pockets, multiple windows, doors, and vents to keep you comfy when inside. 

Build

These ice shelters are made from 300 D polyester with 60 grams per square meter of insulation.

They keep you super warm and cozy while you’re fishing in the shelter and protected from all the elements. 

The two doors make access in and out of the ice shelters easy for a large group and the large frost-resistant PVC windows give you a lot of light too. 

Assembly

Nordic Legend Ice Shelters are easy to set up and with a low weight of 60 lbs, you’ll manage to get it to your fishing spot with ease. 

The only downside to these hub style shelters is that the windows have to be opened from the outside, which in ice freezing weather isn’t ideal.

Specs

  • Size: 6 person
  • Material: 300D polyester
  • Insulation: 60 grams per square meter
  • Weight: 60 lbs
  • Packed Size: na
  • Doors: 2

Pros

  • Internal rod pockets
  • Warm, and cozy
  • Easy access through the 2 doors
  • Spacious for 6 people
  • 6 frigostabile PVC windows for great visibility
  • Light for portability
  • Quick to pitch

Cons

  • Windows have to be opened from the outside

What Is An Ice Fishing Shelter? 

Ice fishing shelters are pretty much a hardcore tent that one would use to create a protective shelter around an ice fishing hole.

The shelter is made from high quality, durable fabrics with insulation, and a solid structure to handle any winter conditions. 

Stay Cozy

The best ice fishing shelters are an ideal place for hiding from the elements so that you can fish without feeling like your face and ears are going to fall off from frostbite.

You can set up some chairs, take a heater, and have a nice place to chill out with your buddies while waiting for a fish to bite. 

Who Should Buy An Ice Fishing Shelter?

Anyone who enjoys ice fishing and likes to go often, maybe at least 14 days a season would benefit hugely from an ice fishing shelter.

They will make your days on the ice a lot more comfortable and you’ll be able to go fishing more often too, as you’ll have some extra protection on those colder days. 

Why Buy An Ice Fishing Shelter? 

There are a few reasons to buy an ice shelter but for it to be worth it, you’ll want to be using the ice shelter for at least 2 weeks or more a year, as I mentioned above.

Once you own an ice shelter these are the benefits you’ll experience and I promise, you won’t go back to ice fishing without one. 

Check out this video of a man winter camping in an ice shelter…

Winter Camping

Warmth & Fish For Longer 

You’ll be a lot warmer in an ice shelter as they protect you from the cold.

Bitter winds and constant snowfall will drive anyone ice fishing without one home but with a shelter, you can fish through horrid weather and for way longer before the chilliness makes you decide it’s time to go home. 

You Can See More Underwater 

You might not have thought this but by being in a blacked-out ice shelter you can see what’s going on underwater a lot better.

The ice actually lights up the underwater world and you’ll be able to see everything while you’re ice fishing, from fish to your bait. 

This allows you to change your fishing techniques to match what you’re seeing beneath the surface and hopefully catch more fish. 

Types Of Ice Fishing Shelters 

Ice Shelters on a Snowfield
Ice Shelters on a Snowfield

There are 4 types of ice fishing shelters to choose from including: hub style shelters, flip-style shelters, cabin or hut style shelters, and windbreakers.

In this article, we are just going to focus on the most popular and the best ice fishing shelters for portability, hub, and flip-style, and they are. 

Flip Ice Fishing Shelters 

Flip ice fishing shelters are usually for 1 or 2 people and are the best ice fishing shelters in terms of portability and making them great when you have to move fishing spots often.

They come in a sled with built-in chairs that you can easily drag across the ice and all you have to do to set them up is pull the shelter over and anchor it down. 

Hub Ice Fishing Shelters 

Hub Ice Fishing Shelters are the best ice fishing shelters for large groups of 2-8 people. They are large, have a sturdy structure, and come with multiple anchor points that make them solid no matter how windy it gets.

But, it does mean there is a lot of work when it comes to moving fishing spots. 

Things To Consider When Buying An Ice Fishing Shelter 

Size And Type 

The first thing to think about when buying an ice shelter is how big do you want it to be?

You can choose from a 1 person shelter all the way up to an 8 person shelter.

Are you planning on fishing with a buddy or buddies? Is the whole family going to come along? 

Once you know how big your ice fishing shelter needs to be, then you can decide on the type as we mentioned above.

RECOMMENDATION

If you’re going for a 1 or 2 person shelter, then a flip is your best bet. If you want a 3 person and above, you’re going to have to go for the hub. 

Portability 

Getting your ice shelter to your fishing spot is one thing, but moving it from spot to spot chasing fish is another.

You’re going to need your shelter to be portable by being either lightweight or coming with a sled or backpack to move it around in. 

A flip shelter is usually a little heavier due to the sled and that there are often in-built chairs in it too, but the sled makes it portable as there is no carrying you just have to drag it. 

Setup and Takedown 

Peg Screw For Ice Fishing Shelter
Peg Screw For Ice Fishing Shelter

Another thing to consider when you’re having to move spots often is how easy is the shelter to set up and takedown.

A shelter that takes an age to put up and take down is going to hold you back when the fish are moving and you have to follow. 

Luckily almost every ice fishing shelter is easy to put and take down, especially after some practice. The pop-up shelters can be set up in under 60 seconds and the takedown is no more than 5 minutes. 

TIP

If you know you like to chase fish around the ice or fish somewhere the fish like to move often, make sure you pick a shelter that you can move around with ease. 

Quality & Durability 

An ice-covered lake is one of the harshest environments for a shelter to survive in and if it’s not made from high quality and durable materials, it doesn’t have much of a chance. 

When looking for an ice fishing shelter you should make sure you pick one with a high denier fabric of 300 or more.

A 300+ denier fabric is thick and robust.

A normal tent would be made of 60 deniers and even less sometimes, so when you’re in the realm of 300 deniers you know you’ve found something tough.

Stitching

It’s not just about the fabric though, the stitching is also important and you should look at the ice fishing shelter reviews to see if it stands up to the task.

The ice fishing shelter reviews are the only way to know if the seams parted or leaked, as there is no universal measurement to prove they are made with quality. 

Warmth

Man Ice Fishing Inside a Tent

The warmth of an ice fishing shelter comes down to insulation and the denier of the fabric used.

As we mentioned above, 300 deniers is a good benchmark for the fabric but what you’ll also notice when you look around is that some shelters are insulated and some aren’t. 

If you plan on going out in all weathers, it’s worth spending a little more to get an insulated shelter.

For an extra $50-100, you’ll get a shelter with up to 60 grams per square meter of insulation that’ll do an amazing job of keeping the heat in so you can fish for longer. 

Icing Out

Here are the top 5 ice fishing shelters from the review…

The world of ice shelters is quite a niche one and picking the right one for you may still seem a little daunting.

All you have to remember is that you need to be warm, have enough space, be able to get it to your spot with ease and make sure it’s tough enough to handle the cold wintery elements. 

Best 2-man Ice Fishing Shelter

If you’re still struggling to make a decision, I’m going to make it super simple for you. If you’re looking for a 1-2 person shelter go for the Clam Nanook XL. 

It’s warm, spacious, portable, durable, and easy to set up and takedown. Plus it comes equipped with chairs and a sled for portability. 

Best 6-man Ice Fishing Shelter

If you’re looking for a 3 4 person option or larger, the Clam Jason Mitchell X5000 is the way to go.

It’s light, portable, warm, spacious, and durable.

You can happily have 6 fishermen in there having a whale of a time no matter what the weather is doing outside.

Thanks very much for reading the article, and I hope you have found it useful and bought the right ice shelter for you for this coming season.

Please feel free to share it around and if you’re looking for some more info around other products, we have got you covered with articles like the best ice fishing flasher and more, so please feel free to have a read.

Lance Wilkins
Lance Wilkins
Editor @ CallOutdoors. Outdoor gear-head and adventure addict. I fish, camp and enjoy to writing about my adventures.

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Lance Wilkins
Lance Wilkins
Editor @ CallOutdoors. Outdoor gear-head and adventure addict. I fish, camp and enjoy to writing about my adventures.