What Makes a Good Ice Fishing Shelter?

When ice fishing, it is important to dress warm in layers to protect yourself from the harsh weather. But it is oftentimes not enough… That is why it is extremely important to bring along a portable ice shelter to keep the blistering cold off your back. A good ice shelter will protect you from the wind, snow/rain and the sun (including reflecting light) and extend ice anglers time out on the hard water.

If you’re in the market but don’t know where to start, you’re in luck! Below you will find a guide to help you make the best purchase for your days on the frozen lake…

Top Tips For Ice Fishing In Minnesota - TravelAwaits

What Exactly is an Ice Fishing Tent?

An ice fishing tent is a pop-up ice house that is easy to carry and set up. They come in varying types and are placed around the hole in the ice where an angler can be warm and fish in comfort. 

What are the Different Types of Ice Fishing Shelters?

The four types available are:

  • Hub Style Shelters – these are the closest to a tent design. Lightweight and easy to erect while strong enough to keep the wind at bay.
  • Windbreakers – These are another lightweight option and are ideal for a couple of people
  • Cabin or Hut Style Shelters – These portable ice fish house types are built on an under sled base. They can be large enough to seat 8 adults comfortably.
  • Flip Style shelters – these ice fish huts are the most popular for many fishermen. They are built on plastic sled bases and can comfortably seat up to 4 adults.
Best Ice Shanty for Fishing in Freezing Temperatures

What to Look For in Shelter Materials:

Portable ice shelters are made from a number of different materials the primary ones being nylon, canvas, cotton and polyester. The most important material quality you need in a shelter is strength. A thicker material often gives that added strength quality, so that’s an easy way to distinguish between a higher and lower quality shelter. The last thing you want is to be sitting in a thin camping style tent on the ice in howling winds. The strength and thickness of the material is not only for the shelter performance but also to increase the longevity as you’ll get fewer tears and patch jobs.

Another important quality to look for in the material is its breath-ability which reduces the condensation inside the shelter. Alongside this the shelter material should be waterproof, that probably goes without saying that, but there are cheap shelters (materials) with liner integrity that quickly fades making them no longer waterproof.

Some Ice Fishing Accessories to Consider:

These are some accessories to consider that will make your ice fishing experience that much easier…

  • Sled – You’ll need some sort of sled to transport your shelter and ice fishing, whether towing it from a snowmobile or pulling yourself moving the gear quickly and efficiently is very important. Look for a sled that tracks well through the snow, I’d recommend looking at adding a runner onto the sled.
  • Tie-downs & ice anchors – These are used to keep the shelter secured in windy conditions. These are the same thing as pegging a camping tent to the ground, except the ice anchors are a much larger/wider peg as they twist into the ice.
  • Travel Cover – This protects and covers either your entire sled or the shelter inside the sled. Think of it like a backpack cover where it protects the gear from rain, slush, mud, snow, etc. You don’t want to deal with wet or dirty gear when on the ice setting up.
FRABILL: New Recruit Ice Fishing Shelter – Fishing Sport Show


The purchase of an ice fishing shelter will help you create the more of the most amazing memories with friends and family with less of the harsh weather conditions. It is the perfect accessories for ice fishing right off your lakefront property! Be sure to further research the best portable ice shelters and read the reviews before purchasing…

Posted by Scott Freerksen “The Lake Guy”

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