Ice Fishing Tents: All You Wanted to Know

Ice Fishing Tents: All You Wanted to Know

February 08, 2021

Ice fishing is not a hobby for everyone, however, those who love it know for sure why they do. It’s not just about drilling holes: ice fishing is an excellent opportunity to enjoy beautiful snowy landscapes and ultimate silence. It’s time to calm down and reload. 

It goes without saying that ice fishing requires a lot of special equipment. Besides fishing gear, you’ll need a reliable ice fishing shelter to protect you from the elements. Stay with us to learn everything you might want to know about ice fishing gear, and also learn how to pick an ice fishing tent that will best address your needs.

What You Need for Ice Fishing

As soon as you guys have decided to go ice fishing, you should kick off with preparing for your icy adventure. First of all, do research to find a fishable area. Then, start gathering the necessary equipment. To make it easier for you, we’ve prepared a checklist to guide you through the ice fishing essentials.

Ice fishing gear checklist

  • Fishing rod and reel
  • Live bait container with live bait
  • Lines
  • Line clippers, fish grabbers, pliers, hooks, sinkers, etc. 
  • Tip ups 
  • Ice fishing electronics 
  • Ice auger and skimmer 
  • Sledge to carry all the stuff 
  • Bucket

Ice fishing accessories to keep you comfortable

  • Fold-out stool or chair
  • Well-insulated thermos flask to keep your drinks hot
  • Ice fishing shanty. It’s a portable ice fishing shelter placed on ice to provide protection from the elements while you’re fishing. The choice is wide: you can go for either a basic ice shanty — a plastic tarp draped over a frame, or a more expensive option with heat, bunks, electricity and even cooking facilities.

Clothes for ice fishing

  • Full-length synthetic underwear
  • Midlayer clothes
  • Down or synthetic-filled parka with water-resistant shell
  • Cap or hat that protects your ears well
  • Open-tipped neoprene gloves and tight gloves made from waterproof material
  • Thermal socks that wick moisture.
  • Waterproof genuine leather boots
  • Sunglasses 
  • Why Do You Need an Ice Fishing Tent?

    Without any doubt, having a good ice fishing shelter is a must for an enjoyable fishing expedition. While ice shanty is perfect to protect you from wind and cold when you’re fishing, you’ll definitely need a reliable ice fishing tent to spend cold nights in. Ice fishing tents are all-season tents that are designed to survive severe weather conditions. What is more, there are options that can be used for ice fishing right from the tent. Amazing, isn’t it?

    What to Look For When Buying an Ice Fishing Tent

    Go for ice fishing tent with stove jack

    The first thing to look for is the tent’s ability to shield you from cold and wind, so go for a 4-season double-layer heavy fabric tent. Next, pay attention to the tent’s floor: it should be insulating and waterproof. It’s also a reasonable solution to get an ice fishing tent with stove jack: the stove will keep you warm, your gear dry, and allow you to cook your meals easier and quicker than over a fire.

    Consider the tent’s capacity

    To determine the size of the tent to comfortably accommodate you, your mates and your gear, figure 30 square feet of floor space for two people. However, it also depends on your sleeping facilities: it’s a no-brainer that camper beds require more space than sleeping bags, while bunk beds help you save space.

    Make sure your ice fishing shelter has proper ventilation

    Good ventilation in the tent is imperative when you are using a wood stove. Fresh air is necessary to maintain the wood or briquettes steadily burning. 

    Choose the tent with comfortable access

    It’s a good idea to get a tent with two or more entrances. Firstly, it gives you more options when you’re setting up your shelter. For instance, while one of the doors is blocked by a tree, you can use the other one. Secondly, if the entrances are all passable, you and your mates will be able to enter and exit the tent faster and without stumbling over your stuff.

    Ice Fishing Tent Materials

    An ice fishing tent should properly protect you from cold and wind, and that’s why the tent material really matters. Most ice fishing tents are manufactured from synthetic materials, typically nylon or polyester woven together very tightly. Each of them has its pros and cons, but they work well when combined. Nylon is super resistant against wear and tear, while polyester absorbs less water and is less sensitive to ultraviolet.

    Why are synthetic materials better than the natural ones? First of all, they are cheaper, making the tents more affordable. Next, they are lighter and less bulky than natural based fabrics, so the tents made from these materials are a lot easier. No less important, nylon and polyester are quick to dry out. Finally, they require less maintenance as they are more resistant to mildew and rips.

    Not to mention, it’s critical that your tent is protected by a water-repellant formula.

    How to Choose the Best Ice Fishing Shelter for You

    There is a range of factors to take into account when you’re selecting from a great variety of ice fishing shelters, which makes this task a bit challenging. Good news is that we’ve prepared detailed reviews of some tested shelters, so you can pick up one of the best ice fishing tents that have already proven to provide safe accommodation in severe weather conditions. Let’s have a closer look at our top rated ice fishing shelters.

    Cuboid 2.20

    Size

    Cuboid 2.20 is the best option to accommodate 1-3 people. Its dimensions (length - 87'', width - 87", height - 75”) allow an average height person to stand upright inside.

    Setting up and stowing away

    Cuboid 2.20 is rather quick and easy to set up. It typically took one person no more than three minutes to pitch this tent. Stowing it away was never time-consuming as well.

    Portability

    The tent’s weight equals 44,09 lbs, so it’s possible for a person to carry it to the campsite.

    Breaking the wind

    The frame bars of Cuboid 2.20 are made from sturdy aviation aluminum alloy, making it super resistant to fierce winds. Doors and windows are equipped with heavy-duty zippers to ensure extra protection.

    Seating and flooring

    The tent’s detachable waterproof floor is what we really like about Cuboid 2.20. It’s a great solution for ice fishing: you drill a fishing hole, install the tent above it, and enjoy fishing in warmth and comfort without any need for an ice shanty.

    Ventilation and insulation

    For ventilation, you can use the tent’s windows. Cuboid 2.20 is a two-layer tent: the air space between the layers considerably decreases condensation and effectively retains interior heat.

    Doors and windows

    Although small, Cuboid 2.20 has two entrances and two windows. The 5-layer windows include a transparent layer which is made from frost-resistant PVC and can be used in up to -58° F.

    Storage space

    If there are no more than two of you using sleeping bags or a bunk bed in the tent, you’ll still get quite enough space to use a wood stove and store your gear.

    Highlights

    • The tent’s inner layer has several hinges useful for drying clothes.
    • Cuboid 2.20 has all the necessary features that enable a safe use of a wood stove.

    Cuboid 4.40

    Size

    Having the length of 174", the width of 87" and the height of 75”, Cuboid 4.40 provides enough space to accommodate up to seven people in sleeping bags without using a stove. And if there are only two of you, at 104.41 square feet, the area of Cuboid 4.40 is comparable to a small apartment room. 

    Setting up and stowing away

    Cuboid 4.40 is easy to pop up and stow away. It takes a bit more time than Cuboid 2.20, however, you get a comfortable and roomy wildlife shelter as a result.

    Portability

    Cuboid 4.40 weighs 74,96 lbs, and we suppose that it goes without saying that tents of this size may be tough to carry by yourself. We used a sledge to bring it from the van to a fishable area.

    Breaking the wind

    The tent’s all-metal bars and reinforced zippers help withstand high winds. 

    Seating and flooring

    The detachable waterproof floor allows for fishing right inside the tent. 

    Ventilation and insulation

    You can use the tent’s windows and doors for ventilation. As Cuboid 4.40 is a two-layer all-season tent, it has excellent insulation features. Double walls help retain the heat and don't let the cold in.

    Doors and windows

    Cuboid 4.40 has four windows and two entrances.

    Storage space

    Again, it always depends on the number of people sleeping in the tent. If there are two or three of you, you’ll have more than enough space to store your stuff. But keep in mind that with five to seven people inside, the storage space will be rather limited.

    Highlights

    • The tent has a removable wall that divides it into two parts. We find this feature very special as you can use one room as a kitchen and another as a sleeping area.
    • Cuboid 4.40 is perfectly suitable for using a wood stove inside.

    Hexagon

    Size

    It’s really huge: this hexagonal-shaped tent has the diameter of 184" and is 83" tall. Hexagon can provide shelter for 3-8 people.

    Setting up and stowing away

    It's fairly easy and quick to install, it never took us more than 5-7 minutes.

    Portability

    The tent weighs 77,16 lbs, so it’s a good idea to prepare a sledge to bring it to the spot.

    Breaking the wind

    The frame’s durability is ensured by metal bars made of aviation alloy B95T1. Hexagon is perfect for use in windy areas. 

    Seating and flooring

    As dedicated ice fishers, we love Hexagon’s detachable floor that allows for fishing right from the warm tent.

    Ventilation and insulation

    The tent has two 5-layer windows that can be used for ventilation. The outer layer of Hexagon is manufactured from innovative water-resistant material Oxford 300 PU 4000, and the inner layer is made from Oxford 210 PU 2000. The air space between the layers provides efficient insulation and considerably reduces condensation. 

    Doors and windows

    Hexagon has three doors and two windows.

    Storage space

    It depends on the number of people. To figure out how much storage space you’re going to have, calculate the total area that will be occupied by the sleeping bags or beds and compare it to the area of the tent, which makes 135.63 square feet. From our experience, with four people in the tent, we had quite enough room for storage, and we could even use a folding table and two chairs.

    Highlights

    • Hexagon is amazingly spacious.
    • Although the tent is huge, we recorded a temperature of +85°F inside the tent when it was -22°F outside using a wood stove.

    To Wrap It Up

    All in all, now you have a practical guideline on ice fishing preparation. There are three most essential things about enjoyable ice fishing: good fishing gear, clothes to keep you warm and dry, and proper portable ice fishing shelters. We hope you find our checklist and reviews helpful. Enjoy your ice fishing holiday!

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