The best pop up ice fishing tents: what you need to know

The best pop up ice fishing tents: what you need to know
Pavlo Lysyy July 19, 2023 7 mins read time

Ice fishing shelters were once heavy and difficult to transport, but nowadays they have become portable and very functional. Today, most tents for winter angling are pop-up, meaning they can be set up and put away quickly by simply pulling up on the roof and then on all four sides. That’s why they are suitable for big group gatherings outdoors as well. If you are looking for a detailed article on ice fishing equipment and especially insulated shelters, then we are here to help you! With us your camping will be easy and unforgettable!


Features of the Pop Up Ice Fishing Tent

You will definitely need additional protection and comfort for anglers while fishing on frozen lakes or rivers and there are shelters designed specifically to meet these needs! Here are some common features found in these dwellings:

1) Quick set-up within minutes and portability.

With their collapsible frames, they can be quickly assembled, allowing you to get started on your fishing adventure promptly. Moreover, just like an otter gracefully sliding across the ice, pop up models are designed with portability in mind. Winter fishing often involves moving from one spot to another in search of better opportunities. Portable dwellings allow anglers to easily pack up their gear on shoulder or on the sled, and relocate without much hassle.

2) Insulated walls.

Winter is a time of very harsh weather conditions, especially if you go to a body of water. Therefore, it is very important to provide yourself with a dwelling with comfortable internal conditions. For this reason many tents have insulated walls which help to retain heat, creating a cozy environment for anglers and keeping them comfortable during their camping trips. Moreover, some models come with built-in floors, which provide an additional layer of insulation and prevent water or slush from seeping into the shelter. Other models may have open bottoms, allowing anglers to fish directly through the ice.

3) Ventilation.

Proper ventilation is essential to prevent condensation and maintain a comfortable atmosphere inside the dwelling. Many tents have adjustable vents or mesh panels that allow for air circulation while minimizing the entry of cold drafts.

4) Storage Pockets.

Ice fishing models often feature built-in storage pockets or gear loft compartments to help you keep your equipment organized. These pockets are convenient for stashing bait, tackle, and other essentials within easy reach.

5) Lights.

To illuminate your camping area during early mornings or late evenings, these tents often come with integrated lights which resemble the glow of a warm campfire and enhance visibility allowing you to fish comfortably. There can also be features designed to accommodate portable lights. These attachment points can be used to hang battery-powered lanterns, headlamps, LED lights, or other sources inside the dwelling. These are popular choices among campers to create a well-lit and comfortable camping environment. This accessory is very important, as there can also be a good catch of fish at night, and the lights will help you not to miss it.

Undoubtedly, there are only several common features of ice fishing dwellings and their designs may vary among different brands and models which we will review below. It's important to consider factors such as size, weight, capacity, and personal preferences when selecting your perfect model.

Which Ice Fishing Tent to Choose

When the lakes freeze over, you’ll find some of the most passionate anglers walking on water in search of fish. From basic to opulent, the following portable models have something to offer everyone. Whether you are a professional fisherman or a tourist who wants to have a memorable winter day, you will definitely find something useful in our article.

1) Eskimo Outbreak Series

The Eskimo brand is well known for its winter fishing products, and its Outbreak Series is the newest of its portable pop-up tent offerings. Stormshield fabric provides more insulation to keep you safe even from the worst weather. Additionally, the larger footprint offers more space for sleeping and also makes a more sturdy foundation for keeping your dwelling on the ice. People up to 6 feet 2 inches tall can stand upright inside.This pop-up model is among the best on the market thanks to different additional features like storage pockets. This durable, dependable dwelling is available from Eskimo in six versions, with prices ranging from $400 to $670. The downside is that despite the fairly quick setup, this model is difficult to put in a bag after use.

2) ThunderBay Ice Cube Series

This brand is best known for its hunting blinds, but it also makes winter hiking tents. Despite the fact that these dwellings are not insulated, a Buddy Heater can be used to keep the weather at bay on warmer days or to hold heat quite well. Anglers gush over how simple it is to set up and take down, as well as how sturdy it feels. Another advantage is the affordability of the price -at $130 for a two-person and $200 for a three-person, it doesn't break the bank either. For this price, you will get products of a proven brand and a good exposure.

3) Clam Nanook XL Thermal Ice Shelter

This model is a typical flip-over or pop-up tent, meaning it's a self-contained sled you can pull onto the ice, and then flip up quickly as needed. The Clam Nanook brand has become famous on the market for the production of such portable flip-overs. The immediate sitting is provided by two built-in chairs, and the larger tub makes it possible to store and access a lot of gear safely. Smart access side symmetry doors of Clam models make it simple for both anglers to enter and exit, while windows provide both fresh air and scenic views. Reviews gush over how comfortable it is both with and without a heater, and 90g of insulation per square meter delivers more warmth than many other models. Upon buying, you will need to assemble it, but once you do, the simple flip-up and set-up tent is ready to use. That is why the pop-up technology attracts many fishermen, and the Clam Nanook brand is becoming more and more popular. Their products are built to be insulated and withstand the rigors of outdoor activities and enhance your overall outdoor experience.

4) Otter Outdoors Ice Shelters

The Otter Outdoors brand offers many options for winter activities. For example, the XT Pro X-Over Series combines traditional front door entry with a “Quick Switch” to side door configuration, making it a great pop-up dwelling. These models are designed to be portable for easy transportation and setup. Moreover, it reduces frame assembly time by 75% by eliminating framing screws. One of the products’ highlights is that patented Otter Thermal-Tec Triple Layer Insulated Shell 1,200-denier layering system blocks wind. This is one of the highest-rated deniers we’ve been able to find! Therefore, no bad weather will overshadow your pastime.

According to Otter Outdoors itself, they outclass the competition in all 4 S's: Sled, Seating, Structure and Shell. Therefore, the price for the products of this brand is above average, but all of the mentioned characteristics fully justify it! So anglers will definitely be provided with a comfortable and protected space on frozen lakes. In addition, Otter Outdoors manufactures a range of sleds designed to transport your gear with ease. These sleds are built using high-quality materials and feature reinforced bottoms for added durability.

5) All-Season Tent with Stove Jack "Cuboid 2.20".

Here at RBM Outdoors we really have a lot of options for cold weather and winter activities and the Cuboid 2.20 is just one of them! We're proud of the features we've put into it. This model has a unique cuboid shape, characterized by its rectangular base and tall vertical walls. This design maximizes the interior space and allows for efficient utilization of the footprint. While it may not be as quick to set up as a pop-up dwelling, the Cuboid 2.20 is designed to be relatively easy to assemble, and it typically comes with clear instructions to assist with the setup process. Moreover, this model strikes a balance between durability and weight, and that’s why it’s made to be portable for various camping adventures.

One notable feature of the Cuboid 2.20 is the stove jack which creates insulated interior space and allows you to cook food or boil water even in cold weather conditions. Undoubtedly, we pay attention to the safety measures, so the wall near the stove is located at a safe distance from the hot surface. The wood stove is also equipped with protective metal shields with adjustable clearance. The detachable waterproof floor is a great option for those who are keen on winter fishing. Therefore, our models also have a good reputation on the market, on par with the Clam or ThunderBay brand.

Undoubtedly, these are just some examples of models that are great for winter fishing, and the market is constantly evolving. However, brands like Clam or RBM Outdoors will always be great choices for your adventures. In addition, you can always purchase accessories that are not included in the package of a particular model, including lights, for instance.

In conclusion, why is it still worth giving preference to a pop-up tent? Compared to 4-season models, which are also insulated and warm enough, the main advantage of the pop-up dwelling is its portability. They are highly convenient, and the lightweight design allows you to effortlessly carry them in a backpack or place them in a sled for easy transportation across snowy terrain. When it's time to set up camp, simply unfold it and save your time and effort.

If you need advice on choosing the perfect model or accessories for your winter activities, you can always contact our professionals from RBM Outdoors. We are here to help you and save you from possible difficulties!


🏕  Can you use a regular tent for ice fishing?

In most cases, inexpensive shelters are not made to withstand harsh winter weather and winds. Therefore, we recommend that you pay attention to the pop-up tent, which is very warm, folds quickly and gives you the mobility to search for the best fishing spots.

📦  What is a pop-up tent?

It’s a type of shelter that is designed for quick and easy setup. Unlike traditional tents that require manual assembly and threading of poles, a pop-up shelter utilizes a spring-loaded mechanism or pre-attached poles that automatically expand and set up the structure. They are popular among campers, anglers who are going to use it for ice fishing, and anyone seeking a convenient and hassle-free camping experience.

💡  What are the best pop-up ice fishing tents available in the market?

Among the brands that produce equipment for ice fishing, Eskimo, ThunderBay, Otter Outdoors, Clam Nanook, and RBM Outdoors stand out on the market. Check their products on official websites.



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