Ice fishing is one of the most unique methods of catching fish and requires a certain set of skills, as well as the right kind of gear. Like most other forms of fishing, anglers often experience success by venturing far off the beaten path away from other areas that are heavily fished.
In order to do this and still be relatively comfortable while you’re fishing, it’s essential to have a good quality ice fishing house to keep the bitter cold at bay.
Finding the best portable ice houses for your specific needs will require a bit of research, but we’ve put in the legwork to help winter anglers narrow down their own list to a select few that are of exceptional quality.
Best Portable Ice Houses
Whether you’re fishing alone or with a group, it’s crucial that you add the right ice shelter to your gear arsenal. Let’s take a look at some of the best portable ice houses that are currently available on the market for 2021.
Clam Nanook XL Thermal Ice Shelter
The Clam brand is one that has long been associated with the highest quality ice fishing gear available.
The company was founded by Minnesota ice-fishing veteran Dave Genz and is known for producing some of the most efficient ice houses in the industry that effectively keeps the cold off anglers’ backs and allows them to relax and enjoy catching fish.
The Clam Nanook XL Thermal Ice Shelter is among the top portable ice houses available for a number of reasons. While it’s only suitable for two anglers to use at a time, the Nanook XL is made of high quality components and offers an easy setup that lets anglers spend more time fishing than concerning themselves with the sometimes tedious process of installing their ice fishing house.
The Nanook XL is one of the most lightweight options on our list and is made with a simple flip-and-go concept that is easy to set up and break down if you decide to move locations on the lake.
This ice house is made with insulated thermal material that locks in heat and keeps the interior warm and cozy, regardless of what the weather outside might look like.
Despite being rated for just two users, the interior of the Nanook XL is quite spacious and allows for each angler to bring plenty of other gear including rods, tackle boxes, heaters, and coolers.
Anglers can kick back and get comfortable thanks to the two padded swivel seats that also feature backrests, which can make a huge difference for all-day ice fishing ventures.
It’s easy to quickly enter and exit the shelter, which helps to prevent losing significant amounts of heat when opening and closing the flaps. This model is arguably the best portable ice house on the market, especially for anglers who prefer to fish solo or with one other person.
Eskimo FatFish 949i Pop-Up Ice Shelter
There’s nothing quite like ice fishing with a few buddies when the weather is perfect and the bite is on. The Eskimo FatFish 949i Pop-Up Ice Shelter is a solid choice and is likely the best option on our list for those who prefer to fish with a small group on the ice.
This ice shelter is made with a wide base that allows users to easily situate their gear behind them while they focus on the fish. Eskimo designed this particular model to function as a three to four person ice house and there’s no denying that it has plenty of room to spare with 61 square feet of interior space.
The FatFish 949i is crafted with fully-insulated IceTight Fabric (300 Denier), as well as Insulated Quilted Fabric, this model is made to lock in heat without letting the bitter cold wind make its way into your shelter.
This shelter weighs only 34 pounds, making it easily one of the best portable ice fishing houses on the market for 2021, especially when one considers the outstanding price point compared to other premium options.
Clam C-560 Thermal Hub Ice Shelter
Our list of the best portable ice shelters wouldn’t be complete without mentioning the Clam C-560 Thermal Hub Ice Shelter. This model is one that includes exceptional value as it’s typically priced at under $300 and serves as a great option for small groups of three or four anglers.
The C-560 offers 56 square feet of space that allows users to bring plenty of gear in with them. Anglers will also appreciate the fact that this model is made to keep the cold out and seal in heat as the thermal material features 60 grams of insulation per square meter.
This option is one of the tougher ones on our list as it’s made with super durable 600 Denier fabric and components that are made to withstand severe cold. The C-560 weighs 39 pounds and is easy to set up and take down. This model doesn’t come with chairs or other items as some others on our list, but the high-quality material and spacious interior make this an easy addition to our list of the best portable ice houses.
Eskimo QuickFish 2 Person Ice Fishing Shelter
For anglers who prefer to have a lightweight, easy to set up ice fishing house, the Eskimo QuickFish 2 Person Ice Fishing Shelter is a great option. Eskimo boasts that this model takes only 60 seconds to get set up and can be taken down in the same amount of time.
The QuickFish 2 Person Ice Fishing Shelter is made with IQ Insulated Fabric that’s said to be 35 percent warmer than a comparable non-insulated shelter. The entire shelter and its components fit neatly inside a compact carrying bag that is lightweight and can be hoisted onto a user’s back for easy portability.
There are a number of mesh pockets located on the inside of the shelter for easy storage of gear items while you’re fishing. This Eskimo model is made with 300 Denier fabric and also features YKK zippers to ensure your zippers won’t freeze up and break when you need them most.
Clam 14478 C-890 5-6 Person Ice Shelter
For users who plan on fishing with a larger group of up to 6 people, the Clam 14478 C-890 is a great option that allows plenty of space while maintaining a tightly-locked interior that traps heat and keeps you warm. This model features 89 square feet of interior space and users have plenty of headroom for standing.
This is an excellent choice for large groups of anglers as one person can easily carry the Clam 14478 C-890 in by themselves and have it fully set up within a few minutes. It features two doors, as well as six windows and plenty of ventilation. With 60 grams of insulation per square meter, it’s easy to see why so many users who prefer a large shelter opt for this model.
Made with ultra durable and warm 600 Denier fabric, users will be properly protected from the win and other elements during their time on the lake. It also features an oversized skirt for snowbanking and features six tie-downs to help secure it in position.
Otter 201110 Xth Pro Cabin Thermal Hub
For users who prefer a smaller ice shelter that is able to accommodate two anglers at one time, the Otter 201110 Xth Pro Cabin Thermal Hub is an excellent option that is also one of the highest rated ice houses on the market for 2021.
This model utilizes a simple three-point anchoring system that is incredibly easy to set up and take down. The Xth Pro Cabin also comes with Otter’s exclusive ice-lock anchoring system. This model also features two overhead cargo storage nets that are ideal for keeping extra gear out of your way while you fish.
The Xth Pro Cabin Thermal Hub is another model that’s made to Otter’s high standards and is an easy addition to our list of the best portable ice houses on the market for 2021.
Well, that is about everything I have for you in this one! Hopefully you were able to find an ice fishing house that will suit your needs.