Ice fishing outside of an ice house can be a great time but if not dressed properly it can get downright chilly. Getting down on your knees, drilling new holes, and all the slush involved can make one wet and cold. Getting a proper pair of ice fishing bibs is an absolute game changer. These bibs will protect you from the cold, wind, and water all while being able to float incase you get on the water a little too early trying to catch that monster walleye.
These are my top 5 ice fishing bibs this year
- StrikerICE Climate bib
- Clam Extreme Advantage bib
- StrikerICE Hardwater bib
- Eskimo Superior bib
- Eskimo Flag Chaser Pants
These are not your grandparents bibs. Extremely strong, windproof, waterproof, all while being breathable. These pack in 175g of Thermadex insulation to keep you going when the fish are biting in frigid temperatures. “But what if I want to wear these when it’s warmer? Do I need to get a different pair?” you ask, no because this layer of insulation is removable. This convenient feature allows the user to wear these bibs whether it is freezing or a mild winter day. Another awesome thing that Stiker does is the removable hand towels. As you know ice fishing can get your hands full of fish slime and blood and after a long successful day these hand towels are going to be gross. With them being removable one can simply throw them in a washing machine once they get home and start fresh the next day. Also with these towels being attached to the outside instead of having to go in your pocket you don’t have to get your pockets dirty when you put them back after cleaning your hands. Next the knee pads on these are great. They are built so it doesn’t feel like someone just put a foam pad in there and stitched it in. Being built like this they never feel awkward when taking a knee. Lastly having magnets instead of buttons is something I personally love. These are strong enough to not come undone on accident but pop off with ease when wanted.
Clam Extreme Advantage
If you like to have your small fishing tools easily accessible then these are the bibs for you. While other bibs are also usually easy for grabbing your tools, these make it extremely easy by having a self retracting line which one could attach a hook remover, a multitool, line snips, or whatever the user desires. The magnetic towel is also on a retracting line allowing one to quickly use it and have it go right back into place just by letting go. For your cell phone it comes with a waterproof case so your fishing day doesn’t turn expensive. These also have magnetic flaps like the StrkerICE bibs so getting to any zipper is nice and easy. Lastly these also have a removable liner making them usable in varying temperatures.
These Hardwater bibs are great for an all around package. Having 150g of Thermadex insulation these bibs should keep you warm in almost all weather while not being so bulky they slow you down hole hopping. The 600d Endura shell will hold up to many tasks without having to worry about it getting damaged. These also have all the benefits of the Climates listed above so you still have a fantastic set of bibs but I would just rank them lower since they do not have removable insulation. This makes them a little less user friendly if wanting one wanted to wear these on a balmy winter day.
Most of these bibs have similar features so it is hard to decide which ones I like better so these being down at 4 shouldn’t discourage one from picking these up. These have a removable liner, float, have many pockets, and will keep you warm. This pair just has a few things that makes it drop down my list. First the removable liner is 100g insulation, falling behind all others above. Then the pant leg zippers only go up to the knee while the others above go all the way to the hip. Lastly the flaps are velcro compared to the competition having magnets. This is all just getting picky so if you are not worried about these small complaints then these are still a great pick for you. The shell is built highly above the standard ratings with 15k waterproof and breathable rating (almost 3x above standard). So if you are in a high wind climate or you run hotter, this pair may be the best choice for you.
Eskimo Flag Chaser Pants
Now I know these are not technically bibs but for the fishermen that like to get out on the early or late ice these are the perfect fit. With 60g of insulation these can keep the user warm on the not so frigid days of early and late season. With less insulation, there is less bulk. This makes it much easier to be running from hole to hole chasing that crappie school. With all that running you don’t want your pants falling down but don’t worry, Eskimo thought of that. These have suspenders so you won’t trip up running to the next hole. The waist is high back so snow shouldn’t end up going down your pants if your coat is removed. Another benefit of using these over a normal pant is the flexible crotch gusset. This allows for high mobility while not trading away warmth. These pants do have thinner insulation but if they did have thicker they would lose the benefit of higher mobility. With that consumers would have no reason to get these and just get bibs. Another user that may benefit from these pants is the hard shelter fishermen. Being in one of them is nice and cozy but what if one wanted to fish a little around the house to find a new spot? These pants are perfect then because the user shouldn’t need to take these off in the house but will be warm enough to do some quick scouting even in cold temperatures. Compared to a heavy set of bibs which they would not like to wear in the house and would take up much space when not wearing.