The Best Ice Fishing Shanties



The Best Ice Fishing Shanties

Updated Nov. 01, 2021

Ice fishing requires a long packing list for a day out on the ice. And because you will likely be spending an extended amount of time out there in freezing cold temperatures, proper clothing is important, but the right ice shelter can make a world’s difference. Since there are several makes and models to choose from, finding the ‘right’ fishing shelter can be a tad overwhelming – especially if you are new to ice fishing. Not to worry, I went ahead and searched the best deals for you, and came up with this list of what I feel are the best ice fishing shanties that should help you narrow down your decision. Hopefully you find this list helpful, and be sure to send any ice fishing photos our way once you start slaying them! We love ice fishing around here at OutdoorHub, and can’t wait to join all of you out there soon.

1. Frabill Ice Hunter SideStep 285 Ice Shelter – Editor’s Pick


Frabill Ice Hunter SideStep 285 Ice Shelter - Editor's Pick

Frabill is doing some really cool things with their ice shanties. The Sidestep flip-over model is perfect for those times when you have to move around inside the shanty. The secret is vertical space. It lets you move around and get in and out without having the maul the other person in the shanty. That can be dangerous if you’re hauling gear with things like hooks. Don’t ask me how I know about this – seriously. I don’t want to relive that. The shell is quilted, so it helps retain heat, and the extra room makes it easier to run a heater without worrying too much about it touching things that shouldn’t be touched by heat. There are two comfortable and adjustable boat seats, so bigger anglers can be comfortable, too. Everything folds down into the sled for easy transport.

Pros/Roomy and easy to use

Cons/A bit pricey

Bottom Line/One of the roomiest flip-over ice shanties you’ll find anywhere

2. Clam Kenai Pro Thermal Ice Team Edition


Clam Kenai Pro Thermal Ice Team Edition

The Ice Team guys at Clam take hard water fishing seriously. I know this first hand having tried keeping up with them. They created the flip-over shanty and have designed this one for solo anglers who fish like they do. You get on a spot, drill and set up. Check for fish and if nothing is biting soon, you pack up and move on to the next spot. If you’re the type of angler who likes to work your way along the ice until you get on the fish, and you don’t want to spend all day setting up – this is your shanty. You simply flip down the shanty into the sled, pack in your gear and get trekking across the ice to a new spot. It sets up in seconds and is thermal lined to help keep you warm on those days when you could hop into your home chest freezer to warm up after a day on the ice.

Pros/Perfect for a solo angler

Cons/I usually go with a buddy

Bottom Line/If you want a sweet, run-and-gun shanty for a single angler, this is the one

3. Eskimo QuickFish 3 Portable Ice Fishing Shelter


Eskimo QuickFish 3 Portable Ice Fishing Shelter

Roomy and easy to set up

When you are ready to make that jump into a more ‘ready-to-fish ice shelter’ you can’t go wrong with an Eskimo.

Once you get into these top rated ice fishing shanties, you will definitely start seeing a jump in the price, but also in the quality and performance. This Eskimo QuickFish 3 shelter fits right inside a cinch carry bag and can easily be carried on your back. It also boasts a 60-second setup time so you spend less time struggling to get a sturdy shelter up, and more time fishing!

Eskimo uses only YKK zippers to secure the doors on their ice shelters, and these premium zippers won’t break or snag in the cold like other competitor shelters.

This particular shelter is not insulated, so you’ll have to keep reading if that’s a feature you are looking for.

MSRP: $179.99

Pros/Easy to setup – Fits three people

Cons/Not insulated

Bottom Line/Great three-person ice shelter for your money, plus it’s portable and sturdy

4. Otter Outdoors XT Pro X-Over Resort Ice Shelter


Otter Outdoors XT Pro X-Over Resort Ice Shelter

Otter makes some sweet shanties and this one is the cream of the crop. One of the things that has always been a limiting factor for me is space inside the flip-over shanties. If it’s just me or me and a buddy, a two-man is fine. But quite often I have my kids wanting to go, so we need the space a 3-man shelter offers. That’s where this baby comes into play. The XT Pro X-Over Resort fits three men along with fishing equipment and mor The rotomolded sled is extremely durable and has specially designed runners that help it glide over the snow and ice with ease. The design of the frame itself makes for super-fast set-up and take-down. Otter claims it reduces set-up time by up to 75%. That’s a big deal when you’re out on a wonderful day on the ice with temps well below freezing and wind blowing so hard you feel like you’re going to take a ride to the other side of the lake. This is a serious fishing shanty for those who want to hit the ice in style.

Pros/Tons of room and fast set-up

Cons/Pricey – very pricey

Bottom Line/If you want space and speed, and don’t mind spending a little extra for quality, too, this is your best ice fishing shanty

5. Eskimo QuickFish 2i Ice Fishing Shelter (Insulated)


Eskimo QuickFish 2i Ice Fishing Shelter (Insulated)

Stay warm even on the harshest days

Anyone who has sat inside an insulated ice hut will tell you the difference is night and day compared to a non-insulated shelter.

Not only do they hold heat much more efficiently making the whole experience more comfortable, but they also eliminate that annoying condensation from dripping on your while you fish. There’s nothing worse than freezing cold water dripping down the back of your neck while you’re trying to focus on the proper jigging technique!

Just like the Eskimo shelter listed above, this one also features a quick and easy setup, premium quality zippers, and a carry bag to haul it in.

This ice shanty also comes available in a 3-person model, which comes with nearly 10 more square feet of fishing area for only a small bump in price.

MSRP: $209.99

Pros/Insulated and easily portable

Cons/Slightly heavy

Bottom Line/Great ice shelter for those planning to be on the ice for an extended period of time. Accomplishes everything an insulated ice shanty should with an approachable price tag.

Determining your shanty needs

This is always a question that comes up – what shanty do I need? We can’t answer that entirely for you, but we can tell you what we do and why we do it. It really all comes down to how you fish and how often you fish. Of course we all want to fish as much as possible, but life does have a way of altering the best-laid plans, right?

Generally speaking, if you often go out and stay in one spot the whole time out, a pop-up, hub-style works best, as you will want to anchor it. If you spend a lot of time out on the ice, an insulated shanty will make your time more enjoyable, too.

If you move around a lot, chasing the fish, a flip-over shanty, like the Frabill, Otter or Clam, is what you’d want. Yes, they cost more, but the time end energy you save, along with the comfort factor, make them worth it.

Shanty fishing
Once you have the right shanty, your ice fishing adventures get a little more comfortable.

Why do I need a shanty?

There’s two main reasons and both are good ones. The shanty helps keep you warm and out of the wind and harsh cold associated with fishing on open ice. A shanty also gives you a better view down the hole, so your fishing is improved.

Do I need to anchor the shanty?

In a word – YES! Winds can be fierce and unpredictable out on the ice, and you can end up chasing the shanty across the lake, or worse, going for one heck of a ride!

About the Author

Avatar Author ID 667 - 1278398144

Derrek Sigler has been a professional outdoor writer for more than two decades since earning his Master’s Degree in creative writing with a thesis about fishing humor. But if you ask anyone that knows him, he’s been telling fishin’ stories since he was old enough to hold a pole. He has written for Cabela’s and served as editorial director for Gun Digest books. Over the years, he has also written for Petersen’s Hunting, North American Whitetail Magazine, Wildfowl, Grand View Media, and has worked with Bass Pro Shops, Hard Core Brands and Bone Collector. Successful Farming had him write for their magazine and he has appeared on their TV show to discuss hunting and ATVs on multiple occasions. He writes about the things he loves – hunting, fishing, camping, trucks, ATVs, boating, snowmobiles and the outdoor lifestyle he enjoys with his family in their home state of Michigan and more as they adventure around North America.

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