The Best Ice Fishing Shelter Reviews (Pop-Up and Flip-Style)

Last Updated on June 21, 2021 by Donnell Henderson

When strong winds hit the frozen lake, as they often do, it will be almost impossible to fish without getting frozen yourself.

The solution is to use the best ice fishing shelter. With a well-designed, well-insulated shelter, you can fish for trout, salmon, walleye, pike, smelt, and whatever fish you like while staying warm and dry and well-protected from strong winds.

The choice of ice fishing shelters, however, is huge and varied. Not every ice fisher knows what to look for. A little research is required to find the most ideal. So, in our ice fishing shelter review roundup, we took into account all the important features you would want an ice fishing shanty to have.

 

My Top Pick

Eskimo QuickFish Series Pop-Up Ice Fishing Shelter is my top pick. This pop-up shanty will meet all your ice fishing requirements. It is super easy to set-up and it is big enough for accommodating six anglers. The shack is made of 600D fabric, which means it is warmer, stronger, and more durable. It also collapses easily into a portable little package.

 

Here Are My Best Ice Fishing Shelter Reviews:

  1. Eskimo QuickFish Series Pop-Up Ice Fishing Shelter — Best Pop Up Ice Fishing Shelter
  2. Frabill Aegis 2250 Insulated Flip-Over Ice Fishing Shelter — Best Flip-Over Ice Fishing Shelter
  3. Otter XTH Pro Lodge Thermal Hub Ice Fishing Shelter
  4. Eskimo Outbreak 450 Pop-Up Hub-Style Ice Fishing Shelter
  5. Frabill Hub HQ 100 Ice Fishing Shelter — Best 3-Person Shack
  6. Danchel Outdoor Pop-Up Four-Season Ice Fishing Shelter
  7. Clam C-360 Hub Ice Fishing Shelter — Best 6×6 Hub Style

 

1. Eskimo QuickFish Series Pop-Up Ice Fishing Shelter — Best Pop Up Ice Fishing Shelter

Eskimo 69143 Quickfish 3 Pop-Up Portable Hub-Style Ice Fishing Shelter, 34 Square Feet of Fishable Area, 3 Person Shelter

 

This innovatively designed pop-up fishing shelter is an easy to set-up option for keeping up to six anglers warm on the ice.

 

Key Features

  • Six-person design
  • 600D fully insulated fabric
  • Sixty-second set-up
  • All-metal hubs and solid poles
  • Removable windows and YKK zippers

 

The shanty is made of 600D fully insulated quilted fabric, which is great because this material is thirty-five percent warmer compared to non-insulated shelters. This heavy-duty fabric has a good degree of thickness and it is exceptionally strong and durable.

The design is outfitted with all-metal hubs and solid poles to provide you with many years of service in the cold.

The shack comes fully assembled; so, you just have to pull out the roof hub and the sides to complete the set-up. Once set-up, the Eskimo QuickFish stands sturdy and rigid against the wind and covers sixty-eight square feet of ice. 

On the inside, you’ve got black interiors, making it great for sight angling and keeping white out of your holes. You can secure it to the frost with the included anchors and tie-down ropes are also included for heavy wind days.

But the thing is, the shelter’s performance is not great on rainy days.

 

Pros

  • Heavy-duty insulated fabric boasts superior warmth
  • It takes less than a minute to set-up
  • Solid poles and all-metal hubs provide extended durability
  • The six-person design provides a wider angling area
  • Provided anchors and tie-down ropes improve sturdiness

 

Cons

  • Does not perform greatly on a rainy day
  • The height may be a little bit short for taller people

 

Verdict

This pop-up hub-style shanty makes it easy for you to start the day and pack effortlessly at the end.

Overall Rating: 4.7

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2. Frabill Aegis 2250 Insulated Flip-Over Ice Fishing Shelter — Best Flip-Over Ice Fishing Shelter

Frabill Aegis 2250 Insulated Flip-Over Front Door W/Boat Seats, Multi, One Size (640430)

For those who are tired of carrying a heavy shelter, you may want to take a closer look at the Frabill Aegis 2250.

 

Key Features

  • Two-person design
  • Flip-over front door
  • 600 denier fabric
  • 20 square feet of fishable area
  • A patented modular seating system

 

This two-person shanty is constructed with heavy-duty 600 denier fabric, which is great because it has superior thickness for warmth, strength, and durability. The hub and poles are made of strong materials for sturdiness and durability. It is fitted with a large front door for super-easy entry and exit.

On the inside, the Frabill Aegis 2250 is fitted with ergonomically designed boat seats for comfortable ice fishing. The inside also features full welded insulation to increase warmth in the cold weather.

What I don’t like; however, is the instruction manual, the provided assembly instructions aren’t clear enough.

 

Pros

  • Large front door allows for easy entry and exit
  • The fabric is thick, warm, strong, and durable
  • Full welded insulation improves warmth
  • The windows and openings are strategically placed
  • Has functional storage and organization

 

Cons

  • May come with unclear instructions
  • Some models may come with boat seats that don’t fit properly

 

Verdict

If you are looking for a lightweight and durable ice fishing shack that has optimized fishable space, look no further than the Frabill Aegis 2250.

Overall Rating: 4.3

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3. Otter XTH Pro Lodge Thermal Hub Ice Fishing Shelter — Best Ice Lock System

Otter 201111 Xth Pro Lodge Thermal Hub (Thermltec)

This is one of the best shacks for anglers with a heavy-duty lock anchoring system in the market. It comes with decent quality features you have been looking for.

 

Key Features

  • 600 denier fabric
  • Three-point corner anchoring
  • Ice lock anchoring system
  • Pop-up design and set-up
  • Two overhead cargo storage

 

The very first thing that I like the most about this shanty is the lock anchoring system. This technology is critical during ice fishing, especially when strong winds come your way because it does a great job of protecting the seams.

The XTH Pro Lodge features a 600D fabric that is incredibly strong and heavily insulated for warmth. It has a three-point cornering system, which is great because it reduces wind lift and has superior downforce security. You’ve got two interior overhead nets for convenient cargo storage. The hub is durable and the poles are sturdy.

But the thing is, it is possible to get a model with Velcro closures that don’t hold the windows firmly in place.

 

Pros

  • The pop-up style will not take long to set-up
  • Ice long anchoring system protects the seams from strong winds
  • Corner ice anchors offer great downforce security
  • The roof is pretty high, making it ideal for taller people
  • The strong fabric provides great insulation

 

Cons

  • May come with poor quality Velcro closures for the windows
  • The buckles on the carrying bag can break

 

Verdict

Apart from the few minor flaws in the design and the carrying bag, the Otter XTH Pro Lodge is a reliable angling shack.

Overall Rating: 4.7

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4. Eskimo Outbreak 450 Pop-Up Hub-Style Ice Fishing Shelter — Best Oversized Door

Eskimo 32150 Outbreak 450 Pop-Up Hub-Style Ice Fishing Shelter, Oversized Extra Large Door, 75 Square Feet of Fishable Area, Extra Tall

If you are planning to go winter angling with a group of friends, the Eskimo Outbreak 450 is your best bet. It offers a large angling area of seventy-five square feet.

 

Key Features

  • 300 denier tight fabric
  • Pop-up design
  • YKK zippers
  • Oversized trip-proof door
  • Flared-out sides

 

The most impressive feature of the Eskimo Outbreak 450 is the oversized trip-proof door. It is nearly seventy-four percent bigger than a standard door, which is great because it allows for easy entry and exit. Not to mention that it opens fully and fits easily down to the frozen water.

I truly appreciate the wide flared bottom design, considering that it provides seventy-five square feet of fishable area. It is made of 300D tight fabric that provides good insulation on the ice. This durable fabric sits on an all-metal ball and socket design with large fiberglass poles for superior strength, stability, and durability. 

You can further enhance the sturdiness of the shack by installing anchors on the corners.

What I don’t like; however, is the quality of the fabric, 300D is not as durable as 600D.

 

Pros

  • The oversized door is trip-proof and allows for easy entry and exist 
  • The wide flared bottom increases fishable area
  • The all-metal ball and socket design is extremely sturdy
  • Installing anchors on the corners improves stability

 

Cons

  • Could be more durable with 600D fabric
  • One-person set-up may not be easy

 

Verdict

With seventy-five square feet of fishable area, you and your buddies will be warm and comfortable during your day on the frozen water.

Overall Rating: 4.6

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5. Frabill Hub HQ 100 Ice Fishing Shelter — Best 3-Person Shack

Frabill HQ 100 Hub 2-3 Man Shelter, Multi, One Size (641000)

Frabill Hub Man Ice Fishing Shelter provides durable weather protection all day long. It is the perfect design for three buddies on an ice fishing mission in the cold. 

 

Key Features

  • Three-person hub
  • Sixty inches of floor width
  • Pop-up design
  • 300 denier poly fabric
  • Quick and easy set-up

 

This shack is lightweight and portable, which is great because you can carry it to a remote winter angling spot where an ATV can’t go. The pop-up design is super easy to set-up, it will take you less than sixty seconds to get it operational. The takedown is also easy, just pop in the corners and roof and it will collapse into a portable package.

The HQ 100 is made of 300 denier polyester, which is great because this fabric is very durable and holds up pretty well to wear and tear. It dries quickly, wrinkles less, and it is stain-resistant. The shelter offers standard insulation and good warmth on the ice.

It has strategically positioned vents and windows to provide optimum airflow in the shanty. You’ve also got a full zippered entry that is ergonomically designed for ease of use.

What I don’t like about the HQ 100 is the fact it is possible to receive a model with broken hubs.

 

Pros

  • The design is lightweight and portable
  • It pops up easily during set-up
  • The fabric holds up to wear and tear and doesn’t wrinkles easily
  • Included vents and windows improve airflow
  • Has an angler capacity of three

 

Cons

  • Some models may come with broken hubs
  • Possible quality issues with some models

 

Verdict

Do you have a tight budget? The Frabill Hub HQ 100 is a great affordable option for catching fish in winter. But ensure you get a model with no quality issues.

Overall Rating: 4.5

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6. Danchel Outdoor Pop-Up Four-Season Ice Fishing Shelter — Best Multipurpose Design

DANCHEL 4-Person Waterproof Insulated Pop-up Ice Fishing Shelter Tent with Ventilation Windows & Carrier Bag (Blue)

Have you been looking for a multipurpose angling shack that doubles as a tent? Look no further than this good quality model from Danchel.

 

Key Features

  • 2 to 4-person shelter
  • Pop-up design
  • Waterproof and insulated
  • Umbrella frame top
  • Four-season shanty

 

This is a four-season shelter, which means you can use it in winter for fishing and in summer for other outdoor activities. The design can accommodate two to four anglers.

The heavy-duty fabric is made of 210T polyester, which is great because it is heavily insulated and waterproof. This material can withstand light rain and repel harmful UV rays. The construction of this shack features steel poles for strength, stability, and durability. You’ve got a two-door design that allows two anglers to enter and exit at the same time.

What I don’t like; however, is the height of the shelter, which may not be high enough for taller anglers.

 

Pros

  • It doubles as a winter angling shack and tent
  • The fabric is waterproof and insulated
  • The pop-up design allows for quick set-up
  • The two-door design adds versatility
  • Flip over side window improves ventilation

 

Cons

  • It may not be high enough for taller anglers
  • The color options are limited for preference

 

Verdict

This is a great ice fishing shanty that you can use as a tent in summer. It comes with decent features that will keep you warm and comfortable in the cold.

Overall Rating: 4.5

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7. Clam C-360 Hub Ice Fishing Shelter — Best 6×6 Hub Style

Clam 14474 C-360 2-3 Person 6 Foot Lightweight Portable Pop Up Ice Fishing Angler Hub Shelter Tent with Anchors, Tie Ropes, and Carrying Bag

This shelter is a great option for those who want to pack light but fish big. It is lightweight and super easy to set-up.

 

Key Features

  • 600D fabric
  • Sixty grams of insulation
  • Extra-large eleven millimeters poles
  • Triple-layer corner pockets
  • Tie ropes and anchors included

 

The pop-up design is simple to set-up. Start by spreading the shanty out with the top facing up, pull up on the top hub popping it out. Next, step on the skirt and lift on the roofline at the same time pulling out on one of the side hubs until popped out. 

In windy conditions, you can drill the provided anchors into the frozen water on the windward side of the shelter. You can also connect tie-down ropes to pre-installed loops on hubs for added strength and stability.

The Clam C-360 is made of heavy-duty 600D fabric that is super strong and durable. It features storm-flapped zippers that will stand to the wind and cold. The windows; on the other hand, are draft sealed to keep the elements out.

But here is the thing, the package may arrive in an unsatisfactory condition, such as a torn box or some pieces sticking out.

 

Pros

  • It is super easy to set-up and takedown
  • It is spacious enough for two to three anglers
  • Does a good job of retaining heat and reducing condensation
  • The windows are draft sealed for added insulation
  • Anchors and tie-down ropes enhance stability

 

Cons

  • Some packages may arrive in bad condition
  • Possible quality issues from one model to another

 

Verdict

The C-360 Hub from Clam Corporation is a shack worth buying. It comes with some technical features that will make you want to fish the whole day.

Overall Rating: 4.3

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best ice fishing shelter

 

How to Pick the Best Portable Ice Fishing Shelter

You will come across many ice shelters, but not all of them will be ideal for your ice fishing expedition. Here are a few things you can consider to find the perfect shelter.

 

Style

There are two styles of winter angling shelters to consider: flip-over and hub-style or pop-up. Each one has its pros and cons and is appropriate for particular situations.

 

Flip-Over

The best ice fishing shelter for a beginner should be a flip-over style.

A flip-over shack means no set-up time is needed. All you have to do is place the shelter on your desired spot and flip it over the top of your head and start fishing.

But some of the poles inside the shanty have to be extended. Flip-overs have a built-in sled that you can use to transport all your gear to your preferred ice fishing area. You can even tow the sled with a snowmobile to your fishing spot. They also come with built-in boat chairs to sit on when fishing.

This style; however, can only accommodate up to two anglers. So, it is not suitable for accommodating three or more anglers.

 

Hub-Style (Pop-Up)

The best ice fishing shelter for a group of three or more anglers is a hub-style or pop-up shack. This style offers you the sturdiest construction that can withstand strong winds. It is usually made up of all-metal hubs and poles.

You will have to spend a minute or so to get a pop-up shelter set-up on the ice. The design has pop-up corners and a pop-up roof. All you have to do is pull outwards. But bigger hub-style shelters may require two people for fast and quick installation. What I admire most about hub shacks is the large fishable area they provide. Large models may provide up to eighty square feet of fishing area.

 

Capacity

The next important thing to consider is the capacity of the shelter. You can choose a one-person, two-person, three-person, and so on. The idea is to choose a shelter that will provide enough fishable area for a given number of anglers. But you should know that the larger the capacity the higher the price range.

 

Fabric

You need to choose a shelter that is made of high-quality fabric. The most popular fabric used in the construction of angling shelters is polyester.

But the quality of the polyester fabric used is determined by denier (a unit of weight for a yard of fabric). The most popular weights are 300D and 600D.

In very simple terms, 300D refers to a lightweight fabric while 600D refers to a thicker, heavy-duty polyester fabric. Shanties made of 300D fabric are cheaper, but they are not as strong and durable as the ones made of 600D fabric.

 

Other Features

Always look for a shelter that has removable windows, which will help improve ventilation whenever necessary. The shack should have high-quality zippers for the door, preferably YKK zippers

Make sure the model you choose comes with ice anchors and tie-down ropes, these two accessories will improve stability and sturdiness during strong winds. 

You can also consider a shelter with overhead storage nets for better organization of your ice fishing gear.

 

Final Thoughts

The winner of this roundup is Eskimo QuickFish Series Pop-Up Ice Fishing Shelter. What makes this ice fishing shack stand out is the heavy-duty 600D fabric and all-metal hubs and solid poles construction. This shelter is both sturdy and fairly priced, making it an ideal choice for anglers who demand quality and superior performance.

The pop-out style is further reinforced with self-tapping ice anchors that will not bend during strong winds. It offers a large fishable area of sixty-eight square feet, which is large enough for six anglers. It also comes with removable windows for added venting and YKK zippers that will not snag or break in the cold.

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