Last updated on July 20th, 2021 at 11:49 am

When you are planning to go ice fishing it is a must to have all the right kit with you as once you are out there exposed to elements you will have little room for error. A quality ice fishing shelter is an essential piece of fishing kit to protect you from the extreme temperatures that you might find when out on the ice. This article discusses the best ice fihing shelters for 2021. 

Want to Stay Warm on the Ice? We Check Out The Best Ice Fishing Shelters in 2021

When you are looking to choose the best ice fishing shelter for your needs you need to consider its durability, how well it functions and the price point. Overall, when searching for the best ice fishing shelter you need to search for one that has been built to last and withstand the weather extremes that it might be exposed to. The last thing you want is for your ice fishing shelter to collapse around you in the smallest bit of wind. The shelter should be well insulated and be able to firmly fix to the ice to prevent it from flying away.

You want your ice fishing shelter to provide you with the best possible comfort as you will be sitting in it for long periods of time. Particularly, if you are fishing with friends, you need the space to maneuver your fishing rods and tackle within the shelter without constantly bumping into each other.

Throughout this guide, we discuss the best ice fishing shelters currently available in 2021. Presented are a range of different shelter sizes, designs, and price points so that you can make an informed decision on which ice fishing shelter best fits your needs.

Eskimo QuickFish Series Pop-Up Portable Ice Fishing Shelter
Eskimo FF949i FatFish Pop-up Portable Hub-Style Ice Shelter, Wide Bottom Design 61 sq ft. Fishable Area, 3-4 Person Insulated
THUNDERBAY Ice Cube 3 Man Portable Ice Shelter
Eskimo FatFish Series Pop-Up Portable Ice Fishing Shelter
Otter 201110 Xth Pro Cabin Thermal Hub (Thermaltec)
Nordic Legend Two Man Ice Shelter with FREE Bonus Ice Chairs!
Eskimo QuickFish Series Pop-Up Portable Ice Fishing Shelter
Eskimo FF949i FatFish Pop-up Portable Hub-Style Ice Shelter, Wide Bottom Design 61 sq ft. Fishable Area, 3-4 Person Insulated
THUNDERBAY Ice Cube 3 Man Portable Ice Shelter
Eskimo FatFish Series Pop-Up Portable Ice Fishing Shelter
Otter 201110 Xth Pro Cabin Thermal Hub (Thermaltec)
Nordic Legend Two Man Ice Shelter with FREE Bonus Ice Chairs!
Eskimo QuickFish Series Pop-Up Portable Ice Fishing Shelter
Eskimo QuickFish Series Pop-Up Portable Ice Fishing Shelter
Eskimo FF949i FatFish Pop-up Portable Hub-Style Ice Shelter, Wide Bottom Design 61 sq ft. Fishable Area, 3-4 Person Insulated
Eskimo FF949i FatFish Pop-up Portable Hub-Style Ice Shelter, Wide Bottom Design 61 sq ft. Fishable Area, 3-4 Person Insulated
THUNDERBAY Ice Cube 3 Man Portable Ice Shelter
THUNDERBAY Ice Cube 3 Man Portable Ice Shelter
Eskimo FatFish Series Pop-Up Portable Ice Fishing Shelter
Eskimo FatFish Series Pop-Up Portable Ice Fishing Shelter
Otter 201110 Xth Pro Cabin Thermal Hub (Thermaltec)
Otter 201110 Xth Pro Cabin Thermal Hub (Thermaltec)
Nordic Legend Two Man Ice Shelter with FREE Bonus Ice Chairs!
Nordic Legend Two Man Ice Shelter with FREE Bonus Ice Chairs!

Our Top 6 Best Ice Fishing Shelters for 2021

Here we are! Our review of the best ice fishing shelters for 2021! We’ve curated a list of some of the best ice fishing shelters that are currently available for sale. Read carefully and make the best choice for you!

The Eskimo ice fishing shelters have long been recognized as items of quality in the fishing community and this one is no different. Its main benefit is the ease of set up as it pops up and secures down in less than 60 seconds which has made it one of the go to shelters over the years. 2021 is no different and many an ice fisher are reaching for this model to ensure they have a durable and warm shelter with them on their fishing trips.

It really could not be easier to set up as it comes as one piece. You simply pop out the sides and you are ready to go. Other features of the Eskimo Quickfish Portable Ice Fishing Shelter make it stand out from the crowd such as the YKK zippers that don’t snag or catch keeping the cold at bay.

The build of this shelter is also superior with fiberglass poles and metal hubs preventing wear down and ensuring you get maximum use from this ice fishing shelter for many years to come.

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Product Specifications/Features:

  • 3 person capacity
  • Set-up size of 70″ x 70″
  • 80″ high
  • Elbow room of 90″ x 90″
  • 300 Denier IceTight fabric
  • Self-tapping ice anchors
  • In-skirt ice anchor grommets
  • Extra-long skirt material
  • Carry weight of 26 lb
  • YKK zippers
  • Removable windows

Pros:

  • The insulated fabric works efficiently and doesn’t cause condensation resulting in that annoying dripping sound.
  • The easy set up makes is a major plus when you arrive somewhere and want to get warm quickly.
  • The four big windows let in a lot of light making it feel less claustrophobic inside.

Cons:

  • Tricky to get in the bag when your hands are a bit cold
  • The hubs need a bit of oomph to pop open which can make it difficult for those with smaller hands

Summary

The Eskimo Quickfish Portable Ice Fishing Shelter is a classic for a reason. It is made from high quality and durable material. What is more, the set up is as quick as they claim it to be. If you go with this option, you will have a long lasting well designed ice fishing shelter as part of your kit for many years to come.

Another ice shelter by Eskimo, the FatFish model is exactly that fat. It has tons of space and easily fits in 3-4 people making it an excellent choice for those who like to ice fish with friends. On top of that the Icetight/IQ insulated fabric manufactured by Eskimo is what makes this model stand out from the others as it claims to keep you up to 35 percent warmer, and boy does it.

This warm and welcoming portable ice shelter also has lots of the other classic Eskimo ice shelter features such as YKK zippers and 6 large removable windows if it is getting too toasty inside and you need some ventilation.

The actual fishing area inside the FatFish is the main plus of this shelter as it flares out at the bottom to give you a wider surface area inside. It has loads of storage options on the sides to put your kit so you have even more space to do your thing.

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Product Specifications:

  • 3-4 person capacity
  • Set-up size of 94″ x 94″
  • 80″ high
  • Elbow room of 99″ x 99″
  • Fishable area of 61 Sq Ft
  • IceTight fabric for extra insulation
  • All metal hubs
  • Carry weight of 34 lb
  • YKK zippers
  • 6 large removable windows

Pros:

  • Quilted insulated fabric keeps this ice shelter much warmer than most
  • Very quick to set up and easy to pop out the metal hubs
  • Comfortably fits three large adults

Cons:

  • It is not 100% waterproof and you should consider purchasing an extra waterproofing agent to spray on it before first use
  • It doesn’t have enough anchors and straps for all the corners so if you want to strap it completely down to the ground you have to order extra

Summary

The main selling point of this ice fishing shelter by Eskimo is that it has a large fishing area that is comfortable to sit around with your friends without constantly bumping into it. It certainly has all the bells and whistles needed. I would consider ordering a few more anchors as they seem to have neglected to include enough!

Considered to be on the cheaper end of the price point for hub style ice fishing shelters, the Thunderbay Ice Cube has had some great feedback from happy ice fishers. The main reason for such positive feedback is that it is durable, comes with easily replaceable parts and has plenty of self-tapping ice anchors to keep it secured down.

Furthermore, it has a blackout coating. Meaning, you can precisely control the amount of light entering the shelter. This is an important aspect when trying to catch specific types of fish.

The main negative to this ice shelter is that it is not made from an insulated fabric. That being said, it is made from 300 denier material designed to block the wind. It also has an extra wide skirt to keep the ice drafts out.

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Product Specifications:

  • Flat surface mount
  • Ball and socket technology that lets you adjust the mount as much as you like
  • 2.5’’ round base with a 1.5’’ rubber ball
  • 1.5’’×3.5’’ rubber ball
  • Powder-coated aluminum that lasts long even in the most extreme marine conditions
  • Suitable for Humminbird Helix 7

Pros:

  • Sturdy
  • Durable
  • Features a lifetime warranty
  • You can conveniently shift the mount to suit the position of your viewing angle

Cons:

  • Pricey
  • The coating on the rubber balls is too soft

Summary

The Thunderbay Ice Cube is a solid ice fishing shelter that can be relied upon for its durability and functionality. It doesn’t have all the additional bells and whistles of some of the more expensive hub style ice shelters, but really do you need them? It comes at an excellent price point for what it offers, which is why many decide to purchase it over other brands.

Yes, I know we already have two Eskimo products on this list, but the truth is, they really know how to make a good ice fishing shelter! The Eskimo FatFish Hub-Style Ice Shelter is no different. It has the same quality workmanship and durable materials of the other Eskimo shelters with a few extra features unique to this model.

What makes this ice shelter a standout buy is its 600 dernier illumidark gray interior that shuts out the outside light and illuminates the inside for the best sight fishing conditions you can get out on the ice.

What’s more, this FatFish model has been flushed out with superior ball and socket metal hubs and larger fibreglass poles giving it extra strength against harsh winds and blistery conditions.

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Product Specifications:

  • 3-4 person capacity capacity
  • 94″ x 94″ hub to hub
  • Extra large fibre glass poles
  • Ball and socket metal hubs
  • Less than 5 minutes to set up
  • Comfortably sits 4 large adults
  • YKK zippers

Pros:

  • The blackout interior material with illuminating fabric makes it one of the best hub-style ice fishing shelters out there for sight fishing
  • It is super easy to put back in the bag
  • It is very well insulated and some fishers even complain of it being a bit too warm!

Cons:

  • It is fairly light weight making it move around a bit if the winds get up so it is advisable to really tie it down well.
  • It is on the pricey side when it comes to other comparable models such as the Thunderbay Ice Cube above.

Summary

This Eskimo FatFish is especially suited to those who want a bit more space in a hub-style ice fishing shelter as it has a large fishing area and high ceilings. It is also a standout for its UV blocking abilities, but this does come with an additional price tag.

The best thing about any Otter ice fishing shelter is their exclusive ice-lock anchoring system which ties down the shelter with superior ability, better than other more traditional self-tapping systems. This Otter is no exception with a three-point corner anchoring system that puts an end to ground winds causing you to catch a chill when out on the ice.

The Otter 201110 Xth is truly a master at keeping you warm on the ice. The secret is not just in the anchoring system. It also offers a layered outer and inner shell that provide thermal heating inside the shelter.

For those looking for a professional shelter to keep them toasty in even the harshest conditions then this Otter is one of the best shelters out there.

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Product Specifications:

  • 76″H x 99″W hub to hub
  • Floor size of 96″L x 96″W
  • 36 sq ft of fishable area
  • Carry weight of 42 lbs
  • Reinforced corners
  • Dual coil zippered entry door
  • Removable TPU windows
  • Propane hose ports with hook and loop flaps

Pros:

  • A truly thermal hub that keeps you well protected no matter the weather outside
  • The unique anchoring system keeps the hub secured tightly to the ice and reduces wind lift
  • Quick and easy set up with a decent carry bag

Cons:

  • It is not for those who like a bit more space as this is a compact model that is designed mainly to keep you warm and away from the wind
  • Considering the small size of the Otter shelter it is fairly heavy to carry compared to other comparable models

Summary

For those who like to be well protected from the elements, this Otter model is certainly a pro at keeping you warm. It isn’t particularly roomy but if it is just you and a friend out fishing there is plenty of space to do your thing comfortably. What is more, this model is very durable so it will be a trusted companion out on the ice for many years to come.

**This product is currently out of stock. We feel this is a good, similar alternative – view on Amazon.

cA real cult hit amongst ice fishers, this Nordic Legend Ice Shelter does tick a lot of boxes for functionality and design. First off, for a two-man capacity it is definitely spacious and clearly designed for Viking sized people which makes it a good option considering it is priced in the same range as other smaller sized two man shelters.

It also has both the insulated features and blackout features of the other shelters included above making it very competitive against other models. What is more, it is built to last with heavy duty fiberglass poles and 300 dernier fabric that blocks out the wind.

In addition to that, the customer service of the Nordic Legend team has also been praised highly by customers who said it is hassle free to get replacements when needed. These guys set out to be competitors to the dominant Eskimo brand and with this model of ice shelter they are rocking the market with the excellent value of their product.

Read the full Nordic Legend Ice Shelter review

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Product Specifications:

  • 76″ x 76″ hub to hub width
  • 67″ ceiling height
  • Double black out coating
  • 300 dernier rugged fabric
  • 30.5 lb carry weight with the two ice chairs
  • Ice anchors included

Pros:

  • It is the best value amongst its competitors as it offers a full range of features from blackout features to sophisticated anti-wind protection
  • The zippers are heavy duty and built to withstand lots of use
  • Two extra bonus ice chairs are free as part of the order

Cons:

  • The door is not very large and you can’t enter through it fully standing if you are over 6ft
  • It comes with little to no instructions about how to set it up which makes it a bit of a guessing game when you first set it up!

Summary

This is an excellent value ice fishing shelter that for two people has all the features you might need without having to pay a premium for them. The team at Nordic Legend are really trying to make themselves stand out from the crowd with their range of features and quality of product to knock their competitors out of the water.

Conclusion – The Best Ice Fishing Shelter in 2021 is…

If you are looking for an ice fishing shelter then you have probably thought about it for a while, have done some research online and have roughly decided what are the key features that are important to you. That has probably brought you here to make your final decision. If all things have gone well, you’ll be ready to select a worthy ice fishing shelter from the list above!

The truth of the matter is, an ice fishing shelter is a crucial piece of equipment. The brands above know what they are doing when it comes to keeping you warm and safe on the ice. What you need to consider when making your final decision is which feature you value the most.

The best portable hub ice fishing shelter…

Then the Eskimo FatFish Pop-up Portable Hub-Style Ice Shelter is a really good option as it comfortably fits four large adults. The Eskimo brand is well known for producing quality shelters, so you will not be disappointed with this option.

If you want the warmest ice fishing shelter…

Then the Otter 201110 Xth Pro Cabin Thermal Hub (Thermaltec) is a leader in the thermal shelters out there. It also has a unique tying down system that keeps you snug and safe out on the ice.

If you want the best ice fishing shelter for the money…

Then look no further then the Nordic Legend Two Man Ice Shelter with FREE Bonus Ice Chairs! It really does match up against its competitors well for offering everything you need on the ice.

By now we hope that you have a better overview of the best ice fishing shelters on the market in 2021. If you want to be fully prepared for any weather, check out our article about the best ice fishing gloves! So what are you waiting for? Grab an ice fishing shelter now and get yourself out on the ice to do what you do best!

Last update on 2021-12-07 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API