Ice fishing is something most anglers look forward to. It's a unique way of fishing that requires specific, cold weather conditions. One thing that many anglers forget, though, is proper clothes for the occasion. With chilly weather biting in the winter, getting a solid ice fishing suit is a must.
We took the time to review some of the best ice fishing clothes that money can buy: bibs, jackets that float should any accidents happen.
Top 4 Best Ice Fishing Suits
1. Eskimo Legend Ice Fishing Suit
The Eskimo Legend ice fishing suit consists of a jacket and a pair of bibs of the highest quality with great insulation, flotation-assistance and comfort. In our opinion, overall this is the best ice fishing suit.
Eskimo Legend Ice Fishing Jacket
The Eskimo Legend is one of the best ice fishing jackets that money can buy. Though it isn't the cheapest option around, it provides the nessecary comfort and insulation to keep you going in the cold weather hours on end.
The Eskimo Legend has specialized Duradry 210 denier polyester fabric that blocks wind and water really well. Paired with the 500 denier reinforced nylon, this is a wonderful jacket because it is highly effective while maintaining a low weight so it doesn't get too bulky.
This ice fishing jacket has Uplyft breathable flotation assistance that ensures you'll float safely should you accidentally fall through the ice. Uplyft is made from a low-density foam that binds air into membranes, acting almost like an air pocket. This lets you rest assured you won't end up having a nightmare in the freezing water.
The Eskimo Legend has 100gm insulation in the body and 60gm in the sleeves which is enough to keep your body heat in while the jacket is still fairly lightweight and comfortable to wear. Many ice fishing jackets instantly feel too bulky and free movement is key when fishing - especially when something bites the hook! That's where the 60gm sleeves make the difference.
- Available in a wide range of sizes (M - 5XL)
- Uplyft™ breathable flotation assistance
- Lightweight and comfortable yet warm and insulating
- Excellent mobility with padding only where it's needed
Eskimo Legend Insulated Ice Fishing Bibs
A jacket alone won't cut it so Eskimo developed a matching pair of high-quality insulated bibs. Bid welcome to the Eskimo Legend bibs.
These bibs use many of the same materials that makes the matching jacket perform so well and they fit together sleekly.
The Eskimo Legend insulated bib features Uplyft™ breathable flotation assistance to keep you safe should you fall through the ice. The DuraDry 210 denier polyester fabric keeps the cold wind out and is 10k/10k waterproof and breathable.
The grey areas feature 100gm thinsulate insulation to keep you real warm, while the lower leg area has 60gm insulation. This is a choice that Eskimo made to increase mobility in your legs just like the jacket does with your arms. You'll feel a lot more comfortable in these than your average ice fishing bib.
Eskimo is widely known for producing some of the best insulation clothing around and the Legend bib is no exception. We recommend you spend a little extra and get the best of the best - if you end up freezing cold out in the snow, what fun is it anyways?
2. Frabill I-3 Ice Fishing Suit
The world-popular ice fishing gear brand Frabill created the I-3 ice fishing clothes as a solid and affordable solution that brings excellent bang for your buck.
The Frabill I-3 suit consists of a jacket and a matching bib.
Slightly lower priced than the Eskimo Legend suit, the Frabill I-3 seems to be the go-to choice for people who want quality on a limited budget.
The I-3 ice fishing jacket is highly weather-resistant due to a 300 denier nylon taslan shell that effectively keeps water and wind out.
It is better insulated than the Eskimo Legend suit with 150g 3M Thinsulate insulation, which ensures you stay warm throughout your ice fishing session. The only downside to this is that it does sacrifice a bit of comfort and movability.
Both the jacket and the I-3 bib features self-rescue features such as ice pick holsters, internal safety label and drainage mesh
The knee pads are reinforced with 500 denier nylon and pant cuffs and the suit is 100% seam sealed so you won't feel any wind blowing in anywhere.
If you're after an affordable ice fishing suit, the Frabill I-3 might be the best ice fishing suit for you.
3. Striker Ice Climate Ice Fishing Suit
Topping the list as the best premium ice fishing suit, we have the Striker Ice Climate. This is the most expensive pair out of the lot in this guide, but its quality is second to none.
The Climate jacket is made with a 320D nylon tussor shell that is highly waterproof yet breathable. 150g Sureflote Flotation Assistance technology ensures your safety and keeps your mind at ease when ice fishing.
A nice addition is the removable G2 Softshell jacket liner that can be removed should you want to. That way, this even becomes a all-in-one solution that can work in any weather conditions all year round. Highly valuable if you ask me!
The bib features 175g removable Thermadex insulation which makes it the most heavily insulated bib on this list. As it is removable, the bib can be worn at any time of year as well.
For your comfort, there's extra heavy knee and seat padding and reflective 3M elements throughout the design ensures visiblity and safety.
This is the most complete set overall but it does has its price. If you're willing to spend a little extra to get the best of the best, the Strike Ice Climate suit is the best ice fishing suit for you.
4. Clam Rise Float Suit
The Clam Outdoors Ride Float ice fishing suit consists of a parka style jacket and a bib.
With a removable hood, 100% waterproof phone pouch, adjustable inseam and two way storm flaps it is a pleasure to wear.
The full set utilizes a patent-pending motion float technology using an internal buoyancy assist design. However, this system is not yet PFD coast guard approved.
100g insulation on both ice jacket and bib along with 3M reflective material throughout the design ensures both comfort and safety.
Overall, the Clam Rise Float is a solid set of clothing, but we don't feel it provides quite as much value as the previous three - it is certainly not the best ice fishing suit around. We still wanted to include it to give you more options to select from, though.
Buyer's Guide - Things To Consider
A standard winter jacket simply isn't gonna cut it for ice fishing in the long run. There are several things that make a proper ice fishing suit all the more ideal. Below, you'll find some of the things you want to look for when selecting clothes for ice fishing.
The number one most important to look for is proper insulation. This is what keeps the cold out and the heat in. Most brands will inform you of the insulation level they have. The Eskimo set uses 100g and 60g insulation whereas the Striker Ice Climate set uses up to 175g insulation.
The higher the value, the heavier insulation you'll have. There is a balance here, though. Generally, heavier insulation will result in less movability and comfort, which is why the Eskimo Legend suit only uses 60g on the arms and legs while using 100g on the body. This is all about comfort and the ability to move freely.
Waterproof & Breathability
Waterproof and breathable material is crucial for long days on the ice. Getting splashes of water on you is almost inevitable and if your clothes aren't waterproof, you'll soon feel sorry for yourself.
On the other side, there's breathability. Breathability is when the fabric is able to absorb moisture and release it. This ensures you won't overheat inside the capsule should you begin to sweat.
Common fabrics used include polyester and denier nylon. Usually, a waterproof/breathability score is specified for ice fishing suits, which lets you put one suit in relation to another in terms of weatherproofing.
In the case of an emergency where someone falls through the ice, flotation assistance is an absolute live-saver. This is something most ice fishing suits feature and it is an must to shop for in our opinion. Falling into cold water can be an unpleasant battle but flotation technology will allow you to rise to the surface and float with ease.
Sureflote is the most commonly used technology used by a variety of different brands. Multi-layer low-density foam that binds air to closed cells inside the clothing practically creates an air-pocket that lets you rise to the surface safely. See it in action below:
Another crucial safety feature is having visibility accents on your ice fishing suit. Preferably something that is reflective and provides heavy contrast in the environment.
Price always matters. However, we feel like this is an area where you shouldn't make too many compromises as, in the end, it all comes down to your own personal safety.
You may be convinced that a regular winter jacket is enough, but what happens if the ice breaks, drawing you into the ice cold water? Prepare for the worst and hope for the best. All of the best ice fishing suits we've reviewed today live up to general safety standards, so even the Frabill I-3 budget pick will be sufficient to safe a life should it be necessary.
Wrapping It Up: Best Ice Fishing Suits
Now you should have the necessary background-information to make an educated choice.
All things considered, we feel the Eskimo Legend suit is the best ice fishing suit. It especially excels in terms of mobility.
If you're fishing in very cold environments, however, the Striker Ice Climate set may be the better option as it has the heaviest insulation on this list.
If you're on a budget, the Frabill I-3 clothing is a solid choice. We understand that you probably want something even cheaper, but the built-in technology in ice fishing clothes doesn't come cheap. If you want proper clothes for the occasion, this is what you have to pay.
Don't forget: dressing for the occasion is only part of the equation. Without a proper gear setup, you're fishing endeavor into the cold may not pay off. Check out our guide to the best ice fishing rods so you're well-prepared for some jigging action in the icy water.
Get in touch with us if you have any questions. Have fun out there and stay safe!