There’s something serene and beautiful, and some would even say romantic, about ice fishing. Whether it’s the bracing air or the sunlight dancing on the ice, ice fishing definitely has its audience. However, no matter how dedicated the ice fisher, they won’t get far without good gear, and among that gear should be the best ice fishing hub.
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What is an Ice Fishing Hub?
An ice fishing hub or tent is a specialized tent that’s made to address the needs of ice fishers, namely protection from the cold, and sturdy shelter on slippery ice. These tents often feature insulation and thick materials to withstand freezing temperatures and sturdy anchors that hold well in ice.
If you’re planning to go ice fishing, make no mistake: you can’t bring a regular tent. Ice fishing tents are made for performance on the ice from the ground up. If you’re still interested in braving the ice, here’s a list of what you should look out for.
Ice Fishing Hub Buyer’s Guide
One of the first considerations when buying an ice fishing tent should be its material. Most ice fishing tents are made of either nylon or polyester, also known as oxford fabric. Which one you should get will depend on what you’re looking for.
Nylon is a very commonly used tent material because of its great strength. It’s a good choice for people who value function over form or comfort, as it’s incredibly tough and resistant to tearing – but it’s also water-absorbent, and vulnerable to UV rays.
Polyester, on the other hand, is lighter and not quite as sturdy. On the flip side, polyester tents tend to be more breathable in and water-resistant, which is very important when you’re out on the ice.
Next is the size of the tent. You will need to determine how many people are coming with you on your fishing trip, and account for their height and weight before buying a tent. As a general rule, tents can comfortable fit the number of people they advertise – as long as they’re neither too tall nor too wide. If in doubt, see if you can try out the tent with your companions before buying it.
Ice Fishing Hub Feature
Pay attention to the tent’s features as well. As most ice fishing tents require an exterior heating unit, ensure that your tent has windows to allow proper ventilation. Some tents can also come with floors and extra insulation – both of which are very important when you’re out on the cold ice.
Safety features are a big plus. Look for oversized doors and get them whenever you can as these can spell the difference between safety and disaster. You’ll also want outer flaps on your tent, which will allow you to push snow away from the tent.
Finally, make sure what you’re buying is an ice fishing hub. Accessories for ice fishing tents often come separately from the tent itself, and it can actually be easy to confuse buying the components for the tent itself. These accessories often include covers and floors. While these are no doubt necessary, make sure you’re buying a tent first before its accessories.
Now that you know what to look for, I’ll walk you through some of the best ice fishing tents available on the market today.
Best Ice Fishing Hub List
Best Overall Ice Fishing Hub
Eskimo QuickFish Series Pop-Up Portable Ice Fishing Shelter
- Hub design allows 60 second setup and takedown
- 300 denier icetight fabric with 59% higher thread count
- Self-tapping ice anchors that won’t bend under pressure
Pros: Retains heat well, easy setup, adjustable ventilation, lighter than most ice fishing tents
Cons: Only fits two, not insulated
The Eskimo QuickFish Series Pop-Up Portable Ice Fishing Shelter is my personal pick for the best ice fishing tent available on Amazon.
This little beauty is everything you’d ever need when you go ice fishing. It’s made of reinforced 300 denier icetight fabric, yet somehow manages to be lighter than its competitors. A hub design allows for super easy assembly and takedown, but that doesn’t make it flimsy – it’s reinforced with all-metal hubs and solid fiberglass poles. For those worried about ice, the Eskimo QuickFish Series Pop-Up Portable Ice Fishing Shelter also features self-tapping ice anchors that don’t bend.
While this is marketed as an ice fishing tent, I’ve used this tent for most outdoor activities as it’s just that reliable.
Bottomline: Light, portable, and sturdy – you really can’t go wrong with the Eskimo QuickFish Series Pop-Up Portable Ice Fishing Shelter.
Best Small Ice Fishing Hub
Happybuy 2-3 Person Ice Fishing Shelter
- Hub design for quick assembly and takedown
- 300 denier oxford fabric construction
- Comes with a carry bag for easy storage and transportation
Pros: Ergonomic design, super lightweight
Cons: Not insulated, can be hard to disassemble, doesn’t come with a floor
The Happybuy Ice Fishing Shelter is a good option for those looking for a light ice fishing hub.
An easy and accessible hub design allows this tent to be easily assembled and disassembled. It also comes with its own carry bag which makes storage and transportation a breeze. While it’s light, this tent doesn’t slack off when it comes to protection – it’s made of durable 300 denier oxford fabric that’s made to resist cold weather.
While this tent is plenty great on its own, potential customers should be wary that this tent comes without a floor nor insulation. You’ll need to shop around for other components if you’re planning on a long fishing trip. However, for most circumstances, the Happybuy Ice Fishing Shelter is a great pick.
Bottomline: If you need something light and easy for just a few people, the Happybuy Ice Fishing Shelter is a solid choice.
Best Premium Ice Fishing Hub
Eskimo Outbreak Pop-up Portable Insulated Ice Fishing Shelter
- Oversized trip-proof door for even greater security
- Three-layer stormshield insulated fabric with 80 grams of high-loft insulation
- Deluxe tie-down and in-skirt grommets for unshakeable, unbeatable anchoring
Pros: Comes with its own insulation, incredibly warm and great heat retention, easy to set up and dismantle, superb quality in construction
Cons: Pricey, rarely in stock, may need to bring a floor due to open bottom design
An Amazon review describes this ice fishing hub as the best of the best, and it’s hard to disagree. Eskimo is a company that specializes in ice equipment, but the Eskimo Outbreak Insulated Ice Fishing Shelter is proof that there’s always room to suprass yourself.
The Eskimo Outbreak Insulated Ice Fishing Shelter is an incredibly tough yet comfortable ice fishing tent that features a three-layer stormshield for ultimate protection against the cold. These fabrics have been inlaid with 80 grams of high-loft insulation, meaning you’ll always be snug and warm.
This tent also has extra security features, such as an oversized trip-proof door (which is a godsend in snow and rough terrain) and powerful yet luxurious tie-down and in-skirt grommets for unrivaled stability. Unfortunately, this does make the Eskimo Outbreak Insulated Ice Fishing Shelter quite heavy – but make no mistake, this tent is definitely worth the extra money and effort.
Bottomline: If you’re willing to spend for a premium ice fishing tent, look no further than the Eskimo Outbreak Insulated Ice Fishing Shelter. You’ll definitely get your money’s worth – and more!
Best 2 person flip over ice shelter
Frabill Aegis 2110 Ice Fishing Hub
- Comes with a comfortable jump seats.
- Three Level of Insulation
Pros: Cheaper than other ice fishing tents and lots of room for Ice fishing
Cons: Some customers received bent or dented poles.
Frabill Aegis 2110 Flip-Over Ice Fishing Tent is a trustworthy gear for your next ice fishing adventure. The Frabill company has been around since 1938 and knows a thing or two about outdoor gear, especially when it comes to fishing.
With lightweight and durable materials, this tent is perfect for those who want to save on weight without sacrificing on quality. The 600D or weight – saving 300D tent construction is perfect for those who want a sturdy tent that will last them for years to come. The Jump Seat Style and Patented modular seating system are just some of the features that make this tent stand out from the rest.
The Frabill Aegis 2110 Top Insulated Flip-Over Ice Fishing Tent also has a large and optimized fishing area, as well as a sturdy thermoformed base. The well-placed windows and openings provide ample ventilation, while the insulated design keeps you warm and comfortable in even the coldest weather.
Bottomline: Whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned ice fisherman, the Frabill Aegis’ light weight and ease of use is sure to make your next trip a success.
FAQs about Ice Fishing Hub
How do you heat up your ice fishing hub?
Most people use a portable propane heater to warm up their ice fishing tents, while others prefer old-fashioned wood stoves.
What is insulation and why is it important in ice fishing shelter?
An insulated interior means that an ice fishing tent will be able to better retain heat, reducing the time your heater needs to be on as well as keeping you more comfortable. However, take note that insulation makes an ice fishing tent heavier.
Are windows important in an ice fishing tent?
Yes, windows are super important for ice fishing tents. Since you’ll most likely be using some kind of burning device to generate heat, such as a propane heater, you’ll need to ensure proper air circulation so you don’t choke on smoke.
What is denier and how is it important in ice fishing hub?
The denier is a measure of a fabric’s thickness and durability. The higher the number, the thicker the material and the sturdier the tent will be. This, naturally, also means that a high-denier tent will be heavier and more expensive.
Can you sleep in an ice fishing hub?
That depends on its materials and your equipment. At the very least, you’ll need a heater, a carbon monoxide detector (if you’re burning material for heat), insulated flooring and sleeping bags.
Is an ice fishing tent an all-season hub?
Yes, it is! You can even use your ice fishing tent during other seasons.
Enjoy Your New Ice Fishing Tent
Whether it’s together with a friend or alone to contemplate the silence and beauty of the ice, your new ice fishing tent will no doubt serve a central role in your ice fishing experience. Keep warm, and keep fishing!