Best Ice Fishing Suits 2020 – Reviews And Top Picks

As the colder months come near, many people look forward to getting their gear ready for ice fishing, a favorite past time for those who live in colder parts of the country. You can choose lines and hooks or you might be a fan of spearing – but no fishing gear will protect you from the sharp and frosty weather. In order to prepare for this chilling event, the proper attire needs to be worn, the kind that will keep you warm and lots more. Below are ten ice fishing jackets and bibs sold online to help get you through the frigid temperatures.

There are some major differences between jackets and bibs used during ice angling. Before the reviews start, take a moment to see what features set them apart or shows similarities.

Best Ice Fishing Jackets

Here are five of the best jackets for you to consider choosing in preparation for a future ice fishing trip. They were picked on a number of reasons, mostly for value versus expense, safety features, and material quality. If you aren’t sure where to start, jump to the buyer’s guide section to prioritize on the parameters of your desirable apparel.

Top 5
Name
Material
Sizes
Weight
Price
Name
Material
Sizes
Weight
Price
№1
Polyester
Small-3X Large
1 lbs
№2
Polyethylene, Fleece, Polyester
2X Tall-4X Large
1 lbs
№3
Nylon
Small-3X Large
12 oz
№4
Nylon, Aramid
Small-XX Large
15 oz
№5
Nylon
Small-3X Large
12 oz

The Stormr Strykr jacket is sold in three distinct colors: black, red, and grey. It’s made completely of polyester but lined with fleece on the inside. The material also forms the collar. The outer portion blocks out freezing gusts, even when the wind chill is well below freezing. In cold regions, the ability of your attire to stay dry is crucial due to the wicking effect of moisture captured in the fabric. This effect drastically increases the rate of heat loss, which is how the humid weather amplifies the chill. This jacket was made for both humid and dry settings, so bring it with you to see how well it holds in dry, warm air underneath the fleece. The cuffs are especially well made and stay dry, even when you’re working in the snow picking ice or clearing runoff from holes.

Material
Polyester
Sizes
Small-3X Large
Weight
1 lbs
PROS

Blocks cold winds from entering the torso and neck area;

Keep the body warm and insulated in moderate humidity/freezing conditions for longs periods;

Has waterproof cuffs.

Cons

The dark portions of the jacket are not waterproof;

Will make the wearer sweat when worn for work tasks;

May need to be opened to keep moisture from developing in the jacket’s interior.

The Striker Ice Predator is a little bigger, but that’s a quality that you’ll come to love. It’s thick, insulated, and produces ventilation in the upper body well. Instead of getting hot and sweaty, the Tussor Shell airs out with a Thermadex and Hydrapore system. In plain English, this means the jacket contains three layers of fabric, each tasked with keeping wind and water on the outside.

Material
Polyethylene, Fleece, Polyester
Sizes
2X Tall-4X Large
Weight
1 lbs
PROS

Allows natural ventilation throughout the body with it’s layered Cross Flow;

Contains low-density polyethylene foam that prevents excessive moisture from lingering inside the jacket;

Prevents water from entering during moderate to heavy rainfall.

Cons

Size may run a little smaller than what is specified.

Everyone knows that safety is of utmost importance when ice fishing. Knowing what to do in an emergency will keep everyone okay and free from potential injuries. But the best remedy of all is prevention. Safety wise, the Frabill I-Float Jacket has enough crammed underneath and outside the clothing, that some other accessories from your list of must-bring items could be left at home.

Material
Nylon
Sizes
Small-3X Large
Weight
12 oz
PROS

Can be used as a floatation device in the water; USCG cert;

Has reflectors to aid in visibility to others during emergencies;

There are drainage patches located throughout the jacket to minimize the amount of water that enters.

Cons

Makes lots of noise when the fabric is rubbed against;

Thick material adds more weight to the body when worn, making sweating likely to occur;

No inner pockets featured on the jacket.

Some jackets look so good, you may buy them for the appearance alone. The Frabill Ice I5 is one of those but has a couple other perks that give it a spot on the list. First, there’s the sizing. It’s sometimes hard to choose apparel online, mostly due to sizing inaccuracies. This one gets it right the first time, so as long as you know the correct size you need already, the jacket you pick won’t feel too large or small.

Material
Nylon, Aramid
Sizes
Small-XX Large
Weight
15 oz
PROS

Sizing is accurate and larger/smaller fits are not needed (unless intended);

The elbows are reinforced to make movement in cold weather easier;

Nylon material keeps the fabric from ripping when brushed against and/or pulled;

Contains reinforced elbow pads.

Cons

Bulky, may become irritating when used in low humidity environments;

Fabric becomes stiff when worn in frigid temperatures.

The I3 is very similar to the I5 reviewed above. The main difference between them if the thickness. This one is lighter in weight but still retains a floatation device and ice picks. You don’t need a period for it to form to your body either. There are warming pockets located near the tail as well, so try it out if you tend to take off your gloves in between fishing.

Material
Nylon
Sizes
Small-3X Large
Weight
12 oz
PROS

There are ice picks on the jacket as a safety precaution;

Takes out the humidity but leaves in the warmth;

Lightweight design that doesn’t require a “break in”;

Warming pockets.

Cons

The jacket might be too short to wear with certain bibs;

The ice picks frequently come out of the holters.

Best Ice Fishing Bibs

Top 5
Name
Material
Sizes
Weight
Price
Name
Material
Sizes
Weight
Price
№1
Polyester
Small-3X Large
1 lbs
№2
Polyethylene, Fleece, Polyester
Small-3X Large
1 lbs
№3
Nylon
Small-3X Large
2 lbs
№4
Nylon, Aramid
2X, 3X Large
1 lbs
№5
Nylon
2X, 3X Large
1.1 lbs

The Stormr Strykr bib is a counterpart to the jacket, so it’s what you would want if settling on the first pick that was reviewed already. There are deep pockets on the front that can hold lots of things but won’t become damaged from water; it’s completely waterproof. But if you’re not getting a jacket from the same brand, it’s designed in a way that feels wonderful underneath one that has a PFD device. Simply put, you won’t feel as if you’re carrying too much junk around the torso.

Material
Polyester
Sizes
Small-3X Large
Weight
1 lbs
PROS

The pockets and chest straps will not interfere with comfortability when wearing PFD jackets over them;

Allows the lower body to remain at room temperature after several hours in the cold;

Has waterproof pockets.

Cons

Difficult to size, must be measured according to an individual’s body and preference.

The Striker Ice Predator is next, being made from the same fabric as the jacket. There are magnetic openings along the pockets, entirely waterproof, that are ideal for storing sensitive objects such as smartphones and/or personal items. If concerned with sizing, this one leads by having straps that are built to conform to a number of heights.

Material
Polyethylene, Fleece, Polyester
Sizes
Small-3X Large
Weight
1 lbs
PROS

Magnetic flaps keep stored contents from exposure to the elements;

Takes away sweat without sacrificing body heat;

Adjustable size makes the beb suitable for various duties;

Padding on the knees and rear.

Cons

Seams might be slightly off in the interior of the bib;

Shoulder straps may lose their adjustments and slide when worn.

The Frabill Mens I-Bib is the turtle shell of bibs, having a thick layer of nylon that seems to bounce off any ice and water that comes in the way. It’s odd how the straps on top contradict to the rest of the clothing’s body; the material is dense and almost intimidating but very light toward the upper area that suspends over the shoulders.

Material
Nylon
Sizes
Small-3X Large
Weight
2 lbs
PROS

Thin straps on the top are small enough to not be felt on the shoulders;

Dense padding along the bottom protect the legs from rough patches of ice when in a kneeling position;

In water, makes it easier to pull body upwards during the event of an emergency.

Cons

The thick fabric could make the body warmer than expected;

The reflective lights do not shine as bright as it’s competitor’s bibs;

Shoulder straps are long and require lots of adjusting to get them at the intended size.

The I-Series winter apparel by Frabill has a lot going for it performance-wise. Frabill famously uses the most advanced materials available and cares a lot about how their attire fits the end user. This bib features a 300-denier nylon oxford shell that doesn’t let in water while having good breathability. Its knees and pant cuffs are nylon-reinforced with 500-denier fabric. These bibs are as tough with their 100% seam-sealed design as they are ergonomic, which means the angler will be able to enjoy the comfort of this attire for years to come.

Material
Nylon, Aramid
Sizes
2X, 3X Large
Weight
1 lbs
PROS

The different layers of fabric give it a breathable interior that keeps odors at bay;

Very large pocket in the front can hold several pound’s worth of personal items;

Has a good balance of counterweight at the bottom without feeling overwhelmed.

Cons

An almost full disrobe is required for bathroom breaks; no zippers located near between the hips;

There are no extensions around the liner, making cold air move upwards around the legs.

This Frabill bib model comes complementing the jacket of the same series. Most of the bib’s fabric comprises a 300D nylon Taslan known for its being highly durable, water- and windproof, as well as breathable. 500D nylon reinforced inserts are located on the pant cuffs and knees. The attire stays evenly warm thanks to 3M Thinsulate insulation and features padded sections on the knee and rear area for extra comfort.

Material
Nylon
Sizes
2X, 3X Large
Weight
1.1 lbs
PROS

Sporadic zippers dot the bib, of which can be opened to for ventilation;

Does not stiffen when used in the cold; walking remains easy to do;

Sizes will fit most body types.

Cons

Thin pockets;

The bib requires the waist to be removed to reach the waist;

Wide fit might be awkward for lean individuals.

How to Choose an Ice Fishing Suits – Buyer’s Guide

Before you make your buying decision, please take note of the following aspects that you should be familiar with. An ice fishing jacket not only serves as attire to keep you warm but could potentially save your life. Here’s what you should know:

Waterproofing

Normal jackets will usually have fabric on the exterior that keeps water from penetrating through the material. However, those reviewed (and any that are the similar) will feature additional measures to help keep out water in the event that a user becomes submerged. These can include small portholes that are zippered, making it harder for liquid to pass through. Others are simply more layers of polyvinyl chloride (PVC) or polyurethane that are embedded in between the the fabric. Cuffs may also be form fitting and built in such as way that enables water to stay in and out.

Insulation

As you come across different jackets for ice fishing, you’ll notice that many brands market their clothing with features that include brand names. This usually describes a combination of materials that are used for insulation. As stated, PU is oftentimes the most popular choice for keeping the body warm. PU stands for (thermoplastic) polyurethane coating that is also used in diving suits. This kind of material is highly rated for its lightness, breathability, and durability, leave alone waterproofness. PU often comes in-mixed with polyester. At the same time, fleece and neoprene are also heavily utilized. The latter is a synthetic rubber that’s often stitched around the cuffs and neck. Ice fishing jackets may have them on the collar in the chest as well.

Mobility

Simply put, ice fishing apparel is be almost useless if it hinders your ability to work on the ice as normal. If you’ve never worn one, keep in mind that they are slightly heavier than most normal jackets. This is due to the thick fabrics woven into the inside. Others may include PFD material and ice picks that also add excessive weight. If you feel that such additions will become bulky after wearing a jacket that has them for a couple of hours, stick to the lighter varieties.

Material properties

Clothing that’s worn during ice fishing obviously needs to be built to withstand ice, water, and snow. While the weather may contribute to the wear and tear of your attire (such as by corroding its zippers), the most crucial challenge for clothes durability is the frequency of use. High wind and snow protection will not always mean toughness at the seals. It’s true, multi-layered fabrics with patches of fleece, for example, tend to live longer; however, you should care to check whether they are double-stitched or weld sealed in the first place. Another thing affecting the long-lasting performance of your bib/jacket is abrasion resistance. Normally, the knee and seat area of your costume will come reinforced and made of tougher materials. Furthermore, seam sealed clothes grant you the ability to counteract the colder air outside with your body’s natural heat, thus decreasing the heat exchange.

Adjustability

What good is a jacket if you can’t make quick adjustments as needed? Most types will include a hood whose size can be altered, and with some, you will be able to unbutton and/or unzip the hood completely. Even more easy adjustments are added with the bib’s waist straps. You can tighten these to get the attire fit more snugly and vice versa. Most won’t let you change the height of the tail but could possess straps or string there to tighten the lower portion. When doing so, the tail will conform to the user’s waist size as it stops at the bib. Another thing that jackets may offer is storm cuff. Made of neoprene or similar waterproof fabric, this type of cuffs locks out the rain/wet snow with a velcroed adjustable strap.

Extra features

As noted, some of these jackets include safety features that incorporate floatation devices and small ice picks. When it comes to PFDs, they may possess some sort of certification, most notably from the US Coast Guard. Those that don’t shouldn’t be entirely ruled out, however. Some companies simply have not had their product certified. If you already have a PFD to wear around your waist, this could be avoided for jackets that don’t feature such. Yet those without should definitely consider them as an important safety tool to keep around if the ice breaks.

Ice Picks

With a quality bib&jacket set, you get yourself a bunch of self-rescue means including ice safety internal label, ice picks in holsters, and drainage mesh.

You may purchase your attire with ice picks already attached or find them as a separate item wherever else. The idea behind these spiky lifesavers is that you should actually wear them, rather than just tuck away in a pocket rendering the picks inaccessible in the time of need. As a rule, the handheld, retractable spikes are worn connected to about 70 inches of stretchable cord. It slides through your parka/jacket’s arms, across the back, and then out the cuff. Being kept in holders on the chest, the picks stay within your easy reach with their spikes safely sheathed. The spikes will only activate when you grab the picks and press them to a solid surface, such as ice.

Personal Flotation Device

PFDs are a smart way to prevent drowning and cold shock. In case of snow and fishing suits, U.S. Coast Guard maintains a set of strict requirements according to which an attire you buy may be considered a float suit. The minimal level of flotation characteristics include 1) flotation itself resulting from waterproof materials, 2) foam padded sections in the knee/shin area. In cold water, your self-rescue capabilities depend not as much on your buoyancy as on the ability to escape the ice pool ASAP. As you kick your feet in the water, the knee paddings help your body to assume a horizontal position, so that you can pull yourself onto the ice. The next thing you’ll be doing is rolling away from the ice hole toward a more stable ground.

Your attire’s buoyancy is directly derived from its featherweight and water-resistant (e.g. neoprene) construction. Cheaper sets of fishing clothes, even though lacking approval by U.S.C.G. as a PFD, still guarantee you pounds and pounds of positive buoyancy.

What Makes Good Ice Fishing Clothing?

The jacket is only half of the gear you’ll need to wear for ice fishing. An ideal setup would be bibs that have sealable seams at the bottom and good padding in front of the knees, zippers on them that has zippers located in the right places (in case you need to go to the bathroom), and the jacket itself. Those with safety accessories are also a plus. When put on, a proper wardrobe will keep your body insulated to the point where it feels as if you’ve never stepped outside in the first place!

How to Dress with the Proper Ice Angling Apparel?

Since you’re going to be out in the cold weather for hours at a time, you’ll want to use the tried-and-true methods of dressing in layers. This means that you should have some sort of attire on underneath your jacket and bib. The bib’s straps should go underneath the jacket and be adjusted so that the slacks don’t hang too low at the bottom. You won’t want to take anything off to make readjustments, so know what length is comfortable for you when tightening shoulder straps. And don’t forget about the seams on your cuffs. They should make contact with your gloves or mittens without leaving wrists exposed.

FAQ

Which is most important – an ice fishing bib or jacket?

Honestly, it’s better to have both. Technically, if you are fishing in relatively warm weather and it’s enough to wear a sweater – a bib would suffice. It keeps your feet dry, the lower body warm, and protected from wet weather conditions, which is essential to ice fishing.

Yet, if you are off to fish in very harsh environments (minus 5-10 F) – it’s always better to have a warm jacket. There is literally nothing better, out there, that will keep you safe and warm in a winter storm on the open lake.

What Are the Crucial Features of Ice Fishing Clothing?

There are several things you need to look out for in fishing clothing, except for the obvious thermal properties. The three crucial features of fishing apparel are waterproofing, insulation, and mobility.

When it comes to ice fishing, water-resistance is as crucial as oxygen for humans. You are most likely to sit for hours out in the snow, and there is a 100% chance you’ll get wet. So, your main goal here is to choose a piece of clothing that will stay wet on the outside, but not a single drop will reach your socks, shirts, or anything underneath. Proper insulation ensures that the wind and cold air won’t wriggle their way underneath your apparel. This increases the thermal properties, keeps you from warm head to foot, and prevents hypothermia. Lastly, fishing apparel should be flexible, not too baggy, and allow sufficient mobility.

To start with, it’s simply more comfortable. As you are fishing on frozen lakes, in the worst-case scenario, there is always a chance the ice will crack. So, your clothing must not hinder your movements so that you are able to move as swiftly or slowly as you want.

As we’re already talking about cracks in the ice, one premium feature you can buy is a flotation device (in case your worst fear is of drowning). Floating jackets and bibs will help you to stay afloat if you ever fall through the ice.

What Are Additional Accessories for Ice Fishing?

You, of course, will need a bunch of fishing equipment. But apart from fishing rods, ice picks, ice auger, and other essentials, you need to stock up on apparel accessories as well. The most obvious ones being boots (preferably with extra insulation and water resistance), a couple pairs of heavy-duty socks, ice fishing gloves (with additional thermal insulation), a pair of reflecting sunglasses, and, of course, a hat.

Do I Need a Full Suit?

Not necessarily. If you are going on a short trip and not planning to stay out for too long, you can go without a proper fishing bib or with a non-professional jacket. Yet, if you are an avid angler, facing harsh conditions or plan to go ice fishing more than once – you absolutely need a full suit. Underestimating weather conditions is the worst mistake that you can make. Complete ice fishing equipment will protect you from freezing, hypothermia, or soaking. Most importantly, it will keep you safe.

What Are the Benefits of Having an Ice Fishing Bib?

An ice fishing bib might not be the most comfortable thing at first glance. Yet, the best thing about a fishing bib is that as a whole piece of clothing, it’s excellent at insulation and has impressive thermal properties. It is capable of keeping you dry and warm for longer and in the hardest conditions.

What Do I Need to Know Before I Use Ice Fishing Bibs?

First of all, decide if you actually want to sit in front of an ice hole for hours. You do? Good!

So, when that’s out of the way, you must determine what kind of weather you plan to use if for. Not all fishing bibs are designed to withstand snow or ice, so do check that before proceeding to actually using one. If it’s not made for below zero temperatures and has no water-resistance, hardly any other piece of closing will save you from frostbite or hypothermia. Make sure your ice fishing bib fits you well, and you can move freely and remember, the key feature of the ice fishing bib is to keep you warm, dry, and repel moisture. If your fishing bib does that, you are good to go!

Conclusion

In the end, the most durable and insulated jacket combination on the list goes to the top two. This also includes their respective bibs on numbers six and seven. What sets the Stormr Strykr and Ice Predator brands apart from the rest is having no faulty inseams, good breathability, and windproof/water resistant fabric. This isn’t to say that the others reviewed shouldn’t be ignored. There enough additional attributes to warrant a purchase of any on the list, according to your individual needs. Regardless of what you end up with, your best ice fishing suits will remain warm and toasty until the event is finished!

Users Rating:
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Comments (10)
By:
Child of 90’s

I’m planning my first fishing trip to the Great Lakes. Could you give me some suggestions on what to wear?

    By:
    Chris Hayes
    To:
    Child of 90’s

    Your first purchase should be an ice fishing jacket, that’s the most bulletproof way to stay warm and dry. It’s also smart to get yourself a fishing bib or a pair of trousers.

By:
Boogyman

Would Stormr Strykr Bub bib alone be enough for proper insulation? Or should I get something else?

    By:
    Chris Hayes
    To:
    Boogyman

    You can never be too careful even in the most comfortable conditions. So, I’d always recommend putting some thermal underwear, insulated sweaters, and long-sleeves.

By:
Chicago Style

Do ice fishing bibs float?

    By:
    Chris Hayes
    To:
    Chicago Style

    Not all of them, it’s not an integral part of a bib or jacket, for that matter. If you want it to float, choose a bib with a floating device.

By:
Christian Poupart

Great review but I have to ask, why isn't there any Review of the Ice Armor suits? I've owned one for over 4 years and I have always been satisfied with it.

    By:
    Chris Hayes
    To:
    Christian Poupart

    Hey Christian, thanks for your comment! I will take a look at the Ice Armor suits.

By:
Charles Rice

great helpful suggestions for anyone venturing on ice ....thank you

    By:
    Chris Hayes
    To:
    Charles Rice

    You are welcome!

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