Best Flip-Over Ice Fishing Shelter
As winter brings its intense cold along with it, you’ll need to find a good Fishing Shelter that’ll keep you warm during the cold. At a time like this, you’re probably looking for the best Ice Fishing Shelter out there, and for that, you don’t have to worry because we’ve got you covered on that.
The best thing about ice fishing shelters is that they can be easily assembled and are portable so you can set them up on the go and spend more time fishing than setting up your shelter. A good ice shelter keeps you warm enough to stay in the ice for longer and when you’re fishing for a longer time, you may end up catching more fish, in the market, there are a lot of ice fishing shelters, houses, or tents but a portable ice fishing shelter is the right choice for most ice fishermen.
To help you with that we’ve researched and picked the shelters that will do justice to the money you spend on them and give you a durable ice fishing shelter so you can go fishing without having to worry about your shelter’s integrity.
Looking at our top pick from our list of the best Flip-Over Ice Fishing Shelters we can fairly say that the Eskimo 15300 QuickFlip 1 is the best option out there as of right now for someone looking to buy an ice fishing shelter with a strong and durable structure and features that only a few other competitors offer in its price range.
The addition of a built-in durable folding chair and its 900 Denier fabric which makes it highly resistant to strong winds, puts it up as our winner for the best Flip-Over Ice Fishing Shelter since its features and durability outweigh its cons.
Best Flip-Over Ice Fishing Shelter
Let’s take a look at the table below to pick the Best Flip-Over Ice Fishing Shelter.
ESKIMO QuickFish 3
60-sec Set-up, YKK Zippers, Removable Windows, All-Metal Hubs, and Poles.
THUNDERBAY Ice Cube 3
60-sec Set-up, Removable Windows, Durable Hubs and Fiberglass Poles, 2 square Mesh Vents.
ESKIMO 15300 QuickFlip 1
Sturdy Framework, Innovative Seating, 900D StormShield Fabric, YKK Zippers.
FRABILL Recon 100
Padded Trunk, Lightweight, Durable 300D Fabric, Flip-Over Entrance Door.
HAPPYBUY Ice Shelter
300D Oxford Fabric, Waterproof & -22℉ Frost Resistance, 4 Removable Windows.
600D Polyester Fabric, 2 Zippered Doors, Full-width built-in Bench.
Going over our picks in this list, we’ll be discussing each one of the picks and their features along with their pros and cons, so you get some good knowledge of what we are looking for.
The QuickFish 3 by Eskimo is a remarkable shelter as it is incredibly easy to carry around and even easier to set up and puts up a good fight against strong wind gusts.
Capable of housing up to 3 people and quick 60-second set up makes it the best choice for its price. Made from 300 deniers ice-tight fabric with 59% higher thread count that gives a tighter weave, and the durability Eskimo is known for.
Featuring YKK zippers that are ultra-strong when securing the shelter outdoors, these premium quality zippers do not get stuck or break in the cold like some other cheaper shelters that will keep you worrying about your shelter more than fishing.
Not only that, the Eskimo QuickFish 3 features flexible vinyl windows that’ll give you a clear view of the view outside, and these can be removed and attached back according to your needs.
Coming to the durability of this shelter, it has all-metal hubs, metal poles, and self-tapping ice anchors that won’t bend under pressure giving the overall frame of the shelter a stronghold making sure you use it for years to come without having to worry about the structure of the shelter.
When set up properly it has a setup-size of 5.8ft L x 5.8ft W X 6.7ft H which opens to have a total area of 34 sq. ft which is more than enough to house 3 people, all of this can be easily packed into a cinch carrying bag that you can carry on your back as it weighs just around 26 lbs. (~13 KGs).
The Eskimo QuickFish 3 is a remarkable tent that offers great stability against strong wind gusts and has good enough insulation too, the backpack style makes it a great portable shelter option as it weighs less and can be carried around with ease.
But with all its pros, it has some cons too like after placing stuff inside like chairs or a small table the shelter barely enough space for 2 people but that is something relative, other than this the shelter seems like a pretty good option with minimal disadvantages.
All in all, the Eskimo QuickFish 3 is an excellent ice shelter that delivers good durability and a sturdy frame structure and stands its ground well against strong winds, offering great insulation to keep you warm inside. It is a shelter worth being considered when buying ice shelters.
Next, we have the Ice Cube 3 from Thunderbay is another great choice for people looking to buy a long-lasting shelter that offers a ton of features while also being durable enough to last them a few years at least.
The Thunderbay Ice Cube 3 packs a lot of features that most of the other competitors also include with their shelters. Talking about features, the Ice Cube 3 has an easy 60-sec setup process that makes the whole process a ton easier when you’re fishing on the go, and you need to frequently pack up and set up again.
The windows do not leak light and are made from PVC offering a great clear look outside with removability options that come in handy when you need to look outside without having to go outside. Not only this, but the 2 square Mesh windows also serve as sources for ventilation so that it doesn’t heat up too much under the Sun and gives you a comfortable time fishing.
The Thunderbay Ice Cube 3 has a lot of adjustability options that puts it on this list as its price is relatively on the cheaper side making the features speak for themselves. It hardly has any bad sides except the fact that it does not come equipped with YKK zippers which lower the durability to some extent as a lower grade replacement may get worn out with time and break down. Although it is not insulated and takes about 2 people to set it up it still puts together an impressive ice fishing shelter that is worth its money.
Keeping all of this in mind, it can be said that the Ice Cube 3 might be the right choice for a lot of fishermen who are looking for an ice fishing shelter that has a lot of features but also does not make them break the bank. If you are looking for an ice fishing shelter and you’re on a budget, then the Thunderbay Ice Cube 3 is your ultimate choice.
Another addition to this list is another one of Eskimo’s ice shelters, the Eskimo 15300 which also can be set up in a matter of seconds and has enough room for a single person. It costs around $230 which puts it on the higher end side of ice fishing shelters but most of its features make up for this big price tag.
The Eskimo 15300 QuickFlip 1 weighs around 52lbs. that makes it lightweight and easy to carry around and it’s made from 300 Denier Ice Tight fabric that has 59% more thread count and this makes the weaving tighter and offers great resistance against strong winds watertight performance for which Eskimo is famous.
The structure is sturdy as it features a double-walled hinge bracket to protect against strong winds and has removable windows that add to the ventilation of the shelter. The best part is that it includes a durable folding chair that can be used for various seating arrangements whether inside or outside of the shelter.
The Mesh storage pockets may come in handy when you want to take a break and put your fishing gear aside for some time and away from the bottom of the sled. This Eskimo shelter like its other models also features YKK zippers that are ultra-resistant to the cold weather so you can rest easy knowing that you won’t be having trouble getting in and out of the shelter.
The cons of the Eskimo 15300 as reported by other customers is that the door is a little inconvenient as it may be a little low for some individuals and also that the poles need a bit of improvement but other than these two issues, all of the other features make it the first option fishermen will have in their mind when looking to buy a new ice fishing shelter that’ll be durable enough to last them a few years.
For rapid hole-hoppers, there is no better option than a Recon series shelter by Frabill. This ice-fishing shelter can be simply towed due to its lightweight on foot and be set up easily because of its fixed-pole structure so you can go off and start your ice fishing experience and catch some fish.
The Frabill Recon 100 is the best for solo fishing as it can only accommodate one person at a time and doesn’t have a lot of features that some other better quality ice fishing shelter manufacturers offer for its price category.
It comes with a padded trunk that somewhat offers a bit of protection and is also relatively lightweight and made from 300D durable fabric material. It also has Frabill’s patented modular heating system paired with standard insulation that’ll help you stay warm and cozy while you catch yourself some fish.
The Flip-Over entrance eliminates the need for a zipper, even though a zipper may have been a more durable option, but the point of a flip-over entrance is to reduce the struggle with a broken zipper in the first place. The simplified setup process helps speed up the whole setup process as a single person can easily put it up alone without needing any additional help from another individual or tools.
For its price, the Frabill Recon 100 may not be the best option out there as there are other better choices for someone buying an ice fishing shelter on a budget. But it, nevertheless, still packs a punch in the form of durability and features the only drawback of it is that it does not feature YKK zippers and so the durability of the entrances and the overall frame of the shelter may be put into question, if you’re less experienced in the market and you’re looking to buy your first ice shelter then its better to consider other options that might be a little expensive but offer far much more for their price.
Next in line, we have the Ice Shelter by HappyBuy which isn’t that well-known of a company, but its place in this list is justified. Just like other picks on this list, the HappyBuy Ice Shelter is also easy to carry around and made of durable materials that’ll keep the cold out, so you have a comfortable time fishing.
Coming to its features, the fabric is made from a tightly woven high thread count 300D Oxford fabric that is water-resistant and frost resistant even at temperatures as low as -22℉. Not only this, the overall design and structure of the shelter were made with keeping lightweight shelters in mind and so it is portable as it can be carried around with ease.
Talking about ventilation and lighting, the 4 windows on the tent are detachable which allows light to come in while keeping the wind out, so you stay warm inside while fishing. The structure is held up by strong D 9.5 solid glass fiber poles which are flexible that make it easy to set up and pack up the whole shelter. The rib design of the ice shelter offers excellent stability and the whole shelter is capable of housing up to 4 people.
Keeping all the features discussed above, it can be concluded that even though HappyBuy may not be well known in the market of ice fishing shelters, they still managed to produce a shelter that has features same as those of other higher-end manufacturers which is also the exact reason why this shelter is on our list.
With its durable structure, strong tightly woven fabric, and sturdy poles, this shelter is just as good as any other in its price range.
6) Shappell FX100:
The last but not the least addition to this list is the Shappell FX100 from the American manufacturer Shappell that has been around for about 35 years now. The FX100 is a compact shelter that can be set up by a single individual so you can set it up quickly and get on with your ice fishing.
This shelter is built to accommodate a single person, but it still delivers a lot for what it costs. When set up completely, it has an area of about 26 sq. ft and weighs around 44lbs which puts it on the lighter side so you can carry it around easily which adds to its portability.
The two windows at the front allow ample sunlight to get in and a full-width foldable bench comes included with it, so you don’t have to go around towing your chair. The fabric of the shelter is made from a 600 Denier Polyester that will give enough durability for you to have a comfortable time ice fishing.
The doors use a zipper mechanism instead of a Velcro attachment and this ensures that you don’t have to worry about your Velcro straps wearing out with time as zipper doors are usually more durable and serve for a longer time.
The Shappell FX100 has zipper doors but the zippers may break down with time causing inconvenience to the customer but on the other, the features that it brings with it are commendable as it has a built-in chair that most other ice fishing shelters do not come with.
For someone who’s looking for an ice fishing shelter that will give them a good enough shelter with enough durability to last them a few years, the Shappell FX100 is a great option to consider when buying.
What are Flip-Over Ice Shelter:
As the name suggests, a Flip-Over Ice Fishing Shelter is a portable shelter that you can carry along with you on your ice fishing adventures. They are designed to have many features to keep you at ease during the harsh cold and strong wind gusts so you can stay warm and cozy and fish for as long as your heart desires.
Most of them are made from highly durable fabrics that don’t wear out with just a few uses and have doors that use high-quality YKK Zippers to make sure that you don’t have to worry about getting the zipper stuck, or worse, breaking it down. Some of these ice fishing shelters even come with a built-in foldable durable chair which diminishes the need to carry around your own chair when you’re on the go, easing up the whole process.
Not only this but most ice shelters can also be easily set up within a minute or two with most taking just one person to set it up. The portability and the features of an Ice Fishing Shelter have made them the top choice for most ice fishermen who religiously go fishing every year.
Types of Ice Fishing Shelters:
Ice Fishing Shelters usually have two types which are namely, Pop-Up and Flip-Over.
Pop-Up ice fishing shelters can be carried around by hand or by using a vehicle to set up, this type is very similar to how dome tents are built when you are camping. The inner supporting frame pushes the fabric out and into position to create a cube-like shape which will do a good job sheltering you against the cold winds.
The other type is the Flip-Over ice fishing shelter which generally comes attached to a base sled that allows the fishermen to gather and pull all of their fishing gear to the desired spot, and for the setting up procedure, the bars can be pulled up and over which puts the fabric into shape and the can be finished off with adding some more support by putting the internal poles into place so you get a sturdy structural frame that won’t give up against wind gusts and the cold.
The flip-over should be the better option for someone who is looking for a more portable ice shelter that can be moved around on foot. These differences put the ice shelters into slightly different categories since some fishermen may prefer the Pop-Up ice shelter whereas most fishermen prefer the Flip-Over ice shelter for its portability and ease of use.
Details to look out for:
When buying a flip-over ice fishing shelter you need to check its size since it should be in line with your personal preference, so, the main things that need consideration when looking at the size are whether you’re going fishing alone or with a group, for which, you need to check the maximum number of people that a shelter can accommodate.
For tall individuals, they might need to look at the height of the shelter when it is completely set up so that it does not become uncomfortable. Checking the height of the shelter beforehand can help eliminate this problem too.
The same goes for bigger individuals who might need a bigger shelter overall as ice fishing shelters come in different sizes. Just a casual look at the area in sq. ft of the shelter making your purchase may help you with not coming across the issue of having an ice shelter that’s too small for you.
The material out of which the fabric of the shelter is made plays a great role in the overall insulation of your ice shelter. If you generally go fishing in extremely cold weather conditions, it is better to go for a fabric that is at least 1200 Denier. 900D would also get the job done considering that you have a solid ice fishing heater keeping you warm inside the ice shelter.
Lower numbers can be chosen too if it doesn’t get too cold in your region, but it is still a better option to buy something a little warmer than your needs since you never know when the weather might turn against you.
Even then, you can use the removable windows to get some air in without having to worry about the ventilation within the ice shelter. Another thing to keep in mind is the structural poles since they are like the skeleton of your ice shelter and will be making sure that it does not get blown away with strong winds and will keep your ice shelter nice and steady.
3) Ease of Assembly:
This is the part that most people look past when buying an ice fishing shelter and making the wrong choice might leave you deciphering the user manual and taking more time setting it up than fishing.
If you have prior experience with setting up flip-over ice shelters then it’ll be relatively easier for you, but if not, then it may be a hassle just for the first time. Usually, flip-over ice shelters can be set up within minutes which is why if portability is important to you, you will need to consider the setup time.
For flip-over ice shelters, the set-up time is greatly reduced by the easy-to-install poles that can be attached to their hubs which as a result puts the whole fabric into shape.
The quality of your ice fishing shelter and the materials it comprises depends largely on your budget and although it is a personal consideration, there are a lot of ice shelters with more than enough features starting on the cheaper side with prices as cheap as $230 from where onwards prices start increasing but so does the overall quality of ice shelters.
It can be safely said that investing in a higher quality ice shelter for more money will save you some cash in the long run. Even on a tight budget if you search the market thoroughly you might end up with a comparatively cheaper ice shelter that offers a ton of features with considerable durability.
If you go out fishing in the cold you will be needing some sort of seating so you can rest a little and take a few breaks in between your fishing sessions. Most ice shelters don’t come with a built-in chair which means you will have to carry around your own chair.
But, since we’re keeping portability as the foremost feature, a lot of flip-over ice shelters come included with foldable chairs that have multi-axis sliders so you can line up your seat with the ice hole without moving your shelter. This crosses out the hassle of carrying your chair around.
6) Windows and Doors:
The amount of light that enters your shelter will vary depending on the fishing circumstances. So, you should have at least a few windows, at least one on each wall, to let in natural light.
Insider coverings on a decent shelter will let you block all or some portion of the light depending on your needs. When it comes to doors, make sure your shelter has one that is large enough for you to enter and exit. It’s useful to have a backup door in case the main one becomes jammed for whatever reason. Furthermore, if you’re using any gas augers, which is a tool used to cut holes into the frozen lake, having all the vents open is a tremendous benefit.
Detachable windows may also come in handy when you need to look outside without wanting any cold air to come in or another situation where you need some ventilation through the ice shelter, where you can simply open the mesh vents that some ice shelters come with.
7) Weight & Portability:
One of the things that you must make sure of when buying your ice fishing shelter is its weight since you don’t want to deal with disappointment when you put together your ice shelter and find out that you can’t get it to your favorite destination.
Since with flip-over ice fishing shelters you will be carrying them around on your own, you’ll need to consider the weight of the shelter and whether you can handle it on your own or not. Also, remember that the weight of the shelter adds weight on the ice and any extra weight can increase the chances of ice cracking or breaking.
For flip-over ice shelter purchasers, they will have to carry it around on their back so keeping the weight of the shelter in check will prove to be helpful for them.
Lastly, depending on your overall budget, the ice fishing shelter that you buy may come with its own perks and advantages that will make things a little easier for you when you are fishing frequently.
These advantages or benefits may include stuff like lightbars to help you with lighting in dark weather conditions, and some shelters may even come with bait buckets and pouch holders to keep all your fishing gear in place and organized.
Some of the higher-end ice shelters even come with battery holders and drink holders so you will be having a good and comfortable time ice fishing without having to worry about anything. Additional accessories may seem unnecessary but if they do come with your choice of ice shelter then you can take benefits from them.
This Article is Updated.