If you’ve any experience of cold weather you’ll already know that the secret is keeping your core warm.
The best way to achieve this is by getting a decent jacket.
I’m going to let you in on a few secrets and give you some guidance on the best ice fishing jackets available in 2023.
Read on to find out how to stay properly warm.
Table of Contents
- Ice Fishing Jackets – At-a-Glance
- TOP 10 Best Ice Fishing Jackets for 2023
- Striker Apex Ice Fishing Jacket
- IceArmor by Clam Ice Fishing Parka
- Simms Challenger Fishing Rain Coat
- Frabill Ice Fishing Safety Gear
- Striker Climate Ice Fishing Jacket
- Eskimo Lockout Ice Fishing Jacket
- Frogg Toggs Men's Pilot II Guide Rain Jacket
- Wantdo Women's 3 in 1 Waterproof Jacket
- Striker Ice Women's Fishing Prism Jacket
- Nomakk Men's Heated Jacket
- Buying Guide to the Best Ice Fishing Jackets
Disclosure: At BonfireBob, we recommend products based on unbiased research, however, BonfireBob.com is reader-supported and as an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases if you shop through the links on this page. For more information, see disclosure here.
Ice Fishing Jackets – At-a-Glance
There’s a lot to consider when you’re in the hunt for a new ice fishing jacket, so before we get started on the reviews, let’s cover a few things to bear in mind that will help point you in the right direction.
- Materials/weatherproofing – examine what the jacket is made from, and how well it will repel the elements.
- Sizing – ice fishing jackets tend to run large, so you can layer underneath. Double check before ordering.
- Insulation – the lining is very important – you want to make sure you stay warm in plummeting temperatures.
- Weight and bulk – typically the warmer the jacket, the heavier and bulkier it will be – but is that always the case?
- Pockets and compartments – places to store tackle and gear. How practical are they?
- Safety features – staying safe and seen on the ice is essential. How does your jacket help?
- Cost – this kind of technology can be expensive – try to stay under budget.
With those features and factors in mind, take a wander through our reviews, and see if you can find the right ice fishing jacket for your needs.
TOP 10 Best Ice Fishing Jackets for 2023
Buying Guide to the Best Ice Fishing Jackets
An ice fishing jacket is as important as your rod. Bearing in mind that you will be wearing it constantly you will need to get it right first time.
I’m now going to talk a little about things to look out for when choosing a good ice fishing jacket.
Ok so I won’t say that ice fishing is dangerous, but this is only the case if you are properly prepared. A good ice fishing jacket should keep you safe. Aside from the obvious dangers of cold, we need to consider a couple of other things.
How can I be prepared?
The first is visibility. You’ll be fishing in winter, therefore it’s likely to be dark. ATV’s and snowmobiles can present a real danger, especially in busy areas. Look for features such as reflective strips and bright colors to ensure that you can always be seen on the ice, regardless of the conditions.
The second area which you’ll notice I am keen on is floatation. Nobody ever plans to fall through the ice, but it happens year in, year out anyways. So why not give yourself the best possible chance of recovery.
You’ll need a jacket that helps you stay up on top of the surface, not one that drags you down. Look for inherent flotation technology. Air filled insulation will keep you warm and may also save your life in a bad situation.
One often overlooked area is communication. I rarely ice fish alone, but it is vital that you have a means to ensure you can at least call for help if the weather turns or something bad happens.
To do that you will need an effective way to ensure that your phone stays warm and dry. Look for internal custom pockets designed to do exactly that.
Hot, Cold, or Just Right?
Consider the conditions that you are likely to be fishing in. Don’t plan on a best-case, plan for the worst, or better still look for a jacket that allows you to tailor your level of warmth with each different day.
How do I do that?
Look for features such as removable linings. With the right level of removable insulation, you will be saving money as you are effectively getting several jackets all in one.
If removable layers are not appealing then look for things such as vents and zips that will allow you to release heat when you need to. It is rare I am too warm when ice fishing, but often when pulling my gear for half a mile I can feel a little hot under the collar, if only temporarily.
Is that all?
Not quite. Breathability is important too. By allowing trapped perspiration to escape you’ll actually manage to stay warmer?
Want to know why?
When you get too hot you start to sweat. Sweat is designed to cool you down and over time it will become quite effective even though you may have been too warm initially.
Can you see what the problem could be if you are fishing in cold conditions. Breathable material allows this sweat to escape and prevents you from getting cold when you really don’t want to be.
If I can offer one key to keeping warm it would be this. Stay dry. I haven’t met an angler yet who was wet and warm. By choosing a jacket that is right for the conditions you can ensure that water isn’t an issue.
When I look for a waterproof item of clothing the first thing that I check is the MM rating. This is basically a measure of how long a garment can remain wet before it starts to allow water inside.
5000MM will endure moderate rain (or snow) for around 5 hours before it starts to allow water to ingress. 10,000MM is pretty much waterproof for the day. I would never go less than 3000MM.
Basically, any less than this and you are going to get wet. It’s that simple.
Another key feature I look for is taped seams and sealed zips. These two areas are the most likely for allowing water into your jacket. Even a drip can feel like a fountain when the temperature is well below freezing.
By securing weak areas you can ensure that you still stay dry even during prolonged periods of precipitation.
This guy here can tell you a lot about how to stay dry, in particular choosing waterproof material, why not take a look. It will take you about 6 minutes.
A Functional Jacket
Although it seems counter-intuitive, you are just looking for warmth. If you are snug as bug but your fishing suffers because you can’t move or get organized then that would be no good.
I normally look for pockets on my fishing jackets as a bare minimum. Even better is loops and D rings. I don’t like taking my fishing gloves off to fish in pockets, and rings allow me to attach my most used tools to the outside of my jacket.
I’d like to talk a little about bulk too. Padding is great.
To a point.
If I am waddling round all day and feeling restricted then it can spoil a good days fishing. You are looking for a fishing jacket that has a good mix of insulation but still allows you sufficient mobility where you need it.
If you take a look at the best fishing jackets here, you’ll see that they share many common features with those more suited to ice fishing.
What is the best jacket for ice fishing?
Ok so you have looked at the above buyer’s guide and want to see what really fits the bill. You are looking for a jacket that offers the right level of warmth, water protection and possibly additional safety features.
In light of all of this, I would say that my choice would almost certainly be the Frabill Ice jacket given above.
It offers pretty much every feature I have mentioned in my buyer’s guide, and it looks really cool too. When paired with a really great pair of ice fishing bibs, you could have one of the best ice fishing suits for 2023!
How do you stay warm in ice fishing?
Staying warm is actually all about layers.
Why does this work?
Essentially with each layer that you put on, you are trapping a really thin layer of air. Each layer is heated by your body. When these layers combine you can end up really warm.
The benefit to adding layers is that you can take them off depending on the conditions on the day. So, if you find that you are too warm (lucky you) then just peel off a layer at a time until you find the sweet spot.
But don’t take it from me. If you want to know a little more about ways to keep warm, this 4 minute video will give you further insight.
Oh, and don’t neglect the lower half of your body either. In particular, your extremities which will feel the cold first. I always like to make sure I’ve got super warm feet.
If you want to know my secrets head on over to my section on ice fishing boots where I show you the best you can buy!
A warm-core leads to feeling warm all over, but sometimes you can need a hand. Literally. I hate cold fingers almost as much as cold toes.
A trusty pair of fishing gloves will ensure that you can use your digits regardless of the weather. I’ve got some really good advice about ice fishing gloves just here.
Do I need a waterproof suit for ice fishing?
You will certainly need a pair of ice fishing bibs. Even if you only fish on dry days, unless you are a gymnast you will still be occasionally making contact with the ice, be that on your knees or elsewhere.
If you kneel on the ice you are going to get wet, so it pays to cover your legs too!
You really need to put as much thought into your bibs as you do with your jacket. But don’t worry, I’ve done the hard work so you don’t have to. You can learn all about the best ice fishing bibs here.
Alternatively, you may be looking for a single solution.
In this case, an ice fishing suit might just be what you need. By getting a really great ice fishing suit you can ensure that you have consistency in your approach to the weather.
Why not check out my ice fishing suit guide? It features all of the best ice fishing jackets and bibs combined.
Which Striker ice suit is the warmest?
This is a common question that’s doing the rounds. I think the warmest striker jacket/suit is the Climate model, but the new Apex range is HOT on its heels, and uses cutting edge technology to be lighter and warmer.
What should I wear for ice fishing?
Great question! There are a lot of different options when it comes to the clothing you wear for ice fishing, and in truth, providing you’re warm and comfortable, you can wear almost any combination of quality outdoor gear.
Just remember that layering is key.
But for regular ice anglers, dedicated ice fishing clothing is non-negotiable, especially as it’s been designed precisely for the sport, and has outstanding safety features built-in as standard.
Check out this article on the best ice fishing suits on the market, and you can also watch the video below, which offers more information.
Does Clam Ice Armor float?
Yes. Clam’s Ice Armor range of clothing comes with float technology built in, and should the unthinkable happen, it will help keep your head above water.
But Clam isn’t the only manufacturer that utilizes such tech, and most good ice fishing jackets and bibs should come with it included.
The trade-off is the price – but how much value can you put on your life and your peace of mind?
How cold is too cold for ice fishing?
The rule of a very frozen thumb is that anything below 18-degrees Fahrenheit is widely considered too cold for safe, comfortable ice fishing.
Get your skin wet or exposed even for a moment, and you’ll be in a world of hurt. Stay home, put your feet up, and think of all the ice fishing you can do when the Mercury rises a few degrees.
It’s surprising how much there is to think about when it comes to choosing the best ice fishing jackets for 2023. And there is a lot of choices.
Did you see anything that you liked, or do you have a suggestion that you believe is worthy of my list?
Drop me a message below, I’m always a fan of seeing new fishing gear!