So, you like to be warm, dry and looking great? Me too!
There is no greater joy than being wrapped up, ready to face the conditions.
I want to show you some of the best ice fishing suits of 2020.
In this article, we are going to take a look at a few really great suggestions and I’ll take you through some features that it really pays to look for.
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Table of Contents
- TOP 7 Best Ice Fishing Suits of 2020
- Buyer’s Guide to the Best Ice Fishing Suits
TOP 7 Best Ice Fishing Suits of 2020
Buyer’s Guide to the Best Ice Fishing Suits
When the fish aren’t biting, the last thing you need to be feeling is cold. And with ice fishing, cold weather comes as a part of the package.
So, it is important that you know how to choose the right ice fishing suit.
I’m going to go through a few things that you may want to consider.
A Waterproof Ice Fishing Suit
I tend to use the hydrostatic ‘MM’ rating when I’m choosing the best suits for ice fishing. As a general guide, the higher the MM rating, the greater the period of time that the suit can be wet without allowing water to make its way inside the fabric.
For light rain only a rating of 3000MM should keep you dry. For heavier downpours or sustained snowfall, look for a minimum of 5000 – 10000MM.
A Warm Ice Fishing Suit
I hope it’s obvious that we look for warmth? But how do we measure this? Well fortunately there is a way.
Allow me to explain.
Many ice fishing suits will have an insulation rating given in grams. As a good rule of thumb, the higher the number of grams, the better insulated the suit is. I like an insulation rating in excess of 150 grams, but that said I tend to fish in nearly all conditions.
Is that it?
Not quite. The gram rating isn’t about thickness. It’s about efficiency. You can sometimes get advanced materials such as 3M and Thinsulate that offer the same level of insulation as thicker padding, so keep your eye out, as they tend to be really good.
One area where lightweight insulation is used extensively is in ice fishing gloves. If you are interested, I’ve got a great ice fishing gloves guide just here that will tell you everything you need to know about keeping your extremities warm.
A breathable Ice Fishing Suit
Moisture from outside isn’t the only problem you face. It can also get a bit humid inside your suit.
There are two ways to deal with this…
Zipped vents allow you to release excess heat and moisture from within your suit, it’s literally the same as opening a window on a hot day.
The second way is by choosing a breathable fabric. Some ice fishing suits will allow moisture to be wicked away from your skin and then transferred to the outer shell where it can evaporate. Breathable fabric can make quite a difference.
Don’t believe me?
Watch this video to see the difference in action!
A Windproof Ice Fishing Suit
Have you ever watched the weather and they give a ‘wind chill’ temperature?
That should tell you that the wind can actually affect your level of warmth.
So, it pays to guard against it. On a cold day on the lake the wind can even cut through thicker layers like a knife. By choosing the best ice fishing clothes you can eliminate this problem from the equation.
Safety Features in an Ice Fishing Suit
There are two areas that I want to cover here.
And they are really important…
The first is about buoyancy and flotation. Nobody ever wants or expects to go through the ice. But year on year it happens. It is better to have some inherent safety features and never need them, than to only realize that they would have been nice when it is far too late.
I’ll say it simply.
The best suits for ice fishing will have buoyancy aids or flotation built-in as standard. Look for foam sections or quick drain materials that mean you won’t be fighting with the cold and 50lb of waterlogged bibs as you try and get out of a hole.
Another thing to look out for is easy to reach ice pick holders. These have saved lives on more than one occasion. To learn how to use them and how great they are check this video out.
The second thing I want to talk a little about is visibility. If you like fishing on bright sunny days then this isn’t quite as important. But any conditions other than that can be hazardous.
If the weather closes in or it gets dark you want to be able to be seen. Especially in popular places where there may be ATV’s or snowmobiles traveling at high speed.
Reflective patches work wonders. If your ice fishing suit doesn’t have these then it may be worth investing in a high visibility vest to wear over your suit.
What should I wear for ice fishing?
Let’s break it down.
You will want two things. To be dry and to be warm. The warmth can come from insulation in your ice fishing suit or as a result of wearing a few thinner layers underneath.
However, the waterproof element will come almost exclusively from your ice fishing suit. Without a waterproof outer layer, all the insulation in the world will not keep you dry.
So, without shadow of a doubt, unless you are a fair-weather fisherman, I would advise that you look for decent water resistance as standard.
Do I need an ice fishing suit?
Well, you have a couple of options. An ice fishing suit is made up all from the same manufacturer.
How does this help?
One word. Consistency. You can be confident when buying an ice fishing suit that the jacket and bibs will all be designed to work together. You won’t have an imbalance, such as really cold legs and a warm torso. Or pockets that are inaccessible because the jacket wasn’t designed for use with those bibs.
For those of you who are aesthetically minded a suit can often be the best choice. If you feel like you look good it will give you the confidence to fish well too!
As a final point, I’m sure you have gathered by now that I’m all about safety. You’ll tend to find that ice fishing suits designed with safety in mind complement each other brilliantly. It’s no good having a super buoyant set of bibs only to find that your jacket becomes waterlogged, or vice versa.
All that said if you make sensible choices it is perfectly possible to find a great custom ice fishing suit. To see individual ice fishing jackets feel free to take a sneak peak at my ice fishing jacket guide here, there’s some really ace ideas.
I have done the same for ice fishing bibs. If you check out both guides you may be able to find a combo that is just perfect for what you need.
What is the best ice fishing suit?
Generally speaking, the best ice fishing suit is one that will allow you stay warm, dry and mobile and perhaps offer a reasonable degree of inherent safety measures.
But if you wanted me to pick…
For the money, I really love the WindRider ice fishing suit. It has absolutely everything I need. Warm insulation, a really high level of water resistance, and the best part is that it floats.
Ok granted it is missing some ice picks, but that’s not a problem as I have been known to make my own in the past.
Want to know how I do it? Take a look at this three minute ‘how to’ guide.
By being comfortable out on the ice, you will be able to concentrate on what really matters. Of course, I mean the fishing.
And believe me, there are few things worse than not catching and being cold! At least with my guide today, hopefully, you’ll be able to take one of those things out of the equation.
Have you found the ideal pairing of ice fishing bibs and a jacket? I love hearing about other anglers equipment, whether that’s the best ice fishing suits in 2020 or the best ice fishing boots, why not leave me a comment below and I’ll check it out!
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