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Ice fishing is an exhilarating sport, and you need some serious gear to protect yourself from the elements!
From your base layer to your outer coat, you need to be prepared for whatever winter may throw your way.
You’ve got the boots, you’ve got the gloves, socks, and base layer. But do you have the best ice fishing pants to keep you warm and protected from the elements?
What to know about protecting your legs and body while ice fishing
Layers are imperative when it comes to ice fishing. Not only do they insulate your natural body heat better than one single, thick, outer covering, you can peel them off as the temperature and your activity level change.
Start with a base layer.
It may seem counterintuitive, but this may actually be the most important layer. Avoid cotton in general, but especially for the base layer. Cotton will trap sweat and moisture, making you feel colder.
Instead, opt for a quick dry fabric made of polypropylene fabric or a mixed synthetic material.
Do not skimp on the base layer!
Next, add a loose middle layer. Then, add additional middle layers as deemed necessary by your weather conditions.
The base layer was fairly form fitting to hold heat against your skin, but the middle layer can be slightly looser to allow you to move freely.
The material of the middle layers is more flexible, and you should choose what makes you the most comfortable.
You could wear a fleece, synthetic long sleeve shirt, neck protection, or a microdown jacket. If you want to add layers to your legs, you can wear fleece pants over your base.
Finally, don a weather-proof outer layer.
Your outer layer and jacket need to be waterproof and windproof. They also need to repel dirt and ice.
Check your coverage and fill in the gaps.
Think your ice fishing gear ends at the top of your coat? Think again!
You will also need sunglasses, neck protection, and a good hat that will cover your ears.
Do not forget sunscreen! Many people believe that you only need to wear sunscreen during warm months, but that is a harmful myth.
Sunscreen is required anytime you are in a situation to absorb some of the sun’s harmful rays.
The sun’s effect is actually amplified during ice fishing because the light can reflect off of the snow and ice, transferring the effects to you.
When you think you are ready for the ice, do a full body inspection to check for any areas where wind or water could seep in, and fix any issues that you notice.
What to look for in a pair of ice fishing pants?
When you’re looking for the right pants for ice fishing, there are a few things you will want to consider to prioritize your comfort and safety.
Warmth and weather-proofing
When choosing a pair of ice fishing pants, warmth and protection from harsh winter conditions are your first priorities. Look for powerful insulation, weatherproof material and outer coating, and sealed seams.
Also, most gear comes with a temperature or warmth rating. Ensure that your gear is appropriate for the weather and temperatures that you will experience on your fishing trip.
If you are unsure of climate conditions, please contact a local expert before embarking on your trip.
High quality, durable material
If your ice fishing pants are made with strong, high quality material, there is a good chance that they will better protect you than lesser fabric will.
Look for fabric that is designed for the outdoors. And if the fabric is reinforced in naturally worn areas, that is even better.
Safety features and visibility
Safety features are important when it comes to pants for ice fishing. As the rule of thumb goes, expect the best, but plan for the worst.
If you do find yourself under the ice, you will be grateful for any measure of added safety included in your pants.
Look for water drainage technology, floatation features, reflective material, and more.
A good fit
If your ice fishing pants do not properly fit, they cannot function properly, either. This is a problem! If your pants are too loose, they will not be able to adequately maintain your body heat and could expose you to cold air or moisture.
But if they are too small, you will not be able to utilize your full range of motion.
Make sure you purchase pants that feel good! If you buy uncomfortable ice fishing pants, they will only get less comfortable the longer you sit on the ice.
Don’t let a bad pair of pants ruin your ice fishing trip.
Pockets and accessories
Many ice fishing pants come equipped with multiple pockets. Make sure that you have plenty of pocket space.
If a safe pocket for valuables is important to you, be sure that this is included before you buy ice fishing pants.
Best ice fishing pants
There are a number of pants for ice fishing that could work well to protect you on your next adventure. The following products may prove a good place to start.
Always consult an industry professional before using any new product or equipment when ice fishing.
Arctix Men’s Overalls Tundra Bib With Added Visibility
Arctix provides you with an innovative option for keeping warm during ice fishing. You can also wear them while you are playing or working in cold weather!
Versatile, these pants have a host of suitable uses: snowboarding, skiing, fishing, hunting, outdoor sports games, or any snow related activity.
Arctix is the number one supplier of the snow sports industry, so you know that their name is trusted.
These are some of the best pants for ice fishing and are a great addition to your active winter lifestyle and sports.
They are engineered for the highest level of comfort, performance, and movement.
With a ballistic oxford shell covered with W/R + W/P 5000mm thermalock coating, Arctix bottoms can easily combat the chilliest winter temperatures and keep out water, dirt, ice, and snow.
They feature easy access points, too.
For example, the full side can be easily removed using a convenient zipper, and it can smoothly slip over your boots.
Boot gaiters with grippers are super handy and seamlessly connect with your boots to retain your natural body heat.
Made of durable material, this product will resist scuffing and tearing.
You can order sizes from small to 4XL, and they are machine washable!
View at Amazon to learn more about how these products may work for your next ice fishing excursion.
Additional features include:
- 600 denier ballistic reinforcement for the ankles, scuff, and hem guards
- Articulated knee
- Belt loops
- Zippered hand warmer pockets
- Dual cargo pockets
- 85 grams ThermaTech insulation for lightweight, low bulk warmth
- 5K M/M waterproof, windproof, breathable material
- Relaxed fit and machine washable
- Reflective webbing for high visibility
Striker Ice SI HardWater Bibs
Striker Ice SI HardWater Bibs are engineered for comfort, warmth, and safety.
Striker is known for their premier fishing apparel and gear. Unique to this brand, a floatation assist feature is included to protect you in case of the worst.
Sureflote floatation assist is included in all of Striker’s ice fishing suits for the entire family.
Ice fishing requires you to push the boundaries, and Striker is geared to help you.
They build products that keep you protected and safe on the ice with technology built into the fabric of the gear.
This particular model is made of a strong 600D Endura outer layer which surrounds a layer of fixed insulation to fight the wintry elements.
These bibs have a warmth rating of 9 and are designed to maintain your body temperature.
They’re also tough enough to take on rock, dirt, and debris that you may encounter on the ice and on the journey to your fishing hole.
Whether you are on land or on the lake, SI HardWater bibs will fend off water and ice.
Articulated knees will increase your comfort and flexibility on the ice, while bolstered padding will protect your seat and knees.
In case the pants do not fit exactly, the adjustable leg cuffs can help you find the correct inseam length.
Striker included tons of safety features.
Water drains are included for safe, fast water removal if you become submerged.
Also, reflective material is layered on the front and back of the bibs.
The YKK 2-way 10 gauge zipper will give you easy access from either side of the suit, and magnetic storm flaps are located on the front leg zippers.
You can even use the boot strom gators with gripper elastic to stay thoroughly dry.
Beware, these bibs typically run about a half size larger than standard sizing. Please consult the sizing chart before you place your order.
View at Amazon for more information on how these pants may work with ice fishing.
- Fully adjustable suspenders
- Fleece lined chest pockets
- Expandable cargo pockets
- Soft touch breast pocket to protect valuable items
- 2 exterior D rings
- Instant access openings to reach under layer pockets
- Hydrapore system rated 5,000/5,000 for water penetration resistance
- Thermadex insulation for active wear
- Sureflote insulation
Frabill I3 Bib
Fribill’s I3 bibs are designed to stand strong against the perils of winter. Engineered to keep out the cold, ice, wind, and rain, you will be well protected from hazards that you may potentially encounter during ice fishing.
Winter weather can be unpredictable, and these bibs will help keep you safe even in the event of a pop-up storm.
These bibs feature full elastic shoulder straps with cam lock buckles for easy, tight closure.
And, they are designed for comfort. Internal knee and seat padding will help protect your joints and alleviate soreness.
While the winter is usually cold, you can get hot on the ice! So, Frabill included several zipper vents for easy and comfortable temperature regulation.
These bibs are made of very durable, high quality fabric designed to resist wear and tear.
To make sure that this product lasts for season after season, the knees and pant cuffs are reinforced with 500 denier nylon to prevent tears.
With waterproof and windproof fabric, you will minimally feel the effects of the outdoors. The breathable 300 denier nylon taslan shell is 100% seam sealed and designed to keep out moisture while conserving body heat.
This product is designed to give you a great fit as well as quality weather defense.
It has highly advanced features such as YKK zippers, 3M thinsulation, handwarmer pockets with tricot lining, several cargo pockets for large storage capabilities, and 3M Scotchlite reflective patches.
In case of trouble, they also include a self-rescue set complete with ice pick holsters, ice safety internal label, and drainage mesh.
View at Amazon for more information on how these pants may work for use with ice fishing.
- Full elastic shoulder straps with cam lock buckles
- Tight closure and a well-fitting design
- Internal knee and seat padding
- Zipper vents for comfortable temperature regulation
- Reinforced knees and pant cuffs
- Waterproof and windproof fabric
- 300 denier nylon shell, 100% seam sealed
- YKK zippers
- 3M thinsulation
- Handwarmer pockets with tricot lining
- Cargo pockets
- 3M Scotchlite reflective material
Featured image credit: DepositPhotos.com