Ice fishing is exciting and rewarding, making it a popular choice for both novice and seasoned anglers. But spending hours on a frozen body of water in harsh weather conditions can be challenging, so having the right gear is essential to ensure a safe and fun experience.
Are you struggling to stay warm and dry on the ice? Perhaps your knees are feeling wet and sore, or you keep getting snow in your clothes? Finding the right ice fishing bib will help solve those problems and make you more comfortable, letting you focus on reeling in the big catch!
There are many different features to consider when choosing your ice fishing bib, and a wide range of products available.
It can get overwhelming, so whether you’re new to ice fishing or an experienced angler looking to upgrade your gear, we’re here to help! To make things easier for you, we have put together a guide of the top 5 ice fishing bibs on the market.
Eskimo have been manufacturing ice fishing gear for over 60 years. They are well known for providing top quality, reliable products at a reasonable price.
The roughneck bib is designed for use in cold weather conditions. The Sherpa fleece lining keeps out the harsh wind. Fully-taped seams provide complete waterproof protection against rain, snow and ice.
Made from 600 denier waterproof polyester, this bib is durable yet breathable – perfect for a long day on the ice.
Nobody wants to end up falling through the ice or slipping into the water! But if the worst should happen, the Eskimo roughneck bib is equipped with breathable flotation assistance, giving you a much better chance of getting out of the water safely.
The reinforced knee pads make it easy to spend long periods of time on the ice by providing extra support. The extra-large pockets are perfect for keeping all your fishing essentials close to hand!
Reflective strips on the legs and back reduce the risk of accidents by making sure you are visible on the ice.
- Waterproof – full protection against rain, snow and ice.
- Warm – Fleece lining keeps out the wind.
- Durable – suitable for long days out on the ice.
- Knee support- stops your knees getting sore from kneeling on the ice.
- Safety – floatation assistance and reflective strips.
- Weight - the fleece lining and flotation assistance make this bib quite weighty and unsuitable for walking long distances over the ice.
Frogg Toggs have been manufacturing outdoor clothing and accessories for 23 years. They are well known for market-leading technological advancements in waterproof fabrics and footwear designs.
The Pilot Pro bib is built for comfort, with stretch suspenders and internal waist adjusters to ensure you get the perfect fit. The leg openings are adjustable, with ankle to knee zippers to allow for different types of footwear.
The knees and seat are reinforced with nylon to allow for long periods of sitting or kneeling on the ice. The low-profile side-lock buckles make it quick and easy to get in and out of the bib.
The bib is made from Frogg Toggs exclusive nonwoven fabric blend- an outer layer of durable Teflon-coated polyester, a waterproof middle layer, and a soft nylon inner layer. The result is a lightweight, windproof and breathable fabric.
Frogg Togg are so confident in their product that it comes with a lifetime warranty!
With large zip pockets on the chest, a dual front cargo pocket and built-in D-rings that can hold multiple accessories, this bib is ideal for keeping your fishing equipment close to hand. Additional fleece-lined hand warmer pockets provide extra protection from the cold weather.
With four colors to choose from you can blend into your surroundings with tree camouflage blue or gray, or stand out in bright red or charcoal.
- Adjustable – for a perfect fit.
- Unique fabric – waterproof, durable and lightweight.
- Lifetime warranty- a long-lasting product.
- Storage - plenty of space for accessories.
- Colors – a choice of designs to suit your needs.
- Flotation assistance – no additional safety measures.
- Reflective strips – no high-visibility features.
- Insulation – the fabric has an insulation layer, but with no additional insulation in the bib you will need to wear warm clothes underneath.
WindRider is a family business who specialize in watersports apparel. Founded by a father and son from Minnesota, their designs are inspired by their own experiences of ice fishing.
This product comes as a full suit – a bib and an additional jacket – and is geared towards staying safe on the ice.
The insulating foam keeps you warm and provides flotation assistance if you fall through the ice. Every part of the suit is thermally insulated, including the removable hood, the pockets, and the extra fleece-lined hand warmer pockets.
With all that insulation you might worry about overheating- but the double zippers allow you to stay in your gear, but open up the suit to let out heat if you get too warm.
This product has plenty of storage space for all your fishing essentials, with pockets on the thighs and chest, internal pockets and a flap to allow access to your pants pocket underneath the bib!
The large mesh pocket is designed specifically for wax worms, allowing the saw dust to fall out through the gaps rather than get stuck in the suit.
The knees of the suit are reinforced with padding to keep you comfortable and dry when you’re kneeling over the hole.
- Jacket – additional item included with a removable hood.
- Flotation – extra safety measures built-in.
- Insulation – fully thermally insulated.
- Double zippers - for temperature control.
- Storage - plenty of pockets for fishing accessories.
- Bulky – insulation and flotation make this suit a little heavy.
- Padding - padding on the knees but not the seat.
- Reflective strips – a small strip on the jacket but nothing on the bib.
StrikerICE is a Minnesota based company who have been manufacturing fishing gear for over a decade. The Predator is a heavy-duty all-purpose bib.
The durable nylon shell is waterproof yet breathable, able to withstand heavy snow and rainfall.
A unique snakeskin material covers the knees, and extra padding reinforces the knees and the seat of the bib.
Temperature control is a key feature of the Predator, with built in Thermadex technology providing lightweight warmth. The zipper venting system keeps you cool on warmer days.
This suit benefits from Sureflote technology, which can keep an average person afloat for two hours. Other safety features include a fast-drain hem and reflective strips.
The storage options range from handwarmer pockets, cargo pockets, and magnetic storm flap pockets for easy use in adverse weather. Attached to the cargo pockets are easy-access snap-on cloths to wipe your hands on.
- Heavy duty – durable nylon shell.
- Waterproof - protection against extreme weather.
- Padding - reinforced knees and seat.
- Safety – flotation, fast-drain hem and reflective strips.
- Storage - multiple pockets including storm flaps.
- Magnetic front straps - easy to lower suit for urination.
- Adjustability - not many options to adjust the suit for a better fit.
- Zip length - the zips are fairly short making the suit difficult to get in and out of.
Fabrill have been supplying anglers with performance-driven products since 1938.
The I-3 is waterproof, windproof and breathable to keep you warm and dry for a full day out on the ice.
The 150g Thinsulate insulation and hand warmer pockets keep the heat in, and the zipper vents help you regulate your temperature by letting heat out.
The 300 denier nylon shell is extremely durable, with 500 denier reinforced knees.
Extra padding on the knees and seat along with elastic straps for flexible movement make this bib extremely comfortable. The full length zippers and cam-lock buckles make it easy to get in and out of.
The safety features include Scotchlite reflective material to ensure you are visible on the ice, drainage mesh for quick release of water, and ice pick holsters to help you out in dangerous situations.
Multiple cargo pockets provide plenty of room for your fishing accessories.
- Safety – multiple safety features.
- Weatherproof – insulated and will keep out water and wind.
- Durable – heavy-duty nylon shell.
- Comfort - flexible design with padded knees and seat.
- No front zip – makes urination more difficult.
- Flotation – no additional assistance if you end up in the water.
Now that we have shown you the 5 best ice fishing bibs, how do you know which one is right for you?
There are several things you need to consider to ensure the ice fishing bib you choose will meet your individual needs.
Check out our buyer’s guide to help you narrow down the options.
Are you a fair-weather fisher or will you brave the elements for the perfect catch? Most ice fishing bibs are equipped with basic insulation, but if you plan on being out on the ice in adverse weather conditions you may need extra protection from wind, rain and snow.
The Sherpa fleece lining of the Eskimo roughneck or the insulating foam in the WindRider suit would be perfect for keeping you warm and dry in snow storms or heavy rainfall.
Remember- the more insulation is built into the bib, the heavier it will be, making it less suitable for long-distance walking or high energy activities.
If you plan on using your ice fishing bib for hunting or snowmobiling, you may want a more lightweight option like the Frogg Toggs Pilot Pro. Keep in mind that you will need to wear additional thermal clothes underneath when sitting still for long periods of time while fishing.
If you tend to fish on sunnier days, make sure you choose a bib with a ventilation system or double zips. Both the WindRider suit and the StrikerICE Predator allow you to release heat to prevent you from overheating.
Ice fishing can be dangerous. The biggest risk is falling through the ice and ending up in the freezing cold water. The more insulated your ice fishing bib, the heavier it will become as it takes on water, making it more difficult for you to get out of the water safely.
Some ice fishing bibs counteract this problem with flotation assistance – a layer of foam or buoyant padding that keeps the wearer afloat.
This life-saving technology is an excellent feature found on the Eskimo roughneck, the WindRider suit, and the StrikerICE Predator. But the additional layer can make the ice fishing bibs bulky and restrict movement.
Snowmobile accidents are another risk to ice fishers. Many anglers use snowmobiles to cover long distances on the ice, especially when travelling to their fishing spot.
Visibility can be poor so choosing a suit with reflective strips will prevent those nasty accidents by making you visible to your fellow fishers. The Eskimo roughneck, StrikerICE Predator, and the Fabrill I-3 all have excellent reflective fabric incorporated into the garment.
For more tips on how to stay safe on the ice, check out the FAQs section!
When you spend hours at a time on the cold, hard, ice, comfort is key!
Ice fishing bibs with extra padding around the knees stop you getting wet and sore when kneeling over the hole. Some bibs, like the StrickerICE Predator and the Fabrill I-3, have additional seat padding to protect you when you sit on the ice.
Getting in and out of your gear can be fiddly, especially after a long day of fishing. The full-length zips on the Fabrill I-3 make this easier. Ideally, you don’t want to undo the whole bib when nature calls! The magnetic front straps of the StrikerICE Predator make it easy to lower the front of the bib for urination.
The fully adjustable design of the Frogg Toggs Pilot Pro guarantees a comfortable fit, and the ergonomic design of the Fabrill I-3 allows for flexible movement.
As mentioned earlier, the more flexible and lightweight the bib, the less insulation and flotation padding is included. You need to decide which is more important to your fishing experience.
The final thing to consider when buying your ice fishing bib is storage. Keeping your accessories and essentials handy will make you a more efficient and successful fisher!
The Frogg Toggs Pilot Pro has built in D-rings to attach your accessories.
The WindRider has a unique mesh pocket designed for wax worms and a flap to allow access to your pants pocket. The magnetic storm flap pockets on the StrikerICE Predator are easy and safe to use in adverse weather conditions, and the snap on cloths click back into place to stop them getting lost.
The ice pick holders on the Fabrill I-3 let you keep life-saving tools close to hand.
Frequently Asked Questions
What size Ice fishing bib should I buy?
Most manufacturers provide a size guide, but you need to consider what you will be wearing underneath. If the bib is well insulated, you won’t need as many layers. If you choose a lightweight ice fishing bib, be sure to allow room for thermal clothing.
I don’t want flotation assistance- what other safety measures can I take?
Flotation assistance can make ice fishing bibs bulky and difficult to move around in. If you go for something more lightweight, there are alternative steps you can take to stay safe on the ice. Attach metal cleats to your shoes to assist with traction when walking over the ice.
Consider wearing a life vest under your bib to help you stay afloat if you end up in the water. Always carry a whistle so you can alert others if you are in danger. To make the area safe for yourself and other fishers, holes in the ice should be clearly marked to prevent people stepping on them.
Ice fishing alone is not recommended- always have someone with you so you can keep each other safe.
How do I know if the ice is safe to fish on?
The best way to test the thickness of the ice is with a spud bar, an auger or an ice pick. A minimum of 4 inches of solid, clear ice is needed to hold the weight of the average person. If you have heavy equipment or a snowmobile you will need the ice to be thicker. Keep a close eye out for rotten ice- avoid areas of discoloration or cracks/holes.