best ice bibs
best ice bibs

Best Ice Fishing Bibs

Best Ice Fishing Bibs

Best Ice Fishing Bibs – It is important to keep dry and warm on the ice. A heater and shelter can be helpful, but if you are constantly fiddling with your tip ups, fishing in open water, or riding a snow-machine to the ice, the best bibs will be needed. You’ll need a bib for even the repetitive kneeling required by ice fishing.

More than a few fishermen try to force a snow bib–or worse yet, a Carhartt insulated coverall –into service on the ice. While snow bibs or coveralls can be great winter wear, they will not work well in hard water.

Ice fishing is a great way to have fun. However, soaking or freezing your legs can ruin your enjoyment. It is important that you choose the best ice fishing bib to suit your needs. A good ice bib will keep your body warm, dry, and insulated. You can keep your body at the ideal temperature, even in harsh weather conditions.

There are many factors you should consider before spending your hard-earned money on ice fishing pants. These include insulation, padding and the material’s type.

Winter fishing requires angling-specific features. It can be difficult to know what to look out for, what is important, and how to compare different options. We are here to help.

7 Best Ice Fishing Bibs 2021

Clam Ice Armor Ascent -Our Choice!

ICE Armor Cold Weather Bib

Shell 300 denier/1000 denier nylon
Insulation 150g Thinsulate, removable
Flotation Yes

Clam is a respected name on the ice. Their portable shelters and tents are of top quality. Their outerwear is also excellent and designed to help ice anglers get the most out of their time on the hardwater.

Their Ascent bibs, made from 300 denier waterproof fabric and with padded 1000 denier knee reinforcement, are built to last. The knee padding is a real standout. It will keep you warm, dry, and pain-free throughout the day. You will be delighted with how well your knees feel.

The bibs are warm and retain your body heat with the 150g of Thinsulate removable. This feature is great because it allows you to adjust the warmth of the bibs for different seasons. It is great to be able to adjust to late fall or early spring when winter is not yet here.

The bibs have three pockets: A fleece-lined pair hand warmers (always welcome), two small zippered chest pockets and two large thigh pockets for small items such as bobbers or knives. Your smartphone is protected by the Ascent with a waterproof pocket that will keep it dry in the event of an icy plunge.

These bibs have a bi-directional front zip that is sealed with a magnetic storm flap and quick release suspenders. They also feature thigh-length zippers at the legs.

We also love the Ascent’s storm gaiters, which prevent wind from pulling up your pant legs. They can be adjusted for inseam and will keep you warm even in the coldest winter winds.

These bibs are an upgrade to their popular Edge bibs. They include buoyant material which can be used to self-rescue you from falling through the ice. Although not Coast Guard approved, it is something we recommend. Especially when paired with the equally awesome Ascent parka, that extra flotation can be a life saver.

Pros

  • Amazing pockets
  • Amazing knee protection
  • Warm
  • Waterproof
  • Excellent zipper system
  • It’s easy to put on and take down
  • Adjustable inseam
  • Liner removable
  • Added buoyancy could be life-saving
  • Waterproof smartphone pouch

Cons

  • We could not find any.

Clam Ice Armor Edge Cold Weather

ICE Armor Cold Weather Bib

Shell 300 denier/1000 denier nylon

Insulation150g Thinsulate

Flotation:No

Clam’s Ice Armor Edgebibs are made from the same waterproof 300 denier fabric as the Ascent and feature identical 1000 denier padded knee reinforcement.

Pros

  • Amazing pockets
  • Amazing knee protection
  • Warm
  • Waterproof
  • Excellent zipper system
  • It’s easy to put on and take down
  • Adjustable inseam

Cons

  • We would like to see floating

Eskimo Lockout

Eskimo Men's Keeper Insulated Bib, Gray/Black, Large

Shell 600 denier nylon
Insulation 60g Thermadex
Flotation Yes

You’ll recognize Eskimo’s name like Clam. They’re a respected and trusted company on the ice. Although they offer only one ice fishing bib (which is pretty amazing), we are impressed with its quality and features.

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Eskimo Lockout bibs are tough enough to withstand abuse. They have a 600 denier Endura nylon outer that will keep you warm even in the coldest conditions. These bibs have a soft interior lining, 60g of Thermadex insulation, and are coated with Hydrapore 5000 polyurethane laminate. This will keep you dry and warm.

These bibs can be worn over boots and will provide great support for your knees.

The chest has two small zippers that can be stored vertically. Two large thigh pockets on the back are perfect for holding all your gear. Although hand warmer pockets are a great idea, they’re not essential.

Eskimo’s Lockout, like Clam’s Ascent adds buoyant material to help self-rescue if you break through the ice. When combined with their equally excellent parka,, this can enhance your safety, which is a thoughtful feature we really like.

These bibs, which are otherwise excellent, have been criticized for small things. They lack hand-warmer pockets and don’t have quick release suspenders. Although these aren’t major problems, we recommend the Clam Ascent.

Pros

  • Large thigh pockets with zippered chest pockets
  • Amazing knee protection
  • Warm
  • Waterproof
  • Added buoyancy could save your life

Cons

  • No hand warmer pockets
  • No quick release suspenders

Frabill I3

Frabill 2505021 Ice Fishing Safety Gear Black, Large

Shell Nylon 500 denier with two layers at stress points
Insulation Thinsulate 150g
Flotation No

Frabill is no stranger to ice anglers. You’d be hard-pressed not to find a better I3 ice bib. Frabill offers two “better” options, the I4 or I5, but we prefer the I3 because it has the most features for the least price.

The I3 is covered in a 300-denier nylon shell. These bibs are renowned for their sealed seams and proprietary water-repellant coating. Expect a double layer of 500 denier material with plenty of padding at the knees and other wear locations. This system is comparable to 1000-denier competitors in terms of durability, and the padding is generous and warm.

You will be warm with 150g Thinsulate insulation and soft tafeta inside. Layering is important, however.

Leg zippers on the I3 are open to the thigh and make it easy to wear over snow boots. The suspenders aren’t quick-release, but that’s not a problem.

There are two D-rings, and two reinforced eyelets that allow you to attach gear directly onto your bib. This gives you a lot of options. You can store essential gear in two large thigh pockets. They also have two fleece-lined pockets for your hands, which is always a plus.

These bibs feature a bi-directional zipper that is backed by waterproof flap. These bibs are not recommended for use by everyone.

These bibs have many great features, but they are also very affordable.

Pros

  • Amazing pockets
  • Amazing knee protection
  • Warm
  • Extremely waterproof
  • Excellent zipper system
  • It’s easy to put on and take down
  • Relatively affordable

Cons

  • We would like to see floating

Striker Ice Climate

Striker Ice Climate Bibs (Black, L)

Shell 320 denier nylon
Insulation 150g Thermadex, reversible
Flotation Yes

Striker’s Ice Climate Bibas are among the most comfortable mid-range bibs that we tested. These bibs are worth looking at if you fish on open ice or ride a snowmachine into the hard water.

Under a waterproof shell of 320 denier coated with the same Hydrapore polyurethane as the Eskimo you will find 150g of removable Thermadex insulation. You’ll need to consider the temperature when you travel, whether that means reducing layers, venting more carefully or leaving the liner off. The Ice Climate bib is a great choice for bitter weather.

You won’t feel the cold ice against your joints, or lose heat from it. Your knees and seat are well-padded. A magnetically sealed storm flap covers zippers, making them great for when it is bad. Ventilating and slipping these over boots is easy thanks to the thigh-high zippers.

A small zippered pocket can be found on the chest. Two large thigh pockets are also available that are covered with removable hand towels. This is a great detail for anglers. Two fleece-lined pockets for warming your hands are also available.

This bib is similar to the Eskimo lockout. It features a Sureflote layer of 150g that provides buoyancy for self-rescue. When combined with the Ice Climate parka,, which is every bit as capable as the bib it pairs with, you can feel a tad safer should you end up in the water.

Some women say that the bib fits well. However, this will depend on your specific shape.

Pros

  • Amazing pockets
  • Amazing knee protection
  • Very warm
  • Waterproof
  • Excellent zipper system
  • It’s easy to put on and take down
  • Added floating is a plus
  • Pockets with removable hand towels

Cons

  • The knee reinforcement process could be more difficult

Striker Women’s Ice Prism

Striker Ice Prism Bibs, Size 10

Shell 320 denier/1680 denier nylon
Insulation 150g Thermadex
Flotation Yes

The only bibs specifically designed for female anglers are Striker’s Ice Prism. We are glad Striker recognized the importance of fitting women anglers, which is often overlooked in the fishing community. We don’t believe these bibs compare well to the rest. If you can find a men’s bib that fits well, we recommend that you do so.

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These bibs have a lot of great features. They are covered in a strong shell of nylon 320 denier and have the same Hydrapore water-resistant coating as Striker products. The women’s Ice Prism has 150g of Thermadex insulation, just like the Ice Climate bibs. This insulation is not removable like the Ice Climate. You’ll have to manage the warmth as the mercury rises.

The Ice Prism provides ample knee padding. This bib is made from 1680 denier material, which makes it one of the most durable bibs on the market. These bibs are made to last, which we appreciate.

The zipper system works well on the front and legs, and is protected by a storm flap. Although the suspenders are not quick-release, they can be removed easily, even with large boots.

Storage is where we aren’t as impressed. The storage is not as impressive with this bib. It only has two internal pockets on the thighs and one small zippered pocket at the chest. This bib does not offer nearly as much storage as comparable designs for men. This is something we don’t like and we think female ice anglers would agree. The Ice Prism does not offer hand warmer pockets.

Still, buoyed by 150g of Sureflote, when paired with a matching parka, you’ll be better able to self-rescue in an emergency.

Pros

  • Amazing knee protection and the strongest reinforcement we have ever seen
  • Very warm
  • Waterproof
  • Excellent zipper system
  • It’s easy to put on and take down
  • Added floating is a plus

Cons

  • Very small pockets
  • Not removable warm liner
  • No hand warmer pockets

Vexilar Cold Snap II

Vexilar VXW730-4 Cold-Snap Bibs - XL

Shell 300 denier nylon
Insulation Fleece
Flotation No

You’ll know Vexilar from its line of popular flashers, but you may not have known that they make ice fishing outerwear, as well. These are the best choice for those who don’t need extra buoyancy or fancy insulation.

These bibs are a result of Vexilar’s knowledge of ice fishing. The fleece is lined with a warm fleece lining and a 300-denier waterproof shell. It’s not very high-tech but it works well. The Cold Snap sports kneepads are not as thick or durable as other brands. These bibs are a favorite among anglers. We don’t doubt that they provide adequate protection for your knees.

These bibs have great zippers and are well protected by storm flaps. This bib is easy to put on over bulky boots thanks to its quick release suspenders and thigh-length zips. This feature is appreciated by us and we hope you do, too.

The bibs are adjustable at the waist and provide a snug fit. Two large thigh pockets and fleece-lined pockets keep your hands warm, while two large thigh pockets allow you to store the gear that you need quickly. The bib also has an easy-to access pocket inside for keys and a smartphone.

These bibs may not be as warm as its high-tech counterparts, but they are still a great option for budget-minded anglers.

Pros

  • Amazing pockets
  • Good knee protection
  • Fleece is warmer than you would expect.
  • Waterproof
  • Excellent zipper system
  • It’s easy to put on and take down
  • Relatively affordable

Cons

  • It’s not as high-tech, no moisture wicking and super insulation
  • We would like to see flotation

How to choose Ice Fishing Bibs?

Learn the Differences

Although ice bibs might look similar to ski bibs or foul weather gear, the details are quite different.

You’ll find, for example, No products. These bibs are meant to be used for ice fishing, but would be an extremely poor choice for winter anglers who will be kneeling in a hole and enduring freezing temperatures. Although they are great for rainy days and cool temperatures, Huk’s bibas are not designed to withstand the harsh conditions of hard water fishing.

This is also true for snowbibs. They won’t keep you warm but they don’t have essentials like knee pads. This may seem small, but it’s a huge deal when you consider how much abuse ice fishing places on your knees and how much warmth the contact steals.

Wear clothing that is appropriate for the activity you are engaged in. You will be more comfortable and have more fun.

Minimum 80 grams of quality insulation

Ice fishing can be dangerous because of the extreme cold temperatures.

You don’t want to risk it. A bib with at least 80 grams insulation from a trusted brand is a better choice.

The standard bib at a hardware store may claim that it has more insulation than 80g. You will soon discover that this is false!

We believe that the quality of insulation is as important as its quantity. This is why we recommend only the highest quality insulation, as well as the bibs listed in this article.

The amount of waterproofing, wind, and breathability

In general, the descriptions provide information about breathability and waterproof ratings. Anything rated higher than 2000 grams/mm is a good choice.

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Many lower-priced products won’t have ratings that you can use to evaluate them. We have tested multiple bibs to find Arctix to be a good choice in such instances.

Comfortable Padded Knees

Ice fishing requires that you get down to your knees without hesitation. A well-padded knee area is crucial. You will need to have a well-padded and comfortable knee in order to catch your prey.

Zipper Vents to Control Temperature

Contrary to ice fishing jackets, once you wear your bibs you are not going to take them off while fishing.

You need to be able to regulate the temperature in your bibs when you are in such a situation. Zipper vents at your waist or legs are a great idea.

Moisture Absorbing Inner Material

The bib’s inner material should absorb moisture and keep you dry. It will only lead to you becoming cold and then hypothermia.

Fast Draining and Seams that are fully or critically taped

Taped seams that are fully sealed or critically sealed will help keep water and ice out and preserve dryness.

A fast-draining system, which works alongside the fully/critically taped seam, will also prevent water/ice buildup on the outside seam.

It is a blessing to have both of them in your jacket, but it also adds up to a lot more. For beginners or occasional fishermen, one would be sufficient.

Flotation Assistance System (or Rescue Kit)

These bibs will be of great assistance if you fall in the water or need help to flounder. These features are not available on every brand’s bibs.

Striker Ice’s Surefloat Flotation Assistance technology is in their bibs. Frabill comes as a self-rescue kit.

Other Features

Magnetic storm closure, handwarmer pockets and extra pockets for tools, additional pockets for carrying things, adjustable height, removable strap, or even handwarmer pockets are just a few of the features that bibs have. These extra features are included in bibs.

These particularities vary from one person to another. You may not feel the need to have something I feel compelled to have, but it could be very different for you.

If you plan on going into extreme weather, a magnetic storm shutter and handwarmer pockets with zippers are recommended.

FAQs

Which ice fishing bibs are the best?

Ice fishing bibs must, above all, keep you dry and warm. Dry is the most important.

I don’t believe I’ve ever been wet enough to be able to stay warm. Your bibs should be breathable. This allows the moisture that is produced by your perspiration to escape.

You could still get non-breathable bibs for a very low price back in the day. You would be surprised at how much sweat you can get even on the hottest day.

You should be able to put them on and take them off quickly and with plenty of movement.

My favorites are the Striker ice fishing bibs. They have everything I need, except for the fact that they don’t have a zipper (which is not a deal-breaker).

How do you put on ice fishing gloves?

Ice fishing bibs don’t look like regular trousers. The best pair of bibs have a unique feature that lets you wear them without taking your boots off.

Look out for zippable legs or elasticated gaiters at the ankles.

The weight of ice fishing boots can be quite substantial, especially if they are made with chunky rubber soles that have lots of insulation.

If you haven’t seen a pair of ice fishing boots before allow me to enlighten you, I’ve got a handy guide right here that shows you the best ice fishing boots on the market.

What do fishing bibs serve?

They keep your legs dry and warm. They offer more than just waterproof leggings. They also provide warmth because they reach all the way to your chest.

Plus…

I hate drafts. You can feel the cold in your lower back if you have ever ridden up a jacket, especially if you are sitting.

You can keep cold air out by wearing pants that are at least a foot above your chest with braces.

They will also save your knees, making ice fishing more enjoyable. This is especially true if you pair them with a jacket. If you want to see some ice fishing suits so that you can be matching, take a peek at my article here.

Are fishing bibs required to be waterproof?

Yes. Yes. Although snow does not melt when it falls, it can be soaked into fabric to make it ‘wetter’.

There are no worse feelings than feeling cold or wet.

Last words

It may be different factors that make a bib stand out for us than what makes it so special for you. We have tested as many bibs possible using our small, close-knit team.

These 7 bibs are among the most reliable and durable fishing bibs on the market. Amazon offers easy shipping and reliable delivery.

Lewis Mark is a vastly experienced fly fisher. His encyclopedic knowledge of fly tying has led to start blog on fishing. He also review Fishing equipment based on his knowledge and experience.