If you’re an angler who experienced the nuisance of soaked legs or the killing numbness on your limbs due to freezing temperature, you’ll know why bibs are essential for ice fishing.
Not only are they a means of keeping you warm and dry, but they also guarantee your safety and increase your overall fishing time. They protect you from dangerous conditions like hypothermia, which is an emergency case that happens when your body loses heat faster than producing it.
The right bib may put a burden on your wallet, yet it’ll keep you insulated and maintain your right body temperature even in the harshest climates.
Here, we will go through the best ice fishing bibs and why they should be on your buying list this winter. So, buckle up and let’s go!
At a Glance:
- Striker Ice Predator Bib – Best Overall
- WindRider Pro – Most Comfortable Bib
- Striker Ice SI HardWater Bib – Most Durable
- Arctix Tundra Bib – Best Under $100
- Arctix Essential Insulated Bib – Budget Choice
The 5 Best Ice Fishing Bibs in 2020
1. Striker Ice Predator Bib – Best Overall
Striker has been in this line of work for ages that it’s hard to catch them missing a detail. They figured out how to build an insulated suit that keeps you warm all day without making you sweat to death.
Ice Predator is constructed with a robust 320D Tussor shell that’s rigged with Thermadex insulation and Surefloat floatation assistance technology. These three features provide the suit with maximum protection against harsh weather elements.
The insulation layer is light and is certainly far away from being bulky. This makes the bib super comfortable, as it keeps you nimble and flexible to move around punching holes or hop from spot to spot without it getting in the way.
Along with the thermal insulation, the suit is outfitted with cross-flow vents that when opened, allow the air to pass into the interior and regulate your body’s temperature so that you won’t suffocate from the heat.
The bib has a waterproof rating of 5000 mm, which is sufficient to block the rain and keep you dry throughout the day. You’ll like its fleece-lined pockets that will keep your hands warm and the adjustable inseam that snaps to different lengths to fit your height.
Just above the cargo pockets, there is an access slot so you can get your stuff from your clothes underneath without unzipping the bib.
As for the safety measures, the garment has excellent buoyancy and is outfitted with reflective elements to keep you visible should the unthinkable happen. Moreover, it has heavy knees and seat padding to protect you from bumps, cuts and bruises.
- Warm and waterproof
- Adjustable size
- Sturdy 320D material
- Firm insulation
- Breathable interior
- Floatation technology
- Reflective elements for safety
- Short zippers make it hard to pull on and take off
- More on the pricey side
We couldn’t find a better bib to sit on top of our list. Ice Predator bib has everything that an ice fisherman would need, starting from strong insulation and full waterproofing and ending with comfort, breathability and safety.
2. Windrider Pro – Most Comfortable Bib
Windrider have outdone themselves here, and the hallmark of this product is comfort. The bib has a cosy design that’s not overly baggy nor irritatingly slim. It allows you to bend, cast your rod or even freestyle dance if you feel like it.
The back heel of the pants is cut up ¾ inches so that you don’t trip over them and the elastic at the waist and underarms fits the garment to your body, so you won’t feel like you’re wearing a potato sack. There is also a front zipper with a storm flap to allow for quick bathroom breaks.
Moreover, it’s outfitted with six pockets that have different functions. There are two cargo pockets for storage, two fleece-lined ones on the sides to warm your hands, and finally two chest pockets where you can keep small tackles handy.
As for its function on ice, this bib is comparable to Ice Predator in its insulation and breathability. Made of two-layer laminate fabric, the suit will keep all the elements out even if it’s blizzarding. Also, it breathes and exchanges heat well so you won’t feel sweltering in it even if the temperature rises.
Reinforced with padding in the seat and knee areas, the garment will keep you safe while roaming the ice and fishing to your heart’s content. On top of that, you won’t have to worry about the rain reaching you because it’s completely waterproof.
Honestly, we like that every detail in this bib has been thought of with ice anglers’ wishes in mind. However, it’d have been better if they added a buoyancy aid like other high-quality models. Furthermore, customers complain that the sizing chart is inaccurate, so you better order the next size up to avoid this problem.
- Waterproof and breathable
- Perfect heat retention
- Six pockets to keep your hands warm and for extra storage
- Double zipper with storm flap
- Durable padding
- Adjustable straps
- Reasonable price
- Inaccurate sizing
- No buoyancy
In terms of warmth, sealing, and durability, Windrider Pro is the best ice fishing bib out there. The fact that it’s equipped with six pockets and elastic tips along with padded knees and seat will make you regret that you’ve spent all this time on the ice without its comfortable design.
3. Striker Ice Hardwater Bib – Most Durable
Anglers who like to go on long trips in temperatures below freezing and looking for durable and extra warm bibs, pay attention! You’re about to meet your best match.
Ice Hardwater is made of 600D Endura fabric, which won’t tear or rip even under heavy use. The high-duty YKK front zipper along with the magnetic storm flap closure complement its durability and add to its comfort. Furthermore, the patches over the knee and rear end help with its longevity.
It has a warmth rating of 9, which is the highest on our list. Thanks to its Thermadex insulation, the garment is capable of keeping you so warm that you won’t need to use a shanty. But don’t worry, it’ll still give you a chance to breathe since it’s equipped with vents that can be zipped down in case the weather gets hot.
To increase your sense of security, the suit prevents water and moisture from penetrating the seams. Hence, it’s entirely waterproof and has water drains for safe water removal.
The bib is super easy to put on and take off, and the hems can be fastened up to keep them from dragging on the ground. It’s also designed with articulated knees for improved flexibility and has expandable cargo pockets for extra storage space. As for the chest pockets, they are fleece-lined to keep your hands warm and toasty.
Unlike Windrider Pro, it has an accurate sizing chart. Although it may cost you more than other alternatives, it’s worth every penny.
- 600D Endura outer shell
- Sturdy YKK zippers
- Insulated and breathable
- 100% waterproof
- Light and comfortable
- Plenty of pockets
- Straps are difficult to adjust
Push your boundaries and chase fish recklessly wearing this super durable bib because it’s crafted with high-quality 600D material that will last for years of abuse. It’ll keep you warm without sweating and safe in case of any unfortunate accident on the ice.
4. Arctix Tundra Bib – Best Under $100
Knowing that Arctix is a leading company in affordable winter clothing, we didn’t hesitate to look into this product. We found that what they present at this price point exceeds our expectations.
For starters, they use ballistic nylon in the construction, which was initially invented to protect aircraft personnel from bullets, so you can imagine how durable and abrasion-resistant it is. They also reinforced the product in all stress points like the seat, knees, ankles, and scuff guards to hold up to the daily wear and tear.
However, despite the reinforcement, it’s still relatively weak at the seams, so you might need to take extra care while bending and crouching on the ground.
The three-layer construction provides warmth, softness and breathability without the bulk. With a flexible insulating inner layer and a breathable one in between, the bib offers the right balance between warm and cool. And the outer layer is completely windproof.
The garment fits great, and the sizing chart is accurate. The straps are comfortable but not adjustable, and the use of a 20-inch boot zipper renders the suit easy to put on and take off. They also didn’t forget to add reflective strips for visibility, which is a point in their favour.
Nevertheless, contrary to what the company claims, we find that it’s not entirely waterproof. Some anglers reported that it could get wet easily unless you’re fishing on dry ice. Moreover, the chest pockets don’t seem to hold much, and unlike other high-end models, it lacks buoyancy.
- Value-based pricing
- ThermaTech insulation
- Made of 100% sturdy polyester
- Reinforcement at the ankles and scuff guards
- D-ring for keys and gloves
- Boot zippers for easy on and off
- Accurate measurements
- Complaints about its waterproofness
- Non-adjustable straps
- Weak at the seams
- No floatation
Although there may be better designs out there, it’s hard to beat Tundra’s price. At a price point of under 100 dollars, you can get a durable and lightweight bib that provides the right amount of insulation without being bulky.
5. Arctix Essential Insulated Bib – Budget Choice
Arctix makes a second appearance on our list with this impressive yet economical ice fishing bib. With around 50 bucks, you’d expect you’re getting a piece of junk, but that is not the case.
It has the same three-layer construction of Tundra, yet it’s more lightweight. The use of the thin and flexible ThermaTech insulation layer reduces the suit’s weight to 2 pounds, which means it’ll keep you warm without feeling like you’re bundling up.
The in-between layer is breathable to regulate your body’s temperature, and the outer one is completely wind and waterproof. Unlike Tundra, you won’t have to worry about water leaks.
Although it’s made to suit anglers with tight budgets, the use of ballistic nylon in the construction makes it feel like an ice armour that won’t tear or rip, and the reinforcement in the ankles, scuff guards and hems is a plus.
Owing to its adjustable suspenders and elasticized sides, the design is comfortable without being restrictive. It has zipped pockets for storage and padding in the knees and seat area to protect you against injuries.
The boot gaiters are a nice bonus as well, since they fix the pants to your boots for added sealing and prevent air and snow from reaching your skin.
- High-quality material
- Flexible and breathable
- Excellent insulation
- Boot zippers for easy on and off
- Complaints about faulty zippers
- Weak suspender straps
If you’re saving your money for other ice fishing tackle, then this suit is your best option. It may be cheap in price, yet it’s nowhere close to cheap in quality. It’ll keep you warm and toasty all day long without weighing you down.
How to Pick an Ice Fishing Bib
When you’re shopping around, you’ll find many anglers swearing by one product while others are swearing at that same product! To get out of this pit, take a look at these factors to understand how to compare and choose the best fit for you.
This is the main reason you’re buying an ice suit; thus, it should be the first feature to check. The best ice fishing bib acts as a shield against chilling wind and freezing temperature. It should keep you warm without making you overheat. Hence, make sure that it comes together with a breathable core or vents that allow air in should the temperature rises a few degrees.
Along with being 100% windproof, the bib should have elastic cuffs that can be secured tightly around your leg or stuffed in your fishing boots. This is to trap the heat and prevent the cold air from travelling up your legs and ruining the whole insulation.
This goes hand-in-hand with the idea of insulation. Just as an ice bib must be insulated, it needs to be completely waterproof without any chance of leaks. The ultimate waterproof rating should be 11,000 mm, which is enough to block water splashes and rain from reaching your bare skin.
Size and Fitting
The sizes provided by different manufacturers differ in their measurements. Always check the sizing chart carefully before you pick a size.
Some anglers overlook the fact that they’ll be wearing another layer underneath the bib, so they choose a smaller size than needed. It’s better to take that into consideration, but don’t go too far and buy an extra-large one. Bulky bibs can be more of a nuisance than a help.
Lastly, opt for models with adjustable shoulder straps like that of a backpack to adjust it according to your height.
Since you’ll be moving around a lot, bending to drill holes, and raising your arm to cast your jig, comfort matters the most.
Some cheap bibs are stuffed with many layers in an attempt to insulate. However, manufacturers of high-quality ones use smart technology to come up with a material that’s thin enough to allow for maneuverability while still maintaining the ability to retain heat.
Optimum ice fishing bibs are made of sturdy materials that hold up well throughout years of abuse. An example of this material is nylon as it’s durable, light, and comfortable at the same time. Moreover, ensure that the zips and seams are made of high-class materials so that they won’t tear or break in the long term.
We’ve already established the fact that these garments are meant to be for your safety as well as your comfort. Since ice is a slippery surface, look for suits with padding in the seat and knees’ area to protect you from injury if you happen to fall or trip.
When ice fishing, the chance of you slipping into the water or the ice breaking under your feet isn’t zero. An ice bib isn’t exactly a replacement of a life jacket, but an extra floatation functionality can prove itself helpful in the worst situations.
Another safety feature that should be on your bib is reflective tapes. If you fish alone, you’d want to be visible to other fishermen in the area in case an emergency happens so that someone can come for your help.
People make use of pockets even on pyjamas, wouldn’t it be wonderful to have pockets on your bib so that you can keep your tiny gear like fishing lures and knot-tying tools handy? Therefore, look for bibs with extra chest and thigh pockets. Also, ensure that they are made of warming materials so that you have an additional shelter for your poor hands.
At the end of the day, we hope that you’ve finally met your next ice armour that meets your requirements. If you’re still confused, here’s a quick recap.
We pick Striker Ice Predator as the best ice fishing bib currently on the market. It’s a bib that you can rely on even in the foulest weather, thanks to its second-to-none insulation and breathability. Wear it and put your mind at rest, as the company has added all the safety measures, including buoyancy, padding and reflective straps.
Since comfort comes before anything else, choose Windrider Pro if you like to roam the open ice in the most extreme temperatures without feeling confined. The bib incorporates design touches that provide you with plenty of room to move comfortably.
Finally, if you aren’t sitting on a pile of cash, go for Arctix Essential. It’s got everything you need from excellent insulation, flexibility and waterproofness but within an affordable price level.