Every ice angler knows the importance of high-quality fishing tackle for a successful fishing expedition. Every ice angler also knows to choose the best ice fishing shelter they can afford and the best transport sled to carry gear.
But there are other pieces of gear — gloves, hats, thermal underclothing, socks, boots, bibs, jackets, hand warmers, and goggles — components of ice fishing clothing that deserve careful consideration before any purchase decisions are made.
Read on for our choices for the best ice fishing clothing and for tips on how to choose the gear that will best meet your needs.
Our Top Picks
Best Ice Fishing Jacket for Men: StrikerICE Predator Jacket
Best Ice Fishing Jacket for Women: GEMYSE Women’s Winter Jacket
Best Ice Fishing Bib: Simms Men’s Challenger Insulated Bib
Best Men’s Thermal Gear: Thermajohn Long Johns Thermal Underwear
Best Women’s Thermal Gear: Rocky Thermal Underwear
Best Ice Fishing Gloves: KastKing PolarBlast Ice Fishing Gloves
Best Ice Fishing Hat: Striker Ice Unisex Fishing Hat
Best Ice Fishing Facemask: Sireck Cold Weather Ski Mask
Best Goggles: Juli Ski Goggles
Best Socks: Scheels Outfitters Extreme Cold Socks
Best Handwarmer: Hot Hands Handwarmers
1. Best Ice Fishing Gloves: KastKing PolarBlast Ice Fishing Gloves
You’ll certainly need a pair of ice fishing gloves to protect your hands from the cold, windy and possibly wet weather you’re likely to encounter. But you’ll also want to be able to easily handle your ice fishing gear, and to tie knots and do the other things that make a successful day on the ice.
That’s why the KastKing PolarBlast Ice Fishing Gloves, which can function as both mittens and as fingerless gloves, are our choice for gloves among the best ice fishing clothing.
Their four-layer construction provides optimum protection against the cold, and their quick conversion from mittens to gloves, combined with magnets that keep the removable mitten section securely attached to the gloves, makes them a great way to remain safe and comfortable on the ice.
- Fast-drying in the event they get wet
- Great warmth with minimal thickness
- Magnetic catch for mitten is very secure
- Thumb flap may not always function properly
- Thumb hole may be too small for some users
- Sizing may run small for some wearers
2. Best Ice Fishing Hat: Striker Ice Unisex Fishing Hat
It’s common knowledge that in cold weather, a large amount of human body heat escapes through the head. That’s why it’s also common knowledge among ice anglers that a fishing hat is an essential piece of ice fishing clothing.
The Striker Ice Unisex Fishing Hat is our choice for the best ice fishing hat because of its one-size-fits-most design and its acrylic fabric construction. And, as an added fashion touch, it includes a removable pom-pom, a bit of decoration that may appeal to some women while out on the ice.
- Fits very well on larger heads
- Removable tassel is a welcome feature
- Windproofing may not be as effective as some wearers would like
3. Best Ice Fishing Facemask: Sireck Cold Weather Ski Mask
When you’re planning on a day of ice fishing, one of the things you’ll need to think about, particularly if getting to your spot includes some hiking or four-wheeling or snowmobiling, is how to shield your face from the cold.
The Sireck Cold Weather Ski Mask is an optimal choice for ice fishing clothing. Featuring a full-face covering with a mesh design over the nose and mouth, the Sireck mask allows unimpeded breathing while still keeping the wearer warm.
If there is one drawback to the Sireck mask, it is that it isn’t fully waterproof, and my not be the best choice for days with heavy precipitation. However, even with that shortcoming, the Sireck mask is very popular with people who own one, earning 70% five-star reviews at Amazon.
- Great value for the price
- Very effective against wind chill
- Great mix of insulation and breathability
- May not be as comfortable as some users expect
- May be too thin for some wearers
- Size may run big for some users
For more on staying comfortable while ice fishing, go online to Life in Minnesota for guidance on choosing an ice fishing chair.
4. Best Goggles: Juli Ski Goggles
If you’re going to be snowmobiling to your favorite ice fishing spot, you’ll need a great pair of goggles to keep your vision sharp. Our choice for the best of the best goggles for ice fishing clothing is the Juli ski goggle.
Juli goggles are designed to reduce fogging, with an air-flow system that brings in fresh air while expelling older air from inside the goggles. Additionally, the Juli goggles are designed with a flexible frame, a feature that can help reduce injuries in the event of a mishap.
- Amazing design aesthetic
- Stay free of fogging up
- Can fit over most glasses
- May not fit over all glasses
- Foam in insert at face should be thicker
- Field of vision should be wider
For more on getting to and from your ice fishing spot, take a look at Life in Minnesota for guidance on ice fishing sleds.
5. Best Men’s Thermal Gear: Thermajohn Long Johns Thermal Underwear
Combining a polyester-Spandex outer fabric with a fleece lining, Thermajohn Long Johns Thermal Underwear has earned its place as the best men’s thermal gear on our overall list of the best ice fishing clothing for 2023.
Also engineered into the Thermajohn thermal underwear is a wicking technology that keeps moisture and perspiration away from the skin, increasing comfort during a day of ice fishing.
In addition, the Thermajohn long johns are a great base layer for the layered ice fishing clothing you’ll need when the weather is brutally cold.
- Well-made with just-right thickness
- Fleece lining ensures comfort
- Fit well under regular clothing
- Sizing may not be accurate for some wearers
- Material may “pill” over time
- Color may stain other clothing items
6. Best Women’s Thermal Gear: Rocky Thermal Underwear
Designed in a range of sizes, Rocky Thermal Underwear is constructed with polyester and fleece to ensure a comfortable day of ice fishing. That’s why it’s on our list of the best ice fishing clothing for 2023.
Rocky Thermal Underwear also features elastic seams to ensure you don’t spend time adjusting the tops and bottoms throughout the day. And the great stitching used in both the tops and bottoms means they can be machine-washed for convenience.
- Available in multiple colors
- Fit well under jeans
- Co0mfortable enough for every-day wear
- Seams are a bit bulky
- Fight may not be as tight as some wearers need
- Neckline may be a problem for some wearers
For more on keeping warm while ice fishing, check out Life in Minnesota for information on fishing shanties.
7. Best Socks: Scheels Outfitters Extreme Cold Socks
Everyone knows how important a good pair of socks is for comfortable hiking, and that goes double for ice fishing clothing.
For one thing, ice anglers often will have to walk long distances to their fishing spot. And for another thing, once they’re there, ice anglers may be relatively still for long periods of time, necessitating socks that can keep their feet warm.
The Scheels Outfitters Extreme Cold Socks are our choice of socks among the best ice fishing clothing of 2023, in large part because they are designed as two socks. The inner layer of the Outfitters socks is designed to wick away moisture, while an outer sock is designed for warmth.
- Great at staying in place
- Moisture is wicked away
- Sizing may be off for some people
For other guidance on footwear for ice fishing, specifically ice fishing boots, check out Life in Minnesota.
8. Best Ice Fishing Bib: Simms Men’s Challenger Insulated Bib
At the same time waterproof and breathable, the Simms Men’s Challenger Insulated Bib has made our list of the best ice fishing clothing for 2023.
Constructed with material developed by Toray, a cutting-edge manufacturer, the Simms bib also includes nylon zippers to ensure that the all-important closures don’t rust over time. For more on some of the best ice fishing bibs, check out a wider look at this vital piece of gear at Life in Minnesota.
- Very warm, with great fit
- Would be better with side zippers
9. Best Ice Fishing Jacket for Men: StrikerICE Predator Jacket
Equipped with Striker’s polyurethane laminate Hydrapore technology, which is both waterproof and breathable, the StrikerICE Predator has earned a spot on our cataloging of the best ice fishing clothing for 2023.
And the StrikerICE Predator isn’t simply for keeping warm. Its design includes a number of pockets, all with magnetic closures, to keep your gear handy. The jacket also includes a zipper pull that doubles as a fishing line cutter in the event of need.
- More than adequate storage space
- Sealed well against the wind
- Sizing may run small
For more on ice fishing jackets and similar gear, you’ll find guidance at Life in Minnesota.
10. Best Ice Fishing Jacket for Women: GEMYSE Women’s Winter Jacket
The GEMYSE Women’s Winter Jacket is a versatile item of outdoor clothing that, in addition to being ideal for ice fishing, can also keep its wearer warm and comfortable while skiing, hiking or otherwise enjoying the outdoors.
Featuring a durable outer fabric backed with fleece on the inside for warmth, the GEMYSE jacket also offers a high degree of wind resistance. And, it features five pockets, including a large mesh pocket.
- Flattering profile, not too bulky
- Soft inner lining is a great feature
- Features thumb slots to keep sleeves down
- Hood may be oversized for some users
- Sizing may not be completely accurate
For more on ice fishing jackets and similar gear, go online to Life in Minnesota.
11. Best Handwarmer: Hot Hands Handwarmers
Chosen on the basis of its convenience, Hot Hands earns the honor of being the best handwarmer as part of our list of the best ice fishing clothing of 2023.
Hot Hands are single-use disposable handwarmers, contained in packets that are activated by exposing them to the air and shaking them. Each warmer can last up to 10 hours.
- Can also be used in shoes as foot warmers
- Easy to fit inside gloves
- Make a great addition to emergency kits
- May not last a full 10 hours
- Initial heating can take up to 5 minutes
For more on keeping warm on the ice, check out Life in Minnesota for a look at ice fishing heaters.
Buyer’s Guide for Ice Fishing Clothing
Now that you’ve had a chance to look over our selections for the best ice fishing clothing, take a minute to look through this buyer’s guide for additional tips on choosing these pieces of gear.
As anyone who’s spent more than a minute in the outdoors is aware, the part of the body which most quickly dissipates body heat is the head. That makes your selection of an ice fishing hat a crucial component in ensuring your comfort — and more importantly, your safety — during your time on the ice.
When selecting an ice fishing hat, you’ll want to consider its insulating efficiency and its ability to keep your head dry. But that’s not all. You’ll be wearing your hat for extended periods of time, so you’ll want it to be lightweight. And for your safety, you’ll want to be sure that it provides an ample field of vision.
Out on the ice, your face is particularly vulnerable to cold and wet weather, making some sort of facemask an absolute necessity.
As with other pieces of ice fishing gear that come into contact with your skin, you’ll want to be sure your facemask is soft, breathable, and will wick moisture away from your face, and provide resistance to the wind.
And, if you’re so inclined, you might want to choose a mask with a whimsical design to let a bit of your personality shine through while you’re getting down to the business of fishing.
Getting safely to your ice fishing spot is, of course, a prerequisite for an enjoyable time going after a great catch. And, like everything else, making sure you’re prepared for a trip into nature requires some planning.
If you use a snowmobile or four-wheeler or any other type of open vehicle when you go ice fishing, you need a good pair of goggles to be sure you can see any potential hazards. And even if you wear a full-face helmet, you’ll want to have some goggles on hand in case you decide to remove your helmet for a while.
One of the major things you’ll want to think about when you’re buying a pair of googles is the field of vision that they offer, and you should choose the widest scope of vision that you can comfortably wear.
Other things to consider when buying a pair of goggles include how they perform in low-light conditions, how well-ventilated they are, and how effectively they resist fogging.
When you’re talking about thermal gear for ice fishing, you’re talking about more than thermal underwear. Thermal underwear should, however, form the base layer of your ice fishing clothing.
Because you’ll be layering your ice fishing clothing, you can opt for lightweight or mid-weight thermal underwear. In terms of materials, a mix of Merino wool for insulation and synthetic fabric for moisture-wicking is a good choice.
From there, a pair of fleece-lined pants is a good choice, along with mid- or heavyweight long-sleeve shirts, before you get to outer layers comprising an ice fishing bib and an ice-fishing jacket.
If you’re looking for the gold standard in ice fishing socks, you want to choose pairs made from Merino wool, which provides an ideal mix of warmth and breathability. And, they won’t overheat as they continue to cradle your feet.
Synthetic fabrics like nylon, Spandex or acrylic fibers also can be effective components of great ice fishing socks, but you’ll want to be sure they’re blended with natural fibers like wool or cotton to ensure you’re getting the best ice fishing clothing.
Ice Fishing Bibs
Ice fishing bibs are a critical piece of gear for spending time out on the ice, serving as the literal foundation of sets of ice fishing clothing designed to keep anglers warm and dry.
The best ice fishing bibs have to do a great job of trapping heat, while at the same time allowing anglers the mobility they’ll need for searching out and catching fish.
A great ice fishing bib also will be required to keep its wearer dry, shielding him or her from external moisture like rain or snow, while at the same time wicking away any moisture created by body heat.
And when you’re in the market for an ice fishing bib, you might also want to consider a model with a flotation capability in the event of breaking through thin ice.
As an outer layer of ice fishing clothing, a good ice fishing jacket must be able to protect its wearer from ice, water and snow, and also provide warmth. One of the tricks of choosing a great ice fishing jacket is balancing the need for waterproofing and insulation with the need for mobility while fishing.
Also, you’ll want to take a good look at the storage capacity of an ice fishing jacket, to be sure that you can keep bits of the equipment you’ll need close at hand, in places where you won’t have to expose yourself to cold or precipitation.
The first thing you’ll need to consider when buying a handwarmer is exactly how you’ll plan to use it. If you’re planning on only an occasional trip out into the cold, and for not particularly long duration, a disposable handwarmer like the Hot Hands that made our list of best ice fishing clothing may be all that you need.
However, if you plan on spending considerable time in the cold, you may want to invest in a catalytic handwarmer or a rechargeable electric model as a component of your ice fishing clothing.
Catalytic hand warmers do require a small amount of fuel, but they will burn for hours on a single filling. Electric hand warmers work by passing a current through an electrically resistive component. Depending on battery size, electric hand warmers can provide heat for anywhere from two hours to 10 hours.
Wrapping up the Best Ice Fishing Clothing
We hope this post has helped you to decide on the best ice fishing clothing for your needs, and has steered you to some specific choices for your needs. For more on ice fishing gear, check out Life in Minnesota.