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The 6 Best Ice Fishing Chairs for 2023

An ice fishing chair is an essential piece of equipment for even the most occasional ice angler. In addition to providing a place to sit for extended periods, ice fishing chairs can, depending on the model you choose, provide warmth, storage space for fishing gear and other amenities.

Read on for recommendations on the best ice fishing chairs on the market and where to find them.

Ice Fishing Chair

Our Top Picks

Best High-End Chair:
The Hot Seat From POP Design

Most Durable and Oversized:
ALPHA CAMP Oversized Folding Chair

Best Value:
Eskimo Plaid Folding Ice Fishing Chair


1. The Hot Seat From POP Design

With a capacity for warming as high as 110 degrees, the Hot Seat from POP Design both keeps your blood moving while on the ice and helps prevent muscle soreness from a day of ice fishing.

Additionally, the chair’s multiple storage areas — including one specifically for your cell phone — are just a few of the many reasons that this is our top-ranked ice fishing chair.

POP Design The Hot Seat, USB Heated Portable Camping Chair, Perfect for Outdoor, Sports, Beach, or Picnics. Extra-Large Armrests, Travel Bag, 5 Pockets, Cup Holder, 2-Pack (Battery Pack NOT Included)

Product Features

Weight capacity of 300 pounds

Extra-large armrests help keep user’s back comfortable

Constructed of heavy-duty steel tubing

Pros

Heats up quickly for fast comfort

Chair frame and other components are extremely durable

Reclines for added comfort in long sitting

Cons

Heated area limited to bottom of chair

Battery pack not included

Charging the heater can be a problem


2. ALPHA CAMP Oversized Folding Chair

With durability that includes the capacity for holding up to 300 pounds, the Alpha Camp Oversized Folding Chair is a cinch to be placed on any list of the best ice fishing chairs.

This oversized chair is perfect for when you’re wearing a lot of layers on the ice – you can get in and out of it easily!

Among its many attributes, the Alpha Camp chair is perfect for ice fishing, particularly if you plan to spend long hours on the ice, because of its padded seat and backrest.

Also, the Alpha Camp chair folds into a small configuration for easy transport to and from a day of ice fishing, and at just a shade over 13 pounds, it can be carried for a considerable distance.

ALPHA CAMP Oversized Camping Folding Chair Heavy Duty Support 450 LBS Oversized Steel Frame Collapsible Padded Arm Chair with Cup Holder Quad Lumbar Back Chair Portable for Outdoor,Black

Product Features

Heavy-duty steel frame

Lots of storage space

Large seating area

Pros

Stands up to frequent use

Easy to set up with just a quick pull

Handy to leave in the trunk of a car

Cons

Arms are fabric, which provides little support for standing up

May be uncomfortable for shorter people

Seat may be too low for some users


3. Eskimo Plaid Folding Ice Fishing Chair

Among the more widely available ice fishing chairs is the Eskimo Plaid Folding Ice Fishing Chair, a simple chair featuring a triangular seat to allow for great freedom of movement while waiting on or bringing in your catch.

The chair’s 19-millimeter steel framework provides great support, but it folds into a small package that is easily stowed in your vehicle and just as easily carried to your favorite ice fishing spot.

Eskimo Folding Ice Chair, Standard, Buffalo Plaid Red/Black

Product Features

Carry bag included with chair

Insulated for comfort

Pros

One-year warranty

Won’t take up much room in tent or hut

Cons

May not be as comfortable for taller users

Some users may need to stand occasionally


4. Wise Outdoors Super Sport Seat

It may seem odd to recommend an ice fishing chair in which you’re perched atop a cooler, but hear us out: The Wise Outdoors Super Sport Seat has a lot to recommend itself for your consideration.

Having a cooler as part of the seat provides a place for proper refrigeration of the food and drinks you’ll want to have for a long day of ice fishing. Alternatively, the cooler portion of the seat can be used to ensure that your bait is kept as fresh as possible.

The seat itself is recommended because it provides great back support, and its high-quality foam padding also helps ensure comfort for a long day on the ice.

Wise Outdoors Super Sport Hunting Seat with Insulated Cooler, Brown/Break-Up Camouflage

Product Features

Adjustable shoulder trap for comfortable carrying

Cooler has 10-gallon capacity

Seat offers nearly one square foot of padded comfort

Pros

Cooler insert can be removed to accommodate fishing gear

Also good as an extra boat seat, or for hunting

Seat swivel operates quietly

Cons

Carrying strap has some comfort issues


5. Nemo Equipment Stargaze Recliner

If you’re looking for maximum comfort in an ice fishing chair, the Nemo Equipment Stargaze Recliner is what you’ll want. In addition to its ample padding, the Stargaze Recliner will allow you to relax and gaze into the sky while waiting for fish to find your line under the ice.

The chair’s wide base ensures that it will remain stable, and its lightweight — it comes in at around seven pounds — means that you’ll hardly notice as you’re carrying it on and off the ice.

Product Features

Swinging capability produces relaxing motion

Supportive headrest for added comfort

Frame is aircraft-grade aluminum

Pros

Armrests provide great leverage for getting into and out of the chair

Mesh material is both breathable and soft

Comfortable hammock-style feel

Cons

Awkward sitting position for some users

Assembly may be somewhat challenging

Finding comfortable reclining position can be difficult


6. Timber Ridge Laurel Folding Director’s Chair

Versatility should be one of the things for which you look when searching for the perfect ice fishing chair, and that’s exactly what you’ll find with the Timber Ridge Laurel Outdoor Folding Director’s Chair.

Featuring an aluminum frame for lightweight, the Timber Ridge chair nonetheless also has a weight capacity of 300 pounds and offers a foam-padded back and armrest.

Timber Ridge Laurel Outdoor Folding Director's Chair with Cooler Bag & Side Table, Gray

Product Features

Flip-down side tables

Under-seat mesh storage pocket

Insulated cooler bag

Pros

Double side tables set it apart from other chairs

Easy to set up and take down

Exceptional back support

Cons

Seat area may be too shallow for some users

Table locks can malfunction

Armrests can be uncomfortable to use


Ice Fishing Chair Buyer’s Guide

If you’re considering the purchase of an ice fishing chair, don’t give in to the temptation to buy a regular camping or hunting chair in hopes that it will meet your needs during a day of ice fishing.

Camping and hunting chairs need to be lightweight and portable, and while those also are good attributes for an ice fishing chair, you’ll typically want a more substantial chair for a day out on the ice, during which you could be sitting for long stretches of time.

Types of Ice Fishing Chairs

Beyond that basic rule, there are a number of factors you’ll need to consider to ensure that the chair you choose will bring with it all of the comfort and convenience you want.

First, your choice of ice fishing chair should include padding material that is rated for use in cold temperatures, including the sub-zero range.

Ice Fishing Chairs

Padding should be covered in vinyl or similar material to keep your chair’s insulating properties from being compromised by water infiltration from ice, melting snow, or rain.

You’ll also need to decide on a director-style chair, which will provide great back support. A swivel chair, particularly helpful if you’re fishing in more than one hole, a bleacher-style chair, which is easy to set up, or a tripod chair, which is easily portable.

Comparing Ice Fishing Chair Types

Director-style chairs are currently a popular choice, in part because they assist in maintaining good posture, resulting in fewer potential aches and pains after a long day of ice fishing.

Swivel chairs can be a good choice if you’re going to be doing your ice fishing from inside a shelter, where space may be at a premium.

Bleacher-style chairs, like tripod chairs, are easy to transport, and if you’re s sports fan, they can do double duty as comfortable seating at sporting events where other seating may be uncomfortable or inadequate.

As far as tripod chairs are concerned, you’ll need to balance their light weight and convenience with making sure that they are adequate to support you. Perhaps more than other styles of chairs, you’ll be better able to actually sit in a swivel chair before buying.

As a general rule, regardless of the type of chair you choose, you’ll want to be sure the seat is at a comfortable height for you and that its armrests, if it has them, also are supportive and comfortable.

Ice Fishing Chair

And of course, you’ll want to check the weight rating of the chair. In connection with that consideration, remember to factor in the weight of the clothing you’ll be wearing and of any gear you’ll be storing on the chair before making your selection.

Storage Space Is Important

When choosing an ice fishing chair, be sure that you consider how well you’ll be able to keep your gear and tackle close at hand. For that, you’ll need to pay strict attention to storage capabilities.

The top consideration for storage is to be sure that your gear and tackle will be easy to find and reach, particularly while you’re seated. At a minimum, a worthwhile ice-fishing chair should have some form of padding available for the safe storage of hooks and jigs.

Also, you’ll want to find a chair that has a storage compartment that two or three inches deep, sufficient for keeping bait close at hand. And, of course, some storage capacity for keeping your catch also should be a consideration.

Other Things to Consider in an Ice Fishing Chair

You’ll also want to be sure that any hinges on your ice fishing chair are well-constructed to stand up to outdoor use, and of course you’ll want to be sure that those, hinges and other parts of the chair will resist rust, since you’ll be using it in high-moisture environments.

Finally, you’ll need to be aware that there is a range of prices for ice fishing chairs. Doing research before you make any final purchasing decision can save you from paying too much or, conversely, finding a “bargain” price for a chair that doesn’t fit your needs.


Ice Fishing Chair FAQs

For those who wonder about the safety of using a chair while ice fishing, concentrating their weight on one spot, there is a rule of thumb for making that determination.

Ice Fishing Chair

You should always measure the thickness of the ice at your fishing spot, knowing that five inches is about where you want that thickness to be before settling into your ice fishing chair.

Whatever Your Strategy, Have a Chair Available

In terms of fishing strategy, there is no agreed-upon answer to the question of whether staying stationary on the ice, or moving from place to place is the best way to have a productive day of ice fishing.

The best answer is to try both ways during your time on the ice, but the bottom line is that you should have an ice fishing chair available, particularly if you’re planning to spend long hours in search of bites.

Think About Napping

It’s a given that anyone looking to purchase an ice fishing chair will want one that is comfortable, and will likely want to include amenities like a rod holder to keep muscles from fatiguing or tightening up.

But one thing a prospective purchaser might not consider, although they should, is how comfortable the chair is for taking the occasional nap. After all, unless you’re very lucky, there will be breaks in the action, during which it’s perfectly acceptable to get some deep rest.


Wrapping up the Best Ice Fishing Chair

We hope this post has given you some guidance in selecting the best ice fishing chair for your needs. Additionally, we hope this post has educated you about our choice as the best ice fishing chair, the Hot Seat from POP Design. For more on ice fishing equipment, check out The 8 Best Ice Fishing Reels for 2023.

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