Last updated on:
Ice fishing can be a lot of fun; however, you don’t want to freeze while you are out there and an ice fishing bib can be a lifesaver keeping you warm, dry and insulated while enjoying your hobby.
It also allows you to fish comfortably for the entire day and still ensures that you maintain the right body temperature.
However, there are quite a few factors to consider before choosing the best or most suitable ice fishing bib for you.
Some of the factors to take into consideration are the type of insulation that the ice bib provides, its waterproof capabilities, and other key factors such as the material it is made from, how many pockets it contains, padding etc.
In the following guide, we’ll take a look at some of the best ice fishing bibs on the market and why you should be investing in them.
Our Recommendations For The Best Ice Fishing Bibs For 2020
Overall Winner: NRS Sidewinder Dry Bibs Waders
Made with Kayak anglers in mind, these men’s NRS sidewinder dry bibs will let you get more than just your feet wet. The four-layer Eclipse fabric with a nanosphere durable water repellent finish keeps water out while allowing access moisture to escape.
For friction-free movement, it’s equipped with a supple polyester microfiber shell that has superior abrasion resistance. The bib is designed for maximum comfort under a personal flotation device.
To keep you from losing your bibs, there’s a fully detachable wishbone suspender system which makes use of nylon buckles. The two side adjustments create a snug fit, and the inner tunnel combined with the 4-in-1 wide double-pull waist limits the entry of water.
If you’d like to create a versatile dry system that can be compared to a dry suit, simply combine the bib with a double skirted dry top or paddling jacket. The MasterSeal relief zipper allows convenient pit stops while the waterproof zippered thigh pocket and the reinforced seat and legs allow for maximum durability.
- 4 layer Eclipse waterproof breathable laminate
- Friction free movement
- Reinforced seat and legs for maximum durability
- The shoe socks may not fit smaller feet
- Dimensions: s-xxl
- Material: Polyester
- Weight: 115 – 245 lbs
- No of Compartments: 2 side compartments
- No of layers: 4
Runner-Up: Striker Ice Men’s Fishing Cold Weather Insulated Predator Bib
Strike Ice premium creates ice fishing apparel with flotation assist features providing the absolute best available technology for serious fishing enthusiasts. A dozen different styles of ice fishing suits are offered by the company for men, women and children all with Surefloat flotation assist technology. The striker Ice brand is considered leaders in the ice fishing apparel industry.
When you are ice fishing, you want to stay focused on doing what you enjoy. This is why Strike Ice creates gear that is weather-resistant and durable, helping you stay warm and protected while doing what you love. The technology is built right into your gear.
The Thermadex insulation for active-wear is one such feature which is designed for use in outdoor active-wear where lightweight, superior, insulating performance and a minimal loft is required.
Thermadex delivers a high level of warmth in active applications such as in alpine skiing, snowmobiling, nordic skiing as well as snowboarding. The technology provides softness, breathability and warmth all without the bulk.
The Superflote insulation is made from expanded low-density polyethylene foam which traps air in closed cells made into multimedia membranes to create internal air pockets for additional buoyancy.
The Sureflote membrane is also moisture resistant and provides an excellent use of mobility and additional protection in extremely cold weather. The jacket and bib with Sureflote provide flotation assistance for up to two hours for the average person. It’s designed to provide added buoyancy to a person’s body weight for flotation assistance.
Not only are the suits waterproof, they are also windproof and breathable. Thanks to the Hydrapore system technology, which is specifically designed to offer maximum protection against extreme weather elements, it has a superior 5000/5000 rating for resisting water penetration and durability. It’s available in various ratings, and assistance levels start from 3000/3000 and go up to 10,000/5000.
- Waterproof, insulated and breathable
- Sureflote flotation assist technology
- Additional padding for seat and knee
- No fly and chest zipper doesn’t zip down low enough for urination
- Dimensions: True size
- Material: Tussor shell
- Weight: Not specified
- No of Compartments: 2
- No of Layers: Multiple
Alternative: Striker Ice Men’s Climate Insulated Waterproof Bibs with Sureflote
Would you like flotation assistance that doesn’t feel like you have a raft in your pants? Well, then this ice fishing suit is perfect for you. With Sureflote insulation that fits seamlessly into the bibs, you’ll really notice that it’s there.
Made from expanded low-density polyethylene foam, it traps air in closed cells that are constructed into multilayer membranes to create internal air pockets for added buoyancy. It’s also moisture-resistant and has superior user mobility as well as added protection for cold weather.
In the event that there is a breakthrough, you’ll still have the added flotation assistance to keep you safe. The built-in mesh also allows water to seep out so you don’t get bogged down. The suit is waterproof, breathable and the laminate is built-into the outer shell fabric so it won’t wear or washout easily.
The Thermadex insulation is built into the removable liner to handle all ranges of cold, so you’ll remain warm while enjoying your hobby. The three-way leg zippers also provide ventilation while sitting on a bucket or reaching through the ice, making it more comfortable thanks to the padded seat and padded reinforced knees.
- Hydrapore waterproof and breathable
- Sureflote technology
- Extra heavy knee and seat padding
- Small size
- Dimensions: 17 x 6 x 17 inches
- Material: Tussor shell
- Weight: Not specified
- No of Compartments: 4
- No of Layers: Multi-layer
Alternative: Clam Men’s Ice Armor Edge Bib
The Clam Men’s Ice Armor Edge bib is a heavy-duty suit that contains creature comforts and also is a high-end ice fishing apparel. The 300D shell is durable and makes this bib waterproof, breathable and windproof as well. Thanks to the padded, 1000 D ballistic nylon knees, you’ll experience extreme comfort protection and durability when you are on the ice.
The two-way front zipper contains magnetic storm flaps, and so does the two-way leg zippers which make for easy on and off access of heavy layers. For added safety, the suit contains a drainage system which expels water fast in the event of accidental submersion. Therefore heavy clothes will not take on too much water and weigh you down.
The fleece-lined hand warming pockets are also adjustable, and so are the elastic suspenders with quick release. The adjustable inseam feature with storm gators is also quite convenient. The Scotchlite reflectors increase your visibility, whether you are fishing early in the morning or late at night.
- Windproof and breathable
- Padded for extra comfort
- Fleece-lined pockets for hand warming
- No negatives
- Dimensions: 28 x 16 x 5 inches
- Material: Shell
- Weight: 3.6 lbs
- No of Compartments: 4
- No of Layers: multiple
Alternative: Frabill Ice Fishing Safety Gear
This high-performance fishing suit is designed to take on anything that winter throws its way. Containing the most advanced features, materials and fit, it is part of an updated line and contains complete cold-weather defence technology. The 100% sealed bib contains a waterproof, windproof and breathable 300 denier nylon Taslan shell. In addition, it has YKK zippers, 500 denier reinforced knees and pant cuffs.
Thanks to the Thinsulate insulation technology, it’s also warm, and it has adjustable shoulder straps with cam-lock buckles. The additional padding makes it extra comfortable while the handwarmer pockets with tricot lining keep fingers warm.
For temperature regulation, zipper vents are available, and the multiple cargo pockets make taking along snacks, accessories and trinkets easy. Thanks to the Scotchlite reflective materials you will be seen whether you are fishing early in the morning or late at night.
- Hydrostatic resistance
- 100% seam sealed
- Full elastic shoulder straps
- You have to take off entire suit to urinate
- Dimensions: Not specified
- Material: Taslan shell
- Weight: 3.5 lbs
- No of Compartments: 2
- No of Layers: 2
Ice Fishing Bibs FAQ
What exactly is a fishing bib?
If you love ice fishing and do it on a regular basis, then you probably already own a fishing bib.
However, for those who’ve never used a fishing bib before, these suits or apparel makes partaking in your hobby more enjoyable.
Like every recreational activity, ice fishing to becomes more enjoyable and rewarding when you have the right equipment.
Ice fishing, as the name implies, is done in severely cold conditions, so keeping warm and dry is of paramount importance in order to safely enjoy your hobby.
Ice fishing bibs are designed specifically for this activity and contain extra insulation and other features that help to keep you warm and dry in freezing or below zero temperatures.
Sitting and standing still for long periods of time while you’re fishing may put you at risk of frostbite or hypothermia if you do not have the right to gear and are exposed to biting wind, water and cold air.
Therefore to keep you from getting hurt and protect you from the cold weather, you should definitely consider getting a bib for your next fishing expedition if you don’t already own one.
What is the best material for a fishing bib?
When it comes to selecting ice fishing bibs, you should note that not all are made equally.
Some focus more on durability and insulation while others have added features that come in handy for fishermen.
However, when looking for a fishing bib, there are two features and benefits that it should offer, which is compulsory and that is the ability to keep you dry and of course, warm.
When searching for a reliable bib, it should provide water protection in cold and warm climates. You should look for those crafted from nylon material.
For added protection, a fishing bib with polyvinyl chloride material also known as PVC, has great waterproofing capabilities.
Others make use of Phthalates free PVC polyester construction that’s quick-drying and also stain-resistant.
The most popular fishing bibs make use of materials like canvas, nylon, and PVC coated polyester.
Another important feature to look out for is whether or not your bib floats.
Granted, not all bibs are designed to float; however, if you do accidentally fall into the water and need to stay afloat, this could turn out to be a life-saving feature.
Padded knees and seats make sitting, standing and kneeling on occasion more comfortable. It will also protect you in the event that you fall.
Reflective material and lining mean increased visibility at night or the early hours of the morning, and it’s recommended to find a bib that contains this reflective tape or lining.
In addition to these features, your fishing bib should be lightweight to allow you to move around more freely and easily.
It should also be durable, comfortable and have some extra layers for added insulation and warmth.
However, even if it does contain extra layers, it would help wearing a few layers of clothing underneath to keep you warmer.
Can you wear a jacket over your ice fishing bib?
Extra layers are key to ensuring that the body is warm when ice fishing.
Layering, therefore, allows ice fishing anglers to strip down if the body temperature becomes too warm either due to excessive work or the suns rays.
However, the secret to this is having enough clothes to handle even the worst weather conditions and slowly removing them one piece at a time should you become too warm.
The advantage of fishing bibs is that there’s no point where warmth can escape, therefore keeping the body warmer for longer.
As for the legs and torso, these body parts never get directly exposed to the cold weather so having clothes that hold heat in and move water out is essential.
Over the years, jackets have evolved as much as any other piece of equipment if not more.
New space-age fabric such as Supplex and Gore-tex is great at keeping the wind, snow, ice and sleet away from the body while still allowing the body to breathe.
Good jackets would incorporate these types of fabric along with waist and wrist cuffs to stop the cold weather from sneaking in.
Therefore, purchasing a jacket with a removable liner is another great idea since every day is not the same.
So while wearing layers made of fleece and wool are great for under-layers, it’s also a good idea to wear a jacket over your fishing bib for extra insulation and warmth if need be.
Fishing pants vs fishing bibs
While fishing pants are great at keeping your legs and torso insulated, unless they are the right size, you’ll spend more time pulling them up than actually enjoying your hobby.
Fishing pants are not ideal as well in rainy weather as it allows the water to get in and run down your legs.
Fishing bibs alternatively may not be ideal in cases where you need to urinate frequently as you need to remove most of the bib in order to do this; however, they do not require being pulled up regularly.
Fishing bibs also do a great job at keeping you insulated and comfortable provided you have the correct under-layering of garments and wear an insulating jacket over it.
So when it comes down to fishing pants vs fishing bibs, it all boils down to personal preference.
While some people on the heavier side may be more comfortable with fishing pants, others seem to find fishing bibs more convenient.
Your ice fishing bib is basically your companion on the ice.
It is your number one necessity for both protection and temperature control, so it makes sense to know all you can about them before making a purchase.
So just to recap, when making a purchase be sure to look out for insulation capabilities, waterproof abilities, flotation features, and padded knee and seat protection.
Visibility is also another major benefit of fishing bibs. The best ice fishing apparel makes use of smart technology without prohibiting maneuverability and visibility.
It’s also worth remembering that with ice fishing bibs, you get what you pay for. So investing in quality, well-made and durable products will always benefit you.
If you want something that keeps you safe and warm and enhances the overall enjoyment of ice fishing, then be sure to take a look at our top picks before making your decision.