As you may know, ice fishing is a form of angling where you catch fish through a hole made on a frozen body of water using spears or lines and fish hooks. While ice fishing trips are usually well-planned and carried out in enclosures, it is still crucial to wear proper gear to protect yourself from freezing.
Ice fishing bibs are made just for this purpose and come with loads of insulation and waterproof protection to keep your body dry and warm enough to maintain a healthy body temperature.
In this article, we show you just how valuable and indispensable ice fishing bibs are for the modern ice fishing angler, and what criteria you should use in scrutinizing a bib before you buy it, to ensure that you get one that’s best for your needs.
Ice fishing bibs are made with ice anglers in mind, so they feature lots of insulation to keep your body warm while you’re busy catching fish in those punishing winter temperatures. Ice bibs keep you warm and protect you from getting hypothermia or frostbite due to being cold, and that reason alone should be enough to show you that they’re an essential part of your ice fishing gear.
Here are some important features to consider when shopping for a bib to use on your next ice fishing adventure.
A well-insulated bib will give you peace of mind knowing you’re your body is warm enough to withstand even the harshest weather conditions. A bib with Thinsulate or fleece lining is usually a good sign of proper insulation.
Getting a floating bib is a must these days and can go a long way to keep you safe in the event of being accidentally submerged in ice water for example. While they may look like ordinary ice bibs when you put them on, floating ice bibs can float when submerged underwater and can save your life if you find yourself in such a situation.
It is essential to keep yourself dry during ice fishing to avoid feeling cold as that might have dangerous consequences. One way to stay warm is to wear a waterproof bib, so look out for one with a waterproof coating or some water repellant.
In terms of the waterproof scale, the Hydrostatic Head Test concluded that a bib with a 0-1,500mm waterproof rating would keep you dry through a warm drizzle of rain, while a bib whose waterproof properties are on a scale of 10,000- 20,000mm will keep you dry during even the heaviest of rains. So that gives you an idea of what to look for specifically when shopping for your bib
Reinforced knees are an excellent safety feature that protects your knees in the event of having to place them on the ice floor or accidentally falling.
Reflective tape or welding is another must-have feature on your bib because it’ll keep you visible while you’re angling at night.
Be sure to get a bib that’s lightweight but durable so that you’ll be able to move around freely without feeling constricted.
Your bib should also be roomy enough for you to comfortably layer on clothing to keep your upper body warm as well, especially if it doesn’t offer enough insulation to keep you warm.
While this article mainly focuses on the use of these bibs for ice fishing purposes, their utility is not limited to icy regions with snow. They can be worn in any cold condition, such as when working in a cold warehouse or area, and indeed when angling in a cold or rainy climate and want to keep yourself warm, dry and comfortable.
Top Choice for Durability and Warmth
This super durable bib is made from tough 500 denier nylon and has extra padding on the knees, seating area, and pant cuffs. You can easily adjust it to your height or weight using the elastic shoulder straps with cam buckles. The outer shell is further reinforced with a breathable 300 Denier nylon Taslan shell to protect you from the impact of the elements like cold, bitter winds and water, and the seams are 100% sealed as well.
The interior of the bib is properly insulated with a super warm 150g 3M Thinsulate, which means that you won’t feel the cold weather impact at all while wearing this. There are also zipper vents for you to use at any point when you feel as though it’s too hot or humid inside the bib, using heavy duty YKK zippers that won’t let you down.
This bib is available in color options that include Brown and Black. Plus, it comes with an impressive self-rescue set that includes drainage mesh, ice pick holster, and internal ice safety labeling.
Best Value for the Budget Conscious
This high-performance bib is constructed from 600 Denier Ballistic Nylon ThermaLock Fabric and comes with impressive features like moisture wicking ability, reinforced seat and knees to keep discomfort at bay. It’s a rather lightweight bib but is guaranteed to sustain your bodily warmth with 85 Grams of ThermaTech Insulation, while the critical seams are there to keep you dry.
In addition to friction and scuff guards, this bib also comes with reflective webbing for optimal visibility at night, and there are Boot Gaiters with grippers and a 20” boot zipper that enables you to slip on your boots easily and keep you warm. You’ll also find several pocket storage options including zippered hand warmers, and this bib is available from size Small to 4X Large.
Top Women's Choice
Not only is this Out2Fish bib lightweight and breathable, but it’s also entirely waterproof with a 5000mm rating. It’s also very well-insulated with 150g Thermadex Insulation and a 210T inner lining.
Other features include Sureflote™ Flotation and Fastdrain hems, an adjustable cuff and inseam, knees reinforced with snakeskin and a comfortable drop-seat design. You’ll also fish confidently at night with this on, thanks to its reflective elements and storm flaps with convenient magnet closures. Lastly, this bib is available in women’s sizes from 6 to 18 and a cool looking grey and black color combination.
This Stormr Strykr bib is made out of 100% polyester, which is highly resistant to abrasions and has an exterior shell that is completely waterproof and windproof.
Other features on this bib include adjustable shoulder straps, an adaptable Velcro waist strap, and a vented back panel to ensure a truly comfortable fit, while the PU welded pockets are waterproof with rust-resistant zippers to provide the ideal storage to keep small items dry and safe but within easy reach.
The chest area of the bib is double lined with warm and cozy fleece to keep your torso warm, and there is also a convenient hand rest to warm your hands on when needed.
The internal fleece also features moisture-wicking technology so that you remain comfortably warm, and you’ll be glad to know that this bib can float when necessary.
It is also incredibly flexible to move around in and features ankle cuffs to keep the cold out, reinforced knees and seat for extra comfort, as well as knee-high splash-proof zippers that make it easy to put it on and take off.
It’s available in two colors, namely a greyish hue called Smoke or you can opt for the Black color option, and sizes run from Small to XXX-Large.
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Icearmor has done it this time with this heavy-duty bib which is made from hardy 500D ballistic nylon which is very effective at keeping water and cold out. This bib is so warm that it stays so even on freezing winter nights, making it ideal to wear during long ice fishing expeditions where you’ll be camping out on the ice for days on end.
This bib also features two pockets created for the express purpose of warming your hands, or you can keep them closed with heavy-duty zippers to keep tiny valuables safe and dry, while the reflective piping on the external shell is a smart safety precaution. Adjustable suspenders complete this bib with the ability to tailor it to your preferred fit.
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This wonderful bib is built for extreme weather, combining comfort and function to make for a genuinely compelling piece of gear. It’s constructed from 3 layers of a lightweight and breathable material to keep you comfortably warm, while the heavy-duty waterproof shell can keep up to 10 000mm of rain at bay.
While not insulated per se, this remarkably breathable shell of a bib is very effective at keeping you completely protected from the harshest of weather conditions from hail to winds, snow, and rain, although you might have to wear a few layers underneath to keep yourself well-insulated in truly icy conditions.
That said, this bib also features taped seams, waterproof zippers starting at the front, convenient pockets, as well as a 3-piece articulated hood with a drawstring to help you block out the cold and rain from head to toe.
Worried about your optics getting foggy? Well, there’s no need, as the collar on this bib has been carefully designed with a convenient ventilation system to keep your vision crystal clear, while the cuffs even have a hinged lock-down closure. The bib also features reflective taping on the shoulders, chest pockets and logos to keep you visible at night, and is available in unique colors like Neptune, Raid, and Kryptek Raid, with sizes that range from Medium to 3X Large.
Boasting a 5000mm waterproof capability and a conveniently removable 175g Thermadex insulated lining, this bib will keep you dry and comfortable through the worst weather imaginable. It also floats, thanks to Sureflote material and has useful water drains to quickly drain water should you happen to get completely submerged.
This bib is breathable with great safety features like reflective tape on the front and the back and magnetic storm flaps on both the front and leg zippers. Its articulated knees also make it very flexible and easy to move round in, and are customizable with infinitely adjustable inseam and 2-way YKK heavy duty zipper on the front, boot storm gators with elastic and adjustable suspenders as well. In addition to 2 D-rings, your storage options include several pockets for gear, as well as fleece lined chest pockets to warm our hands in.
This bib is available in either Black or Brown and comes in sizes Small to 4 X Large.
A well- built bib for ice fishing is honestly your best bet for staying safe, warm and comfortable while on the ice, but there are specific features that you need to look out for to ensure waterproof and floating ability, breathability and lightweight construction. We’ve covered all these, and hope that you’ll use those criteria to choose the one most fitting out of the selection of options that we’ve listed. That said, we wish you all the best on the water out there and stay safe while you enjoy yourself at your next fishing expedition.