Best Flip Over Ice Fishing Shelters – 2020 Complete Review

Easy setup, incredible movability, and vast practicality are how most ice anglers describe a flip over ice fishing shelter. 

As the name implies, all you have to do is flip the frame of the shelter over your head, and your shelter is ready for use. 

Flip over ice fishing shelters, too, have a number of options to choose from, which makes it difficult to decide upon one. This article reviews some of the best ice fishing shelters that will keep the fisherman warm, protected, and comfortable.

Our Top Picks for Best Flip Over Ice Fishing Shelters

  • Safe tent
  • Replaceable windows
  • Comfortable
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  • Many extras
  • Protects against wind
  • Large internal space
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  • Best for the Money
  • Easy to use
  • Lightweight design
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Comparison of the Best Flip Over Icing Shelters

IMAGEPRODUCT
  • Windproof feature included to keep you safe from environment
  • Windows are easily adjustable with the hook and loop feature included
  • Extra wide skirting included to keep the wind out
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  • Yo get an ice auger and tent included in package
  • Made with 300D fabric to keep the wind and cold outside
  • Comes with a large 76 inches internal space
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  • Best for the Money
  • Very easy to assemble and disassemble
  • Made from lightweight and durable fabric to last longer
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  • Best 1 Man Flip Over Ice Shelter
  • Large internal fishing space for better versatility
  • Made from lightweight and durable fabric to last longer
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  • Best 3 Person Flip Over Ice Shelter
  • Hub design allows you to quickly and easily set it up in only 1 minute
  • A strong carrying bag included for better portability
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Pros and Cons of Flip Over Ice Fishing Shelters 

The shelter has its own set of advantages that make it a popular choice among not only angles but also hunters. At the same time, some other factors might act as limitations under certain circumstances. Let’s see what makes flip-up shelters so great and what factors might limit them from being the best option.

Pros

A lot of factors make flip-up shelters among one of the most useful and convenient shelter options in the fishing world. The major pros associated with these are:

Easy Set-up

Flip over shelters are designed to take the least amount of time for setting up. All you have to do is extend the frame above your hand, and you are done. With such a fast set-up, anglers get the advantage of quick movability. Fish tracking requires them to set-up and take-down shelter within a blink, and a flip-over shelter provides just that.

Thunderbay Ice Cube Portable Ice Shelter

Comfort

All the fabrics used for the design of such shelters have thick and close-knit weaves. As a result, they become non-permeable to water and also block the wind. So the inside stays warm while the cold from the outside does not enter. As a result, the fishermen have a comfortable environment, which allows them to spend more time inside, increasing the trip's overall productivity.

Spacious

Flip over shelters are quite roomy on the inside. They have size models ranging from one to up to six persons. Even with multiple people inside the shelter, there is always space to easily dig holes and set the equipment. Larger sizes employ lighter weight or a cinch bag for easy relocation.

Cons

These are the factors that determine the suitability of flip-up shelter for different occasions. Some features might be welcome under some scenarios but might be an inconvenience in others. Here is what you should remain mindful of before buying a flip over shelter.

Not Foldable

Since these shelters promise easy set-up, they have some of the parts pre-assembled. As a result, you cannot fold the entire shelter into a bag like a tent. It needs to be carried on a sled, which is often attached to it. A cinch bag is used to hold it. The bag could be worn to take the shelter from place to place.

Characteristics of Our Favorite Flip Over Ice Fishing Shelters

Some characteristics are crucial in a flip over ice shelter. They add to the feasibility that the shelters are known for. Here are some of the most important features that our flip over shelters have.

Sturdy Framework

A flip-over shelter is as good as its pole structure. The framework determines the integrity of the shelter, how well it will hold against strong winds, and also how easy it would be to set the shelter up. Usually, steel is used to form the pole structure, but fiberglass is also a very good choice. In short, the framework needs to have stable joints and strength.

Watertight Fabric

This is a must-have. Without a water-resistant fabric, you won’t be able to stay very long on the frozen ice. Strong winds, snow, and rain often frequent frozen lakes, and without a waterproof arrangement, there is a high chance that you will get wet in the cold weather. Hence, for the shelter to serve its purpose, it must be waterproof and resistant to wind.

Insulation

We love an insulated flip over shelter. It adds significantly to the comfort and usability. Insulated models become necessary when out in the freezing cold or in temperatures well below zero degrees. In an insulated shelter, you are comfortable and can stay for more time, increasing the productivity of the trip.

Eskimo Grizzly Series

Quick Take | Best Flip Over Icing Shelters

Just looking for the three best flip over icing shelters? Here they are:

  1. Thunderbay Ice Cube Portable Ice Shelter
  2. Nordic Legend 33cc
  3. Frabill Recon 100

Review of the Best Flip Over Icing Shelters

Here’s a review of some of the best options available to give you an insight into what to look for in an icing shelter. This will not only give you an idea regarding the characteristics but will also familiarise you with the available options.

THUNDERBAY Ice Cube 3 Man Portable Ice Shelter

PROS

  • Ensures blackout with closed windows inside the shelter
  • Durable cast aluminum hubs to withstand wind pressure
  • Replaceable fiberglass frame poles for increased strength
  • Six self-tapping anchors to prevent the shelter from moving on ice
  • 300 denier fabric blocks out wind, ensuring a comfortable environment

CONS

  • Only one door in the design
  • Using a heater inside the shelter causes condensation and dropping

What Recent Buyers Report

Buyers admired quite a lot of features of the shelter by Thunderbay. Easy setup and take-down were ensured in the layout. For windows, Velcro straps were used that held the flaps quite well and efficiently blocked out the light. Moreover, for those who were using a flip-up shelter the first time, an added booklet with tips and tricks proved to be quite useful. 

Why it Stands Out to Us

For us, the structural strength and ease of use are what make a good flip over shelter, and this model provides both. Fiberglass is known to be one of the strongest materials that poles can be made of. The frame of the shelter utilizes fiberglass, giving it strength without adding much to the weight. 

To keep the wind, which is often strong on the frozen patches, blocked out of the shelter, 300 denier fabric is used. It not only provides protection against the cold wind but also does not tear or rip easily. 

Lastly, one of the most important features of this model is the self anchors that keep the shelter securely attached to the ground. The anchors are able to hold the shelter even in case of strong winds. 

Bottom Line

A perfect solution for all your ice fishing sheltering needs, this model comes with a backpack for accessories and a very sturdy structure. Fiberglass frame, stainless steel hubs, and 300 denier fabric make for quite a reliable flip over shelter, which is light enough to be carried around easily. This product packs in utility and reliability in one.

Nordic Legend 33cc Power Ice Auger and Portable Two Man Shelter Combo

PROS

  • Powerful 33cc ice auger for ice drilling
  • Capacity of housing two men at one time
  • 300D Fabric used in the shelter to keep the cold in
  • Auger features high carbon steel blades for easy cutting
  • Comes with additional accessories like two-cycle engines

CONS

  • Zippers on the shelter a little tough to use
  • Insulated version of the model is not available

What Recent Buyers Report

Most recent buyers were very satisfied with their purchase. The package contains an almost complete kit for ice fishing, which was highly appreciated. 300D fabric efficiently kept the cold out and retained the heat inside the shelter. Inside the room was enough for two men to stay. Easy pack up and take-down allowed quick locomotion from place to place.

Why it Stands Out to Us

We seldom come across packages with more than one well-performing products. But this one by Nordic Legend has an auger, cycle engine, and a flip-over shelter, all of which exceed expectations. The shelter is made up of a thick 300D fabric, which means the heat inside your shelter won’t escape, and the cold from the outside won’t enter. Moreover, the wind is also very efficiently blocked out. A 76” hub-to-hub frame makes for a good-sized shelter.

Other products from the package include an ice auger and cycle engines. All the machinery is 33cc and capable of delivering power strokes. With the auger, you can drill a nice hole in the ice in no time. This is made possible due to the high carbon steel blades that show no mercy when it comes to breaking up the ice.

Bottom Line

For those looking for a package complete with a flip-over shelter, an auger, and cycle engines, they will find a great deal in this Nordic Legend combo. It includes a tough flip-up shelter with light and wind-blocking capacity as well as an auger featuring a sharp blade. No matter where you go for ice fishing, this combo will serve you well.

Best for the Money:
Frabill Recon 100

Frabill Recon 100 Flip-Over Shelter with Pad Trunk Seat 5000708

PROS

  • Compact and easy to carry
  • Durable and rigid construction material
  • High quality which is expected of Frabill
  • Flip strap for closure adds to the ease of use
  • Features a padded trunk for enhanced comfort

CONS

  • Not very spacious
  • Design is not insulated 

What Recent Buyers Report

What recent buyers found most useful was the flap closure for the door. It was hassle-free and easy to use with very few chances of malfunctioning. Due to its small size and lightweight construction, they were able to carry it easily on their snowmobiles or even by hand. 

Why it Stands Out to Us

Frabill Recon 100 gives a perfect option for those who go solo on small fishing trips. It is made for a single person to stay in. The material used is light and folds compactly so that it doesn’t take much space on a snowmobile and is even feasible to carry by hand. 

Moreover, often in cold weather, the zippers get stuck and become a nuisance. This model frees the user from the struggle of zipping the shelter. Instead, it offers a much simpler solution in the form of a strap closure. All you need to do is tie the strap to close the door and keep the cold out. 

Bottom Line

An easy-to-handle and very handy flip-up shelter by Frabill, the Recon 100 is a great choice of fishing gear. The undeniable quality that is expected from Frabill is delivered in this model. It is long-lasting, light, and easy to use.

Best 1 Man Flip Over Ice Shelter:
Frabill Recruit 1250

Frabill Recruit 1250 Insulated Flip-Over Front Door W/Boat Seat

PROS

  • Sturdy material used for construction overall
  • Boat seat style to provide more space longitudinally
  • Fully insulated interior protects against the harsh cold
  • Additional patented heating system to keep the angler warm
  • Optimized space to house one person and provide room for fishing

CONS

  • Does not have any anchors
  • Seat might be too small for some users

What Recent Buyers Report

Even though it is a one-person flip over ice shelter, it is still very popular among buyers. They said that the sturdiness and insulation claims were put to the test when they were caught in the middle of a storm with this shelter. It performed well and did not fall short of expectation. The seat was reported to be comfortable, and with the correct setup, you get enough space and also wind breakpoints.

Why it Stands Out to Us

This is yet another flip over shelter by Frabill and with the same quality and performance that is expected of the brand. The intelligent layout with a boat style design efficiently adds to the available space. The structure, when mounted correctly, holds up pretty well too. 

With the correct pole alignments, users also get wind breakpoints. Moreover, regardless of the weather you use it in, the shelter is resistant to water and blocks out light. The best part about it is the insulation and the patented heating system. Both work in unison to provide a comfortable environment inside.

Bottom Line

Anglers who value some quiet solo time on their fishing trips will really like this product. It is easy to handle, light enough to be dragged by hand, and compact enough to fit in the automobile. It gives comfort, warmth, and protection against the cold, minimizing the effort for users themselves.

Best 3 Person Flip Over Ice Shelter:
Eskimo QuickFish Serie

Eskimo QuickFish Series Pop-Up Portable Ice Fishing Shelter

PROS

  • Comes with a cinch bag for easy portability
  • Self-tapping anchors hold the assembly in place
  • 60-second setup and takedown for quick relocation
  • Grommets featured on the shelter for an easy attachment to the anchors
  • 59% higher thread count in the 300D fabric for more efficient wind and water blockage

CONS

  • Very small windows
  • Not an insulated model

What Recent Buyers Report

A lot of groups of recent buyers were in awe of how good the shelter was in terms of functionality. They noted that the insides were quite spacious, and even after three men occupied it, there was enough room for holes and equipment. Water and wind resistance was also reported to be up to par.

Why it Stands Out to Us

With larger shelters, there is always the problem of the setup. It takes time and is often quite difficult. But that’s not the case with this Eskimo Quickfish flip over shelter. You can easily set it up within a minute! Moreover, the assembly is not difficult either. The hubs are solid and hold their position well to maintain the overall structure.

Eskimo has taken the water and wind resistance a step further and, at the same time, has reduced the weight of this shelter. The 300 Denier fabric used has 59% more threading, which blocks out water and wind. Still, it has 19% less weight than its competitors. 

Bottom Line

Easy set-up, incredible portability, protection against wind and water, as well as a lighter weight, this is what Eskimo Quickfish has to offer. But it doesn’t stop here. The shelter with such great features can still hold three people at a time and give them a convenient environment for ice fishing.

Best 2 Person Flip Over Ice Shelter:
Eskimo Grizzly Series

Eskimo Grizzly Series Sled Ice Fishing Shelter & Accessories

PROS

  • Has sliding chairs for easy movability
  • Windows can be closed with a zipper and strap
  • Aluminum poles make a lightweight yet stable structure
  • Features roto-molded sleds that make it tolerate bums and scraps
  • Three layers of storm shield fabric keep the cold out and the inside insulated

CONS

  • Not easy to install because the bolts included are too short
  • No light added inside, and it needs to be bought separately

What Recent Buyers Report

Recent buyers agreed that the shelter was more spacious than they expected. Even after setting up the equipment, it was big enough to house two individuals easily. Overall, the sturdiness, too, impressed many. Even in strong winds, the shelter didn’t collapse, nor did it slide away from its point of anchor.

Why it Stands Out to Us

An innovative design to better incorporate the necessary features is always a plus when it comes to things like a flip over shelter. This model has added a new design that includes seats inside the shelter. These aren’t any ordinary seats; rather, they are secured to a position but still have the ability to slide back to front as well as swivel. Moreover, they are comfortable Versa seats. 

The fabric used in the construction of this model is three layers of storm shield fabric with 80 grams of insulation inside. Unlike any of the options discussed above, this model actually utilizes insulation technology in addition to the cloth to block out cold and prevent the heat from escaping.

Bottom Line

A solidly built flip over shelter, the Eskimo Grizzly is built to take seasonal and operational beatings. It has roto-molded sleds that make it strong against bumps, scraps, or chances of breakage. The fabric used is also abrasion-resistant. With the addition of seats, a rear door, and zipped window covers, you get more than you asked for.

Cautious Considerations to Keep in Mind 

In order to make a conscious decision best suited to your need, you must know as much as you can about the product. Here are a few cautious considerations that will help you make a better decision regarding your purchase.

Not Every Design is Insulated

Even though the fabric of all shelters of such type are capable of blocking out the cold and keeping the heat in, not all models employ insulation technologies. This gives anglers a wide variety to choose from, depending on their needs but also limits the use of a certain model in other conditions. 

For example, a model may offer all the structural and functional features that you need but might not be insulated, which makes it less efficient for long day trips in minus degree temperatures. Hence, make sure that the shelter you buy is capable of performing under the temperatures of your targeted areas.

Eskimo QuickFish Serie

Pricier Than Pop-ups

Owing to their extreme convenience and incredible strength, flip over icing shelters are a little pricier compared to other types of fishing shelters. However, the price is justified if you don’t want to compromise on convenience and safety. The structural strength, water-resistance, and space that is characteristic of flip over shelters are hard to find elsewhere.

Make Sure You Have Enough Room

If you are someone who frequents ice fishing both alone and with a company, then you should invest in a shelter that can harbor multiple people. This choice cannot go wrong. When alone, you get to have more space for all your gears. When with a company, the extra space is put to its right use. However, if you opt for a smaller or a one-person shelter, it won’t be able to house other people.

Aspects to Consider Before Buying 

Make sure to remain mindful of the following aspects as well when deciding on a flip over shelter. This will help you make the most suitable choice for your needs.

Get a Cinch Bag if You Are Constantly on the Move

Fish tracking is an integral part of ice fishing, which means the angler is constantly on the move. Flip over tents are made to provide convenience under such circumstances. The shelter can be easily towed along on the sleds, but if you are alone and plan to travel long distances, get a cinch bag. With the cinch bag, you can hold the shelter in a folded position on your back. Hence, you are able to move to places that are not safe for automobiles as well.

Heating Must Be Complemented With Insulation

If you are opting for a heated shelter or planning on taking a heater for use along with you, make sure that it has some level of additional insulation other than regular fabric. This is because unless the shelter is able to keep the heat inside, the heating won’t do much. The warmth would keep escaping without making the shelter cozy and would also cost you fuel.

Strong Sleds

Not enough stress is given to the inclusion of strong, robust sleds in a flip over shelter design. Sleds designed to work through bumps, scraps, and uneven surfaces work best on frozen lakes. It would be better if your shelter comes with roto-molded sleds that impart extra strength and the ability to take onto uneven and non-uniform frozen ice.

Conclusion

Flip over icing shelters are one of the most popular choices of shelters in the fishing world. This is mainly because of their easy set-up and take-down, fast movability, waterproofing, abrasion, and wind resistance. A one-time investment in a good-quality flip over shelter keeps you covered for a long time. Moreover, there are a variety of sizes, insulation options, and other features to choose from so that everyone gets a design best suited to their use.