Which ice fishing clothing is best? 

Ice fishing is a great winter pastime, but the wet conditions and chilly temperatures can pose a significant challenge to people looking to get on the ice. One of the most important aspects of remaining safe and enjoying an ice fishing outing is to dress appropriately. While many people have their own preferences on specific brands and pieces of clothing, it’s crucial to consider warmth, comfort and quality and what attire will be required to endure a long day on the ice. 

Everyone needs to consider a nice pair of boots, a jacket and a hat and gloves. Other items like baselayers, wool socks and ice cleats can be the difference between cold and wet and dry and comfortable. 

Things to consider with ice fishing apparel 

  • UV Protection is an underrated aspect of ice fishing. Many people associate sunburns with summer but exposed skin can burn in winter due to the sun reflecting off the ice. It’s also great to bring your favorite pair of sunglasses to prevent damaging your eyes or decreased visibility. 
  • Wicking properties are important to consider in base layers and socks. Wool is a go-to material that not only wicks away moisture but also gets rid of bad odors. 
  • Lightweight gear is essential. Having heavy clothing, especially when wet is very uncomfortable, and it can even pose a safety risk when dealing with ice and freezing water. 
  • Warm clothing counts for a lot. While some people have thick blood and love a blistering cold day, it’s essential to have warm gear that allows you to stay on the ice for as long as possible. 
  • Layering up is wise. You can always take off layers if you feel the need to, but not taking enough layers is a much harder mistake to correct. 

Best base layers and socks for ice fishing

Best socks for ice fishing 

Darn Tough Merino Wool Boot Sock Full Cushion

Darn Tough Merino Wool Boot Sock Full Cushion

Darn Tough’s socks are made of Merino Wool and keep your feet very warm in winter while wicking away moisture and odors. They are comfortable and without a seam line. Since they are boot length, they fit comfortably inside most ice fishing boots. They also come with a lifetime guarantee while being made in the USA. Sold by Amazon 

Best upper base layers for ice fishing

Merino.tech Merino Wool Base Layer

Merino.tech’s base layers are made of 100 percent merino wool. They come in multiple sizes and thickness levels, so you can choose a heavier weight for colder weather. This merino wool shirt rests comfortably under any shirt or jacket and keeps you warm and comfortable. It’s safe to wash in a washing machine. Sold by Amazon Men’s/Women’s

Best lower base layers for ice fishing

Merino.tech Merino Wool Base Layer Womens Pants

Like the upper base layers, these are all merino wool making them very comfortable and warm. They come in different sizes, which generally run true to size. As a bonus, you also get a free pair of merino wool socks with the pants, and they come with a lifetime warranty. Sold by Amazon Men’s/Women’s

Best footwear for ice fishing 

Best overall boots for ice fishing

Muck Boot Men's Arctic Pro Hunting Boot

Muck Boot Men’s Arctic Pro Hunting Boot

Muck boots are well-respected in the ice fishing world. These come with 8 millimeters of Neoprene with a comfortable fleece lining that keeps your feet warm, even on the coldest days. This is Muck’s warmest boot, and it comes with shock resistance as well as waterproofing. This boot can endure the cold and wet far better than most other boots. Sold by Amazon 

Best budget boots for ice fishing 

HISEA Men's Work Boots Neoprene Rubber Rain Boots Muck Mud Boots Insulated Outsole

HISEA Men’s Work Boots Neoprene Rubber Rain Boots Muck Mud Boots Insulated Outsole

These thick rubber boots come with 7 millimeters of neoprene insulation. They are slip-resistant and come with an airmesh lining that assists in keeping your feet dry. When paired with wool socks, they handle the cold of winter very well. These will not be warm enough for some people when the temperature gets very low and they do feel like a Muck knock-off in some respects. Sold by Amazon 

Best tread for ice fishing 

Kahtoola MICROspikes Traction System

Kahtoola MICROspikes Traction System 

Kahtoola’s MICROspikes are made for all winter activities and do a great job on the ice. The stainless steel spikes sit on the heel and front of your boots and keep you from slipping. The spikes themselves are durable and corrosion resistant, lasting many seasons of use with proper care. They slip onto any kind of shoe or boot. Be sure to check sizing before making a purchase. Sold by Backcountry and Amazon 

Best outer clothing for ice fishing 

Best wool hate for ice fishing 

SmartwoolMerino Sport 250 Reversible Beanie

SmartwoolMerino Sport 250 Reversible Beanie

This stylish merino wool beanie by Smartwool is made of 100 percent merino wool and comes in many different colors. It is very lightweight and soft, yet very warm and insulated. You have the option to wear it cuffed or uncuffed, and it’s reversible just in case you feel the need to turn it inside out. The only con is that people with bigger heads will find it to be a tighter fit since there is only one size option. Sold by Backcountry and Amazon 

Best affordable gloves for ice fishing 

OZERO Winter Thermal Gloves Men Women

OZERO Winter Thermal Gloves Men Women

For those who prefer gloves to mittens and need to use their fingers, these gloves more than get the job done. They are water resistant and windproof while being thin enough for you to use a smartphone or work a line. They are made of leather and Polyurethane. One thing to note is that people who feel the cold more might want to also invest in a thicker pair of gloves or mittens. Sold by Amazon 

Best jacket for ice fishing 

Eskimo Men's Keeper Jacket

Eskimo Men’s Keeper Jacket

This 600D Polyester is waterproof while remaining breathable. There are tons of pockets where you can keep flies, bait and other gear. The body of the jacket has 80gm insulation while the sleeves have 60gm, and there are also hand warmer pockets. This jacket manages to combine warmth and lightweight while incorporating tons of other amazing features with no real sacrifice. Sold by Amazon


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