If there is one thing you need before you head out onto the ice it is a high quality ice fishing bib. But it can be very hard to find the one that best suits your needs. Many brands refer to how waterproof their bibs are in millimetres and their warmth resistance in grams – it can be very confusing.
Getting the highest quality ice fishing gear is critical to the success of your trip.
We have put together this buyer’s guide to help explain these concepts so you can make an educated decision. We have then found 6 of the best ice fishing bibs available on the market and explained why we like them.
Have a read through and hopefully you will learn something new about ice fishing bibs.
Table of Contents
- 1 Ice Fishing Bib Buyer’s Guide
- 2 6 Best Ice Fishing Bibs
- 3 Conclusion
Quick Summary – Best Ice Fishing Bibs
- Best Overall: Frabill Ice Fishing Bib
- Best Insulated: Striker Insulated Ice Fishing Bib
- Most Durable: Arctix Tundra Bib
- Best Design: Wildfowler Camo Bib
- Most Waterproof: Frogg Toggs Bib
Ice Fishing Bib Buyer’s Guide
We have put together a quick guide to highlight the key metrics you will need to know to pick an ice fishing bib that suits your purposes. It can be very difficult to understand when brands quote their waterproof resistance in millimeters and their warmth rating in grams.
Have a read through the topics below so that you can make an educated choice in selecting the best ice fishing clothing to keep you warm and dry in cold weather.
Waterproof fabrics are often tested in an independent laboratory to judge how waterproof the fabric is under similar conditions. They take a 1 inch by 1 inch square tube and place it over the fabric and then start to fill up the tube with water. Water is added until water begins to leak from the bottom of the fabric – this gives the waterproof rating in millimetres.
So for example, a 5000mm rating means that you can place 200 inches of water on top of the fabric before it will leak through.
This seems like a huge amount of water and it can be difficult to compare these lab experiments to real life conditions. The table below attempts to convert between the waterproof rating and the conditions they are suitable for.
Please keep in mind the conditions you will be using your bib – if you are going to spend all of your time inside an ice fishing shelter, then you probably don’t need an extremely waterproof rating.
Some brands also refer to the waterproof rating as the hydrostatic rating but the two terms are used interchangeably.
|Waterproof Rating (mm)||Water Resistance Provided||Conditions|
|0-5,000 mm||Minimal resistance to moisture.||Light rain, dry snow|
|5,000-10,000 mm||Waterproof under light pressure.||Light rain, average snow|
|10,000-15,000 mm||Waterproof except under high pressure.||Moderate rain, average snow|
|15,000-20,000 mm||Waterproof under high pressure.||Heavy rain, wet snow|
|20,000 mm+||Waterproof under very high pressure.||Heavy rain, wet snow, high pressure.|
The insulation of a bib is generally measured in how many grams of proprietary insulation material is included in the design. Different brands have their own insulating material so it can be difficult to compare, but just through experience we have come up with the following rules of thumb:
- Minimal Insulating Properties – 0 grams
- Light Insulating Properties – 0 to 50 grams
- Medium Insulating Properties – 50 to 150 grams
- Heavy Insulating Properties – 150+ grams
Remember that the bib doesn’t need to do all of your insulation for better warmth. If you intend to wear heavy duty thermal inner wear, then your bib doesn’t have to be as thick or warm. You have the option to pick a lighter, rainproof fishing bib rather than a heavily insulated option.
Having the right fishing clothing to keep you warm and dry in cold weather is crucial to the success of your ice fishing trip.
Pockets and Storage
Having a warm place to put your hands or pockets to keep lures or leader is very valuable, particularly if it means you can stay at your fishing hole for longer rather than walking back and forwards from your truck.
This is a common feature with fly fishing vests – it is incredibly practical to have extra storage on your body for things that you don’t even think of but will come in handy throughout your fishing adventure such as:
Best Ice Fishing Bibs
6 Best Ice Fishing Bibs
We have put together 6 of the best ice fishing bibs available on the market. All of these have been selected based on their own features and some interesting different functions. Have a read below considering your own requirements, how much waterproofing and insulating properties your need so that you can find the gear that best suits your needs.
1. Frabill Ice Fishing Bib
- Waterproof rating – 10,000mm hydrostatic resistance
- Insulation – 150g insulation
The best ice fishing bib we have found available on the market at the moment is the Frabill. With a good waterproof rating of 10,000mm and the most insulation of all those compared, this is the highest quality option. The seams are all sealed.
It also has 300 and 500 denier nylon in the high wear areas to avoid rips and tears such as the knees and pan cuffs. The Frabill also has built in knee and seat padding for extra comfort.
It also has zipper vents so that if you are moving from cold outside temperatures to your warm ice fishing shelter you don’t get too hot or cold.
This fishing bib is really well made and it has all of the optional extras that you could hope for. It even has 3M scotchlite reflective material to keep you visible and safe in snow storms of low visibility conditions.
- Zipper vents for controlling the temperature.
- Reflective material for safety.
- Extra padding in knees, pan cuffs, and seat.
- An important consideration – to go to the toilet you need to remove the big all the way to the waist.
2. Striker Insulated Ice Fishing Bib
- Waterproof Rating – 5,000mm
- Insulation – 100 grams of thermadex insulation
Second on our list is the Striker insulated ice fishing bib. Striker also has other options such as the Striker Ice Climate Bib that has 175g of removable insulated lining if you are looking for the 10 out of 10 warmth rating options.
The insulation is also very good with 100 grams of thermadex insulation to keep you warmer for longer. Thermadex is a light weight active wear insulation material that provides warmth in lots of applications like alpine skiing or snowmobiling.
The striker fishing bib also has superflote insulation which is a low density polyethylene foam that increases the buoyancy of the bib. This can provide up to two hours of floatation assistance to help you survive in the most dire circumstances.
Like the Frabill this ice fishing bib also has additional padding in the seat and knee for better comfort during long hours of sitting or kneeling.
- Well suited for lots of cold environment applications.
- Increased buoyancy that can help in emergency scenarios.
- Extra padding in the seat and knee for comfort.
- I found the cuff length to be very difficult to adjust due to the design and location of the velcro.
3. Arctix Tundra Bib
- Waterproof Rating – 5,000mm thermalock coating
- Insulation – 85 grams of thermatech advanced insulation
The third bib we are including is the Arctix Tundra. It comes with 85 grams of insulation which gives it a medium to good level of warmth depending on the temperatures that you will be spending your time.
Like the other three above it comes with reinforced seat, knees, and scuff guards to last longer and be more durable with 600 denier ballistic nylon which is as good or better than the other options. It also has a multi-layered construction which traps the heat in micro chambers to help keep you warm.
It has has reflective safety webbing to keep you visible at night – this is an under-rated feature of many high end fishing bibs.
- Highly durable 600 denier ballistic nylon in the seat, knees, and scuff guards.
- Lots and lots of pockets with large durable zippers.
- This has less waterproof rating and less insulation than the previous two alternate options.
- I don’t think the quality of construction is as high as some of the others.
4. Clam Extreme Advantage Bib
The Clam Extreme Advantage is another option that you might want to consider. At this price range it is a viable option you may want to consider.
The Clam bib has low pockets on your thighs for storing heavier items and strong knee pads. The fabric is waterproof however they don’t quote a hydrostatic rating so it is difficult to compare.
It also comes with a cell phone pocket and a magnetic removable fish towel which I found to be an interesting gimmick.
- Has great knee pads and large pockets on the thighs.
- I found the flexible shoulder straps kept getting twisted.
- This is just a bib, so you will still need other insulated gear to keep you warm and waterproof.
5. Wildfowler Camo Ice Fishing Bib
If you are looking for an ice fishing bib with a bit of flair and design, then the Wildfowler Camo bib is for you. The white style with tree branch camouflage looks great and will stand out from the standard grey bibs. They are also available in wildgrass, blaze, and blaze tree camo designs.
These bibs are waterproof, windproof, breathable, and quiet but they are not insulated. As with the Frogg Toggs below, you will need to combine these bibs with warm inner clothing to keep your warm. If you want something that can be used during boat fishing as well then this might be an option.
- Available in multiple colors including camo and arctic.
- Waterproof, windproof, and breathable.
- Not insulated so you will need thermal inner clothing.
6. Frogg Toggs Waterproof Rain Bib
- Waterproof Rating – 8,000mm
This frogg toggs waterproof rain bib is a different type of fishing bib. It does not have significant insulation and is mostly suited for rain. It does have a decent waterproof rating on the fabric.
This is mostly suited to ice fishing if you intend to wear heavy thermal clothing underneath your bib to offset the lack of insulation. It is wind resistance and waterproof but not insulated and warm so make sure you have the proper inner clothing if you intend to stay in cold environments for long periods.
- High waterproof rating of 8,000 mm.
- Doesn’t have significant insulation – more suited for rain than cold.
- I noticed some water seeping in through the crotch which is exactly where you don’t want to get cold!
Frogg Toggs also has some other high end options like their Pilot model which has a 15,000mm waterproof rating with a lifetime warranty.
We have aimed to give a wide range of ice fishing bibs, from the warmest and heaviest, to the lightest and most interesting designs. You will need to use your new found knowledge to select the ice fishing gear that suits your needs. Have a good think about the conditions that you will be going ice fishing, the temperature, and the waterproof requirements before making your decision. This will allow you to get the gear that suits you best.
If you have any recommendations for ice fishing bibs that other readers can learn from as well then please leave a comment below. The more wisdom and experience we can share the better decisions we can all make.
Happy ice fishing!
Last update on 2022-04-19 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API