7 Best Ice Fishing Bibs

best ice fishing bibs

Why wear ice fishing bibs many people ask? If you like to stay warm and dry while spending the day, or even the entire night, on a frozen surface of the water, often swept by cold winter winds, you might say it’s obvious.

Ice bibs keep you warm, repel water, keeping you dry, and they’re also utilitarian with pockets, pouches, and loops for attaching equipment. Many ice fishermen consider them as essential as pop-ups, minnows, and an ice auger.

Selecting the best ice fishing bibs involves a bit of thought. One thought to consider is which style to wear (yes, it’s not a Paris fashion runway, but there are styles to choose from). Another is which fabric to select, how they size, are they made for taller, shorter, heavier, thinner, or average people, or if you’re like most of us, a combination of many measurements.

The best ice fishing bibs have some commonalities, they’re easy to wash once you’re back home, they wear well, they have reinforced knees, and pockets. The seat is rugged, they should be water-repellent, and the shoulder straps should be comfortable, or you’ll never make it on a 12, 24, or 48-hour venture out on the ice.

Our Picks

Our Pick
Striker ICE Predator Bib
5.0
$183.99

A unique safety feature of these bibs is the Sureflote assistance technology. Traditional canvas, cotton, or denim bibs quickly absorbed water if an angler broke through the ice, dragging them under the surface with deadly results.

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05/28/2022 12:19 am GMT
Eskimo Men's Keeper Insulated Bib
4.5
$183.99

Insulated with 3M Thinsulate Insulation, these bibs are designed to wick away body moisture with one of the highest breathable ratings in this review.

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05/28/2022 12:29 am GMT
Arctix Men's Essential Insulated Bib Overalls
$17.99

Not everyone on your ice-angling adventures is 6-2 and 220 pounds. Many youngsters enjoy a day on the ice with dad or grandpa, and these bibs are designed for the smaller set of future ice fishermen.

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05/28/2022 12:29 am GMT
Berne Men's Heritage Insulated Bib Overall
3.5
$89.99

Outside the NBA or perhaps professional wrestling, you won’t find a size in this bib design that doesn’t fit. Ranging from small to 6Xl, with tall versions at every size juncture, these basic bibs will fit anyone.

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05/28/2022 12:11 am GMT
TSLA Women's Winter Snow Bibs, Waterproof Insulated Snowboard Overalls, Ripstop Ski Pants
4.0
$62.98

Marketed as snowboarding bibs, these stylish overalls find themselves out on the ice around an array of tip-ups just as often. Ice fishing is thought of as a man’s only sport, but many women enjoy a day on the ice as well.

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05/28/2022 12:11 am GMT
DSG Outerwear Women's Avid Ice Fishing Drop-Seat Bibs
4.5
$199.99

Another innovation for female ice fishing enthusiasts features a drop-seat bib. Built along the lines of the old-style “trapdoor long Johns” worn by the pioneers. These bibs make it much easier for the female angler to deal with the proposition of cold, icy conditions when “nature” calls.

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05/28/2022 12:29 am GMT
Simms Challenger Waterproof Fishing Bib Overalls
4.5
$199.95

The 100% waterproof breathable bibs are comfortable to wear, but last a long time thanks to the quality of the material.

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05/28/2022 12:19 am GMT

What to look for in the best ice bibs

Popular ice bib features

  • Insulated
  • Reinforced knees
  • Heavy duty pockets
  • Exterior zipped pouches
  • Water repellent material
  • Zippered legs
  • Adjustable straps

Insulated

Retaining body heat is the key to a comfortable day on the ice. When temperatures dip below zero, and continue to plummet, a pair of insulated ice bibs does the trick in keeping you warm. The combination of cold and water can quickly lead to hypothermia, but an insulated set of bibs, over several layers of clothing, including thermal underwear takes care of the challenge..

Reinforced knees

You’ll be down looking into the hole, baiting hooks, and pulling in fish, then resetting pop ups. That almost always involves kneeling on the ice, and your knees will take the brunt of the force on often rough, sharp edges of the ice. These conditions can tear up traditional denim pants, but reinforced knees, with heavy fabric add protection and durability.

Heavy-duty pockets

Pockets are pockets, you might think, but when you’re reaching into them while wearing oversized gloves, they can weaken and eventually rip. Find bibs with reinforced pockets, either double-stitched, over stitched, or sewn with special heavy-duty thread.

Exterior zipped pouches

You can’t beat pockets, they’ve been around with us since we first put on a pair of pants, but a zippered pouch provides extra protection and easier access. A zippered pouch can hold your cell phone or tablet that interfaces with a fish finder. Moreover, it can hold your license, any prescription medicine you might need to carry, and important tools you don’t want to leave exposed like Leatherman tools, digital devices, flashlights, and lighters.

They hold bait, lures, and hoods too.

Water repellent material

Water is your worst enemy in ice fishing. If you think you won’t encounter it because you are ice fishing, then you’ve never seen the surge of lake water break through the hole as you finally drill through the ice with your auger. Water is everywhere on the ice. It might be frozen on the surface, but it’s liquid underneath, and it will eventually soak your shoes, socks, and pants if you let it. Water-repellent material keeps that water at bay.

Zippered legs

Hopping around on one leg trying to pull off bibs might be funny in a video, but try it on the ice, and you’ll hope the seat in those bibs is padded. Pulling off bibs is most often done on the tailgate of a pickup truck, but it’s arduous, and you have to take off your boots. Zippered legs on your bibs allow you to keep your boots off, not end up looking like you’re doing ice yoga, and quickly get your gear off and stowed away for the trip home.

Adjustable straps

One size fits all, you’ve read that. No, they don’t. If you’re 5-6 and 125 pounds, or 6-5 and 300, adjustable straps allow custom fitting for any shape or size. If you’ve developed a bit of a bay window over the years and require XL or XXL bibs, but are only 5-8, those gigantic bibs just don’t fit well. Snugging up the straps makes those oversized bibs more wearable.

If you’re on the taller end, lengthening those straps creates a custom fit for you too.

The Best Ice Fishing Bibs Reviewed

Striker Ice Fishing Bib

Marketed as the “Predator” bib, this is a heavy-duty model available in just two sizes, large and extra-large.

The gray bibs are 100% polyester, insulated with an adjustable inseam, and magnetic storm flaps. They have reinforced knees and a cushioned seat, a dual feature for comfort and durability.

These bibs have Hydrapore waterproof technology, creating a breathable fabric that repels water while allowing interior moisture to wick away.

A unique safety feature of these bibs is the Sureflote assistance technology. Traditional canvas, cotton, or denim bibs quickly absorbed water if an angler broke through the ice, dragging them under the surface with deadly results. These bibs have been tested and will keep an average person afloat for up to two hours. The technology has already saved the lives of many unfortunate fishermen who broke through the ice and ended up in ice-cold lake water.

Eskimo Men’s Keeper Insulated Bib

Insulated with 3M Thinsulate insulation, these bibs are designed to wick away body moisture with one of the highest breathable ratings in this review. Made of durable 600 denier polyester fabric, these bibs feature fully tapered inseams for complete waterproofing out on the ice.

Available in a wide variety of larger sizes from large to 5XL these are bibs that will fit anyone, even a larger person with several layers on already.

Wind, rain, snow, nothing penetrates these bibs.

The name “Eskimo” brings images of Nanook of the North, a documentary film made in the 1920s. The image of Nanook in his natural fur-lined Arctic gear, gives you an idea of the protection these bibs have to offer.

They weigh a substantial 4.4 pounds and feature outstanding protection against the elements. Not only do ice fishermen use these bibs, but hunters, construction workers, and farmers wear them and stay warm and dry in even the coldest, wettest, winter weather.

Arctix

Not everyone on your ice-angling adventures is 6-2 and 220 pounds. Many youngsters enjoy a day on the ice with dad or grandpa, and these bibs are designed for the smaller set of future ice fishermen.

Available in a wide range of 32 colors, from white to black with exotic high contrast greens, yellows, orange, and red colors, these bibs are made to handle temperatures to 20 below zero. They are made of high-quality ThermaTech insulation, keeping the youngster warm out on the ice.

With a zippered closure, reinforces, angles, and scuff-resistant hem guards, they’re a nice garment for the beginning angler to wear out on the ice.

Machine washable, they’re a favorite when they get home from a long weekend outdoors and easy to clean.

Berne Men’s Heritage Insulated Bib Overall

Outside the NBA or perhaps professional wrestling, you won’t find a size in this bib design that doesn’t fit. Ranging from small to 6Xl, with tall versions at every size juncture, these basic bibs will fit anyone.

Make of 10 oz cotton duck, treated with a water-repellent finish to stay warm and dry even in wet snowstorms out on the ice, these low-priced bibs get the job done.

They feature an insulated high back for ext warmth, fully adjustable bib straps for custom fitting, and heavy-duty brass leg zippers that make it easy to get these bibs on and off.

TSLA Women’s Winter Snow Bibs, Waterproof Insulated Snowboard Overalls

Marketed as snowboarding bibs, these stylish overalls find themselves out on the ice around an array of tip-ups just as often. Ice fishing is thought of as a man’s only sport, but many women enjoy a day on the ice as well.

These stylish bibs, available in 17 fashionable colors, are made to fit the female form. With adjustable shoulder straps and a front zipper enclosure, they’re easy to get on and off and come in sizes from extra-small short to XL. There’s a size in this range that fits every woman.

Side pockets, with secure zippers, and internal leg gaiters keep snow, ice, and water off, and heat in.

They’re made for cross-country and downhill skiing and snowboarding, but they work great for ice fishing as well.

DSG Outerwear Women’s Avid Ice Fishing Drop-Seat Bibs

Another innovation for female ice fishing enthusiasts features a drop-seat bib. Built along the lines of the old-style “trapdoor long Johns” worn by the pioneers. These bibs make it much easier for the female angler to deal with the proposition of cold, icy conditions when “nature” calls.

Made of Flotex layered foam insulation, they offer the utmost in warmth along with a polyester shell and heavy-duty 840 Denier knee panels.

You’ll have the warmth and water protection you need on the ice, with the convenience of a trap door design.

Built exclusively for women, with a size range that matches female requirements.

Simms Challenger Waterproof Fishing Bib Overalls

Our final review features a set of bibs designed for the average man. With sizes from Medium to 2XL, it fits the regular guy but comes with a wide range of expensive features.

The bibs are on the higher side price-wise, but feature Toray fabric technology that aids in wicking away moisture from inside while blocking it from the exterior.

The 100% waterproof breathable bibs are comfortable to wear, but last a long time thanks to the quality of the material.

Fully adjustable, these bibs fit the average guy from 5-8 to 6-3, and in weights of 150 to 250 pounds.

Zippered front pockets, a drop-in pliers pocket, and a hand-warming pocket add even more versatility to this already versatile product.

You can’t go wrong with the extra reinforcement at the knees, the easy-off zippered legs, and the adjustable straps.

These bibs get the job done.

Conclusion

ice fishing

You can wander out on the ice with a pair of thermal underwear under your denim jeans, and probably do just fine. But the minute you get splashed with water, and the subzero wind turns your pants, sweatshirt, or jacket into a solid sheet of ice, you’ll realize a set of waterproof bibs was probably something you should have considered.

Ice fishing is gaining in popularity each winter. With the warming trend, we’ve seen over recent winters, ice isn’t forming as quickly as it did just a decade ago, and the season is shorter.

The weather is still cold, and the water is just as wet as it’s always been. The combination of the two makes it imperative that you stay dry, and warm at the same time.

Advanced materials make it possible to do both. You want to get rid of the moisture you create inside those warm bibs through perspiration, but you want protection against water splash from ice holes, and from wet snow that can creep up on you quickly when you’re out on the ice.

Add to these protective features the desire to have a pair of bibs that is easy to wear, comfortable and that lasts a long time on the ice. If you’re seasoned ice fishermen you’ll go out every winter.

Spending a little more for quality ensures that the bibs you wear this year, will still be around five or 10 years from now when you head back on the ice to drill a few holes and catch your limit.

Don’t scrimp on materials, zipper construction, or the extra insurance of bibs with flotation features if you’re prone to work ice with thermals or thin spots. You’ll be glad you did if the unthinkable happens, and you find yourself swimming on a subzero afternoon.

For more guidance on choosing ice fishing gear, check out the pages below:

Randy Tucker

Randy Tucker

I am a fishing enthusiast and writer from Wyoming. I travel all over the world to experience different types of fishing and often write about it for different publications. I mostly fish for walleye, perch, catfish, crappie, trout, bass, and ling. The outdoors has been an important part of my life since childhood, and I am fortunate to make a living while enjoying what I love.

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