It is no surprise you will need to stay warm when out on the lake for a day of ice fishing this winter season. Lucky for you we researched the best heaters for ice fishing and list them on this page. Whether you are inside an ice fishing shelter or sitting on a bucket outside, you will need a heater to keep you toasty.
Best Ice Fishing Heaters
- Mr. Heater Portable Buddy Indoor Safe Propane Heater
- Mr. Heater Little Buddy Indoor Safe Propane Heater
- Mr. Heater Portable Propane Heater
- Mr. Heater BTU Cooker
- Mr. Heater Double Tank Top Outdoor Heater
- TMS Portable Military Camping Wood Stove
- IOOkME-H Portable Butane Gas Heater
- Texsport Portable Outdoor Propane Heater
Mr. Heater Portable Buddy Indoor Safe Propane Heater
Mr. Heater Little Buddy Indoor Safe Propane Heater
- Indoor-safe portable propane heater for rooms up to 95 square feet. THIS UNIT IS NOT INTENDED FOR GOLF CART USE OR FOR MOTORIZED VEHICLES.
- Continuous odor-free, 45-degree heating angle. Maximum Elevation (Ft) 7000 Feet. Automatic low oxygen shut-off system (ODS). Perfect solution for heating small enclosed spaces like tents up to 95 square feet
- Simple on/off buttons; uses 1-pound disposable propane cylinder (not included). Run time at minimum btu and maximum btu is 5.6 hours. Do not operate heater in any moving vehicle. This heater requires a vent area of 4 square inches minimum for adequate ventilation during operation
- Low-oxygen sensor and accidental tip-over switch with auto shut-off for safety.THE USE OF UN-AUTHORIZED ACCESSORIES/ATTACHMENTS WITH THIS HEATER ARE EXPRESSLY PROHIBITED, MAY CAUSE SERIOUS INJURY, AND WILL VOID THE WARRANTY.
- Recommended for emergency heat, tents, campers, workshops, job sites, porches, patios, decks, garages, storage buildings, picnics, tailgate parties, construction trailers, sporting events, barns, sheds, hunting blinds, shelters and ice fishing shanties
Mr. Heater Portable Propane Heater
- 4,000- to 18,000-BTU radiant heater for spaces up to 450 square feet. Approved for indoor/outdoor use; clean-burning; nearly 100-percent efficient
- When operating the heater at altitudes over 7,000 FT above sea level the heater may shut off. Maximum Hours Of Operation- 220.0
- Auto shut-off if tipped over, if pilot light goes out, or if detects low oxygen levels
- Low, medium and high heat level control knob for steady temperatures; connects to propane tank (not included). Note- Due to recent governmental changes to import tariffs, Mr. Heater has removed the fan on some models of the Mr. Heater Big Buddy (MH18B).
- THE USE OF UN-AUTHORIZED ACCESSORIES/ATTACHMENTS WITH THIS HEATER ARE EXPRESSLY PROHIBITED, MAY CAUSE SERIOUS INJURY, AND WILL VOID THE WARRANTY.
Mr. Heater BTU Cooker
- 8,000-15,000 BTU heater/cooker
- Automatic safety shut-off
- Hi-med-low regulator
- Use with disposable cylinders or 20 lb. refillable tank
- Completely assembled except for metal stand (included)
Mr. Heater Double Tank Top Outdoor Heater
- Hi-med-low regulator and multiple heat settings- 10, 12.5, 15, 20, 25, 30,000 BTU’s
- Two tip-over safety shut-offs and polished chrome reflector
- Soft Nose P.O.L and premium grade stainless steel burning surface.Use - Construction Sites, Loading Docks, Sporting Events, Hunting, Fishing, Camping
- Mounts on 20lb propane cylinder and directional, adjustable heads
- Operate one or two burners at a time and outdoor use only
TMS Portable Military Camping Wood Stove
- Stove can be used in an outfitters tent with a stove pipe vent; Four (17" long × 2 1/2" diameter) interlocking flue pipe sections
- Spark arrestor for added safety; Removable dual side cooking tubes can be used for baking potatoes, foil meals, etc.
- The stove has front and rear air flow regulators and an easy access bottom ash clean-out
- Top grate is hinged and doubles as a carrying handle when stove is not in use
- Grate folds to provide flat heating surface on top of stove and can be folded out for drying gloves, socks, small items
IOOkME-H Portable Butane Gas Heater
Texsport Portable Outdoor Propane Heater
Best Ice Fishing Heaters – Buyers Guide
Ice fishing is a popular pastime in many parts of the United States and continues the angling season even as the temperature drops. With a few friends to share the time with, the water glimmering just below, and some good luck, you will create some great memories.
Before you can get started, you have to tackle the challenges of ice fishing. Some of these include iced-over guides, frozen lines, and frostbitten fingers that make tying a jig impossible. If you have found yourself crouched over an ice fishing hole and shivering, you understand!
This brings us to one of the most important pieces of equipment for ice fishing: a good ice fishing heater. There are many qualities that separate a decent option from the best ice fishing tent heater. We put together a list of the prime factors of a good heater, and what to consider before taking the plunge and purchasing your own.
What to Look for When Buying Ice Fishing Heaters
Now it is time to dive into the special features that make each ice shanty heater different. You will want to consider each of these when deciding which type of heater is best for your needs. It’s likely that you’ll be interested in a kerosene tent heater, but these are not the only option. Whether it’s kerosene or a battery-operated heater for tents, these are all essential factors to consider.
Always Put Safety First
You can find many reviews and descriptions on the internet, so you need to make sure to do adequate research on the best way to heat an ice shack. For one thing, your life depends on it. Not only do your risk hypothermia without one, you also open yourself up to injury or death if you use a heater not suited for indoor tent use.
An outdoor heater, unlike a fish house heater, is specifically designed to open-air locations such as sporting events or construction sites. These heaters do not work in a tent because they produce carbon monoxide, which is dangerous in any enclosed space. Any ice shack heater you choose must be rated for indoor use!
Low Oxygen Sensor
While on the topic of carbon monoxide, indoor heaters should have low oxygen sensors. When the ice fishing propane heater is being used, it will consume oxygen. If your ice shack is not properly ventilated, you risk carbon monoxide exposure. Carbon monoxide makes you sleepy and ultimately unconscious, which can lead to death.
An ice fishing heater with a low oxygen sensor will alert you if oxygen levels are low – which can ultimately save your life. If a heater does not come with this feature automatically, it is an option to purchase the sensor separately. Of course, that is another piece of equipment to get, but a good option if you just need this one add-on.
Auto Tip Over Shut-Off
A great safety feature of some heaters is the auto tip over shut-off function. This means the heater will automatically turn off if it is tipped over for any reason. This helps prevent fires and other accidents as a result of a tipped over heater.
Another feature is the BTU output of your heater, which should be compared to the size of the shelter. BTU is known as the British thermal unit, which is a scientific measurement for the amount of heat needed to raise the temperature of one pound of water by one degree Fahrenheit.
The BTU of an ice fishing heater will be determined based on the square feet of your ice shelter. You should match these two elements as closely as you can, but some heaters will have multiple BTU output settings. Multiple settings will allow you to match the output to the size of the shelter.
Portable Propane or Full Size?
An ice fishing propane heater can either be attached to a portable propane tank or a full-size propane tank. This is typically not an interchangeable feature so the heater you pick will be designed for one or the other.
This feature is up to personal preference. For some, it is a lot of work to bring a full-sized propane tank onto the ice. For others, the idea of refilling cylinders is a lot of work.
While on the topic of size, this also plays into other types of heaters. Ideally, the goal is to have a compact size that is easy to store and transport. However, size might be affected by the BTU output you need to warm your tent. Ice fishing heaters often indicate the size space they can handle, so you should be able to match the size of the heater with the size space and BTU output you need.
At the same time, do not sacrifice size for portability if that is not the right option. An undersized heater will not be effective for heating the space, leaving you out in the cold. If the heater is too large for the space, you will have less room and more weight to carry.
Try finding a heater with high capacity and additional settings. This way, you can adjust the settings to the size and temperature at the time. The right size heater will warm the ice shack much faster.
Ice Heater FAQs
Of course, you probably still have questions at this point. To help answer all your concerns, we have some FAQs to help you out.
What is an ice house heater?
This is simply a heating appliance that delivers radiant infrared heat to warm people, air, and objects in the vicinity. It can provide warmth even in sub-zero temperatures.
Why do I need one?
Given the extremely cold nature of ice fishing, you need to make sure the conditions are as safe as possible. This includes wearing multiple layers and preparing for unexpected conditions. Once out on the ice, the conditions can worsen suddenly, or it can take hours before you get a bite on the line.
Bottom line: a heater keeps you safe and warm, prevents frostbite, and lets you fish longer.
Is it safe to use a gas heater in such a small place?
As indicated in the buyer’s guide, these products are safe as long as you use one enabled with oxygen depletion sensors and tip over shutoff. It should always be placed on a stable surface and the ice shack should be well ventilated for optimal safety. You can always read portable heater reviews to check for safety recommendations of certain products.
Will the heater melt the ice?
Bringing warmth to an icy environment does seem counter-intuitive. After all, what if the ice melts and you fall in? Fortunately, these heaters are designed to heat small spaces quickly. They do not exert enough energy to melt the thick ice you are fishing on. It would take an extremely powerful portable heater to melt even just an inch of the ice.
What is a good heater size?
The answer to this depends on the size of your ice fishing shelter, the BTU output, and personal preference. Ideally, you want a compact one so you can carry and store the portable butane heater easily.
The ultimate goal with an ice fishing heater is to stay both warm and safe while enjoying the sport of ice fishing. This might mean compromising on size in favor of space coverage, or splurging on a battery operated heater for rechargeable purposes. At the end of the day, choose an ice shack heater based on personal preference, safety ratings, and safety features.
Stay warm out on the ice with the proper clothing, ice fishing gloves, and more.
Also see these articles on additional ice fishing gear for this season: