Ice Fishing Heater
Choosing the best ice fishing heater is going to have a major impact on how much you enjoy the sport of ice fishing. The wrong portable heater is going to leave you feeling pretty uncomfortable in your ice fishing shelter. There might also be safety considerations, like using electric or propane gas, as well as fitting what you need into for your budget.
We’ve compiled a list of our favorite ice fishing heaters and a few tips for choosing the one that is going to best suit your needs as an ice angler.
Top 5 Best Ice Fishing Heaters
1. Mr. Heater Portable Buddy
There’s nothing better than a portable heater for ice fishing because it means you aren’t locked into a single enclosed space for fishing. The Mr. Heater Portable Buddy heater gives you 9000 BTUs that are perfect for warming a small to moderately sized ice shelter. It should keep you comfortable in a space up to about 225 square feet. It’s lightweight at under 10 pounds and compact enough not to eat up any of your precious space. It can also run at a lower setting of 4000 BTUs. You’ll get up to three hours of heating time if you run it constantly on high or as much as eight hours if you run it low.
Safety-wise, this is a decent option. It has an automatic shut-off if it tips over or if it detects that oxygen levels are too low. It’s perfect for fully enclosed shelters, including an ice shanty or tent. You can also cook on it. The only downside of this space heater is that you won’t be able to use it at altitudes of more than 7000 feet above sea level.
2. Mr. Heater Big Buddy
Another option from Mr Heater is the Big Buddy heater. This is a large heater that’s capable of warming up a space of 450 square feet. You’ll get 18,000 BTUs out of this heater, which many consider the biggest and best in the industry.
The Big Buddy gives you a low, medium, and high setting and can run as low as 4000 BTUs. If your shanty is decently insulated, the Big Buddy can heat it to room temperature in about 15 minutes set on high and keep you comfortable for hours after if there is limited seepage of heat. You get all of the safety features you’ll find in all Mr. Heater models. The only drawback, as you might have guessed, is that if you don’t want to drag around a 17 pound heater on your ice fishing trip, you’re out of luck.
3. Texsport Portable Outdoor Propane Heater
If you’re on a budget, a great pick for the best ice fishing heater is this model from Texsport. It’s about as basic as you can get in an ice fishing heater, but it’s still a solid product. You get a burner and a 1 pound propane canister that has a heat output of just under 2900 BTUs. It’ll heat a tent or small shelter or faced toward your body, will keep you toasty in the open air. A single tank will get you more than six hours of heat. You can adjust the level of heat with a control knob, so if it gets too warm, it’s easy to turn down.
This heater lacks some of the safety features of other options and it won’t auto-shut off if oxygen levels are low or you accidentally knock it over. It also gets hot if run for a while, so watch yourself around it. It’s also important to make sure you have a well-ventilated area and/or a carbon monoxide detector if you’re going to use this heater.
4. Dyna-Glo 10,000 BTU Vent Free Heater
If you’re lucky enough to have set up a semi-permanent ice fishing shanty, this is the heater for you. It offers a whopping 10,000 BTUs at its highest setting and can warm a 3000 square foot space in no time at all. It features a vent-free heating system, so even the most basic shanty will work with this heater. You get low, medium, and high settings and can run on a 20 or 40 pound propane tank.
5. Mr. Heater Cooker MH15C
Our third and final Mr. Heater option is the one to get if you want heat for comfort and for cooking. It’s a smaller unit, but you’ll still get 15,000 BTUs at the highest setting. It can warm up to 375 square feet and has low, medium, and high settings that let you turn it down to 10,000 BTUs. You’ll only get about an hour or two of heating if you arm it with just the 1 pound propane tank, but it comes with an option 20 pound tank. You also get all of the usual Mr. Heater safety features that are part of other heaters.
Safety features include a built-in oxygen sensor that shuts off the unit if it detects low oxygen levels or carbon monoxide in the air. You can also get an option wall heater fan to help circulate the warm air throughout your space.
How Do You Pick the Best Ice Fishing Heater?
There are several things you should consider when shopping for an ice fishing heater, including:
- How portable is the unit? Unless you have a semi-permanent shelter, you’ll want to be able to move your heater around when you relocate your shelter. And according to ice fishing experts, you should be relocating you shelter and following the fish.
- How much fuel does it use? You should consider what size tank you need (most heaters use 1 pound tanks, but there are exceptions) and how much heat you want and need. Also consider whether you need a generator to support the heater or not.
- Is it safe and are there built-in safety features? The more safety features the better, but basic heaters sometimes lack comprehensive features. The most important thing to remember about safety is completely within your control: Don’t use outdoor-only heaters indoors under any circumstances. Remember that rule and most heaters are safe. Aside from that, look for a heater that offers an oxygen depletion sensor, tip-over auto-shutoff, and pilot light auto shutoff.
- Can you cook with it? Decide if you need to use your heater for cooking or if you have other options when it comes to food.
- Is it the right size for your shelter? Knowing the size of your shelter helps you decide which heater is best for you or if you’re picking your heater first, it will guide the size and style of your shelter.
Source of featured image: canva.com