I know that flotation suits are necessary when you’re going ice fishing. You can’t wear any random suit that doesn’t float.
In October, I was also searching for a good ice fishing suit that floats. So, before purchasing the suit, I did a lot of research, and now I’m sharing a few things that I learned, plus a few recommendations for you.
My Story of Buying an Ice Fishing Flotation Suit
When I was thinking of buying a floating ice fishing suit, I talked to my friend, and he told me that any good ice fishing bib or jacket can keep you afloat. He wears a hunting jacket with Eskimo Roughneck Bibs, yeah, that’s a floating bib.
But, as a father who has family responsibility, I don’t want to compromise the safety, so I decided to buy a floating suit that contains a floating bib and a floating jacket.
After doing some research, I purchased WindRider Ice Fishing Suit. Yeah, it contains a floating bib and a floating jacket.
While doing the research, my number one priority was floating ability, my suit should float in case of ice breakage. It has all the other features that are nice to have like a lot of pockets, a removable insulated hood, handwarmer pockets, adjustable inseam, etc.
All the features are good, but according to me, the biggest one is that it helps you in floating.
Before selecting WindRider, I had a few options in my mind.
The first option was StrikerICE Apex Jacket and Apex Bib. You can purchase them separately, and wear them as a suit. This is the warmest jacket and bib on the market, so if you do ice fishing in extreme temperatures, you should go with the Apex suit. It keeps you afloat for up to 2 hours. However, I don’t go to extreme temperatures, so this was not good for me.
The second option was StrikerICE Climate Jacket and Climate Bib. You can purchase them separately, and wear them as a suit. It was perfect for me, warm, floating ability, and comfortable for my level. But, it was a little expensive for me.
The third option was the Eskimo Roughneck Jacket and Roughneck Bib. Again, you can purchase them separately, and wear them as a suit. It was a good choice, warm, comfortable, and keeps you floating in the water.
And, the final option was WindRider Ice Fishing Suit. The Fully Integrated Floatation System was the key feature for me. Also, it was affordable as compared to other suits. So, I decided to purchase WindRider Suit.
You can purchase any suit you like that comes under budget. All are good options.
Best Ice Fishing Floatation Jackets
StrickerICE Climate Jacket
Made out of polyester, this is a heavy-duty climate jacket. The StrickerICE Climate Jacket is set apart from other ice-fishing jackets as it gives you extra warmth.
The G2 Softshell Jacket Liner is removable and also can be worn on its own if you need extra or low warmth.
It is absolutely perfect for use all round year. It has a durable hydrapore material which is rated 5000mm when it comes to waterproofing.
The material makes the jacket windproof and allows it to withstand extreme weather conditions.
Its recommended that this flotation suit is paired with the StrickerICE Climate Fishing Bib for supreme outdoor protection.
Stricker Men’s StrickerICE Predator Jacket
This jacket is made in the United States of America, out of 100% nylon. Designed with a Thermadex Technology, this jacket provides optimal warmth with 100 grams of Thermdex insulation and heavy-duty outdoor coverage.
The Stricker Men’s StrickerICE Predator Jacket also comes with Surefloate Floatation Assistance that can keep an average-sized person afloat for up to 2 hours.
The hydrapore technology makes this jacket breathable and allows it to withstand extreme temperatures such as heavy rains and blizzards.
Overall, it is a great quality outdoor gear and is usually paired with the StrikerICE Predator Bib for ideal protection and safety.
Eskimo Lockout Ice Fishing Jacket
With a 600D Endura polyester outer shell, this particular jacket keeps elements like wind, moisture, and cold out.
It is a rugged shell that provides maximum protection from the elements outside.
Moreover, the soft internal lining 210T combined with the 60 grams Thermodex insulation keeps your body warm and dry.
This flotation suit for ice fishing also comes with the Surefloate Assistance technology which provides buoyancy and keeps you afloat for 1-2 hours max.
The hydrapore also makes this jacket waterproof, windproof, and gives it the ability to withstand extreme weather conditions outdoors.
The Eskimo Lockout’s overall sharp styling is super attractive with easy-access zippers and a smooth look altogether.
Frabill Mens I-Float Jacket
This jacket is a United States Coast Guard (USCG) certified personal floatation device that is windproof and waterproof.
Made out of 100% nylon, it is hand-washable. The Frabill Mens I-Float Jacket is made out of ripstop material that has a mesh self-drainage system. that has openings for emergency water evacuation.
With additional features like high visibility USCG orange lining, garment accents, ice-picks and holsters, and handwarmer pockets designed to allow for easy flexing of elbows, this jacket is a whole package.
It provides warmth, mobility, breathability, and comfort and also eliminates bulk. The neck and the hood of the jacket also go the extra mile by keeping your ears and face warm. This flotation suit for ice fishing is surely a must-buy!
Best Floatation Bibs for Ice Fishing
Floatation bibs are the ultimate heavy-duty pairs of overalls that will provide you with the warmth needed in ice-cold water.
What separates them from the standard ice-fishing bibs is that they also help you in floatation, should you end up in the water, and give you enough time to act for your safety.
StrickerICE Men’s Climate Bib
This bib is a high-quality outdoor gear that is the perfect accessory for not only a fisherman but for others as well who are into skiing, and other outdoor activities.
The Surefloate Floatation Assistance technology has saved several lives over the years.
They continue to do so by providing floatation which keeps an average person afloat for up to 2 full hours.
Furthermore, this bib comes with a hydrapore waterproof technology and thermadex technology which makes this bib waterproof and weather-resistant even in extreme conditions. This is surely a heavy-duty climate bib with the best features in the market.
Clam 12746 Rise Float Bib
The Rise Float Bib is a simplified version of our popular Ascent Float Bib. It is 100% waterproof and has 100 grams of fixed insulation.
With two color combinations, this bib has black and blue zips as well. Equipped with adjustable inseams, this bib is available in almost all possible sizes.
This bib has Motion Float Technology which makes the bib secure, comfortable, and breathable.
The Rise Float bib is perfect for early and late ice fishermen, or any safety-minded outdoors enthusiasts.
Clam IceArmor Ascent Float Bib
The Clam IceArmor Ascent Float Bib is padded with 1000D ballistic nylon in the knees. It also has nylon suspenders which are adjustable so you can make them according to your own size and need.
Moreover, the suit is equipped with a waterproof cell phone pocket so you can be carefree while fishing.
This flotation suit for ice fishing also comes with floatation assist technology that adds buoyancy.
It also has a 150 grams removable Thinsulate layer which keeps in retaining warmth within the bib.
Furthermore, it has two-way leg zippers with a magnetic storm flap for easy/off, while being breathable, comfortable, and secure on ice.
Striker Ice SI HardWater Bibs
This bib is designed with a 600D Endura, and a waterproof, breathable outer shell. With 2 colors available, Striker Ice premium ice fishing apparel with a flotation-assist feature provides the absolute best available technology for the serious fishing enthusiast.
The bib is equipped with a 175g Thermadex insulated lining which is removable so that you are comfortable and prepared.
Further, the warmth rating on this bib is 10/10 which means that you are going to be toasty, even in extreme weather conditions.
With fast drains that help in evacuating the water inside the suit, it is the perfect bib for fishermen!
StrikerICE Trekker Bib
The StrikerICE Trekker Bib is a trekker bib that is specially made to keep you warm, insulated, and protected while boating, working, or backpacking through harsh terrain.
The hydrapore technology makes the bib waterproof and weatherproof.
While the Thermadex technology provides optimal warmth without all of the extra bulk that comes with other insulating bibs
For added floatation and buoyancy, the Surefloate Floatation Assistance is in a place that has saved several over the years by giving people the safety they need in any situation.
For a perfect combination, it is recommended that you pair this bib with the StrikerICE Trekker Jacket.
How to Choose Ice Fishing Floating Suit
A floater suit or jacket and bib is a crucial part of apparel worn while fishing on the ice.
While choosing one, you should be incredibly aware of the pros and cons and have enough time to make an educated decision.
To help with that, here is a list of a few features that are found in a good flotation Suit for ice fishing
The first and foremost thing that the suit must provide is safety. Read the features, instruction manuals, and every document that comes with the suit so that you know the appropriate way to wear and use it.
Furthermore, you must also ensure that the suit you buy is of great quality and build.
Although this cannot be tested unless you purchase the jackets, there is plenty of content that would provide you with information on the floatation suit power.
Make sure that you go through all this information carefully to make an educated and knowledgeable decision.
Most jackets have vents and zippers to provide breathability while used.
Check for these especially when you buy the jacket as it should not make you feel uncomfortable or suffocated. Some jackets that are of great quality have adjustable zippers that let you create your desired opening for the vent.
If this is something that sounds like your style, do look for and invest in suits that provide this feature.
Few of these suits are heavy and bulky. It really depends on where you stay and how much your requirement is when it comes to retaining warmth.
Overall, just make sure your jacket lets you wear and remove it easily and does not make your movements restricted due to its weight or any other factor.
Warmth is an important factor while ice fishing. It is extremely important to gauge the warmth a suit provides.
The amount of warmth required by a person is subjective, hence the best way to know is if you try a suit you like and get the actual touch and feel of it.
There are a few suits that are not waterproof but most of them usually are. Waterproofing is a feature that is necessary when you need to get out of the suit and have it dry quickly.
It also comes in handy when you need to keep some important items, like your phone, safe while fishing on the ice.
It is extremely necessary that the suit you purchase is durable. This is a long-term investment and often is costly.
Hence, having a suit last for a long time, rather than investing in multiple low-quality suits is more feasible and time-saving.
Finally, the suit you end up choosing should make you feel comfortable and in your own skin.
It is important that you pick a suit that is comfortable as in case you fall into the cold water, you should be comfortable and free enough to act quickly to save yourself time.
If you fish daily, you should mandatorily invest in a floating suit, to ensure your safety.
Nobody expects or wants bad things to happen to them, but we can’t predict the future, and staying prepared in such situations is the best way to deal with them.
Due to some unfortunate reason, if you end up in the water without a floatation suit, you only have seconds to act.
But if you are wearing a flotation suit, your chances of having enough time and getting out safely are more.
Hence, a floatation suit is your best bet under these circumstances.