Unless you tag along with a buddy who’s going ice fishing, outfitting yourself for ice fishing isn’t cheap. Rods, reels, fish finders, shelters, and augers can easily total several thousand dollars. And that’s without a snowmobile or ATV to get you there.
None of that will matter if you head out on the ice without the proper clothes, only to freeze, pack up, and head home after a couple of hours. There’s a lot of clothing choices to look at for keeping warm and dry.
Snippet paragraph – Carhartt bib overalls have been the go-to choice of outdoor workers for generations because of their legendary durability. Today, that popularity has crossed over to hunting and fishing, but their fabled performance makes them a contender to give you a good day of ice fishing while keeping you warm and dry.
Are Carhartt Bibs Good Fit for Ice Fishing?
Rugged-durability and quality construction are synonymous with Carhartt bib overalls, a fact that has made them hands-down favorites among outdoor workers and farmers since 1889, when Hamilton Carhartt first began producing his iconic line of work clothes near Detroit, Michigan.
You’re planning on going ice fishing, so the primary requirements needed in your bibs are warmth and dryness. Carhartt Super Dux™ bibs may be just what you’re looking for. Let’s check them out below.
Carhartt Super Dux Bibs
The Super Dux™ material dates back to the fifties and has returned to Carhartt’s lineup after 40 plus years on hiatus. The super dux fabric is a highly abrasion-resistant 7.75-ounce nylon blend that is not only water-repellent but breathable.
The super dux material uses a water-repellent coating that is breathable and allows perspiration to be wicked from your skin and keep you warm, but not sweaty. The pants portion of your bibs has a quilted 80-gram Thinsulate™ lining and the upper body features a 13 oz Sherpa lining.
The legs use a double-layered Super dux material at the knees and including a pocket to hold knee pads, which is always a plus when tending your rods or reeling in the big ones. Wind sealed zippers on the legs run from ankle to hip, making them easy to put on over clothes or take off, all without removing your boots.
Finally, Carhartt super dux bibs use metal rivets at stress points and all seams are triple stitched. Adjustable elastic suspenders offer comfort and flexibility. Finally, there is ample built-in storage provided by lots of zippered pockets, and a loop on the left hip to round out the storage of your fishing gear.
With all those features, it’s pretty clear that Carhartt Super Dux insulated bibs meet, and exceed the requirements of ice fishing. So yes, Carhartt bibs can work well for ice fishing.
Are ice fishing bibs worth it?
When ice fishing, staying warm means conserving body heat and being able to peel off or add layers of clothing as weather demands. It’s also vitally important to stay dry. Your clothes need to not only repel rain and water but also be breathable, so sweat quickly wicks off your skin.
You also want cold weather gear that allows you to keep your fishing tackle and supplies at your fingertips, which means an abundant supply of pockets to stash your jigs, pliers, hand warmers, granola bars, and more.
To be sure you’re getting a well-sewn pair of bibs, inspect the inside more thoroughly than the outside. Check for:
- Well stitched seams. Double-stitched is good, triple-stitched is best.
- If you see serged or glued seams, leave them on the shelf.
- Check for quality metal zippers, buckles, and rivets at stress points.
- Make sure hems are wide enough to hold.
- Check the weight of linings, insulations, and for proper stitching.
The design of Bib overalls has fewer points for the cold air infiltration and keeps body heat better than insulated, waterproof pants and parkas. They also allow for greater mobility when fishing.
Even entry-level fishing bibs meet many ice fishing needs, but iffy construction raises questions of durability and value. Think of it this way, “Bibs are too expensive to buy them cheap!”
Buy cheap and you may end up lining your hunting dog’s bed after one season, or pay more up front and use them for years. As long as you buy quality, insulated fishing bibs are worth the money.
What are the best ice fishing bibs’ alternatives?
Coveralls or snowmobile suits are probably the best alternatives to ice fishing bibs. Both options offer one-piece ankle to neck coverage. Built for winter conditions, both have insulated linings, wind-resistant zippers, and closures.
The Genma0 One-Piece Snowsuit below is one option to consider. Made from Taslan, a woven polyester it is durable enough for day-to-day use, windproof, and water-resistant. Taslan is also breathable, which means it allows moisture wicking to keep you dry, not sweaty.
A polyester polar fleece lining fills out the suit head to toe, along with wind-resistant zipper closures. Zippers on the lower leg make it easy to put on over boots. They are available in bright blue and blaze orange colors, making for high visibility on the ice.
One strike against the suit is that it doesn’t have as many pockets for your fishing gear as the Carhartt Super Dux bibs or coveralls.
Yukon Extremes Loose Fit Insulated Coverall from Carhartt is an option for coveralls. The Yukon extreme coveralls have all the same quality fabrication features as the Carhartt super dux bibs. A primary difference is the shell material, which is uncompromising 500-Denier nylon.
Many military applications use Cordura denier nylon, which shows high abrasion and tears resistance comparable to Kevlar.
These coveralls include a water-resistant 500-Denier nylon shell, Carhartt’s Rain Guard treatment, Thinsulate lining plus triple-stitched main seams, and elastic cuffs at the wrist and ankles. There are secure exterior pockets for gear, under the collar hood snaps, two-way main zipper plus legs zippers to the thighs, which means you’re ready to tackle the cold.
All the Reasons Carhartt Bibs are good for Ice Fishing
With Carhartt bibs, you can check off your two primary requirements. They will keep you warm, but not sweaty, and they’re water-repellent to keep you dry. Additional perks are comfort, space for your gear, and legendary durability.
Carhartt bibs have a long history of satisfied customers, giving them a well-established value. Well-made and versatile Carhartt bibs get the job done for a fair price. Cheaper alternatives are just that, cheaper, and not really worth consideration.
Snowmobile suits and insulated overalls are viable alternatives to Carhartt bibs, but they may get a little pricey.
The Carhartt slogan is, “Born to work, Made to play.” The Super Dux bibs deliver on that promise and are a good fit for ice fishing.