To find the best chair for ice fishing you must first think about what features are most important. Portability, comfort, and durability are three that come to mind. But, finding all three of these features in one product isn’t always easy.
The goal of this guide is to help you understand what characteristics make a great ice fishing chair and how you can find one for yourself.
Continue reading below to learn more about our favorite ice fishing chairs, what makes them so great, and where you can buy one today.
IN A HURRY? HERE ARE OUR 3 PICKS FOR YOU
- Best Chairs for Ice Fishing Reviewed
- Types of Ice Fishing Chairs
- Factors to Consider When Choosing the Best Chair for Ice Fishing
- Final Thoughts
Best Chairs for Ice Fishing Reviewed
Let’s take a look at some of the best ice fishing chairs and why we chose them as our favorites.
1/ Browning Camping Chair
- Pro-Tec powder coated aluminum/steel hybrid frame for added strength and durability
- Easily folds flat, making transporting and storing a breeze
- Padded armrests, wide seat, tall back and flip-down footrest provides all your sitting needs
The goal of the best ice fishing chair is that it’s comfortable, portable, and functional on the ice. This chair checked enough of those boxes to be deemed the best choice for ice fishing.
While most ice fishing chairs are known for being uncomfortable, small, and tight, this one isn’t. It has a director’s chair design which provides more room for your rear while also leaving the area open for your arms as you’re working your bait in the water below.
Another issue with ice fishing chairs is transporting them. You don’t want anything too heavy because they’re difficult to lug out onto the ice. This one weighs about ten pounds so it’s a bit bulkier than we’d like but that’s part of what must be sacrificed in the name of convenience.
Overall, it’s a durable chair that won’t start falling apart after a few uses. Even though it weighs a bit more than we’d like, it also comes with a side table for your drinks or whatever bait you’re rigging at the time.
What We Like
- This chair folds completely flat when you’re ready to store or transport it.
- The chair is larger and more comfortable than most other options.
- It comes with a side table to hold drinks and whatever else you’re working with at the moment.
What We Don’t Like
- The base of the chair has little to no grip on the ice, so it can slide around.
2/ LEADALLWAY Foldable Camping Chair
- DURABLE MATERIAL: The frame of camping chair is made of thickened 16 mm steel pipe , the cloth is made of double layer oxford fabric, weight only 2.9...
- USER-FRIENDLY DESIGN: Anti-slip feet make sure your sitting more secure and stable, attached backrest provide great support for your back
- BUILD-IN BAG:the capacity of bag is 9.8(L)X7.3(W)X10.6(H) inch,It can provide you with space to hold what you want to install.
When you’re transporting things such as augers, fish finders, and chairs, you need to maximize your space to make the most of what you have. Combining a chair and a cooler into one is a great way that this chair makes the most of your space.
The chair only weighs 2.9 pounds and comes with a built-in cooler attached to the bottom of the seat. When you fold it up and empty the cooler, it folds almost completely flat. When you’re ready, you can set it up, expand the cooler, and stuff it with whatever you need to get through the fishing trip.
It’s rated for 280 pounds and while it might be a lot smaller than the pictures make it look, it can still hold quite a bit of weight comfortably. I also like the fact that the compact design makes a lot more sense for those of you fishing inside smaller fishing shelters.
The chair itself is durable and made with Oxford fabric which is known for being weather resistant and strong.
What We Like
- It’s lightweight, portable, and easy to set up.
- The chair is small enough to fit inside ice fishing shelters.
- It comes with a built-in cooler which means one less thing you need to bring with you.
- The chair is rated at 280 pounds.
What We Don’t Like
- It has a low backrest and is much smaller than it looks in pictures.
3/ Eskimo XL Ice Fishing Chair
- COMFORTABLE – Taller design with larger seat panel for added comfort.
- PORTABLE – Folds down and can be transported with mounted carry strap.
- 600D FABRIC – Made with durable 600 denier fabric.
The thing that stood out right away about this chair was the brand. The Eskimo brand is well known for putting out a large variety of ice fishing products and gear and I am a big supporter of this company.
The chair weighs eight pounds and has a higher back than the previous option so it’s more comfortable to sit on. It offers a storage pocket on the side but that’s the only storage or special feature offered by this chair.
It’s a fully collapsible chair that makes transportation easier and it’s much higher off the ground than some other options so it’s a good choice for those anglers with limited mobility. It also features a travel strap so if you run out of room in your sled, you can throw it over your shoulder and carry it onto the ice.
What We Like
- The chair is completely collapsible.
- It has a higher back and is higher off the ground which makes it more comfortable for tall people.
- The Eskimo chair is easy to store and transport.
What We Don’t Like
- It has little to no storage with only one small side pouch.
4/ Frabill Sit-N-Fish Bait Bucket Seat
- Frabill | Trusted By Anglers Since 1938
- Eliminate extra gear and keep your load light with the Sit-N-Fish bait bucket
- Comfortable padded foam cushion lid snaps on tightly to the top of the bucket
Sometimes bringing a chair simply isn’t an option and all ice anglers have sat on a bucket at least once. This bucket brings new meaning to the word “versatile” by providing a comfortable place for you to rest your rear while also giving you an area to store any live bait or fish that you catch on the trip.
It’s a three-pound bucket that serves as both a livewell and a chair. It’s a simple and old school design that makes it easy to clean, simple to transport, and versatile enough for use all year long.
The thing I like most about this bucket is how it reminds me of my childhood. I can remember ice fishing with my grandfather all the time and we never had chairs, we always sat on our buckets.
Best of all, the bucket also comes with an internally insulated cooler that you can put inside the bucket if you’re not using it for live bait. You really get the best in every direction with this chair.
What We Like
- I like the old school vibes this bucket provides.
- It’s a versatile option that serves more than one purpose.
- It comes with an insulated drink cooler as well.
What We Don’t Like
- It may not be as comfortable as a real chair and it doesn’t fold up for transportation.
Types of Ice Fishing Chairs
Let’s break down the various types of chairs so you can understand the differences between these options.
Some of the options you’ll find are foldable chairs. These will offer the most portability and moderate comfort. Foldable chairs are likely lightweight and they fold down almost completely flat which makes transporting them easy.
Remember that when you’re carrying all your gear onto the ice, the last thing you want to worry about is lugging a bunch of heavy chairs. Having a few foldable chairs for each person in your party makes the transportation process much easier.
While I chose a director’s chair as my favorite option, they’re not perfect in every way. These chairs can be a bit bulky and they’re not the easiest to transport because they don’t always fold up entirely.
Director’s chairs are the most comfortable option on the ice because they usually offer a higher back and a wider base to allow you to comfortably sit in them for extended periods of time.
Another issue I encounter with these chairs is that they don’t sit steady on the ice because of the way the base is designed.
The good news is that many of these chairs also come with built-in coolers and tables, but this also adds to the overall weight of the chair.
The original go-to option for ice fishermen is a bucket. You sit on your bucket and you don’t have to worry about bringing a chair. Since then, companies have become smarter and realized that if they could make buckets more comfortable, people might actually buy and use them as chairs.
You can see in our review that we actually included a bucket. It doesn’t come with a backrest or too many comfort features, but it’s a multipurpose item that is easy to transport and gets the job done.
Factors to Consider When Choosing the Best Chair for Ice Fishing
Here are some things you’ll want to keep in mind before deciding on the best ice fishing chair for you:
Size/Weight – The weight of your chair is important because you need something that doesn’t sacrifice too much in the comfort department. That said, you’ll also have a hard time pulling a huge chair on the ice without a sled. All the chairs reviewed in this guide combine comfort with functionality.
Durability – What good is a chair if it falls apart before you even have a chance to use it? The chair you choose should be made with durable and weather-resistant materials. The snow and ice can do a number on anything, so be sure to keep that in mind and look for ice fishing chairs with a strong reputation of longevity.
Storage – Look for a chair with added features such as a cooler or at least a storage pouch. You’ll use this area to put your phone, lures, bait, or whatever else you want. Keep in mind that the need will vary from person to person so only you can decide what matters most to you.
By this point you should understand what features are most important when shopping for the best ice fishing chair. I still think the Browning Camping Chair is my favorite because it offers the most comfort and I don’t think it’s too difficult to take on the ice.
A close second is the Eskimo XL fishing chair because of its high back and extended legs making it one of the more comfortable options for a portable chair.
Ice fishing doesn’t have to be a sport designed to make you uncomfortable. With chairs, heaters, and shelters, everyone can enjoy ice fishing without having to be cold, tired, or uncomfortable. Be safe and good luck out there!