Best Ice Fishing Heaters 2020 – Review and Buying Guide

Since you are here, it is safe to assume that you are concerned about the temperature when ice fishing in the hut, and you are probably looking for the best ice fishing heater to keep yourself warm while catching some big fishes.

Sometimes wearing the thickest jackets can’t even keep you warm, and getting an ice fishing heater is the best option for you to resolve the issue. If you are new into ice fishing, you may overlook the situation, but when you get numb fingers and toes, you will definitely regret not bringing a portable heater to the ice fishing spot.

In this article, I am going to share some of the best ice fishing heaters available on the market, and I will also share some tips on how to choose the most suitable ice fishing heater for your cause.

Check these best ice fishing heaters to have an enjoyable ice fishing experience.

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Best Ice Fishing Heater 2020

Mr. Heater MH18B, Portable Propane Heater

Available in two colors — red and grey — each one of these pieces of portable propane heater is made with high-quality material, and offers incredible support. This is a patented radiant 4000-19000 BTU liquid propane heater which can be connected directly to the two 1lb cylinders (tank not included). As claimed by the manufacturer, it is a perfect solution to heat cabins of up to 450 sq. ft. This clean-burning and nearly 100-percent efficient propane heater can be used for both indoor and outdoor use.

It comes with an integrated fan which increases the heating capacity of the unit while blending the radiant and convection style heat. You will find auto shut-off feature which will turn off in three different occasions – if tipped over, pilot light goes out, or if the oxygen level drops.

There are three different temperature control knobs available in this heater – low, medium, and high heat. In order to light the unit, you just have to push and knob the knob. With the help of the built-in Piezo sparking mechanism, you are ready to receive the heat. Considering all the features, I can safely say that this is one of the best ice fishing heaters to tackle freezing weather.

Pros

  • 4000-18000 BTU radiant heater
  • Can be used for spaces up to 450 square-foot
  • Can be used for both indoor and outdoor use
  • Clean-burning and has near 100% efficiency
  • Auto shut-off if tip over, detect low oxygen levels, or if the pilot light goes out
  • Low, medium, and high heat control knob
  • Available in two colors
  • Oxygen Depletion Sensor (ODS)
  • Swivel regulators
  • Blower fan
  • Porcelain coated reflector

Cons

  • Heater will shut off above 7,000 FT above the sea level
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Mr. Heater F215100 MH4B – Little Buddy 3800-BTU

When it comes to ultimate portability, I will rely on this small but fantastic propane heater from Mr. Heater. If you are fishing in a small tent, this ice fishing portable heater can be very beneficial to you. This indoor safe propane heater can be used in a roof of up to 96 square feet. Simplicity is the word I would use to describe this little buddy from Mr. Heater. This patented radiant 3800 BTU liquid is connected to a 1lb cylinder.

As you can see in the picture, the base of the heater takes very little spaces, and it is a perfect tool to have in the freezing ice fishing tent. The handle of the heater makes it easy to transport. Also, operating little buddy is pretty straightforward; you have to push and hold the ignition button and the Piezo sparking mechanism will start working to help you have a warmer and pleasant ice fishing experience.

Like the bigger version, the little buddy from Mr. Heater also comes with the Oxygen Depletion Sensor and the accidental tip-over safety shut-off features. The average run time of the heater is 5.6 hours. Please note that it requires a vent area of 4-square inches minimum during the operation.

Pros

  • 3800 BTU per hour
  • 45-degree heating angle
  • Average run time 5.6 hours
  • Oxygen Depletion Sensor (ODS) and tip-over shut off feature
  • Up to 95 square feet
  • Simple operating system
  • One button ignition system: Piezo sparking mechanism
  • Weighs 5.85 lbs
  • Quiet and clean
  • Integrated and fold-down handle for easy carrying

Cons

  • Heater will shut off above 7,000 FT above the sea level
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Mr. Heater F232000 MH9BX Buddy

Made for the folks who look forward to those early weekend ice fishing sessions, this heater is designed to keep going as long as you want (depends on the canister you have). Mr. Heater MH9BX buddy is widely accepted as one of the best ice fishing heaters available on the market, and all the features prove it. It can offer from 4000to 9000 BTU per hour while covering up to 225 square feet. It has been approved for both indoor and outdoor use.

Just like most of Mr. Heater’s products, this one is also clean-burning and nearly 100-percent efficient. You will also find the auto-shutoff feature, so if it gets tipped, the pilot light goes out, or the device detects low oxygen, it may shit off. On top of that, it also has a fold-down handle and swivel-out regulator. This nice heater can be used in small to medium ice fishing tents, and let you fish more comfortably.

Pros

  • 4000-9000 BTUs per hour
  • Covers up to 225 square feet
  • Can be used in indoor and outdoor
  • Clean burning
  • Near 100 percent efficient
  • Auto shut off feature if tipped over, pilot light goes out, or if it detects low oxygen
  • Fold-down handle for easy transportation
  • Swivel-out regulator

Cons

  • May require a lot of maintenance 
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Dyna-Glo HA1360R-01 HeatAround360

It is hard to find a portable heater which can offer 360 degrees of warmth, and this is where the Dyna-Glo Heat Around 360 comes to the play. This is a compact ice fishing heater which is lightweight and has a carrying handle for excellent portability. This versatile portable heater can be used for outdoor activities like ice fishing, hunting, camping, and more. It has 7,500 to 10,00 BTUs per hour which can heat up to 250 square feet.

This cool looking heater for ice fishing can be fueled by one 1lb LP tank. The swivel valve allows easy tank replacement. The piezo ignition system can ignite the heater quickly and safely. The patent-pending Dyna-Glo HeatAround 360 technology ensures that the warmth spreads evenly. Just like other good heaters for ice fishing, this one also comes with the tip-over protection and the low-oxygen sensor. 

In a nutshell, this is one of the best heaters for ice fishing tent available on the market, and it comes with a very reasonable price.

Pros

  • 360 Degrees of warmth
  • 7500-10,000 BTUs
  • Heats up to 250 square feet
  • Can be used for different types of activities (both inside and outside)
  • Tip over protection
  • Low-oxygen sensor
  • Piezo ignition system
  • Continuous variable heat settings
  • Durable carrying handle
  • Stylish design
  • Available in different colors

Cons

  • As it provides 360 degrees of warmth, it should  be used carefully if kids are around. 
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Dyna-Glo TT15CDGP

I couldn’t make this list without including Dyna-Glo TT15CDGP, one of the most unique heaters in existence. Despite its seemingly simple appearance, this heater is capable of providing 9,000-15,000 BTUs per hour, making it one of the most lightweight heaters for ice fishing shelters.

This compact heater can provide heat up to 15 ft Radius. The hi-efficiency steel heat reflector along with the rust-proof chrome emitter guard makes it even better. Dyna-Glo also used porcelain coated back with rear safety grill. 

Just like other ice fishing heaters, this one also has a tip-over safety switch for safety. It may not be the best heater for the ice fishing tent, but it undoubtedly offers a great amount of warmth. If you are using it with extra caution, it can provide excellent service in the cold weather.

Pros

  • 9,000-15,000 BTUs per hour
  • Lightweight and compact design
  • Heat reflector
  • Rust-proof chrome emitter guard
  • No assembly required
  • Easy to control knob
  • Tip switch for safety
  • Heats up to 15 ft radius
  • Easy to connect

Cons

  • Manual ignition
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Coleman SportCat PerfecTemp Catalytic Heater

Coleman SportCat PerfecTemp Catalytic Heater

The American company Coleman has an impressive line of affordable outdoor recreation products, especially camping gear. Coleman SportCat PerfecTemp Catalytic is a heater which can come very beneficial if you are planning to fish from your nice cozy ice fishing hut. It’s 1,500 BTU unit can run up to 14 hours on one 16.4-oz propane cylinder (cylinder not included).

As you can see in the picture, this heater has an easy-to-grip handle for convenient carrying of the device. No matter if you are ice fishing from a tent or sitting outside on the cold, this heater offers soothing flameless heat at your convenience. You can tie the heater to almost all surfaces, thanks to the built-in eyelets. On top of that, the detachable base also stabilizes the heater.

Pros

  • 1500 BTU
  • Flameless heat
  • Easy-grip carrying handle
  • Can be tied to almost all surfaces
  • The detachable base will stabilize the heater
  • Can generate up to 14 hours of heat with one single 16.4 oz disposable propane canister
  • Pressure regulation
  • Low price

Cons

  • no auto shutoff for low oxygen
  • no igniter button
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How to Choose the Best Ice Fishing Heater

We love ourselves some good ice fishing gears, especially heater that is suitable to offer warmth to tackle the freezing weather. We have to go through a lot of factors which will help us decide whether a heater suits our ice fishing style. Not all of the ice fishing heaters available on the market will suit your needs. The wide ranges of heaters available on the market depending on their size, BTU, and other features will help us choose the best heater for ice fishing.

Size

First things first, what sizes should I choose when buying an ice fishing heater? That is the common question a newbie would throw, and I am happy to answer. In term of the heater, the size depends on the BTU output not the physical size of the heater. The simplest thing to do is to calculate the space of the inside of the ice fishing tent or shelter, and then matching it to the heater. Most of the ice fishing heaters will mention the area it covers, and you have to notice it.

Some of the new users fail to understand that if they buy a heater which is too small to cover their tent’s space, it will hard to tackle the freezing weather. On the other hand, if you buy an oversized heater for your tent, it may occupy a lot of space in the tent. Also, the heater will be heavier, and you will have to carry it when you are going fishing.

A seasoned ice fishing person would buy a heater which will have a little more power and capacity than required. In that way, you can either reduce or increase the heat and balance it according to the weather.

BTU Output

The full form of BTU is the British Thermal Unit rating. Simply put, it is the amount of heat needed to increase the temperature of one pound of water by one degree Fahrenheit. For the ice fishing heaters, it can range from 4,000 to 18,000. You may find some lesser or more BTU in heaters, but the most common one used in ice fishing is from 8,000 or 10,000. Even though BTU is a great way to measure the output or the heat you may receive, it is correlated with the space of the shelter. I have mentioned the space a heater can cover in the ice fishing heater review above, and you can take a look to understand which BTU should be used in different scenarios.

Safety

Safety is one of the biggest concerns when buying a heater. Heaters caused damages many times, and therefore you should be very cautious when purchasing one. Nowadays most manufacturers are concerned about accidents and introduce new technologies to prevent or minimize such accidents. Let’s see the most common preventive measures taken by the manufacturers:

Auto Tip Over Shut Off

Modern heaters come with auto tip-over shut off feature which will stop the supply of fuel if the heater is tipped by accident. They use an automatic shutoff valve to ensure this automatic action. However, you can easily reset the heater and light it again. This may sound a very regular feature, but it is proven to prevent such accidental fires.

Oxygen Depletion sensors

Since we are going to use the heater in our ice fishing hut, which is enclosed, we need to consider this feature. As you already know, the heater will create carbon monoxide, and if the oxygen level is decreasing rapidly, the sensor will sense it, and turn off the heater. However, most of the ice fishing huts are not hundred percent ventilated, so some air with oxygen will enter the hut, but this is just a preventive measure which is beneficial if anything like that happens.

Portability


As heaters are heavy, most of the ice fishing heaters will come with a portable handle to carry it easily. Some of them will be lightweight, and carrying them is quite easy. However, if you need a powerful heater, it might become more burdensome, and you should keep that in mind.

Time

Some anglers may want to be out there for three hours, and some may want to keep fishing for a whole day. Therefore, you need to find out the maximum runtime of the heater with one canister. As there are different types of ice fishing heaters available on the market with different BTU, it is better you find the details before you buy it. Most of the heaters will come with three settings: low, medium, and high. Depending on the need, weather, and the size of the tent, you will have to adjust the heat level. If you are planning to stay for a long time, and want to be extra protective, I would suggest you keep one extra canister for safety.

Insulation

Often overlooked, the insulation of the tent is also a critical factor to consider when making a buying decision. Some of the shelters are insulated with thick fabric, and some of them are not. The insulation level affects how much heat you may need in the tent. For example, a tent with no insulation will definitely be colder than the insulated huts. Just make sure that you are using an appropriate heater on such occasions.

Heating time

Sometimes, the heater may have a higher BTU but take longer to provide heat. If this concerns you, you should purchase a heater which offers heat very quickly. In the event of freezing weather, this might come very useful.

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