Fishing & Hunting Tips

5 Best ice fishing heater For 2020

No wonder ice fishing is one of the best outdoor activities in the world, the bone-shaking cold, exquisite snow-white nature, and thrilling hard water fishing under thick layers of ice definitely helps us feel another dimension of life. Isn’t that true, yes it is. That’s why maybe I love ice fishing more than conventional fishing.

But the fact is, ice fishing needs a lot of preparation. You can’t go to ice if you’re not properly equipped with all the essential gear you need. Damn lots of work to do before going for ice.

Best Pick: Best ice fishing heater

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Last updated on March 31, 2020 1:09 am

But imagine that you’re gone to ice and after a couple of shots with your ice fishing rod, your hands started to freeze and then slowly the whole body is catching a cold. You never know what is waiting for you, right? Sure you can’t go further with this awkward situation. What a sad and miserable way to spend your limited time on the ice! And that feeling is the worst I guess!

But if there’s an ice fishing heater warms up your territory constantly, it’s going to be long day fishing I bet! Thinking of that, we’ve picked out 5 heaters that are great for ice fishing, one for every budget and type of ice shelter. After testing those several times on real-life ice fishing and hours of market research, we came to this verdict. Please have a look below!

1. Mr. Heater Hunting Buddy (best all-around portable heater)

Mr. Heater 12,000-BTU Hunting Buddy Portable Propane Heater


Description: When it comes to the best heater for your camper, cabin, porch, picnic area, garage, shed, hunting blind or anywhere you wanna keep it warm, Mr. Heater is the brand that comes first in my mind. Not only the heaters of this brand are reliable but also they offer so many models for different space and situation.

The model here we are talking about is the Mr. Heater Hunting Buddy Portable Propane Heater which has 6,000 to 12,000 BTUs per hour of heat output. The output proves its versatility if you put it in works inside bigger ice shelters, or medium-sized ice tents you will get the most out of it.

Note that, this particular model is Indoor Rated. yup, don’t you worry about the safety issues! You can also check out another model with Camouflage painting Mr. Heater Hunting Buddy, the one that I owned. This has the same features as this one!

Mr. Heater Hunting Buddy can be operated with propane gas using a 1-pound LP cylinder or a 20-pound cylinder with a hose. Get the hose separately cause it’s not included with the heater. It’s can heat up to 300 square feet spaces, that’s a quite big shelter space, right?

A feature that I love about this heater is the battery-powered blower fan, which helps a lot to throw the heat towards you. Apart from that, Mr. Heater Hunting Buddy features all the safety elements you want from an ice fishing heater. Speaking of safety features, it’s got swivel regulators, automatic low oxygen shut-off system (ODS), and tip-over safety shut-off.

We Didn’t have to use the ods but the tip-over safety shut-off worked just fine. So yeah, in terms of safety Mr. Heater is always zero compromising! As a verdict, all I can say is you can’t wrong with this one. So if the BTU rating and sized goes with your need, must try it. You won’t regret!

  • Durable built-in quality
  • Easy start
  • High and low settings
  • 100% fuel-efficient
  • It can be connected to 1 lb. or 20 lb. cylinders
  • All the safety features are available and work fine
  • None so far

2. Mr. Heater Big Buddy (best for big tents)

Mr. Heater MH18B, Portable Propane Heater


Description: The Mr. Heater Big Buddy is one of the largest and most efficient ice fishing heaters you can buy. It runs off either two 1-pound propane bottle or a single 20-pound cylinder (you’ll need a separate hose). The Big Buddy is rated to heat up to 400 square foot spaces with an 8-foot ceiling (3200 cubic feet), which is a large ice fishing shelter.

The Big Buddy is best used in bigger ice shelters or medium-sized ice tents where you know you’re going to be in subzero temperatures. That kind of cold requires the big BTU output of the Big Buddy. A nice feature for the big space is a battery-powered blower fan to help radiate the heat outwards.

It weighs 17lbs, which is rather heavy to haul to your shelter on foot all the time. The Big Buddy is best suited for driving into your ice house, and perfect if you have a shelter that stays all winter. It’s also an excellent choice for extended ice fishing trips lasting multiple days.

  • Biggest size for covering 400 square feet
  • Durable construction
  • Multiple heating options, 1-pound propane bottle or a single 20-pound cylinder
  • Have a blower fan
  • Offers all the safety features
  • A bit heavier
  • Too large for many flips over and hub style shelters
  • Prohibited in Massachusetts and Canada for some unknown reason

3. Mr. Heater Little Buddy (3,800 BTUs)

Mr. Heater F215100 MH4B Little Buddy 3800-BTU Indoor Safe Propane Heater, Medium


Description: Is your heater is too big for your ice fishing shanty that you need to turn it off again and again? Or you are just looking for a heater that’s gonna keep your tiny shelter warm! Whatever your case is, the best possible solution for that is Mr. Heater Little Buddy. It’s the youngest member of Mr. Heater’s family and definitely the best one in this section.

Offering 3,800 BTU of heat, Mr. Heater Little Buddy is the most portable of all the heaters we reviewed today. May the outlook has a similarity with a big fat flashlight but the design is unique than other heaters of the buddy.

One thing you need to know about this one is, don’t touch anywhere of it unless the handle when it’s on the action. Cause the ground surface around the coil is going to be very hot folks! And nobody wanna burn his skin on a heater, right?

As I said, it’s a heater for a very little space; the Indoor-safe portable propane heater is suitable for rooms up to 95 square feet. It mounts directly on top of a 1lb propane cylinder while sitting on a plastic stabilization base. It’s not the most stable one which may be a problem in certain situations. The Run time at maximum BTU is 5.6 hours.

Coming to the safety features, it’s got all of them in spite of being an affordable one. We tested it in a really closed space and the ODS (Low-oxygen safety shut-off) system worked just fine. Also, the tip-over safety shut-off works every time the moment we tilted it 45 degrees.

Overall folks, Mr. heater little Buddy is quite a good option for any outdoor adventures. There are some downwards though but in terms of durability, portability, and affordability it will be a decent choice.

  • Lightweight, compact and portable
  • Warms up so fast and efficiently heats every edge of tiny spaces
  • Auto shut-off safety feature and tip-off safety features
  • Emits odor-free heat
  • The design is not likely the best
  • The heater head can’t be adjusted
  • Not that stable

4. Dyna-Glo HeatAround 360 (7,500-10,000 BTUs)

Dyna-Glo HA1360R HeatAround360-10K BTU-Red


Description: Unlike other heaters in the market, the Dyna-Glo HeatAround 360 is the only portable recreational heater that provides 360 degrees of warmth. The compact and versatile design allows you to get heat from anywhere around it. And that’s the reason why you wanna grab this portable heater. Not only that, this model of Dyna-Glo comes at a very affordable price. Let’s find out more about this awesome heater.

Dyna-Glo HeatAround 360 provides 7,500 – 10,000 BTUs of heat with its unique circular heating system that produces heat in all directions. While most of the heaters on the market have a one-directional heating system, Dyna-Glo is here to take a strong stand. The heat covers an area of 250 sq feet which can be a great heating option for outdoor fishing.

It’s fueled by 1 lb propane tank which will last for 2.7 hrs (high) – 3.2 hrs (low) heat. You can also connect the HeatAround 360 to a 20 lb LP(liquid propane) Tank with a 12 feet extension hose that will give a run time of 45 hrs (high) – 58 hrs (low).

This heater is CSA certified for safety, it is approved for outdoor or indoor emergency uses. What I mean by that is, we mainly used it for outdoors but it can be also used in indoor. But if it’s a very tiny shack, don’t use it!

When buying a heater, safety features should be the primary concern. Well, Dyna-Glo has all the safety features you need. It has Oxygen Depletion Sensor for Safe Indoor Emergency Heating, the Tip Switch for Safety and Swivel Valve for easy tank replacement which makes it quite a safe heater to use. For an affordable option, it meets all the requirements for a portable heater and I would call that a great deal.

There’s an All-Season Weather-proof protected carrying bag which can be included with a few extra bucks, you can carry two extra propane bottles with the heater. I would recommend to buy it with the carry bag. Lastly, folks, I think Dyna-Glo HeatAround 360 offers a great deal there, the light and portable heater with all the safety features is ready to make the job done.

  • Lightweight and portable
  • Warms up 360 degree
  • Can be used for outdoors and emergency indoors (best for outdoors)
  • Has the ODS system and other safety features
  • Unique and durable design
  • None so far

5. Texsport Portable Outdoor (best affordable)

Texsport Portable Outdoor Propane Heater


Description: If you’re on a tight budget but badly need a heater for your next outdoor trip, here’s Texport Portable Outdoor propane heater exactly for you. Don’t go wrong with the price cause it’s an awesome heater at a really affordable price. Although it’s suitable for covering a little space with proper ventilation needed.

Texsport Portable Outdoor heater can heat up to 2, 890 BTUs and 847 watts covering a little space. You can get 4-6 hours per 1 lb. propane cylinder. It’s a very lightweight heater, weighing only 16.4 oz. or 14.1 oz. without propane fuel cylinders. We did burn it longer though with lower settings.

Attention: We used it in outdoor fishing cause it’s a budget heater with minimal features. If you use it in a tent be sure you have it vented. Without proper ventilation, it can create Oxygen depletion!

It’s quite minimal in terms of design and features. The Durable Stainless steel burner does the main operation while a Large fold-away paddle foot plastic base holds the stability. An Aluminum reflector with safety grid reflects all the heat from the burner.

Coming to the features, there’s this Auto shut off valve which shuts off fuel if the flame goes out. And that’s the only safety feature it has. That’s maybe the major drawback of this model but with this budget, it’s okay to have it that simple. Lastly folks, it’s totally safe to use and that’s why there are tons of happy customers around the globe. You can give it a try, it will heat up real fast!

  • So lightweight and portable
  • Durable stainless steel burner and Aluminum reflector
  • Auto shut off valve
  • Works nicely for a tiny shelter
  • Very affordable
  • Lack of safety features
  • Can’t be used in the closed place if it’s not well vented

Final words

In ice fishing camp, ice heater is the gear that can provide you comfort and helps you to fish longer. No wonder it’s essential for an ice fishing enthusiast. But remember safety comes first. It’s gas and fires which can be dangerous and fatal if you’re not aware of all the safety precautions.

Yup, it’s true that modern-day heaters are features with all the safety options that can be safe. But then again nothing is perfect and so that it can be fairly dangerous too.

We focused on the safety features mostly in this article and showed only the best ice fishing heater available in the market. Assuring that in several real-world testing and hours of market research, we came to this conclusion. But don’t forget to stay safe and must read all the safety manuals provided by the manufacturers. Last but not least, check the place if it’s well vented or not! Wishing you a happy outdoor trip!

Nicholi Wyto

Hey I'm Nicholi Wyto is a professional sports fisherman and hunter, love to enjoy spending time in Michigan’s rugged northern forests. I love to explore my experience and help others who are interested in fishing and hunting.

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