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Man sitting and fishing in Ice Shelter

Best Ice Fishing Chairs for Comfort & Support

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Ice fishing requires sitting for hours in the cold, might as well make yourself comfortable. You might think a camping chair or padded 5-gallon buckets is fine, but you’d be selling yourself short.

Most (but not all) camping chairs are too laid back, and the buckets ice anglers love seriously lack support. Director style chairs, however, are both functional and comfortable making them one of the most popular styles of chairs for ice fishing, especially in hub style shelters without those built-in chairs.

A good chair will keep your hind end cozy – not numb, provide back support, and be super functional for fishing on the ice. We’ve rounded up 10 of the best ice fishing chairs that fit the bill, and will make your days on the ice more enjoyable.

Top Ice Fishing Chairs Overview

Let’s start by comparing our top picks for ice fishing chairs. While we do recommend a good director’s chair for the ice, we realize not everyone will like to fish from one. This table compares the best chair for ice fishing of each type.

Last updated 2021-07-30 at 22:57 / Affiliate Links & Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

10 Best Ice Fishing Chairs – Reviews

1. Browning Directors Chair Plus

Best Director Style Ice Fishing Chair: The Browning Directors Chair Plus is the best chair for ice fishing for those looking for a portable option. The chair is designed to fold flat for easy storage and transport. The supportive back, feet, and arm support allow fishermen to maintain good posture during fishing to avoid aches and pains.

Features & Specs:

  • Style: Director
  • Weight: 10.0lbs
  • Padding: No
  • Side Table: Yes

The chair’s aluminum and steel hybrid frame provides the seat with extra durability making it the ideal option no matter your weight. It differs from traditional chairs due to its height, which allows you to sit upright easily with your feet planted firmly on the footrest, eliminating the need for you to squat down to sit.

The material of the chair is designed to dry off quickly, which allows you to store it after use, even if it were to become wet. The give in the material also allows it to better hug different body types, while remaining firm and comfortable.


2. Wise Outdoors Super Sport Seat

Best Ice Chair With Built-in Cooler: Looking for a multifunctional ice fishing chair? Then the Wise Outdoors Super Sport Seat is the ideal option for you. The built-in 10-gallon bucket is rated to hold up to 350 lbs, and the high back, the supportive seat provides for proper back support no matter how long you are sitting.

Highlights:

  • Style: Swivel
  • Weight: 12.4lbs
  • Padding: Yes
  • Storage: Yes

The Wise Outdoors Super Sport Seat combines the traditional bucket seat with a supportive padded back to provide you with a cooler to store your catch as well as a comfortable place to fish from. The swivel action of the chair allows you to easily maneuver back and forth, providing for easy access, and its smaller width makes it ideal for any size tent or shelter.

Both the padding on the back and seat help keep you comfortable and alleviate the stress off your back while the large cooler provides you with all the space you need, whether you are using it to cart home your catch or to store your gear.


3. Guide Gear Swivel Chair

Best 360 Swivel Ice Chair: The 360-degree silent swivel chair, allows you to rotate to any viewpoint easily and quietly. The thick padded seat cushion and padded back will enable you to remain comfortable whether sitting completely upright or partially reclined.

Highlights:

  • Style: Swivel
  • Weight: 11.4lbs
  • Padding: Yes
  • Storage: No

The steel frame of the Guide Gear Swivel Chair provides for a sturdy foundation no matter the size or weight of the occupant. Extra thick seat padding provides for better comfort, even when sitting for a length of time, and the easy-to-remove coverings make the seat a breeze to clean.

The seat provides you with easy access to all your gear through its ability to swivel, and its quiet motion prevents you from startling your would-be catch. The chair is easy to set up and fold down in a matter of moments, allowing you to get set up and fishing in no time.


4. Frabill Sit-n-Fish Bucket

Best Ice Bucket Seat: If you are in the market for a more traditional ice fishing bucket seat, the Frabill Sit-n-Fish Bucket features a six-gallon bucket equipped with a 10-quart foam insulated liner inside to keep beverage or fish cool. The simple, yet comfortable seat snaps on and off

Highlights:

  • Style: Bucket
  • Weight: 3.5lbs
  • Padding: Yes
  • Storage: Yes

The Frabill Sit-n-Fish Bucket is the perfect seat for those looking for a combination chair storage option. The cooler is temperature-controlled and equipped with a beverage holder to keep your cold drinks handy. A quick lift removes the seat for easy cooler access, and the seat is easily replaced with a simple click.

The ice fishing bucket seat has no cloth parts, which makes it simple to clean and also water-proof both inside and out, making the perfect option for winter weather. The bucket is large enough to house even the biggest hauls and can keep it cool, no matter how long your fishing day lasts.


5. ALPS Weekender Seat

Best Bleacher Style Ice Chair: For those looking for a folding bleacher seat to set on top of your bucket, pop on a dock, or to allow you to sit on the ice without suffering its cold effects, then the ALPS Weekender Seat is the ice fishing chair for you. The folding ice fishing chair is lightweight and comfortable, making it ideal for those who travel between multiple ice fishing spots.

Highlights:

  • Style: Bleacher
  • Weight: 1.8lbs
  • Padding: No
  • Storage: Yes

With the ALPS Weekender Seat, you can use the simple side adjustment straps to adjust the seat to your favorite seated position. Transportation and set up is a breeze with strapping to provide for easy carrying in a sled and lower straps to secure you to your bucket or stool.

The seat provides enough cushion and support to allows you to maintain a comfortable position for hours, reducing back and leg strain. The weather-proof material makes the chair easy-to-clean, and the mesh pocket is the perfect storage for snacks or smaller gear.


6. Coleman Camp Chair w/Table

Best Chair With a Side Table: The flip-up design chair, featuring a side table with a cup holder, is the perfect option for those with a large hub style shanty, who want to enjoy a more relaxing day of ice fishing. The light-weight, aluminum frame covered by weather-resistant material makes this chair option both easy-to-clean and transport

Highlights:

  • Style: Director
  • Weight: 7.1lbs
  • Padding: No
  • Storage: Yes

The taut back support and a strong, firm seat on this chair make it a better option over other camping chairs, which may provide little support when in an upright seated position. The easy pop-up side table with cupholder allows you to keep your snacks and beverages close, but the additional width makes it a better option for larger tents and shanties.

The chair’s ability to quick-fold out and back down makes it perfect for transporting to all your favorite fishing spots. Simply open it up, fold down the table, and you are ready to sit.


7. Guide Gear Oversized Director’s Camping Chair

Best Oversized Ice Fishing Chair: If you are looking for a chair to handle more weight or one that provides a little more space to maneuver, then the Guide Gear Oversized Director’s Camping Chair is what you have been looking for. The steel frame and polyester fabric work together to be able to support up to 500 lbs.

Highlights:

  • Style: Director
  • Weight: 15.7lbs
  • Padding: No
  • Storage: Yes

This sturdy chair is designed to be both roomy and strong. It not only can hold a significant amount more weight than other like chairs, but it is also designed to stand the test of time. The side table and cup holder, make it easy to eat throughout your fishing day.

The supportive legs and chair height make it easier to sit and rise to a standing position while providing proper support for your lower back. While the seat stays supportive, the fabric has enough give to help you maintain a comfortable position, even after hours of sitting.


8. Teton Sports Seat Cushion

Best Cushion Ice Fishing Chair: If you are looking for something quick and easy to keep your seat warm and comfortable during your fishing day, then the Teton Sports Seat Cushion fits the bill. The lightweight, compact, self-inflating cushion can also be used to make bucket seats and other harder surfaces more comfortable.

Highlights:

  • Style: Bleacher
  • Weight: 1.0lbs
  • Padding: Yes
  • Storage: No

The 17-inch long cushion can easily turn any chair or surface into a comfortable place to sit and the simple valve inflation method has your cushion ready to go in less than 20 seconds. When fully inflated, you will have up to 2-inches of extra cushioning, and the material can also help to keep you warm when chilled out on the ice.

The only drawback to the cushion is the fact that it can be a little slippery when first sitting on it, so it is advisable to take the time to slowly position yourself to avoid slipping off.


9. GCI Outdoor Bleacher Back Seat

Best Padded Backrest Ice Fishing Chair: The GCI Outdoor Bleacher Back Seat features solid lumbar support and auto-fold technology, which allows you to open, close, and carry it more easily. The additional padding in the backrest provides better back support, reducing aches and pains after sitting for a period of time.

Highlights:

  • Style: Bleacher
  • Weight: 4.2lbs
  • Padding: No
  • Storage: No

The GCI Outdoor Bleacher Back Seat can turn any hard surface into a comfortable seat with plenty of lumbar support to help you maintain proper posture and avoid backaches. The front pocket is the perfect storage compartment for a drink, your keys, a book, or even to help steady your fishing rod.

The bottom straps can easily adjust to fit a number of surfaces, and the side straps have enough give to allow for a slight recline when sitting to maximize comfort.


10. Clam Outdoors Folding Tripod Ice Chair

Best Tripod Fishing Chair: Though a tripod chair is not considered the most comfortable ice fishing chair, the Clam Outdoors Folding Tripod Ice Chair can provide enough comfort for those looking for a chair to accommodate a small space.

Highlights:

  • Style: Tripod
  • Weight: 5.7lbs
  • Padding: No
  • Storage: No

The Clam Outdoors Folding Tripod features a compact design that makes it perfect for the corners of small shanties or tents so that you don’t take up the much-needed space for holes and gear. The chair has a padded upper back support which helps to keep your back in proper alignment.

The tripod seat may seem awkward and uncomfortable to some, but once positioned in the seat, the flexibility of the chair bottom, will allow you to settle in nicely. It is also a good chair for fishermen who like to move from spot to spot, as it can be folded up in less than a minute, and conveniently comes with its own carrying case.


Types of Ice Fishing Chairs

Before choosing your chair, you will need to determine which type of ice fishing chair will best suit your needs. The most popular types of ice fishing chairs to choose from include:

Director Chairs

These chairs feature a supportive seat and high back designed to maintain firmness while providing a little give to accommodate different size occupants. They are a popular choice for ice fishermen as they can help you to keep the correct posture when sitting over a fishing hole, even if the session drags on for hours.

Another added benefit of directors chairs is that they are most often foldable, making them easier to set up and collapse. The only drawback to these types of seats is that they can be a little large for small shanties and tents, which may leave you less room for your gear.

Swivel Chairs

Swivel chairs are a popular option for those who enjoy the freedom of movement during their fishing day. Instead of having to reach, get up, or reposition your chair, a swivel seat will allow you to direct your body to whichever side you need to.

They are often slim, making them easy to fit in many size tents and shanties, and typically will have comfortable cushions and back support, though they are slightly less posture supportive than director’s chairs.

Bucket Chairs

Bucket chairs have been a go-to for ice fishermen for many years due to their ability to pull double duty. You will not only have a place to sit while you fish but also have a bucket, to haul how your catch, carry your bait, or transport your fishing gear.

These chairs take up very little space but tend to be less comfortable than other options and don’t provide for proper posture and back support.

Bleacher-Style Chairs

Most commonly used at sporting events, bleacher-style seats are popular for ice fishermen as well. They are compact and fold up and set up easily, making them easy to transport to your intended location.

They can easily fit over your five-gallon, bucket, or cooler while providing extra comfort and additional back support you need to prevent aches and pains. The only drawback is that these types of seats usually need to be attached to a stable item in your shanty.

Chairs That Are NOT Good for Ice Fishing

While many chairs make great options for the sport of ice fishing, there are some types of chairs that you should avoid when making your decision. Below are the three types of ice fishing chairs that may not perform as well as the others.

  • Cheap Camp Chairs – While some types of camp chairs may work for ice fishing, this type of chair is often too relaxed. Many are designed for semi or full recline, and it can lead to slouching when fishing, which will not only make it more difficult to fish, but also lead to back pain.
  • Folding/Lawn Chairs – Even though lawn chairs are weather-proof, it does not make them a good option for ice fishing. Lawn furniture is not designed to be particularly supportive or comfortable, and it is often bulky and difficult to transport.
  • Tripod Chairs – There are a few tripod chair options that will be comfortable enough to endure for hours of fishing, but there are even more that are not particularly comfortable. Always test out a tripod chair before buying to make sure that it can fit your body comfortably.

Features You’ll Want in an Ice Fishing Chair

Once you have determined the types of fishing chairs you are considering, you will next have to determine which features are most important for you to make a decision. Some of the features to consider when choosing your chair include:

  • Weight – Remember that you are likely to be moving your chair around from hole to hole, or at least from your vehicle to the ice. Determine how much weight you can comfortably carry, and find a chair that fits the bill.
  • Storage – Many chair options come with some form of built-in storage, whether it is a table, beverage holder, cooler, or pocket. Decide if this feature is important to you and which type of storage will best suit your needs.
  • Padding – Since you are likely to be sitting in the chair you choose for hours, you will need to determine how little or how much padding will make you comfortable as well as where the padding is the most important, the seat or the back.
  • Weather Resistance – Your new fishing chair will be subjected to an environment that is wet and icy. You will want to consider this when choosing your chair materials, making sure that the material is not likely to suffer early rust, and the fabric is waterproof and easily cleaned.

To find the perfect ice fishing chair for your needs, you will need to determine which features you most desire. Is comfort the most important or functionality? Do you need one that can prevent back pain? Or do you want one with extra features such as tables and storage?

You will also need to consider which type of chair you find will work best for your ice fishing setting and desired comfort level. Do you prefer the simple and traditional ice fishing chair options such as bucket chairs and cushions? Or do you prefer to create a more relaxing environment by using a director’s chair?

Once you have answered these questions, you can begin the search to find the best ice fishing chair for your next excursion and consider one of our top picks listed below.

Last updated 2021-07-30 at 22:57 / Affiliate Links & Images from Amazon Product Advertising API


TS Admin

Tackle Scout is an online resource for anglers and boaters looking to catch more fish, and get more from their gear. This site is founded and maintained by real anglers, with decades of fishing and boating experience, as well as longtime members of B.A.S.S. and FLW.

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