Table of Contents
- 1 Our Top Picks
- 1.1 Mr. Heater MH45T Triple Tank Top Heater, 10000 to 45000 BTU/Hr
- 1.2 Mr. Heater F274865-Massachusetts/Canada Portable LP Heater
- 1.3 Mr. Heater F242655 MH30TS Double Tank Top Outdoor Heater, 8000 to 30000 BTU Per Hour
- 1.4 Dura Heat TT-30 Propane(LP) Workspace Dual Tank Top Heater
- 1.5 Mr. Heater F232000 MH9BX Buddy 4,000-9,000-BTU Indoor-Safe Portable Radiant Heater
- 1.6 ProTemp PT-16-TTC Propane Tank Top Heater—Variable Output, 16,000 BTU
- 1.7 Dura Heat TT-360 Propane(LP) 360 Degree Tank Top Heater
- 1.8 Camping Emergency Butane Heater Coherent Heat Source Survival Tools
- 2 How to Choose an Ice Fishing Heater
It is hard to enjoy an ice fishing expedition with the wind cutting through the shelter and freezing your hands into a claw shape. And when your toes finally become numb, the determination to fish fades away. That is no way to spend time on the ice. You need to think ahead and get the best ice fishing heater for your shack. We have picked out ten heaters that are great on the ice, one for every budget. Additionally, we have compiled a list of factors to consider as you embark on your search.
Last update on 2020-02-23 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
Our Top Picks
Make sure to read our reviews below before buying your favorite ice fishing ice shack heater:
The Mr. Heater MH45T Triple Tank Top Heater isn't to be toyed with when it comes to portability, efficiency, and performance. It takes the portable heating experience to new heights. With the ability to pump out 10,000 to 45,000 BTUs per hour, it can keep a roomy shelter toasty and warm. It mounts easily on 20 lbs to 100lbs propane cylinders and heats continuously for more than ten hours.
It does a good job of fusing convection heat airflow with radiant heat to optimize the effectiveness of heating. The comfort level can be duly controlled with multi-position settings i.e. Low, Medium and High. The accompanying oxygen depletion sensor and three tip over shutoffs guarantee safety operations. This unit operates on one to three burners for different heat output combinations. Other notable features include soft nose POL, adjustable swivel head design, polished chrome reflectors and match lit ignition.
- Three multi-position heat settings
- High-quality components made from chrome and stainless steel
- 10,000 to 45000 BTU heat output per hour
- Relatively safe and efficient
- Compact, lightweight and easily portable
- Doesn’t include a heat reflector shield
The Mr. Heater F274865 is a powerful, reliable and safe ice fishing heater that covers spaces up to 450 square feet. It puts out 4000 to 18000 BTUs of radiant heat and connects directly to two 1lb propane cylinders. It features an integrated fan that improves its heating capacity by blending radiant and convection heat. This helps optimize the effectiveness of heating.
There are two swivel regulators for adapting usage from disposable gas cylinders to remote gas supply and vice versa. All you need to do is purchase a hose and filter. Simply rotate the knob to light the unit and a built-in Piezo spark mechanism will take care of the rest. The oxygen depletion sensor along with a tip-over safety shutoff ensures that you can enjoy years of comfortable safe heating.
- Built-in fan improves heating efficiency
- Guarantees safety with oxygen depletion sensor and tip over shut-off
- High, low and medium heat settings allow a customized experience
- Can be used with two propane cylinders
- Blends radiant and convection style heat
- Doesn’t include 4D batteries or AC adapter
Assembled in Cleveland, the Mr. Heater MH30TS Double Tank Top Heat puts out 8,000 to 30,000 BTUs of radiant heat per hour. This makes it a perfect solution for outdoor heating applications. It mounts on a 20-lb propane cylinder and features directional, adjustable heads. It is constructed using high-quality chrome and steel components to ensure lasting reliability.
The high, low and medium regulator allows for multiple heat settings i.e. 10, 12.5, 15, 20, 25 and 30,000 BTUs. Safety features include a polished chrome reflector and two tip-over shutoffs. This heater uses a premium grade stainless steel burning surface and features a soft nose POL. It also operates one or two burners at a time.
- High, medium, low regulator allows multiple heat settings
- Can operate up two heaters at a time
- Quality build with chrome and stainless steel components
- Features directional and adjustable heads
- Designed for outdoor use only
Next up is the Dura Heat TT-30 Propane Dual Tank Top Heater, which is designed for outdoor use only. It features independent swivel heads and mounts on a 20-pound cylinder. The heater offers variable output ranging from 18000 BTUs to 30000 BTUs per hour. It is made of durable stainless steel components to last a long time.
It uses match light ignition and operates on double burners to improve heating efficiency. It produces quiet infrared radiant heat, hence strong enough for 200-400 square feet spaces. The unit is shipped a wind screen and emitter guard for protection from the elements. Other notable features include direct fired tank top heater and adjustable input ratings.
- Heavy duty stainless steel construction
- Variable heat adjustment settings
- Wind resistant and rain protected
- Features independent swivel heads
- Offers radiant infrared heat
- Lacks oxygen depletion sensor
The Mr. Heater F232000 MH9BX Buddy can put out 4000 to 9000 BTUs of radiant heat each hour. That is a lot of heat for such a small unit. It is capable of heating shelters up to 225 square feet. There are two heat settings, one of 4000 BTUs and a higher setting of 9000 BTUs. This makes it easier to maneuver for added comfort on the water. The best thing is that it delivers all of the above without sacrificing much in terms of size. At 9.5 pounds, it is incredibly lightweight and easy to move around.
When it comes to safety, this heater ticks all of the boxes. It comes with an automatic shut-off that tips over. It also has an oxygen depletion sensor that shuts off the heater if it's not operating in a safe environment. The main setback is that it is designed to mount on a 1-pound propane cylinder. While this makes it easier to move around, it means always changing the tank and that can be frustrating.
- Capacity to heat up to 225 square feet
- High heat output of 4000-9000 BTUs per hour
- Features an automatic tip-over shutoff
- Shuts off automatically after detecting low oxygen levels
- Fold-down handle allows for easier portability
- Mounts on a 1-lb propane cylinder
The ProTemp PT-16-TTC Propane Tank Top Heater is a versatile unit that can be used for camping, tailgating and ice fishing. It offers 16000 BTUs heat output per hour, making it a great choice for shelters up to 400 square feet. Like most models on this list, it allows for variable BTU settings depending on environmental conditions. The unique wind resistant frame adds to the unit’s durability, while the tip over switch and safety shutoff valve ensure safe operations.
- Allows for variable heat settings
- Safety features like shutoff valve and tip over switch included
- Can be used for different outdoor adventures
- 16000 BTUs heat output for 400 square feet coverage
- Quality of construction could be better
The Dura Heat TT-360 is a great budget heater that runs on two propane cylinders and puts out plenty of heat to cover 1000 square feet. It is a lantern style heater for ice fishing that doubles as a safe heat source for home patios and campsites. It is a cheaper alternative to the Mr. Heat F274865 but puts out just as much heat. While it is portable and can be carried anywhere, it's best for permanent shelters where you don't need to set up and dismantle frequently.
It provides 360 degrees of radiant infrared heat and operates continuously for fourteen hours on a 20-pound propane tank. It features a high-efficiency stainless steel heat reflector and rust-resistant chrome emitter guard. Safety is guaranteed with a tip-over shutoff.
- Puts out a lot of heat for a small unit
- Offers 360 degrees of radiant heating
- Lightweight, compact and cheap
- Runs on two propane cylinders for improved heating efficiency
- Handles on base make portability a little difficult
Concluding our list is this Camping Emergency Butane Heater by Toolize. It is incredibly portable thanks to comfortable carry handle. It uses a butane cartridge and a ceramic burner. The heat output is high for such a small unit. What's even better is that it only consumes 100 grams of gas per hour. As such, it keeps burning for longer. It has a swivel body and a pressure sensing shutoff device for added safety. On the downside, you need to purchase an external connector for an external gas source.
- Pressure sensing shutoff device provides added safety
- Consumes only 100 grams of gas per hour
- Uses a butane gas cartridge
- CE certified for outdoor use
- Not the best for large shelters
How to Choose an Ice Fishing Heater
One of the most important factors to consider when purchasing an ice fishing heater is size. An undersized heat will struggle to keep up with the cold, thus failing to heat the space efficiently. On the other hand, a heater that's too large will leave less room for movement and give you extra weight to carry. A simple way to get started is to calculate the floor space inside the shelter and match it to a heater. We recommend purchasing a heater with a little more capacity since you can adjust settings and maximize output for longer. It also heats the shelter more quickly and allows you to get down to business faster.
This is measured in BTUs i.e. British Thermal Unit and is defined as the amount of heat required to increase the temperature of 1-lb water by one degree Fahrenheit. Looking at real-world comparisons rather than scientific literature will make it easier to determine which heaters best suit your needs. Most portable units use 1-lb propane canisters and put out anywhere from 2500 to 10,000 BTUs. Kerosene heaters for garage or home use have an average output of 25000 BTUs. Again, measuring the floor space of your shelter can help determine the appropriate heat output. You can get a more powerful heater if in doubt.
Most ice fishing tents and shelters offer some kind of insulation from the wind. However, some could benefit from improvements in this area. Ideal insulation means units are designed to keep the cold out and retain warmth. That said, if your shelter cannot retain warmth, you will be sorely disappointed when you can’t figure out why your heater won’t keep you warm. Always go with a bigger heater if your shelter doesn’t have very good heat retention properties.
Oxygen depletion sensors
Whether it comes as a separate device or built into a heater, an oxygen depletion sensor is crucial when running a heater indoors. It lets you know when there are high carbon monoxide levels in the shack. Carbon monoxide poisoning is not something to worry about if your heater runs properly and has good ventilation. However, the risk of death should be enough to warrant having an oxygen depletion sensor.
Burning fuel leads to the creation of carbon monoxide as a by-product. This is why it’s crucial to purchase an ice fishing shelter specially designed for indoor use. Carbon monoxide is odorless, colors and can cause death. The effects can be avoided by having proper ventilation and an indoor-rated heater.