Best Ice Fishing Heater

In this example, we will go through the best available Ice Fishing Heaters of 2018.  There are several models to choose from, and we took the time to research each and every one.  Our unbiased opinion will help you make the warmest decision for your next Ice Fishing adventure!

Mr Heater 300x300 - Best Ice Fishing Heater

Top Ice Fishing Heater Comparison Chart


Heat in BTU's

Auto Shutoff ?

Editor's Rating

TMS Portable Military Camping Wood Stove



Mr. Heater

4,000 - 9,000


Mr. Heater

"Little Buddy"



Mr. Heater 

"Big Buddy"

4,000 - 18,000


Please note!!!

"Sunflower" type heaters are very dangerous to use, and are NOT RECOMMENDED to use inside of any ice fishing shelter.  Outdoor use only!

sunflowerheater 300x300 - Best Ice Fishing Heater

Heater Reviews

TMS Portable Military Camping Wood Stove

The TMS Portable Military Camping Stove is a woodburning stove that could be used to heat an Ice Fishing shack.  It would be better suited for a "permanent" shack rather than a portable flip over or hub style shelter - mostly due to the fact that it has a chimney/exhaust vent.  

If you wanted to use this inside your shack, it would be a great eco-friendly way to stay warm.  Make sure it is properly vented and that you "Pre-Burn" all of the paint off in an open area before use.

  • Spark Arrestor
  • Front and rear air flow regulators and an easy access bottom ash clean-out
  • Top grate doubles as a carrying handle when stove is not in use
  • Grate folds to provide flat surface on top of stove, can be folded out for drying gloves, socks, etc.

I wouldn't suggest this item unless you are really bent on reducing your carbon footprint as much as possible.  Lugging around firewood while ice fishing does not seem ideal to me.  I much prefer one of the other options.

Mr. Heater "Buddy" model Heaters

The remaining ice shack heaters we will be reviewing are all Mr. Heater "Buddy" models.  This is because they were made to be safe in enclosed spaces.

The sunflower type heaters, as previously mentioned, are unsafe for enclosed use.  The omit poisonous gasses and can cause death and brain damage when improperly vented.

For this reason, we believe the Buddy heaters are the best choice for heating portable ice fishing shelters.

Mr. Heater "Buddy" Regular size

This model is the perfect size for places that do not get extremely cold, or smaller one man portable shacks that have less room to heat.  From our personal usage, we would recommend this model for temperatures above zero, and all one man shacks.

"Buddy" heater features:

  • ODS - Automatic shutoff if oxygen is depleted
  • Tip-over safety shut-off
  • from 4,000 to 9,000 BTU 
  • Heats up to 225 sq. ft.
  • Dual heat settings
  • Includes Piezo igniter
  • Runs off a 1 lb. cylinder, but can connect to a 20lb tank with manufacturer approved accessories.

Mr. Heater "Little Buddy"

The Little Buddy heater is perfect for smaller spaces.  One man ice fishing shacks that are in mildly cool climates.  From our experience, one man shacks in temperatures from 10 degrees upwards.

"Little Buddy" heater features:

  • ODS - Automatic shutoff if oxygen is depleted
  • Tip-over safety shut-off
  • 3800 BTU 
  • Heats up to 95 sq. ft.
  • Includes Piezo igniter
  • Connects directly to a 1 lb. propane cylinder

Mr. Heater "Big Buddy" (Editors' Choice)

The Big Buddy is perfect for most occasions.  The variable heat settings and two tank option can heat up both small and large ice fishing shelters.  Our favorite heater for enclosed spaces in any climate, this one is perfect for one man flip overs, and even the larger hub styles, like the Eskimo 9416 or the Clam Bigfoot XL6000

    The Big Buddy Features:

  • ODS - Automatic shutoff if oxygen is depleted
  • Tip-over safety shut-off
  • Choose from 4,000 / 9,000 / or 18,000 BTU
  • Heats up to 450 sq. ft.
  • Variable Heat Settings
  • Includes Piezo igniter
  • Takes either one or two 1lb propane canister, but can connect to a 20lb tank with manufacturer approved accessories.


Getting cold while ice fishing is no fun.  Staying warm is essential.  

We love the safety and portability of the Buddy heaters, and specifically the "Big Buddy" would be a great choice for any fisherman (or woman) due to the adjustable heat settings and 18,000 BTU abilities.

Tight Lines!