Ice Fishing Gear

10 Best Ice Fishing Shelter Heaters

Having the best ice fishing shelter heater for your ice shanty can be as important as having an ice fishing shelter itself.

In this article, we review the 10 best ice fishing shelter heaters.

Our list includes several propane ice shelter heaters of various propane BTU ratings depending on the size of the ice shelter you might have, a powerful kerosene ice shelter heater, and even a unique diesel heater for ice fishing shelters that might just be the overall best ice fishing shelter heater.

Selecting The Best Ice Fishing Shelter Heater

best ice fishing shelter heaters

Sizing an ice fishing shanty heater to the size of your ice shelter used for fishing is important to make sure the heater can perform well enough for the space it needs to heat.

In this article, we decided to break things down based on portability, BTU size, and size of the ice fishing shelter the heater can support.

We have a few options on cost and one particular heater you should make sure to consider that is not a common choice but one of our favorite go-to ice fishing shelter heaters for medium to large ice fishing shelters – the diesel ice shelter heater with an adjustable thermostat.

Below is a summary of the ice fishing shelter heater options, then I dive into each of these options a little bit more.

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10 Best Ice Fishing Shelter Heater

Best One-Man Ice Fishing Shelter Heater

Mr. Heater Little Buddy 3800 BTU Propane Heater

(1 – 2 Person Ice Shelters)

Best Portable Ice Fishing Shelter Heater

Best Portable Propane Heater for Ice Fishing

Mr. Heater 8,000 to 11,000 BTU Propane Heater

(3 – 5 Person Ice Shelters)

Best Powerful Ice Fishing Shelter Heater

Best Ice Fishing Shelter Heater for the Money

COSTWAY 15,000 BTU Propane Tank Top Heater

(3 – 6 Person Ice Shelters)

Best Ice Fishing Shelter Heater for Large Coverage

Best Large Ice Shelter Propane Heater

Highest Propane BTU Ice Fishing Shelter Heater

Best Kerosene Radiant Ice Fishing Shelter Heater

Best Diesel Ice Fishing Heater

Happybuy 5KW Diesel Heater

(Any Ice Shelter Size)

Best Ice Fishing Shelter Heaters

The Mr. Heater Little Buddy 3800-BTU indoor safe propane heater is the overall best one-person ice shelter heater on the market today. The unit features a state of the are design and has a power output of 3800 BTU. The unit is also designed to heat a room of up to 95-square feet and includes an automatic shut-off if low oxygen has been detected.

The unit will make use of a 1-pound propane cylinder, which gives it up to 6-hours of use and will keep your ice fishing shelter warm during the cold weather. Should the heater accidentally tip and fall over, it will still ensure that you are safe. The automatic shut-off feature is great for when the unit is found in precarious situations.


  • 3,800 BTU power output
  • Best one-man ice shelter heater
  • Multiple safety features
  • Affordable
  • Most portable option


  • Not ideal for bigger ice shanties

Mr. Heater Buddy is the best portable ice fishing shelter heater for medium-sized ice shelters for 2-4 people with a power output that ranges from 4000 BTU up to 9000 BTU.

MR Heater incorporated numerous safety features. Once the heater detects low oxygen levels, it will automatically shut down. It also has an automatic shut-off if the heater is accidentally knocked over in the shelter.

Mr. Heater Buddy can support a large area of up to 225 square feet, but we have found it is the best 2 – 4 person ice shanty heater.


  • Up to 9000 BTU power output
  • 2 – 4 person ice shanty heater
  • Automatic safety shut-offs
  • Durable design


  • Mr Heater is a more expensive option

This is the newest ice fishing heater from My Buddy.

The Mr. Heater BuddyFlex portable propane heater has a maximum power output of up to 11,000 BTU. At 13.9-pounds, the unit is heavy, but it also means that it will not fall or tip over that easily.

Numerous safety features have been included. The automatic shut-off feature will ensure that it does not go up flames. Additionally, the unit will monitor the levels of oxygen that are often found in the room. All of these safety features mean you won’t have to worry about the heater catching fire if you happen to fall asleep in your ice shanty when the fish aren’t biting.

This is a great ice fishing shelter heater for 3 – 5 person ice shanties.


  • Up to 11,000 BTU power output
  • Best 3 – 5 person ice shanty heater
  • Multiple safety features
  • Solid and heavy design
  • Easy to set up


  • This is a new product with their latest technology, so it is more expensive than the option above and below this one.

The Mr. Heater Hunting Buddy portable space heater is one of the leading options when it comes to heating a mid-sized ice fishing shelter. It is one of the most powerful compact propane ice shelter heaters from Mr. Heater with a power output that ranges up to 12,000 BTU.

However, the unit is not only designed to keep you warm. It is made to ensure your safety with automatic shut-off features for low oxygen levels and when accidentally tipped over.

This is the perfect heater for ice fishing shelters that have a 4 – 6 person capacity.


  • 6,000 – 12,000 BTU power output
  • Perfect for 4 – 6 person ice shanties
  • Connect to multiple cylinders
  • Low oxygen & tip-over safety features


  • No real cons to consider

Costway is one of the top options if you are looking for something a little more budget-friendly compared to the Mr. Heater series.

The Costway single LP tank top heater is one of the best cheap ice shelter heaters for medium-sized ice shacks. The unit can reach a power output of up to 15,000 BTU, which can support ice shanties with a capacity of 3 – 6 people.

You don’t need to use the 1-pound cylinder if you want the unit to last longer. Many people have used the 20-pound cylinder, which can last days to weeks of ice fishing depending on how often you get out onto the ice.

In terms of durability, the unit is porcelain-covered, which means it is protected from rust and fairly solid if you were to accidentally drop it.


  • 15,000 BTU power output
  • Great 3 – 6 person ice shanties
  • Safe design
  • Durable construction
  • Reasonably priced


  • Needs to be turned off at the tank

If want the best from Mr Heater and you don’t care that much about the price, you might want to consider the Mr. Heater Big Buddy. This ice shanty heater is a useful option that includes a 1-pound propane tank, but can also be used with one of the larger 20-pound propane tanks if you need more run time.

It can reach a power output of up to 18,000 BTU, which ensures that you have enough heat for some of the coldest days on the ice. One of the main reasons that we have included the unit is the coverage area.

Once you have it set up, you can cover up to 450-square feet, which means you can cover larger ice shanties of up to 8 people.

This is is even a powerful enough ice fishing heater to use outdoor just facing you when out on the ice.


  • 18,000 BTU power output
  • Heats up to an 8 person ice shanty
  • Durable construction
  • Fits multiple propane tanks
  • All the basic safety features


  • A more expensive portable heater options

The Mr. Heater MH30T double tank top outdoor propane heater with a 30,000 BTU power output is a great heater for large ice shelters.

It does not only operate much quieter than many of the others, but multiple safety features will ensure you remain safe.

This is a very strong ice shelter heater for 8 – 10 person ice shanties, which can also be set outside around 2-3 people to provide adequate heat outside of the shelter.

The 1-year limited warranty also gives peace of mind just in case there are any issues.


  • 30,000 BTU power output
  • Works with multiple tanks
  • 1-year limited warranty
  • Reasonable price


  • Too powerful for smaller ice shelters
  • Should not be used inside air-tight ice shacks

The Mr. Heater MH45T triple tank top heater is the bigger brother to the Mr. Heater double tank propane heater above.

Each of the three heaters has a maximum power output of 15,000 BTU, which combined can give a maximum output of 45,000 BTU.

This is the highest output propane ice shelter heater that can support heating large ice shelters of up to a 10 – 12  person capacity, or larger. It can also easily be used outside of a shelter to keep 3-4 people warm.


  • Up to 45,000 BTU power output
  • Heats 10 – 12 person ice shanties, or larger
  • Multiple safety features
  • 1-year warranty


  • Too powerful for smaller ice shelters
  • Should not be used inside air-tight ice shacks

If you need a very high BTU output ice shelter heater, you might want to consider upgrading to a kerosene radiant heater. Mr. Heater 70,000 BTU kerosene radiant heater is a portable, best kerosene ice fishing heater for larger ice shelters.

Since propane is expensive and there are more efficient fuel options for high heat output requirements, it is often ideal that you consider something more affordable. The kerosene heater is perfect to save you money in the long run, at a slightly more premium upfront cost.

The heater has a power output of 70,000 BTU, which can support heating extremely large ice fishing hub shelters and shacks that have a capacity of 10 or more people.

It has the same standard auto-shutoff featured by Mr. Heater in the rest of their product lines that will keep you safe. However, it is important to note that it is 40-pounds, which will require a sled to transport it out to your ice fishing shack if it is a fair distance from shore.


  • 70,000 BTU power output
  • Heat ice shelters with a 10+ person capacity
  • Durable construction


  • Heavy to carry
  • Expensive upfront to save long-term on fuel

If you are looking a hands-ff, set your temperature and forget it option for an ice shack, a diesel heater is your best option.

The best diesel ice fishing shack heater is the Happybuy 5KW diesel heater. This is powerful enough to heat your ice shack from freezing to 70 ° or hotter in 3-15 minutes, depending on the ice shack’s size. It is also a very fuel-efficient option.

The diesel heater uses roughly 0.18 – 0.48 L per hour of fuel, meaning the internal 3.75 L fuel tank will last 8 – 20 hours.

There are also 3KW diesel heater and 8KW diesel heater options if you need a smaller or larger unit based on your shack size.


  • Lower unit cost
  • Lower cost to run
  • Very efficient
  • On-demand heat
  • Able to heat very large ice shacks


  • Can be too noisy for some people

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