These durable suits are designed to keep you dry and warm on the ice and, more importantly, offer flotation and protection from hypothermia should you go into the water. A flotation suit keeps your head in a swimmer’s position above water and gives you time for help to arrive—or to haul yourself out (see “Ice picks” on next page).
Both one- and two-piece suits are available, with the choice coming down to a personal preference for warmth versus the option of wearing just the jacket or bibs on warmer days. Whatever the case, make sure the apparel is approved by the U.S. or Canadian Coast Guard. And to get a proper sense of the fit, try the suit on over the base- and mid-layer apparel you typically wear when ice fishing. Like a PFD, it only works if it’s comfortable and you actually wear it.