Fishing in cold, wet, and windy weather is no joke. The wrong gear can leave you cold, soaked, shivering, and wishing you were back at home bundled up with a big mug of hot cocoa!
Experienced fishermen know that some of the best fishing of the year coincides with cold weather. If you want to take advantage of this bonanza, you’ll need a good pair of cold weather fishing bibs.
A good pair of bibs will offer protection from rain, cold, and wind – while remaining lightweight, breathable, and allowing you to move about without hindrance.
Let’s take a look at some of the best cold-weather fishing bibs, so you can fish comfortably no matter what the weather gods have in store.
Quick Answer: 5 Best Cold Weather Fishing Bibs
- Best Overall: Stormr Stryker Bibs
- Runner Up: Carhartt Men’s Shoreline Bib
- Best Ice Fishing Bibs: Clam IceArmor Edge Cold Weather Bib
- Budget Pick: WindRider Base Waterproof Bibs
- Also Consider: Frogg Toggs Pilot II Bib with Co-Pilot Insulated Liner
Why do you need cold weather fishing bibs?
High-end cold weather gear isn’t cheap, but it’s a must if you’re going to fish in volatile conditions. A quality weatherproof jacket and matching bibs give you the ability to fish all day long – even in the harshest and stormiest conditions.
Fishing requires you to be able to maintain full mobility and dexterity. A pair of bibs or jacket can be toasty warm and dry, but if they impede your ability to move about freely, they won’t be much good for fishing with.
Quality cold weather fishing bibs also feature a number of improvements that make them suited for the task at hand. High-viz reflective materials ensure you’re easy to spot from a distance, reinforced knees allow you to crouch down without worry, while high volume pockets give you plenty of room for stashing fishing essentials.
Top 5 Cold Weather Fishing Bibs
Windproof, waterproof, and toasty-warm, these cutting edge bibs combine an elastic inner neoprene layer with a durable water repellent outer layer. This creates a bib that beads water on impact and can withstand anything nature throws your way.
The neoprene inner layer cuts down significantly on bulk – while maintaining excellent range of motion and warmth. Neoprene also has the advantage of being positively buoyant, so you’ll stay above water in case of an accidental dip into cold water.
All exterior seams are thermal welded for complete waterproofing, while an additional interior fleece layer wicks away moisture to keep you dry. Two fleece-lined chest pockets let you keep your hands toasty warm when you need a break.
Keep in mind these bibs are fairly heavy-duty. They’re meant to handle extreme downpours and aren’t as breathable as lighter gear. This isn’t a major issue though, as you can simply zip open or remove them as needed.
The bibs and jacket are sold separately, so you easily can find the ideal fit for your measurements.
- Unique inner neoprene layer proves warmth, flexibility, and positive buoyancy.
- Thermal welded exterior seams deliver complete waterproofing.
- Exterior shell beads away water.
- Abrasion-resistant knee and seat.
- Two fleece-lined chest handwarmer pockets.
Built to handle rain, wind, ocean-spray, as well as tough outdoor wear and tear, these Bibs from Carhartt are an excellent choice for cold weather fishing. They’re completely waterproof, providing a breathable and durable layer that can withstand just about thing you can throw at it.
The material is 100% nylon, with the outer layer being typical over-engineered Carrhartt construction. Mesh lining throughout the bib provides excellent breathability, while double-layered knees provide extra toughness when you need it most.
While the material is heavy-duty and provides a decent level of warmth, it doesn’t include any form of insulation. If you’re planning on wearing them in sub-zero temperatures, then you’ll want to wear some form of insulated layer underneath them.
Fully tapered waterproof seams keep any moisture from working its way inside your cuffs, while ankle to waist two-way zippers on each leg let you access anything pockets on inner layers.
A wide variety of sizes are available, including short leg versions for those with shorter limbs.
- Waterproof, breathable bibs block water from getting in but allow sweat to get out.
- 3 ounce, 100% nylon shell.
- Double layered knees.
- Mesh lining greatly increases breathability.
Best Ice Fishing Bibs
While they’re designed for ice fishing, these well-insulated bibs will also work for other cold and wet fishing environments. Featuring a 300D nylon waterproof, windproof, and breathable shell, the Clam Edge Bib is a premium bib at a price anyone can afford.
Heavily padded 1000D ballistic nylon knees provide plenty of support for constant kneeling on the ice, while fleece-lined hand warmer chest pockets keep fingers nice and toasty in the cold. Zippers running from the heel to the waist allow you to easily put on and remove your boots and then seal the cuff with the magnetic flap closures.
The adjustable nylon suspenders feature quick-release clasps, so you can quickly remove them if necessary. 3M Scotchlite reflective elements ensure you’ll be easy to spot in the dark.
They might not have bells-and-whistles like flotation or built-in ice picks, but if you’re looking for a warm and insulated pair of bibs, these will get the job done nicely.
- Insulated, waterproof, and windproof bibs ideal for cold weather fishing.
- Heavily padded knees make repeated kneeling on the ice painless.
- Full-length heel to waist zippers with magnetic closures.
- 3M Scotchlite reflective materials provide safety in low-light conditions.
If you’re looking for a decent pair of cold weather fishing bibs without spending an arm and a leg – these PVC coated nylon bibs fit the bill nicely. They feature Cordura reinforced knees and seat, adjustable ankle Velcro’s, and a double front zipper with a storm flap to protect from the elements.
While they’re warm enough for cold weather bass fishing, they don’t feature any type of insulation. So, if you’re looking for bibs for sub-zero temperatures, you’ll want to look elsewhere.
Double thigh pockets provide enough storage for plenty of fishing gear, while elastic material under the arms and near the waist keeps everything tucked in nicely. Also, the cuff behind the heel is cut ¾” up from the rest of the heel – so you don’t accidentally step on your cuffs!
All in all, these bibs are the perfect choice for moderately cold weather fishing when you don’t want to drop serious money on the big name brands.
- PVC coated oxford nylon provides complete waterproofing.
- Cordura reinforced knees, seat, and hems.
- Adjustable ankles Velcro’s keep out moisture.
- Solid performance for a budget price.
Frogg Toggs is legendary in the hunting and fishing world for making some of the best outerwear – and these bibs are no exception. They’re lightweight, waterproof, windproof, and highly breathable.
Three layers are uses to create a combination of waterproofing, durability, and light weight construction.
The outer layer is abrasion resistant, highly durable, and utilizes a Teflon coating to wick away moisture. The polyester DriPore Gen 2 middle layer is not only waterproof, but it’s also highly durable and flexible. Lastly, a soft micro-textured inner tricot fabric provides comfort and breathability.
The integrated 140-gram Co-Pilot inner layer provides additional thermal protection when the temperatures take a dip. It can be removed or added with built-in snaps.
All seams are welded for 100% waterproofing, so you can rest assured you’ll stay dry no matter how torrential the conditions get. Two zippered chest pockets provide an ideal spot to warm your hands, while two expandable, quick-draining cargo pockets give you plenty of storage space for gear.
Zip to knee side zippers makes putting on and taking off your boots a breeze, while a full front water-resistant zipper makes donning and doffing the bibs effortless.
- Triple-layer construction creates durable, lightweight, and breathable material.
- Snap-removable 140 gram inner liner for added insulation when needed.
- Two zippered chest pockets plus two quick-draining side cargo storage pockets.
- Zip to knee side zippers for easy boot removal.
How to pick the right cold weather fishing bibs?
There’s a lot to consider when it comes to choosing the right cold weather fishing bibs. Bibs come in a wide range of materials, designs, and waterproofing / thermal protection levels, so you’ll want to pay attention to the following features when picking out a pair of bibs.
Perhaps the most important factor which determines performance in inclement weather are the construction materials. Bibs can be made from a number of different materials – each with its own strengths and weaknesses to consider.
Nylon is commonly used in bibs designed for rainy and cold environments. It’s tough, fairly lightweight, and when coated with PVC or another waterproof coating, it provides near-complete waterproofing.
Nylon is often rated by “denier” which is typically shortened to ‘D’. Denier is simply a unit of measurement that expresses the fiber thickness of individual threads used in the fabric. High-denier nylon tends to be sturdier and more durable than a lower denier. High denier fabric will also be heavier and less flexible.
Neoprene is a type of synthetic rubber that provides excellent range of motion, warmth, and waterproofing. If you’ve ever worn a wetsuit before, then you know how well it performs in wet environments.
Several bib manufacturers have begun using them as a material for fishing bibs, including the excellent Stormr Strykr reviewed above. These bibs provide heavy-duty water and windproofing, and have the added bonus of being positively buoyant – so if you fall into icy cold water you’ll stay afloat!
Anytime you’re fishing in rainy, snowy, or stormy weather, you need serious waterproofing. Lightweight windbreakers won’t cut it when the monsoon hits!
A good pair of bibs should be able to withstand a full day in heavy rain without any water working its way to the clothing beneath.
Manufacturer’s often give a waterproof rating represented by a W/B number. The W in this ratio stands for waterproofing and is measured by testing a 1” x 1” column of water over the fabric. The higher the water column is before the fabric beings to leak – the higher the waterproofing rating. This number is measured in mm (millimeters).
The second number in this ratio is breathability and is generally less precise than the waterproofing number. Because there’s no unified standard for testing breathability, numbers from one manufacturer or lab will differ significantly from one using a different testing standard. Comparing breathability numbers within a single manufacturer should give you a good idea of the relative fabric breathability.
If you’re planning on fishing in seriously frosty conditions, you’ll want to look for bibs with some form of insulation. Pay attention to the manufacturer’s temperate rating, and also consider whether you’ll need to add additional layers for increased thermal protection.
Ice fishing bibs and jackets provide some of the best insulation of any fishing bibs, as they’re designed to keep you warm in frigid sub-zero temperatures. The added insulation of these bibs adds some extra bulk and weight, so don’t expect them to be as lightweight as other bibs.
Some bibs will come with a removable liner for adding or removing insulation as needed. This is an excellent feature if you’re looking for a pair of bibs that can work for both warm and cold weather protection.
Breathability is a serious consideration anytime you’re actively fishing. No matter how warm your bibs are, if they’re not breathable, you’re gonna have a bad time.
As you move around while fishing, you’ll inevitably start to work up a sweat. Breathable fabrics will wick away moisture and sweat, leaving you dry and comfortable. Think of the difference between ‘dry fit’ workout clothing and a cotton T-shirt.
As mentioned previously, some manufacturers will give a number rating for breathability. Take this number with a grain of salt, as many manufacturers have a tendency to inflate this number.
Range of Motion
Without a doubt, one of the most important considerations when picking out fishing bibs is range of motion. You want to be able to move about freely without feeling constrained by your outerwear.
Quality bibs are typically designed with this in mind. Many will feature elastic integrated into the waist, underarms, and knee sections. If you’re in between sizes, going one size up will ensure you’ll have enough room to move around freely – and you’ll be able to wear an extra layer underneath when necessary.
Lastly, you’ll want to consider durability when picking out a pair of bibs. Heavy-duty nylon will generally provide more than enough toughness for serious fishing use.
If maximum durability is what you’re after, take a look at bibs made by workwear manufacturers like Carhartt. These bibs are designed for heavy-duty outdoor work – so they’ll be more than tough enough for fishing.
While this article is focused on cold weather fishing bibs, a good jacket is just as important. These jackets will protect and warm your upper body similar to bibs do for your lower body.
Many bib manufacturers will make a matching fishing jacket, and some even come as a set. This will enable you to stay dry from head to toe – no matter how wet wild it gets out there!
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I’ve loved being in the outdoors for as long as I can remember. I grew up fishing, canoeing, and camping throughout the Okanagan Valley in British Columbia. It’s what lead me to start this site and share my passions for fishing, diving, kayaking and more. Nowadays you can find me writing about my passions or (preferably!) preparing for my next outdoor adventure.