- The unique design provides big improvements in fishable area
- The fiberglasss poles prove to very strong and durable
- Fits easily into the carrying case
- Loaded with features like additional storage, anchors and more
- A high quality ice fishing ice shelter
Its big, durable and well insulated.
– Rogue Rods
The Eskimo brand is well known in the world of ice fishing as they offer a wide range of ice fishing shelters that have long been the go-to buy for many who enjoy this hobby. The Eskimo FatFish Pop-Up Portable Hub-Style Ice Shelter is very worthy of the Eskimo name and comes with a ton of cool features that will certainly suit many ice fishermen, as explained further in this Eskimo FatFish 949I review.
In particular, this hub-style ice fishing shelter is very comfortable and purposefully designed to give you the extra space needed to spend many an hour out on the ice. It can easily fit 3 large adults and all their gear. What’s more, a major plus for this model is that it is both insulated and UV blocking, providing you with the ideal conditions for fishing.
However, there are mixed reviews when it comes to the durability of the Eskimo FF949I, mainly because that extra height and space makes it a bit more flimsy in wind than some of its smaller counterparts. As with most of the Eskimo ice shelters the price point of the FatFish Hub-Style Ice Shelter is on the higher side compared to competitors. That being said, if you are on the hunt for a larger hub-style ice shelter that has UV blocking, then you really can rely on the Eskimo 949I ice shelter to give you want you need.
Let’s take a look at the Eskimo 949I review in further detail to see the good, the bad, and everything in between.
P.S – We wrote a roundup of some of the best ice fishing shelters on the market
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Eskimo FatFish 949i Ice Fishing Shelter Review
Ease of Set Up: 4/5
When it comes to fishing out on the ice, it is essential to be well prepared and have equipment that is easy to set up in whatever weather conditions you encounter. The Eskimo Fatfish 949I has many customers who mention how easy it is to put up and take back down again. It goes smoothly back into the bag which is something its competitors struggle with. What is more, it is fairly light to carry at only 27 lbs. Considering its size, this was a nice surprise.
The light weight certainly helps when carrying additional equipment across the ice. The only place that it slips up in this category is that some customers have said that it is supplied with 6 ice screws and thin guide ropes. This is a bit of an issue when looking to securely tie down this ice shelter in high winds or to protect against unsuspected weather changes as the size of it causes it to shake a lot in bad wind.
With a whopping size of 94 inches hub to hub, there is a fishing area of 61ft. This makes it perfect for comfortably fitting 3 large adults inside. Some customers say they have up to 4 adults and a dog inside comfortably. This hub-style ice fishing shelter is definitely built for comfort with plenty of space for everyone. This particular model is also fully insulated. Eskimo claims it makes it 35% warmer than non-insulated models. It gets nice and toasty inside without the help of a heater.
If you do use a heater, a little bit of condensation accumulates on the wall but nothing more than in other models. Overall, the comfort of this model is one of its best-selling points!
One of the weaker points of the Eskimo FF949I ice fishing shelter is that it has a few durability issues. A recurring theme among reviews seems to be the stitching at the bottom of the shelter. Many users noticed some early fraying at this particular location. The main cause is the use of this shelter in high winds putting pressure on the stitching and causing it to come away.
Also, there are some reports of the shelter popping inwards on the side facing the wind which can strain the poles and the hub. Some have had their ice shelters for years without having issues, but deifnitely note that high winds could be an issue if not properly secured.
Special Features: 5/5
One of the best special features of the Eskimo FatFish Hub-Style ice fishing shelter is definitely the incredible light blocking material it is made from. It is manufactured using a 600 dernier material that, when the windows are shut, blocks the light from outside and illuminates the inside of the shelter to give you the best possible sight fishing conditions.
Many of their customers rave about how perfect this material establishes the best chance at spotting fish with your eyes alone. Many other similar models don’t have this feature. If sight fishing is a must for you, then you should look seriously at this model.
Value for the Money: 4/5
Given that this model is both insulated and UV blocking, not to mention has loads of space, it does make this model worth the money. The only thing that prevents it from being 5 stars for value for money is that there are one or two models out there from competitors that offer similar features at a smaller price point. Eskimo ice fishing shelters have always been on the more expensive side, but they also have a huge base of loyal customers who swear they are worth the money.
The Eskimo 949I Review – The Verdict
The Eskimo FatFish Pop-up Portable Hub-Style Ice Shelter is a good buy that is best suited for two main purposes.
- Firstly, if you are after a comfortable, spacious, and warm hub-style ice fishing shelter then this one checks all the boxes.
- Secondly, if you favor sight fishing then the unique material the shelter is built from creates ideal conditions that make it worth the money.
Many happy customers are out on the ice right now catching fish with their Eskimo FatFish Pop-up Portable Hub-Style Ice Shelter. Yes, there are a few issues that have been reported, but overall, there are very few complaints. This is a great all around ice fishing shelter that you would not be making a mistake purchasing. Buy with confidence!
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Some Open Questions
Is the Eskimo FatFish 949I waterproof?
It is water-resistant. Like most shelters, it is a good idea to use a waterproofing agent to waterproof the outside, and a seam sealant to waterproof at the seams.
How long does this take to set up?
Depending on the number of people helping, it can be done in 5-10 minutes. Also note that it is definitely more difficult on a windy day.
Do I need any tools or additional equipment to set up the Eskimo FF949I?
There are no special tools required for set up. Everything pops up (or down) when setting it up/taking it down.