If you follow me on social media, you know this year has been my best ice fishing season. Ever. Mother Nature may have presented some challenges, gear investments and upgrades were made, and friendships were rekindled. I was able to cross things off my list as well as catch a couple personal bests. Truthfully, this season wouldn’t have gone as great or nearly as smoothly as it had without proper ice attire. This year I was brought on as Pro Staff for DSG Outerwear. In the past, my ice fishing attire consisted of hand me down snow pants, Carhartt canvas bibs, and DSG snowmobile gear with float technology. I truly believe in the quality of the gear created by DSG and was planning on upgrading my DSG suit no matter the circumstance. It is important to note that this suit system is considered a flotation assist system and not recognized by the Coast Guard as a personal flotation device. When the bibs and jacket are worn together, they will assist for up to 2 hours.
Arctic Appeal Ice Fishing Jacket
I have never been a fan of jackets. They’re too bulky for my short arms and torso. I had to size up for the jacket to fit over my bibs so this created extra room in the shoulders and the arms are a little long. This is the only complaint I have about this jacket. I have never been more warm on the ice than I was in the jacket and bibs (when it was cold enough to wear the jacket – which wasn’t very often).
The jacket is chock full of features. There is float technology in both the jacket and bibs so you will feel 100% safe in your gear even when the ice isn’t. You won’t need to worry about over heating while running for flags thanks to the underarm ventilation zippers. Multiple pockets and D-rings allow for storage. My favorite is the inner mesh pocket for my phone and license. The big pockets on the front are fleece lined, have multiple entries, and are large enough for a small jig box and/or bait puck to make hole hopping that much easier. No need to worry about cold hands while changing out jigs or reeling in a tip up thanks to the lycra wrist gaiters with thumb holes. Lycra is a great choice because the material has a low absorbency rate which makes it water resistant. Hiding from the winds has never been easier due to the soft micro fleece lined chin guard, removable hood, and the internal powder skirt. Lastly, being visible on the ice in the dark is no longer an issue with reflective piping on the front and back.
Arctic Appeal Ice Fishing Bibs
These bibs are MY FAVORITE. I could never go back to Carhartts or regular snow pants again. The features on these bibs were so innovative. They were designed with women in mind – that’s for sure. I put these bibs to the test and they surpassed every expectation. I fished in some very slushy conditions and never ended up wet. I will say though that pairing the bibs with the D-Tech Base Layer Pant, my legs did get really sweaty.
Let’s go top to bottom. Adjustable, stretchy suspenders criss cross over the back for support and allow for easy movement. The bibs reach high on the chest for ultimate coverage and warmth with a zipper and flip over snap enclosure that goes the length of the torso. On the front of the bibs, there are 2 fleece lined hand warming pockets. These are perfect for warming up while you’re waiting for flags to pop or if you’re dead sticking your jig pole. The waist has adjustable velcro waist tabs on each side to tighten or loosen depending on needs and layers. At the hip, there are D-rings on each side for depth finders and anything else you may need at the ready. Full length, AquaGuard® leg zippers open at the top for the drop seat function. This makes readjusting fabric or using the restroom 100x easier than ever before. Big cargo pockets with multiple entries on the thigh allow for storage. Attached to one of the pockets is a detachable micro-fiber terry hand towel. I can’t tell you how often I used this. The knees have reinforced, waterproof fabric on both sides as well as reflective piping. Inside, there is a mesh pocket for the removable knee pads. Snow and slush has a habit of pushing up under pant openings so the interior boot gaiter is great at combating that. If you’re short like me, you’ll really enjoy this – or anything made by DSG because this feature is included in all pants and bibs. The adjustable inseams cover anyone with an inseam between 32.5″ to 28.5″. The insulation and floatation foam is inserted throughout the bibs.
After using this for one season, I give this ice fishing suit system 5/5 stars. I truly don’t think my season would have been as a great as it was without this suit. My favorite features were the adjustable inseams, removable knee pads, detachable hand towel, drop seat, and the fleece lined chin guard of the jacket.