Hello friends, it has been awhile since our last post but it has been a long eventful winter. So with the camping season just around the corner we would like to start the new year off with a winter season product review. Today we give you the Eskimo Fatfish 949i, which is a good product for the price, if, you plan on regularly going ice fishing with a small group. If not definitely stick with one of the smaller versions because it’s a load to carry on and off of the ice. The upside, whether you go ice fishing or are just looking to spend a day skating, or playing, with your family this shelter is a great place to step into for a quick warm up. The downside is it’s not very convenient for the average user to get on, and off, the ice with.
That said, do not be fooled by the advertisements, Spencer was and he wants to make perfectly clear that the following picture is not…… NOT
how you will be spending your action packed day of ice fishing. To give into the illusion of casually strolling out onto the ice, checking out the sites, giving a thumbs up to your fellow fishermen with this thing strapped to your back is pure madness. Granted, this fine fellow may be 7 foot tall and made out of pure muscle but it’s just not happening. Firstly the straps aren’t big enough to fit over an average size mans shoulders, especially with a jacket, several layers, etc…. You are either going to be carrying this item in a sled, or like a duffle bag which will not get you far, at least not without stopping several times. No my friends your morning will be stop and go panting, catching your breath, and getting soaked in sweat before your day even begins unless you have help of some sort, friends, snowmobile, ATV, UTV, etc…
Spencer purchased this online since he had a small group that he went ice fishing with on a semi regular basis. He got the bigger size because he had some big men with him which, when they went, fit comfortably inside. When the wind went well below -20 using a single sunflower heater the Eskimo Fatfish 949i shot up to about 80 degrees in a matter of a couple minutes, and due to the insulation it stayed warm for quite awhile. The descriptions showed it was heavy but were all followed by videos and images, like the one above, with people causally strapping this to their back and setting it up straight away. Not to mention this wasn’t just a single site either, this was all of them, it seemed, so Spencer thought “ok, if I go by myself I will still be able to manage”. If you still think this happened we implore you to go back and read the not, NOT, NOT!!! section.
Unfortunately for Spencer the novelty of ice fishing wore off quite fast with the rest of the group, as it usually does with people, due to the cold and early morning schedule. That wasn’t stopping him though, trekking through snow, and wind with this thing ridiculously on his back for a short time then on his sled when he could get it to stay….. sweat, blood, tears……
Ok, ok maybe not blood but the cardio was fantastic from an exercise standpoint. This shelter does set up in less than a minute, with very little effort, not including the time it takes to anchor it down, which is a great feature. Spencer was able to get this set up several times, in the dark of the early morning hours with little more than a head lamp so he did make use of it.
The shelter has several windows that have insulated flaps you can put up, or down, with simple Velcro connections built into the fabric. This makes watching tip-ups fairly simple, however since the windows are just clear plastic they do frost over fairly quickly when using a heater. The Shelter also has several ventilation ports but, again, the Shelter warms up so fast you probably will not need your heater for long. It also has two exits which may seem like a plus, but each one is on opposite corners, so you can’t really fit as many people in the shelter, as it advertised, if you plan on fishing out of it. When you are done bringing in chairs, drilling holes, and placing the heater there really isn’t any more room than one of the smaller versions.
The take down takes several minutes more, not as easy as the video claims, as you are now trying to stuff a wet/frozen shelter back in the carry bag. Now if you are into night fishing, with a few mats, and a cot, this shelter is totally the way to go, but again, that’s something that will require help to get onto the ice, ATV, UTV, etc….
Overall Spencer recommends that you stick with the Eskimo Quickfish 3i opposed to this version. Its smaller, lighter, obviously easier to carry, has backpack straps, and when you get right down to it you will fit just as many people inside. If you find yourself going alone quite a bit he recommends going with the Eskimo Quickfish 2i because the effort to get this version out to your favorite fishing hole just outweighs anything positive about it.
That’s all of our gossip for today folks but before we leave you we would love to know:
- What did you think of our review?
- What would you like to see added to our next review to make it more helpful?
- Have you used this item or something similar?
- Is there anything you would like us to try and review?
As always we would love to hear from you in the comments below. Until next time friends, thank you for reading, stay warm and, as always, happy camping.
-Kimberly and Spencer