In fishing, it’s called “the race to the bottom.” It means companies beat down prices in a particular category to be the lowest. Trouble is, with the cost cutting comes a measurable sacrifice in quality. This phenomenon is oh-so true with hub-style ice fishing shelters. To be frank, showroom floors are rapidly filling with subpar shacks.

Fortunately, there’s a saving grace.

Find the signature black and yellow Frabill hubs and there’s never concern over depreciating workmanship. It’s eternally onward and upward with the crew from Plano, IL. Truthfully, you can expect to pay a little more, but the investment will be obvious on the ice.

For ice fishing 2013-14, the stately black and yellow has melded with the slickest pattern in fishing: Fishouflage. Frabill’s new Fishouflage Ambush Outpost and Headquarters hub-style shelters are widely forecast to be this winter’s smash hit.

Cosmetics are one thing; craftsmanship another. Frabill’s engineering team let the creative juices flow in designing the Fishouflage Ambush Outpost and Ambush Headquarters. Take the tent material, for instance. Both models sport rip-stop side panels for an increased weight to strength ratio. To that, Frabill added 900 Denier skirt material for maximum durability in the known high-stress area.

Warmth is another hallmark of Frabill’s Fishouflage Ambush Outpost and Headquarters shelters. Each is crowned with a thermal top that yields the utmost heat retention while preventing condensation. Inferior hub shelters are known to rain down on the heads and necks of anglers.

Amenities continue with a pair of perfectly positioned corner doors with heavy-duty zippers and four clear removable windows. Frabill’s exclusive MaxVent system promotes circulation on the inside while reflective piping on the outside alerts snowmobile, ATV and truck drivers of your whereabouts. And both the Fishouflage Ambush Outpost and Headquarters come complete with a transport bag and anchor kit.

Supremely portable, the other core advantage of hub shelters is their spaciousness once set. The Ambush Outpost is a generously sized two-person shelter that measures 70” (L) X 70” (W) X 80” (H) when fishing, and folds down to (L) X 50” (W) X 8” (H) X 8” for transport. Total packable weight scales to only 27 lbs, too.

The Fishouflage Ambush Headquarters is an auditorium on ice. Comfortably housing six anglers, the Headquarters spans 140” (L) X 70” (W) X 80” (H) while shaping down to only 50” (L) X 10” (W) X 10” (H) for travel. And at only 38 lbs, it’s no back breaker.

The only breaking you’ll do is snapping poles over your knee when a lower-grade hub folds like a house of cards. Such tragedies are easily preventable, however, by first choosing Frabill’s black, yellow and Fishouflage.

Image courtesy Frabill

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