Guests - If You want access to member only forums on HSO. You will gain access only when you Sign-in or Sign-Up on HotSpotOutdoors.

It's easy - LOOK UPPER right menu.

Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0
Guest

Otter vs. Frabill

22 posts in this topic

Just sold my permanent and am going back to a portable. Can't decide between the Otter Cabin and the Frabill XLTwin. Looking for any additional info. or comments on either one.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

LOVE my Otter. The canvas is of very good quality, the frame is well built and there's no comparison to the Otter tubs by any brand available out there. I know my Otter Den is very light, too. As for the Frabill, I can't speak to their quality. I would do some comparisons based on weight, size if it's an issue (set-up vs. down; how much distance from the front of the tub to the front of the house when set up, etc.) and your perception of relative quality. I can tell you with certainty that I haven't had any problems with my Otter and am mightily pleased with the product BUT it's the only thing I know. Bottom line, go with what you think will work best for YOU, not what any of us know-it-alls think.

Matchman

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I just bought (10 days ago) a Otter Cabin, with the med sled. I picked the Otter for a number of reasons.
First, the Otter has the better fabric. The canvas on the Otter skin is nice a durable and I haven't seen another portable with fabric as thick.
Second, the sled is so much more sturdy than any of the others in the market. This was important. I tow it with an ATV, so the durability was key.
Third, the tubing is square and they claim it to have 4-5 times the tensile strength of similar round poles. I read a post from a person that sounded mad that they switched to this. The claim was that it binds so much more. I haven't had a huge problem. Plus, I guess I will take the strength.
Last, The newer Otter has 4 windows. One on each side of the house. I do not know if the Frabill does or not, but this is huge. I can't stand placing my tip-ups only in front of the house all the time or needing to get out of the house just to see it. It also has two vents, for the times when you need some fresh air or the warmer days, when you want to let some cool air in.
There are a lot of Frabill fans and I don't doubt that they are great houses. I just feel they are over-priced for what you are getting. Don't get me wrong...Otter's aren't cheap either, but I feel you are paying for better components and not Frabill's overhead and name.
I would almost look to Eskimo's new line, before Frabill. They are very well priced. The Eskimo similar to the Otter cabin, is $240 with a bench seat at Fleet Farm. The sled is pretty light duty, but that's a steal!

[This message has been edited by ldwsmith (edited 12-16-2003).]

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have an otter and I must say that this is a great shelter. I know a guy who had a Frabill, it was heavy and it plowed the snow. Pulling that through even 2 inches of snow really sucked and that made going out less enjoyable.
Here are some things to consider:

Are you going to pull it by hand or pull it by machine?

For the most part, are you going to be fishing solo or with someone?

What size vehicle do you have?

Price is a consideration but if you buy something for $50-75 less but it is a hassle evertime you take it out, you are more likely to fish less. It is worth getting a shelter that fits the way you want to fish.

I took all these things into consideration and this is how I ended up with the Otter Medium sled. I can unload and load it by myself. It fits in the back of my Jeep cherokee. All my gear fits in it. It's fairly easy to pull through the snow. It is durable. Plus it was on sale at the end of the year last year. The only thing is you will need to find a comfy seat/chair for it. Matchman built two butt-bridges for his and I've gotta say, this is the ticket.
Good luck in your decision!


Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Right now I am leaning towards the Otter for 2 reasons - I already have the sled and I like the heavy canvas. I like the Frabill because you get the sled, shelter and 2 seats as a package. Buying the Otter cabin and 2 seats is just about the same price as a Frabill. I will be pulling the house behind an ATV - how does the Frabill sled perform - doesn't look as durable as an Otter.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Theres places where I wouldn't drag a sled other then an otter or polar. Much of my fishing is into remote areas where trails are rocky with little of no snow. My portable/sled is also my primary sled for winter camping trips were it has to haul heavy loads through ruff terrain. I have a voyager this year and I beefed up the bottom with 2x2s and I'm in the process of reinforcing the tub to mount a tow hitch.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I bought an Otter Magnum Lodge last year after much of the same debate. I can't be any happier with this rig. I have pulled it over rocks on Devils Lake, behind ny truck (fully loaded) on LOW with no signs of wear and tear. The canvas is very sturdy and all hardware is top notch. Go with the Otter, you won't be disappointed.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I used an Otter Magnum last winter quite a bit and as for comfort and ease of use, you can't go wrong with the otter. My buddy bought a Frabill XLT and he seems to like it a lot, I've never heard him complain. I've never had the chance to fish with him in it (I usually end up out in the cold, on the ice, it must be because of all the extra layers of natural insulation). But the guys who do fish with him say that there's enough room for 4 holes but with the heater, minnows, and whatever else you bring out, it gets really cramped in there, and not enough room for hook setting. I don't like the bench seats either. The Otter has adjustable seats (front, back, side to side), and a little more room. I'll wait one more year to buy one though, to see how well the square tubing thing goes.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've used both. I own a Frabill XLT-Twin. It has served me well. It's just the right size to fit in the back of my suburban. The sled is durable, and the black color of the canvas really soaks up the heat. My father owns an Otter Lodge. This is a lot bigger house. The one thing I like about this house is you can stand straight up in it. You can't do that in the Frabill. The otter does have some extra support poles that you have to install when you are setting it up. My father bought a 4 inch wide piece of PVC that's long enough for the tubes to fit in and capped both ends. This makes those extra parts easy to carry and organized. He uses folding chairs, which is ok, but it just something else you have to bring with, which we don't have to with the Frabill.
Which ever one you buy, spend the extra money on a good hitch and the cover. This is money well spent in my opinion.

Good Luck!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

i-man, I would agree with DJ on checking out the Polar line. They make the Nordic. Picked one up this year and love it. It has the heavy duty sled and canvas like the otter. You can get the sled and house with two seats for around $400.00

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

i-man, Gander Mt. carries the nordic houses. You can also look at them at polarsport.com.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Although I've been an otter fan for a long time, I'll have to agree with smile.gifDerek. The polar sport line does have very nice set ups and are comaparable to otter. Although there is much rave about the otter sleds the polar sprt sleds have a couple of advantages. one, I like the low sidewalls and the raised ends and two, the curvature in the belly of the sled allows more flat area in the bottom of the sled allowing better seating. The hitches are quality and the sled is the same material as otter. So before jumping to an otter take a close look at what polar sport has to offer. I know it will be my next portable.
Matt

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My.vote.is.solidly.for.the.Frabill.line.

Built.well.with.the.anglers.needs.and.comfort.in.mind.
No.more.extra.weight.then.need.be.
Modular.seating.offers.increased.flexibility.in.the.XL-Twin.and.Triplex.
The.new.sleds.pull.easier.on.all.snow.conditions.

This new state-of-the-art fabric was designed for sheer durability and maximum protection from the elements. It is lighter weight, sheds water, blocks out wind and snow, yet it remains extra pliable no matter what the temperature.

The big advantage of ARCTIC-ARMOR is its extreme durability and wear resistance. Produced from heavy-duty nylon fabric, its superior strength stands up to the harshest conditions. It resists punctures and tearings.
armorcloseup.jpg
Special solar black color absorbs the suns rays to help warm the interior of the shelter, even on cold days. ARCTIC-ARMOR is available on all Frabill ice shelters beginning 2003.

The.Frabill."Speed.Shak".line.is.very.user.friendly.
SpeedShakCub04.jpg
Floor.space.is.managed.to.optimize.fully.every.inch.for.comfort.and.flexibility.of.use.
Fast,easy,set-up..less.then.1.minute.

Frabill Speed Shak XL 6035
shakxlopen.jpg
Set-Up: 72" L x 72"W x 84"H
Folded: 72" L X 32"W x 9"H
Weight: 98 lbs.

Frabill Speed Shak Cub 6036
shakcubopen.jpg
Set-Up: 72"L x 48"W x 72"H
Folded: 48" L x 32"W x 9"H
Weight: 75 lbs.

www.Frabill.com

------------------
Ed "Backwater Eddy" Carlson

Backwater Guiding
"ED on the RED"
backwtr1@msn.com
><,sUMo,>

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Otter hands down. Some of these other companies skimp a bit to lower cost on their portables. That may be fine for people that don't do a lot of fishing, but if you want a portable that will last and was designed for serious fishermen, take a hard look at the otter line.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well, I will put my 2 cents in. I have the frabill ultra lite and I really like it. It doesn't pull the greatest through the deep snow, however because it is so light it kind of equals out. I have to say that the sled is suprisingly durable too. I have had it for four years now and with the places I drag it I can say it is pretty tough. So that is what I think about that!
><>deadeye

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My endorsement goes to Polar. We looked long and hard, comparing everyone this year. This year Mille Lacs Guide Service will be going with the Polar line of houses. After close comparison the Polar line seemed like the best match for us. Great sleds/Canvas and a hitch system that is second to none.

We now have the capability of hitching 3 houses together end to end with stiff hitches. This is a great feature. As I said, we looked at them all before we made our decision.

------------------
Mille Lacs Guide Service
(320)293-3287
www.millelacsguideservice.com

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

At the sport show I narrowed my choices down to either the Polar or the Clam. I ended up buying the Clam Voyager, for two reasons. I got a great price on the voyager and I was a little apprehensive of the yellow tops on the polar. The selling point for the yellow fabric was that it let more light into the shack. I don't know about you guys, but I don't want more light in my shack. I like to sight fish when possible and if I need more light I can flip up or open the windows. I will say however, both the Polar and the Otter are great shacks. Can't go wrong with either one.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for all of the responses. I ordered the Otter Cabin today. Hopefully it will meet my expectations. It will be tested for the next several weeks on Ottertail. Thanks again.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.
Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0



  • Posts

    • i've never done the plastic thing. but i've taken Reb's advice on planting grass, in particular filling in spots and its turned out great. so this is going to really hurt to say this, but Reb really knows what he's talking about when it comes to his lawn. i've also seen pictures.
    •   Right next to the river, no less.  Isn't anyone from the EPA concerned about this?    
    • The "if you were watching the story" was referring to the actions of VW.   Your link about mercedes was full of weasel words and little actual hard information.     And from the link you posted...   Seems like no evidence they did anything wrong has surfaced yet.   Maybe, maybe not.   So, what facts are you referring to?   And are you disputing the stuff about BMW and VW as well?     Oh, and from wikipedia. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Volkswagen_emissions_scandal    
    • Repairs and fixes for 2.0-liter Volkswagen and Audi TDI models:   There are three generations of the 2.0-liter turbo-diesel four-cylinder, and all will require different fixes (from simple software updates to complete, and potentially performance-crippling, hardware retrofits). As of January 6, 2017, Volkswagen announced a complete fix for 2015 TDI models with the third-generation engine. This will involve installing a second NOx sensor and a new or replacement diesel-oxidation catalyst. In March 2017, VW received approval to sell these cars, of which there are approximately 12,000 new and 67,000 used. On May 19, 2017, VW received approval to repair 2012–2014 Passat TDI models. A total of 84,391 cars are included, except those with manual transmissions; CARB said VW had not shown sufficient evidence that they will be made compliant. VW is awaiting approval to resell these vehicles as used cars. Buybacks and compensation for 3.0-liter Volkswagen and Audi TDI and Porsche diesel models:

      As of December 21, 2016, Volkswagen reached a second settlement with the roughly 78,000 owners and lessees of 3.0-liter diesel models. In late January 2017, Volkswagen announced a $1.2 billion program that differs substantially from the $10 billion program for 2.0-liter diesel models. Judge Breyer approved the final settlement amount on May 11, 2017. Currently, only owners of 2009–2012 Audi Q7 and Volkswagen Touareg models with the Generation 1 engine are eligible for buybacks between $24,755 to $57,157. This is because Volkswagen cannot repair them to be emissions compliant. Generation 1 lessees of 2012 vehicles can receive between $5001 and $6615 for terminating their leases early. Generation 1 owners who do not sell their cars back to Volkswagen can receive $7755 to $13,880. For complete details, see the court’s handy executive summary. For Generation 2 models between 2013–2016, Volkswagen will offer cash compensation ranging from $7039 to $16,114; if the recall isn’t made “timely available,” the automaker will buy them back for prices between $43,153 to $99,862 and extend any warranties that might expire until the recall is ready. Generation 2 lessees can receive between $5677 and $12,492 for terminating their leases early. If lessees decide to keep their cars and perform the fix, they each receive a flat $2000. In all cases with Generation 2 cars, owners and lessees can opt to receive half of the cash payments up front and the other half once the vehicle is repaired. Generation 2 owners and lessees are also eligible to receive up to $1500 each as part of a separate $327.5 million settlement with Bosch, the supplier of the emissions software. Details are available here. These prices have been set using NADA Used Car Guide Clean Retail values as of November 2015 and adjusted for options, mileage, and the region the vehicle was registered in as of that month. The 2016 diesel models will be repurchased at 12.9 percent above prices for equivalent 2015 models. Owners and lessees will also be reimbursed for state and local taxes. The registration deadline is December 31, 2019. Owners and lessees will get the same payment (adjusted for mileage) regardless of when they register. Repairs and fixes for 3.0-liter Volkswagen and Audi TDI and Porsche diesel models:   There are two versions of the 3.0-liter turbo-diesel V-6 that require different modifications. The Generation 1 engines in the 2009–2012 Audi Q7 and Volkswagen Touareg cannot be made fully compliant with EPA regulations. Generation 2 engines in 2013–2016 models can be fixed under a formal recall that must be approved by the EPA and CARB no later than December 20, 2017, or else Volkswagen must pay owners an additional penalty. On those 58,000 models, Audi said on November 23, 2015, that it would update the software and “resubmit” its emissions applications after the EPA found undocumented “auxiliary emission control devices” that were allowing excessive levels of NOx.
    • I would guess it is going to create more pollution rounding up, transporting, scrapping and reclaiming those cars than the excess they would have emitted in their lifespan vs the cars that replace them. 
    • So, first you tell me " if you were watching the story closely" then when I posted a link supporting what I said to be fact, your response was that your memory is bad and you were making a hypothesis. Classic. 
    • they will all probably end up scrapped then. you can probably expect the junkyards to soon be filled with Volkswagens that will be missing the ECU, DPF, and have holes in their engines.   cash for clunkers 2.0?
    •     This is very earth friendly, and good tree huggers and bureaucrats everywhere love it...
    • I would like to get some recipes to inject a turkey breast, and appx. how long does it take to smoke it? And whats a good wood to use ?
    • Could be that others cheated also.   I was relying on memory about the BMW connection and hypothesized that Mercedes would also have been a possibility.   I did say "maybe mercedes".     In any case, VW cheated on emissions for many years with the assent of the highest levels of management.     Apparently making a small diesel that runs ok and doesn't make too much pollution at an acceptable cost is really hard.
  • Our Sponsors