Final Thoughts on the Otter XT Cabin
Some final thoughts on the Otter XT Cabin for those who are thinking about a two man flip over style ice hut.
While the weight is slightly heavier than most flip overs (96 lbs). The quality of materials used in the poles, zippers, tent and sled are very nice. The bench seat seats two large men very comfortably with plenty of elbow room but consumes about 35 lbs of the 96lb weight.
Solution= remove seat that secures with two bolts for those trips that require moving around a lot and throw in a folding chair or bucket to sit on as their is ample fishing space (22 sq ft) without sitting in the sled.
Setting the hut up took less than five minutes including a minute or so tossing some snow around the flaps to help black it out and secure it should the wind come up. Their wind support poles made the tent very tight and will definitely keep the hut stable in the most windy of conditions. Once set up there was plenty of space to store gear behind and under the flip up bench seat. You can easily drill four holes for fishing, two holes for electronics or cameras and still have room to get in and out of the tent without stepping in a hole.
While I wasn't exactly looking for an insulated hut; the added warmth was such a bonus in subzero to single digit temps I don't think I'll even need to carry along a heater.
A Smitty Sled will aid in pulling it through the snow and reduce the weight will pulling. So, for me I will add one of those before the next trip.
The only complaint I have about this product isn't even worth mentioning to the manufacturer. The cheap self-tapping screws they supplied for securing the support poles together can be replaced for less than $2 at a local hardware store.
While I am not as enthusiastic about ice-fishing as I am soft-water fishing this $650 investment will last me for a long time and I would consider buying an XT Hideout for those solo trips should I get more into it in the next few years.
Happy New Year's to all!!!