Clam’s 1660 was a great pop-up when they introduced it last season. It’s a huge tent that sets up in under a minute. The whole famn damily could have fun in it, but last year they did not offer the thermal version. Welcome the Clam 1660 Thermal for winter 2014/15!
Clam makes nice stuff and this tent was nicely made last season so I expect the same for this year. The cool thing with these 6-sided tents is the way they handle the wind. Wind on a big tent like this can be problematic on a square shape. Round shapes tend to split the wind from whatever direction it comes. On a flat-sided tent, the wind can hit the broad side like wind slamming into a billboard. It becomes harder to anchor those big square tents as a result. Round pop-ups like the 1660 are easier.
The other thing with square tents is the hole placement. If your holes end up in the corners, you have less room because the corners are 90 degree (sort of) and you can swipe your rod up and down either side. In a round ice shelter like this, you have more set the hook room no matter where you end up in the tent. That is nice because you don’t run the risk of snapping off your favorite rod when setting the hook.
This new Clam tent is bigger than the Eskimo 6120i by about 14 square feet. That is significant if you need more room. If you look in the past, Clam tents have always been bigger than Eskimo tents just slightly. Eskimo kicks Clam’s butt in ice anchor designs. I would have to say that Eskimo is better at warranty issues as well. Clam’s process, while they do get it resolved, is more bureaucratic. It just feels like they are pushing much more paper than necessary to fix little issues. Eskimo, on the other hand, is much faster and easier to work with for legitimate problems that can arise from time to time.
As for the doors, Eskimo makes the bigger door that is easier to enter and exit with increased space at the top and bottom. When you have big boots on, a door that has more room at the bottom makes a huge difference and decreases the chances of tearing up the zipper. In any pop-up, screwing up the zipper on the doors is a fairly significant problem. Clam’s doors have consistently been a not-so-big triangle that comes to a point at the bottom and top. Getting one’s shoulders through the narrow point or stumbling through the door with one’s boots, can chew up the zipper. Older ice fishermen and kids have a harder time getting through high-up, pointy corners and while the Eskimo remains a bit on the high side as well (from the bottom of the door to the floor), it does offer more room to get those among us who are older or just plain clumsy through with less stumbling and crashing around. I notice this difference with my 82 year old dad who has a tough time judging the height he needs to have his foot clear while getting his head through the points of the top. It’s not a huge deal, but the last thing you want is Dad falling on the ice at his age. Bigger doors Clam.
One other consideration is the windows of Clam. For as long as they’ve been making tents, they’ve been sewing the windows in to the tent. If the window breaks – and they can break- what do you do to fix it? Now, with all the Clam pop-ups we’ve sold over the years, I can’t say that we’ve had a problem with window issues. Nonetheless, I do like the fact that Eskimo has peel-out windows that can be replaced should they become damaged. They have to be purchased, but at least they are available.
Summary: You would not go wrong owning the Clam 1660 Thermal ice shelter. Compared to the Eskimo 6120i, Clam has more experience with round tents, but that is not that big of a deal as Eskimo can hold their own consistently. Clam has sewn in windows plus doors that are a little on the pointy side making passing through more difficult and increases the potential for damage. Not the end of the world as long as the owner is aware of this. Clam’s big plus is the extra 14 square feet of floor space. If you need more room, you have it. The converse is also true: if you don’t need the extra room, you end up having more to heat. When you get inside of the Clam, you will be drawn to the nice detail and workmanship. It’s a good tent and it’s a thermal. Thermals are easier to heat and don’t rain on you when everybody has been breathing and the propane heater has been running for 6 hours.
The Six Pack™ series from Clam has been hugely popular. Known for its durability, strength and ease of use it certainly packs small but fishes big! Anglers have been asking for a full thermal version of the 1660 so we listened. The NEW Six Pack™ 1660 Mag Thermal will have all the same features as the original, but we added convenient ice anchor straps and strap pockets along with a full thermal skin!
- Fish 5-7 anglers comfortably
- Super-tough 600 total Denier fabric
- Full Thermal Trap™ Technology (retains heat and reduces condensation)
- Flex tested, extra large 11mm poles
- Oversized skirt for ample snow banking
- Oversized carry bag for easy re-packing
- Triple layer corner pockets
- Lab tested hub assemblies – largest in the industry
- Convenient ice anchor straps and strap pockets for windy conditions (6)
|Set Up Size||11.5 Ft Diameter|
|Fishable Area||94 Sq. Ft.|