The tent poles for CLAM ice shelters are reliable when they are properly used, according to reviews on Amazon and the outdoor sporting store Cabela's. However, several owners of the CLAM Outdoors Bigfoot Ice Shelter report poles that have broken under unusually high pressure.
CLAM flex tests its poles to ensure that they hold up and provide reliable use. The poles that come with the larger models, including the Bigfoot, the Six Pack and the Vista, each measure 11 millimeters, the equivalent of a little less than 1/2 inch. The poles are tough enough for regular use but do not withstand extreme pressure. For example, one reviewer reports a broken pole after he accidentally attempted to pop open his tent while it was turned inside-out. Another user says that one of her poles broke after the sides of the tent failed to pop up correctly. In both cases, the cause of the broken pole is undue strain following an assembly malfunction. The CLAM website sells replacement poles for those who like to come prepared.
Overall, most reviews of CLAM ice shelters are positive, and the Bigfoot models have a high average user rating. One gripe that many owners have concerns the zipper pulls, which frequently fall off after a few uses, though reviewers note that attaching a bit of string or paperclip quickly remedies the problem.