The heart of winter is just about here, and with it are the cold harsh temperatures. While the cold can be very tough for your extremities, there are several different types of gear and gadgets that can keep your hands nice and warm. Hand warmers are the perfect accessories you can use to keep your hands warm while enjoying everything that the winter outdoors has to offer. Here are some reviews and everything you need to know about the best hand warmers.
Colder weather can be very uncomfortable for your extremities such as your hands or feet. You can keep your hands and feet warm by adding layers of clothing or by using thermal gloves, but there are certain times and temperatures where you may need a little extra to keep you warm and comfortable.
The best hand warmers of 2018 are a great addition to your winter attire, especially if you are outdoors all day for a special event or gathering. The major benefits of hand warmers are that they are portable and they can help keep you warm and comfortable almost all day. You can easily carry them in your pockets, purse or even carry them when you are outside and battling the colder temperatures.
There are several types of hand warmers but here are the most common types available:
There are several types of hand warmers but the majority can fall into a few different categories: electric, refillable, reusable, single-use, and electric hand warmer gloves. While they all have their advantages and disadvantages, here’s how they differ from one another:
Electric hand warmers can be powered by single-use batteries, such as AA or AAA, or they can use rechargeable batteries. Their duration of heat output varies, and their batteries will have to be recharged or replaced. The best rechargeable hand warmer typically costs a bit more when compared to other types of hand warmers.
Refillable hand warmers or catalytic hand warmers are another type of hand warmer that typically uses a catalytic conversion process. These hand warmers, such as the range of Zippo A-frame warmers, use lighter fuel as a source to safely convert into heat.
They can last up to 12 hours and will need to be refilled. Refillable warmers are great, as they can last all day, but the shape of the heater cannot be molded to fit into a hand; so if you are holding it, it might feel awkward to carry it all day.
To learn how to refill a catalytic hand warmer, check out this video:
Single-use or disposable hand warmers will likely be the solution for the average person. The best disposable hand warmers produce heat by chemical reactions. They are usually provided in airtight pouches that uses the air to oxidize the reaction and create heat.
The duration of heat output will vary depending on the specific reaction but these single use hand warmers typically provide heat between 5-10 hours. These are great because they last for most of the day and can easily be placed in gloves and pockets to help keep your body warm.
This video teaches you how to use single-use hand warmers:
Reusable hand warmers use the heat produced from a solid agent changing into liquid state. These are typically warmed in a microwave and are great around the house.
Electric hand warmer gloves are another type of hand warmer that uses batteries (or chargers) to power and heat elements inside of gloves. These have several advantages, as you do not need to hold your warmer and can move about more easily. They can be a bit pricier than the other types of hand warmers.
One potential downside is if you need to do something where you cannot use gloves, such as using a smartphone screen, or something that requires use of fine motor skills with your fingers. Electric hand warmers will also need to be recharged and batteries replaced as needed.
The market is filled with certain types of hand warmers that are specifically designed to save energy or prolong heat production. These may include energy flux hand warmers, catalytic hand warmers, hand-shaped hand warmers, and more.
Check out some unique uses for hand warmers in this video:
When choosing a hand warmer, you should first consider your needs. You should determine how long you plan on being outdoors and what will you be doing. The best hand warmers for hunting will not be the same as the best ones for tailgating a sporting event.
For hunting, you may want to choose a hand warmer that will not need to be recharged or refilled as you are likely to be away from your basecamp for long periods of time.
Portable electric heaters can be great, but if you need to have access to your hands, you may opt for using gloves or single-use hand warmers. If you are out for a hike or trek you may not want to carry a refillable hand warmer or worry about losing a more expensive hand warmer.
You might also consider having access to batteries or a method to recharge or refill your heater. Electric and refillable might be great options for tailgating or sitting around a bonfire, but they might not be the best option if you will not have easy access to refilling or recharging.
While most heaters can last a substantial amount of time, the last thing you want is your heater to die and not have easy access to a refill or recharge. Overall, you should choose a hand warmer that meets your needs and fits into your budget.
HotHands Hand Warmers are great option for disposable, single-use hand warmers. The value pack comes with 40 pairs that have a shelf life for up to 10 months depending on the date of purchase. These hand warmers can provide up to 10 hours of heat ranging from about 100°F to 180°F for its heat range.
They are packaged in and outer layer that activates as it is exposed to air and they take about 10-20 minutes to reach their optimal temperature when reacting to air. These hand warmers are disposable and very portable and easily fit inside gloves, pockets, or bags. Their active ingredients include iron powder, water, salt, activated charcoal and wood fiber.
Another great feature is that they're safe for the environment. Compared to other hand warmers, they are quite inexpensive.
The Zippo 12-hour hand warmer is a refillable, catalytic hand warmer that uses lighter fuel as its energy source. It safely converts lighter fluid into heat that can last up to 12 hours.
To use, you simply fill the hand warmer with lighter fluid and use an open flame to light it. It smolders and produces heat. First you fill it up, let it stand upright for 2 minutes put the catalyst cap on and light it.
Once you see the red embers, put in its pouch and use it accordingly. It weighs about 1.6 ounces and its dimensions are 3.9 x 0.5 x 2.6 inches. While this is great to hold or for pockets and small areas, it may be difficult to carry if you need to make use of your hands.
This product seems ideal for camping, fishing or other outdoor events where you can easily refill it if needed.
EnergyFlux Ellipse Rechargeable Hand Warmer is an electrical and rechargeable hand warmer that doubles as a charger for phones and other small devices. It has two temperature modes set to 107°F and 118°F and warms on both sides of the unit. Its dimensions are 3.46 x 2.5 x 0.98 inches and weighs about 6.94 ounces.
This hand warmer has a 5200mAh battery and can provide up to 6.5 hours of heat on low and up to 5 hours of heat on high.
The EnergyFlux Ellipse is a great hand warmer option for camping and other outdoor activities. One button controls and turns the unit on and also switches from low to high heat.
The manufacturer recommends this product be charged often to prolong battery life and it is likely not suitable for extreme weather as it is recommended to keep the product shielded from the cold. It includes a Micro USB charger but no power supply.
These fleece-lined and battery-operated heated gloves are a great way to keep your hands warm during the cold winter months. They use 3 AA batteries and have a simple on and off switch. On average, they provide about 3 hours of heat before the batteries need to be switched out.
Their style is unisex but they're quite large and bulky, which can be great for sledding or snowboarding. However, if you need to be able to use your hands while using these warmers, then these gloves are probably not the best option for you. They do have an elastic band around the wrists which help keep your hands dry and warm.
Because they are weather proof and a bit bulky they are great for deicing windshields. Their cost is about as much as a handheld electric warmer. They are limited on settings as they have only one heating option.
SMOKO Wearable Fingerless Toast Hand Warmers actually rests on top of your hands leaving your fingers free. These hands warmer include two rechargeable battery packs and two USB charging cables. The cables plug in a computer or a USB power supply for charging at home or can be used with a USB power bank for charging on the go.
Their battery pack is fully charged in one to two hours. A full charge lasts for 3-4 hours on the “Warm” setting, or 2-3 hours on the “Very Warm” setting. The dimension. Each hand warmer is about 5.5” high x 5” wide x 2” thick, and covers the top of the hand, but only weighs about 2 oz , 3.6 oz. with battery packs.
These are great for outdoor social activities like sitting on a patio or around a fire, but are probably not suitable for outdoor sporting activities like hunting or hiking.
After comparing the pros and cons of each hand warmer, the best hand warmer and clear winner for the average person is HotHands Hand Warmers. Simple, convenient and can fit into almost any glove, pocket, bag or even socks and boots. They last up to 10 hours with each single use and do not need batteries or to be charged.
Compared to other hand warmers, these are inexpensive and can be purchased in small batches or large value packs, not to mention they have a shelf life up to 10 months. They can be used for almost any outdoor activity, ranging from social activities like tailgating, to sporting activities like hunting, fishing, skiing, and hiking. The HotHands are easily the best hand warmers of 2018.