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Updated on September 22, 2022 at 11:24 am
Hand warmers are one of the wonders of the modern world. They come in low-tech and high-tech designs, but all of them offer a comfortable glow of heat that warms the fingers for cold hands. Almost all hand warmers are small enough to fit in coat pockets, but some are small enough to fit inside gloves and boots. You can buy them in disposable and rechargeable models, and with a variety of options such as USB connectivity.
Hand warmers are classic hunting gear, but they’re also perfect for winter golfers, sports enthusiasts who spend long hours in the bleachers or stadium, and people with cold hands who still want to hike and walk outside. Think about where and how you will use the hand warmers and adapt the model to your activity. There is no reason to suffer from frozen toes anymore.
Features to consider when shopping for the best hand warmers
Hand warmers are designed for any outdoor situation and for any person entering the cold. Catalytic models will keep your hands very warm in extremely cold conditions. Rechargeable hand warmers provide instant warmth—a plus if you want warm hands as quickly as possible. Disposable heaters are easy to use and you can store them in different places. A fuel burning hand warmer will run for up to 12 hours. For even more comfort, try some of our warm recommendations for hunting gear.
Which hand warmer provides a high level of reliable heat?
When you need your hand warmer to go the distance and put out intense heat that warms your palms and fingers for hours, consider a catalytic hand warmer like the Zippo Hand Warmer. Think of them as the original rechargeable hand warmer, using a lighter fluid or similar type of fuel to ignite a catalytic burner, which then heats the metal hand warmer for a consistent, super-roasted effect. Some people worry that fuel-based hand warmers aren’t safe, but they’ve been around for decades and you can be sure they’re great for outdoor use.
A catalytic hand warmer requires refueling, but once ignited, it burns for hours. Slipped inside a fabric bag, they offer a nice, old-fashioned twist on the cold fingers and hands problem. They are a classic piece of hunting and ice fishing equipment.
Best Catalytic Hand Warmer: Zippo Refillable Hand Warmer
A sleek and slim design helps this hand warmer fit into small pockets. Zippo
With a burn time of 12 hours, this is one of the longest lasting hand warmers you can find. One downside of the catalytic hand warmer is that there is no “off” button, so once you turn it on it will stay warm until you run out of fuel. But the good thing is that this hand warmer puts out a lot of heat. And it’s more environmentally friendly than conventional heaters.
What are the advantages of a rechargeable hand warmer?
The new high-tech USB rechargeable heaters are very functional indeed. They excel at their primary task: delivering long-lasting heat to warm cold hands. But the circuitry inside the housing also allows USB hand warmers to charge smartphones and other small electronics. This means you can carry fewer items on the golf course, hunting or fishing camp, or on a winter hike.
A USB rechargeable hand warmer also turns on quickly, going from stone cold to roasting hot in seconds. Most models heat both sides of the unit to double the heating effect. And with a small size and clever design with curved surfaces to hug the palms of your hands, you’ll be able to easily charge a smartphone and warm your hands in the same pocket.
Best Rechargeable: OCOOPA Rechargeable Hand Warmer
Three levels of heat
A one-button design activates the hand warmer and cycles through three heat settings, so it’s easy to use with gloved hands. OCOOPA
If you’re wondering if hand warmers are worth the money, a USB rechargeable hand warmer answers the question by being able to handle two jobs at once. With a 5200 mAh charging capacity, this hand warmer doubles as a smartphone backup battery. And with three heat levels (95-107°F, 104-118°F, 118-131°F) available with just a few button clicks, customizing heat output is extremely easy. And the rechargeable nature of this hand warmer makes it environmentally friendly because there’s nothing to throw away.
Are disposable hand warmers worth it?
Sometimes you just want a quick, easy, and inexpensive hand warmer that you can slip into your pocket, or even inside a glove, to keep you warm on a winter walk around the neighborhood or at an outdoor sporting event. Disposable hand warmers get the job done. They’re cheap, easy to use, easy to carry, and will keep the harsh winter temperatures from turning your hands into blocks of ice.
Disposable heaters are easy to use because they start heating up when you open the package and expose the contents to the air. They take a few minutes to warm up and don’t last forever. But for long hours they will provide a nice source of heat to warm your hands and take the chill off your cheeks. And you can keep hand warmer packs in your vehicle for emergency use. Of all the heaters out there, disposable hand warmers are the easiest to use.
Best available: Heated hand warmers
A slim design allows you to place these hand warmers inside shoes, boots and gloves. HotHands
You won’t find a more convenient and easy-to-use hand warmer. These inexpensive hand warmers are activated by exposure to air, so all you have to do to turn them on is open the package and give the hand warmer a shake. They last up to 10 hours and provide a constant source of heat so you don’t have to fiddle with buttons or other settings. And because they’re so small, you can put them where you need them – under the toes inside winter boots, inside the palms of gloves and inside pockets where they provide a warm place to warm frozen toes.
Which hand warmers will keep working all day?
A hand warmer that provides hour after hour of warm heat for cold hands is a boon for people who spend a lot of time outdoors. Long-lasting hand warmers are just the ticket for hunters and anglers who spend cold mornings and afternoons away. They are also perfect for golfers and sports enthusiasts who are on the links or in the stands for those mid-winter games or long football games.
If you are looking for a quality hand warmer that will last for 8, 10 or even 12 hours, a fuel burning hand warmer may be your best choice. Filled with lighter fluid, the best of these hand warmers can last for 12 hours—enough time to keep your hands toasty from sunup to sundown or during longer matches of golf ever. With a Zippo hand warmer you get a brand with decades of experience creating quality products that burn safely, with minimal odor and a warmth that fills your gloves and pockets.
Best Durability: Zippo 12-Hour Hand Warmers
Long term warmth
This Zippo hand warmer comes with a convenient custom cup for spill-free refills. Zippo
It’s hard to beat the comforting warmth exuded by such a timeless classic. This long burning hand warmer is easy to use, with a set it and forget it design. Fill up with fuel, light the burner, replace the lid and you don’t have to think about it for hours upon hours of warmth. The Zippo Hand Warmer is small enough to fit in almost any pocket and you don’t have to throw away the plastic wrap every time you use one.
What is a good cheap hand warmer?
If you’re looking for an inexpensive hand warmer, it’s hard to beat an affordable model. You can buy them in bulk, but they’re also available in single packs for users who just need a few for an upcoming winter outing. Heaters available in a single package provide plenty of heat and hours of use. When you’re looking for a way to keep your hands or toes warm for a brisk walk or an outdoor sporting or arts event, a single pack of disposable hand warmers is the way to go.
Best Budget: Warm Hands Super Warm
Small but toasty
Easy to use and durable, this disposable hand warmer is good for a solid 18 hours. HotHands
This quick-set hand warmer checks off a lot of categories. It’s cheap, small enough to fit inside pockets and gloves, and the slightly bulky build means it’ll last and last – up to 18 hours. You can spend more on a hand warmer that you will use occasionally, or on multiple disposable hand warmer packages. But when you need a cheap and proven approach to keeping your hands warm, it’s hard to beat this Hot Hands model.
Frequently asked questions
Q: How long do hand warmers last?
Hand warmers will last for hours at a minimum. Some will put out heat for up to six hours, but more durable models will warm your hands and toes for 12 and even 18 hours.
Q: How do disposable hand warmers work?
Disposable hand warmers are cloth bags filled with an air-activated material. You take them out of the package, shake them to expose the material to the air, and they start heating up within seconds.
Q: Are Zippo hand warmers dangerous?
No, Zippo hand warmers are not dangerous! They’ve been around for decades, and these catalytic hand warmers don’t have an open flame. You can use them without worry.
A final word on shopping for the best hand warmers
It’s hard to beat a hand warmer for a quick and economical solution to cold fingers. Hand warmers come in both basic and high-tech models, so there’s no doubt you can find one within your budget. And if you want a warmer hand than you can do a little more, there are plenty of rechargeable options that can also power a smartphone.