Whether your fingers get cold easily or not, conditions require the use of reliable hand-warmers. A lot of people use them on those cold winter nights but any survivalist or hiker will swear by them in an emergency.
So, it doesn’t matter how well your blood circulates there is always a good reason to carry hand warmers when you’re out in the snow or walking the dog in winter. To help you to stay warm when gloves just don’t give you enough warmth, we have created a list of the best hand warmers available. There are some that usual unusual techniques but all of them are safe and do a great job of providing some great warmth, and fast.
Quick Summary of the Best Hand Warmers
- Editor’s Choice: HeatMax Hot Hands 2 Handwarmer (40 Pairs) (Amazon) – Review
- Best Refill Hand Warmer: Zippo Refillable Hand Warmers (Amazon) – Review
- Best Rechargeable Hand Warmer: Human Creations EnergyFlux G3 Rechargeable Hand Warmer (Amazon) – Review
- Best Variety: HotHands Toe, Hand, & Body Warmer Variety Pack (Amazon) – Review
- Also Consider (Best Rechargeable) : Fourheart Hand Warmers,5200mAh Portable Pocket Mini Power Bank (Amazon) – Review
Editor’s Choice: HeatMax Hot Hands 2 Handwarmer (40 Pairs)
These are the best hand warmers in terms of convenience and value and in the 40 pairs you’re going to find a lot of uses for them. Not only are they easy to pack into a camping bag for a weekend away but they completely safe and give off a heat that takes around 15-30 minutes to reach maximum temperature. When you feel the heat is decreasing you only need to give it a shake in the air to activate it once again.
They are single-use but won’t harm the environment so are fine to throw into your regular trash. What is most impressive is that they last a long time giving you up to 10 hours at a time. This is more than enough to use to warm your hands when fishing, dry those wet socks and boots, or whatever else you need to use them for.
Best Refill Hand Warmer: Zippo Refillable Hand Warmers
Let’s face it, Zippo knows heat inside out and in this refillable hand warmer that is available in different designs, they can help to keep you toasty time and again. The fill cup is wide enough so spills are less likely so when it comes to refueling you can do so in confidence.
The thin design allows it to fit into pretty much any pocket to warm your hands and when lit (you’ll need a flame to get it going) it provides a gentle warmth that isn’t overbearing. With the tank full it will provide around 11 hours of heat which is hard to beat. There are a few downsides such as the smell of lighter fluid that can sometimes occur but once you get used to it you’ll find it is one of the most reliable hand warmers available.
Best Rechargeable Hand Warmer: Human Creations EnergyFlux G3 Rechargeable Hand Warmer
Human Creations hand warmers have a reputation of being some of the most reliable and the EnergyFlux G3 is one of their most popular models. It has been designed to rest comfortably in your palm and takes around 4 hours to fully charge. When it is ready to go it can be used as a power bank via the USB port or for the two heat settings including either 107 F or 117 F.
There is a 1-year guarantee included but it feels robust enough to give you the confidence that you won’t need to return it. On the low heat setting, you get 4 hours of heat and on the high setting, you have around 3 hours of constant warmth to enjoy. This isn’t the longest heat going but you only need to stick it on charge to use it again.
Best Variety: HotHands Toe, Hand, & Body Warmer Variety Pack
When you need a bit of warmth for more than your hands, this variety pack from HotHands has proven to be an effective solution. Disposable and completely safe although they are best kept away from the skin the pack features different size warmers so you can warm up more than your hands when the time comes.
They take 15 – 30 minutes to heat and can be thrown in the trash when you are finished as they are not harsh on the environment. The pack gives you around 214 hours of heat combined and has a shelf life of 3-4 years. To activate, you simply shake the packet after removing the outer packaging and can choose from hand warmers, toe warmers, and body and hand warmers.
Also Consider (Best Rechargeable) : Fourheart Hand Warmers,5200mAh Portable Pocket Mini Power Bank
If you’re looking for a reasonably priced electric hand warmer then this is one of the best. It is easy to recharge via the USB port and takes 2-3 hours but this also means it can also double up as a power bank should you need some extra charge for your phone. T
here are plenty of safety features that prevent it from overcharging, overheating, and prevents short circuits. What is most impressive is that it warms within 1-3 seconds and comes with 3 adjustable heat settings – so choose between 107 F, 118 F, and 131 F. At the press of a button, it will provide a stable heat and warms both sides of the device and is shockproof thanks to the durable outer. The battery lasts between 4 – 8 hours depending on what setting you use.
Hand Warmers Guide
Great for any situation whether you are creating a survival kit at home or want to take a trip outside in the colder months, hand warmers are those ideal, easy to use gadgets that can stop you from getting numb fingers.
Where a pair of gloves just isn’t enough, a quality hand warmer can make a massive difference and there are plenty of techniques that different companies use to create instant warmth. Some of them are better than others and to identify a reputable brand you need to know what a good product should be capable of. This is why we clear everything up in the following guide.
What To Look For In Hand Warmers
Ease of Use
There is little point in buying hand warmers that require so much human interaction to operate that they leave your hands getting colder and colder. The best products are easy to use and take little prior knowledge or interaction. Some might feature a simple click activation to get the chemical reaction going whilst others are a little more complicated.
Some of the electric hand warmers are too bulky to fit inside a glove. This is fine as a coat pocket usually has more than enough space to accommodate them. Still, if you are going on a long hike or camping trip you don’t want it to weigh you down and it must be easily stored so look for a product that isn’t the size of a brick.
A hand warmer is only going to be worth buying if it gives you a decent run time and keeps you warm for more than a few minutes. The best hand warmers are those that can stay warm for several hours and anything that ranges between 5 – 10 hours is seen as a good amount of time by most. This gives you the chance to use them throughout the night when camping or for the duration of a cold walk.
Some decent products heat fast and conveniently but don’t last much longer than 2 -3 hours and whilst they are limited in what they can be used for, they are good for walking the dog or a cold walk to the shop.
You don’t need a hand warmer that is warm enough to fry an egg but if it can generate enough to warm your hands to the point where you have to put on gloves just to hold them then you’re onto a good thing.
The benefit of electric hand warmers is that they often have adjustable settings so you can tailor the heat and reduce it when your hands start to warm.
This isn’t as much of a problem with disposable hand warmers because if they don’t work then you can just grab another. For reusable hand warmers, you will want something that lasts. This means they have to be made from durable materials, give off reliable heat and not be impacted by the cold conditions to the point where they stop working.
Some electric hand warmers can be impacted by the cold and moisture so look for a product that provides some protection from the elements.
Different Types of Hand Warmers
If you’ve used one type of hand warmer before you might believe it is the only one available but there are a few that have proven popular and effective. The most common are as follows:
These tend to be the cheapest of the different types which means you can buy them in bulk and get good value. They are lighter than reusable hand warmers which makes them great for packing at the bottom of your bag when camping. For some people, they don’t warm up fast enough and they don’t maintain high levels of heat for as long.
Using a chemical reaction that oxidizes iron powder they are easy to use but can take up to 20 minutes to reach a good amount of heat. A lot of people will forgive this because some brands can fit inside a glove with ease.
These are a good option for anyone who lives in a colder climate as they can be used time and again. A lot of the time they can be charged via USB and whilst this usually takes several hours, they are convenient if you have charged them the night before. You usually get a decent amount of heat from them and most are compact enough to go in your pocket.
Sometimes, electric hand warmers can be a little temperamental and can break when they come into contact with moisture but if you find a quality product it can last you years.
A catalytic hand warmer requires some human interaction to get it going which can be a little challenging when your hands are numb. However, they run off lighter fluid making them cheap to operate, just remember to keep a source of flame handy to get them going. They are reliable once they are running but the maintenance can put some people off.
Different Uses of a Hand Warmer
Although the name hand warmer suggests that they have only one use but a lot of people find some clever ways to get the most out of a hand warmer including the following:
Drying wet socks and boots – When you’re walking through streams or trekking in the rain you might set up camp but need a quick way of ensuring you can put them back on the next day. Handwarmers make a great way of warming them up until they dry.
Warming A Sleeping Bag – Even if you have bought a well-insulated bag the night can be colder than expected. Using a hand warmer or two to make things nice and toasty can make the night more bearable.
Warming Food and Drink – Sat around a dying campfire and in need of a little warmth for your meal or coffee? A handwarmer can provide a solution to putting your warm drink on a cold ground.
Emergency Body Heat – Anyone who has fallen into a freezing stream or is starting to suffer from hyperthermia will need immediate warming and attention. Hand warmers can offer a quick solution to warm different parts of the body as you wait for the emergency services.
Give Some New Life To Your Batteries – Sometimes a battery might stop working because of the cold and all they need is a little warming to squeeze some extra life out of them.