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Updated Feb 8, 2023 4:43 PM
Hand warmers are one of the wonders of the modern world. They come in both low-tech and high-tech designs, but they all provide a comfy glow of finger-warming heat to cold hands. Just about all hand warmers are small enough to tuck into 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 that spend long hours in the bleachers or stadium, and folks with cold hands who still love to walk and hike outside. Think about where and how you’ll use hand warmers, and match the model to your activity. There’s really no reason to suffer from frigid fingers any longer.
The Best Hand Warmers: Reviews & Recommendations
Best Catalytic Hand Warmer: Zippo Refillable Hand Warmer
With a 12-hour burn time, this is one of the longest-lasting hand warmers you can find. One downside of a catalytic hand warmer is that there’s no “off” button, so once you fire it up it will stay warm until it runs out of fuel. But the upside is that this hand warmer throws out plenty of heat. And it is more environmentally friendly than disposable warmers.
Best Rechargeable: OCOOPA Rechargeable Hand Warmer
Three Heat Levels
A one-button design turns the hand warmer on and cycles through three heat settings, so it’s easy to use with gloved hands. OCOOPA
If you wonder 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 5200maH charge capability, this hand warmer doubles as a spare smartphone battery. And with three heating levels (95-107°F, 104-118°F, 118-131°F) available with just a few clicks of the button, customizing heat output is super easy. And the rechargeable nature of this hand warmer makes it environmentally friendly, because there is nothing to throw away.
Best Disposable: Hot Hands Hand Warmer
You won’t find a more convenient, easy-to-use hand warmer. These cheap hand warmers are activated by exposure to air, so all you have to do to fire them up is open the package and give the hand warmer a shake. They last for 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 place them where you need them–under your toes inside winter boots, inside the palms of gloves, and inside pockets where they provide a warm spot for heating up frigid fingers.
Best Long-Lasting: Zippo 12-Hour Hand Warmer
It’s hard to beat the comforting heat put out by such a timeless classic. This long-burning hand warmer is easy to use, with a set-it-and-forget-it design. Fill it with fuel, light the burner, replace the cap, and you don’t have to think about it for hour after hour of warmth. A Zippo hand warmer is small enough to carry in just about any pocket, and you don’t have to throw away plastic wrappers each time you use one.
Best Budget: Hot Hands Super Warmer
Small but Toasty
Easy to use and long-lasting, this disposable hand warmer is good for a solid 18 hours. HotHands
This quick-to-deploy hand warmer checks off a lot of categories. It’s inexpensive, small enough to fit inside pockets and gloves, and the slightly oversized build means it will last and last—up to 18 hours. You can spend more for a hand warmer that you will use time and time again, or for multiple packs of disposable hand warmers. But when you need a cheap, proven approach to keeping hands warm, it’s hard to beat this Hot Hands model.
Features to Consider When Shopping for the Best Hand Warmers
Hand warmers are made for every outdoor situation, and every person venturing into the cold. Catalytic models will keep your hands very warm in extremely cold conditions. Rechargeable hand warmers provide instant heat—a plus if you want warm hands ASAP. Disposable warmers are simple to use and you can keep a stash of them in various places. A fuel-burning hand warmer will run for up to 12 hours. For even more comfort, try some more of our stay-warm recommendations for hunting gear.
What Hand Warmer Provides a High Level of Reliable Heat?
When you need your hand warmer to go the distance and pump out solid palm-and-finger-warming heat for hours, consider a catalytic hand warmer, such as a Zippo hand warmer. Think of them as the original rechargeable hand warmer, using a lighter fluid or a related type of fuel to fire up a catalytic burner, which then heats the metal hand warmer for a long-lasting, super toasty effect. Some people are concerned that fuel-based hand warmers aren’t safe, but they’ve been around for decades, and you can be assured that they’re great for outdoor use.
A catalytic hand warmer does require filing with fuel, but once they’re lit, they burn for hours. Slipped inside a fabric pouch, they provide a nice, old-school twist to solving the problem of cold fingers and hands. They’re a classic piece of hunting gear and ice fishing gear.
What are the Advantages of a Rechargeable Hand Warmer?
New high-tech USB rechargeable warmers are true multi taskers. They excel at their primary task: Pumping out long-lasting heat to warm chilly hands. But the circuitry inside the housing also allows USB hand warmers to charge smartphones and other small electronics. That means you can carry fewer items on the golf course, to the hunting or fishing camp, or on a wintry hike.
A USB rechargeable hand warmer also fires up quickly, going from stone cold to toasty warm in seconds. Most models heat up both sides of the unit, for double the warming effect. And with a small size and smart design with curved surfaces to hug the palms of your hands, you’ll easily be able to recharge a smartphone and warm your hands in the same pocket.
Are Disposable Hand Warmers Worth It?
Sometimes you just want a quick, lightweight, cheap hand warmer that you can slip in a pocket, or even inside a glove, to keep you warm on a wintry walk around the neighborhood or at an outside sporting event. Disposable hand warmers get the job done. They are cheap, easy to use, a snap to carry around, and they’ll keep nippy winter temperatures from turning your hands into blocks of ice.
Disposable warmers are simple to use, because they begin warming when you open up the package and expose the inner contents to air. They take a few minutes to warm up, and they don’t last forever. But for long hours they will provide a pleasing source of heat to warm your hands and take the chill off your cheeks. And you can keep packages of hand warmers in your vehicle for emergency use. Of all the warmers out there, disposable hand warmers are the easiest to use.
What Hand Warmers Will Keep Working All Day?
A hand warmer that provides hour after hour of warm heat for cold hands is a blessing for folks that spend lots of time outdoors. Long-lasting hand warmers are just the ticket for hunters and anglers that spend cold mornings and afternoons afield. They’re also perfect for golfers and sports enthusiasts who are on the links or in the stands for those mid-winter matches 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 could be your best choice. Filled with lighter fluid, the best of these hand warmers can go for 12 hours—ample time to keep your hands toasty from sunrise to sundown, or through the longest golf matches ever. With a Zippo hand warmer you get a brand with decades of experience crafting quality products that burn safely, with minimal odor, and a glove- and pocket-filling warmth.
What’s a Good Cheap Hand Warmer?
If you’re looking for a cheap hand warmer, it’s hard to beat a disposable model. You can buy them in bulk quantities, but they’re also available in single packs for users who only need a few for an upcoming winter outing. Single-pack disposable warmers provide plenty of heat output and hours of use. When you’re looking for a way to keep your hands or toes warm for a quick walk or an outside sporting or arts event, a single pack of disposable hand warmers is the way to go.
Q: How long do hand warmers last?
Hand warmers will last for hours at a minimum. Some will pump out heat for up to six hours, but the longest-lasting models will warm your hands and toes for 12 and even 18 hours.
Q: How do disposable hand warmers work?
Disposable hand warmers are fabric pouches filled with an air-activated material. You remove them from the package, give them a shake to expose the material to air, and they begin to warm 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, economical solution to chilly fingers. Hand warmers are made in basic and high-tech models, so there’s no doubt you can find one within your budget. And if you want a hand warmer than can do a bit more, plenty of rechargeable options exist that can also fire up a smartphone.