Cold weather gadgets: Reusable pocket warmers: gadgets for cold hands in winter

With fall comes the cold and with the cold comes frosty fingers.

Cold weather gadgets: Reusable pocket warmers: gadgets for cold hands in winter

With fall comes the cold and with the cold comes frosty fingers. Even with the best blood circulation, at certain temperatures there are only two things that can help against tinkling hands: firstly, gloves. Unfortunately, they are annoying in certain situations, for example when you want to send a message on your smartphone. Second, it helps to bury your hands deep in your jacket or coat pocket. It only becomes really cozy for your paws with reusable pocket warmers that also heat up your hands. Nice side effect: the heat also radiates onto the body.

When choosing a pocket warmer, you have three options: The classic crystal warmers filled with sodium acetate, which liquefy again when boiled and can be used around 500 times. Alternatively, rely on electric pocket warmers. Their advantage is that they heat significantly longer and offer different heating modes, but are not as environmentally friendly compared to crystal warmers because of their batteries. And then there are Zippo hand warmers that heat with gasoline.

Let’s take a look at electric pocket warmers first. They are likely to attract most buyers, even if they are more than twice as expensive as the salt crystal kink warmers. The reason for this is probably that electric pocket warmers also function as a power bank that charges your smartphone when your fingers are already warm. Practical!

It starts with a pocket warmer set from the manufacturer Buicxjz. Luckily, handling the two heating elements is easier than pronouncing the manufacturer's name. By the way, it promises up to eight hours of heating power per bar, albeit at the lowest level at 45 degrees. Of course, the higher you set the pocket warmer, the faster the battery will melt. In addition to 45 degrees, the two bars also offer 50 and 55 degrees of heating power. Nice: There are flashlights on both bars, which are quite useful in the dark season. The two pocket warmers hold onto each other using a magnet. It's a shame: You can't use the reusable pocket warmers as a power bank for your smartphone, even if the battery, according to the manufacturer, has a capacity of 10,000 milliamp hours and is certainly capable of doing so.

If you're looking for a pocket warmer with an integrated power bank, this model from Eggorise might fit the bill. Unfortunately, it doesn't offer a flashlight and can't be divided into two pocket warmers, but according to the manufacturer, the 10,000 milliamp hour battery will charge your smartphone when needed. If your phone is not charging, the manufacturer promises up to 15 hours of heat. Of course, this only applies at the lowest temperature, because the pocket warmer offers three temperature settings: 45, 50 and 55 degrees.

The hotter you set it, the faster the battery will melt. This puts it in line with the first pocket warmer. Important: A USB-C cable is included in delivery. For example, if you have an iPhone with a Lightning port, you will need a corresponding cable to charge the smartphone on the reusable pocket warmer. But it also offers a USB-A socket, which is why you can also use the iPhone charger cable for this.

The last electric reusable pocket warmer in comparison combines almost everything from both worlds: It is a set of two pocket warmers that you can use to charge your smartphone. What's missing is the flashlight. The manufacturer promises a battery charge of 5,000 milliamp hours per pocket warmer. At the lowest level, this should guarantee eight hours of warmth. Of course, this pocket warmer also offers different temperatures, again these are the already familiar 45, 50 and 55 degrees and again the running time decreases the higher you set the temperature. If you only need one pocket warmer, the two sides hold together with magnets. You can connect your smartphone's charging cable to a USB-A socket to charge it. Important: Only one charging cable for the pocket warmer is included in delivery.

Let's move on to the reusable pocket warmers that work with water-salt mixtures. There is usually a mixture of sodium acetate in the hand warmers. This is a crystallizing salt. The mixture is non-toxic. The trick behind the crystal warmers is that the salt crystals dissolve in the water when heated and remain dissolved (i.e. liquid) when they cool. They store the heat energy and only release it when the salt-water mixture is disturbed by the metal plates buckling. As a result, they crystallize again. You already guessed it: In order to dissolve the crystals again, they have to be heated. This can be done with boiling water. Please keep lighters or other heat sources away from the pocket warmers.

The set of two from Lifesystems is a very simple pocket warmer. According to the manufacturer, you have to leave the two warmers in boiling water for about eight minutes to dissolve the salt crystals in them. If you then bend the small metal plate, the pocket warmers will provide warmth for around 45 minutes. This is of course little compared to electric pocket warmers, but they also take significantly longer to fully charge. The pocket warmers do not offer different heat levels. According to the manufacturer, their heat output is around 54 degrees.

Same principle, different motif: If children's bags and hands want to be warmed, these penguin bag warmers will help in winter. Of course, they work in the same way as the pocket warmers from Lifesystems. So you need to "warm up" the penguin warmers in boiling water. When the metal plate clicks, the salt crystals are released and release the heat. The manufacturer does not reveal how long the pocket warmers keep you warm or at what temperatures they do so. However, it can be assumed that they will be as warm and long as the pocket warmers from Lifesystems, i.e. around 54 degrees for three quarters of an hour.

If you're looking for a small Secret Santa gift for a person with cold hands, these pocket warmers might be suitable. They work in the same way as the other two crystal warmers in comparison, but impress with their Christmas motif. However, in a set of four, the “adult” hand warmers are slightly more expensive than the penguins.

If neither crystals nor electric pocket warmers are an option for you, Zippo has a hand warmer that heats with oil. The design of the hand warmer is of course somewhat reminiscent of the manufacturer's iconic lighters. You will also need a lighter to use the hand warmer. Because it uses the same fuel as a lighter, it is particularly suitable for Zippo owners. Its handling is obviously more complicated and somewhat more dangerous than the other hand warmers because it needs to be filled carefully and the gasoline in it burns slowly.

According to Zippo, the hand warmer provides up to twelve hours of warmth once filled. This puts it by far at the top of all warmers. However, you have to change the burner head if it burns out. Such a hand warmer does not belong in children's hands. And you don't want to put it in your bag carelessly either. It's always safer to hold it in your hand while it burns. Also, be sure to only fill the Zippo warmer when it stops burning! For real outdoor freaks, the Zippo hand warmer is probably the best choice.


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