5 Great Gadgets to Keep Hands and Feet Warm

Updated on June 28, 2019
Beth Eaglescliffe profile image

I like to get outdoors whatever the weather. Here are some tips to stay warm and comfortable in cold weather.

There must be a better way to warm up frozen fingers!
There must be a better way to warm up frozen fingers! | Source

Five Pocket-Sized Feet and Hand Warmers

  1. Single Use Hand and Feet Warmers.
  2. Reusable Chemically Activated Heat Warmers.
  3. Battery Operated or USB Rechargeable Electric Gadgets.
  4. Lighter Fuel Hand Warmers.
  5. USB Heating Slippers.

Two types of hand warmers - disposable to the left and reusable to the right.
Two types of hand warmers - disposable to the left and reusable to the right. | Source

1. Single Use Hand and Feet Warmers

Single use warmer pouches consist of two chemicals that are inert (stable and non-reactive) until they're mixed together. They are packed separately in sealed compartments within a larger cover. To activate the pack, you simply break the seal between the two compartments and an exothermic chemical reaction occurs. Exothermic is a scientific term that means heat is produced as a by-product of the chemicals mixing together.

There are many commercially produced single use warmers available. I particularly like Hot Hands hand warmers. These are convenient to use and cost less than a dollar each. They can be popped inside your socks too to use as toe warmers.

If you like doing DIY, you can make your own single use hand warmers using Calcium Chloride and water. The video below shows you how.

DIY Instant Hand Warmers

2. Reusable Chemically Activated Heat Warmers

If you're likely to use hand or feet warmers on a regular basis then it's cheaper to buy reusable ones (and better for the planet.) Reusable chemically activated warmers work on the same principle as described above, i.e. an exothermic chemical reaction is used to produce heat as a result of a liquid being turned into a solid. I like the EZ Heat Reusable handwarmer. Although it costs a bit more upfront, in the long run it works out cheaper than the single-use, disposable type.

Reusable handwarmers work by producing exothermic chemical reactions. A solution of sodium acetate crystallizes into a solid producing 130 degrees Fahrenheit in 5 seconds. Activation is carried out by flexing or bending a small metal disc within the pack. The sodium acetate is returned to its liquid form by boiling it in a pan of water for 10 minutes. The video below demonstrates how simple it is to activate and reactivate.

Review of EZ Reusable Hand Warmers

3. Battery Operated or Rechargeable Electric Gadgets

If you don't like the idea of carrying chemicals around in your bag, then you may prefer battery operated hand and feet warmers. These are a similar size to the chemical versions and have the benefit of having the option of variable heat levels (usually high or low heat). They can be connected to a USB charger of a conventional wall plug so they are convenient for travelers.

You can also get socks designed to keep your feet toasty warm inside wellington boots or similar. Lectra Wader Sox are great if you need to be outside in winter. They have a tiny pocket in which you put a small cell battery. The warmth is spread through the sock fabric like a foot shaped electric blanket. They are ideal for outdoor activities like hunting, fishing, hiking, and sporting events.

Feet and hand warmers can be useful on outdoor vacations and camping holidays.
Feet and hand warmers can be useful on outdoor vacations and camping holidays. | Source

4. Lighter-Fuel Hand Warmers

The Zippo brand, well known for making lighters, also makes a hand warmer device. It works on the same principle as its cigarette lighters. It consists of a catalytic burner which needs lighter fuel for combustion.

The small metal container easily fits inside your glove or pocket. It is compact and discreet and is reusable by refilling it with lighter fuel. The burning fire is completely enclosed and the smouldering heat generated by the device lasts for up to twelve hours (depending on the size chosen).

5. USB Heating Slippers

Last, but not least are USB heated slippers. These are great as they can be powered up from any USB point (like your laptop or PC.) The power cable on the One Size Plush USB Electric Heating Slippers is nearly 2 meters long so you can sit a little distance away from your power source. The slippers can be safely worn as they are being charged. They look just like standard furry slippers and when switched on will remain stay at a cozy temperature of 42 degrees.

USB slippers are also made as fun uni-slippers like the pair below. Two feet in one pocket makes you less mobile, but good for an evening in front of the TV.

USB heated plush uni-slipper. Great for people with cold feet.
USB heated plush uni-slipper. Great for people with cold feet. | Source

Other Uses for Pocket-Sized Heat Warmers

Although mini heat warmers are designed to be put inside gloves or shoes they can be used for many other things. Here are a few suggestions.

1. Use them to dry out wet walking boots overnight. Put one in each damp boot before you go to bed. Your boots will be warm and dry when you wake up next morning.

2. Place a couple of warmers in the foot area of your sleeping bag when camping outdoors. They will help keep your feet warm overnight.

3. Use them as a heat pack to soothe sore muscles and aching joints.

4. Warm up a pair of cold slippers with a heat pack before you put them on your bare feet.

5. And I'm sure your pet cat or dog would love a warmer pack placed in their bed in wintertime too!

You may need more than a hot drink and an open fire to keep toes warm on a cold day.
You may need more than a hot drink and an open fire to keep toes warm on a cold day. | Source

Warming Gadgets Can Help You If Your Car Breaks Down

All of the suggested hand and feet warmers operate without the need for a mains power source. They are a good "extra" to add to your winter car emergency kit. Along with a snow shovel and thermos flask, having a means to keep your fingers and toes warm could help you get through a car break-down on a cold night.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.


Submit a Comment
  • WritingInRichmond profile image


    4 years ago

    This is great information. The DIY Instant Hand Warmers are going to be on my list of projects to get ready for the cold weather. Also, the EZ Heat Reusable Hand Warmer are awesome! Didn’t know these existed … will be swinging by REI to get some. Thanks again. Voted up!

  • annart profile image

    Ann Carr 

    4 years ago from SW England

    Love the idea for drying wet boots and for warming sleeping bags.

    Useful hub packed with all the info we need!



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