rechargeable hand warmer

Reusable Hand Warmers: How They Work, and Which Ones We Suggest

Reusable hand warmers are getting some deserved buzz. Are they better than the old, one-use kind?

There's something about my hands, feet, and chest feeling cold that makes low temperatures the bane of my existence. It's especially true for my hands. If you see me asking people to "Feel how cold my hands are!" just know that I'm probably ready to go back inside.

Thankfully, someone eventually got tired of me complaining about my cold hands and bought reusable hand warmers. I've loved them ever since. Reusable hand warmers are perfect for hunters, hikers, ice anglers, or anyone that's outside on a cold day. These hand warmers provide hours of heat and will keep your hands nice and toasty to tough it out through the fall and winter months.

How Do Reusable Hand Warmers Work?

Many use an internal metal disc for activation. Once you snap the disc, sodium acetate releases instant heat.

HotSnapZ warmers, for example, are sodium acetate hand warmers. They contain water, a small metal disc, and sodium acetate, a food-safe salt ingredient.

The sodium acetate is dissolved in the water when it's first boiled, and it remains dissolved as a supersaturated solution. Pressing the metal disc releases the compound, along with the energy it took to store it, which exits as heat.

This process is infinitely reusable, and most rechargeable hand warmers that don't use a battery operate this way.

How Long Do Reusable Hand Warmers Last?

Knowing how long a set of reusable hand warmers will last depends on a few factors. Most reusable round heat packs will only last an hour before they need to charge again in boiling water. However, some hand warmers that run on rechargeable batteries can last up to eight hours with a full charge.

That's the general range we found among the different claims, meaning you'll want to pay attention to the longevity of the hand warmers you go with before purchasing.

Here are some examples of what you can find and procure easily with a few quick online searches.

Best Hand Warmers

1. Hot to Go Reusable Heat Packs

Sometimes mittens just don't cut it. Each Hot to Go hand warmer has an internal disc for activation. Snap it, and your feel it start to heat up in seconds.

Keep them in your coat pockets to keep your hands toasty in cold temperatures.

2. Zippo Refillable Hand Warmers

This reusable hand warmer is a bit different. You'll need to keep the gadget filled with lighter fluid, but it will provide heat for 6-12 hours. As long as you don't mind handling lighter fluid, it won't be a hassle.

This isn't a bad deal for $16.97. You'll be able to reuse it all winter long.

3. Lukang Electric Hand Warmer

There are four different heat settings. This Lukang hand warmer will last at least four hours on a full charge. It has a maximum temperature of 131 degrees Fahrenheit.

The long-lasting hand warmer can also be used as a power bank. Charge your devices by connecting it to the hand warmer with a USB cable. Recharging is quick!

4. HotSnapZ Hand Warmers Reusable Round & Pocket Warmers

Want to ditch the fancy heating gadgets with chargers? No worries. HotSnapZ works like the Hot to Go hand warmers. To reheat, you'll need to boil them in water for about 15 minutes. They're non-toxic, but they only last about an hour. Keep a couple in your jacket pockets.

5. OCOOPA Rechargeable Hand Warmers

I'm definitely a fan of these OCOOPA rechargeable hand warmers. You can use the port also to charge your phone! These are great stocking stuffers because there's still plenty of cold winter nights after Christmas.

If you're not sure which ones to go with, consider how long you'll need it. For short commutes, I'd go with HotSnapZ or Hot to Go. For longer outdoor activities, I'd go with a rechargeable warmer like Zippo.

Although HotHands hand warmers are a bestseller among hand warmers, they aren't reusable, but you can buy a 40-pack of disposable hand warmers on Amazon from HeatMax.

Do your toes also suffer in cold weather? Toe warmers and foot warmers are also available, and yes, they'll fit in your hunting boots. As an added bonus, if you really want to keep your feet toasty, you'll love heated socks.

All of these things can help avoid the shivers this time of year. Which ones would you use?

Visit Amazon for heating pads, tent heaters, and more.

Editor's Note: Products featured on Wide Open Spaces are independently selected by our editors. However, when you buy something through our links, we may earn a commission.

This post was originally published on December 13, 2019.