Reviews You Can Rely On

The 5 Best Hand Warmers

We put hand warmers from HotHands, Zippo, Tundras, and more through head-to-head testing to see which were the toastiest and longest-lasting
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Best Hand Warmers Review

Our Top Picks

By Liv Mertens ⋅ Review Editor  ⋅  Aug 18, 2023

In preparation for dropping temperatures, we researched 30 of the best hand warmers and bought 6 top contenders to analyze in our side-by-side testing. We were determined to find the best hand warmers for anyone looking to spend hours on the ski slope or just walking to the bus stop. We performed a series of tests that revealed which products were the warmest, lasted the longest, and fit the best into your outdoor lifestyle. We used a thermometer to determine the temperature of each accurately. We considered warmth, sustainability, and size, giving you all the information you might need to decide which hand warmer is right for you.

If you're looking to stay warm in cold climates, our in-depth reviews of the best electric blankets, best space heater, and even our favorite heating pads can help keep you cozy indoors, and we've tested the top touchscreen gloves, so you can stay warm (and connected) outdoors in frigid weather.


The Best Hand Warmers


1

Best Overall Hand Warmers


HotHands Long Lasting


Max Warmth: 120 F | Duration at Max Warmth: 9.5 hours
REASONS TO BUY
Small size fits into gloves or boots
Lasts all-day
REASONS TO AVOID
Not reusable

If you ski, climb, or even live somewhere it snows, you're probably familiar with HotHands Long Lasting warmers. While we were excited to test the reusable products in our lineup, it quickly became clear why these classic hand warmer packets are so popular. Each packet is small, doesn't need to be recharged, re-filled, or boiled, and will last a long time. The biggest advantage this product has over its competitors is its size. It is a perfect size for your boot, glove, small pocket, or even your climbing chalk bag. It also comes in a pair to have one for each of your hands or feet. To activate them, pull them out of their packaging and shake them. They are portable, disposable, and easy to use, making them our favorite choice for long, chilly days outdoors.

Despite advertising 10 hours of warmth, we find that HotHands usually runs out of heat between 9 and 10 hours. These compact warmers are great for an in-the-glove option, but their small size detracts from their heat prolongation. We also would have liked it if this model was somehow reusable.

hand warmers - the iconic hothands are great for runs in the cold or a day on the...
The iconic HotHands are great for runs in the cold or a day on the slopes.
Credit: Liv Mertens

2

Best Bang for the Buck


Tundras Hot Hand


Max Warmth: 122 F | Duration at Max Warmth: 10 hours
REASONS TO BUY
Small size fits well in any glove, mitten, or boot
No charging or re-filling required
Easily activated
REASONS TO AVOID
Not reusable

Whether you're just keeping your pockets warm or your boots toasty, the Tundras Hot Hand disposable warmer can help keep you warm for hours for a very reasonable price. This is a great product for skiing and snowy hikes because it is small but maintains its heat for a long time. This product is advertised to provide at least eight hours of warmth, but it can stay above 90 degrees Fahrenheit for up to 10 hours if kept in a moderately protected spot, like your pocket, and frequently shaken. Each packet can heat up in a quick five minutes and stay above 110 degrees for eight hours. This is a great budget option for outdoor enthusiasts and casual dog walkers.

Our biggest complaint with the Tundras Hot Hand is that they're disposable instead of rechargeable or reusable. Once the initial heat reaction wears off, this single use-product goes into the trash. It's so toasty that it is hard not to want to use it on every cold occasion, but breaking open a new pack so frequently isn't sustainable.

hand warmers - the tundras hot hand stays warm for 10 hours, which makes them great...
The Tundras Hot Hand stays warm for 10 hours, which makes them great for long days.
Credit: Liv Mertens

3

Longest Lasting Rechargeable Handwarmer


Beskar 7800mAh Rechargable


Max Warmth: 128 F | Duration at Max Warmth: 4.5 hours
REASONS TO BUY
Extra-long 7800mAh battery
Doubles as a battery pack
Three heat settings
Rechargeable
REASONS TO AVOID
Large size
Can't warm both hands simultaneously

The Beskar 7800mAh Rechargable is an environmentally friendly option for a long-lasting rechargeable warmer. This product also uses a portable battery pack to charge your phone or another device. The advantage of this particular rechargeable warmer is that it has a larger battery that helps it last longer than other rechargeables. You can feel it heat up in seconds; it only takes three minutes to reach a hot 128 degrees Fahrenheit. This product would be a good option for short camping trips, long hiking days, or regular around-town activities.

At 4.6 inches long and 2.6 inches wide, the Beskar 7800mAh Rechargeable is large. Unfortunately, that makes it less convenient than disposable models for more hands-on activities such as skiing, running, or hiking with poles. It remains warm for an extra-long time, but this rechargeable warmer doesn't get quite as hot as some of the other warmers in the class.

hand warmers - the beskar keeps our hands warm and can charge our devices.
The Beskar keeps our hands warm and can charge our devices.
Credit: Chris McNamara

4

Most Conveniently-Sized Rechargeable Handwarmer


OCOOPA Rechargeable


Max Warmth: 140 F | Duration at Max Warmth: 4 hours
REASONS TO BUY
Rechargeable 5200mAh battery
Easily fits in your palm
It can be used as a portable battery pack
Has three warmth settings
REASONS TO AVOID
Too big to fit into a glove or mitten
Only keeps one hand warm at a time

The OCOOPA Rechargeable warmer is ideal for the everyday commuter, dog walker, or hiker with its rechargeable battery and more convenient size. It is a great option for anyone living in colder climates who must be outside for an extended period, and it doubles as a portable battery bank. It is small and fits in your hand easily but still packs a punch and keeps you warm. On the highest setting, this product can get up to 140 degrees Fahrenheit in just minutes but maintains steady heat at around 135 and can maintain this temperature for about four hours on its highest setting. We found this warmer very efficient and loved taking it with us on dog walks and in the car in the morning.

The OCOOPA Rechargeable warmer comes with a small velvet sleeve, supposedly to keep the warmth in, but we found that the product is much warmer without the sleeve by about 10 to 20 degrees. This also would not be the choice product for skiing, running, or climbing, because it doesn't store away easily under your gloves, socks, or chalk bag. Not to mention, you need regular access to an outlet to keep this baby warm.

hand warmers - the ocoopa warmer fits in your palm nicely and doubles as a portable...
The Ocoopa warmer fits in your palm nicely and doubles as a portable battery pack.
Credit: Liv Mertens

5

Best Refillable Flame-Powered Hand Warmer


Zippo 12-Hour


Max Warmth: 105 F | Duration at Max Warmth: 12 hours
REASONS TO BUY
Provides 12 hours of warmth
Reusable with lighter fluid
REASONS TO AVOID
Doesn't get as hot as others
Requires additional pieces to operate

The Zippo 12-Hour warmer is a refillable fuel-powered warmer that lasts all day, making it ideal for wilderness excursions, winter camping, or bitter-cold hunting trips. This backcountry warmer runs off lighter fluid and is ignited with a lighter. It is reusable, as long as you have some lighter fluid, and is slim so that it will fit nicely in your pocket. This is a great product for backpacking or days in the cold because you don't need to recharge it at an outlet or dispose of it when you're done. It lasted for a full 12 hours.

The Zippo 12-Hour warmer is a great choice when you're already carrying other gear or equipment, but it may not be the best for traveling fast and light. It requires extra supplies like lighter fluid, a small fluid applicator, and a lighter. You're probably already carrying these items on an extended camping or hunting trip but may find them burdensome on a shorter day trip. Also, this model doesn't get as warm as other contenders, reaching only about 105 degrees Fahrenheit during our testing. However, this product maintained its heat nicely as long as it was kept in a pocket in the small velvet warming bag, providing consistent all-day warmth.

hand warmers - the zippo 12-hour warmer comes with a small funnel to insert lighter...
The Zippo 12-hour warmer comes with a small funnel to insert lighter fluid, but does not come with lighter fluid.
Credit: Liv Mertens

6

Reusable Packs Good for 20 Minutes


Hot to Go Reusable Heat Packs


Max Warmth: 130 F | Duration at Max Warmth: 20 minutes
REASONS TO BUY
Heats up quickly
Gets very warm
Reusable
REASONS TO AVOID
Doesn't last long

We loved the concept of the Hot To Go Reusable Heat Packs warmer. It's offered in two different sizes, is disposable yet reusable, and heats up incredibly fast to a hot 130 degrees. This product works through a chemical reaction in which the gel packet will stiffen as it heats up, and as it becomes completely hard, it cools down. To reuse it, you stick the product in boiling water, which should turn the warmer back to gel.

Although the Hot To Go Reusable warmer does get hot fast, it works better as a heat pack for a sprained ankle or a chemistry experiment than a cold-weather hand warmer. Unfortunately, the two different sizes don't equate to more or less warmth — they both offer about the same amount of warmth for about the same amount of time — and although the product advertises 30 to 40 minutes of warmth, we found 20 minutes was closer to the mark. We also found that after the first use, if not boiled properly, the hand warmer can become hard and thus unusable if exposed to really cold temperatures, which is not what you want in sub-freezing conditions. However, this product might be an excellent addition to your first aid kit and could be great as a form of heat application on sprains and strains.

hand warmers - hot to go warmers get super warm super fast. only last about 20...
Hot to Go warmers get super warm super fast. only last about 20 minutes. are great for quick heat.
Credit: Liv Mertens

Why Trust GearLab


We started by researching the options available before making our selection and purchasing the test fleet seen in this review. Testing involved assessing factors like maximum temperature and duration of warmth. We took these products with us on all our winter adventures and used them around the house and town, charting how fast each product heated up and how long it took them to cool off. The outdoor accessories team focused on four main factors: warmth, sustainability, size, and special features, while considering useability and function. All of these together gave us a comprehensive picture of each product.

Head tester Liv Mertens loves spending time outdoors, whether that means snowboarding, skiing, running, climbing, or just walking the dog, but one thing she has never been good at is dealing with the cold. For years she has been working on ways to stay warm outdoors when it is cold because she knows that activities are more enjoyable when you are comfortable. Over the years, hand warmers have become an important part of her warmth assembly, and she has learned what to look for.

Simply squeeze and shake the disposable warmers to activate the heat.
Simply squeeze and shake the disposable warmers to activate the heat.
Hot to Go warmers come in two sizes.
Hot to Go warmers come in two sizes.

Analysis and Test Results


By doing some research and taking the products out on our adventures, we learned the advantages and disadvantages of each warmer and where each product performed the best. We found some warmers were better for city life, some for long days on the trail, and others were ideal for the slopes. We loved the concept of rechargeable and reusable products but found them to be much bulkier and less convenient than smaller disposable ones. We found that the warmer the product, the better, but in colder climates, even just 100 degrees Fahrenheit is usually enough to feel warm. We also came to appreciate the simplicity of the accessory, as these little pockets of warmth were designed to make our day in the cold easier, not more complicated.

Warmth


To test the warmth of each product, we created a chart, tracking each warmer's temperature from the moment it was turned on till it was under 90 degrees Fahrenheit. We used an infrared thermometer to take measurements every minute on the minute for the first 5 minutes, then every 5 minutes until 30 minutes, and then every hour on the hour to see how fast the products heated up and then how long they could maintain that heat.

hand warmers - these are the three rechargeable products from hottest to coolest:...
These are the three rechargeable products from hottest to coolest: Saferell (previously tested), Ocoopa, and Beskar.
Credit: Liv Mertens

For warmth, we found that, in general, the warmer the product, the shorter the heating duration. Conversely, the OCOOPA Rechargeable runs a bit cooler, but lasted longer than some of the hotter options that burned out quickly. We also found that the product that heated up very quickly (in under a minute) tended to burn out first. The Hot To Go Reusable warmers get hot in seconds but burn out at about 20 minutes.

hand warmers - hot to go warmers get very hot but only last about 20 minutes.
Hot to Go warmers get very hot but only last about 20 minutes.
Credit: Liv Mertens

The disposable products and the Zippo 12-Hour warmer ran the coolest, the disposables coming in at 120 degrees Fahrenheit and the Zippo 12-Hour only at 105 degrees. However, these are the products with the best single-use sustainability.

Sustainability


Sustainability was a combination of two factors. We looked at both reusability and duration of warmth for a single use. Although disposable warmers such as the HotHands Long Lasting and the Tundras Hot Hand are not reusable, they typically last a very long time. They, therefore, have great single-use sustainability but lack good multi-use sustainability. To test sustainability, we charted each warmer's warmth every hour until its temperature dropped below 90 degrees. On certain products, such as Hot To Go Reusable, we found it pertinent to test the second-use warmth and sustainability. We were not completely surprised to find that the duration and the temperature decreased in the second use of this product. We were ultimately disappointed with the sustainability of the Hot to Go Reusable warmer, as it only lasted a short 20 minutes and didn't work as well as advertised during subsequent uses.

hand warmers - hot to go warmers are great for quick heat and have instructions for...
Hot to Go warmers are great for quick heat and have instructions for reuse printed right on the back.
Credit: Liv Mertens

In general, our findings for this performance metric revealed that the hotter the temperature, the shorter its life. Most of the reusable products fell into this category, except for the Zippo 12-Hour warmer. This product has the best overall sustainability. It not only lasts a full 12 hours but also is reusable as long as you have lighter fluid.

hand warmers - the zippo warmer has great single use sustainability, lasting 12...
The Zippo warmer has great single use sustainability, lasting 12 hours, and is reusable!
Credit: Liv Mertens

If you want a more modern, rechargeable product and need it to last a while, we suggest the Beskar 7800mAh.

hand warmers - the beskar 7800mah rechargeable (right) and the ocoopa (left) offer...
The Beskar 7800mAh Rechargeable (right) and the Ocoopa (left) offer good sustainability for rechargeable warmers.
Credit: Liv Mertens

Size


When considering the size of the products, we were specifically looking at portability, weight, and how the different sizes translated into different uses. The rechargeable products trend on the larger side, allowing the user to hold them in both hands, while the disposable ones are smaller, making it easier to store them under your gloves or in your pocket.

Although both disposable, non-reusable products are conceivably appropriate for mittens and boots, the HotHands Long Lasting warmers run smaller than the Tundras Hot Hand warmers in both width and length, making them a more comfortable fit in the

hand warmers - the tundra and hothands warmers are the best size for long days and...
The Tundra and Hothands warmers are the best size for long days and hands on activities.
Credit: Liv Mertens

When considering the size of the rechargeable products, we liked the size of the OCOOPA Rechargeable warmer because it fits nicely in one hand. The other two rechargeable warmers would be a better size for someone looking to place both hands on the product at once. However, if you plan to take your rechargeable warmer on walks around town with you or in a jacket pocket, the smaller size of the OCOOPA warmer is an advantage.

hand warmers - the ocoopa is a convenient size that easily fits in your hand.
The Ocoopa is a convenient size that easily fits in your hand.
Credit: Liv Mertens

Special Features


Our special features section focuses on anything extra the products have to offer. Some warmers, for example, can double as a battery pack for charging small accessories such as a phone or blue tooth headphones. We also included extra points for any rechargeable product in this metric. The rechargeable warmers that offer portable battery capabilities get extra points because they double as a portable battery pack and are easily rechargeable at any outlet. It is incredibly handy to have an extra battery pack in this day and age, and even better if it doubles as something to keep your hands warm. Although this extra feature makes the rechargeable products bulky and cumbersome, the extra girth could be worth it if your phone dies quickly or you just frequently forget to charge it at night.

Not all rechargeable warmers are created equal. The Beskar 7800mAh Rechargeable is slightly more convenient as a portable battery pack because it has a built-in USB port, whereas the OCOOPA Rechargeable does not. Instead, it includes an adapter attachment in case you need to plug in a phone, which is not very useful if you forget the attachment at home or, worse, lose it.

hand warmers - the ocoopa warmer includes an usb adapter to charge your phone on...
The Ocoopa warmer includes an USB adapter to charge your phone on the go.
Credit: Liv Mertens

Conclusion


Depending on your lifestyle and priorities, each product offers certain advantages. The larger rechargeable products are generally a better option around town, especially since they double as battery packs. In contrast, smaller disposable ones are the option for outdoor activities. Most of the products did their job well, although some were more versatile. Ultimately, which of these winter accessories works for you depends on how and where you want to use them.

Liv Mertens