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Celestron Elements FireCel+
The best hand warmer
Its ease-of-use and a long runtime make this warm-enough hand warmer our choice for daily excursions.
The Celestron Elements FireCel+ is easy-to-use, long-lasting, and its rounded shape is easier to hold than other warmers. While it takes longer to charge than our other picks, it’s also the only model we tested that can charge an external device and warm your hands simultaneously. But it does run cooler than most rechargeables, topping out at 103 °F—which is cooler than our other picks, but still kept our hands plenty warm.
Max temperature: 101 °F average; 103 °F maximum
Run time: 7 hours, 25 minutes
Charging time: 6 hours, 20 minutes
Weight: 3.5 ounces (99 grams)
Battery capacity: 5,200 mAh
Zippo 12-Hour Refillable
Best catalytic hand warmer
Zippo’s 12-hour hand warmer ran nearly four times as long as other models, averaging 21 hours in our tests.
If you need a really long run time or the ability to reload your hand warmer when you don’t have access to electricity, we recommend the Zippo 12-Hour Refillable. It’s a catalytic hand warmer that runs on lighter fluid and requires a flame to get started. It reaches the same temperatures as our rechargeable pick and runs for an average of 21 hours—longer than anything else we tested. The catch? Refueling is more of a hassle than simply plugging it in, and you can’t safely turn it on and off; once you’ve turned the Zippo on, it operates until it runs out of fuel or oxygen.
The Zippo 12-Hour is 3.9 by 2.6 by 0.5 inches and weighs 2.6 ounces. It comes with a carry pouch, and has a two-year warranty.
Max temperature: 105 °F average; 110 °F maximum (recorded at room temperature)
Run time: 21 hours, 48 minutes
Charging time: about 5 minutes to refill
Weight: 2.6 ounces empty; around 3.5 ounces full
Capacity: about 0.9 ounce of lighter fluid
They’re inexpensive, small enough to fit into a glove, and reach temperatures as hot as our main pick.
If you need a hand warmer for only a few days a year, if you work with your hands outdoors during winter, or if you want something to keep in an emergency kit, the HotHands are for you. They’re cheap, lightweight, and get warm enough to keep your hands comfortable outdoors. At less than 70¢ a pair at the time of publishing, they are easy to find in pharmacies, grocery stores, and major retailers. And if you work with your hands outdoors (like recreation workers and mail carriers do), the business-card-sized warmers are small enough to slip into a winter glove without impeding routine tasks. They reached 118 °F and lasted almost six hours in our tests, which is hot enough and long enough for most outdoor activities. Because they’re disposable, you can’t reuse or recharge them like our other picks, and you’ll have to open a new packet for every use.
Max temperature: 112 °F average; 118 °F maximum
Run time: 5 hours, 58 minutes
Weight: 1.6 ounces per pair
Source: The NY Times
Keyword: The Best Hand Warmer