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In the run up to our recent holiday to Lapland, I was like a woman possessed trying to find items that would keep us as warm as possible, and before I began my search I hadn't ever actually heard of hand warmers! I think I've been living in the dark ages because these are such a great little invention! You can find them for completely different prices, some for as cheap as £1, while some are more expensive at around £7 -8. I bought lots of different ones in the hope that some would work rather than buying loads of one particular brand and they be completely useless! I'm pleased to say that the ones I shall be reviewing were absolutely brilliant and really worked, to the point of almost making my hands too hot!
At around 3 inches square they are the perfect size to fit snugly in the palm of the hand, and as it contains two, you can put one in each hand. One is white and one is red, no particular reason for this, just to be different I guess, and each is shaped like a heart. Once warm, they do change colours to a clear and a pink.
In order to heat these warmers you will need to locate a silver circular disc inside the clear liquid by moving the liquid around. Once you have found it, you simply hold the metal disc with both hands and snap. The gel like liquid instantly solidifies and changes colour and this is when you will start to feel the heat. It is important not to snap the disc until you are ready to use them otherwise they will be wasted.
The warmers are filled with a clear liquid when cold, through which you can see a small metal circle. This is the thing you need to click in order to heat up the hand warmers. For the purpose of warming, they do work really well, at first giving off just a warm heat but quickly warming to quite hot. They don't burn so are safe to give to children but I would recommend placing them inside a pocket or if you have them, wear some inner gloves, place them in the palm and then put your normal gloves over the top. I found this the most effective way for me, but when I was using them it was around -30 in Lapland so much colder than if you were using in the UK on a winters day.
Bizarrely, despite them becoming crystallised once heated, they are actually reusable. I didn't actually realise this when I purchased them or I wouldn't have bought so many (over different brands I bought about 15 packs!). To reuse them, you simply boil them in a pan of boiling water and watch as the crystallised form returns back to its original gel like substance. Obviously a child shouldn't be doing this process and you do need to be really careful not only with the boiling water, but also with the pack when you have to take it out of the pan as the plastic casing feels fragile and hot. It does return back to normal though and you are able to start the process all over again the next time you need a little spot of heat. They should give you around 15 minutes of heat so they aren't going to be any good if you are freezing all day it they do warm you back up really quickly and I would take two sets (4 packs) with me if I knew we were going to be out all day and I had one for the morning and one for the afternoon.
In terms of usage this would have endless uses. As I mentioned I used mine for a trip to Lapland, but they could be used on any trip out in winter, or on a fishing trip or long walk. Anywhere! The small size means you can take them anywhere with you.
Expect to pay around the £5 mark but you will get endless amounts of usage out of them.
Following on from my last winter review it almost makes sense to review these heart shaped hand warmers. I bought these around two years ago when my work was mainly outdoors. Whilst this was wonderful in the summer it did create a bit of a problem in the winter, especially since I have poor circulation anyway.
What Are They?
These are around 3" square at their widest points. This pack of two contains two different hand warmers - one white, one red (although I do believe they are available in different colours if you shop around). When they are cool the white appears clear and the red a dark pink.
The warmers are filled with a clear liquid when cold, through which you can see a small metal circle. This is the thing you need to click in order to heat up the hand warmers.
For the rest of the review I shall refer to them as singular as they both work the same way and produce the same results.
This isn't anything special to look at, in fact it's made of a thin plastic so looks quite cheap and tacky but then it's going to spend its life either in my pocket or enclosed in my hand so this didn't bother me.
To heat it up you simply need to hold the metal circle and click it back and forth. How easy this is depends on where in the heart it is. If the metal circle is down close to the point of the heart or in one of the upper semi-circles this presented very little problem, the circle is easy to grab hold of and easy to click. However, if it's in the main body of the heart there's more fluid and more space for it to move around in therefore making it harder to get hold of in the first place and harder to keep hold of. Having said that it isn't unnecessarily difficult and it is fairly easy to push it into one of the corners.
As you start to click it, which incidentally should be done relatively quickly as I've found it works better like this, the liquid in the heart starts to turn to crystal. Quite how this works I'm not sure, I can only assume it's some kind of chemical reaction. The crystal starts to form around the metal circle and slowly spreads throughout the heart. This presents another problem if you're clicking it in a thicker part of the heart as the crystal really is quite solid so it gets hard to press through the crystal parts to get to the metal part.
As soon as the crystal starts to form you can feel it heat up. Initially it just feels like a little bit of warmth, not very convincing that it's going to be able to even keep your hands warm let alone warm them up when they're cold to start with. However, as the crystal begins to fill more of the heart it really does get quite hot. When fully heated I've even had to take my hands away as it was just too hot for me - it's not hot enough to burn so it's safe in that respect it's just a little on the hot side for me but this isn't really a problem as firstly I'd rather it get too hot then not hot enough and secondly I can always leave it in my pocket to heat that up meaning I have nice warm pockets to put my hands in and it does work well when used like this.
I've already given rough dimensions but for a better idea I'd say that my hands are about average sized - not large, but not small either, and this fits comfortably in the palm of my hand meaning I can either use one for each hand or just hold one between the palms of both hands.
They claim that this gives up to 20 minutes of heat - I'd say that this is a little on the optimistic side. It gives about 15minutes before it starts to cool down but once it's started to then it really does cool down fairly quickly, whether that's because it actually is or because I've just gotten used to the heat doesn't really matter to me; as far as I'm concerned I can get around 15minutes of decent heat from it. Having said that there are two in the pack so used one at a time you can get half an hours worth of heat from them.
Once used you simply need to boil them in order to turn the crystal back to the liquid. I do this in a saucepan over a medium heat. It did slightly concern me to start with as the plastic does get very soft and flimsy when boiled so it worried me that it would fall apart or rip easily but I'm happy to confirm that this isn't the case. I'm still cautious about doing too much with it until it's cool but simply boiling it, taking it out the saucepan and then leaving in on the side somewhere to cool presents no problem.
As for how often this can be used - as I said at the start of the review I initially bought mine 2 years ago and have used it most days both winters but they are showing very little signs of wear so I would say that you would easily get 3 years of use out of them at the very least.
Price, Availability And Recommendation
I bought mine from Hawkins Bazaar for £5.99, having just checked their website they still do singular packs of these for £4. However if you particularly wanted the double pack this can be bought online for around £4.95 (plus postage).
I have no problems recommending this, there are a few minor niggles that I discussed earlier in the review but this is all they are - niggles. There are no real problems with them and they do what they say - heat up in order to keep your hands warm. They are fully reusable and despite getting slightly flimsy this presents no problems and are therefore getting 5 out of 5 from me.
I just received my hand warmers this week, which came in a pack of two and love them already! I got mine from redeeming 2000 ipoints. They were delivered from iwantoneofthose.com. When I check the website to see how much these were they were £3.99. P&P would have been £2.49.
They are quite small only 9x9cm and rather flat. They work pretty brilliantly and can imagine myself using these an awful lot throughout the winter months! When unactivated the little squares are room temperature and feel soft and can be moved around abit. Mine are blue and orange.. rather cute I think!
There is a little metal disc inside each pack and in order to activate it you click the metal disc back and forth and within a few seconds you see the pack react. As it reacts you see the particles move and turn a less transparent colour. It would be white if it wasnt for the blue and orange outside case of the pack. The gel in the pack heats up while it does this and hardens a little bit aswell. The packs stay heated for about 45 minutes.
The heat that these packs give off are really good and not too warm and not too cold. Just right as goldilocks would say. Once the packs have lost their heat they can be re-used again and again! In order to re-use the pack they should be wrapped in a cloth and placed into boiling water for approximately 10-20 minutes. The inside pack will then be returned to gel with no visible crystals as it was origionally.
What I love about these little inventions are you can activate them whenever you like! You dont need to plug anything into any mains or be indoors or anything, you can have warmth on the go. OK, they could last longer than they do and could be larger but Im sure this is something that can be looked at when improving this product.
I would definitely say the inventor of this product were genius! Im definately very very happy with mine and would recommend them to anyone. You can put them in your pockets or put them by your bed incase you need that extra heat boost. Absolutely brilliant. Wish I had discovered them sooner!
Get some and get warm now!
I bought my 'heart hand warmers' from my work (Dunelm Mill) a set of 2, 1 clear and one red as in the pic cost me £1.99.
Various websites sell them too including Amazon for around £3-£4.
-------What do they do?
These little gel packs heat up without any electrics or anything, they stay warm for around 15 minutes and can be reset (I'll tell you how later) and used over and over again.
-------Why would I want one?
They are useful for any winter sports, a quick warm up in the middle of a snowball fight would be nice sometimes! I think they'd be good for trick or treating too to keep little hands nice and warm in this cold country! They'd be good for camping trips too.
-------How to use
Inside the little hearts are small curved metal disks, you can see them as the gel is clear. You 'click' the discs, by pressing the curved bit of metal so it turns almost inside out.
The heart then starts to warm up, it gets nice and hot but not bad enough that it could burn so these are ok for children to use under supervision.
--------'Resetting' the hand warmer
After 15 minutes of use the gel solidifys inside the heart, to use them again you need to to put the gel warmer in a pan of hot water and boil it for 15 minutes! This turns the cystallised gel back to liquid and you can start all over again....
You can do this forever, they never lose their effectiveness.
I used this heart initially at work after unpacking all the stock in the loading bay at work my hands were freezing, someone told me about these and I promptly grabbed a packet and it really is as easy as it sounds, 'Click' and your hands are warm for 15 minutes.
Another thing I have used them for is my headaches, usually a warm wheat bag helps my head but now I keep this in my bag and use it when my migraines start...it does feel nice and soothes my pain.
They are also available in other designs as I can't see many lads wanting a red heart! You can get footballs from Dunelm Mill and many other shapes online for different prices.
It took less than 15 minutes in a pan of boiling water to turn the crystals back to liquid, i'd say it took about 8-10 minutes so thats not a lot of work either.
I've done a bit of research as I was curious as to how it worked- the metal disk is suspended in a salty solution; when you click it it triggers a chemical reaction which produces heat. There is too much salt to dissolve in the liquid so it starts to crystalize....if that makes any sense!?
Thanks for reading x
Help keep the winter chills away.