There's nothing worse than getting out in the cold and winding up with freezing cold hands; even the best winter gloves can still let some of the chill through. Some people will just grit their teeth and carry on, while others will take to burying their hands in the warmth of their armpits and jump up and down on the spot.
If neither of these options appeals to you, then there's another solution, and that's to carry a pair of hand warmers with you. They're always very compact items and will happily fit within a jersey pocket without adding much weight to your load.
Here are some of the best hand warmers you can get.
Opt for reusable hand warmers to reduce waste
The most popular and commonly used hand warmers are often single-use, which means buying a bulk box of multiple pairs and throwing them away immediately after they've done their job. If this doesn't sit well with you, then you'll be glad to know that these heat packs from Hot to Go are reusable, and therefore much better for the environment.
They're easy to use and fast-acting, you just snap the pad and hold it in your hands, or slip it inside your gloves for immediate relief from the cold. They can reach temperatures up to 129F though, so be careful not to overdo it.
To reuse them, you just drop them into boiling water, and they'll reset.
These warmers provide up to 18 hours of heat
If you need something that's going to keep you going for hours at a time - perhaps you're bikepacking, camping or competing in an ultra-endurance event - these hand warmers from HotHands will last up to 18 hours. This makes them perfect for keeping you warm overnight, plus they can double up as a heat patch to treat any tight muscles you may experience.
You shouldn't apply these directly to skin, so be sure to wrap them in something first if you want to slip them inside your gloves. They also take from 15-30 minutes to fully heat up, so bear that in mind if you think you're going to be desperate for relief. You may wish to plan ahead.
A great starter pack if you don't want to spend a lot
Perhaps you're new to all this and don't feel like investing in a massive pack of 40 hand warmers before you know they'll do the job as you want them to.
In which case, this pack of 10 will do nicely: much the same as all other hand warmers, they work by activating a heat element when you snap them, and can reach very high temperatures within 15-30 minutes, so don't hold them next to your skin.
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