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Handwarmer comparison

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 

I just wanted to relay the experience I had with 3 different sets of hand warmers yesterday.  It was super cold so it was time to break them out.  I usually stock up on them at the beginning of the ski season and had three different brands in my box on the shelf: Little Hotties, Hot Hands, and Grabbers. 

 

My adult daughter and I were on the slopes at 9:30 and had opened up a couple pairs (actually one set each for under out neoprene boot glove covers and one set each for our gloves). 

 

It was so cold that we came in for a break (which turned into lunch) a little after 11am.  She told me that her warmers were dead (little hotties).  The Hot hands were only slightly better (in our boots)... but the Grabbers in my gloves were raging.  Without thinking about the brand I gave her another set (not Grabbers, but I forget) and we set out again and skied til 2:30. Her hand warmers were about gone by that time.  My grabbers were still going strong. Ok. We were done. 

 

And so we got home about 7pm and I took the Grabbers and put them on the night stand. About 9pm I went to throw them away... STILL WARM!!!!  

 

I am in no way connected with any product whatsoever and probably wouldn't have even bothered writing this except the difference was so profound that I thought I'd let folks know. Until yesterday I thought "a hand warmer was a hand warmer".  I cannot be certain of the age of any of them nor can I tell if age matters, but I can tell you that theses three sets were purchased within the last year at Costco, Marshalls and TJ Maxx, only paying attention to the sale price for what I thought were similar products. All I can say with absolute certainty is which brand worked better for us YESTERDAY in bitter cold (-3F)

post #2 of 11
Without knowing the expiration date on each, this tells me nothing. Expiration date is key.
post #3 of 11
There are a bunch of brands on these things. For example, L.L. Bean sells them under their own label. I wouldn't be surprised if it turned out that they were all made identically in one or two factories.
post #4 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by sibhusky View Post

Without knowing the expiration date on each, this tells me nothing. Expiration date is key.

And that's not the only variable. I found from the same package (box) that it works better sometimes than others. The amount of oxygen they get is important. They also need to be warm in the first place to stay warm. Taking them out of your gloves is a sure way to make them not work.

 

Not to disregard your test, but I wouldn't trust it unless it was done at least a dozen times.

post #5 of 11

I am using 5 hour Little Hotties toe warmers, purchased at Costco last season and they work fine. I have found the occasional dud with both these and another 8 hour brand.

post #6 of 11

I try to open them up about 20 minutes before skiing to get them hot.  If you take them out of the package and stuff them into the glove pocket they don't get enough O2 to get rolling.  The reaction is basically iron oxide (RUST).

 

I take them out again at lunch to get a kickstart to the reaction again.  Then I put them in my pocket for the 3-4 hour drive home.  Sometimes they are still hot 4 hours after a 6 hour ski day.

 

If the packaging is compromised in any way, they'll be duds no matter how old they are.

post #7 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by DanoT View Post
 

I am using 5 hour Little Hotties toe warmers, purchased at Costco last season and they work fine. I have found the occasional dud with both these and another 8 hour brand.


Wish I could say the same. Most toe warmers I've had have been completely useless. Like there's not enough stuff in there. Foot warmers, on the other hand, work great! But they're expensive...

post #8 of 11
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by sibhusky View Post

Without knowing the expiration date on each, this tells me nothing. Expiration date is key.

You are absolutely correct. I hadn't thought to look. In fact I didn't even realize they had a prominently displayed expiration date. Thanks for asking.   All expire late 2018.  

post #9 of 11

even within expiration date, it seems it's batch-to-batch dependent, and as mentioned above, you get duds

post #10 of 11
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpikeDog View Post
 

I try to open them up about 20 minutes before skiing to get them hot.  If you take them out of the package and stuff them into the glove pocket they don't get enough O2 to get rolling.  The reaction is basically iron oxide (RUST).

 

I take them out again at lunch to get a kickstart to the reaction again.  Then I put them in my pocket for the 3-4 hour drive home.  Sometimes they are still hot 4 hours after a 6 hour ski day.

 

If the packaging is compromised in any way, they'll be duds no matter how old they are.

We used them pretty much as you describe here. Opened them up as we put on boots. Took them out at lunch for O2.  Packing is fine. No apparent problems with these or the additional packages in my closet. 

 

The LH and HH warmers worked ok initially. Just short lived. I guess I was totally surprised by the  Grabber. Those things just kept blazing for over 10 hours. This one pair was really much hotter than the others.  Not sure if any of this will be consistent, but we will try again on the next very cold day. 

post #11 of 11

We have experimented a bit (and not scientifically). Our experience generally seems similar to the OP's - Grabbers seem run warmer and longer. Like I said, just casual observation. Could be batch related.

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