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Hand Warmers? Need Help

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
 Hello,

My name is Matthew Schuman and I am a senior at Carthage College working on a senior project business plan. I have a patented heat storage material that I plan on incorporating directly into gloves, hats, socks etc. This material would then be heated in the microwave and would supply heat for about 4 hours. I was wondering if you could answer a few questions regarding hand warmer use.

Do you use handwarmers?
What kind do you use?
What do you like about them?
What would you change?
Would you be willing to spend more on a rechargeable hand warmer?
Any other insight and advice would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks
post #2 of 10
I've occasionally used the common hand-warmers (these things) that you find in every ski-shop in the country.  They feel nice and toasty warm in the lodge when you're exposing them to air, but they never seem to do much to my hands once I've gone back outside.  Some people swear by them, so I guess they work for some.

As for spending more...  you can already apparently get them for $1 if you buy in bulk from the above web-site.  Not sure what they go for in the ski lodge.

How are you going to re-charge them?  I've been in lots of ski lodges over the years, and I don't recall ever seeing a microwave oven available for public use.
post #3 of 10
The places i go to have microwaves in the cafeteria. But, if you are charging them at home, driving to the hill and then using them, four hours may not be enough time.

We use "those" hand warmers all the time. buy in bulk by the box from Costco online at about .50 per pair. i swear by them. when your hands are warm, everything seems warm.

Your product would have to be easy to use to compete. If you could charge them up in a car lighter plug, that might be better than the microwave. you don't want to start your day searching the lodge for a nuker to charge your gloves. Just a thought.
post #4 of 10
for years, I thought I had horrible circulation in my hands because they would always get cold.  I'd buy warmer and warmer gloves and they didn't help.  Then I found that the cheapest pair of gloves was the best...why? My hands were TOO warm!
I sweat a lot in my hands and after a little bit, the gloves became damp and my fingers started to freeze.

The moral of the story is that it's more important to keep your hands dry.  As long as they're dry, a decent glove and energy exerted while skiing should be plenty to pump blood to the fingers to keep them warm.

Your idea for a glove would actually make things worse for me.  I would end up putting gloves on that were too warm to begin with so my hands will start sweating immediately, therefore accelerating the process of my hands getting cold.  All my gloves eventually get wet though, so I usually carry an extra pair with me when skiing so I can switch them out halfway through the day.  I will also try to dry them off in the bathroom hand dryers as much as possible.  

If you could come up with an idea of creating a glove that will absorb and remove moisture away from the fingers or can dry quickly, that may be very useful.
post #5 of 10
post #6 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by mschuman88 View Post
Do you use handwarmers?

What kind do you use?
What do you like about them?
What would you change?
Would you be willing to spend more on a rechargeable hand warmer?
Any other insight and advice would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks

I don't use handwarmers but I use the foot versions - the same brand noted above but for boots.  I have ridiculously warm mitts so don't need handwarmers.

They are a bit of a pain because they can scrunch up but as long as I get them in right and I put them in at least 5 minutes before going out, they seem to work well - and I live in eastern Canada where it is VERY cold.

Not sure if I'd pay more for a rechargeable one.  If I was convinced that it would work, then probably.  

I'm also skeptical about the microwave recharging.  Partly because 4 hours may not be enough if that time starts when I leave my house.  And because I can't imagine that ski resorts would be okay with me sticking stinky gloves or socks into the microwave that other people are heating food in. Car lighter would be good but it wouldn't last you the day and at most resorts you have to park so far away that you couldn't conveniently go back for a recharge at lunch.

I'm intrigued by the hat warmer idea although not sure how well that would sell as I don't usually have a cold head.  But maybe a warmer head would equal warmer all over?  

Interesting concepts though.  And good luck.  Remember that most successful inventors hear lots of reasons why their product won't work.  

Elsbeth
post #7 of 10
I use the same type of thing as kevin F... They are very easy to use.  Your design might be hard because of the microwave aspect but if it wasnt too much more expensive I would try it.  I also like you design because it would help your fingers too and my handwarmer dosn't usually go that far down.
post #8 of 10
1) I have used them.  

2) I have used the ferrous chemical variety.

3) I like that they are cheap and easy to find.

4) They should last longer and the heat should be more gradual, not the infernal heat all at once that I sometimes experience.   They should also be less bulky and more bio-shaped.

5) I have considered electrical heated glove liners and innersoles.   They should not cost much, the hardware and technology is jokingly simple, so simple in fact that I might just make my own rather than buy them....its a matter of principle.

6) I think that a true breakthrough would be a heating system that is self-charging.   Batteries run out, chemicals fully oxidize, more often than not well before your skiing day is up, if someone could incorporate an affordable system whereby some of the abundant free kinetic energy involved in skiing is captured and stored for use by the heating elements, then they will win the game.
post #9 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by mschuman88 View Post

I have a patented heat storage material that I plan on incorporating directly into gloves, hats, socks etc. This material would then be heated in the microwave and would supply heat for about 4 hours.

Stitch it into boot bags.   Most drives to the hill are shorter than 4 hours.
post #10 of 10
my productive response,

I use electronic footbed warmers in my boots, they are attached to the insoles and work brilliantly. 

the only thing i would change is the size of the battery pack.  its about the thickness of 3 double A's.  If it was thinner it would be less obtrusive and this i would enjoy.  Also, It only heats the toes. 
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