Zippo Hand warmer
Walking Accessories and Gift Ideas
Product Review / Walking Gear Test
Walking Accessories and Gift Ideas
Guarantee: Limited 2 year guarantee. Catalytic burner unit is not guaranteed.
Colours: Chrome. Black. Can be engraved.
Sizes: 9 cms x 7cms
Features to Note:
The Zippo Hand Warmer is essentially a larger version of the Zippo Cigarette Lighter which was frequently used by smokers in the days when smoking was more popular. The idea is that you fill the Zippo Hand Warmer body with lighter fuel and then light the catalytic burner unit and put the top back on. The catalytic burner then heats up and you can hold it to warm your hands.
Zippo suggest that it can last for up to 12 hours but , in my experience, it's not possible to hold it for that long because it gets very, very hot pretty quickly.
Getting the lighter fuel into the Zippo Hand Warmer is very awkward. The unit has a curved base so it will not stand up on its own - so you either have to wedge it between your knees or get someone else to hold it. You pour the lighter fuel into the Zippo Hand Warmer via a plastic reservoir that's supplied with it - but this reservoir is so poorly designed that you cannot empty the last 10% of lighter fuel without getting it all over the sides of the base unit and your knees (or your companion). You (or your companion) are now covered in a flammable liquid just as you are about to create a naked flame - not a great idea! I tried pouring the lighter fuel directly into the main body but ended up covered in even more flammable liquid.
Once you have warmed your hands, extinguishing the burner is achieved by pulling the removable catalytic burner unit from the main body. If you thought the whole unit was hot, the catalytic burner unit is red hot (it has just been on fire after all) so you need gloves for this.
In order to light the Zippo Hand Warmer so it will heat up you need a naked flame source. The literature supplied suggest this is a Zippo Lighter(!) but I guess any cigarette lighter or box of matches will do. I gave up smoking in 1997 and haven't carried a lighter or matches since unless I am camping.
The Zippo Hand Warmer comes with a limited 2 year guarantee. (The catalytic burner unit is not guaranteed.) Zippo suggest the catalytic burner will last for between 70-80 uses. We have tried it once - but to be honest, it was so awkward to use I don't imagine using it again.
The Zippo Hand Warmer is available: here.
The Zippo Handwarmer does get warm and it does stay warm for some time. However, for a lot of that time, it's too hot to use in comfort and it really is very difficult to extinguish safely. Filling the reservoir with flammable liquid is awkward and, I think, potentially hazardous. It will no doubt have its fans but for me there are plenty of safer and more user-friendly alternatives such as gel packs that generate heat and are reusable.
What do you think?
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• Having first used this type of handwarmer 40 odd years ago I can only say how much better than any other type on the market. Filling and usage is a doddle if you follow the instructions . I usually fill mine to the half full line on the filler funnel getting around 5 hours 'gentle' heat from it. If you don't put it in the bag provided it will get 'very hot', with the possibility of the lid coming off in your pocket resulting in possible 'roast potatoes' (if you are a bloke) The bag is provided for the pupose of reducing the amount of oxygen from the atmosphere, less oxygen = less heat. You can pick the Zippo model up on Amazon for as litttle as £13.00 with a spare burner and 2 cans of fluid for around £6.00 extra. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.
Malcolm Allen, Heanor Derby