Freezing your mitts off on nightwatch? Gadding about in the cold and can't feel your hands? The take a look at our top choices of best waterproof handwarmers. These rechargeable devices will keep you warm time after time.
If you are looking to sail all year round – or if you are looking to spend any length of time outdoors in winter – then finding the best waterproof hand warmer can be a quick, easy and relatively cheap way to improve your comfort and keep your extremities warm.
Roll the clock back only a handful of years and the only hand warmers that were available were either the burning charcoal in a sealed insulated container type, or the plastic gel packs that warmed at the click of a button and were restored by heating in a pan of water.
Having a small smoldering ember in your pocket feels veritably medieval in this day and age – and waterproofing was really not an option. The plastic pouches do work well, and will stand several resettings but they do wear out eventually and usually contain a vast array or harmful chemicals making environmentally friendly disposal almost impossible – don’t even get me started on the single use type…
Electronic hand warmers have been around for a good many years now, but waterproof versions have been relatively slow to hit the market at a relatively attainable price. Now, however, there are a number of good hand warmer options that are easily recharged, waterproof, and some even double as a battery pack too.
Best waterproof and rechargeable hand warmers
Thaw Small Rechargeable Hand Warmer
This USB-C charged small handwarmer fits neatly into the hand and can be slipped inside a glove in the palm area or can fit easily into a pocket.
It is light weight and charges fairly quickly. This one takes about an hour or so to fully charge.
The temperature can be set to three different levels, the hottest being really quite toasty for extreme cold weather and the lowest is suitable for use as a wrist rest if you get cold hands when working in a home office environment.
The power remaining is also easy to check with the blue lights indicating how much power you have left.
The specs state that you’ll get: 5 hours use on High (60° C / 140° F) 7 hours on Medium (53° C / 127° F) and 10 hours on the low setting (46° C / 114° F)
In reality I was getting about 3 hours on high setting, but that may be because my test model has been around the block a few times.
Everyone who used this as part of our testing process loved the ergonomics or how easily it slipped into their palm or pocket and how quickly it warmed up.
Thaw Large Rechargeable Hand Warmer
The large hand warmer from Thaw also works as a powerbank, allowing you to plug in a USB cable to charge up a device.
It is noticeably larger than the smaller model in every dimension. It sits more heavily in the pocket and is too large to slip inside a glove, but as my top tester demonstrated, it can be used to warm up other parts of the body as she tucked it under her chin and within the folds of her scarf against her neck and clasped between two hands the larger hand warmer is very effective and isn’t easily lost as the smaller one can be.
The large hand warmer heats up to the same temperatures as the smaller one, but the battery life is almost double. (in theory)
They state that it will manage up to 10 hours on High (60° C / 140° F) but I got more like 5 or 6 hours from it.
Thaw also state that you’ll get 14 hours on medium heat (53° C / 127° F) and 17 hours on low (46° C / 114° F). I can’t verify those latter times as I rather lost count of the hours, because although my hands were warm, my brain was frozen. Maybe they could invent a heated hat?
Overall, everyone who tested this loved it, only complaining a little about the bulk of it. If you’re on night watch, then charge this up by day and stick it in your pocket for night time. It’ll last you several watches before you need to charge it again.
Powerpaw IPX7 waterproof hand warmers
The Powerpaw IPX7 handwarmers claim to be the first IPX7 rated handwarmers on the market. IPX7 waterproofing certification means that they are rated to survive 30 minutes at 1m water depth. That’s certainly some impressive waterproofing in a market that usually sees water-resistant models that cannot handle full submersion.
Could this be the best waterproof hand warmer for our USA readers?
It recharges via USB and has four different heat settings, which are easily adjustable from 100°F,110°F, 120°F, and 130°F. It takes fully 50 seconds to heat up, which is far from market leading. But when you consider it is surrounded by a silicone case, increasing durability should you drop it, this seems a small price to pay.
Ocoopa IP45 Waterproof Hand Warmers
Ocoopa produce a vast array of USB rechargeable hand warmers and make some of the best waterproof hand warmers on the market. Most of their hand warmers do not offer any waterproofing but this does – and is consequently a little more expensive than their other offerings, but it’s still hardly going to break the bank.
These are IP45 rated which means that although they will not take being fully submerged they are water resistant for significant spray from any direction. Practically what that means is that unless you are planning on going swimming with them, these will hold up to most water you throw at them.
I have used a pair of these and found them very effective. Fully charged these will provide you with 15 hours of hand warming and they double as a power bank too, with the warmers able to charge a standard smartphone to 50% battery capacity in just 30 minutes.
Celestron 93548 Elements 3-in-1 Hand Warmer, Charger and Flashlight, FireCel Mega 6 – Blue
The Celestron FireCel Plus is another battery bank and charger combination, but this also has the added benefit of a torch included too. Of particular note to anyone outdoors at night is the ability for the torch to emit a red light – which preserves night vision. A small note of caution here, however, as you will need to scroll through the torch settings to get to the red light option, which means you will get a moment’s use with the torch on night vision ruining white light. As one reviewer points out, this can be remedied by turning it on in a pocket and scrolling through to the red light option.
This is dust and water resistant but it does not have any certification to that effect that we can find, so we’e recommend not using it in particularly wet environments. Additionally a full charge will only provide 3 hours hand warming. All in all a nice multifunction device for someone wanting a jack-of-all-trades option.
Lifesystems Electric Hand Warmer
Like the Celestron above, this is water resistant but will not stand being fully submerged. But it will still offer some protection against spray and light rain etc. It is USB rechargeable (fully recharging in 4 hours when plugged into the mains) and offers four different heat settings, going from cold to hot in a handful of seconds.
It doubles as a power bank too, so you can put some charge into a phone if you want to. It will provide 3-6 hours of constant heat, depending on which setting you run it on – though I’ve heard reports that the very highest heat setting will not last for 3 hours.
Day Wolf Heated Gloves
If you are looking for something to provide all-round hand warmth, the you may want to look beyond the usual realm of hand warmers and consider a pair of heated gloves to keep your hands warm. These gloves from Day Wolf would be a very good option. They are not fully submersible, but they do offer a degree of waterproofing and have a water resistant neopreme pocket included in the design.
They have touch sensitive pads on the index finger and thumb, so you can still operate touch screens while you have the gloves on and will last anywhere from 2.5-6 hours on one charge depending on which of the three temperature settings you select.
As these are gloves, they obviously do not have the same extra capabilities as many on this list. But the bonus is that even when they are out of battery, they will still be doing something to keep your hands toasty.