Top positive review
5 people found this helpful
Very happy with this, makes a big difference in colder climates
on 20 March 2017
I live in a cold part of the world - Scotland - and so owning one of these has been important. There are a couple of things to say about this product:
It is a little funny to light sometimes. You need to hold a flame to the catalytic fibers on the reactor unit for long enough that it becomes able to sustain itself. The thing itself works by fumes from the fuel evaporating into the reactor, where they they burn to release heat. There is no flame - the reaction is contained within the catalytic fibers, and so all you will see is a slight orange glow reminiscient of aurora borealis within the fibers. This orange glow is the only way to tell if the thing is sustaining itself or not - aside from the heat, but this takes a few minutes to get to, so the glow is the thing I look for after lighting it. You need to hold the flame to the fibers for around 10 seconds, but given that flames like to point upwards, you need to hold the handwarmer upside down, meaning you'll get some sooty deposits from the lighter all over the hand warmer if you let the flames lick it too much.
Another thing to say is that it guzzles fuel. I've been using this almost every day for around a month, and in that time I've gone through a couple of tins of Zippo lighter fluid, which they (of course) recommend you use. Surprisingly, it also happens to be the best fuel to use - others can be more expensive and harder to get hold of. As long as you have some spare lying around, as I do given I use Zippo lighters too, this really shouldn't be an issue.
Lastly, the handwarmer comes with a little fabric pouch. The metal casing of the handwarmer can get fairly hot to the touch, and the pouch helps protect skin. However, I feel like the pouch somehow restricts the amount of heat given off - it really shouldn't, as the same amount of fuel is being burned - but the handwarmer feels less warm when I use it, so I don't bother and just leave the metal unit in my pocket as-is.