Happy New Year, readers!
How's your part of the world been and how have you been spending the holidays? Snow's all melted here leaving lots of grit and a muddy looking ground. Not a pretty sight.
Always wanted to try one of these reusable hand warmer gadgets considering how cold it can get in Scotland but, never really got round to picking any up because I wasn't sure if they really worked. They seem to pop up quite a lot in Japanese media. Falcom were giving out heart shaped ones in Akiba once to promote one of their Ys games then in Amagami SS, I saw them again.
Asked a colleague of mine who used them and he said they can grow pretty bothersome because you have to reset them every time. So, I decided to try some myself. They come in all sorts of shapes.
I decided to go for these blue disc shaped, reusable ones although the one use types are supposedly better.
To use them you have to bend the metal disc inside the gel and a chemical reaction takes place. It's kind of like watching liquid freezing over except the gel is hardening in this case.
Initially they do feel quite hot and the packaging claims the heat can last up to 30 minutes. I did a little timing and found they really only last around half that time. This was done indoors but holding them in my bare hands out in the sub-zero temperatures, they fairly much lasted about the same length of time.
If you really want the full 30 minutes or longer, you'll have to put them inside your gloves at which point, it's like having two hot burning packets in the palm of your hands.
It is warm holding one of them between your hands. Some of the reviews I read suggested buying a second set - One for commuting to work and another for returning.
As for resetting them, I tried to "cheat" by just submerging them in some hot boiling water and just leaving them there but, it doesn't work. You have to keep the water boiling before the gel softens again and the times were pretty accurate here - 5 minutes. Then you don't want to touch the packets because they're boiling hot... Put them in some cold water and you'll soon find the water turned hot!
On their own, they're not much use but if you can insulate the heat they produce such as putting them in your pockets or gloves, they could help warm you up.
In the end, these are gadgets - Something just for fun. I think it's better if you just invested in a pair of decent gloves.