Gadget Guru Review: Little Hotties Hand Warmers
As the venerable Bender once said, “I’m back baby!”
After a long hiatus from this blog, I have returned to share my nerdiness with you and obsess over minute details. And to ring in my first blog post in nearly two years, let’s talk about Little Hotties.
So much is in a name, and beyond the double entendre, “Little Hotties” packs a wallop in such a compact item. Imagine what man could have done during the Iron Age (which began approximately 1200 B.C.E.) if they realized that iron could’ve also kept them warm, as it does in Little Hotties.
There are only five ingredients in Little Hotties: Iron, Salt, Water, Charcoal and Vermiculite, a mineral that expands when heated and retains heat well. The process is quite simple. When you open up the plastic wrapper around the Little Hotties, the iron will immediately start oxidizing (mixing with oxygen, which is a fairly common ingredient in air), eventually producing what we refer to as rust. The oxidation process creates heat, which the salt is a catalyst for. The aforementioned Vermiculite contains the heat moisture (that’s where the water comes in) within its mineral base, which are all contained in a breathable polypropylene pouch, and voila, you have a personal heat supply!
As a result of these few ingredients, Little Hotties is an environmentally friendly product that can be thrown in the garbage when done with. Beyond that, Little Hotties works to offset their carbon footprint in partnership with the Bonneville Environmental Foundation to further ensure they’re minimizing their environmental impact.
Little Hotties come in a few varieties: toe, foot, hand, and body. There are mixed boxes and they are sold individually. Unsurprisingly, they’re not edible, and they should not be used directly against the skin or in oxygen-enriched environments, for those of you that work in labs deep beneath the earth’s surface. Once you open the plastic wrapper, be sure to enclose the Little Hotties in an air-tight environment as soon as possible. Prolonged exposure to air can increase the temperature to 165°F, so getting it into a sealed space (like an insulated boot) will ensure proper usage and hopefully prevent overheating. Obviously if Little Hotties feels too hot, remove it!
Over the past few years I’ve taken dozens of packets of Little Hotties Toe Warmers with me to Ladakh, a super-frigid region in the Indian Himalayas where I coach ice hockey. I’m typically on the ice every morning when it’s brutally cold outside, and always wear Little Hotties Toe Warmers in my skates. Because they are meant to last 5 hours, I keep them on after I get off the ice, which helps my toes go back to a reasonable temperature without the ridiculous pain I’m accustomed to when playing in cold ice rinks. They’ve become an essential for me in winter conditions, as they should be for any winter-sports enthusiast (whether it be ice climbing, snow-shoeing, skiing, snowboarding, or other), and with the Polar Vortex in North America, Little Hotties are practical for everyone!