When I told friends and family nearly 8 years ago that I was moving to the Arctic, one of the first things they said was “But you’re always cold!!! How will you survive in the Arctic!?!” It was true. For as long as I can remember I’ve always been cold. I would be bundled up, even inside the house, and always had a hot tea on the go to try to keep me warm.
Then we moved to the Arctic.
To be honest, things really didn’t change much. Yes, I was still always cold but at least in the Arctic I could dress properly for it and not look crazy. One problem, though, was my cold hands. I often found big mitts cumbersome and so I usually ended up wearing thinner gloves that allowed me to still use my hands freely, but the result was that I was never warm enough.
I usually carried an extra set of mitts for me to put my gloved hands inside when I needed extra heat. I’d be lying if I said I never got caught sitting on my hands or trying to warm them up under my arms. 😉 I knew there had to be a better way but had yet to discover it…..
Until one day when I came across a website that called out to me. It was “I Hate The Cold.com” I felt an instant connection with whomever it was that was behind this, for surely they must be able to relate to some of the struggles we face in the Arctic. Although I don’t hate the cold, I do hate BEING cold, so I’m always open to solutions to the problem…and I just had to see if they had one for me.
The IHateTheCold.com website is simple and informative. They offer one product in two different sizes (mini and maxi) and two different colours (silver and pink). They each have the same features and benefits, with a slightly different size and capacity. Ordering is simple and shipping is free in the US and for those of us in Canada, we can order right from their Amazon.ca store and get free Prime shipping.
The products came very quickly and were properly packaged to protect the contents.
The product packaging is minimalistic and appeals to both men and women. The front of the box contains their logo and some brief information which highlights the three main features of the product and gives useful information to it’s power and capability. I found this a great reference and I think it’s an important feature if you were giving it as a gift to someone, since they would know immediately what to expect.
Using the hand warmer is similar to holding onto a warm and soothing cup of tea or coffee, without being worried about spilling it or having it get cold. 🙂 The heat radiates evenly all the way around and the design is sleek and comfortable to hold onto. On low it reaches +41C and on high it reaches +49C.
The mini size fits great into a pocket without hardly noticing its there and can be used discreetly as it fits compactly into your hand. The Maxi size packs more power so it is a bit bulkier but is perfect for when you need a longer duration of heat, such as being out on an all day excursion or while camping. In addition to warming my hands I have also used it to warm up my feet or placed it on my lap to warm up my legs. I love the versatility of it!
I found the estimated hours of heat for each size to be very accurate. The mini is an estimated 3-4 hours of heat and the Maxi is an estimated 6-8 hours. After testing both, on several occasions and in a variety of temperatures I found them both to be quite consistent.
One particular test I did with both hand warmers was to leave them in a cold car for several hours while I was at work and it was -26 C outside. When I returned to the car, the hand warmers were very cold to the touch. I wondered how long it would take after turning them on to warm up to be comfortable to touch. I was delightfully surprised that it took only seconds and the warmth was already felt.
I had been curious too, as to the battery life, how being in the cold for several hours would effect it. There are three blue lights that indicate the level of power remaining on the product, and after being in the cold (known to drain batteries) both sizes were only down one indicator light (roughly 33%) and they had no problem heating up immediately after turning on.
I have previously used disposable hand warmers on occasions where I needed some heat, but always felt bad about all the waste it produced. What I love about I Hate The Cold is how Eco Friendly it is in that you can recharge it over and over and are cutting back on the waste being added to the landfill. Also, from a frugal point of view, it is a great investment since it’s a one time purchase and you can keep recharging. I had made the mistake previously of stock piling on disposable hand warmers only to later realize they have an expiry date. When using one after the expiry date I found it really was less effective so now I have a pile of expired warmers I will never use. With I Hate the Cold, however, I have a constant companion which can keep me warm for years to come.
When the dead of winter rolls around again I plan on doing some more cold weather testing with this product, but from what I have seen already (-38 C with windchill was the coldest day I tested it in so far this year) I am so thrilled with how effective it is.
Although my interest in the product was primarily in the hand warmer feature, it is really convenient to have it multifunctional and acting as a power bank to charge your cell phone. The only thing you have to remember if you plan to use it as a charger is to make sure you have the proper cord with you to plug into your phone. The cord that is included in the box is to charge the product itself and may not be the right fit for your phone. With my iPhone I needed to bring along another cord in order to use it as a battery bank. Fortunately I did have a cord with me and I was able to have this product “save me” on a couple of occasions when the cold drained my phone battery much more quickly than I expected and I had this on hand to give me a boost.
One perk I found when using the hand warmer in my pocket was that if I had my cell phone in the same pocket the cell phone battery lasted much longer since it was being kept warm as well (without even being plugged in, just from the hand warmer heating up the pocket and reducing the cold the cell phone was exposed to).
I found myself using the power bank a lot around the home and not just for when I was out and about. Being able to be anywhere in the house and have the charger with the phone, instead of being plugged into the wall and limiting my use of it. Having a power bank built in makes the product useful year round and not just when it’s chilly outside.
A neat little feature of the product is the flashlight. Not exactly that you are going out to buy the product simply for this feature, but I’m all about multifunctional products since it’s more bang for your buck and takes up less space when it’s in a compact unit. At first I thought I would never use the flashlight feature since I usually just use my phone as one, but I was really surprised with the brightness of the light, especially of the Maxi. I think this is just perfect for occasions like camping or bonfires when both the hand warmer and flashlight would come in handy (you can use both simultaneously which is really convenient).
Incase you haven’t noticed it yet, I’m totally in love with this product! (Not being paid to say that…seriously my own opinion and experience with it.) I can honestly say it has revolutionized my northern living. I currently have one stashed in each of my jacket pockets and have used it in a variety of situations such as:
* walking the dog
* hiking on the land
* playing in the snow
* doing errands
* waiting in the car
* when I’m cold inside the house and don’t want to turn up the heat
And I think these would be perfect for :
* Hockey moms/dads
* Bon fires
* Cross Country Skiing
* Ice Fishing
* Ice skating
* Dog Sledding
* People who suffer with arthritis
* People who suffer with poor circulation
* People who suffer with Raynaud’s disease
* Carrying in your purse for those unexpected cold days or to warm a little one’s hands
* In a basket for your guests to use while they are visiting the Arctic (for those who aren’t used to REAL cold)
Just a heads up, if you decide to treat yourself (or for someone you know) to one of these, the box contains the cord to plug in the hand warmer to a wall charger to charge it, but it doesn’t include the wall charger itself. Most people will have these for their phones or tablets or other devices anyway, but just mentioning it since it caught me by surprise. Really not a big deal, I’m sure they do this in order to keep the cost at a low and affordable price, but thought it was worth mentioning so you don’t have any surprises.
After putting the products to the test, I give “I Hate The Cold” two hot thumbs up and I cant begin to describe how happy I am to have discovered this product. I love using it myself and have already given others as gifts to people who I know will love it almost as much as me. 😉 I confidently recommend this product for anyone who, like me, hates being cold 😉
Stay warm Friends!
IHateTheCold.com has generously offered our readers a discount to try the product out yourself! Use Coupon code: attl30 to save 30% off your purchase!
**Disclaimer** We received this product for free in exchange for our honest review of it. All opinions expressed are our own and are based on our personal experience with the products.