We’ve all been in a situation that required a little more heat than the average pair of gloves could provide. The situation could be a camping trip, hunting expedition, or even just a football game on a particularly cold day. In those times, we usually resort to the same old air-activated heat packs. You know what I’m talking about, the ones that claim they provide heat for 8, 10, or even 18 hours. Usually they only work for half that time before basically hardening into a stone.

With the new Zippo Hand Warmer, that’s no longer a problem.

First off, when this product claims it will provide heat for 12 hours, it means it. So much heat, in fact, that you have to carry the unit inside a provided bag to protect your hands from the hot metal. Once you activate the unit, it will continue to burn until it runs out of fuel or oxygen.

Zippo Hand Warmer Review

Activation of the unit is simple. First, you remove the top lid of the hand warmer, followed by the smaller catalytic burner unit. At this point, you fill the provided plastic filling cup to the line that says “12hrs” with either Zippo lighter fluid or the Zippo Hand Warmer Fuel. You then pour the fuel into the filling hold on the Hand Warmer while keeping the unit in an upright position. The unit must be held upright for at least 2 minutes before ignition to allow the fuel to distribute evenly within the absorbent material inside the main body of the hand warmer.

Zippo Hand Warmer Review

Once the product is filled, it must be kept in the upright position until ignition. Failure to do so will result in the fuel entering the catalytic burner and causing a flame upon ignition, which requires the flame to be put out and the ignition restarted. After the unit has sat upright for 2 minutes, it can then be activated using a match or lighter against the catalytic burner.

Zippo Hand Warmer Review

The hand warmer provides heat using a catalytic process in place of an open flame. You can test for successful activation by holding your hand above the burner and feeling for heat. The burner may also give off a slight glow, which lets you know that it has been activated. Place the lid back on the unit and insert the hand warmer into the provided bag. A cinch strap allows you to close the bag for a secure hold at the top of the hand warmer.

It’s important to note that once the unit has been activated it will continue to burn until the fuel source is exhausted. Like I said before, filling the container to the 12 hour mark will result in 12 hours of heat, give or take 15-20 minutes on either end. If you find that you don’t need it for the full 12 hours, then you can simply place the fabric bag on a fireproof surface and let it burn off the fuel.

Zippo states that the catalytic burner is expendable, but that it will last for about 70 uses depending on how it is used and the duration of use. Luckily, the replacement is $7.95, so it’s not an issue.

Having used this product, I can say that the generic heat packs I once used are now a thing of the past. This product will be worth its weight in gold once hunting season comes around and I plan on buying another so I can have one for both pockets!

The 12 Hour Zippo Hand Warmer comes in black, chrome, blaze orange, and Realtree. The MSRP is $21.95 for all units except for Realtree, which retails for $32.95.


 Author – Rodney Pointer is a former Army Infantryman. After graduating from Airborne School, he was ruthlessly assigned to Fort Polk, Louisiana to live out his days as a dirty leg. He served with the 2nd BN, 30th Infantry of the 4th Brigade, 10th Mountain Division. Following his deployment to Afghanistan, he received a Bachelor’s degree in Intelligence Operations. He currently works as a nuclear security contractor.