Reviewed by David Savage
While we are still in the throes of summer it hasn’t stopped me having cold hands, and I mean ice cold. For a while now I have suffered with really cold hands and feet regardless of what the indoor and outdoor temperatures are. There have been times when I have had to wear gloves indoors despite the temperature not being bad at all. My mum suffers with Raynaud’s and has to keep her hands and feet warm, so I wouldn’t be surprised if I had inherited something of it from her and that is the cause of the my cold extremities.
For the most part, keeping my hands warm isn’t a problem and when they are really bad I will wear gloves or sit with a hot water bottle. Other than gloves, a hot water bottle or placing my hands on a hot radiator I had never really given much thought to anything else that could help (apart from wrapping my hands around a hot cup of tea). I have tried disposable hand warmers in the past and never really got on with them – they are not hot enough for my liking and I would have to remember to replace them and keep spares in my bag. So when Zippo, yes the well-known lighter brand, asked me to try out their new fuel-free, reusable and rechargeable HeatBank Hand Warmer and Power Bank I readily agreed, although I didn’t think it would be great. I was wrong!
The HeatBank is available in two versions: 3-hours and 6-hours and both look completely different with the 6-hour version having more control over heat settings. I was sent the 6-hour version to try out.
The 3-hour Rechargeable HeatBank (RRP: £24.95) is powered by a rechargeable 2,600 mAh lithium polymer battery for lasting, dependable warmth of up to three hours. Two adjustable settings – high and low – with an operating temperature of up to 45°C. It is available in two colour options: silver and black.
The 6-hour Rechargeable HeatBank (RRP: £39.95) is powered with a 5,200 mAh lithium-ion battery, offering up to six hours of run time. It has five different heat settings and a maximum operating temperature of 50°C. It is available in two colour options: silver and green.
The 3-hour version looks like a slim rectangular box while the 6-hour version is more kidney shaped. I haven’t used the 3-hour version so can’t really comment on how comfortable it feels to hold but the kidney shaped 6-hour version (HeatBank 6), with its ergonomic design is really comfortable.
The HeatBank 6 really is an impressive device. It features 5 different heat settings, all of which are easily selected using the same push button. It has 5 LED lights to let you know which setting up are using and this is also used to show how much power is left in it. It has two USB connections, one to charge the HeatBank and another to charge a phone or tablet using the battery within the device. So not only can you warm your hands when they are cold while out, you can also put charge into your phone as well. You can get up to 6 hours usage from one charge depending on what heat level you set it at and if you are using as a power bank or not. As a power bank I got a full charge into my Samsung Note S9 and still had power left in the HeatBank.
The primary function of the HeatBank is to warm hands and I must say that it does this extremely well – it surpassed my expectations of what it would do and how warm it would get. I started off using the highest setting (5) but soon realised that this was far too hot and soon settled on 2 or 3 as a much more comfortable temperature (after all it is summer). I think during the colder winter months level 5 will become much more appropriate. The heat can be felt from both sides of the device and after reaching full temperature I didn’t notice any cold spots.
The secondary function of the HeatBank is as a Power Bank. This means that using the supplied micro USB cable you can charge your phone, tablet or other micro USB enabled device on the go. A portable charging system in your pocket.
Overall, I love the Zippo HeatBank 6. It is fast to charge (an hour or so to fully charge from my laptop), easy to use and gives up to 6-hours of glorious heat to your hands. It is small and lightweight enough to leave it your pocket – although if outdoors a lot or working in a cold environment it might be beneficial to have two, one for each hand (maybe Zippo should offer a dual pack at a discount?).
I have also found that it is great for helping me with migraine pain. For over 30 years I have suffered with migraine headaches and two of my symptoms are pain in neck and shoulder, all concentrated down one side. While at home I use a hot water to relieve the pain (and if caught in time reduce the length of time I have the migraine), the HeatBank is a great alternative to the hot water bottle and is portable! A wonderful bonus and does the job just as effectively.
The HeatBank 6 is perfect for anyone that suffers with cold hands, whether that’s for medical reasons or just from spending time outside during the colder times of the year. I would have liked to have seen a drawstring bag supplied with it for when it’s not is use, but other than that it is absolutely perfect and definitely worth paying £40 for.
RRP: £39.95 (HeatBank 6)
For more information or to buy visit www.zippo.co.uk.