Hand Warmers In Sleeping Bag – 9 Useful Facts

When enjoying your outdoor backpacking activities like fishing, hiking, camping, or just spending your sweet time with your buddies on ice, a distraction like cold hands can cause significant discomfort and distractions.

That said, hand warmers can be convenient in making you comfortable and ensuring you maximize enjoyment. Hand warmers are meant to keep your hands warm and toasty.

However, their use is not limited to hands only, as they are made with a design that can enable them to be slipped anywhere inside the sleeping bag to provide that warm and cozy feeling.

Therefore, if you are not conversant with hand warmers, here are some valuable facts that you should know about these tiny, portable items. Take a look.

Best backpacking hand warmers


Take a look at some of the specifications/features, pros, and cons of each hand warmer below.


Zippo Hand Warmers

This is also one of the best backpacking reusable hand warmers; it features a refillable technology.


  • it Provides flameless warmth for 12 hours.
  • It comes with a filling cup for fast and easy filling.
  • Made of rugged and durable metal.
  • It Does not contain fuel.
  • It Uses a hand warmer fluid for Zippo premium lighter fluid sold separately.


  1. It has multiple settings for multiple uses.
  2. It can last up to 12 hours and is flameless.
  3. It can stay warm for a long-time.


  1. They are too big to fit in a glove
  2. They need lighter fluid to operate
  3. They are not odorless and can’t be turned off until their fuel burns out.
  4. They don’t come as a pair.

Hothands Hand Warmers

Though these hand warmers are disposable, they are one of the best hand warmers on the market. They are meant to keep the hands and other parts of your body warm during your backpacking adventures.


  • Our disposable, single-use, odorless hand warmers.
  • They heat up within 15-30 minutes when air is activated for use.
  • They are environmentally safe and approved for use and can last up to 10 hours.


  1. They are easy to use and only need air to be activated.
  2. They are small in size and can fit easily in gloves.
  3. They come as a pair and are odorless.
  4. They are multi-purpose and can be used in other body parts.
  5. They provide long-lasting heat.


  1. They are meant for single use only.
  2. They can take a long time to warm up.
  3. They need to be exposed to air all the time to warm up.

The Outdoor Way Rechargeable

These hand warmers are great for outdoor adventures like fishing, camping, skiing and hiking. They are perfect, especially for those with Raynaud’s or any problem with circulation, as they will help keep your hands and fingers warm.


  • They come with a 7200mAh lithium-ion battery which gives a scent-free warmth.
  • They are Reusable
  • It can be used for 7 hours straight.
  • It has a two heat settings; Warm ( 105 degrees) or High heat( 115 degrees )
  • Made with a 55lm flashlight that has SOS settings.


  1. Perfect for hikers who desire multiple heat settings.
  2. It has multiple-use and heats very quickly.
  3. It can be used to charge other digital devices and is rechargeable
  4. It has a LED built-in flashlight to light your way when need be.


  1. They are too large and cannot be fitted in a glove.
  2. They do not come as a pair.
  3. They may run too hot and hence should be used with a lot of care.

Can you put hand warmers in your sleeping bag?

Yes, a hand warmer can be slipped into a sleeping bag to enhance warmth inside the bag. Hand warmers are not meant for hands only; some are made with a design that enables them to be put inside a sleeping bag that a hiker will desire. They are very compact and portable.

The hand warmers can be put inside a pair of socks or wrapped before being placed inside the sleeping bag to avoid direct contact with the skin.

Do hand warmers emit carbon monoxide?

Hand warmers that are Refillable produce carbon monoxide, and therefore they should be used cautiously, especially in areas that are not well ventilated.

Zippo refillable hand warmers are said to emit some carbon monoxide; however, the fluid is not flammable; it may contain some potentially hazardous effects if used in areas that don’t have sufficient airflow.

A high concentration of Carbon Monoxide in a place that is not well ventilated can even lead to death, which is why you should be very cautious.

However, not all hand warmers emit carbon monoxide, others contain iron that reacts with oxygen to yield heat, while others are made of very saturated sodium acetate, which crystallizes when in contact with air to produce heat, among others.

Can hand warmers explode?

The Inappropriate use of rechargeable battery-powered hand warmers may cause an explosion, resulting in injuries.

The rechargeable warmers work by converting the energy stored in the lithium battery into the needed heat by passing an electrical current through the resistors.

The device may explode when the lithium batteries are put too close to the resistors.
A thin layer of plastic separates the resistor and the lithium batteries. Since many hand warmers are cheap, they have a very poor dissipation of heat and thus, overheating can also result in serious hand injuries.

Disposable hand warmers in sleeping bag

Disposable hand warmers are the best for use in sleeping bags. The disposable warmers are made for one-time use and do not contain things like batteries, making them susceptible to exploding.

Additionally, the disposable warmers heat up through exothermic reactions, and with the advancement of the warmers technology nowadays, the unused iron will not be activated.

How to make a sleeping bag warmer

Using hand warmers to make your sleeping bag warmer is just one of the many methods you can use to make your sleeping bag warmer; these are other additional methods that can be used to make a sleeping bag warmer.

Choosing the suitable grounds/campsite

Avoid setting up on rocky areas, and you can pile up some leaves to ensure that heat is not lost and swallowed by the ground while sleeping.

Adding a thermal liner inside your sleeping bag

A thermal liner will enhance the warmth inside your sleeping bags instead of buying an additional sleeping bag.

Using a hot water bottle

A hot water bottle can also enhance heat in the sleeping bag. You can use it during or before sleeping to warm up your sleeping bag.

Put your sleeping bag inside the bag instead of outside.

This is because every time you roll, overheat is lost. So, putting it inside will prevent this.

Putting on a beanie and warm socks

It is said that human beings lose 30 percent of their body heat through their head; therefore, wearing a beanie will prevent such heat loss. The socks will help keep your feet warm.

Battery-powered sleeping bag warmer

  • FIRSERMO Electric Heated Sleeping Bag
  • Mantuole Heated Sleeping Bag

What are the disadvantages of hand warmers?

Although using hand warmers have benefits, it’s equally true that they do have their downsides. Here are some of the disadvantages of hand warmers.

They don’t last very longThough most claim to last 12 hours, this might not be the case and may need to be reactivated now and then.
Some warmers are not entirely odorlessSome hand warmers release a weak smell of fuel, which can be irritating.
Rechargeable hand warmers can explode if used carelesslyRechargeable hand warmers can explode when their lithium batteries are placed next to the resistors causing injuries.
Disposable hand warmers are expensive in the long runHand warmers can be very costly in the long run because you may need new hand warmers each time you need to use them; hence if going hiking for days, you will have to part with a good amount of cash.
Some release Carbon monoxide which is hazardousUsage of hand warmers in areas that are not well-ventilated, especially those that use liquid fillers, can cause a concentration of carbon monoxide, which can cause adverse effects, even leading to death.

How do you recharge hand warmers?

Two different types of reusable hand warmers can be boiled in water to recharge electric ones with batteries and recharged using electricity.

To recharge reusable hand warmers made of sodium acetate, you will need to boil them in a pan of water to liquefy the crystals. Boil for 10 to 15 minutes and then remove and leave them to cool at room temperature.

On the other hand, an electric hand warmer is easy to recharge; it is made up of USB ports used to charge when depleted.

How long does a hand warmer last?

Some hand warmers are made to last 6 hours, 7 hours, and even 24 hours. However, the amount of time a hand warmer will last vary with different brands.

The difference is brought about by the amount of iron inside the pack, especially for disposable hand warmers. Therefore, when choosing which hand warmers to buy, you might want to consider how long you may want them to last.