Zippo Hand Warmer Review

Photo of silver chrome Zippo hand warmer.
Photo of Zippo hand warmer in silver chrome finish. I used mine inside the handy little cloth bag, and it provided plenty of warmth - when it stayed lit. Photo courtesy of Zippo Manufacturing Company

The Bottom Line

I really enjoyed this hand warmer, when it stayed lit. I suspect I may have been part of the problem, but the warmer let me down more than once. It burned for about thirteen hours one day, and the next day it was dead within an hour or two. I felt like I'd done everything the same way, but perhaps I hadn't.

I'm sure that, with regular use, it would be easy to learn the ins and outs of keeping it lit.

This is a quality product, and should last for years.

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  • Helps avoid the use of disposable air-activated hand warmers.
  • Provides good warmth and can last all day long - much longer than air-activated warmers.
  • Available in a variety of finishes.
  • Includes filler cup and soft cloth bag.


  • Made in Taiwan
  • Warranted for just two years (Zippo's famous lifetime warranty does not apply).
  • Can be difficult to keep burning.
  • Sometimes it smells just like the lighter fluid that fuels it.


  • Zippo brand hand catalytic warmer that uses burning lighter fluid to produce warmth.
  • Can be used for hunting, camping, skiing, fishing, watching sports games... any outdoor activity, really.
  • Package includes instruction sheet, warmer, cloth bag, and plastic cup for measuring and pouring the lighter fluid.
  • Two-year warranty (doesn't cover the finish, bag, or burner).
  • Model number 40182.
  • Weight of unfilled warmer with cloth bag: 2.95 ounces.
  • Dimensions: 4" x 2-3/4" x 5/8"

Not a Bad Way to Warm Your Hands

The Zippo hand warmer uses fire to provide heat, which can really help keep you warm out there in the field. Sometimes, just a bit of heat deep inside your coat near your heart can really help improve your overall comfort, and if your hands are cold-natured (as are mine), a source of heat to keep them un-frozen is really a great thing.

It's tough to remain still when you're uncomfortable, and being still is something that a hunter must do in order to be successful. In addition, cold fingers become numb and unresponsive, and that's a very bad thing when those fingers are called upon to operate a gun or bow.

I have been fighting my cold hands for more than three decades, and I usually hunt in the southern USA... if I spent much time hunting where it was seriously cold, I don't know if I'd have lasted as long as I have. I have tried quite an array of gloves to keep my hands warm, but they generally don't do the job. "Glomitts," or "pop-top gloves," work the best for me... but even then, I sometimes have to have some source of heat other than my body.

Air-activated warmers have saved my bacon more than once, and I keep a supply of them on hand during hunting season, but they are inconsistent. Just when I need them to be good and warm, they'll sometimes be either barely warm or not warm at all. So I'm constantly taking them out of my pockets to shake them and expose them to more air, to make sure they don't wilt and die.

Catalytic heaters have been around for years. I remember seeing them advertised in hunting magazines when I was a kid, and asking Dad about them.

His response was that they worked okay, but they stunk and he disliked them. That was enough to keep me away from them for a long time, but eventually I just had to try one out.

Enter Zippo, and a departure from their traditional line of lighters. I obtained a Zippo hand warmer in early 2010 and quickly began testing it. It worked great during an outdoors dog training class in January, and I was mighty glad to have it.

Next came turkey season, and some unseasonably cold weather. I fired up the warmer and headed to the woods. I caught a chill and some kind of bug and ended up in bed by 10:00 AM - and the warmer had already died and been re-lit after a bunch of hassle. It was also pretty stinky, smelling just like the smelly lighter fluid that fueled it.

I finally felt human enough to hunt again a couple days later, and the warmer stayed lit and warm until around 8:00 PM.

But the next day, it once again died quickly.

I suspect I just need more experience getting the fluid level (and the amount of moisture present on the burner when lighting) correct, and that, with familiarity, it will become a definite and trusted friend when I'm hunting in cold weather.

I'm glad to own this warmer, and I think it will last for many years to come.

- Russ Chastain

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Disclosure: A review sample was provided by the manufacturer. For more information, please see our Ethics Policy.