SoCalHunt Gear Review ReDo Reusable Hand Warmer

Today SoCalHunt will be reviewing the ReDo Reusable Hand Warmer.

I hate having cold hands. I also hate wearing gloves while duck hunting as I’ve never found a pair that don’t feel, to me any way, cumbersome and make it hard to reliably feel for the safety and the trigger on my shotgun. I know, this is Southern California, so how cold can it get? But, hey, being born and raised here, and being trained from an early age to think that anything below 60 is cold, I’m a wimp when it comes to cold temperatures.

I’ve tried many of the disposable chemical hand warmers, which, in my opinion, don’t put out enough heat to do much. I’ve also tried the Jon-e hand warmer, which I’ve reviewed a while back, and I love that one. However, since it needs to be lit with matches, or a lighter, it can be problematic on a windy morning to light it and to keep it from blowing out. Also, you have to keep it dry, another problem if it happens to be raining. In addition you have to have fuel for the Jon-e Hand Warmer so you need to have a bottle of lighter fluid in your blind bag.

(See the Jon-e Hand Warmer review at: https://socalhunt.wordpress.com/2011/03/09/socalhunt-gear-review-jon-e-hand-warmer/).

The ReDo Reusable Hand Warmers is a “chemical” hand warmer which will generate a nice, hand warming heat for an advertised duration of about an hour. I tried to measure the warmth put out by the ReDo Hand Warmer using a meat thermometer, which starts registering at 140 degrees, but the needle never moved so I’ll just hazard a guess that its putting out something like 110 to 120 degrees (of course I could be off a few degrees one way or the other). The hand warmer is approximately 3 x 5 inch plastic pouch with a reddish liquid and a small metal disk sealed inside. Instructions for use and reactivation of the ReDo Hand Warmer are printed right on the pouch so you’ll never loose them.

ReDo Hand Warmer Package

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ReDo Hand Warmer before activation

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I say it’s a “chemical” hand warmer as the heat is generated by a chemical reaction when an internal metal disk is “snapped” or flexed. This causes the liquid Sodium Acetate to crystalize, and become a solid, which generates the heat. To get a good even reaction of the Sodium Acetate they recommend you kneed the pouch to distribute the reaction more evenly through all the Sodium Acetate. The “chemical” is supposed to be entirely non-toxic food grade Sodium Acetate and water. Reading up on Sodium Acetate one of its food uses is to give potato chips a salt and vinegar flavor, although I don’t think I’d poke a hole in the pouch and drink it.

Activated ReDo Hand Warmer

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One of the great advantages of the ReDo Hand Warmer is that it is truly reusable. Once the heat has dissipated from the “chemical” reaction the pouch can be reactivated by placing it in boiling water between 10 to 20 minutes, which turns the crystalized Sodium Acetate back into a liquid. They recommend wrapping it in a cloth when you boil it so it doesn’t come in direct contact with the bottom of the pan you’re boiling it in. Once it cools back down from the boiling process it is “re-set” and ready to use again. Also, you don’t need anything additional to use the ReDo hand Warmer. No matches, no lighter, no fuel, just the hand warmer its self. Also, no matter how hard the wind is blowing or how much it is raining this thing is going to work, no doubt about it.

One disadvantage of the ReDo Hand Warmer is that they don’t last too long. The one I tested while writing this review was nice and warm as soon as I activated it by snapping the metal disk inside. At the 50-minute mark it was still making some heat but had cooled down somewhat. Out in the blind on a cold morning, I’d probably start up a fresh one at that point. At an hour and 10 minutes it seemed to be right about at body temperature (98.6 degrees for the non-medical types) and cooling down fast. I suppose if you were cold that would still help some but I’m sure I’d already be on my second one by then.

The other disadvantage is that, because they don’t last too long, to get through a cold morning will take more than one of them. I do have 4 of these in my blind bag, so that should give me nearly 4 hours of usable warmth, which should get me far enough into the day that I shouldn’t need a hand warmer.

I had a similar hand warmer several years ago but I only had one, as it was pretty expensive at that time. I seem to remember spending something like $12 or $14 or more for it at the Fred Hall Show in Long Beach. Apparently, since that time, the price for this technology has dropped and you can pick up a two pack of the ReDo Hand Warmers for as little as $4.99 at Emergency Zone. (Free shipping!)

Cautions on the package include:

Do not place the Warmer directly on skin after boiling

Do not puncture

Do not flex metal chip until the Hand Warmer has cooled down after boiling

Do not bend the metal chip

So, in my opinion the ReDo Hand Warmer is well worth it to carry in your blind bag for those cold mornings. I will probably continue to use my Jon-e Hand Warmer as my first choice, mainly because it seems to put out a little more heat and, also, because it will last (assuming its full of lighter fluid) for several hours. The ReDo Hand Warmer is an excellent reserve hand warmer for days when you can’t use the Jon–e warmer due to wind or rain. Also, if its not too cold, the ReDo Hand Warmer would be great just to take a little of the chill off your hands if you don’t want to go to the trouble of lighting the Jon-e warmer for around an hour or less.

Here’s some links to sources for the ReDo Hand Warmer. (Emergency Zone was the cheapest with free shipping):

http://www.emergencyzone.com/ReDo-Reusable-Hand-Warmer-2-Pack-p/125.htm

http://eartheasy.com/redo-reusable-hand-warmer

http://www.amazon.com/Reusable-Wamer-Emergency-Zone-Brand/dp/B00BFWKGI8

 


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