zee mittens, zey do nothing!
January 9, 2010 5:08 PM   Subscribe

Where can I buy sodium acetate hand warmers in Austin, TX? Have any better ideas for keeping fingers warm on a motorcycle?

I'd like to try slipping these into the backs of my mittens to keep my fingers toasty while riding a motorcycle. Right now I'm using the ones powered by the rusting of iron filings, but I'd like a reusable option.

The only problem might be that the iron filing type are supple, and can wrap around my fingers nicely, but the sodium acetate type becomes more or less solid, and might not fit into the mitten very well.

So, anyone know where in or around Austin I can pick up a couple to try this out? Anyone have a better solution to cold fingers on a motorcycle (I want these electric gloves, but they're not currently in the budget).

I have hand guards on my bike (pic not actually my bike, but you get the idea, which keep some wind off my hands and do help a bit, but after about an hour on the freeway my fingers are fairly cold.)
posted by spikeleemajortomdickandharryconnickjrmints to Travel & Transportation around Austin, TX (10 answers total)
Have you already dismissed Hippo Hands for some reason?
posted by jessamyn at 5:12 PM on January 9, 2010 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: I've looked at Hippo Hands and am considering those, thanks.
posted by spikeleemajortomdickandharryconnickjrmints at 5:17 PM on January 9, 2010

Another alternative would be heated grip elements, which are a fraction of the cost of heated gloves.

For Austin levels of cold, they should do just fine. I'm in New Mexico and was impressed with how much nicer they make a cold ride.
posted by pts at 5:17 PM on January 9, 2010

Response by poster: I should have mentioned that I rejected heated grips because I read from other users that they do a great job of keeping your palms and insides of your fingers warm, but don't do much for the backs of your hands, which is where I really feel the cold. Have you found that not to be true?

Did you use the Dual Star brand?
posted by spikeleemajortomdickandharryconnickjrmints at 5:24 PM on January 9, 2010

I don't recall the brand, but the heating elements looked nearly identical to the ones pictured in that link.

You're not wrong that they heat your hand unevenly; in my case, I found that to be better than no heat at all, and it seemed to help stave off the phenomenon of my hands being painfully, unusably chilled for 20 minutes after my commute. They're not exactly the height of comfort, but they definitely improved the functional experience, for me.

I will agree that they don't so much keep your hands warm as they help to make them less abjectly cold.
posted by pts at 5:30 PM on January 9, 2010

Regarding the Grabber ones, I use them all the time because I have Reynaud's. (They make normal winter activities requiring more than 15 minutes of outdoor time an actual option for me!)

I think that the toe warmers might actually serve you better than the hand warmers. They're flatter, have a bit of thin adhesive meant to stick to socks, are a wider shape. The hand warmers are more for putting in your pockets or holding in a closed hand.
posted by desuetude at 7:11 PM on January 9, 2010

I'd like to offer a hearty endorsement for Hippo Hands. I've been using them for over 20 years, after inheriting them from my dad who used them for well over a decade.
posted by torquemaniac at 7:38 PM on January 9, 2010

I've found a pair of silk glove liners made a big difference in keeping my fingers warmer during cold rides. I ride a Wee Strom myself with hand guards and have been quite happy with the wind protection offered by them. But the weather never gets too cold here, just extremely chilly every now and again.

The other nice thing is that you don't have to keep "charging" glove liners, they just work.
posted by fenriq at 9:57 AM on January 10, 2010

1) Second the hippo hands - you will not believe how well they work
2) Hand warmness is actually mostly about core warmness. If you start to chill your body shuts off hands and feet first to preserve brains and guts. So, Neck warmer muffs, thermals, etc. THEN
3) Gerbings and Widder make electrically heated clothing. Google and you'll find DIY instructions I haven't tried and so can't vouch for. A combo of heated vest and heated gloves will work no matter the temp
4) If that's cost prohibitive remember - warm core + heated grips will = happy happy hands. I've ridden through Canada and the Northern US in winter rains and been comfy with heated grips, heated vest, proper insulation.
posted by BrooksCooper at 6:34 PM on January 10, 2010

Response by poster: FYI, I suffered through last winter with those Grabber hand warmers stuffed into my mittens. This week I finally bought the Gerbings T5 heated gloves, and they're wonderful. It was nice to get to school with toasty hands, even though I started the ride at 39F.
posted by spikeleemajortomdickandharryconnickjrmints at 6:43 AM on December 4, 2010

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