Review: Best Hand Warmers for Hunting in 2024

Two men sitting by a fire while hunting in the cold.

Hunters have always recognized the need to stay warm while engaging in their craft. Traditionally, Indigenous Peoples used fur in harsh winter climates as a means to keep their hands and feet warm while hunting. But today, hunters have access to an increasing number of options to avoid the cold.

Hunting recommends dressing in layers and wearing natural materials like wool and fur whenever possible. Natural fibers are generally much more breathable than synthetics.

“You can always spot the newcomers to the sport because they’re geared up in Goretex. Those who understand hunting in cold climates know that wool and fur work best.” says Luther Cutts, a 45-year hunting veteran.

When examining choices for hand warmers, there are various options with different benefits and characteristics. We rated the best hand warmers for hunting in 2024 as seen below:

Sheared Beaver Fur: 5/5

Battery-Operated: 3/5

Gel-Pack: 2/5

Lighter-Fuelled: 3/5

Muff Pak: 3/5

Air-Activated: 2/5

Sheared Beaver Fur Hand Warmers for Hunting

The best hand warmers for hunting - Aurora Heat

Sheared beaver fur composes of 10,000 fur filaments per square inch with remarkable insulating properties. Indigenous peoples in Northern Canada were the first to use beaver fur to keep their hands warm. Today, sheared beaver remains the warmest fur available. It naturally stores and circulates body heat when inserted into your mittens, pockets, or boots.

Sheared beaver fur is 100% biodegradable and has an extensive lifespan, making these warmers environmentally friendly. Their ability to maintain heat and provide comfort makes them highly adaptable hand warmers for all hunting conditions. When not using in their gloves, many hunters choose to tuck these warmers into their toques to keep their ears warm.

Overall Rating: 5/5 Stars

  • Effectiveness 5/5: With its passive warming system and insulating properties, sheared beaver fur is incredibly effective at preserving heat. This same fur is what enables beavers to remain warm in Northern Canada's freezing temperatures.  
  • Durability 5/5: These warmers will remain effective for a long time. Aurora Heat's fur-based warmers have a lifespan of over ten years
  • Eco-friendliness 5/5: The entire life cycle of ethically-sourced sheared beaver fur warmers is sustainable. Initiatives like the Genuine Mackenzie Valley Fur Program™ ensure that furs are 100% wild while preserving Indigenous cultural heritage.
  • Practicality 5/5: These warmers are easy to insert and remove as needed. Regulating temperature while hunting in freezing conditions is crucial to avoid sweating.
  • Adaptability & Functionality 5/5: Sheared beaver fur warmers can easily adapt to various hunting conditions. You can wear these warmers in your gloves, around the wrist, or in your boots. They will circulate your body heat and prevent cold hands in maximum temperatures. Hunters appreciate these warmers’ ability to consistently maintain warmth without overheating.

      Battery-Operated Hand Warmers for Hunting

      The best hand warmers for hunting - Aurora Heat

      Battery powered hand warmers generate heat for 4 to 8 hours through rechargeable batteries that recharge in 2-3 hours. These warmers are most effective when used in milder temperatures, and if cared for correctly, they are also durable. However, they produce toxic waste at the end of their life cycle, and limit users’ mobility for certain activities.

      Overall Rating: 3/5 Stars

      • Effectiveness 4/5: These warmers produce ample heat, but need a recharge after a few hours. Generally, their heating levels are not as effective at generating heat in extremely cold climates. 
      • Eco-friendliness 2/5: These rechargeable hand warmers are reusable but not recyclable once discarded. The need for battery replacements and energy reduces the overall eco-friendliness of this option.
      • Durability 4/5: With proper care, battery-operated warmers will have a long lifecycle and are quite durable. Some brands can last up to five years.
      • Practicality 2/5: These warmers can fit into loose fitting mitts and removed easily. However, the bulk and weight of them impacts mobility. 
      • Adaptability & Functionality 2/5: These warmers are not safe for use when actively hunting or shooting. You also can't adjust the heat on these electric hand warmers based on different temperatures.

          Gel Pack Hand Warmers for Hunting

          The best hand warmers for hunting - Aurora Heat

          Gel pack warmers produce heat through a chemical reaction. It involves water, sodium acetate, and a small metal disc. Once active, heat generates for up to 90 minutes. To reactivate, you can reheat the warmers 200 to 300 times by boiling them in water. 

          These warmers compose of non-toxic substances, but they will still create plastic waste when discarded. As these warmers are not suitable for mittens or socks when in motion, users will also have restricted mobility.

          Overall Rating: 2/5 Stars

          • Effectiveness 3/5: Gel pack warmers only generate heat for 90 minutes, and become less effective as temperatures drop.
          • Eco-friendliness 3/5: Similar to other forms of reusable warmers, they will minimize single-use waste. However, these gel packs still produce plastic waste with their packaging when discarded.
          • Durability 2/5: These warmers may be ideal for day to day warmth. However, for extreme outdoor activities such as hunting, leaks and rips may occur. 
          • Insertability 3/5: You can insert and remove the gel packs as needed, but they last less than two hours. Hunters can't reuse these warmers on a single trip since they need to boil them to reactivate them.

          Adaptability & Functionality 1/5: This type of hand warmer limits mobility and isn't suitable for active hunting. Gel pack warmers don't adjust to the environment, so hunters need to plan carefully when and how to use them.

              Lighter-Fuel Hand Warmers for Hunting

              The best hand warmers for hunting - Aurora Heat

              Lighter fuel warmers produce heat through an internal combustion reaction with lighter fluid and a catalytic burner. Heat generates for up to 12 hours without the need to refuel.

              While this type of reusable hand warmer is durable, it will still produce non recyclable waste when discarded. You will need to regularly repurchase the fuel as well. Users have also noted that the fuel often produces a foul odor, and many feel uncomfortable handling flammable liquids.

              Overall Rating: 3/5 Stars

              • Effectiveness 4/5: When used correctly, these warmers are effective at generating high levels of heat for a significant period. 
              • Eco-friendliness 2/5: Lighter-fuelled warmers are reusable, but like the other hand warmers, they generate waste when discarded. The regular use of lighter fuel will also have an impact on the environment. 
              • Durability 4/5: Lighter fuel warmers are durable and designed to withstand different conditions. 
              • Practicality 3/5: These warmers are easy to insert and remove, but the fluid eventually evaporates when not in use.  

              Adaptability & Functionality 2/5: This warmer restricts mobility and is not ideal for active hunting. Additionally, hunters can't adjust the heating based on changing temperatures.

                  Muff Pak Hand Warmers for Hunting

                  The best hand warmers for hunting - Aurora Heat

                  Muff Pak warmers provide users with heat by acting as a pouch to insert hands into for warmth as needed. These camouflage-designed warmers wrap around one’s waist, and are either fleeced-line or battery-operated for heat.

                  Muff Pak warmers are similar to other warmers, except for the timing of hand placement. While durable and safe, they might not be comfortable or effective for users needing continuous heat.

                  Overall Rating: 3/5 Stars

                  • Effectiveness 3/5: This product maintains warmth for most users and can also combine with other warmers for added heat. 
                  • Eco-friendliness 4/5: These reusable warmers help minimize waste, but they will still have an environmental impact when discarded. 
                  • Durability 4/5: Muff Pak warmers are durable and will have a long lifespan if cared for correctly. 
                  • Practicality 1/5: This product cannot go inside users’ gloves and mittens to maintain consistent heat. 

                  Adaptability and Functionality 2/5: Muff Pak warmers work in various conditions but limit hand movement during active hunting.

                      Air-Activated Hand Warmers for Hunting

                      The best hand warmers for hunting - Aurora Heat

                      Air-activated warmers are the most familiar form of hand warmers that generate heat through an air activation process. These warmers are lightweight and provide warmth for a maximum of 10 hours. These disposable hand warmers are not durable nor environmentally friendly. You need to regularly discard and repurchase these warmers.

                      Overall Rating: 2/5 Stars

                      • Effectiveness 4/5: The effectiveness of air-activated warmers depends on the conditions. They are typically successful at producing heat for up to 10 hours, but perform poorly when temperatures get colder. Their small size also limits the amount of area that will feel the warmth.
                      • Eco-friendliness 2/5: Air-activated warmers have the greatest impact on the environment out of all these warmers. Consumers throw them out after a single use, creating tons of waste.
                      • Durability 1/5: As these warmers are single-use, they are not durable nor made of high-quality materials. They also perform poorly in extreme cold.
                      • Practicality 2/5: Air-activated warmers are easy to insert and remove, but unused heat diminishes. Exposing these warmers to colder climates will quickly diminish their heat. 
                      • Adaptability & functionality 3/5: Air-activated warmers are lightweight and will allow hunters to remain active. However, you can't adjust heat based on the climate conditions. Hunters note that intense activities where they produce more heat requires them to remove the warmers.



                      In conclusion, reusable sheared beaver fur offers the best-performing hand warmers for hunters and outdoor sports enthusiasts. When considering their effectiveness, eco-friendliness, durability, practicality, and functionality, these warmers rank at the top.

                      Sheared beaver is a wholly natural fiber and allows hunters to maintain comfortable levels of warmth throughout their activities. These hand warmers go well with Aurora Heat's reusable foot warmers, to keep your toes warm too. Experienced hunters recognize the superiority of natural materials over synthetic alternatives. We hope this article has been helpful in reviewing your options for hand warmers while hunting.Related Articles