10 apps and gadgets to keep you warm during the finger-freezing days of winter
Fight the cold.
Spring is tantalizingly close…but this weird winter isn’t over yet. So we collected 10 apps and gadgets to take the edge off the worst of the weather. With a phone that tackles everything from predicting snowfall to surviving freezing temperatures, you can stay toasty until warmer conditions return.
Of all the weather-forecasting apps, Weatherbug excels at staying ahead of wintery weather. It can alert you to severe weather conditions, track specific storms, show radar maps for current conditions in your area, and provide detailed forecasts for the next couple of hours. Weatherbug even helps you keep tabs on traffic conditions as you try to make your way home.
Zippo Hand Warmer
Sometimes the most useful gadgets are the simplest ones. Case in point: the Zippo Hand Warmer. This gizmo burns lighter fluid to prevent your fingers from freezing for up to 12 hours. Buy some refills, and you can reuse it countless times. These warmers are easy to fill, come in a variety of colors (pick from orange, black, silver, pink, or camo-patterned), and produce very little odor. Keep one in your coat or bag so you’ll have it close to hand whenever you head outside.
Zippo Hand Warmer, $15 on Amazon
Winter Survival Kit
This app has all the digital information you’ll need to get through a big freeze, especially if you’re stranded away from home. It includes survival guides and tips, advice from North Dakota State University on how to stay warm, and a messenger feature that tells friends and family your current location if you get stuck. You can also fire up the app before you leave home: If you’re planning a cold-weather trip, first check out its checklists and tips on preparing your vehicle for winter conditions.
Winter Survival Kit for iOS, free
Contigo Travel Mug
No matter what the elements throw at you, a hot drink can keep you cozy. Make sure those beverages stay hotter for longer with a good travel mug. We like the Contigo Travel Mug, which keeps drinks hot for up to 7 hours, according to user reviews. You can get it in 16 colors and both 16- and 20-ounce sizes. The mug also makes it easy to slurp your drink without spilling—even when bundled up against the elements—with an autoseal lid and one-handed grip.
Contigo Travel Mug, $15 on Amazon
We’ve already mentioned one forecasting app, but bear with us. Highway Weather is particularly good for planning long road trips through potentially adverse conditions. It will display the weather along your route, with multiple cities’ forecasts side-by-side, adjusted for your travel times. You can also get severe weather alerts, check highway camera feeds, and receive advice about the best time to start your journey so you’ll hit the most agreeable weather.
Dyson Hot+Cool Fan Heater
When you’re staying indoors, the Hot+Cool Fan Heater from Dyson will create a personalized comfort zone just for you, whether you use it in addition to or in place of your regular heating system. A remote control lets you adjust the temperature and tweak the settings—it can focus the heat on a particular point or diffuse it evenly through a room—without getting up. As a safety measure, the heater automatically switches off if it tips over by accident. And when the summer months roll around, the dual system can keep you cool too.
Dyson Hot+Cool Fan Heater, $496 on Amazon
If wintry conditions strand you in the middle of nowhere, fire up Hotel Tonight and book yourself a room. The app specializes in discounts for last-minute bookings, which it arranges in partnership with hotels who want to fill their empty rooms. In addition to good prices, it offers the standard hotel-app perks: It shows you a concise, at-a-glance summary of each hotel to help you choose the best one, and it lets you easily, conveniently book your room without leaving the app.
Ororo Heated Vest
To hold heat close to your body, try an Ororo heated vest. These garments come with four carbon-fiber heating elements that generate heat and trap it around your body. It relies on a slim, rechargeable battery pack that lasts for up to 8 hours, unless you co-opt it for other purposes—like charging your phone. Despite the tech it carries, the vest doesn’t restrict your movement, even when you wear it over or under multiple layers.
You may default to Google Maps or Apple Maps for driving directions, but don’t rule out the mapping app Waze, which shines in its community reports: Other Waze users will warn you about accidents, slow-downs, or severe weather conditions. That information helps you return to the cozy indoors more quickly—or decide whether to avoid setting out in the first place. Then you can give back to the community by leaving your own tips and reports.
Moshi Digits Touchscreen Gloves
Want to keep your hands warm and operate your smartphone at the same time? You need touchscreen-sensitive gloves. You can make a pair yourself, but for an easier route, purchase some Moshi Digits. Their fabric contains a conductive fiber material that registers your touch on a screen without requiring that you bare your skin to the elements. We also like the brand’s rubberized grip lines, which reduce the risk of your precious phone slipping out of your hands.
Moshi Digits Touch Screen Gloves, $30 on Amazon
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