Baby it’s cold outside: Winter warmer gadgets

I don’t know about down South but in Manchester it’s wet, freezing and miserable. What happened to autumn this year? With the onset of the cold weather and the gloomy prospect of it only getting colder and colder, who can blame us for turning to mulled wine and chocolates for comfort? There are however other, albeit unlikely, products we can turn to in order to ease the winter chill – gadgets.

Take a look at four great gadgets to bring a tide of warmth in glacial conditions.


Glider Gloves

Why should we stop feverishly fiddling with our smartphones and tablets just because we’ve got gloves on? This sentiment was the inspiration behind Gilder Gloves, touchscreen compatible gloves for both sexes.

These highly practical gloves are available in two different styles – Winter for when you’re in Arctic conditions such as Manchester throughout the winter, or Urban, meant for less harsher temperatures – Either way texting, emailing, browsing the web or playing Angry Birds now needn’t be impeded just because you’re wearing gloves.

Zippo Hand Warmer

Zippo it seems is branching out from tobacco-related products and into the world of gadgets with the arrival of the Zippo Hand Warmer. Filled with Zippo’s premium lighter fluid, the world-famous lighter brand claims that its hand warmer provides up to 12 hours of heat, ten times longer than its grossly inferior rivals.

Coming in the stylish polished chrome case that makes Zippo products ultra-recognisable, you could easily mistake the Hand Warmer for a lighter. For a mere £12.99 the Zippo Hand Warmer could be a cool alternative to mitts.

Dyson Hot

Okay so Dyson’s are usually associated with vacuuming up and let’s be honest this dreaded chore will always manage notch up a few degrees in the warmth stakes. The Dyson Hot however isn’t meant for beautifying carpets, it’s meant for warming up rooms, evenly and efficiently.

Using a heat-projecting fan, the Dyson Hot projects heat around the room, and without any visible heating elements or fast-spinning blades it’s easy to clean and looks modern, funky and minimalist. As always with Dyson products, the Dyson Hot will cost you – £299.95 to be precise.

Crossbow Snow Launcher

When it comes to snowball fights we all seem to regress back to our childhoods causing our formative years to bounce back with a vengeance! Get the upper-hand in the inevitable annual family snowball fight by exploiting the skills of the Crossbow Snow Launcher.

Simply load snow into the front, pull back the lever and hey presto perfectly formed snow balls come hurtling out causing the enemy to squeamishly scarper.

ARVA Axis Avalanche Beacon preview


Snow safety specialist Arva has just launched its latest avalanche transceiver in time for the new ski season. Ski enthusiasts will be interested in the AXIS, which Arva says is the most advanced avalanche transceiver on the market – and could be a life-saver for anyone who goes off piste. Experienced skiers will know that safety equipment is key when going off piste, and that’s where the Axis comes in. It enables you to quickly find others buried in an avalanche. The Axis has both digital and analog search modes and is capable of detecting multiple victims within a 50m search area.

Unique to the Axis, says Arva, is its standby function, which enables the device to remain in standby mode while you search, in case there is another avalanche.

Check it out on this video:

If the worst happened and you were using a shovel and probe to communicate with other rescuers, leaving the Axis in emission mode could disturb the search process, while switching to search mode could prove noisy. And you would not want to turn off the Axis in case there was another avalanche. The solution is the standby function – if it detects no movement after four minutes, it automatically changes to emission mode.

The Axis is powered by 4 alkaline AAA batteries, weighs 260g and has three antennas. It offers a primary and secondary search function, has a U-turn alarm and allows you to mark or unmark a found victim.

The cost? £275.

More details from

Dyson Hot fan heater, warm up your room

As I write this, the weather forecast is promising another week of unseasonably warm temperatures. However, when winter finally comes, the experts are warning us that it will bring with it some far-from-average low temperatures, so the latest release from Dyson could well be high on many a winter shopping list.


The new Dyson Hot fan heater hardly looks like your average fan heater – and Dyson promises that it works very differently as well. Usually, fan heaters only heat up the bit of the room in front of them, and everyone jostles for space to sit in front of it. Not so with Dyson’s latest production.

Instead of fast spinning blades, the device uses Dyson’s Air Multiplier technology, which draws in air at the bottom of the heater using an energy efficient motor, and then this is amplified six times, using processes called inducement and entrainment. Without getting too technical, suffice it to say that is it the same technology used in jet engines and turbochargers (which will hopefully impress your other half if they’re asking why you have spent £269 on a fan heater).

The upshot of all this technological wizardry is that the whole room should be heated evenly, thanks to the smooth oscillation of the machine, and it is easy to achieve a target temperature. Safety wise, there are no visible heating elements or blades and no safety grill to get dusty, so it gets points from me for cutting down on cleaning jobs. It also cuts out automatically if it tips over, which is comforting if you have kids, animals, are buying it for an elderly relative, or are just a bit clumsy.

And should the weather prove too warm, it also offers a cooling fan to offer an uninterrupted stream of smooth air.

A remote control allows you to easily change the temperature, airflow speed and oscillation without moving from your comfy chair.

The Dyson Hot fan heater is available exclusively from John Lewis.