written by: Elizabeth Wistrom•edited by: Rhonda Callow•updated: 11/29/2011
Don't let winter weather get the best of you! Take a look at our picks for the top 10 gadgets designed to keep you warm, active and having fun - no matter what the temperature!
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Colder weather is no excuse for staying indoors - not with this little beauty tucked away in your pocket! Stay warm and toasty using the Kairo Hand Warmer, by Sanyo. The unit features two temperature settings of 102 and 109 degrees, and will produce heat for two to four hours, depending on which temperature you set it to. The best part? It is fully rechargeable for up to 500 recharges with the help of an AC adaptor! It is the Sanyo Corporation's position that the Earth (and all life and nature on it) is a single giant organism. Built with this in mind, this hand warmer is environmentally responsible - unlike those other models designed for single use. The Kairo Hand Warmer is currently price at just under $40.00.
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Heated Ice Scraper
If you have ever had the unfortunate experience of heading out early in the morning, only to find your car covered in a sheet of ice, you can easily understand the importance of having a reliable - and heated - ice scraper at hand. This cordless model will easily remove snow and ice from your windshield and windows, so that you can drive safely. Plus, no cord means you can maneuver the tool easily around the entire car. Since it recharges right from your car's lighter, you will always have it nearby - just in case. Priced at $25.00, this heated ice scraper also makes a terrific gift!
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Electric Fireplace Heater
Oh, the weather outside is frightful, but the fire is so delightful ... especially when it is temperature controlled and features a remote! The Bionaire Electric Fireplace Heater requires no installation, and can be used as a free-standing unit or mounted on your wall with the included hardware. Just plug it in, turn it on, and set the unit's thermostat to your desired temperature! The heat emanates from vents below the glass to quickly heat up the room, and the 12-hour on-off timer will automatically turn the heater off after a specified amount of time. It can even be set to pre-heat the room for you! Included is a remote control, which you can use to adjust the temperature from across the room. Safety features include a mechanism which automatically turns the heater off if it accidentally gets knocked over or starts to overheat. Also included is a one-year limited warranty. Currently priced at under $155.00, you can afford to sing, "Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow!"
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Electric Boot Dryer
Keeping boots and garments dry is important whether temperatures are cool or downright freezing! The DryGuy Wide-Body Boot and Glove Dryer will make sure you are ready when the north wind blows. Designed to dry up to four items of clothing in about an hour using your choice of heated or unheated air, this device also boasts a 3-hour timer for drying larger items. Another added benefit to using a dryer like the DryGuy? The heated air helps to eliminate odors from inside the boots - where bacteria can grow. You might be tempted to back this unit away, when winter is over, but you will quickly discover that it is small enough to keep out all-year long, and can also help with wet and sweaty footwear used in the summer months. Priced at just under $80.00, this gadget is well-worth the investment.
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Heated Mattress Pad
Here is an incredibly soft electric mattress pad to warm your bed on those cold winter nights. Tucked inside the micro-velour fabric top is a low-voltage power supply box that changes 120 volt AC home current into non-hazardous DC current. Similar technology to a battery, this feature provides protection even if your pad becomes wet. The queen-size pad is divided in two separate zones, each with their own, individual controllers. An added feature is the automatic pre-heat/hold setting That means no more jumping into a cold bed and shivering while you wait for the pad to warm up! The automatic shut-off and over-temperature protection means you can safely use this product without the worry of forgetting to turn it off or wondering what might happen should the unit malfunction. Priced at just under $105.00, the Soft Heat Heated Warming Microplush Top Mattress Pad is a reasonable option compared to others being offered in the market today.
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Shoveling snow is the worst! It's cold, heavy, and takes a good deal of time to remove. That is, until now! You can effortlessly clear steps, walkways, patios, and even small driveways by using the Toro Power Shovel Electric Snow Thrower. This electric machine features a 7.5 amp motor that will clear four inches of snow off a 50-by-20-foot driveway in just 20 minutes. Much smaller than a traditional snowblower, this unit weighs only 13 pounds and features an adjustable handle, That means it is compact, easily maneuvered, and even easier to store. The Power Shovel is currently priced just under $100.00.
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GPS Enabled Snow Goggles
For you, winter weather might mean shooting the slopes, zipping through the woods on your snowmobile, or leisurely sliding through the country-side on your cross-country skis. This year, why not treat yourself to a really great pair of goggles, and one of the coolest winter weather gadgets ever? We're talking about Transcend goggles, by Zeal Optics. The Transcend is the world's first GPS-enabled ski goggle. It features a small LCD display mounted on the inside that enables you to track your current speed (up to 92 miles per hour). Also included is a clock, so you never need to take your gloves off to check your watch, and a customizable space for a chronometer, an altimeter, thermostat, odometer, or vertical odometer. Don't worry about the electronics being too delicate for the elements - these goggles are helmet-compatible, and designed for heavy use in the snow.
The Transcend comes with a rechargeable lithium battery which lasts up to six hours at about 14 degrees, and up to eight hours when at room temperature. When you purchase your goggles, you will also receive a protective hard case and a USB charger. While the unit's cost of just under $500.00 is a little pricey, it does come with a limited lifetime warranty.
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Heated Snow Jacket
Stylish and affordable (priced at under $200.00), this winter jacket is harboring a little secret. It has a thin micro-fiber heating unit! The rechargeable 7.2 volt lithium-ion battery provides up to seven hours of heating on three different temperature settings. The soft shell of this jacket is even equipped with zone controls. Use this jacket by itself, or layer it with other outerwear for added protection from the elements.
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Remote Controlled Snowmobile
Too cold to spend time outdoors? You can still have fun with this remote-controlled snowmobile from Toy Concepts. This winter weather gadget features an electric motor with high torque drive-tred for more power when you need it making your way from the snow-covered trails of your backyard to grass, carpet, or hard surfaces. This unit is interactive, with a working headlamp and even a working tail light. Priced around $75.00, this is a toy for the big and small, alike!
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Indoor Grow Light
With so many people turning to self-grown, organic produce as a source for meal planning, winter weather can seem to go on for an eternity! Why not satisfy your culinary cravings by keeping plants, herbs and even flowers growing all winter long with the SonnyLight LED Grow Light? You can even get a jump-start on spring plantings by starting your plants indoors, first. There is space to start-up to 72 plants, and the adjustable hood allows growth for up to 28" high. The unit is programmable, so you don't have to worry about turning it on or turning it off. Also included is a "sunrise/sunset" program designed to prevent plant shock. The SonnyLight is currently priced at just under $300.00.