If you love adventuring outdoors but don’t love being cold, you’ll be happy to hear that there’s a nifty new gadget out there capable of keeping you toasty no matter where you go and charging your phone, to boot. The “Hot Pocket” is a heated stuff sack offering six full hours of warmth at the push of a button. Designed specifically with camping in mind, this portable personal heater works in two ways: you can either put gear like jackets or sleeping bags inside it to preheat them, or you can put the bag itself inside your sleeping bag for instant warmth.
The stuff sack’s crowdfunding page reads: “Does this sound familiar? Your evening meal still warm in your belly, the campfire now turned to red smoldering ashes. You fall asleep with a peaceful smile on your face, just to [be awakened] suddenly at 2 A.M. by the shivering cold. You become restless, your teeth begin chattering, and you just can’t get warm! You’re miserable, freezing, rolling in and out of pitiful sleep knowing this is going to be a long, dreadful night.”
“There are options for getting warm. But so few of them actually include SLEEP. Now, imagine the same scenario. Only this time when you wake up cold at 2 A.M., you simply drift right back off to sleep in a warm and toasty slumber, because instant warmth is at your fingertips by just the push of a button.”
The creators of the Hot Pocket note that the usual options to warm up in the great outdoors require disposable single-use hand warmers that only heat up small areas of the body, hot water bottles that could easily leak inside your sleeping bag at any moment, or physically sleeping dangerously close to a fire.
A more sustainable modern solution would be a lightweight, multifunctional item capable of providing significant warmth over a long period of time. The Hot Pocket does just that thanks to its ion battery power and built-in twin radiant heat panels. It’s also breathable and weather-resistant.
The Hot Pocket’s power pack can provide either six hours of heat or fully juice up a phone four times per charge, and it takes just 90 minutes to recharge. It’s also got a power level indicator, built-in LED flashlight, charging port, USB port, and Hot Pocket power port. You can charge it by plugging it into the wall, your car, or a portable solar panel.
The Hot Pocket comes in three sizes, with the size you choose depending on the temperature your sleeping bag is rated for and whether or not you’ll be sleeping in a hammock. If you’re especially cold-natured, the makers recommend getting two: one for your chest and another for your feet.
While the Hot Pocket heated stuff sack is clearly great for camping, it’s also a lot more versatile than that. Since it unzips completely to lay flat on the ground, you could just as easily use it on airplanes and roadtrips, at sporting events, or to keep a toddler cozy in their stroller on a cold day. Basically, it comes in handy anytime you have to be outside or in a cold place but don’t want to be bogged down by wearing excessive layers.
Made by Sierra Madre Research, the Hot Pocket just completed a successful round of crowdfunding on Kickstarter. It will be available for sale later this year at an expected retail price of $139 for the small size, $159 for medium, and $179 for large.