computer screen showing an array of winter gradgets
Heated clothes and Bluetooth beanies will help you get through these unnaturally frigid months. (Illustration by Andrew Moghab, School of Visual Arts)
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computer screen showing an array of winter gradgets

Prepare for the next polar vortex with these helpful tools.

There’s no denying it anymore: Earth’s weather is changing. The summers are excruciatingly hot and winters are equally as cold, the latter of which kick-started before November even arrived. Pardon the pop culture reference, but winter is coming, and it’s arriving with a vengeance. November has already seen several record lows across the board, and even cities in Florida hit below-freezing temperatures. The modern American winter is characterized by freezing temperatures, slippery sidewalks and piles of white snow to boot. ‘Tis the season, after all. Since arctic blasts and polar vortexes are apparently becoming the new normal, offices and schools alike must continue business as usual. And while we can no longer hide at home when the forecast looks scary, a winter gadget or two might help alleviate the harsh conditions.

Thankfully, it’s 2019 and people possess the technology to stand up to the cold. Here are 7 devices that will help you save face (literally) in the freezing weather.

1. Windshield Cover

Do you own a car? If you do, you understand and likely share in the chagrin of winter’s approach. Driving in the cold and snow is a pain in the you-know-where. One of a car owner’s top tier annoyances is defrosting the windows, especially if you have to scrape.

As such, a windshield cover is imperative if you want to maintain your sanity while driving in winter. Frost Guard and IceScreen offer the solution to all your defrosting needs. Simply slip the cover over your car’s windshield at night or before snowfall and, like magic, it insulates your glass, which prevents frost buildup. The cover also works to catch snow so you don’t have to brush your windshield.

2. Temperature-Regulated Coffee Mug

Everyone needs a warm drink during frosty months, so you trudge through the slush and snow with your Starbucks beverage in hand. But by the time you arrive to class, your only reward is a lukewarm latte.

Luckily for you coffee addicts, Ember put an end to half-warm drinks when they created their state-of-the-art, temperature-regulated mug. Set your desired temperature directly on the mug (or by using their app), pour in your favorite coffee and enjoy it for up to three hours. The mug recharges on a special coaster, which you can leave the mug on to indulge in hot coffee all day. Plus, Ember even launched a new travel mug so those treks to class through the snow become less disappointing.

3. Bluetooth Beanie

Earbuds are troublesome in the winter. They make your ears cold, and you can’t adjust them while wearing gloves. And, over-ear headphones aren’t any better — who wants to wear their expensive Beats out in the snow?

Stay warm and groove on with the help of Bluetooth beanies, which have headphones built right into your hat. This winter gadget uses Bluetooth technology to wirelessly connect to your device and plays the sound directly into your ear from the beanie itself.

The discreet patch on the side of the hat provides your controls to pause, play, change the volume and charge the speaker. One charge will last for approximately six hours, depending on the brand. Plus, they come in a selection of colors and are surprisingly stylish.

4. Weather Tech Floor Liners

As another essential winter gadget for the car owner, Weather Tech mats are the floor liners you didn’t know you needed. It’s not enough anymore to simply have run-of-the-mill floor mats; the ice, snow and salt destroy them once springtime rounds the corner.

Weather Tech brand floor liners have made a name for themselves in the ever lucrative winter industry through their patented strength and quality that provide full protection of the interior vehicle floors. Their design allows liquid and debris to channel away from your feet and are super easy to clean. As an added bonus, they are laser-measured to your specific make and model to guarantee a perfect fit and full coverage.

5. Heated Clothes

While heated clothing has been around for years, recent efforts have engineered the techiest tops and outerwear to keep you warm in the freezing weather. Polar Seal makes a variety of T-shirts, vests, parkas and more with heated back pads and pockets that heat up at the push of a button. The gear only takes 10 seconds to get warm and can be set at a temperature range of 104 to 122 degrees, running for up to 14 hours on a single charge.

As an added bonus, the clothing is stylish, lightweight and breathable, which means once you arrive at your (hopefully much warmer) destination, you won’t be overly hot. It’s a must-have winter gadget for commuting in the cold. The only downside is that it costs a pretty penny since Polar Seal tops start at $90.

6. Heated Stair Mat

No more shoveling! How about a stair mat that melts the snow? HeatTrak manufactures a line of residential mats that, when plugged into a power source, melt the snow as it falls. This is a lifesaver for those required to climb outdoor stairs to reach an apartment, or for those who simply don’t want guests and delivery people to slip and fall on the front step.

The mats plug right into an outlet and can be controlled remotely. They are effective in temperatures as low as -5 degrees and are completely weather resistant. Plus, the mats can stay outside all winter long.

7. Eco-Friendly Heater

And finally, this winter gadget will keep your room warm without raising the gas bill. Egloo is a space heater, humidifier and diffuser, all in one compact, dome-shaped bowl. Powered by candlelight, Egloo works by trapping the candle’s heat inside and releasing it through terra cotta plates on the exterior. While certainly not the most powerful heater on the market, its eco-friendly energy can’t be beat.

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The smoke free candle sits surrounded by water, which evaporates as the candle burns and humidifies the area. You can also place a few drops of your favorite essential oil in the water to enjoy a pleasant aromatic effect. The wicks are designed to last for five hours, but the heat retaining quality of the terra cotta will keep radiating warmth longer than that.

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