Six of the best gadgets and gizmos on a theme. This week: Six of the best winter-warming gadgets.
By Peter Jenkinson
The seasonal shift in weather is well under way but don't be downbeat. Instead, let's embrace it.
While you bundle away your summer clothes and dig out the chunky knitwear, this week's search has found six gadgets to help you beat the cold.
Eastern Promise - Samurai Umbrella - £19.95 from www.red5.co.uk
Sling this over your shoulder in the supplied sheath, perhaps even secreted under your overcoat, then reveal your defence system at the first sign of precipitation. It all sounds fairly dramatic, but why not? This shield is perfect for doing battle with the rain and it comes with a push button release and detailed hilt.
Feet Heat - Outback Battery-heated Socks - £17.99 from www.iwantoneofthose.com
In the battle against cold feet, the gadget gods have created these unisex heated socks - they're radiators for the feet. Inside each is a heating element that'll keep your toes toasty up to 39C. With the socks staying warm for four to five hours, there's plenty of time for a decent hike, or to sit on the sofa and watch a couple of films.
Stay Upright - Nordic Mini Ice Grippers - £7.99 from www.iwantoneofthose.com
Slipping on the snow and ice might make for some amusing video footage but it really is a pain in the posterior. To ensure you're not a victim of a seasonal trip, use these grippers on the front of your shoes; each one has a pair of metal studs to help you walk on slippery surfaces more safely. They're available in four colours, so you should find a pair to match your footwear.
Digit Warmer - Touchscreen Mittens - £39.99 from www.iwantoneofthose.com
The trouble with smartphones and tablets is that these touchscreen devices are rendered near useless unless you can tap directly on the screen. These handwarmers have a pull-back mitten top that reveals a glove underneath with the fingertips equipped with touchscreen technology, so you can tap away and keep your extremities warm.
Just Add Water - Warm Up Soles - £12.99 from www.iwantoneofthose.com
After a single charge, these shoe inserts will provide up to 35 minutes-worth of foot-warming relief. And to reactive, just boil them in water for 10 minutes. The soles will mould to your feet and they can be reused up to 100 times.
Firm Favourite - The Slanket - £24.99 from www.firebox.com
A hybrid of a blanket and a dressing gown, this is a mighty fine way to cover up and keep warm. Comfier than a bathtub full of cotton wool, these oversized fleece covers keep your entire body enveloped in what can only be described as a great big cuddle.
App of the week: Hotel Tonight - Free on iTunes and Google Play
The idea is pretty simple. This app will endeavour to find you a hotel room - tonight. Working on a last-minute booking model, you can get deals on unsold rooms until 2am, with discounts of up to 70%. It's perfectly suited to those extremely unorganised types, or if you find yourself in one of the listed cities with no bed booked.