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10 Taobao finds for keeping warm this winter

It's blimmin' freezing: beat the chill the Chinese way with these bargains

With all the talk in Chinese culture about the dangers of 'cold air' or hanqi entering the body, it’s not surprising that the country has got the art of keeping warm down to a tee. With harsh winter chills making their way into Beijing, we've rounded up a number of items that will heat you up in no time.
Heat patches

Heat patches

Like a ten-hour hot water bottle thinned down to a slice, these handy heaters come in a variety of shapes and sizes. Smaller ones are perfect for the hands and feet while the larger kinds work well for your back, knees or stomach. To use, tear open the individual packets open and allow each patch to warm up before adhering to fabric (not your skin!). Available for about 11-40RMB, depending on how many you want in a pack, from Taobao and in most supermarkets and convenience stores.

Heated slippers and foot warmers

Heated slippers and foot warmers

Nobody takes care of their feet as seriously as the Chinese, so it's no surprise that the invention of comfy, heated footwear is simply genius. Heated footwear come in a variety of styles from conjoined slippers (50-288RMB) to Ugg-like boots (69-75RMB). You can also nab yourself a pair of heated hiking boots if you're really worried about your toes when climbing mountains, or go for the full-on body cover

Fleece leggings

Fleece leggings

Ever wonder how some Chinese women manage to brave the winter in tights and leggings? Well, it’s because they understand the science of ‘added thickness’ or jiahou. Jiahou leggings can be worn on their own, or as thermals layered under trousers. The fleece-lined pants come in all sorts of colours, shapes and sizes, much like us. You can get one that just look like trousers (40RMB), proper tights (from 19RMB) or cosy, cosy leggings (40RMB).

Leg warmers

Leg warmers

Disregard all notions of Fame and Flashdance, 'cos we think that these '80s wardrobe staple come back into style when the temperatures plummet. You'll likely see them being sold all over town in markets and street stalls as well as online. Often made of wool or a mix of wool, they are available for around 20-30RMB in all the usual colours and styles, from old-school chic to modern takes.

Electric hand warmers

Electric hand warmers

Cold hands? Why not hold onto an animal-shaped warming device (from 80RMB)? Or snuggle your palms in one of these hand-cosies (from 60RMB) when you come in from the cold and it’ll feel like you’re shaking hands with a panda. You can find some seriously cute and cuddly designs on Taobao and there are even computer-mouse caves to heat your hands while you work.

Non-electric hand warmers

Non-electric hand warmers

Just in case your hands are that cold, and you haven't brought your touch-screen-friendly gloves or electric hang warmers yet, get this hand warmer (30RMB) that is especially made for continued use of your phone.

Slankeroo

Slankeroo

Mixing the best parts of sleeves, blankets and kangaroos, the slankeroo (name copyright Time Out Beijing) might just be your best friend and constant companion this winter. Just slip it on and embrace the warmth, and fold it away into its attached pouch when (if) you're ready to come out. Available in various colours, patterns and sizes (for the bubs, too), this is ideal for any snuggle fans out there (80-210RMB). 

Electric blankets

Electric blankets

For keeping warm all night long, why not get yourself an electric blanket? Your normal, English-grandmother, under-the-cover style comes in double and single sizes (150-185RMB). If you just want a lap warmer, however, or a shoulder hug, get yourself an electric pad (157RMB). Finally, do not leave your furry friends on the cold ground. Treat them to an electric blanket all of their own (and maybe they'll stop jumping onto your warm, snuggly bed) with this heated pet blanket (52-90RMB). 

Portable heater

Portable heater

Stay warm, no matter where you are. This retro cube heater (200RMB) can go on a desk, on the floor, on the cold walk to work with you – the possibilities are endless. If you want something even smaller (that is, even more portable), get a little mini USB heater (100RMB) that is functional, funky and fiery. 

Electric heat trousers

Electric heat trousers

These are some seriously hot hot pants. As the winter wears on, cold weather can have adverse effects on the joints, so it’s important to look after them. And the best way to do that is, apparently, to encase your entire lower body in padded, 220V-charged heat massage trousers (with handy handheld controller) (from 608RMB). They’re equipped with seven temperature settings that range from an already pretty hot 35°C, all the way up to a frankly worrying 65°C.

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