I have an older car. In fact, if my car were a person, it would be graduating high school this year! I don't really mind that it's not brand new. The interior is in good shape and it gets me where I need to go. However, it's not without it's problems. Last winter my heater decided to work about half the time only, this winter it has stopped working all together. Winter in Minnesota with no heat and no defrost is not ideal. Lucky for me, I have a short commute and getting to work and back isn't that bad as long as I don't mind a quick scrape of the inside of my windsheild. I could have it repaired, but it's not worth it. It's not essential to the performance of the car and for the distance I drive and the age of the car, it really isn't worth investing in that repair.

But.... I hate being cold. Hate it! I am someone who has a heated blanket on my bed, wears sweatshirts in June, and keeps a spaceheater at work. Given my distaste for frozen fingers and toes, I was thrilled to recieve a little heater/defroster as a gift this Christmas. It is small and plugs into your cig lighter. I knew this would not be comparable to working heat in my car, but I was super excited to have a little bit of heat and some help defrosting my windshield. Last week I took it for a test spin. The first time I tried it my window was almost clear to begin with and the sun was shining, so it didn't take much to defrost it. I only drove about 2 miles that day, so I wasn't sure how well the heat had worked. The following evening I decided to try it again. My windshield was completely frosted over, so I plugged it in and held it up to the window. After about 10 min, I had cleared a section about 3 inches by 6 inches. Once I hit the road, I turned aimed the heat at myself and the results were not the warm rush of air I had hoped for. It was really more like a whisper of heat. To be fair, it was one of the coldest nights of the winter and this product was not designed to be used in place of actual heat. But it was a chilly drive home.

Overall verdict: Give it a shot, but get a good set of mittens, hat and a scarf too!

Photo: K Krage