What Is In Football Player’s Fanny Packs? Hand Warmers Explained

Written By: Chris Haddad
Updated: February 12, 2024

When watching an NFL game, it’s common to see players who look like they’re wearing a fanny pack. Football players, mostly quarterbacks, and wide receivers, can be seen wearing this thick piece of material around their waist.

These fanny packs are actually called hand warmers. Inside the fanny packs are small individual hand warmers that keep the player’s hands warm.

This article will show you why players wear these hand warmers and what benefits they play on the football field.

Why Players Wear “Fanny Packs” In Football

On any given day, there’s a chance that an NFL, college, or even high school player may be wearing one of these “fanny packs.” These fanny packs are actually called hand warmers, and they serve a vital role in football.

Players who are often seen wearing these fanny packs are quarterbacks and wide receivers.

The reason why these two players wear these hand warmers is to keep their hands from freezing.

These hand warms are often worn in cold-weather states.

Football player fanny pack

Typically any northern state that plays football will have players who will wear a hand warmer around their hips.

Quarterbacks will use these hand warmers to keep their hands from freezing in between plays.

This is beneficial because the quarterback needs to throw the football effectively to his receivers.

Likewise, wide receivers need their hands to be as warm as possible.

Wearing a hand warmer around their waist will allow them to keep their hands warm before and after plays.

Different Types Of Hand Warmers

There are different types of hand warmers that NFL players will use throughout the course of a season.

First is the traditional hand warmer that can be found here. These hand warms are attached by a buckle or connected to the player’s belt on his pants.

These hand warmers are the most popular and will help a player’s hands keep warm throughout the game. These hand warmers must be fastened as tight as possible.

The last thing you want is a defender to rip it completely off your body and break the buckle.

Defensive players can tackle offensive players with the hand warmer, acting as part of their body.

Attached To Jersey

Fanny pack attached to the jersey

One of the new styles of hand warmers is the one that is directly attached to the jersey.

These are only found in the NFL and help players from losing them or getting them completely ripped off.

As you can see from Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson, his shirt has a thick pocket, similar to a hand warmer.

This allows Lamar to keep his hands warm rather than attaching a hand warmer to his waist.

The reason why quarterbacks will wear this is if they’re consistently running the football. Coaches don’t want players to get tackled by the hand warmer.

These jersey holes act as a hand warmer and provide enough warmth to the hands, similar to a traditional hand warmer.

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What’s Inside Of The ‘Fanny Packs’?

Inside the fanny packs is small air-activated warmers.

Often quarterbacks or receivers will keep 2-4 air-activated warmers inside of the handwarmer pouch.

This allows the inside of the hand warmer to stay at an optimal temperature for hand warming.

Players will squeeze or hold these hand warmers for 10-20 seconds before they need to release them and bring their hands outside of the hand warmer.

Squeezing the air-activated warmers will keep the hands sweaty and help catch the football in the cold, dry weather.

Can A Player Get Tackled By His Fanny Pack?

Yes. When a player wears a hand warmer (also described as a fanny pack), he may be tackled by it. This means that if a defensive player grabs it and takes the other player to the ground, they will be ruled down as tackled.

This is why all players must have the hand warmer as tight as they can to their bodies. The hand warmer is often connected by a buckle, which can easily be connected and disconnected.

Tighten the slack on the hand warmer as close as you can to your waist to eliminate the chances of you getting tackled by it.

Keep Learning

The fanny packs football players wear are actually known as hand warmers. These hand warmers often have air-activated warmers inside them, which allow the hands to stay warm, away from the cold.

Quarterbacks and wide receivers are the top two positions to wear these hand warmers. They wear these hand warmers to ensure that their hands are at optimal temperatures for throwing and catching the football.

If you’re looking to purchase a hand warmer or air-activated hand warmer, these are our picks for the best ones.

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About the author 

Chris Haddad

Chris Haddad is the founder of vIQtory Sports & high school coach for over 12+ years. He has been featured as an authority on Hudl, Bleacher Report and countless other football-centric platforms. Chris continues to study and provide valuable content for those looking to learn more about the game of football.