It was a hot July day that finally broke me. The humidity, the stale air, the beads of sweat that mingled with my sunscreen to make an acidic slurry that ran straight into my eyes. I’d gotten my fill. When I’m overheated, I get irritable, and no one wants to cope with my heat-induced irritability.
My century-old home lacks central air, and even the best Popsicles or swims in a kiddie pool can’t keep me cool on particularly sweltering summer days. The corded fans recommended by Wirecutter are excellent at moving air to the proper areas, but they are inconvenient to move around with outside. If you plan to be completely mobile, handheld fans like the one theme-park journalist Carlye Wisel brings to Disney can be useful. But I don’t need anything super-lightweight while I’m just hanging out.
So when a buddy showed me her Geek Aire Fan, a battery-powered, rechargeable wind machine, I quickly purchased one for myself. Two days later, it arrived, and the first thing I told my kids was, “My fan.” It’s not yours. “Get yourself a fan.” This is the only product I bought for myself that came with explicit guidelines. That is, in contrast to my sun hat, beach chair, and every tube of lip balm I’ve ever owned, which all became the property of my family the moment the box arrived on the front porch. Others may enjoy the pleasant breezes if I am not using my fan. They are welcome to sit in my cool-breeze zone (the fan doesn’t oscillate, so it’s just a direct line of soft wind) if I need it. Buddy, my dog, has no qualms about curling up next to me and obstructing my beloved fan on a very hot day.
My 12-inch Geek Aire Fan set me around $120, which seemed excessive at the time, but it immediately paid for itself. I can take it up while it’s still running and carry it from room to room and from indoors to outdoors, as well as on camping excursions and to get-togethers at my in-laws’ house, thanks to the easy-carry handle. When I use it inside, I plug it in, and when I use it outside, I leave it unplugged to enjoy the lovely breezes (no cords to step over!). Its variable speed-control dial allows me to switch from a light breeze to gale-force winds in seconds, going from a whisper-quiet 24.6 decibels (the equivalent of rustling leaves) at the lowest unplugged setting to 46.9 decibels (roughly the same volume as many bird calls) at the highest plugged-in setting. (When the fan is unplugged, it automatically cuts power to save battery life.)
Little fingers won’t get trapped in my version of the Geek Aire Fan, which has a plastic face and a metal back with 3/8-inch safety slats. Metal is used in other types suited for garage use. There’s also a $150 version with a misting function (fun, but not perfect for the indoor/outdoor versatility I desired, and downright unpleasant for those of us who wear glasses).
This metal-bladed wonder weighs less than 7 pounds and rotates 360 degrees. According to the business, depending on fan speed, the battery can last up to 24 hours on a charge. The battery died after 412 hours on the maximum setting and more than 24 hours on the lowest setting in my tests—an there’s indication light that displays how much energy is remaining. Though it takes around 3 hours to fully recharge, you can charge the battery while the fan is operating, which is really convenient. The lithium-ion battery’s water-resistant section keeps moisture out and includes a USB connector for charging your phone or other gadgets.
Is it acceptable? Yes. Do I appear to be cool? It doesn’t matter. It keeps mosquitos at bay, sweat off my brow, and grumpiness at bay.
Comparison with other products
|Battery operated fan||Battery operated misting fan||Battery operated misting fan|
|Power Bank Function||✓||✓||✓|
|Recharge Time||2-3 Hrs||2-3 Hrs||2-3 Hrs|
|Run Time||3-23 Hrs||3-23 Hrs|
|N.W./G.W.||3.05 lbs/4.8 lbs||3.2 lbs/4.9 lbs|
|Item Dimension||16.3*8.1*16.1 in||16.3*8.1*16.1 in|