If you love spending time in the outdoors then you already know the benefits of a thermos, they keep your drinks hot or cold for those long days in the wilderness.
Waking up early to get into the backcountry to go fishing, hunting or hiking often leaves little time for a coffee in the morning, and your only option is to take some with you in a thermos. Plus once you’re out there, you not likely to have the means to make any, and for us coffee addicts out there, having none is simply not an option.
If you’re camping, then you can make coffee whenever you like but making one batch and storing it for the day makes way more sense. There is nothing worse than opening your thermos to drink a nice piping hot cup of joe to find it’s lukewarm and has lost its lovely flavor, which is why we decided to write this review about finding the best thermos.
At A Glance: Our Top 3 Best Thermoses
The best thermos will keep your drinks warm for hours and cold for even longer (if you like iced coffee or just love cold water). It’ll save you the time, energy, and supplies of always having to make a fresh cup and if you’re day-tripping, you should still be able to have a nice hot coffee before you ride home in the evening.
Best Of The Best
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Best For Groups
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Best For Commutes
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Stanley has been in the business of making thermoses since 1913 and they have learned to make an awesome one.
The Stanley Thermos keeps your drinks hot or cold for 24 hours. That’s a long time and it beats most of their competition. The secret to their awesome insulation is their double-walled insulation that does an excellent job of maintaining the temperature of the contents by providing excellent heat retention.
It made from rust-proof stainless steel making it tough and durable. It’ll happily bounce around in your backpack on in your truck without any worry. They have also made it with BPA-free materials to ensure the contents are safe to consume.
The Stanely thermos comes with a wide mouth opening and a multi-purpose lid. When closed it’s leakproof so you don’t have to worry about any spills and when opened, the lid doubles as a cup, and the wide mouth makes pouring easy.
The Stanley thermos is also dishwasher safe and it comes with a lifetime warranty, so you’re really getting a thermos for life here. The only drawback is that the larger sizes are a bit bulky.
The Hydro Flask looks more like a water bottle than anything but don’t be fooled, it still keeps your drinks piping hot and cold.
It’s rated to keep things hot for 6 hours and cold for 24 hours, but in practice, it doesn’t quite manage it due to some heat retention issues.
The lid is not leakproof, which is probably where the heat or cold is escaping from. Bar the insulation loss, not having a leakproof lid means you’re going to need to look after the Hydro Flask so it doesn’t spill in your backpack.
The Hydro Flask features a wide mouth opening and it comes with a hydro flip lid. There are other lids to choose from after you’ve bought it though including a Straw Lid or the Flex Cap that offers more convenient ways of drinking.
It’s made from stainless steel for durability, includes a lifetime warranty, and it’s dishwasher safe for easy cleaning.
Overall it’s a good thermos for things like commuting where you don’t need to keep your drinks hot for too long or leave the bottle in your backpack. It’s not quite solid enough for a backcountry adventure though.
Zojirushi is quite well known for making excellent products, even their bread makes are some of the best, and the Zojirushi Mug doesn’t disappoint.
The Zojirushi Mug actually looks more like a thermos than a mug, so don’t be alarmed. it has a slimline, leak-proof design that means you can slip it in your back or coat pocket, or in your backpack without any worries of it spilling.
It’s excellent at heat retention and will keep hot coffee for at least 10-12 hours so you can still have a piping hot drink at the end of the day. It’s also pretty good at keeping things cold, with a 24-hour rating. The heat-retention also comes with a 5-year warranty.
It’s made from stainless steel and comes with a BPA-free plastic lid. The interior lining is nonstick, and the lid comes fully apart into pieces, making cleaning this thermos really easy. it’s not dishwasher safe though which is unfortunate.
It does have some issues with durability though. Some have complained of rust and others about the lid needing one fragile piece to work that can break quite easily. These cases are rare and 90% of customers do not suffer from them.
EcoVessel is a responsible company who donate some of their profits to environmental causes, so if you’re looking to support a green company with your thermos purchase, EcoVessel is a great choice.
The EcoVessel PERK has some great design features that other thermoses miss out on. The first is the included removable strainer that allows you to use loose leaf tea or throw some fruit in there to infuse your water. What a great addition.
It has a rugged and durable build thanks to the 4 layers that protect it. It made from a double layer of stainless steel, a copper inner, and a silicone base. You can take this thermos anywhere and let it bounce around as much as you like.
In terms of heat retention, the Trimax triple insulation will keep your drinks hot for 8 hours and cold for 16 hours which is pretty impressive. Once you open it up after 8 hours, your drink is still pretty hot.
The EcoVessel PERK comes with a leakproof push-button lid that makes drinking on the go a lot easier, and you won’t have to worry about it spilling in your bag either.
Overall it’s a great thermos, the only downside being you can bump your nose on it while drinking.
You can’t have a review about the best thermos with the brand Thermos showing up. They have been in the game since 1904, refining their designs and giving us hot drinks in the wild for years.
The Thermos Stainless King is an ideal choice if you want to take a lot of coffee out on the trail. It with a 68 oz or 2-liter capacity, so you have hot or old drinks for your whole gang of buddies.
It keeps your hot things hot for 24 hours and your cold things cold for 24 hours, so in terms of heat retention, it’s one of the best. It uses vacuum insulation technology with a durable stainless steel interior and exterior for durability. You can take the Thermos Stainless King on the road and it’ll survive any knocks that come its way.
It comes with a leak-proof lid, that doubles up as a great pourer and a cup, so you’ll never get caught out when you want a nice piping hot come of something. It’s also dishwasher safe, making cleaning it a breeze.
Overall it’s a great thermos for big groups or leaving at camp. The large size and weight when it’s full make a bit too bulky to carry around all day though.
The YETI Rambler is the ideal size for a morning commute at 12 oz. It’ll fit a freshly made coffee inside it perfectly and as Yeti says ‘keep it warm until the last sip’.
Yeti doesn’t actually give us a time for how long liquids will stay hot or cold in their Rambler but we can attest that it keeps things hot for at least 8 hours.
The Rambler is made with puncture and rust-resistant stainless steel for durability and comes with a leakproof lid that’s insulating and one of the easiest to drink coffee out of.
You’ll need two hands to open it, as it seals shut. Once undone, just twist until you hear a click and start drinking. The liquid always comes out the middle and into the direction of your mouth. The lid is also 1 inch thick and is full of FATLID Insulation to keep your drinks hot or cold.
In the 12 oz size, it’s not quite big enough for a day out on the trail but you can upgrade to numerous larger sizes including a 20, 26, or 30 oz bottle.
Overall it’s a great piece of thermos hardware that’ll last, become your best friend, and is affordable.
The GSI Outdoors Microlite 350 Flip is of the lightest and easiest to drink out of thermoses in the review while still keeping things piping hot or nice and cold.
It’s around 1/3 lighter than normal designs thanks to its slimline design. It fits in most cup holders and will even fit in your back pocket. It’s ideal for commuting to work or slipping into your backpack for a quick hike.
The Microlite 350 Flip is made from stainless steel that is both tough and rust-resistant for excellent durability. It uses the same vacuum insulation as the others and will keep your coffee hot for a minimum of 8 hours, and drinks cold for 16 hours.
One of the best things about it is the lid that comes with it. You can operate it with one hand thanks to the push-button design and just flip it closed when you’re done. The lid is leakproof and also comes with a lock, so it doesn’t pop open when you don’t want it to.
The only drawback to this thermos is that it’s not dishwasher safe and that the skinny neck makes it hard to clean. Otherwise, it’s an awesome thermos with great temperature retention.
The CamelBak Chute Mag is another great thermos that is ideal for camping and hiking. It comes in a range of sizes to suit your needs and has some handy features to ensure drinking from it is as easy as pie.
It’s made from stainless steel for rustproof durability and features vacuum insulation like all the others. They don’t state a time for how hot or cold it keeps things but when tested, around 6 hours is the average for keeping your drinks hot, and it keeps things cold for almost 3 times longer.
The lid seals down tight to provide extra insulation and to stop any leaks. It also features an easy carry handle plus the lid is magnetic. You can fully open the lid and it’ll stick to the side of the bottle so you never lose it. This also lets you fully lift the bottle to finish your drink without it ever hitting your nose.
Overall it’s a good thermos that comes in a large range of sizes but it is a little more expensive than the rest of them.
Picking the right size thermos depends on who is going to use it and where. Does it need to be large enough to dish hot drinks out to a group? Or it just for you? Or for you and your partner? How much coffee do you usually drink on a normal day? Answering all these questions will lead you to find the right size thermos you need.
The thermoses in the review ranged from 12 oz to 6o oz capacities, so there is definitely one in there for you. Remember the larger the thermos, the heavier it will be when full and therefore the less portable it becomes. If you’re always going to be hiking with your thermos or walking to work with it, then you might want to opt for a smaller, lighter size.
There isn’t much point in having a thermos with poor insulation. Your hot drinks will get cold and your cold drinks will get hot, which defeats the purpose. The better the insulation the longer the thermos can maintain the temperature of the liquid within it.
The thermoses in the review work by using a double or triple layer vacuum insulation. This means that between each layer of stainless steel, there is a vacuum (no air). Air is a poor insulator and transfer heat quickly, so the less air you have in a thermos, the better insulated it’s going to be. This is the same theory that makes double or triple glazed windows better at keeping your house warm.
Some cheaper models are with tin or plastic, both of which simply can’t compete with a double or triple stainless steel vacuum insulation. They might do the job for 3 hours or so, but after that, your coffee is going to start to get cold.
Every thermos in the review are all high-end and are made using double or triple stainless steel vacuum insulation. You can rest assured, no matter which one you pick, it’s top quality.
There are two things you need to think about when looking at a thermos lid. Is it easy to drink out of? And, is it leakproof? Without both of these needs being met, your thermos is going to get on your nerves. Things like spilling water into your backpack or hitting your nose when you drink are going to get frustrating. Make sure to pick a thermos that doesn’t leak and that you’ll enjoy drinking out of.
No matter what you’re putting in your thermos every day, even water, it’s going to need to be cleaned regularly. If you’re putting coffee with milk in there, you’re going to have to clean it each time you use it, or you’ll start getting that sour milk smell.
Thermoses can be hard to clean, especially if the neck is really thin. Some thermoses are dishwasher safe, making it a lot easier. In fact, most of the thermoses in the review are dishwasher safe, bar 1 or 2, so you’re pretty much covered if you choose one from here.
Durability is also an important consideration, especially since the last thing you want to do is to buy a thermos every year. Durability means two things in the world of thermoses, it means a long-lasting outer shell and long-lasting temperature retention.
All of the thermoses in the review are made from a minimum of double-layered stainless steel, so you’re covered in terms of outer-shell durability. It’s harder to tell when it comes to heat-retention longevity and it depends quite a lot on how the thermos is treated.
The best thing to look at is overall longevity through the warranties. Only a few of the thermoses in the review offer any kind of warranty, Stanley and Ecovessel providing the best ones.
The best thermos in the review is the Stanley Thermos. It’s rugged, durable, dishwasher safe, leakproof and it keeps your drinks hold or cold longer than any of the others. There is not much more you could ask for. Oh yeah, it also comes with a lifetime warranty, the Stanley Thermos is a thermos for life.
The best thermos for large groups is the Thermos Stainless King. Made from durable stainless steel with a capacity of 2 liters and heat or cold retention of 24 hours, it’s hard to beat this thermos when it comes to serving large groups outdoors. It’s dishwasher safe, has a leakproof lid, is easy to pour and the cap doubles as a coffee mug. It’s an ideal family or group camping thermos.
The best thermos for short trips or commuting is the YETI Rambler. This thermos is made to be on a day trip in the 12 oz size. Tt’s durable, robust, and has excellent temperature retention. The lid is super easy to drink from and it seals down tight to be leakproof.
This is a hard question to answer and it comes down to personal preference in the end. You can look at brands like Stanley and Thermos that have been around since the early 1900s, and certainly know how to make a good thermos. But their designs area little outdated which is great for camping but aren’t quite up to speed for your daily commuter.
Then you can look at brands like Yeti, Microlite, and EcoVessel who are all relatively new to the market but are designing thermoses to suit today’s pace of life, making them more convenient for us in our everyday lives.
The best thermos to keep your coffee hot is the Stanley Thermos or the Thermos Stainless King. Both of these thermoses keep your coffee hot for 24 hours and are reliable as hell when it comes to being leakproof and durable. But they aren’t the best for being on the go due to their large size and are more suited for camping trips.
Again, the only two thermoses in the review that hit the 24-hour hot mark are the Stanley Thermos or the Thermos Stainless King. Both of these will keep your drinks hot for the longest amount of time compared to the rest of them.