Stanley Thermos Review

Stanley Thermos

UPDATE: Please read the update and the readers’ comments below. It seems the newer Stanley thermos does not hold up like the one in this review. Since moving their production over to China there seems to be a significant drop in quality.

Old Review:

After being disappointed with other brands of thermoses in the past, I really wasn’t expecting that much from the Stanley Thermos. I heard that they were tough, but I figured it was probably just a marketing gimmick. Boy, was I wrong!

I abuse pretty much all of my gear. From driving off with cameras on my back bumper to dropping gear down the side of a mountain, it was nice to finally have a product that could stand up to my abuse. I was really impressed with the strength of everything from the thermos handle to the handy little cup cap.

I brought a couple of Stanley Thermoses out to Sedona over the weekend, and after using them around the campground I am now a loyal fan! I was so impressed with them that I will be bringing them on all our future trips.

Why We Liked the Classic Stanley Thermos:

  1. Very tough – They stood up to all sorts of falls and even a few tumbles downs some rocks. I can see why people say that these things last a lifetime. The Classic Stanley Thermos stood up to pretty much any abuse that we could throw at it.
  2. Kept everything we put in them very hot. In fact, I filled the thermos up with boiling water at around 9pm and at 8am the next morning it was still hot enough to steep some tea. (The thermos was left out on a table in temperatures around 50 degrees)
  3. Very convenient. It was nice to have Hot water waiting in the morning without having to start the fire.
  4. The Lid is tough and doubles as a drinking cup.
  5. It was nice to see a company that still cares about quality. I have tried many cheap knock-off Thermoses in the past and I will tell you that none of them compared to the Stanley. We highly recommend it to anyone who is thinking about adding thermoses to their camping gear. This is one product that you will not have to worry about replacing anytime soon.

Looking for a Stanley Thermos?

Update: We have had a number or people write in with their own reviews which you can see below. The thermos we reviewed was from a couple of years ago and worked great for us.  We will be reviewing this year’s model very soon and if we find that the new thermos does not reflect our review we will re-post our new findings. You can find more Gear Reviews in our Survival Gear Section and our Hiking Gear Section.

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21 Comments

  1. Worked as a welder for Long Island Lighting Company for 21 years and had an awesome original MADE IN THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA Stanley awesome thermos. You know the rest.I dented it and thought I would get one of the New all stainless ( no green paint) Made in China P.O.S. thermos OK to make a long story short, Just found one on EBay that is awesome. I emailed PMI for a new double gasket stopper and to see if I could get touch up paint. I never got an answer. I am a machinist and made a neoprene gasket to fit the bottom of the stopper and mixed some green One Shot paint for touch up. Good as new, no leaks and keeps everything hot, no thanks to Stanley.

  2. I’ve had my Stanley thermos for 29 years. When I first bought it, it didn’t keep my coffee very hot. Then, I broke the pour-through stopper and replaced it with a regular stopper my brother had. The coffee stayed scalding hot for a much longer time. Also, keeping the cup on the bottle adds further insulation and helps keep drinks hot longer.
    To recap, ditch the pour-through stopper and keep the cup on.

  3. I am a collecter of 15 vintage Stanley Thermos from 1913 to 1990’s. As it has already been mentioned, The present day Stanley Thermos that can be found at Walmart or Target are pure CHINA junk. Ebay has many sellers of American made Stanley Thermos of various pre-CHina years. I wish the current Corporation that owns Stanley would reclaim American made production.

  4. I recently bought the 40 ounce Stanley Thermos. My wife and I go hiking, and I wanted cold water when we returned to the car. She thought I was wasting money. Well, after a four hour hike, the water was ICE COLD! Like another reviewer mentioned, I filled the thermos with cold water, closed it and let it sit about 5 or so minutes. Then I emptied it and poured in the water from the fridge with some ice. It worked out so well, my wife gave it an A+. Its 12 hours after the hike today, and the ice in the thermos is still solid! I paid $25 at Target, worth every penny.

  5. I have an old Stanley Thermos that I took on a fishing trip last week. The cork broke off at the stem and I pushed the remainder inside to get to the coffee (I had no corkscrew available). Is there any way to remove it?

  6. Ditch the Stanley ,and buy an old UNO-VAC. I bought one from the 1960’s the otherday. Far superior to even an old Stanley. Atfer 10 hrs the water was 20° hotter than My 3 other old Stanleys. UNO-VAC was made in Meriden Ct by Union Mfg Co.

  7. I would like to brag for a minute. I use my Stanley thermos every day and it will keep my coffee hot for more than 8 hours that is if I get too busy to drink it. I purchased this thermos when I was 12 years old to take hunting with me. After I got to adult hood I take it with me every morning no matter where I go. I am now 44 years old so I have been carrying this thermos with me for 32 years. It has been through a lot. It has fell of my truck going down the highway several times and had to go back and find it. I think this thermos will last my lifetime. Just wanted to say thank you for a product that can actually last a lifetime. Thanks again.

  8. I bought my Stanley 100 years ago in 1915 and damn that thing kept my coffee hot for six days at a time. Bought one of the last American-made versions in 1995 and it worked just like that first one 80 years before. I bought a Chinese-made version in 2010 and it only kept my coffee hot of 10 seconds and it ended up killing my dog, my wife and I lost my job because of it. Even though I’m now 120 years old myself, that was my last Stanley…I’m buying the Chinese-made Thermos.

  9. After much disappointment with Stanley I finally threw in the towel and looked elsewhere, I’ve solved it for us coffee drinkers thermos ultimate or the thermos rock both seem to manage a full 18 hours of hot coffee, the Rock is the bigger one but both keep my drinks hot thank god the coffee is sorted. Now I just need to find a decent food jar for chilli etc the search begins again

  10. I’m a retailer selling Stanley flasks & I agree 100% with those who say the Chinese made ones are rubbish compared with the originals.
    The price is outrageous for a product that is in many instances poorer quality than the “no make” stainless steel flasks on the market.
    The Stanley flask I personally use dumps heat through the neck fast enough for it to feel distinctly warm – until the contents go cold…

  11. Hi. I am not a US citizen. I am from India. I came across this site while looking up Stanley. I grew up with 2 Stanley Aladdins which my dad brought home for our use. He had projects in different parts of the world as an Engineer with a British company and was used to the Stanley brand. We had them for ages till mom decided they did not look good enough and wanted replacement. At first we could not find Stanley in this country and I ended up buying other options. But the other day I spotted the same brand at the Amazon India site at more than 3 times the price of a top class Indian brand. Amazed at how it could be so expensive, I searched online and found this site. Thank God for that. I really dont want to spend around 75 dollars in US currency to buy a piece of junk. The 2 stanleys are a puece of my childhood and I would rather keep them that way. They served my family through 3 major hospitalizations and several illnesses not to mention the hot coffees on rainy and cold evenings. All I can say is I am shocked at such compromise in quality from a reputed US brand. Looks like I can use this as a case study for my MBA students in their Marketing or Brand Management class.

  12. Continuing from the previous post: Well as an Engineer and an MBA mmyself I clearly understand why US companies send their manufacturing to China and other countries. The primary reason is to reduce costs and bring in more profits to USA. So even if their US customers are not benefitting someone else in US is surely raking in big bucks. So ultimately USA gains one way or other. Simple. It is the quest for profits that govern US companies that is driving jobs away from USA to other countries. Your minimum wage of 8dollars translates to almost a week’s pay for an unskilled labourer in some of the poorer areas of my country. Even in my state which has some of the highest labour rates, your one hour pay equals almost a day’s wages for a manual labourer with no skills. And our people have zero benefits unlike you. So there. If US wants quality and employment then US companies must be taught to be less greedy by the US people themselves. Sorry if I offended you but I cannot help wondering how your own companies do this to you. I can understand you hating China but dont you realize it is for your company to decide the level of quality?? Anyway most of the high quality products from your country are also made in that country and you still buy it. Heard of Apple?? Even your Levis and Tommy Hilfiger and Arrow and Gap – all are made by India or China or Bangladesh. So it is not the country. It is your companies. Blame them.

  13. HOLA SOY DE ARGENTINA Y HACE DOS DIAS COMPRE UN TERMO STANLEY SINCE1913 CLASSIC Y NO MANTIENE LA TEMPERATURA DEL AGUA MAS DE 15HS Y LO UNICO QUE NOTO ES QUE LA TAPA DE CIERRE METALICA SE CALIENTA Y DEDUZCO QUE LA FALLA ESTA EN EL TOPON VERTEDOR DE AGUA.COMO HAGO PARA SOLUCIONAR EL PROBLEMA? GRACIAS

    • Margarita, soy de Argentina, compré un Stanley de 1,3 lt y me pasa exactamente lo mismo,el agua apenas llega a las 8 horas. También se calienta la tapa ¿pudiste solucionar?¿me decís como?

  14. Stanley brand has always been a staple for my family. Long lasting & durable.
    A couple of months ago we bought 2 of these and have only, I repeat only kept ice water in them and no matter how I clean them or let them air out they smell horrible. Basically have to hold your breath pouring out the ice water. Irritating. Especially for spending over $100 but the never ending stitch

  15. Must agree with the “Update” comment at the top of the Page. Bought my first Stanley in 1974, (Dad gave me my first one as a loaner, he “loaned” it two me for 12 years) had to replace it in ’88 as I drove over the bugger with my dozer(even at that I was able to salvage the cup as it was outside the tread and it kind of got popped off the threads as the thermos smashed flat). So the next replacement was in ’96, son left the thing in the woods. Whined and cried about knowing where it was and would go back and get it when the weekend came. Told him B.S. that doesn’t cover me for the week. Had him march his ass down to the store and buy two (his money) one to replace mine and now he had is own to loose. Proud to say he still has that thermos.. NOW, bought one last year to introduce my nephew to the “Legendary Stanley Thermos” these new CHINA rigs aint for sh*t. Told me it did not keep his coffee hot, so he’ll just go through them drive throughs..I preheat my rig before using it always and this step doesn’t help. Coffee goes cold before I pour the first cup, and I pour about an hour out from the house. Brought it back to the store and was told as there was nothing wrong with it physically or it’s function so I was stuck with it. So… as you might guess, I drove down to the site, hopped into one of my newer dozers (its good to be the boss) and flattened that rig cup and all, brought it back to the store and told them to keep it as they would not have a decent one to replace it with any way….

  16. I got my thermos & lunch box combo for Christmas last year and I have used it almost every day since, not a complaint to make… I make coffee at 6:30 it is still pretty hot by 1 or 2. Hot soup same thing, maybe I got lucky, but I fill it almost to the top and it has stayed hot even on those sub zero days when I left the lunch box in the car all morning. My wife just got me another used Stanley from a garage sale, and if does half as good as the first I’ll be a happy camper.

  17. Just bought some old stanley thermos bottles , they look great but both are missing the old tile corks. One is a 2 quart and one is a 1 quart. Does anybody know what size corks they would take? Or how to figure it out?
    Stanley no longer makes the corks so I will have to find elsewhere?

  18. I had a meeting in Daytona, the night before I boiled hot water on the stove and put it into the thermos, the next morning I made coffee in my coffee maker, pour the coffee in a pot and took it up to boil and then pour into the thermos. From Jacksonville to Daytona about an hour and a half, before the meeting at 9:30am I pour a cup of coffee and it was Luke warm, terrible, horrible…. will never buy another one.

  19. From my experiences and reading the comments here I would say stanley have become very inconsistent in quality and I am glad I restored my fathers old stanley from 1979. Btw they are easy to repaint if needed.

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