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.  Sadly, that doesn’t seem to be the case with newer models — you can read the hundreds of comments below. You can find more Gear Reviews in our Survival Gear Section and our Hiking Gear Section.

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  1. My dad had an old Stanley when I was growing up… the kind with a cork in the top. So when I wanted one of my own I too got a Stanley. This was back in 1991 and while I loved the new pourable twist-cap… it didn’t keep things hot for long. I just went to a thrift store and found a Japanese-made Thermos brand… and it’s amazing. The new ones made in China seem to be nothing more than junk. It’s 1.6 liters too! No more Stanley for me.

  2. i have a Stanley 1.4qt it keeps my coffee plenty hot, I do not do the bullshit pouring hot water in and letting it sit for half an hour before putting my coffee in either, who has time for that? that is an absurd thing to expect anyone to do when getting ready to head out in the morning.if you have to do that to keep it hot then its not working right. the way I use mine is I make sure I completely fill it with coffee and keep it upright. also if the seal on your lid is no good it will not stay hot, you will know if your lid is bad because when you open it it should make a hissing noise as the pressure escapes, no hissing noise= bad seal. also I rarely drink all of my coffee because its around a full pot worth so I leave the remaining coffee in the thermos with the lid tight until the next day when im ready to fill. sometimes its still steaming even with just a cup left in there. I think this helps keep the thermos “primed” but even if it gets completely cold from sitting for days it still works well. my only complaint is the typoe of stopper i have ,the “pour thru” leaks all over when I pour it, it is very irritating, but on the other hand this stopper might be superior to others as it has two gaskets rather than just one which might explain my better luck at keeping coffee hot.

  3. My experience seems to be the reverse of everybody else’s; my old Stanley, made in Tennessee, will not keep coffee hot, while my new one, made in China, will keep things hat for almost 24 hours.

  4. wouldn’t buy from Stanley….. there products can blow up…. ask my cousin who is trying today to get them to fix the black crap all over kitchen., The handle broke off and the theromos exploded black crap all over her house…. google..exploding Stanley thermoses….. horrible

  5. It appears the junk marketed under once trusted names as Stanley or Thermos has become pervasive. One by one, they’re losing customers, & I say more power to the buyer! By that I mean the only comments such manufacturers seem to acknowledge are none at all, but you can rest assured they’ll eventually take notice in continual profit loss. When I view the attractive vacuum bottles on store shelves, I so want to buy a replacement for my decades-old models (which still work perfectly). I only need to lift the product — correction, tin can — & feel the glitzy, cheap materials to reinforce my abstinence & save my money. I agree with comments expressing disdain over corporate greed illustrated by such manufacturers masquerading their products as having the same reliability of years gone by. One of my old faithful vacuum bottles is a Thermos model 2464S made in Macomb, Illinois. Its original stopper (no. 764) & cup remain in fine condition, & the stainless steel “tank” is used nearly every day! Today’s vacuum bottles sporting once-revered brand names are an inexcusable waste of materials, labour & our money.

  6. Want a good stanley thermos, buy one made in tennessee at a flea market or yard sale ive got two i’ve used over 35 yrs!! Tn. Made their reputation,maybe one day they will come back!

  7. My grandparents had this thermos, and I grew up drinking coffee from it throughout the 1990s while we were on our cattle ranch. I don’t know how long my grandparents had owned the thermos before I came along, but it was probably from the 70s/80s era. Coffee, creamer, and Sweet’n’Low was the recipe. I had forgotten the brand/name of it, but was just reminded this morning and came across this review. We never had any problems with it. I don’t know where it is now, but it’s probably still working perfectly.

  8. Just purchased a Stanley Classic that fits my Stanley Aladdin lunch box that came with a generic flask that failed.
    Tested it overnight and after 15 hours the water was still hot enough to scald my finger when I poured some out. I have used a few days now so all good, looks great as well.

  9. The Stanley in my opinion is still the toughest thermos on the market, though not as good as they used to be. I’ve had likely 10 – 15 of them over the years. Usually manage to run over at least one of them a year. I’m a cat skinner and they don’t hold up to being run over with a D7 Caterpillar. But for normal use I can’t imagine anything better.

  10. I collect American Stanley Thermoses from 1913 to 2001. I love my American made Stanleys. I have pitchers,jugs ,canteens, ice buckets and more. I must have over 50 of them. PMI will not recognize me as an Ambassador with my Vintage photos of them.

  11. I have my Stanley that I purchased in 1976
    and it works as well as it did when new. I hope to have found a replacement stopper on eBay. I wouldn’t take new version Stanley thermos even if it was free.

  12. Wow and all these wonderful compliments about Stanley….but then how the hell is it possible that my Stanley 1.1littres I specially bought for our retirement travels, is such a disappointment! :(( It does not even stay hot for 4hours! I did not keep the invoice as the advertisement on the bottle said “Life Long garrantee! I did inspect my bottle and notice that there surely should be a rubber ring around the lid that screw in, but mine has nothing there! That could be the reason! I am an retired young woman and I am doing my own cleaning and would not take it out- but eversince I bought this bottle two years back, I notice when we travel that it is for sure not doing it for me! I had cheaper brands that kept the heat, but having a Stanley was always part of my traveling dream! Please what should I do with this “Green Elephant” of mine? I have enough flower vases!

  13. I really just wanted to let you no my family is 3 rd generation that swears by Stanley thermos we use mostly the big thermos and the no handle thermo cup for coffee. My husband is a boilermaker tradesman he’s dropped his cup and nothing happened to it. Guys at work ask him what kind of thermos he has because his coffee is always really hot. One day I had to buy u $20 Stanley thermos cup for his boss because he kept asking where to buy them. Just wanted you to know we love your products. Do you guys give out samples or coupons or just anything because we love the products you sell. Thanks again for such great durability products.

  14. I have a Stanley thermos and it is 30 years old made A-90, And I cant say enough good about it it keeps my coffee hot all day at work! it a little beat up and show’s it age however it is without a doubt the best thermos I’ve ever owned I also have their travel mug and same thing it keeps it hot again the best I’ve ever owned

  15. I have had a Stanley thermos since I was 16. 1977. It looks bad with dents all in it from when I used it as basically a hammer to save my butt from my deer stand falling out of the tree about 20′ up. All paint is pretty much gone. But I use this thermos every hunt I make and the coffee stays hot not only for the hunt but even hours later it’s still warm. I cannot compare it to the newer models but my kids can’t believe how old it is but still does a great job. I am pretty sure I bought it at old Gibsons which later was Howard Brothers store. I know I’m old. But still going.

  16. I bought a new Stanley and when I get to the woods hunting my coffee is Luke warm. When we get back to my brother in laws house he pours me a cup from his 40 year old Stanley and it will burn your mouth. I just got back from an antique store and found a old made in USA Stanley. Going to see if it keeps coffee hot like my brother in laws does .

  17. The new Stanley is a piece of crap. The lid is poorly designed so when I push the button in to drink, it spills coffee all over my clothes, car seat, shirt, etc. After reading the other comments, I found out this POS was made in China because the company moved production to China. Really? So aren’t there enough immigrants in the USA now to work for slave wages? Moreover, I don’t understand why a simple lid can’t be designed that won’t douse you with fluid when you drink it. ‘m throwing this thing in the garbage and going back to Contigo.

  18. I worked construction over 20 yes. and my Stanley was tough! Now they are made in China. The quality is not the same. Companies take their business to China for cheap labor and you get inferior material. Everybody knows this. Stanley is producing an inferior product to make the bottom line – Profits. I saw the Stanley product here in Argentina. You can fool some people , but not me.
    Buy American Made Products. We were saying this more than 30 yes. about the steel industry. The US does not have one now. It is essential that a country have a strong manufacturing base. Companies do not care and only look at the profits. Folks I believe in the US. I am an American so practice what you preach.

  19. In my opinion and experience with Stanley products, that I have owned and used extensively. This includes a lunchbox, standard thermos, wide mouth food thermos, travel coffee cup and alcohol flask. I have learned to stick with any product made prior to 2003. Once they sold out in 2002 to a company who outsourced the manufacturing to China, the quality plummeted. After purchasing a few products after 2002, I stuck with the older makes.

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