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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    Yes, Stanley will replace, but what’s the point if the replacement is as worthless as the original. I WILL NEVER BUY ANOTHER STANLEY. F*@!ing China lovin’ wh*?es.


  2. Bought a Stanley thermos back in the 1970s. It still works great! Coffee is still hot long after 12 hours. But I purchased a rather large one and so when I wanted to carry less liquid, I bought a new 20oz. What a waste! Coffee cold in less than 3 hours. I sent it back and Stanley sent me a new one. Same thing. Coffee cold in less than 3 hours. I figured that maybe it was the design of the 20oz, so I bought another large one 2L because old one had no handle and was a bit hard to pour. Same thing happened. I was sent another. In all, I was sent three replacement thermoses from Stanley. None of the replacements work and the originals are junk. I have 7 Stanley thermoses in all and only the 1970s model works. That is because it is lined with charcoal. Stanley thermoses will not work unless they start using insulation such as charcoal.
    Don’t waste money on these thermoses until they start making them in America again, using American technology and craftsmanship!
    This is a bad economy and those people who do have money to spend are being more careful. They are also beginning to be more patriotic and buying American. Stanley should get the message. But it may be too late. Maybe Stanley is a Chinese owned company, in which case, it won’t be coming home.

  3. I have a previous comment on this post(jun 29) I say someone should start a petition(I’d sign it) and use good ole freedom of speech and send it to PMI (the company that now owns the stanley name)…and spread the word about the the poor quality thermos to our friends and neighbors.. Word of mouth still goes far… And hopefully it gets through their heads that we want a quality product made in the usa not a cheap chinese ripoff

  4. I have (2) Stanleys, both are NO. A-944DH quart size. One is stamped with a B and a 95, the other is stamped with a A and a 01. I assume that they were made in 1995 and 2001. I haven’t used them for years because they don’t keep coffee hot anymore. I think both worked great for about 3 months when new. I just tried both again last week and noticed the outside got hot immediately when filling. These were both made in Nashville, Tennessee.

  5. I have had 2 replaced and now the number 3 has given up. Bought German 14 years ago and continues to work great. Hot for near 24 hours.

    Guess what my next purchase will be?

  6. Hello,
    I’ve got a Stanley classic stainless steel 1.1 quart thermos I bought a year or so ago. It’s worked fine until recently. The last three times I’ve used it, it’s not kept my coffee hot. This morning I put hot coffee in at 6:30am and by 9:00am it was room temperature. This has happen the last 3 times I’ve used it. At first I thought I’d left cold coffee in it when I filled it but today I put hot water in it for a while before I added coffee. What’s happen to my thermos?

  7. Yes, the Stanley thermos is now junk. When it was made in the USA it was heavier, more insulated, and durable. I recently bought a travel size thermos and the seal was broke in a week and so was the handle due to the shotty spot weld which held together the PLASTIC handle. Complete junk! If you want decent products you have to begin by searching for the words coffee thermos made in the USA on google and then follow up by calling the company personally before making your order to make sure the product is not being DESIGNED in America but MANUFACTURED in China. Yes, its retarded, but this is where the current state of affairs lies. Do your homework before purchasing any product is my suggestion.

  8. I too have had issues with the new bottles. The customer service at pmi is fantastic but it does appear the quality of the physical asset since about y2k has diminished. Still, I would recommend contacting pmi if the bottle is not working to specs.

  9. Sad truth is you gotta go vintage if you want a quality thermos anymore. I have a ’78 Aladdin Stanley thermos, model A-944C. It’s what Stanley referred to as a “Sportsmaster Outing Kit” back in the day, and came with a very nice faux leather carrying case.

    I put ice water into the thermos at 1:00 AM and left it on my kitchen counter. When I poured some out at 1:00 AM the next night (24 hours later), it was as cold as it would be coming straight from the refrigerator. Room temp was about 75 degrees.

    The old ones are worth the money. I got mine on Ebay for about $25, which is about what the cheapo Chinese ones cost new.

  10. My Stanley is 17 years old and was made in the good ole USA. You do have to by older ones if you want them to work well. If people don’t start buying more things made in America and pay attention that the things they are getting are actually from here and not China, someday we won’t have a choice.

  11. Hi, Does anyone know the email address for Stanly Flask in Australia, as I have a stanly flask which is not keeping coffee hot. From what I can gather, there not worth the money we pay for them, made in china, junk. Thanks Joanne

  12. I had a classic U.S.A. made stanley 1 qt bottle for many years that worked great at keeping my favorite beverages hot or cold. It did have one nagging little problem. No matter what stopper I used with it, it always left a small puddle of my drink on the lid of my stanley lunchbox with a small amount running down the side leaving drip trails down the side of my box which had to be cleaned periodically (a small inconvenience). Rather than spend more money on stoppers I decided to replace the bottle instead.
    P.M.I. sent me a replacement after they had me send them my old bottle. WHAT A BIG MISTAKE!!!!! I must give them some credit, I have never had another leaky bottle but now after at least 8 bottles I have never had another sip of HOT coffee or tea since. 3 to 4 hours is all it takes to go from just under boiling to just a hint of warmth.
    I would gladly pay all the shipping I have spent for replacement bottles to have my old leaky U.S.A. made bottle back. The Chineese produced bottles are just slightly better than a plastic milk jug in that it will not crush if you stand on it. Both ultimately belong in the landfill!!!
    How can P.M.I. keep marketing this trash and stay in business?

  13. I have two Stanley Thermos’s one from 1959 and the other from 1995 and both work great. Both made in USA. I always preheat for 15 minutes. Now I have to wonder if the bottle’s I bought as gifts for friends are working as they were bought since 2004. The company will honor the warranty but reading the above posts it does seem useless. Eddie

  14. You lost your credibility with this review. No doubt the quality of your reviews is dependent on the amount of money the manufacturer gives you. Fact: Stanley Thermos USED to make a good product.
    Fact: Stanley Thermos does NOT make a quality product anymore.

    Here is a review for you. Yesterday I did a side by side comparison of two Stanley Thermoses. One was purchased 20 years ago, and one purchased last year from a large block retailer that will go nameless.

    The Thermoses were filled with the same coffee batch at the same time (5:00 am). At exactly 12:00 pm we opened the thermoses. The one purchased 20 years ago contained piping hot, steaming coffee. The one purchased last year from the major retailer contained cold, not luke warm but cold, coffee.

    If you would like a durable product that will last forever that is one thing. If it needs to keep a beverage hot then spend your money elsewhere. A styrofoam cup can keep a beverage hotter than a Stanley Thermos and it doesn’t cost 20 bucks.

    There is a REAL review.

  15. Hey Roger,

    Just for your information we never received a dime from Stanley to do this review. The review we did was a couple of years ago and 100% accurate on the model that we reviewed. Since then it seems the company has went down hill which is reflected at the end of our article and in the numerous comments above.

    If we were trying to prop up Stanley it would have been pretty dumb of us to allow all these comments.

  16. My thermos stopped working. It doesn’t keep liquid any warmer than an normal coffee mug would. Very disappointing. I bought a replacement. Hope it works a little longer than the last one.

  17. I agree with all who say bring it back to the USA, or hold PMI accountable.

    My story starts with replacing my old 1978 Stanley that didn’t keep coffee hot any longer. Bought a replacement at a block store sale. REALLY disappointed to see it was made in China!

    To their credit, PMI sent a replacement for my original, and then also for the newer one I bought when after a week, it didn’t keep things hot!

    Long story short, PMI now has sent 3 to me, and will be sending another since only 1 ever kept things hot.

    I say to all…KEEP having them send replacements until they see on their own the need to make em right!

  18. Just found a vintage stanley made in 1994. Brand new in box. Was doing work for someone in there garage and was able to purchase it from them. I have my old 1987 model which works amazing I made add… Plus I now have a ( charcoal lined ) backup. Do not buy any Stanley that says made in china. It will definently not work. Shop eBay and flea markets and buy vintage. You will probably pay way less than current retAil price… And it will last u a lifetime.

  19. I have a 1985 bottle and a 2011. I use one for coffe and one for tea. I drink tea in the afternoon and coffe in the morning. Both bottles seem to hold temps about the same. I do notice the older once is heavier, but the new one seems to work just as well. I wish they were still made in the USA, but what can you do? I was a truck driver, now im a mechanic. Both bottles have been beat around, both have served me well. I can leave hot drinks in either one for 24 hours and still will be warm enough to drink. I am thinking I will buy a 2 liter bottle soon.

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