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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21 Comments

  1. 2/1/12
    I recently bought a 1923 stanley thermos. Yes it’s as heavy as a tank, even heavier than stanleys made during the 1970’s and 80’s. It has no external damage but will not hold temperature and gets warm on the outside when hot liquids are put into it.
    I just bought a new stanley thermos, preheated the bottle per the instructions, put boiling water in it, capped it, waited 24 hours, then poured it over a thermometer. The temperature of the water was 125 degrees! It was still very hot!

    Yes, the older thermoses were built heavier, but that still doesn’t mean you will always have a good one.
    American made products used to be the best in the world.
    By allowing cheap imports into our country, our manufacturing and our jobs have gone overseas, you can thank the people who passed NAFTA for that.

    There are better thermoses on the market, but you get what you pay for.

  2. I splurged on myself and bought a Stanley 16 oz. Have only used it around 5 times, every time it was cold in a few hours. I thought it was me, kept heating my coffee up hotter & putting boiling water in the thermos first, lid tighter each time….but still cold. Sorry to hear about the quality gone in what was a dependable product when it was made in US. I’ll try trading it in but don’t have much hope after reading everyone else’s experience.

  3. I FINALLY broke my habit of diet soda and started drinking tea and /or coffee – I am 54years young). I remembered the Stanley name for thermos’ and the quality they “had”. My brother, who works in construction, even talked about how good his was (older version as I see now). Well, I have exactly the same complaints as everyone else. I fill with boiling water, brew my coffee or tea, dump the boiling water out and refill the thermos with my coffee/tea. 3 hours later, sitting in the front seat of the pickup, it is lukewarm, 5 hours later – cold. DO NOT purchase this “new” p.o.s. You will be disappointed.

  4. Ok I recently purchased a stanley aladdin quickstop bolt stainless steel drinks flask, and by no means was this cheap ! I purchased it as a gift for my dad whose old Stanley had become beaten & battered. I feel robbed ! this flask cost me an absolute fortune and 2 hrs after filling with tea it was stone cold. I’m disgusted with this and trying to sort out this mess ( no expectations though ) I mean… Stanley is supposed to be a reliable name. Guess i’m wrong these days. Won’t be buying any more Stanley products. Buyer beware !

  5. I just wanted to put my review in with all the others. I am 50 years old and have used a Stanley thermos since a young age of at least 14, my dad carried one for as long as I can remember, so naturally seeing how well they worked, I purchased my own and was thrilled for about 30 years. That thermos lasted me for 30 years and I had purchased two. Finally after years and years of use the thing wore out but was well worth the purchase. About two years ago I purchased a new one, only to learn the thing wouldn’t keep my husbands coffee hot for 3 hours. I called the company and they sent a new one only after making me go through steps of filling with hot water waiting and checking again to see if it would work. Knowing that it wasn’t going to work because I had followed all directions. Then I had to call back in for them to send me a new one, they sent it right away and still the same thing. I say Stanley if you want to stay in business bring your company back to America or else before long the word will spread and everyone like me will quit purchasing these Stanley items. I always purchased Stanley from, coolers, to thermos, food storage thermos etc. you name I bought it, today no happening. I didn’t mind paying the price before because I received quality now since china has the product its worthless. Sorry, Stanley thought the this day would never come

  6. We purchased three Stanley thermos’s in December . I put boiling water in them first and then the coffee . I could feel the outside of the thermos was very warm’.In half an hour the coffee had already cooled down . In another few minutes is was barely warm . What a piece of junk ! My husband used to take the old Stanley thermos to work and hours later he still had a hot cup of coffee . Why doesn’t the Stanley company value their name and product any longer . I guess it is all about the dollar . I will never purchase another Stanley Thermos ! Shut down the China Stanley Thermos’s and bring them back to the U.S.A and start making them with the same quality they once were . Another piece of China JUNK !!!

  7. I have used many brand of thermos flasks and all of them do not retain heat for longer than 6 hours. In 2009, I borrowed a 1990 Stanley Thermos and it retained sufficient heat to make a good cup of tea after 12 hours!I was so impressed that I went out and bought 1 Litre Stanley and after 5 uses, the water turned tepid after 3 hours! Why does Stanley continue to risk its good name by selling such rubbish that is made in China? I have lost all faith in this product!

  8. I feel that some things NEED to be “Made in the USA”. Tried and true classic items that need no improvement. The Stanley thermos is such an item.

    Here’s a free marketing tip for PMI. Keep selling the cheap Chinese manufactured crap that you currently have. But, also introduce an American made “Stanley Classic” made to the original specifications. Identify it with the vintage Stanley logo, and tack on an extra $10-$20 to the price of your Chinese made model. Let your customers decide. I think you’ll be surprised.

  9. Hi
    I was as excited as others to find a new Stanley for sale locally, only to find it lost its capapcity to keep water hot afer a few months. I recenly dug my 30-yr old plastic and stainless Aladdin flask out of a cupboard, fixed the broken plastic outer skin with fibreglass and it is back to its old self, keeping water hot for 24 hours. I was sending my large new Stanley back, but after reading all the previous comments I will not bother as the manufacturers clearly do not have a solution to the problem, or do not care.Instead I’m going to drill a large hole in it and inject it with blow foam and see if that makes a difference. If not, I will use it as a flower vase in future in our safari lodge. At least it looks the part, being reminescent of a classic flask which did the job properly.

    • Yes I agree with you.

      My brother has the old model from America and it keeps the tea very hot. So I purchased the Stanly myself but must not be the same model because after an hour I find the tea becomes cold.

      I am very dissappointed as I had heard Stanly was a reliable brand.

      Did your idea to inject blow foam help?

  10. I have bought two new Stanley thermos . One in phoenix one in washington state.
    Heated with hot water before filling with coffee this past week when going snow mobileing . After 5 hours in the thermos not even warm coffee. Very disappointed . Going to look elsewhere for some quality

  11. As far as the Stanley Thermos is concerned, Stanley is pulling your leg if they say the new China made thermoses are as good as the old American made ones. I have two or three which my old Dad had from the 60s or 70s and they are a totally different beast. Far, far superior to the new junk Stanley is trying to pawn off. My son and I have a joke about Dad’s old thermoses. We say “sadly Dad’s been dead for ten years now. But the coffee’s still hot.” Don’t buy the cheap China made Stanleys. You’ll be really disappointed.

  12. I’ve never owned a U.S. made Stanley (I’m not old enough I guess) so I can’t say how “great” they were. However, I have owned a Chinese made Stanley food jar and it works fine. At first I too was disappointed that it only keeps my food warm for about 3 hours. Then I researched and learned about pre-heating the jar before using it. I did this and it kept my food from piping hot in the morning to still fairly hot at 4pm.

    I paid $20 for this jar and for the money it does a decent job. My coffee tumbler only keeps my coffee hot for 15 minutes and is just warm after an hour. I wanted to have hot coffee for at least a couple hours so I ordered a 1.1qt Stanley thermos bottle. I’m still waiting for it to be delivered. I paid $20 for it as well and we’ll see how it performs. With inflation in mind, I don’t think these sold for $6 30 years ago. That would be dirt cheap if you were to go back in time. I would gladly pay a little more if it means that an American built it and the quality was top notch. But I would have to have been able to compare my chinese made Stanley with a U.S. to form an opinion. Cost would play a factor as well. I’m willing to pay 50% more for it to be built in the U.S.A. if the quality came along with it.

  13. This is my 3rd replacement I think in a year ,no problem they will send you a replacement free of charge,so I must be on my 4 I called they said to send it back so they could test it. Get this at my cost thats a bunch of crap.I told them to send me postage they said no.

  14. I bought this thermos two weeks ago on the basis of the old reputation. After reading these reviews I returned it for my money back; without waiting for it to fail over time, or even test it. I work just south of the Arctic circle so I don’t have time for BS products. Thankyou for your reviews and HEY STANLEY, the consumer communicates, think you saved a buck???

  15. I have two stanley thermos bottles one has some age on it the other is fairley newer. The older one is not keeping coffee warm at all. I started using the newer one. I put hot water in it before filling it. It did not stay hot either. Is there still a life time warrenty on them? If so how do I go about getting them replaced? Thanks.

  16. Ok, I know this has been asked before but PLEASE, anyone know who to contact if I want my stanley thermos replaced (coz its so wonderfully made =P )
    in AUSTRALIA?
    Thanks

  17. I had an Alladin flask for 15 years and used it every working day without any problems. When it finally gave up the ghost I bought a 1.9 litre Stanley flask which worked fine for about 9 months fefore it stopped keeping the water sufficiently hot. I discarded that one and bought another one of the same model, which only lasted about four uses. I took it back to Big W in Australia and exchanged it without any problems. Now this one has died on me. I emailed the contact address and they replied that I would be contacted from the Australian office. So far I have recieved nothing. Quite pissed off

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