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. I have returned at least ten (must be Mad) to shop.They will replace them, but then they last between a couple of days to a few weeks before the contents go cold.
    The latest problem is not the temperature loss but the screw caps. They just suddenly pop out when screwed down to close.My latest one lasted a week, and I had been careful not to over tighten the seal.
    How can this company continue to produce such absolute rubbish. As mentioned by others much earlier models were excellent. I will now contact the company.GLA

    • Have to apologise re my above blog just realized stanley thermos is not thermos. Daft I am but still what I said is true but about Thermos another brand since 1904.They are also made in China,what is going on ? THE COMPANIES NEED TO SORT OUT THESE DESIGNS AND MANUFACTURING PROBLEMS

      • Thermos brand is made in China but mine works good. Tried to use Stanley but the new bottles do not work. My old Stanley worked great but I lost it.

    True: the first impression of the new Stanley bottle without charcoal suggests it is inferior to its predecessor, based on the lower weight and ringing sound when empty.
    I love Stanley vacuum bottles and own many. I fell victim to the same hype about the reduced quality. I wanted to know exactly what’s going on, so I did a test. I put a 1 year old 0.5 Qt Stanley classic in green which was filled with charcoal powder in comparision with a brand new much lighter version of the same bottle, which I just bought for the test and kept the receipts with the intention to return the bottle after the test.

    Short test description:
    same test conditions; pre-warmed both units for 7 minutes with boiling water; emptied both and poured in boiling water till they overflow; insert the stopper, wiped them dry.

    Test results:
    After 10 hours I opened and measured the temperature with a thermometer. The new bottle read 147°F and the more solid bottle read 145°F.

    This surprised me a lot, but restored my trust in Stanley vacuum bottles.

    There is a lot of technology involved in such seemingly simple vacuum bottle. I did some read up on this topic and want to share a simplified summery with you:
    •Vacuum prevents heat convection and conduction
    •Polished nickel layer inside prevents heat radiation
    •Less polished special nickel layer prevent stainless steel from out gassing and reducing the vacuum effect
    •Fine grained graphite or charcoal powered reduced radiation and strengthen mechanical construction
    •Most heat get transferred by conduction through neck where both vessels meet.

    Harald Kanz

  3. I am a farmer had to buy a new stanley because ran over old one with tractor.That was just 4 months ago. New stanley has already lost its ability to keep tea hot.Why? It has not been abused and looks new but is now usless. I would like to know why.Can you help.

    • There is a vacuum between the inner and outer shell. The vacuum means there is nothing available to transfer the heat from the inner shell to the outer shell. If the thermos develops a leak and allows air to enter between the shells, the thermos is ruined. Usually, shoddy manufacturing or a drop will cause a leak.

  4. If you want a real US made Stanley look at eBay. There is no reason to buy that Chinese crap when you can buy good old US made ones, sometimes unused and in their original box. We must revolt against the Chinese movement.

  5. Well, I just got a replacement of two useless units that I bought almost a couple of years ago. From the first moment, they couldn’t keep any thing hot for more than one hour (made in China!). The other day my wife was cleaning up and asked me what to do with them, the first thing that came to my mind was: Throw them away!!! I was so dissapointed with them. But I had a second thought and came to the computer to check about Stanley’s and I got this website where I could read lots of opinnions, and also found out that if you ask them they will be sending replecements, so I did that and today I got them (really very fast, almost a week, they were fast!). That was 2:00 pm, before living home I boiled some water and without pre-heating the thermoses I filled both of them with very hot water. That was around 3:30 pm.
    I arrived home at 10:30 in the evening, and the first thing that I did was checking how was it after 7 hours…Hey people, believe me, water was almost boiling yet!!! I could not believe it…ok…I will start using them and I will write back to let you know what’s going on…So far…so good… Same models, made in China, and however, the ones that I just got, seem to be so good! Don’t know what to say, may they gave me the best stuff they have, may be this will work for a week and that’s it…But I just want to let you all know about my experience…

    • I have been using stanley thermos for almost 40 yrs. They got bad a few yrs ago and just keep getting worse. I replaced mine 5 yrs ago and the new one lasted about a yr. so did the next few. Finally I got mad and called Stanley. They sent me a free replacement about 8 weeks ago. Guess what? Today I fill it and u can feel the outside is hot which means the coffee will get cold so I will need a new one again. They have went to the hell.

  6. I am in the UK and a pal bought me a ‘Stanley Bolt’ flask for Christmas. I used it about 10 times and it was brilliant. Then suddenly the contents went cold within 3-4 hours and the external body became very hot. Am very disappointed because they cost approx. £25.00 sterling here.

  7. The new green Stanley Thermoses are very disappointing as their performance is way below that of the old grey sturdy ones built in the 80s and 90s.

  8. This problem is everywhere, im from Uruguay and I already changed my Stanley a couple of times with the same result. This guys (stanley) dosen´t want to keep there clients!

  9. Very displeased with the Stanley Thermos. Our old one – probably 30 years old – finally broke enough of it that we bought a new one. Never again!!!!! It does not keep things hot. We have even put boiling water in it to preheat it before we put coffee in it – with in about 3-4 hours – barely warm. What has happened to the old great Stanley Thermoses!!!!!!!!!

  10. Bought a 16oz. classic. Same result, coffee stonecold after e few hours. Made a complaint at PMI and to be honest, they responded very quick and accurate. They sended a new bottle within a few days. (the Netherlands).This new bottle however has exactly the same batch- and serialnr. Haven’t tried it yet, but i will post the results.

  11. my Stanley bolt thermos stopped working so i bought another one but this time it was lighter and the plastic had change from yellow to orange, the flask is lighter and it doesn’t feel right. i have sent my old one back and i am hoping the will fix it and send me it back as it was real quality. Before these big companies move production to China they should think of their customers and the quality of the goods they expect them to buy.

  12. was hoping to find a source for the add a handle for the older model stanley thermos. Many posted on ebay have these black plastic zip strip type add on handles and I was needing a source to purchase a few of them. Any information would be so much appreciated. Thanks………

  13. I was at the auction recently and saw a Stanley thermos. I purchased for a few $’s. feels pretty good, I had one a long time ago and remember adding hot water before putting in my coffee.

  14. Like most garbage that comes from china it’s time to stop buying, and let companies like Stanley know what a shame it is that they deprive American workers from making a living by making products in the u.s.a… I will never spend a dime on any product made by Stanley. Bring jobs back to united states!!!!!!!!

  15. Our problem is that I always cleaned and took good care of the thermos. My husband takes coffee in it everyday. I use a baby bottle brush to clean it along with hot water. Well I noticed that there was this black stuff peeling from inside and it actually had been coming out of thermos and I thought it was dried coffee. Nope, we put it on a plate and it looks like black gunk!!! Then we took flashlight and looked inside the thermos and the lining was peeling out? What is this stuff and is anyone else had this problem? I called the company and they are sending a new one but I still worry what this is. Please check the inside of your thermos.


  17. this is what i sent to stanley my family has been using stanley thermoses since ww2 my grandfather was the first the my mom then me in 2004 i had a 2 qt classic paint color thermos till 2006 when i was a logger it got crushed by a heavy piece of logging equpment in 2011 i finely replaced it but the product kept things hot for 1 maybe 2 hours and warm for the same time after 1 month of this i donated the piece of crap to goodwill inc i thought i just got a bad one so i tried again this year same modle as before and the same problem as before same end result i got rid of the waste of money on the 16 of this month i am not asking for my money back because i don’t have the product or the receipt any more and i know iwouldn’t get my money back even if i did but as a person who’s family has used your products for over 70 years i will never again buy use or recommind your product to anyone in fact i will in form them not to buy anything your company makes your products quality has gone down hill in a big way and for those that don’t get the down hill comment you will get this there products are crap, garbage, junk and not worth the money thay charge for them !!!!!!!! since thay started making there products in china the quality has gone to crap

  18. I was lucky. My mum-in-law passed away recently with very little to her name. She left a few things to her daughter (my wife) and her old Stanley thermos to me. It was possibly the best thing I could have inherited, because you just cannot get a F%#@*&! thermos that works anymore. I have bought and and had replaced under “lifetime warranty” many many thermos’s. I am a keen fisherman and love my coffee hot. The old one I inherited from ma-in-law now keeps my coffee hot all day/night long. The f#@%^& chinese built crap are pieces of sh@#$%

  19. My brother has a 2 quart Stanley Thermos, he tells me that it works great, keeps his tea/coffee hot for at least 24 hours… yep, it was made in the USA, pre 2002. Unfortunately he left it in camp at a rig site last spring… (he’s hoping his boss picked it up and is saving for him).

    Me, I wasn’t lucky enough to get a pre 2002 jug… I’ve been getting replacements several times throughout the year, every year… just got another new 2 quart in the mail today… filled it with boiling water, guess we’ll see how it fares over night…

    Long story short… if you can get your hands on and old pre 2002 made in the USA one, insure it cause it’ll last forever and just may dissappear on you someday… if you get a new one made in China, put Stanley PMI on speed dial cause you’ll be calling them for a replacement every week!

  20. This is the second one of these I bought it worked great for about a month thought I just got a bad one so I bought another one same thing worked great for a month but it wont keep coffee hot for more than an hour.I happen to like my coffee hot.I would boil water and pour into thermos and let it sit for five minutes before adding my coffee still cold coffee by lunch time. I even wraped my thermos up in a coat trying to keep my coffee hot what a pain in the ass. How can insulation go bad? But Never Again Will I Buy A STANLY Thermos What a piece of crap. This explains it all SOLD OUT TO CHINA

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