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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  1. 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!

  2. 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

  3. I was going to buy my two brothers a 1.1 thermos like the one we’ve used for over 30 years and have always loved. It keeps our coffee hot for almost 24 hours, even after 30+ years of intense use. Reading that they have outsourced to China and all the negative reviews, I’m thinking about not getting them the thermoses. Sad.

  4. I have a large stanely made in china $80:00 at Big W. (To replace a older 4 cup model from my timber cuuting days in the forest.)Hot water stayed very hot first time I used it them 6 months later we used it again and the water was only luke warm 3hrs later and outside of flask was hot. . All my grey nomad friends have had the same experience.
    May as well try the $10:00 made in china bottles they cant be be any worse and if they are well go gas and boil the billy.I WILL DEFINITELY NEVER BUY OR RECOMEND STANELY TO ANYONE, and as for the lifetime garantee it not worth the cardbooard its written on consdering the expense and trouble to have them honour it

  5. Seeking ANY information where I can purchase an original stanley No. 11 thermos stopper. Have tried unsuccessfully to purchase several over the net unfortunately I have been sent the replacement stopper No. 13. Desperate to have a hot cuppa at morning break. Gus.

  6. I have a half gallon Stanley thermos that is made on U.S.A. Its like new. The reason is I’ve had it in storage for a very long time . The reason I shelved it , is that it never kept my coffee hot! Maybe a new stopper might help? Does Stanley even make this size anymore?

  7. I got my Stanley Food Jar for Christmas, 2012. My girlfriend and I follow the instructions that say to fill it with boling water and let it stand with the cap on for 5 minutes, then empty the water and put in whatever it is you’re eating already hot. In my case, soup. I work outdoors for the phone company and sometimes don’t get to eat lunch until 1 or 2 o’clock. Without exception, my soup has been steaming hot every time., with steam pouring out of the thermos. I highly recommend it.

  8. Stanley LIES! When I bought their Thermos it came with a lifetime warranty. My Thermos has stopped keeping coffee warm so I called their customer service number and was told their policy is that in spite of the fact my Thermos came in a box that was clearly labelled lifetime warranty, they will not honor older model Thermos’. Tell all your friends not to buy from these liers!

  9. unacceptable. why advertise 12 hours if it doesn’t keep anything warm for pnver an hour. shitty outsourced company and a shitty product

  10. I have the same problem that everyone seems to be having. My old Stanley worked great.

    I have bought 3 new ones and exchanged them – all have failed to keep coffee hot longer than 3 hours. I found my dad’s old Stanley from the 70’s and it stays hot for over 12 hours in sub 30 degree temps.

    I will not buy another Stanley – I bought a Thermos brand from Wal-Mart and it works good, comparable to the old Stanleys. It was about $25.

  11. Whats about the new limited edition bottles for the 100years anniversary ?
    They are also china garbage ? That would be a big joke then :/

    • Yup, made in China. Cheap marketing stunt to maximize profit. I really wish PMI would bring manufacturing back to the US or just get out of the thermos business and stop blighting the world with its crappy products.

  12. I’m an American Thermos collector.You can still buy a solid American made thermos in the 20 dollar range on Ebay and I do that sometimes but….I find that going to local antique stores is the way to go..Still in the 20-30 buck range but you can give it the once over,which helps..I prefer the Thermos brand 2484.Ribbed aluminum with the red cap..Get the right one and it’ll last forever.

  13. Whoa is me. After buying a 1.1 Stanley for liquids and a 24oz food jar at Big 5 in LA yesterday, I decided to look on the internet. Now I realize I am going to have to be experimenting and vigilant for the next three months.

    Riddle me this: how can a stainless steel vacuum thermos STOP WORKING? What is degrading within the thermos that changes it’s effectiveness?

    Planned obsolesence after 3 months?

    How many old Stanley thermos’ were fought over after Grandpa died?

    • The cheap Chinese manufacturing process leads to air leaks into the vacuum chamber. Once the bottle loses vacuum it becomes no better at insulating than a Nalgene bottle.

  14. If you drill a little hole on the top (1/16”) and a 3/8” hole on the bottom opposite the top hole, (top hole on the left and bottom hole on the right).

    Get a can of foam insulation, fill from the bottom hole until it comes out continuous on top. Then when you use hot kitchen faucet water and preheat it before pouring in the coffee or whatever liquid, it will hold the heat for at least 3 days. Mine do in very cold conditions.

    Oh, use some silicone or Dap shower chalk to seal the holes after the insulation sets to prevent water or moisture from getting in there. It’s a cheaper fix and less frustrating than buying a Thermos every few years. I did this with an old plastic thermos also but must have fill it too much because it split on the seam after a few uses. Uses= drops and rattling around in a bucket.

    Good luck

  15. I hold Rob Harris (CEO of Pacific Market International who bought Stanley in 2002) personally responsible for taking something simple, a vacuum flask, and combining it with low-quality Chinese manufacturing to produce a high-profit piece of junk. He took a good name and a good product and reduced it to nothing more than cheap crap for maximum profit.

    Rob Harris you are a dirty profiteer and you should be ashamed of yourself.

  16. My plastic handled Stanley (entire middle including handle is solid plastic) worked great for 10 years. I’m thinking it was made in USA. Just quit working so I’ve been using my late ’90s USA wide mouth Stanley. Great, except you spill coffee all over. So, I just bought a 1.1 q Stanley and I noticed it’s half the weight, feel like a toy. Bugged me so much I found these reviews. I’m not even going to try it; going back to the store. What a shame. I HATE buying made in China. I will suffer with my wide mouth or get a USA made on ebay.

  17. I’m a little frustrated with my current situation. I have a vintage Stanley Thermos (A-944DH) with the regular pourer/stopper. My coffee is hot for approximately 6 hours. Anything after that, it’s lukewarm. I know people with the same one and they’re telling me it keeps hot (steaming) for an entire day. Should I look to replace the stopper first? There is moisture and condensation forming around the top after a couple hours. Any ideas why?

    The thermos is still in very good condition but for the amount of time it’s keeping liquids warm, it’s just not worth lugging around. Any help would be greatly appreciated!


  18. I too, looked for a Stanley recently. I was a bit shocked to see they were at $25 and made in China. They looked like they were made cheap. I had an original ’55 Stanley with the cork that lasted me well over ten years and kept things hot.

    These China ones are just living off the brand name and at 25 bucks a piece must represent a huge profit margin for something that is really worth about $7.

    The irony is somewhat amusing. There are few items of Americana that are as blue collar as a Stanley Thermos.

    To Buy a new one would be like buying a Harley that was made in China.

    But no one would be able to afford a Harley made in China because, well, all the blue collar jobs were outsourced.

    So you have to wonder who the target market is, for a China made, Stanley Thermos: Someone that doesn’t check where it is made?

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