Search Cool of the Wild Start typing...

Best Thermoses and Insulated Bottles in 2024

The best thermoses on table

When we’re out on a long trek or camping overnight, the absence of some of our dearest ‘home comforts’ can make things pretty trying. Sadly, hauling our TV, laptop, kettle, AC, or favourite teddy bear along with us just isn’t terribly practical. Nevertheless, there are ways and means of ensuring that we don’t miss out on some of the more rudimentary yet dearly cherished of our creature comforts, for example a good hot drink on a chilly night or a nice cold one when temperatures start to get a bit toasty. Keeping your drinks at the desired temperature can be problematic, however, and that’s why Cool of the Wild is here to guide you through the itty-bitties of liquid storage and to offer our selection of the best thermoses and insulated bottles you can buy in 2024.

Summary of the best thermoses and insulated bottles in 2024

Disclaimer: We use affiliate links and may receive a small commission on purchases.

This quick overview of the best thermoses and insulated bottles gives you an idea of which bottles are doing the best job at keeping hot drinks hot and cold drinks cold. For more details on each thermos or bottle head to the top 13 bottles section

ProductVolumeLid typeBottle type
Primus TrailBreak EX Vacuum Bottle25oz (750ml)1 cup and pour-holeWith a cup
Stanley Classic Vacuum Bottle16oz (455ml)2 cups and pour-holeWith a cup
Thermos Stainless King16oz (455ml)1 cup and pour-holeWith a cup
Stanley Go Bottle with Ceramivac16oz (455ml)Screw with sipping discBest for hot drinks
GSI Outdoors Microlite 1000 Twist Vacuum Water Bottle33oz (1000ml)Attached screw topBest for hot drinks
Hydro Flask Coffee with Flex Sip Lid16oz (455ml)Screw top with sip lidBest for hot drinks
Yeti Rambler18oz (511g)Standard loopBest for hot drinks
Mira Cascade Water Bottle25oz (750ml)Small screw topBest for hot drinks
Healthy Human Stein21oz (597ml)Standard loopBest for hot drinks
Hydro Flask Bottle21oz (597ml)Standard loopInsulated bottle best for cold drinks
LifeSky Stainless Stee20oz (600ml)Steel D-ringInsulated bottle best for cold drinks
Simple Modern Summit18oz (511g)1 screw cap, 1 flip lidInsulated bottle best for cold drinks
Klean Kanteen TKCanister Complete Set33oz (1000ml) and smallerScrew topInsulated food container
Primus Trailbreak Lunch Jug18.6oz (550ml)Screw topInsulated food container
Thermos Stainless King Food Jar16oz (455ml)1 cup and screw topInsulated food container
Hydro Flask 12oz Insulated Food Jar12oz (355ml)Screw topInsulated food container

Best thermos with a cup

Primus Bottle
Close ups black flask

Primus TrailBreak EX Vacuum Bottle

With a 25oz (750ml) capacity, the Primus TrailBreak EX Vacuum Bottle is the largest of the vacuum flasks on review and probably the best camping thermos – especially for groups. It also lends itself nicely to family picnics or winter road trips with the stainless steel insulation keeping hot drinks hot for over 10 hours and still warm after 24 hours. The bottle comes with two stoppers (as well as the insulated cup): one regular stopper that is best kept on when heat retention is priority, and one ClickClose stopper that enables you to pour or drink straight from the bottle without taking off the stopper at all – a really nice touch. But what really sets the TrailBreak apart from its competition is the silicone sleeve on the outside of the bottle that protects it from bashes and bangs, and also makes gripping the bottle really easy and comfortable – especially in cold conditions.

Read our full review of the Primus TrailBreak 1 litre flask for more details.


  • Has cup
  • Silicone sleeve for extra grip, protection and comfort
  • Excellent heat retention
  • Has two stoppers
  • Very robust


  • Heavy

Find the latest price on:
Amazon | Alpine Trek

Stanley Classic 16oz

Stanley Classic 16oz Vacuum Bottle

The Stanley Classic is, all in all, pretty much what its name suggests. Boasting a double wall and effective vacuum insulation, a tough, stainless steel exterior and two integrated cups for drink sharing, this rock of a bottle pretty much does it all as well, if not better, than any other thermos on the market. Retaining heat for up to a whopping fifteen hours and boasting a super-sturdy lid, this could well be the best thermos for keeping camping coffee hot and the least likely to leak when subjected to a bit of shaking or droppage. Hands-down winner in terms of reliability, sturdiness, durability, and it retains heat better than all other items on review. If you can deal with the extra few ounces of weight, your search for the best thermos can end here!


  • Rugged
  • Durable
  • Keeps your drinks hot/cold for over 15 hours
  • Leak-proof
  • Twin-cup lid for sharing
  • Comes in bigger sizes
  • Keeps drinks iced for 60 hours


  • A touch on the heavy side (1.0lb – 455g)

Find the latest price on:
Stanley | Amazon | Backcountry

Themos Stainless King 16oz Compact Bottle

Thermos Stainless King 16oz Compact Bottle

With a stainless steel double wall and a super-sleek exterior, the Stainless King certainly looks the part. The cap’s twist-to-open pour-hole also held much promise, suggesting an improvement on the leak-prone buttoned caps favoured by other manufacturers. Put to the test, however, the King was ever so slightly less noble than its name suggests. Although very robust and effective at keeping drinks at the desired temperature for a fairly long time (around 8 hours for hot drinks and 14 for cold), the lid and pour stopper proved to be liable to a spot of leakage when given a good shake or drop. A decent option if you won’t be subjecting it to any rough and tumble but not an ideal option for the trail, for which the similarly priced and weighted Stanley Classic will do a much better job.


  • Keeps coffee warm and drinks cold
  • Stainless steel serving cup
  • Nice groove for easy handling


  • Iffy cap construction (plastic interior and steel exterior tend to separate with time)
  • Prone to leakage
  • Serving cup included

Find the latest price on:

Best thermos for hot drinks

Stanley Go Bottle with Ceramivac
Close ups of stanley flask

Stanley Go Bottle with Ceramivac 16oz

New in the 2020 Stanley range is the Go Bottle with Ceramivac. Boasting a smooth internal ceramic finish on top of the stainless steel, the insulated Go Bottle offers a very different drinking experience to the usual stainless steel options on our list. It feels much more like drinking from a mug and you don’t get that fear that you might scald your lips and mouth as you tentatively take your first sip! The confident sipping also comes down to the fact that you can see the liquid in the bottle, thanks to the wide opening (wider than the Klean Kanteen) and the transparent, removable sipping disk. Additionally, the Ceramivac ensures that the inside of the bottle doesn’t hold the taste of your previous drink.

At 11.7oz, it’s a touch heavier than the Klean Kanteen. And it falls a little below par when it comes to heat retention. After 4 hours hot drinks are still hot (around 64ºC) but drop down to the hot side of warm after around 6 hours. However, the no-skid base, stow away carry loop and overall highly enjoyable drinking experience puts it out in front as the best thermos for coffee on our list (providing you’re drinking within a couple of hours!).


  • Very pleasing to drink from (especially coffee!)
  • BPA-free
  • No-skid base
  • Includes removable sipping disc
  • Wide mouth is very easy to clean
  • Dishwasher safe


  • Heat retention could be better
  • Screw lid isn’t as convenient as sipping lid for on the go drinking

Find the latest price at:
Stanley | Alpine Trek

GSI Microlight Flask
GSI-close-up bottle

GSI Outdoors Microlite 1000 Twist Vacuum Water Bottle

The 1 litre (33oz) capacity makes the GSI Microlite the largest insulated bottle on our list. But it manages not to be bulky. It is pretty much the same size as a Nalgene water bottle but with incredibly good insulation. GSI claim that it retains heat for 15 hours. However, we tested it at 11 hours and its contents was still too hot to drink! 24 hours in and it still retaind wamrth, but was by no means hot. And for a day at the beach or on the trail, nothing beats having a whole litre of ice cold water from start to finish.

We really love the thin lip to drink from, and the rubber base is a major plus to prevent it from sliding around on uneven or slippery surfaces. It’s also very lightweight for its size making it a great all-rounder insulated bottle for hot and cold drinks.


  • Excellent heat retention
  • Very lightweight for its size (13oz / 370g)
  • Rubber base
  • Nice lip to drink from
  • Lid stays connected to the bottle when it is open


  • Errmm – the colour is a bit bland?
  • Some people may prefer the lid to come off completely

Find the latest price on:
Amazon | REI

Hydro Flask Coffee flask
Close ups of Hydro Flask Coffee flask

Hydro Flask 16oz Coffee with Flex Sip Lid

I’ve never been a fan of sip lids. I don’t like that you can’t see the boiling fluid approaching your mouth and are therefore unable to gauge when the scalding will occur and how severe it will be! However, the Flex Sip Lid of this 16oz coffee flask is somehow entirely different to anything I’ve used before. Maybe it’s that liquid moves through the lid slowly, or perhaps it’s the shape. Either way, I really like it! It’s also very easy to take apart and clean, unlike some other more complex lids I’ve used.

Its insulation properties aren’t as impressive as Hydro Flask claims. After 5 hours, a boiling hot drink dropped to around 63ºC which was still very hot and just drinkable. After 9 hours and three opens of the lid, however, the drink was a lukewarm 45ºC.

Despite its lower than advertised heat-retention duration, I’m a huge fan of this coffee flask. I rarely want my hot drink to last more than 4 hours anyway, and the lid, slim lip and general aesthetic appeal more than makes up for it, for me.


  • Lifetime warranty
  • Excellent sip lid
  • Easy clean lid
  • Has carry handle
  • Leakproof


  • Heat retention not as good as advertised (with a couple of lid opens)

Find the latest price at:
Hydro Flask (UK) | Hydro Flask | REI

YETI Rambler 18oz

Yeti Rambler 18oz Bottle

The Yeti Rambler looks like a small missile, is just as tough and yet won’t ‘explode’ in your daypack no matter how many bumps and bangs and episodes of general abuse you put it through.  A robust and decent option but doesn’t quite match up to the Stainless King and Stanley Classic performance-wise. While providing a bit more in terms of capacity than both, it comes up a bit short of the Stainless King in keeping drinks hot or cool and far short of the Stanley Classic.


  • Durable
  • Sweat-free
  • Larger capacity than competitors
  • The wide mouth and wide grip handle make it very user-friendly.
  • Keeps drinks hot/cool for 6/7 hours
  • Not prone to leakage
  • Cool name


  • Not as good as Stainless King or Stanley Classic for keeping drinks hot or cool
  • A touch heavy (14.4 ounces )

Find the latest price on:
Yeti | REI | Backcountry

Mira Cascade 750ml Water Bottle
Close ups of blue mira bottle

Mira Cascade 25oz Water Bottle

The Mira Cascade 25oz Water Bottle is the only insulated bottle on our list with a narrow mouth making it one of the easiest to drink from while on the go. The lip is also thin making cold drinks highly satisfying to sip and hot drinks a breeze to pour – no dripping or fast flow. Mira claims that this vacuum insulated stainless steel bottle keeps cold drinks cold for 24 hours and hot drinks hot for 12 hours. However, after 10 hours (and a couple of opens) I still enjoy coffee that is hot, though not piping hot. After 12 hours hot drinks are on the hot side of warm and still warm after 24 hours, outperforming all but the GSI Microlite in terms of heat retention.

The sleek, matt design feels lovely to hold when drinking, and the small lid is easy to undo with grooves for extra grip. Its main flaw is its lack of carry handle making this an ideal option for chucking in a backpack.


  • Very pleasing to drink from
  • Good heat retention
  • Excellent for cold drinks
  • Narrow mouth is easy to pour and drink from


  • Narrow mouth makes cleaning a little tricky
  • No carry handle

Find the latest price at:
Mira | Amazon

Healthy Human Stein 16oz
Close ups of orange bottle

Healthy Human Stein 21oz

Available in different sizes and colours, the Healthy Human Stein is a fetching, double-walled insulated bottle that comes with a handy carabiner to attach to belt loops or backpack straps. The handle on the lid is a really nice shape and size that sits comfortably in your hand compared with the narrow loop of the Hydro Flask, and the lid also features an internal stainless steel plate to ensure that your drink never touches plastic. While the smaller steins keep you cool on a day hike, they will struggle to provide as much warmth as the best of its insulated bottle competitors due to its smaller volume.

The 21oz stein is a much better choice for those looking for better heat retention. In fact, it outperforms the Hydro Flask, Stanley Go and Klean Kanteen, keeping drinks hot for 6+ hours and still on the hot side of warm after 8 hours.

For more details of the 21oz Healthy Human Stein, read our full review.


  • Handy carabiner
  • Nice, large lid-handle
  • Keeps drinks hot for 6+ hours
  • Stainless steel on inside of lid


  • Hmmm, still looking!

Find the latest price on:

Best insulated water bottles

Hydro Flask 21oz
Close ups of hydro flask bottle

Hydro Flask 21oz Bottle

The Hydro Flask is a sleek, double-walled and robust flask that is certain to arrive somewhere on the podium when awards are handed out for Best Insulated Water Bottle. Made of premium grade stainless steel with a sweat-resistant matte exterior that won’t scratch easily, the Hydro is sturdy and durable enough to deal with a bit of a rough treatment and, just in case, comes with with a lovely lifetime warranty. Unlike many of its rivals, the Hydro’s claim that this flask keeps drinks cold for up to 24 hours and hot for up to 6 hours is entirely accurate, making it more efficient in terms of heat retention than competitors the Klean Kanteen, Lifesky and Healthy Human Stein (below). While not capable of keeping drinks hot as long as the Stanley Classic, the Hydro comes in a few ounces lighter. An all-round winner if you don’t need to keep your drinks hot for a great length of time.


  • Keeps water icy cool all day (and night!) long
  • Keeps hot drinks piping hot for up to six hours
  • Scratch-resistant coating
  • Easy to clean
  • Regular mouth still wide enough for easy, quick pouring
  • High capacity, light weight (only 12 oz, 340g)
  • Lifetime warranty


  • Only six hours of heat-retention

Find the latest price on:
Hydroflask | Wildbounds | REI | Backcountry

LifeSky 20oz Water Bottle

LifeSky Stainless Steel Sports Water Bottle

With double-wall insulation, 20oz capacity, a wide mouth top and sweat-free exterior, the LifeSky is a high-capacity, user-friendly bottle that scores high in almost every aspect. Given its size and capacity, it is reasonably lightweight (13.4oz) and also comes with a handy carabiner to clip onto straps or belts. A solid, middle-of-the-road option that comes up a little short of competitors such as the Stanley Classic and Hydro Flask in terms of insulation.


  • Cool design
  • Robust
  • Not prone to leakage
  • High Capacity
  • Handy carabiner
  • Reasonably light (13.4 oz) the 20oz capacity


  • Not the best insulation
  • A touch awkward to drink from owing to the shape of the taper at the neck and cap

Find the latest price on:

Simple Modern Summit Water Bottle

Simple Modern Summit 18oz Water Bottle

For the aesthetically-minded camper, trekker, climber or rider, the Simple Modern Summit just might be the most appealing option in our review. Coming in fifteen colours and with a fetching, curvy design, the Summit is certainly a winner in terms of appearance. While not the best option for keeping hot drinks hot (does so for around 5/6hours), the Summit is a fuss-free, easy to clean, double-walled bottle that keeps cool drinks cool for around 20 hours without building up any condensation or ‘sweat’, and is not prone to leakage. A great option for keeping drinks cold and less likely to leak than insulated bottle rivals the Klean Kanteen and Healthy Human Stein.


  • Not a sweater
  • Keeps cool drinks cool for a long time (around 20 hours)
  • Simple, efficient design
  • Leak-free
  • Very light – 9.4oz (265g)


  • Not the best option for hot drinks
  • Scratches easily

Find the latest price on:

Primus food jug

Best insulated food containers

Kleen Kanteen Flasks

Klean Kanteen TKCanister Complete Set

This limited edition Klean Kanteen TKCanister Complete Set will have all of your al fresco dining needs well and truly covered. The 32 oz (1 litre) bowl keeps hot meals hot (55ºC) for around 7 hours, which is a little less than Klean Kanteen claim. But it performs much better if you want to keep things chilled for a long time making it ideal for fresh salads and transporting ice.

The two smaller (8 and 16oz) canisters also step up to the task of chilling food for ages – 25 and 20 hours, respectively. I love the wide opening, which makes them highly useable eating directly from them as bowls. I use the small one to store ice in for camping cocktails, and the 16oz canister is ideal for lunches. The large one really comes into its own for storing and transporting pre-cooked camping meals. Nothing better than rocking up to the campground with a ready-made hot dinner!


  • Excellent cold retention
  • Super useful carry handles
  • Wide openings to eat easily from
  • Dishwasher safe


  • Heat retention could be better

Find the latest price at:
Klean Kanteen

Primus Trailbreak Lunch Jug
Close ups of primus food jar

Primus Trailbreak Lunch Jug

Like the Food Flask, below, the Primus Trailbreak Lunch Jug is a superb option for soup sippers and curry chompers who like their lunchtime meals to be hot and plentiful! Aside from the Klean Kanteen 1 litre jug, it holds the largest capacity of all the food containers on our list. Though not as impressive on the heat retention front as the King Food Jar, it still keeps hot food at a piping 70ºC for around 7 hours which certainly outperforms the Klean Kanteen.

The ridged lid edges are a nice feature that add extra grip when undoing the screw top. As is the tapered shape of the Jug which makes it easier to hold when delving to the bottom to get those last morsels!


  • Large capacity
  • Tapered shape
  • Ridged lid
  • Good heat retention


  • Still looking!

Find the latest price at:
Alpine Trek | Primus

Thermos Stainless King Food Jar

Thermos Stainless King 16 Ounce Food Jar

The Stainless King Food Jar is another classic looking container from Thermos that, like it’s older cousin the Stainless King Bottle, lives up to the high quality associated with the Thermos products. From a structural point of view, the Food Jar is essentially the same as the Stainless King Bottle. However, there are a few key differences, other than size, that set them apart. The Food Jar doesn’t have a pour-hole as it is designed to contain solid foods as well as soups and smoothies. But instead, the lid houses a stainless steel folding spoon making it one of the best thermoses for hiking and when you want to eat on the go. It is also excellent at heat retention (up to 9 hours) and great at keep your fruit and salads cool for up to 14 hours.


  • Comes with a folding spoon
  • Has a cup lid
  • Keeps food hot for up to 9hrs and cold for up to 14hrs


  • The lid isn’t as durable as other options
  • A little too small to hold a can of soup

Find the latest price on:

Hydro Flask Food Jar
Close ups of Hydro Flask Food Jar

Hydro Flask 12oz Insulated Food Jar

With a 12oz (355ml) capacity, the updated version of the Hydro Flask Insulated Food Jar is an ideal option for light lunches on the go. It doesn’t keep food as hot or cold for as long as the other options we’ve tried, but that is inevitable bearing in mind its size. After 9 hours filled with ice a ¼ of its contents remained solid and the rest had melted. And on the hot food-front it keeps piping hot soup at temperature for around 2 hours. Just the right amount of time between breakfast and lunch!

I really like the thin lip, and the wide mouth is big enough to easily eat directly out of it. It’s also BPA- and phthalate-free with double-wall vacuum insulation and a leak-proof lid, which is easy to open and close. The lid is also a much lower volume than the Klean Kanteens which means you can fill it more full with goodies!


  • Lifetime warranty
  • 9+ hours cold retention
  • Very aesthetic and gorgeous colours
  • Wide openings to eat easily from
  • Leakproof lid


  • No handles
  • Only 2 hours heat retention
  • Cold retention could be better

Find the latest price at:
Hydro Flask (UK) | Hydro Flask | Alpine Trek | REI

Why you need a thermos

Ever schlepped your wearied bones over a long section of scorching trail only to find your stash of water has taken a turn for the lukewarm along the way? How about spent a night in a tent, chilled to the bone or simply dreaming of a hot cuppa but been unenthused by the idea of firing up the stove and putting on a brew? A ‘yes’ to either of the above will most likely mean you could do with a thermos or insulated drinking bottle. Not only will a good one keep your drinks at the desired temperature but also make you less likely to be put off by the prospect of drinking cold tea or warmish water and therefore pass on replenishing fluids lost during your hike, cycle, climb or what have you. It is great when a little self-indulgence can be justified with medically-supported and health-conscious reasoning, isn’t it?!

So now that we’ve assessed our top thermoses and insulated bottles, let’s have a look at what makes a good one.

What to look for in a great thermos or insulated bottle

Most of the factors you need to take into consideration when buying a thermos or an insulated water bottle will depend on what you plan on using it for. Only for hot drinks? Only for cold drinks? A bit of both? A stroll down the park or a multi-day thru-hike in rough terrain? Whatever your activity, the most important features to consider are as follow:


  • Insulation

    The two most common types of insulation used are foam and vacuum insulation. By far the better of the two is the vacuum option, which uses a ‘double-wall’ construction to create a gap (or ‘vacuum’) between your liquids and the exterior shell of your bottle. This wall stops heat or cold escaping or getting in, keeping your liquids at their original temperature for far longer.

  • Durability

    Another important aspect related to construction is durability. If you’re likely to be putting your thermos through some serious rough and tumble, your best bet is something that will take a few blows and dings without losing its thermo-regulation capacities over time. Stainless steel options with solid or protected lids usually score best in this regard, while quirkier designs with too many bits and pieces involved in the construction, primarily of the lid, are more likely to falter the more you use them.

  • Leak-proof

    Finally, and because we don’t want a backpack drenched in coffee, tea, electrolyte mixtures or grandma’s soup, how leak-proof a thermos or insulated bottle is must be high on your list of considerations related to construction. Some thermoses and bottles tick this box admirably while others are only likely to remain leak-free if kept upright in a cup-holder and not thrown in a backpack or otherwise shaken about. Some cap and lid designs, moreover, are often flimsy or poorly made, meaning the contents of your thermos/bottle are likely to be the contents of your backpack before too long!

Pouring hot drink from flask


The capacity of your thermos or insulated bottle will depend on what you’re up to. A long trek or thru-hike might make you want to cut down on weight and opt for something on the small side, but if you’re likely to cover long stretches of ground without any sure water source along the way, a larger capacity bottle is the safest option. Likewise, if the liquids in your bottle are intended to hydrate two or more people, the capacity you require will increase accordingly – two or three people wouldn’t have to walk very far to exhaust the contents of a 500ml supply!

Practicality and Features

Thermos and insulated bottle manufacturers have come up with a surprising number of weird and wonderful ways to make their bottles more functional and user-friendly. Some have been successful in this regard, others less so. A few of the more desirable features to look out for include the following:

  • A lid cup – saves you carrying your own
  • A wide mouth – easier to pour and drink from
  • Easy grip – because some stainless steel varieties are apt to slip through your hand while you pour
  • Carry handle/strap
  • Pour-hole – for ease of pouring without unscrewing the lid. This is very much a matter of personal choice but can help to keep the temperature of your liquids regulated by reducing their exposure to outside temperatures
  • Multiple lid options – so you can chop and change to suit your activity

The above selection of thermoses and insulated bottles shows that enjoying a few of the most basic home comforts while out on the trail is easily accomplished. Whether you need something to warm your belly on a nippy night or to cool you down on a sweaty summertime slog – or both, even – Cool of the Wild hopes that in our top picks you will find something suited to your needs and upcoming adventures! In the meantime, we’ll work on finding some way to get the AC, TV and teddy bear out there with you too…!

Kieran Cunningham

Kieran Cunningham
Kieran Cunningham is a nuttily-passionate climber, mountaineer, trekker, trail-runner, and all-round lover of wild places. He has spent most of his life doing cool things in the Himalaya, Rockies, Dolomites and the Italian Alps, where he now lives and spends his time stomping trails, clambering up crags, ticking-off peaks and, occasionally, sleeping (with reluctance!).

Open Menu