The Best Thermoses of 2024

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Whether you’re heading out for a day of hunting, ice fishing, or enjoying the solitude of a winter trail, a warm cup of coffee or a hot lunch can make even the coldest of days feel enjoyable. High-quality insulated food and drink containers can reliably maintain the temperature of their contents for hours on end. The perfect thermos will vary from person to person, but they all have overlapping qualities that make them the ideal piece of outdoor gear.

In our search for the best thermoses on the market, we considered all types: from old-school tacklebox classics to modern drink movers for folks on the go. We narrowed it down to the best-of-the-best according to durability, leakproofness, heat retention, features, and overall capacity. And before we were through with it all, we pit each thermos against the other in our temperature retention test: scrutinizing manufacturers’ claims and finding out for ourselves which mug would keep our coffee piping hot for the longest — and pass our ‘ideal coffee temperature’ standard.

Our experts have toted close to 15 different thermoses over 3 years, taking them out everywhere from early-morning salmon excursions in the Puget Sound to elk hunts in the high country of Colorado, and have settled on these as the best of the best. Scroll through to see all of our recommended thermoses for any autumn morning. We’ve also compiled an in-depth buyer’s guide and FAQ to break down just what makes a good thermos tick. And finally, use our specs chart to go apples to apples on your next thermos.

Editor’s Note: We updated this guide on January 22, 2024, to update our testing practices and introduce our ‘ideal coffee temperature’ standard — a 136-degree make-or-break barometer of a thermos’ ability to keep our brew toasty warm.

The Best Thermoses of 2024


Best Overall Thermos


Stanley Classic Legendary Bottle

Specs

  • Capacity
    2 qts. (64 fl. oz.)
  • Weight
    2 lbs., 3.2 oz.
  • Materials
    18/8 stainless steel, BPA-free
  • Temperature retention test
    157.5 F after 24 hours
  • Cleaning
    Dishwasher safe
  • Best for
    Sharing, fishing, all-day sipping


The Best Thermoses of 2024

Pros

  • Leakproof in any orientation

  • Durable 0.7 mm thick walls

  • Well-insulated

  • Classic styling

Cons

  • Somewhat heavy at over 2 pounds


Nick Belcaster

Best Budget Thermos


Thermos Stainless King 40 Oz

Specs

  • Capacity
    1.2 L (40 fl. oz.)
  • Weight
    12 oz.
  • Materials
    18/8 stainless steel
  • Temperature retention test
    150 F after 24 hours
  • Cleaning
    Top-rack dishwasher safe
  • Best for
    Enjoying coffee all day long


The Best Thermoses of 2024

Pros

  • Budget price for still impressive heat-retention

  • Dishwasher-safe

  • Easy-pour function

Cons

  • The lid cup and seal may need to be replaced after a few years


Nick Belcaster

Most Versatile Thermos


CamelBak MultiBev 

Specs

  • Capacity
    0.65 L (22 fl. oz.)
  • Weight
    1 lb., 4.8 oz.
  • Materials
    18/8 stainless steel, food-grade silicone, BPA-free
  • Temperature retention test
    100 F after 24 hours
  • Cleaning
    Dishwasher safe
  • Best for
    Carrying multiple beverages in one unit


The Best Thermoses of 2024

Pros

  • Well-insulated

  • Versatile design

  • Easy for sharing

Cons

  • Small liquid capacity

  • Heavy for size


Nick Belcaster

Most Durable Thermos


Stanley Forge Thermal Bottle

Specs

  • Capacity
    1.3 L (44.6 fl. oz.)
  • Weight
    2 lbs., 14.4 oz.
  • Materials
    1.0 mm thick 18/8 stainless steel, BPA-free
  • Temperature retention test
    160 F after 24 hours
  • Cleaning
    Dishwasher safe
  • Best for
    A lifetime investment, early-morning hunts, and marathon roadtrips


The Best Thermoses of 2024

Pros

  • Impressive thermal retention

  • Very high crush and ding resistance due to 1.0 mm thick walls

  • Vacuum-insulated cup

  • Steel-liner screw-cap stopper

Cons

  • Fairly heavy at almost 3 pounds


Nick Belcaster

Best Coffee Thermos


Contigo Byron 2.0 Travel Mug

Specs

  • Capacity
    0.5-0.7 L (16-24 fl. oz.)
  • Weight
    5.1 oz.
  • Materials
    Stainless steel, BPA-free
  • Temperature retention test
    70 F after 24 hours
  • Cleaning
    Handwash body, lid is top-rack dishwasher safe
  • Best for
    Drinking hot coffee all day long, car cupholders


The Best Thermoses of 2024

Pros

  • Fits in most cupholders

  • Multiple design options

  • Decent heat retention

Cons

  • Plastic lid can hold onto flavors

  • Lid has the potential to open inside of a bag


Nick Belcaster

Best Thermos Mug


YETI Rambler Mug

Specs

  • Capacity
    0.41 L (14 fl. oz.)
  • Weight
    12.9 oz.
  • Materials
    18/8 stainless steel
  • Temperature retention test
    60 F after 24 hours
  • Cleaning
    Dishwasher safe
  • Best for
    Fireside sipping, commuting


The Best Thermoses of 2024

Pros

  • Sweat-free DuraCoat finish

  • Easy to use/clean

  • Durable camp mug

Cons

  • Not 100% leakproof lid

  • Not the best heat retention over the long run


Nick Belcaster

Best Food Thermos


Hydro Flask Food Jar

Specs

  • Capacity
    0.59 L (20 fl. oz.)
  • Weight
    15.4 oz.
  • Materials
    18/8 stainless steel, BPA-free
  • Temperature retention test
    60 F after 24 hours
  • Cleaning
    Handwash only
  • Best for
    Keeping food secure, hot and cold foods


The Best Thermoses of 2024

Pros

  • Lifetime warranty

  • Compact design with low-profile lid

  • Lightweight at less than a pound

  • Durable design

Cons

  • Not much usable capacity in the 8- and 12-fluid-ounce sizes


Nick Belcaster

Best of the Rest


Zojirushi Stainless Mug SM-TA48

Specs

  • Capacity
    0.48 L (16 fl. oz.)
  • Weight
    8 oz.
  • Materials
    18/8 stainless steel, BPA-free
  • Temperature retention test
    110 F after 24 hours
  • Cleaning
    Handwash only
  • Best for
    Hot broths and brewing up on long excursions


The Best Thermoses of 2024

Pros

  • Compact profile slips into pack pockets

  • Smart flip lid functionality

  • Holds onto heat

Cons

  • Lid should be cleaned after every use


Nick Belcaster


Hydro Flask Standard Mouth Bottle 24 Oz.

Specs

  • Capacity
    0.7 L (24 fl. oz.)
  • Weight
    12.9 oz.
  • Materials
    18/8 Pro-Grade stainless steel, BPA-free
  • Temperature retention test
    97.5 F after 24 hours
  • Cleaning
    Dishwasher safe
  • Best for
    Packing in a hot drink on a hike


The Best Thermoses of 2024

Pros

  • Impressive temperature performance

  • Fits other Hydro Flask accessories

Cons

  • No drinking straw lid or integrated cup


Nick Belcaster


Stanley Titanium Travel Mug 14 Oz.

Specs

  • Capacity
    0.4 L (14 fl oz.)
  • Weight
    8 oz.
  • Materials
    Grade 1 titanium, BPA-free
  • Temperature retention test
    69 F after 24 hours
  • Cleaning
    Handwash only
  • Best for
    Bringing anywhere, travel


The Best Thermoses of 2024

Pros

  • Ultralight weight

  • Small footprint

Cons

  • Price

  • Won’t keep things hot for very long


Nick Belcaster


Maxso 2-Pack

Specs

  • Capacity
    0.5 L (17 fl. oz.) and 0.7 L (24 fl. oz.)
  • Weight
    2 lbs., 1.6 oz.
  • Materials
    Stainless steel, silicone, BPA-free
  • Temperature retention test
    105 F after 24 hours
  • Cleaning
    Dishwasher safe
  • Best for
    Enjoying hot soup up to 12 hours after storing


The Best Thermoses of 2024

Pros

  • Integrated spoon

  • Nonslip design

  • Good heat retention

Cons

  • Can be difficult to clean threads on lid

  • Only one spoon included


Nick Belcaster


Takeya Kids’ Insulated Water Bottle

Specs

  • Capacity
    0.4 L (14 fl. oz.) and 0.47 L (16 fl. oz.)
  • Weight
    Varies by size
  • Materials
    Stainless steel
  • Temperature retention test
    65 F after 24 hours
  • Cleaning
    Dishwasher safe
  • Best for
    Keeping kids’ drinks cold all day


The Best Thermoses of 2024

Pros

  • Straw nozzle

  • Handle on lid

  • Multiple size options

Cons

  • Not intended for hot liquids

  • Some kiddos have difficulty getting the spout to seal


Nick Belcaster


Thermos Funtainer 

Specs

  • Capacity
    0.3 L (10 fl. oz.)
  • Weight
    4 oz.
  • Materials
    Stainless steel
  • Temperature retention test
    67.5 F after 24 hours
  • Cleaning
    Top-rack dishwasher safe
  • Best for
    School lunches


The Best Thermoses of 2024

Pros

  • Wide-mouth opening

  • Lightweight

  • Leakproof

Cons

  • Heat retention

  • Seal may need replacing


Nick Belcaster

Thermos Comparison Chart

ThermosPriceCapacityWeightMaterials24H Temp
Stanley Classic Legendary Bottle
$502 qts. (64 fl. oz.)2 lbs., 3.2 oz.18/8 stainless steel, BPA-free157.5 F
Thermos Stainless King 40 Oz
$391.2 L (40 fl. oz.)12 oz.18/8 stainless steel150 F
CamelBak MultiBev 
$520.65 L (22 fl. oz.)1 lb., 4.8 oz.18/8 stainless steel, food-grade silicone, BPA-free100 F
Stanley Master Forge Thermal Bottle$721.3 L (44.6 fl. oz.)2 lbs., 14.4 oz.1.0 mm thick 18/8 stainless steel, BPA-free160 F
Contigo Byron 2.0 Travel Mug
$170.5-0.7 L (16-24 fl. oz.)5.1 oz.Stainless steel, BPA-free70 F
YETI Rambler Mug
$300.41 L (14 fl. oz.)12.9 oz.18/8 stainless steel60 F
Hydro Flask Food Jar
$350.59 L (20 fl. oz.)15.4 oz.18/8 stainless steel, BPA-free60 F
Zojirushi Stainless Mug SM-TA48
$300.48 L (16 fl. oz.)8 oz.18/8 stainless steel, BPA-free110 F
Hydro Flask Standard Mouth Bottle 24 Oz.
$400.7 L (24 fl. oz.)12.9 oz.18/8 Pro-Grade stainless steel, BPA-free97.5 F
Stanley Titanium Travel Mug 14 Oz.
$1110.4 L (14 fl oz.)8 oz.Grade 1 titanium, BPA-free69 F
Maxso 2-Pack
$370.5 L  and 0.7 L2 lbs., 1.6 oz.Stainless steel, silicone, BPA-free105 F
Takeya Kids’ Insulated Water Bottle
$280.4 L  and 0.47 LVaries by sizeStainless steel65 F
Thermos Funtainer$170.3 L (10 fl. oz.)4 oz.Stainless steel67.5 F
Best Thermos Temperature Testing
Our in-house temperature testing aimed to replicate real-life scenarios. So we chucked the thermoses out in our shed; (photo/Nick Belcaster)

How We Tested Thermoses

A good thermos can be a lifetime purchase, which means that finding the right one can be important. At GearJunkie, we have a broad array of outdoors folks, from backpackers and hikers to ice climbers and hunters, and we all love a good, hot cup on a cold day.

Contributor and tester Meg Carney is no stranger to an outdoors romp, and has worn hats as a wilderness therapy guide, backpacking guide, and climbing instructor whose time outside doesn’t stop when the temps drop. Her look into the best thermoses on the market started in 2021 with nine of the most capable, and continues today by adding new types of thermoses including insulated mugs, soup bowls, and more.

Senior Editor Nick Belcaster is the man behind the goggles for this guide, and he drummed up the testing regimen that all considered thermoses undergo in order to earn a spot in our lineup. His testing stretches from his workbench to the foothills of the Cascades, where he has been known to carry a warm beverage from time to time.

In seeking out the best thermoses, we rummaged through our cupboards and packs, as well as scoured online for the most promising contenders. We sought out thermoses that would serve a wide range of activities — from grabbing a quick coffee to packing in a full day’s worth of broth to an elk glassing session.

Then, we filled up our mugs and went off into the fall of the Pacific Northwest, testing the thermoses both outdoors, as well as in our in-house temperature testing regiment. We toted soups, teas, and good ol’ cuppa joe in order to find the best thermoses of the year. And as sure as science is only good if it’s replicable, we repeat our temperature test every fall and average the findings.

Our testing also didn’t end with simple temperature testing, as you’ve actually got to get your coffee there intact. We also tested durability by dropping these thermoses off our tailgates (and yes, sometimes running them over as well), and compared them in a leak test, where the thermoses were filled with hot water and laid on their sides over paper towels. All told, these thermoses have been shaken, rattled, and rolled to ensure they won’t be going anywhere but with you when you need them.

Looking for something that’ll be used mostly for water? Take a look at our review of the best insulated water bottles.

Testing Thermoses
In the lab; (photo/Erika Courtney)

Temperature Retention Test

In order to better gauge their worth, we subjected each thermos to a rigorous temperature retention test. Typically during a day in late October, as the first winter storms blow in, we assemble all of our thermoses for a showdown.

Each thermos simultaneously receives a full serving of 212-degree F water, and is then surveyed for temperature at 30 minutes, 1 hour, 4 hours, 8 hours, 12 hours, and 24 hours. While we understand that some folks recommended preheating their thermoses for maximum efficiency, we wanted to replicate the most likely scenario and poured our brew into room-temp vessels.

Then, seeking an accurate testbed, we chuck our bottles out on our workbench while we get to tinkering. The ambient temperature fluctuates between 48 and 50 degrees F, but all thermoses fare the same treatment. Once completed, we average our findings over previous results.

Thermos Test Results

Thermos30 minutes1 hour4 hours8 hours12 hours24 hours
Stanley Classic Legendary Bottle200 F197.5 F190 F184 F175 F157.5 F
Thermos Stainless King200 F195 F190 F175 F170 F150 F
CamelBak MultiBev195 F190 F170 F145 F135 F100 F
Stanley Forge Thermal Bottle
200 F195 F185 F183 F175 F160 F
Contigo Byron 2.0 Travel Mug
185 F175 F135 F107.5 F99 F70 F
YETI Rambler Mug175 F157.5 F109 F83.5 F70 F60 F
Hydro Flask Food Jar180 F165 F116.5 F91 F75 F60 F
Zojirushi Stainless Mug SM-TA48187.5 F185 F165 F152.5 F142.5 F110 F
Hydro Flask Standard Mouth Bottle192.5 F189 F167.5 F145 F132.5 F97.5 F
Stanley Titanium Travel Mug182.5 F172.5 F135 F110 F95 F69 F
Maxso 2-Pack192.5 F187.5 F169 F150 F137.5 F105 F
Takeya Insulated Water Bottle180 F172.5 F132.5 F102.5 F90 F65 F
Thermos Funtainer185 F177.5 F142.5 F112.5 F97.5 F67.5 F
*Temperatures averaged over 2 consecutive years tested

The Ideal Coffee Drinking Temperature

While a few things didn’t surprise us during our testing (we knew there was a reason Grandpa loved his Stanley), a few things did stand out, and all of our data is given meaning by one important nugget of information: the ideal temperature to sip your cup of joe at.

Figured out by some eggheads by surveying consumers and balancing their preferences against the risk of scalding, an optimal drinking temperature for hot beverages can be pegged at right around 136 degrees F, give or take a few degrees. This number became our make-or-break figure in comparing relative heat retention, and some interesting trends bore out in the data.

For one, three rough groups emerge at around the 1-hour mark: the first being what we’ll call the Classics — the Stanley Classic, Thermos Stainless King, and Stanley Forge bottles. These thermoses were in it for the long haul, and were all able to stay above 150 degrees for a full 24 hours. That’s still too hot to drink casually!

Bigger here is also better, as a larger mass of heated liquid is able to self-insulate much better than smaller-volume bottles, and that brings us to our second group: the Travelers. This includes the Zojirushi SM-TA84, Maxso bottles, CamelBak MultiBev, and Hydro Flask Standard bottle, which all were able to stay above the optimum sipping temperature for a full 12 hours, before falling off to around 100 degrees after a full day. These thermoses are all sized to fit in a pack for to-the-go warm drinks, and as such only need to stay warm long enough for day trips or commutes.

And finally, the Oddballs are comprised mostly of thermoses that carry things like hot soups, but also include the wide-mouth YETI Rambler Mug, as well as the Stanley Titanium Travel Mug and Contigo Byron commuters. These thermoses all held tough for an hour, but then most dropped off at the 4-hour mark. Likely long enough to get your soup to lunchtime — but not much longer.

Best Thermoses Stanley Classic Pour
Large and in-charge thermoses like the Stanley Classic led the pack in our temperature testing; (photo/Erika Courtney)

Buyer’s Guide: How to Choose a Thermos

Looking for your next thermos, you’ll likely want to ask yourself a few questions. Are you looking to have a day’s worth of coffee for the whole crew, or maybe just a swig of warm tea at the end of a hike? Do you need your thermos to be compact to fit into a school lunchbox or backpack?

Then, consider if you’ll need the features of a full-fledged thermos, or if you might be well suited with a bottle that’ll keep drinks both hot and cold. Bottles with integrated cups and handles like the Stanley Classic Legendary Bottle are born-and-bred thermoses, while the Hydro Flask Standard Mouth Bottle could easily be used for both.

Note that this is a constantly changing list and that as new thermoses come out we’ll test and add them if we think they made the cut. If you’re looking for a water bottle, check out our lineup of the best insulated water bottles.

Best Thermoses Lineup
There’s a thermos for every kind of adventure; (photo/Nick Belcaster)

Capacity

Determining your thermos capacity needs comes down to two factors: the intended activity and if you’re sharing.

If you’re heading out for a day of ice fishing, lugging out a Stanley classic will be no issue, but if you’re embarking on an ultralight backpacking trek, a heavy metal thermos may not even make the cut.

Consider how much you usually drink or eat and if it will fit inside the thermos container. Then decide if it’s just for you or if you’re packing lunch or coffee for you and your partner. If you have multiple people sharing a thermos, then a larger capacity is ideal. However, if one cup of coffee is all you need, something closer to the CamelBak MultiBev will suffice.

CamelBak MultiBev Thermos
The CamelBak MultiBev thermos sports a unique split capacity design that allows for casual sipping from a smaller mug; (photo/Nick Belcaster)

Insulation

The insulating capabilities of a thermos are what makes them so useful. Most on the market today will utilize vacuum insulation, but some may also use foam insulation. Vacuum insulation tends to work better than foam, making it the standard for quality thermos brands.

In our in-house temperature testing, we found that there’s a reason your grandpa loved his Stanley so much. The Stanley Forge Thermal Bottle only fell 50 degrees over a full 24 hours — down to 160 degrees F. That’s still too hot to drink quickly! Close behind were the Thermos Stainless King as well as the Zojirushi Stainless Mug SM-TA48.

Stanley Classic Legendary Thermos
The double-wall vacuum construction is what keeps your beverages toasty after a long hike or day of fishing; (photo/Nick Belcaster)

Vacuum insulation uses a double layer of material to create a space between the walls. This gap of air (the vacuum) is what prevents heat from escaping or entering. While vacuum insulation has become the gold standard in thermos technology, the nature of the double-walled construction creates extra weight.

Though this may not be an issue for fishing or casual hiking, vacuum-insulated thermoses are not very practical for backpacking, climbing, or other activities that require prolonged carrying.

Stanley Titanium and Zojirushi Thermoses
The two welterweights of our testing: the Stanley Titanium Travel Mug and the Zojirushi Stainless Mug SM-TA48; (photo/Nick Belcaster)

Durability

Most of us bring our thermoses outdoors, so they need to be able to take a beating. Top-quality thermoses are constructed using stainless steel of some kind for the body. A stainless steel body is harder to break, especially in cold conditions.

Many thermoses also have an additional coating to ensure that they’re well-protected. Be mindful of the handle and lid when considering durability as well. Some thermos lids have stainless steel exteriors, and the air-pressure lid is plastic because it isn’t directly exposed unless opened.

Some other designs have all-plastic lids, and this is usually the first part of the thermos to fail. If it does come with a plastic lid, double-check the warranty or if replacement parts are available if something breaks.

Best Thermoses Stanley Forge Thermal Bottle
The Stanley Forge line is essentially a beefed-up version of the brand’s Classic thermos, with thicker steel walls and hard-mounted handles; (photo/Nick Belcaster)

Lid Construction

Another aspect of the lid to consider is the seal and how you drink out of the thermos. If you have a food-specific thermos, consider how easy it is to pour from the opening as well.

Traditional thermos designs, like the Stanley Classic, have two lids: one air-locking lid on the inside and an exterior lid that doubles as a cup. These dual-lid designs are almost always leakproof, especially because both lids have a rubber seal of some kind. Having a secure lid design is necessary when carrying around a thermos of hot water or coffee — not only to prevent spilling in a bag but also for your safety.

Thermos Stainless King Thermos
The deep integrated cup of the Thermos Stainless King is a joy to sip from; (photo/Nick Belcaster)

Other thermos lids, like that of the Contigo Travel Mug, are more like a travel coffee container lid. They should have a rubber seal and a variation of Contigo’s SnapSeal to cover the drinking spout. These lids will vary from company to company, but be sure to pay special attention to how well the lid seals, especially if you intend to use it backpacking.

If you’re only using the thermos as a food container, look at the opening of the lid or top of the thermos to see how easy it will be to pour. The wider the mouth, the harder it will be to precisely pour. However, a wide mouth can make it easier to eat directly from the thermos.

Contigo Insulated Travel Mug
It’s easy sipping on the Contigo Travel Mug with the SnapSeal lid; (photo/Nick Belcaster)

When a thermos is meant for drinking, the lid construction determines how easy it is not to spill on yourself with every sip. Silicone lids usually create a decent seal but can be challenging to drink from. Plastic lids with a sipping hole or straw are usually the go-to for most nontraditional thermos lids.

Extra Features & Accessories

Extra features like a lid that doubles as a cup, an optimized handle design and grip, or a built-in spoon add a bit of versatility to a thermos. These aren’t necessarily aspects of the thermos that make or break its functionality, but they can add that little extra piece that makes your life easier or a little more comfortable when enjoying coffee on a cold winter morning.

Thermos Funtainer
Food-oriented thermoses like the Thermos Funtainer often come with foldable spoons for quick and easy lunches; (photo/Nick Belcaster)

FAQ

What are the best thermos cups?

As far as temperature control goes, the best thermos cups are designed by YETI or Hydro Flask. Both companies have mugs and cups that don’t utilize the traditional thermos air-pressure seal and instead have an insulated cup with a sipping lid. These aren’t spill-proof, but they afford the consumer the insulation of a thermos in cup form.

How can I best clean a thermos flask?

Some thermos flasks can be cleaned in a dishwasher, but not all are dishwasher-safe. This is disclosed by the manufacturer of the thermos.

If it’s not dishwasher-safe, be sure to take the thermos apart completely and handwash after every use. Don’t forget to remove the rubber seal within the lid to ensure that no food or liquid is trapped underneath.

Which thermos stays hot the longest?

Stanley thermoses have the best heat retention compared to any other brand. This is due to their quality materials, vacuum insulation, and tight lid seal. However, to create a thermos with the best heat retention, it did have to be bulkier and heavier than the others.

What is the best thermos for kids?

When sending your child off to school, it’s great to know they’ll feel well taken care of with cold water and a hot lunch. On this list, we’ve included high-quality kid-friendly thermoses designed for both liquids and food.

Most kids’ thermoses made to hold liquids feature an easy-to-use built-in straw. While straw tops are great and are generally preferred by kids, they’re usually not compatible with hot liquids.

Always read the manufacturer’s recommendations before putting hot liquid into your child’s drinking thermos. The combination of a straw lid and hot liquids can be dangerous.

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