Portable hot water is a luxury out on the trail and although a vacuum bottle or thermos flask can use up a lot of carry weight when it’s filled, it’s wonderful to have a cup of hot coffee, tea, or soup, after a long walk for a nice warming boost of energy.
Below you will find the Official Paragon Trails curated list of the top five best vacuum bottles and thermos flasks on the market today. Each bottle was hand selected with concern in regards to construction, materials, warm and cold temperature retention, and several other factors.
We hope that you enjoy and if you have any questions, comments, concerns, or suggestions, please leave a comment down below. Thank you, and Happy Trails!
Top 5 Best Vacuum Bottles and Thermos Flasks for Hiking and Backpacking
Table of Contents
- Price: ~$47.95 – $50.00 USD
- Weight: 1.1 lbs (0.50 kg)
- Volume: 40 oz (1.14 Liters)
- Heat Temp. Duration: 6 Hours
- Cold Temp. Duration: 24 Hours
- Cons: Low hot temperature retention duration at only six hours, but the bottle is lightweight and well-suited for cold liquids, and resupplies of hot water every 4 to 6 hours. This time frame works well for lunch, dinner, or rest breaks with portable fire sources and cooking methods.
- Pros: Very popular, and highly rated vacuum bottle with great cold temperature retention, excellent weight to volume ratio, and a convenient loop for carabiner pack storage.
- Price: ~$23.00 – $45.00 USD (Stainless Exterior vs Army Green)
- Weight: 1.45 lbs (0.658 kg)
- Volume: 50.0 oz (1.14 Liters)
- Heat Temp. Duration: 24 Hours
- Cold Temp. Duration: 24 Hours
- Cons: Cup lid can sometimes become too hot to hold when containing very hot liquid for long periods of time, however a pair of gloves can help with any long term heating issues.
- Pros: Excellent hot and cold temperature retention, stainless steel interior and exterior, and twist and pour lid with top lid cup for soup or coffee. This thermos is top of the line and worth the weight to bring along.
- Price: ~$50.00 USD
- Weight: 2.5 lbs (1.13 kg) (Heavyweight!)
- Volume: 67 oz (1.9 Liters) (High Volume!)
- Hot Temp. Duration: 32 Hours
- Cold Temp. Duration: 32 Hours
- Iced Temp. Duration: 160 Hours
- Cons: Very heavy, but definitely makes up for it in exceptional durability, and extreme temperature retention duration!
- Pros: Incredible durability, lifetime manufacturer’s warranty, multi-functional cup pour lid, and strong handle can be used to tie the flask to your pack or can be used for easy carrying.
- Price: ~$35.00 USD
- Weight: 0.813 lbs (0.37 kg)
- Volume: 33 oz (0.94 Liters)
- Heat Temp. Duration: 18 Hours
- Cold Temp. Duration: 32 Hours
- Cons: Potential for denting due to more advanced thin wall vacuum design, but still very durable and remarkably lightweight.
- Pros: Exceptionally efficient design with one of the lowest weight per volume ratios available on the market, convenient loop for carrying with carabiner, roughly 1 day’s worth of heat retention, and 1.5 days of cold temperature retention.
- Price: ~$54.55 USD
- Weight: 1.7 lbs (0.77 kg)
- Volume: 64 oz (1.82 Liters)
- Heat Temp. Duration: 30 Hours
- Cold Temp. Duration: 50 Hours
- Iced Temp. Duration: 100 Hours
- Cons: Since these bottles are very popular at the moment, locating them when they’re in stock can be tricky due to the high demand. The 64 ounce bottles are also be quite heavy when filled, but they’re worth the carry weight and are nearly unmatched on the market in many ways.
- Pros: Excellent vacuum bottle technology with 1.5 days of hot temperature retention, and over 2 days of cold temperature retention, plus the Klean Kanteen bottle is capable of retaining icy temperatures for up to 4 days!
A vacuum bottle or thermos flask weighs roughly one or two pounds on average (1 lbs – 2 lbs = 0.45 kg – 0.91 kg).
The average lightweight or ultralight bottle will weigh less than this, but regardless of the weight of the bottle, water is very heavy.
For example, one liter of water weighs one kilogram (1 L= 1 Kg), and four liters of water weighs one gallon (4 L= 1 gal). Therefore, one gallon of water weighs four kilograms, or almost nine pounds! (1 gal= 4 kg = ~8.8 lbs)
One of the largest bottles on the market is a half gallon thermos flask (64 oz, 1.8 L), and when it’s filled to the brim with water, it weighs about five to six pounds including the bottle’s weight. (5 – 6 lbs = ~2.3 – 2.7 kg)
This means a vacuum bottle or thermos flask consumes approximately 10 to 15 percent of an individual’s total carrying weight capacity.
As a general rule of thumb it is advised to carry approximately 20 – 45 percent of your body weight, only 45 at the very most at the peak of physical strength and over short distances, but a person also has to drink approximately 10 to 24 ounces of water per hour, or roughly a quarter to three quarters of a liter to stay hydrated depending on the conditions.
That’s a lot of weight for water, which is why it’s suggested to carry a 32 ounce sized bottle or smaller. If you would prefer to use a large 64 ounce bottle, then that means it will last three or four hours of consistent drinking. This makes a large vacuum bottle a fantastic luxury item if you can prioritize your pack and spare the weight.
ParagonTrails presents our curated list of the best BPA free double and triple walled vacuum bottles and thermos flasks available on the market today. We hope you enjoy. If you have any questions, comments, concerns, or suggestions, please leave a comment down below. Thank you!
The Hydro Flask vacuum insulated and double walled thermos bottle comes in at number five on our list with a super convenient built in loop for affixing the bottle to your pack, as well as a spout for easy access to liquids.
If you’re looking for a faster pour, or you in fact do want something hot, you can always twist the secure top lid and get your desired amount of liquid that way, however the flow rate really is quite good on the nozzle.
There are six color options available for the Hydro Flask and they are: Black, Frost, Graphite, Olive, Pacific, and White. Fortunately, all of the color variants available are the exact same price.
The Hydro Flask 40oz (~1.14L) also has a wide mouth top which makes cleaning using a soft scrub brush simple to use. If you do find yourself with access to ice, the bottle can easily accommodate that as well, but take care placing ice cubes into the container, or into any other container for that matter.
If you’re going to use a Hydro Flask what we would also suggest is purchasing a silicone sleeve to protect the exterior of the bottle. This isn’t something we suggest only for the Hydro Flask either, this is truly best practice for all vacuum bottles to protect them so they can last a very long time.
While the Hydro Flask does have a short hot temperature time, the bottle really shines for cold liquids and has a very convenient drinking spout for easy access to thirst quenching beverages.
If you plan to use the Hydro Flask for hot beverages you will be required to resupply for hot water more often, but for cold beverages the Hydroflask is a fantastic choice.
The highly popular and well-manufactured Thermos King Stainless Steel series starts off our list at number five and is a top of the line double walled vacuum insulated bottle that has a great carrying handle for portability.
If you want to get extra creative with the handle you can loop paracord through it about a dozen times, and then loop it through a carabiner. That way you can hang your thermos off a strong and secure loop on your pack and store extra paracord for numerous purposes as well.
For colors, the Thermos King comes in five varieties: Army Green, Midnight Blue, Cranberry, Matte Black, and Stainless Steel. This is also the order of the most expensive color option to the least expensive, respectively.
One wonderful feature about this bottle is that for an entire day you can retain very hot temperatures inside, and yet have a cool to the touch bottle available for any hot soup or beverage you may ever need. However, the manufacturer does suggest to never leave any food or beverages inside the container for longer than a day due to spoilage rates of foods.
They also strongly warn to never use carbonated beverages or dry ice inside the bottle since the stopper, lid, or contents of the container can be ejected, and this applies to other vacuum bottles as well. Another safety measure is to never drink directly from a vacuum bottle unless it’s designed for it with a squirt nozzle.
In general, this is because the contents of a vacuum bottle can be near boiling point inside and really hurt your mouth. Always pour the contents into a cup, blow on the liquid a lot or carefully hold onto it, and even add ice if it’s available.
While the Thermos Stainless Steel King Series vacuum bottle comes in at number four on the list, it’s still an absolutely wonderful vacuum bottle with a great hot and cold temperature retention duration of a full day.
Plus, with a strong and sturdy handle, a stopper plug with a convenient pour hole, and a very large top lid cup for consuming delicious foods and beverages, there’s really not much more you can ask for in a bottle.
Upon reviewing the Stanley Classic Vacuum Bottle we were certain that it would have been overtaken and outstripped entirely now by some more advanced vacuum bottle technology, but the Stanley Classic’s truly incredible.
In fact, if it weren’t for the heavyweight status of this bottle, it would be in the number one slot. The only advancements that other bottles have over the Stanley Classic bottle are more lightweight materials for construction, but in almost every case, these other bottles sacrifice durability or temperature retention and fall short of the Classic.
The Stanley Classic really is in a league of its own too for durability since you can see these bottles still around fifty or more years later in great working condition and only very minor damage to their outer casing, if any at all.
The entire interior of the bottle’s made from a high grade 18/8 stainless steel, and for color options there’s a very wide variety: Hammertone Green! This is the same and only color option that’s been available since the year 1913 when the company was founded!
Stanley’s a family name and a trusted company with extraordinarily durable vacuum bottles, but for hiking they’re kind of tricky to use and honestly not great for very long hikes unless you have them secured well in your pack within your center of gravity. Although they’re exceptional in every way, really their only drawback is how heavy they are.
With a full bottle that’s 2 quarts in size, about 1.9 liters, you’re looking at around 6.62 lbs, or about 3 kg. That’s a lot of weight if you consider that a 200 lbs person only wants to carry about 40 lbs, or twenty percent of their bodyweight, at the absolute very most. In conclusion, this thermos can take up anywhere from 15 to 20 percent of your total desired carry weight.
If you’re going to use the Stanley Classic, we’d suggest using it on day hikes to your favorite destination, or on a single or a few night hiking and camping trip.
The reason for this is because while the bottle’s fantastic it’s really not great for transporting, but once it’s at its desired destination sitting next to you by the fire, it’s amazing.
We truly wrestled with placing the Stanley Classic this high up on the list, but due to its exceptional vacuum bottle technology and world class durability, it definitely deserves this slot on our list at number three.
With new technology being invented every day we get to enjoy the spoils in the form of new ultralight hiking gear. GSI Outdoors, founded in 1995, is a relative newcomer to the block compared to a company like Stanley, but they’re continuously redefining the industry with fantastically crafted, durable, and affordable hiking and backpacking gear.
The GSI Outdoors MicroLite is no exception to their fantastic line of products and has one of the lowest weight to volume ratios. What this means is that because of the construction of the bottle it can hold more liquid using fewer materials than other bottles, while still maintaining hot and cold temperatures exceptionally well.
In fact, the Microlite only weighs 13 ounces, or about 370 grams, and is easily one of the lightest, if not the absolute lightest one liter vacuum bottles available on the market today.
According to the GSI Outdoors website, the Microlite’s one third lighter than other bottles, and containers 25 percent more liquid than traditional vacuum bottles of the same size.
Testing that assessment by the company’s simple by using a calculation of dividing the weight of the vacuum bottle by its liquid capacity. Then, by comparing that value to the other vacuum bottles, what the data reveals is that the Microlite’s overall container weight per one ounce, or liter is fewer than all others.
The Microlite is an exceptionally well-engineered piece of hiking and backpacking equipment, and easily one of the absolute best thermos bottles you can buy.
The GSI MicroLite also has a bunch of color options and they include: Black, Fuschia (Seen Above), Blue (Light Blue), Mariner (Dark Blue), Aqua, Green, Olive (Brown), Brushed Stainless Steel, and White, and all the color options are the same price.
While the color options are really nice we would suggest the brushed stainless steel variant, as with all other vacuum bottles, because the exterior of any bottle when it is painted can chip or crack over time.
The GSI Outdoors MicroLite really is an awesome vacuum bottle and should be added to every hiker’s arsenal since it’s such a lightweight investment to add to your pack.
If the next option, the Klean Kanteen isn’t available due to limited stock, we absolutely suggest the GSI MicroLite, and if you’re an ultralight backpacker, this is the ultimate choice for a vacuum bottle.
At the top of the list and one of the most sought after vacuum bottles is the Klean Kanteen Classic 64oz vacuum insulated bottle. This thermos flask is truly exceptional with among the highest iced temperature retention at 100 hours, and 30 hours for hot beverages.
The reason that this bottle is at the number one slot is because it’s a sort of synthesis between the GSI Outdoors MicroLite, in terms of light weight materials and advanced vacuum technology, combined with the hot and cold temperature retention and durability of the Stanley Classic bottle.
The Klean Kanteen 64oz bottle really represents the highest quality products available on the market today, the only drawback really is the smaller mouth size which requires a more little brush to clean the interior compared to other bottles.
With the top loop affixed to the cap the Klean Kanteen’s super easy to store on your pack too. We highly suggest using the paracord method which entails wrapping paracord through the loop a couple times and then through a carabiner to add some extra utility to your bottle.
If you want you can also grab a sleeve to wrap around the bottle to cushion and protect it from damage. A dedicated bag for your vacuum bottle is really nice and a great option we suggest is the GoNovate 64oz bottle pack with pockets and sling style or carrying handle for easy transportation and accessibility.
Sparing no expense the Klean Kanteen 64oz vacuum insulated bottle is one of the absolute greatest thermos flasks on the market today, but the only drawback is availability.
Since the vacuum bottle’s exceptional there’s a very high demand for the product which makes it difficult to purchase the 64 ounce version, especially in different colors.
Even though there’s around ten color options, most of the time the only variant available’s the brushed stainless steel which we actually suggest you pick up if it’s available since stainless steel can’t chip from any slight damage during hiking and backpacking excursions.
If this bottle isn’t available in the 64 ounce variety, we wouldn’t suggest settling and instead would recommend the GSI Outdoors MicroLite, but grab this if it’s available, or someone else will.
Each bottle has a specific use, but a couple of them reign supreme. In our first slot is the Klean Kanteen 64 ounce vacuum bottle which excels at keeping beverages hot and cold for very long periods of time while remaining very durable.
Due to the available of the bottle however, the GSI Outdoors MicroLite is an exceptional secondary option due to its price, and super lightweight material construction. If you find yourself on a short hike though, or you’re camping in the same spot for a few days and want some hot beverages then the Stanley Classic vacuum bottle will be the best option.
For all others you can’t go wrong with the Hydro Flask bottle with the spout nozzle, or the Thermos King series of vacuum bottles and they’ll be great as an all around bottle for any situation, and no matter which one you choose there’s no way you’ll be disappointed.
We absolutely love the Stanley Classic bottle for camping, and the GSI Outdoors MicroLite for backpacking and foraging trips into the forest. They’re both great bottles, and once you bring one of these along for the first time, you’ll realize what you’ve been missing.
We hope that we’ve helped you find the perfect vacuum bottle for your adventure and want to hear from you in the comments down below if you get the time to write to us. Since we’ve only had the chance to hold and test the Klean Kanteen bottle, if you do get the chance to purchase this highly rated and outrageously exceptional bottle let us know.