Which Stanley bottles are best for hikers? | We’ve tested the full range to find out

Stanley bottles might just be the most popular product on the planet right now, but which ones are best for hiking and camping? We've given them all a good thrashing to find out

Best Stanley bottles tested

by Oli Reed |
Updated on

Drinking regularly while hiking is the key to staying hydrated, and to do that you need to carry a durable and reliable water bottle on your outdoor adventures. Stanley bottles have become so popular over the last few years that it feels like they're taking over the world, so we've tested their full range to see which are most suitable for hikers.

And the best thing about the Stanley range is it doesn't just end with water bottles. They also make durable flasks, travel cups, camping mugs, insulated food jars, beer tumblers, and even shot glasses; so we couldn't resist giving the whole lot a go.

In this article, we take a deeper look at what makes Stanley bottles so popular, and pick out the 10 products we believe are perfect for taking on your hiking and camping adventures.

Hiker with Stanley flask
©LFTO

It feels like you can’t leave the house, or scroll through your phone, without seeing someone holding a Stanley bottle these days. For over 100 years the American brand has been making everything from flasks and travel mugs to water bottles and tumblers, designed to keep people hydrated on their outdoor adventures.

In terms of durability and insulating qualities, there’s always been a lot to like about Stanley bottles. But the brand’s popularity has exploded since 2020, mainly thanks to the introduction of a modern palette of colours and designs that caught the eye of social media influencers. Once Instagram and TikTok audiences started gushing over Stanley bottles their popularity went stratospheric, with the brand’s annual sales reportedly jumping from $75 million to $750 million in 2023.

The rock star product in the range is the 1.2L insulated stainless steel Quencher Cup, which Stanley’s website describes as the perfect product for ‘sustainable sipping’. Even if you don’t know the name, you’ll have seen the Quencher: it looks a bit like a popcorn bucket with a big handle and a built-in straw poking out of the top.

Filling up Stanley water bottle
©LFTO

Why are Stanley bottles so expensive?

Although Stanley bottles have become something of a fashion item, they’re so much more than that. The whole range is made from durable stainless steel, with most of the products boasting double-wall insulation, so as well as being easy on the eye what you’re also paying for with Stanley is a top-quality piece of kit.

This was reinforced in the remarkable recent story of a Stanley Quencher bottle not only surviving a car fire, but also still having ice inside it when the owner pulled it from the scorched wreckage. And with the brand’s popularity continuing to soar, don’t expect the prices of their bottles to drop anytime soon.

And although Stanley bottles certainly aren't cheap, they fall into a similar price bracket as other popular brands such as Yeti and Hydro Flask. And since the products are so durable and should last for many years, we think they represent decent value.

Stanley Flip Go bottle
©LFTO

How did we choose our favourite Stanley bottles, cups, and flasks?

You’ll notice there’s one very notable absentee from our list of the best Stanley products for hikers. The Quencher is unquestionably a great piece of kit, but in our opinion isn’t suited to hiking, backpacking, or wild camping trips. Stanley themselves describe it as ideal for working, workouts, and road trips, so it doesn’t quite fit the criteria for this article.

Over the past couple of years, we’ve tested and reviewed most products in the Stanley range, and the 10 we’ve selected below have all accompanied us on hiking and camping trips in the hills and mountains.

©LFTO

What are the best Stanley bottles, cups, and flasks for hikers?

Bomproof hiking flask

If you're looking for a big, bombproof flask that looks like it could survive being run over for a tank and will keep your drink either hot or cold for multiple days, this is your answer. The fact Stanley have used the words 'Classic' and 'Legendary' in the title of this flask tells you a lot of what you need to know about it. It's the biggest bottle they've ever made, fully leakproof, easy to clean, and the double-wall vacuum insulation will (in our experience) keep your drink warm for more than 24 hours. The insulated lid also doubles up as cup, and the whole thing is dishwasher safe, making it very easy to clean. It's a fairly substantial bottle to carry with you on a mountain hike, but there are also 1.0L, 0.70L and 0.47L versions in the range if you fancy something a bit smaller and lighter.

Pros

  • Stanley's biggest bottle yet
  • Keeps drinks insulated for 2 days!
  • Perfect for camping trips
  • Dishwasher safe

Cons

  • Big and heavy – there are smaller options in the range

Great hiking water bottle

The Stanley Quick Flip sits in the middle ground between a water bottle and travel cup, and we use it for both. The official stats say it will keep drinks hot for 8 hours and cold for 12 hours, but in our opinion it's best as a cold drinks bottle because there are better options in the Stanley range for hot drinks. The bottle itself is tough and sturdy, fits well in the side pocket of a backpack, the opening and closing mechanisms are well designed, and it's never leaked on us. Our only small complaint is that the locking ring has popped off a couple of times. It's simple enough to put back on, but it would be easy to lose.

Pros

  • Fits well in a backpack side pocket
  • Simple push-button opening
  • Secure lid closure
  • Perfect for keeping drinks cool

Cons

  • Locking ring has popped off a couple of times

Indestructible water bottle

LFTO
Price: $54.93

At 600g this is a serious beast of a bottle, with a built-in flip straw that forms part of a chunky plastic lid that feels built to last the most severe of bashings. It's fully leakproof (and we've really tried to shake water out of it when closed), keeps drinks cool for up to 12 hours, and has a big folding handle on the lid so you can grab it and carry it like a lantern. We take the Iceflow on plenty of short hikes but it isn't something we'd choose to drag up mountains. The fact it sits comfortably inside car and bike cup holders tells you more about who it's aimed at. It's fantastic for camping trips too.

Pros

  • Holds almost a litre of water
  • Flip straw makes it easy to drink from
  • Rock-solid and durable
  • Car and bike cup-holder compatible

Cons

  • Too big and bulky for long hikes

Great for sipping on the go

Stanley's Trigger Action Travel Mugs are about as multifunctional as insulated mugs get. We use ours for hiking and camping trips, work commutes, on our desk in the office, and everything else in-between. When we first got our hands on it, we thought the lid looked over-engineered and expected it not to live up to its leakproof promise, but we're pleased to report we were wrong. We love it for hot drinks on the move, because the simple trigger button lets you take small sips whenever you need to, rather than gulping the whole drink down at once.

Pros

  • Easy to stash in backpack side pocket
  • No leaks or splashes to report
  • Cup-holder friendly
  • Lid comes apart for cleaning

Cons

  • None we can think of

Stanley's lightest travel mug

LFTO
Price: $44.12

The USP of this leakproof travel mug is that it weighs 33% lighter than Stanley's standard stainless steel metal drinkware, thanks to the brand's 'Aerolight featherweight insulation'. The Aerolight certainly feels more stripped back than other similar Stanley products, and weighs in 130g lighter than the Trigger Action Travel Mug (above). But that's not to say it's flimsy either. This mug is still made from 18/8 stainless steel with double-wall vacuum insulation, and we couldn't resist bashing it against a few rocks to make sure it retained Stanley's trademark durability. And of course, it did. We're big fans of the lid too, with its quirky locking mechanism that allows you to sip through it while your drink stays hot inside.

Pros

  • Very lightweight at just 240g
  • Ideal for stashing in your backpack
  • Keeps drinks hot for up to 6 hours
  • Fully leakproof

Cons

  • Doesn't retain heat as well as Stanley Trigger-Action Mug (above)

Campsite coffee king

LFTO
Price: $39.18

This mug is exactly what it looks like – a superb and highly durable camping mug for hot and cold drinks. There's nothing overly fancy about it, but it has all the hallmarks of quality that run through Staney's entire range. It's made from 18/8 stainless steel, with double-wall vacuum insulation, a dishwasher-safe design, and a secure lid that you simply push in place and sip through. Our only slight grumble is that it doesn't fit in car cup holders, but that's also not its intended use so we shouldn't really complain!

Pros

  • Securely-fitting drink-through lid
  • Compatible with one-cup coffee makers
  • Huge choice of colours

Cons

  • Too big for car cup holders

Perfect porridge pot

LFTO
Price: $39.18

Usually, if you want to eat hot food on a hiking or a camping trip, that means lugging a stove along with you. And if you're carrying a stove, that means you have to carry fuel, and water, and bowls, and cutlery, and all the food you need to cook. So imagine our delight when we first started using this handy little insulated jar, which keeps food warm for up to 7 hours. This means you can heat it up before you set off, then take a break and scoff it without having to get all your cooking kit out. We've found it perfect for things like porridge or soup, and our only wish is that there was a way to shut the lid with the dirty spork inside once we've eaten. But it's a couple of millimetres too long!

Pros

  • Keeps food warm all day
  • Wide mouth for easy pouring and cleaning
  • Whole set is dishwasher safe

Cons

  • We wish the spork fitted inside!!!

Bring on the beers

Price: $39.99

Do you really need a stainless steel beer mug with double-wall vacuum insulation that can keep drinks cold for up to 4 hours? Of course you don't. But do you want one for sitting around campfires so you can say goodbye to plastic cups and (let's face it) look like a bit of a legend at the same time? If you're reading this article then we're guessing you do. Like all Stanley products, it's very durable so you can be confident it won't shatter or rust, and it's light enough at 230g that you could even take it on wild camping trips if you don't mind carrying a bit of luxury in your pack.

Pros

  • Drinks cold for 4 hours, hot for 45 mins
  • Durable and easy to stack
  • Comes in six colours

Cons

  • Adding a lid would keep drinks cool for even longer!

Great for campfire cocktails

LFTO
Price: $35.76

Despite what the name suggests, the Go Everyday Tumbler is hardly an everyday essential. But it does add an element of luxury to a camping trip if you're sipping wine or cocktails by the fire, or watching the sunrise with your morning latte. It won't keep drinks warm or cool all day (Stanley claim 1.5 hours hot, 5 hours cold) but it will certainly do the job for a quick morning brew or a chilled evening drink. There are a couple of nice touches too, with a press-fit lid that insulates your drink while also allowing you to sip it, plus the rubber ant-slip pad on the base so your drink won't slide about when you put it down.

Pros

  • Lightweight enough to carry on wild camps
  • Anti-slip base
  • Drink-through lid

Cons

  • Only comes in one size

Toast your summit success

There's not a great deal to say about this stainless steel set of 4 shot glasses that you can't see in the pictures. They're tough and durable, and come inside a compact and leakproof carry case so you can slip them inside your backpack and forget you're carrying them. Then, once you've reached a mountain summit or set up camp, you can sit down with your friends and toast your adventure. And it doesn't get much cooler than that.

Pros

  • Compact design with nesting system design
  • Stainless steel carrying case
  • Rugged and durable
  • Dishwasher safe

Cons

  • A little heavy at 250g

How we tested

Oli Reed LFTO wild camping
©LFTO

This collection of the best Stanley bottles, flasks, mugs, and tumblers have all been tested and reviewed by our editor Oli Reed. He's been using most of them for a couple of years and likes to think he was a Stanley convert before the brand got cool, but nobody else is convinced. Oli's a keen hiker, wild camper and family camper, so he's found good use for all of the gear in the article. And the one product he never goes anywhere without is the Stanley Classic Trigger Action Travel Mug.

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