Looking through the forums a flask recommendation thread hasn't been looked at since 2018.
Im in the market for a light and decent 500ml -800ml flask, has anything been a game changer that I have missed out on?
Cotswolds have a Sigg on offer, few other bits there that seem to get good reviews.
Curious as to what people are using, the lighter the better and the longer it keeps stuff warm the better.
A Tatonka 1litre. Probably not the lightest but it keeps my drinks hot not luke warm.
When this last pinged up the Thermos Ultimate got good recommendations:
I've got the 500 ml and 900 ml sizes and like them both. The keeps things hot for 24 hours claim is a bit optimistic but they weigh very little so I don't need much of an excuse to pack them.
Probably in the old thread I said get a 5 EUR/GBP IKEA one. I'm still using the two smaller ones I have a decade or more after getting them. Prime them, make sure everything going in them is as hot as it can be, and my tea or coffee is still piping hot during a day of winter climbing when I filled them before going to bed the night before. I don't know how much better the branded ones that cost 5 or 6 times the price can be, but I doubt its 5 or 6 times better. My 1 ltr one was from Asda I think, and was on sale but also cost about a fiver. I tend to fill that with tea, so when I get down off the hill in winter I have hot tea for my drive home. Again it seems to keep the tea almost too hot to sip after probably about 15-18 hrs or so?
The Thermos Ultimate flaks keep drinks really hot all day, don't weigh much and last a long time; at least the 0.5l one I use has. Also the pour through stopper is easy to keep clean.
I've found the cheap ones break. Eventually they lose their vacuum after being knocked about in bags.
I'm a thermos branded convert.
Also - never buy the push button opening caps. They break, and collect gunk inside, and are impossible to clean.
The Esbit Majoris is excellent: https://esbit.de/produkt/majoris-edelstahl-isolierflasche-vf1000tl-s-edelstahl-matt/
Comes with two different cups, keeps hot all day and warm for 24hrs+. Reasonable on weight as well.
> I've found the cheap ones break. Eventually they lose their vacuum after being knocked about in bags.
Again, not something I've experienced and I've got three different cheaper ones. I'm sure it can happen, but its not happened to any of mine. I don't use them daily but they've been used a fair amount. Lots of the paint on the ikea ones has been chipped off for example, probably from being pushed in packs next to climbing racks and crampons and so on.
> Also - never buy the push button opening caps. They break, and collect gunk inside, and are impossible to clean.
Again, my ones all have push button caps - and I've had no problem with them. They unscrew and you can take the seal off, I wash them up when I wash up the flask. Been doing it every time for the years I've had them and never had an issue.
And I'm really not trying to say that the more expensive ones are not good or not worth the money, just that as a reasonably active winter climber (before moving to the UK - a weekly ice climber, using these cheap flasks has worked very well for me. My "three flask system" even gets a mention in my article on how to go winter climbing when you live in England from a couple of years ago! https://www.ukclimbing.com/articles/features/chasing_the_very_bloody_ephemeral_scottish_winter_climbing-11510
> using these cheap flasks has worked very well for me.
Having used them for years I would have agreed, but after getting a Thermos Ultimate as a retirement present I'm now converted and have bought another one. For some it might be important that the 500ml version fits nicely in a bike bottle cage, if you remove the rubber from the base.
I've got 2x LifeVenture 0.5l stainless flasks that have served me well for many years and still keep drinks hot.
Don't forget to warm the flask before putting what you want in it for the day. Boiling water for a few minutes, tip out and refill with fresh boiling water.
My first stainless flask - back in the 90s when they were new thing - was a moderately expensive Xmas present from my missus, so I'm genuinely very much not opposed to someone buying me a fancy one as a gift or something! But I'm genuinely interested in what you find better about the Thermos? Does it noticeably keep things hotter for longer than your old ones?
I'm in a similar position with regard to headtorches - I've recently finally broken the battery pack lid on my Alpkit Gamma that I must have had for a decade. I've always looked with envy at the newest and greatest BDs and Petzls, but the Alpkit cheapy just kept truckin' and worked in some pretty wild conditions with no problems, so I never felt a pressing need to replace it.
> But I'm genuinely interested in what you find better about the Thermos? Does it noticeably keep things hotter for longer than your old ones?
Firstly my experience of the push button flasks is similar to Dan's. I'm not sure if I've just been unlucky or that they have suffered from me being a bit heavy handed at times.
I do think they keep the water significantly warmer, at least compared to my cheap 20 years old one. So on a "three flask day" for me that is noticeable on the second/third time I open the flask being used during the day. When back at the car I like either a filter coffee or a cup of tea in a proper (often cold) mug so the extra warmth is noticeable then as well. A very first world problem?
The other noticeable improvement compared to my old flasks is the quality of lid and the flow rate when pouring (I'd guess about 50% more) Again I wouldn't have said it was a problem with my old flasks, but now I wouldn't want to go back.
Thermos branded ones if you are buying new, but even these are crap compared to what you could buy 20 years ago. I have an "Aladdin" branded one that I bought in Asda that long ago and despite being dropped and dented still keeps drinks hotter and longer than my new Thermos one.
+1 what Dan Arkle said about push button opening caps
+1 for 20yr old Aladdin one. You can still get the model I'm talking about its the Challenger, supposedly the build quality isn't as good any more. Not that I'd know but my flask would keep coffee too hot to drink all day at the WRC in wales and did so from 2002 onwards. The sugar holder on the bottom broke as I dropped the flask down a quarry side at Halfway. But the flask has been top.
The push button ones are rubbish. They always used to break and ping bits everywhere. Very inconvenient.
My go-to flask is a 0.5l Thermos Thermocafe that cost me £5 10 or so years ago. Prime it and it'll keep the contents hot for 12-14 hours (from my experience).
I treated my other half to a 0.5l Thermos Ultimate for a birthday and it's a great flask, does the job very well but if I was buying again for myself I'd go for the Thermocafe again. Around £9 these days at full price and I just don't think the Ultimate is that much better to justify costing over 3x as much.
I am also a big fan of cheap kit, but I have to say the cheap flasks I have had (and I could just be unlucky) haven't kept my brews anywhere near as warm as the 2 thermos flasks I have.
Agree 100% with the pre-warming advice.
I've had many in my lifetime.. there are two that stand out: -
Firstly a Zojirushi that i bought around 1996 that is still as good as new, its a 1L though so a bit big to use all the time.
Secondly a fairly recent (5 years?) Thermos Thermocafe - 0.5L. Dirt cheap as they can be had for under a tenner. Has been utterly brilliant. In fact the whole family have them.
I'm not sure why I'm becoming so interested in this! But I'm starting to think I should ask for a Thermos Ultimate for my Crimble pressie from my Mum and Dad and then see if I'm convinced as much as lots of other people - not you obvs - are! Having looked at them with their fancy rubbery bits on them I'm not convinced they'd slip into my winter pack as easily as my IKEA ones do though...
There are some amazing advert pics when you start looking up flasks, of happy people doing "fun" or "important business" things with their thermos flasks! Take a butchers at this snappily dressed couple with their Thermos Ultimates - how could you possibly not want one when you can dress up and look like that with your flask!
Thermos Ultimate. I just can't think of a way this flask could be improved. We've used these for 3 years now and still work fantastic. I've no idea how they make something this light that keeps drinks hot all day.
Don't bother with a Bubba. Got one from asda a few years back as the reviews were pretty good. Ceramic lining as that's supposed to be wayyyyy better than stainless steel but it's cr#p, utter cr#p.
Will keep coffee warm for about an hour (if that). Good as a hand warmer though but id rather have a hot drink than warm hands.
If you have a flask that is kind of OK but not as insulating as you'd like, if you have that insulating material that looks like silver bubble wrap (maybe you insulted your shed recently?) and you have some foil tape (thin silver/shiny gaffer tape) you can make a little sleeve to slide the flask into.
It'll weight nearly nothing but make a hell of a difference to extending the hot time of your flask
This also works well for securely holding a generic flask in a bike bottle cage.
Another vote for the Thermos Ultimate, I also have the 500ml and 900ml. If you don't open them they do keep liquids hot for 24hrs, I've had 24hr old scolding hot coffee out of them in the past.
They work even better if you pre heat them with boiling water for 5 mins before adding your drink of choice.
I got this one (https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B074T6Z9T6/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_search_asin_title?ie=UTF8&th=1), and it's great. Check the Amazon reviews, it's all true.
If the vacuum is sealed, the flask should work. If the vacuum has gone, adding extra insulation on the outside will have very very little impact because the heat is radiating through all the material of the flask. You might keep the flask material warmer a bit longer, but the heat energy has left your coffee already.
Thermos for me. I had one Sigg one that failed, and they replaced it. The new one isn't great - good for cold squash in the summer, but not really up to it for winter climbing.
I think there's a correlation between size and thermal efficiency - I have two large stainless flasks that are nearly 40 years old and are both indestructible and very effective. One of them is the most hideous object made by man - Camping Gaz blue at each end, corrugated stainless steel in the middle, set off with little white snow flakes. Works though, so who cares?
> the heat is radiating through all the material of the flask.
Heat radiates from the core of the flask whether or not there"s a vacuum...
Vacuum flasks insulate by preventing conduction to the surrounding air. Stainless flasks have a bit of a flaw in that steel is rather thermally conductive, so heat flows up the inner, to the neck, and then down the outside. Adding extra insulation will help. But if the vacuum has gone, the flask won't work well. But that's not because of radiation...
In a glass flask, glass isn't as conductive, doesn't come up to the neck/cap, and has a protective shell that is often insulated further.
> There are some amazing advert pics when you start looking up flasks, of happy people doing "fun" or "important business" things with their thermos flasks! Take a butchers at this snappily dressed couple with their Thermos Ultimates - how could you possibly not want one when you can dress up and look like that with your flask!
Looks like they're staring in the direction of home, wondering 'Why didn't we bring a backpack with us?'
Sorry, yes totally inaccurate terminology there. I should have said it's conducting through the flask material, not radiating! I must have been thinking of radiators not 30 year old GCSE physics! 😀
I was given one of these as a present following this article:
It really does keep drinks so hot you can't drink out of it directly and need to bring cups. It does feel very light too. I don't do winter mountain days though.