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The Stanley Classic Legendary Vacuum Thermos Bottle Review

The Stanley Classic Legendary line of vacuum thermos bottles has been around since 1913 and is arguably the original insulated bottle. But, is this over 100-year-old design still competitive in 2020?

Read on to find out!

Summary: The Stanley Classic Legendary Bottle

  • Exceptional insulation
  • Durable stainless-steel construction
  • Awkward to use one-handed

We feel the Stanley Classic is the best thermos to take along camping or fishing or any outdoor adventure.

– Top Ten Reviews Team

The Classic Legendary Stanley Thermos Review

If you’ve been on a camping or fishing trip with your grandfather, chances are you’d have seen him with a Stanley Thermos. These legendary bottles are truly built to last. Let’s take a look at why Stanley thermoses have gained fans for life.

Classic Legendary Stanley Thermos Bottle
  • Design
  • Performance
  • Value For Money
4.7

Design – 4.5/5

The appearance of the  Stanley Classic Legendary Bottle is virtually unchanged from the design patented in 1913 by William Stanley. (1) Unlike the Zojirushi’s sleek design, the Stanley thermos’ design language might not be everyone’s metaphorical cup of tea, the look is an immediately recognizable classic.

The Hammertone Green color has been around for 100+ years, while matte black, and Nightfall (dark indigo) offer a slightly more modern look.

The Classic Legendary line comes in five sizes: 2.5 quarts, 2 quarts, 1.5 quarts, 1 quart, and 20 ounces. The largest three sizes have handles on their sides, while the smaller models do not have handles.

Performance – 4.5/5

The job of an insulated bottle is to keep hot things hot or cold things cold. The Stanley Classic’s double-walled, vacuum insulated stainless steel construction accomplishes this mission with ease.

Stanley recommends that you preheat the bottle by filling it with hot water and allowing it to sit for a few minutes before adding your beverage. (2) Honestly, this is a great idea for all drinking vessels, insulated or otherwise!

A hot beverage added to a preheated Stanley bottle will stay hot for a very long time. How long? Well, one reviewer found that after filling his bottles with 195 °F / 90.5 °C water and leaving them outside in sub-freezing temperatures for 12 hours that the liquid was still over 140 °F / 60 °C. (3)

That is close to the ideal coffee drinking temperature, as per Driftaway Coffee: (4)

When drinking coffee at any temperature above 150 °F, it is difficult to taste the coffee itself. The heat overpowers the coffee’s flavors.

The Stanley Classic’s double lid system is a little cumbersome. The inner lid can be partially unscrewed to pour the contents of the thermos bottle into the outer lid (which doubles as a cup). This simultaneously preserves heat and makes the process of pouring yourself a cup of coffee easier.

It is challenging to drink out of the Stanley one-handed, so keep that in mind if you want to use it while driving.

If there is one downside to the Stanley Classic Legendary bottles, it is the handle, which is prone to rattling in the car and feels cheap. The smaller bottles don’t come with a handle, which eliminates the problem of rattling, but it makes it difficult to carry the thermos for longer distances.

But the thermos bottle is tough as nails, so you don’t have to worry even if you drop it. It is even top-rack dishwasher-safe, which makes cleaning it a breeze.

Value For Money – 5/5

The Stanley Classic Legendary line performs extremely well and is very reasonably priced. On top of that, Stanley backs up their products with a lifetime warranty. It means if your insulated bottle doesn’t perform as well as you expected, they will send you a free replacement!

Do Not Buy The Stanley Classic Legendary If…

using a stanley thermos outdoors - a review
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You want tons of color options – The Stanley can be had in any color you want, as long as its green, black, or blue. If you want more color options, check out the Hydro Wide Mouth Coffee Flask.

You want one-handed drinking – The Stanley requires two hands to drink, and ideally, a surface to set things down. If you want to be able to drink on the go, then the EcoVessel Perk may be a better choice. They may not have the durability of a Stanley vacuum bottle, but they do make a 2-quart “growler” if you prefer large capacity bottles. We really liked this coffee thermos when we reviewed it.

The Verdict On The Stanley Classic Legendary Bottle

Despite being based on a century-old design, the Stanley Classic Legendary series of insulated bottles are still one of the best ways to keep your coffee hot even in freezing conditions.

The Stanley Classic Legendary Bottle on a slightly turned angle
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SEE ON AMAZON

While it lacks the color options and one-handed use of its newer rivals, the Stanley Classic is unparalleled in insulation, comes with a lifetime warranty, and is surprisingly affordable. No wonder then that the Stanley Classic vacuum bottle is our favorite among the best coffee thermoses.

  1. Mousseau, B. (2014, Dec 31). Pacific Market International (PMI) Acquires the Business Of Aladdin South America. Retrieved from https://outdoorindustry.org/press-release/pacific-market-international-pmi-acquires-the-business-of-aladdin-south-america/
  2. (n.d.). FAQ | Stanley PMI. Retrieved from https://www.stanley-pmi.com/faq
  3. (n.d.). (2017, Jan 17). U.S.-Made Stanley Thermoses vs. China-Made. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QvvITJdVSUM
  4. Scott (2015, Jul 03). The Ideal Temperature To Drink Coffee. Retrieved from https://driftaway.coffee/temperature/
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I can sum up myself in a few words: Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu aficionado, food lover, historian, traveler, and coffee drinker. Unless I’m doing multi-day backpacking hikes, I always travel with a portable espresso maker…and there have been a few multi-day hikes where I’ve snuck it into my pack anyway. Starting my day with an espresso or three after sleeping on the ground is the best way to feel human again.

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