There’s nothing like a hot drink in your hand when you’re spending time outdoors during the cold weather months. Sometimes a cup of coffee or a steaming bowl of soup is just what you need to keep the chills out and your body heat in. A good thermos should of course have excellent insulating abilities, but also should be durable and long lasting. Your thermos sees a lot of outdoor use — it allows you to extend the warmth (or cold) of your beverages and food so you can play all day and enjoy whatever’s in there on your own time.
We’ve put together a top ten list of some top notch thermoses to keep you toasty this season. There’s both larger, high capacity thermoses for the whole family or campsite as well as smaller, personal units for taking a cup of coffee with you on the trail.
For larger thermoses that have the capacity to serve an entire group check out items one, six, nine and ten.
For some smaller, personal thermoses ideal for taking a cup of joe on the go and into the wilderness check out items two and three.
Items four, five and seven are intermediate sized thermoses — great for bringing along coffee for two or for ensuring you’ll have some extra warmth later in the day when you need it.
Item number eight is our top choice for the thermos that’s best for bringing along and serving soup.
Whatever your cold weather outdoor activities entail we’ve got you covered. A good thermos is an item you’ll own for years and will no doubt come up with all sorts of uses for!
1. Best Large Thermos for Hiking or Trekking: Thermos 61 Ounce Vacuum Insulated Beverage Bottle with Folding Handle
Here’s a seriously large thermos for family or larger group use. This 61 ounce unit is perfect for filling up with cocoa for a day sledding with the kids, or for having plenty of coffee between you and your buddies out fishing or hunting. The vacuum insulation technology employed with this product is designed to effectively preserve flavor and keep your beverage hot or cold for 24 hours! The 18/8 stainless steel on both the inside and outside of this thermos makes it pretty dam tough, you can definitely knock this one around on your outdoor excursions. There’s a stainless steel cup conveniently built in to the lid and the easy pour handle is retractable. There’s even a detachable shoulder strap for use hiking or trekking. As far as a high volume thermos goes, this is the full package.
Price: $36.49 & Free Shipping (27 percent off MSRP)
- Retractable handle and removable shoulder strap
- Stainless steel cup is built into the lid
- Stainless steel construction is durable and built to last
- Super affordable for the quality!
- It’s a bit bulky for use hiking with the shoulder strap — but better to have the option to carry it effectively than not
Find more Thermos 61 Ounce Vacuum Insulated Beverage Bottle with Folding Handle information and reviews here.
2. Best Self Heating Thermos: Ember Temperature Control Mug
Here’s an interesting and innovative thermos by an up and coming company called Ember. This temperature controlled mug allows you to choose the precise desired temperature of your beverage with a simple twist of a dial! There’s no buttons or complicated gizmos involved — it’s as simple as turning the dial to the temperature you want (between 120 and 145 degrees F). If you want to get a bit more fancy, there’s an app you can download on your phone that connects to your Ember mug and allows you to remotely change your temperature, create presets, and choose notification preferences — pretty neat! This is truly the future of taking your coffee to go. I find this is a better alternative to other heated mugs because you can fine tune the temperature to keep your beverage hot without ruining the flavor with too much heat. Ember includes the “charging coaster” with this purchase — it’s a pretty unique and seriously cool way to juice up the unit. This product has not been around for too long and there’s a fair amount of customer complaints concerning function of this mug, but a lot of users LOVE this product. As far as outdoor use goes, you’ll definitely want to be a bit more careful with this one.
Price: $149.95 & Free Shipping
- Precisely heat up to or maintain the desired temperature of your beverage
- Super easy to operate — just twist the dial to the temperature you want!
- Includes the unique and innovative charging coaster
- Is also a great thermos device to enjoy hot soup from
- Pretty expensive — there’s some fairly advanced technology here so the price tag isn’t low
- Hand wash only
- Due to the recent release of this product some components on units are being reported defective — Ember has an excellent customer service reputation and takes care of any issues promptly
3. Best Single Serving Travel Thermos: Thermos Stainless King 16-Ounce Travel Tumbler
Here’s a straight forward travel mug for taking your tea or coffee to go. This is a tough little thermos that is up for whatever. You can bring this totally spill proof mug wherever your adventures take you — it’s a versatile thermos that you’ll find all sorts of uses for. The stainless steel interior and exterior is what makes this “tumbler” so tough — good luck damaging this one. This unit fits most cup holders and there’s even a built in tea hook for securing a tea bag. The vacuum insulation technology will keep liquids hot for seven hours or cold for 18. In terms of maintenance, Thermos recommends not to clean this unit with an abrasive scrubber and not to leave beverages inside it for greater than 24 hours. This unit is top-rack dishwasher safe, but Thermos recommends hand washing as to not fade any of the surfaces. There’s seven color options available, so you can choose whatever suits you best. If you like this model but drink more coffee than 16 ounces then check out this 40 ounce thermos from the same line. If you like the 16 ounce size but prefer to have a handle on your travel mug, then check out this handled unit also from the same line. The Stainless King series definitely provides an excellent choice in thermoses that are both tough as nails and very affordable.
Price: $22.95 & Free Shipping on orders over $25 (18 percent off MSRP)
- Ideal travel mug — this unit fits most cup holders and even has a built in tea hook
- The stainless steel construction of this unit makes it seriously tough
- Sweat proof with cold beverages and cool to the touch with even piping hot beverages
- Seven different color options!
- The lid for this unit has to be disassembled into multiple pieces in order to be thoroughly cleaned
4. Best Overall Thermos for Solo Use: Thermos Vacuum Insulated 32 Ounce Compact Stainless Steel Beverage Bottle
This is the thermos my family has owned for years and that I grew up using. It’s a straight forward but reliable and high performing unit. This is another 18/8 stainless steel vacuum insulated model by Thermos. It keeps beverages both hot and cold for a whopping 24 hours. I always pour some hot water into my thermos and dump it out before filling it up because that warms the interior side walls and eliminates the initial cooling effect of the metal on your beverage. I find the 32 ounce size to be prefect for use fishing and hunting — there’s a second cup of hot coffee there when I’m ready for it. The lid doubles as a stainless steel cup so you don’t even have to bring your own mug. This model also will not burn your hands when hot or sweat when it’s filled with a cold beverage — its designed quite effectively. My only complaint is that there’s no handle or strap for this unit.
Price: $28.49 & Free Shipping
- Long lasting (24 hours) heat or cold retention
- Durable stainless steel construction
- Lid built into the handle
- Stays cool to the touch with hot liquids and won’t sweat with cold liquids
- No handle or strap for easy carrying
Find more Thermos Vacuum Insulated 32 Ounce Compact Stainless Steel Beverage Bottle information and reviews here.
5. Best Affordable Intermediate Sized Thermos: Stanley Classic 1.1 QT Vacuum Bottle
Stanley has come up with a super effective and affordable thermos here. The Vacuum Bottle is another rugged stainless steel option for keeping your beverages hot or cold. The 18/8 stainless steel construction is rated to maintain the temperature of liquids for up to 24 hours. This is a totally spill proof unit so it will pack in your backpack wonderfully and be there once you’re ready to enjoy your beverage. The lid doubles as an eight ounce cup which I think is a great size. There’s a nice wide mouth on this unit for easy pouring and cleaning. I really like the collapsible handle on this model — it makes carrying this thermos around a bit more practical. Stanley has included a lifetime warranty on this product so you can further buy with confidence!
Price: $19.82 (23 percent off MSRP)
- Super affordable intermediate sized option at less than $20
- Collapsible handle makes carrying this thermos around a breeze
- 18/8 stainless steel construction insulates wonderfully and the Hammertone powder coating can really take a beating
- Lid doubles as an eight ounce cup
- Lifetime warranty!
- Several customer reviews insist this thermos will only keep beverages hot for around 6 hours — make sure to pour some hot water in this thermos before filling it up with your beverage for the most effective heat retention
6. Toughest Intermediate Sized Thermos: Thermos Work Series 40 oz Vacuum Insulated Beverage Bottle
Here’s a seriously tough option from Thermos. This unit is very comparable to the thermos previously listed by Stanley, but made with a bit higher quality. It includes a stainless steel cup built into the lid and also includes a collapsible handle. There’s some rubber built in to the body of the thermos as well as on the handle and underside. The addition of the rubber components adds some impact resilience to this thermos making it essentially indestructible. Customer reviews insist this thermos really does keep beverages hot for 24 hours — several users even claim upwards of 30 hours. The design is definitely a bit bulky and perhaps not ideal for stuffing in a backpack, but this is no doubt a thermos you’ll own and love for years and years.
Price: $29.95 & Free Shipping (25 percent off MSRP)
- Truly keeps beverages hot for 24+ hours
- Rubber components add a lot of durability to this unit
- Includes a cup built into the lid
- Collapsible handle
- No replacement for the cup if it becomes lost or dented (the top is the only vulnerable part of this thermos)
- A bit cumbersome for packing into a backpack — the price you pay for indestructability
7. Most Versatile Travel Thermos: Chillout Life 27 oz Stainless Steel Thermos Bottle
I love the size and design of this thermos by Chillout Life — and it comes at a SUPER awesome price. This stainless steel unit comes with two different lids — one that is removable and can be used as a cup for hot drinks or soup and another that remains attached to the thermos so you can drink directly from it. The idea is to have a unit that can operate both as thermos for hot beverages and a sports bottle for cold drinks. This model will keep liquids hot for 12 hours and cold for 24. The carry strap included is very thoughtfully designed so you can move around freely with this thermos attached to your body. It’s a good one for use hiking or trekking and also packs nicely within a bag. I think it’s the perfect size for day hiking or for bringing along a coffee for two. There’s a lifetime guarantee with this product and very high customer satisfaction — this is truly a versatile and quality made thermos at a surprisingly low cost.
Price: $17.95 & Free Shipping on orders over $25 (64 percent off MSRP)
- Comes with two different lids for two different purposes
- Carry strap is well thought out and super convenient
- Nice intermediate size
- Stainless steel construction is built tough
- Wide mouth for easy pouring/cleaning
- I personally don’t like how there’s text all over the exterior….I would cover this unit with stickers or decals for a cooler look
8. Best Thermos for Soup: Thermos Stainless King 16 Ounce Food Jar with Folding Spoon
Here’s an awesome little thermos that’s suitable for keeping food items hot as well as beverages. The Stainless King Food Jar is perfect for enjoying a hot bowl of soup out in the field. The wide mouth and stout shape of this thermos make it ideal for use with foods like oatmeal and soup — and there’s even a compact foldable spoon included! This thermos is designed to keep food/beverages hot for up to seven hours and cold for up to nine — not too shabby for a 16 ounce container! There’s also a 24 ounce option for this same model if you think you might need a bit more capacity or plan on sharing your bowl of soup with a friend.
Price: $30.12 & Free Shipping
- Is great for soups and food items as well!
- Includes a folding spoon
- Hand wash only
9. Best Thermos for Serving Groups: Aquatix 68 oz Double Wall Insulated Stainless Steel Sports Thermos
Looking for a large unit you can set up and have people serve themselves with? This 68 ounce sports thermos by Aquatix is ideal for providing larger groups with hot beverages all day. Brew a giant pot of coffee or heat up a cauldron of apple cider and fill this unit to the brim for all day access to warmth. This would make an awesome addition to any campsite and could be great for bringing out on the boat too. I love the idea of bringing this unit down to the waters edge when fishing with your pals — there’s enough volume for the whole gang to take a break and heat up with a cup of something rejuvenating. It keeps liquids cold for 24 hours and hot for 5 to 12, so don’t rule this one out for a day at the beach serving lemonade! This is truly a four season item you’ll want to use for all sorts of outings. It’s double walled vacuum insulated and wont sweat or be hot to the touch. It’s both easy to carry with the included handle and also easy to clean due to the wide opening at the top. This is an awesome buy for $40 that you’ll find all sorts of purposes for!
Price: $39.95 & Free Shipping (60 percent off MSRP)
- Great self serve unit for larger groups
- Ideal for use both in the cold and at the beach or tailgate
- Double walled vacuum insulated
- Tough stainless steel construction
- Won’t keep beverages hot longer than 12 hours — make sure you’re pouring hot water into this unit before using it when trying to maximize heat retention
Find more Aquatix 68 oz Double Wall Insulated Stainless Steel Sports Thermos information and reviews here.
10. Best Budget Large Thermos: The Lobo 64 oz Stainless Steel Double-Walled Vacuum Insulated Growler
Here’s a big boy thermos for those camping trips with the gang or for big family outings. This is another great unit for use with both hot and cold liquids. The stainless steel construction with double walled vacuum insulation keeps beverages hot for four hours or more — not terribly impressive but still more than long enough for plenty of scenarios. This is an excellent option for keeping drinks iced all day — so consider this one for year round use. It won’t sweat or get too hot to touch, so the lack of handle won’t compromise your ability to hold it. The cap is totally secure and leak proof so you can knock this one around all you want. This thermos is built so tough that the company offers a free lifetime warranty — you get the choice of refund or exchange whenever you want! Although this model is certainly bulky and awkward to carry, the handle allows for it to be clipped to a bag or to your person — quite helpful! For the low cost of $23, this monster thermos is a kick ass value!
Price: $22.97 & Free Shipping on orders over $25
- Very affordable
- Great for use with cold beverages too
- Free lifetime warranty
- Lid can be clipped and attached to a pack
- A bit awkward to carry without a handle
- Doesn’t retain heat of beverage terribly long compared to some other thermoses