Vacuum Bottles for Overnight

Hello WinterCampers,

Thought you might have some good insight on which thermos/vacuum bottles are the best for winter backpacking.  I am looking for performance (length of heat retention) and then weight saving.  Most reviews I have found say that they only keep fluids hot for 2-3 hours.  Have you had any experience with a bottle lasting longer?  Please let me know, it would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you for your time, Owen


Owen –

We have experimented with thermos/vacuum bottles.  Not testing various brands – we have no special insights there – but on their use for winter camping.

Filled with hot water the night prior and given some protection (in a tent or, better yet, within your sleeping bag, they will render nearly hot coffee the next morning.  That plus a granola bar or two is usually enough to get moving in the morning.  Your body can only absorb about 400 calories of food an hour,  so it really doesn’t matter how much food you consume for breakfast once your have consumed an initial meal.

Depending on the type of winter camping trip you are taking it may not be desirable to hang around in the morning and cook breakfast.  A vacuum bottle of coffee and a quick bite enables one to pack up and move out.

I would be interested in the experiences of others with vacuum bottles overnight.

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3 comments to Vacuum Bottles for Overnight

  • Mike

    I’ve used the Stanley Aladdin thermos for years, and a smaller Nissan Thermos for the last couple. The Nissan is AWESOME! Wow, does that thing hold in the heat. My Aladdin didn’t do as well, it would be luke warm in a few hours so I called the company. Sometimes the vacuum gets comprimised they said, so I sent it back and they replaced it for free. Now it will hold heat for a long time, still hot 6 hours later. For overnights in winter I’ve had good luck with insulating the thermos with an old space blanket (retired from backpacking ground sheet duty because of numerous holes) inside a pack to keep the wind off. You won’t burn your tongue in the morning, but it is still warm enough to satisfy. Of course, preheating the bottle with boiling water is essential.

  • Tom

    I have had excellent luck with the REI branded thermos (1L). If I start with boiling or near boiling water it will be plenty hot enough for coffee the next morning even with the thermos sitting in snow.

  • Some experimenting suggests that of those brands available in Finland Thermos branded ones (especially the Midnight Blue and Red “top of the line” models) are very good. If possible pre-heat the thermos with some boiling water (fill, let stand for ~5min and refill with boiling water), this makes quite a difference. With pre-heating some protection a Thermos (brand) bottle holds the content HOT for about 12 hours (of course depending on coditions) and warm enough to be nice to drink some 18 hours. ALso the bigger the better (volume / surface area) so buy a one liter model.