Wednesday, November 14, 2012


Steaming Stanley - The Hydro Flask 12 oz Vacuum Bottle Review

For over 100 years there's been only one name in the rugged, outdoorsy coffee storage market. And that name is Stanley.

So when I set off to find the perfect urban coffee conveyance - one with an ideal balance of heat control and professional backwoods cred - I naturally reached for the reassuring Stanley trademark green I grew up with. The very hallmark color that great grand dad trusted to keep his coffee hot and his manhood intact. (Most likely, while hunting ducks from the top of a half built skyscraper. -ed.)

Hark! An alternative approaches...
Hark! An alternative approaches...

Unfortunately for me, the  old skoolers at Stanley don't offer said iconic green in a size compatible with the average single-serve coffee slinger found in today's modern offices.

The color in question... Incriminating, isn't it?
The color in question.

Thus, I faced a puzzler the likes of which my great grand pappy would never have dreamed of. Re-usable water bottles are a mess of compromises. Tall ones don't fit in the Keurig. Aluminum single-wall bottles transmit hot java blisters that make the surface of the sun look appealing. And decorative mugs leave the kind of lasting impression you don't really want to last. Finally, after years of searching sporting goods shops far and wide, I discovered a worthy alternative: The 12 oz Hydro Flask vacuum insulated stainless steel water bottle.

Hydro Flask - The most confusing logo on Earth.
What is this?

It's BPA free. It's fashioned from 18/8 food grade stainless steel. And its easy to chug/clean mouth is larger than your average water bottle. Plus, best of all, its compact stature sports a fancy green finish just close enough to Stanley's that your average lumberjack could mistake the two from a distance of 10 paces. Hence my fervent prayers for rugged appeal in a more convenient package were answered... and my EDC kit is now one Hydro Flask richer.

The Hydro Flask 12 oz Vacuum Insulated Canteen - why buys abound.
Why buys abound.

So how does Stanley feel about this color conundrum? It's safe to say, they're probably steamed.


  • Short enough to fit in some (but not all) office single serve coffee/water machines
  • Thin container walls maximize internal coffee volume
  • Doesn't burn your hand
  • Keeps hot hot
  • Keeps cold cold
  • Looks awesome
  • Feels awesome
  • Puts the power of the vacuum in your hand
  • Green Zen Matte finish looks damn near iconic Stanley green


  • Not made in the USA (Despite labeling that could be taken otherwise)
  • Silly logo doesn't engender professional confidence/competence
  • Green Zen Matte finish looks damn near iconic Stanley green

All in all, the littlest Hydro Flask is a suitable alternative to Stanley when it comes to lugging joe and looking good. (Even if grand dad wouldn't approve...)

Verdict: 9/10 Borderline copyright infringements

(Yes, that means we like it enough to recommend it.)


Post a Comment