Hot tea or coffee is comforting when the air around you is frigid, just as an ice cold drink is refreshing when it’s sweltering. So it’s with gratitude that we cover the humble vacuum flask, which helps keep drinks just the way you like them.
1. Atlasware [tested]
Atlasware’s stainless steel flasks come in a riot of trendy colours and are narrow enough to fit into a school bag’s bottle holder or a large cup holder in your car. We tested this flask and we’re impressed with the quality and effectiveness in keeping drinks either hot or cold. The manufacturer states that the vacuum bottle is guaranteed to keep liquid hot for 18 hours and cold for 24 hours. We filled it with boiling water and found that even after 36 hours the water was hot, although drinkable, and after 44 hours, still really warm.
Price R370 (500ml)
Price R550 (1 litre)
Price R900 (2 litre)
More info: www.atlasware.co.za
2. GSI Stainless steel vacuum bottle [tested]
GSI Outdoor produces premium quality gear and the brand’s vacuum-insulated flasks are no different. The one-litre bottle keeps liquids hot or cold for up to 30 hours, while the smaller 500ml does the same trick for up to 18 hours. The body is made from 18/8 stainless steel, while the lip that doubles as a drinking cup has a plastic exterior, so you don’t burn your lips or hands. A nifty feature is the non-slip rubber base and also the pour-through stopper that can be unscrewed in increments. We love the sleek design and colours, too.
Price R795 (1 litre)
Price R675 (0.5 litre)
3. GSI Glacier microlite 500 [tested]
Perfect for a day hike or the daily commute, this 500ml vacuum-insulated bottle weighs only 224g (without liquid) and GSI Outdoor claims that it provides eight hours of heat or cold retention (on our test it was over 10 hours). The bottle fits securely in your hand and has a non-slip rubber base. The impressive design features a lid with a push-button, flip-top cap that locks closed for transport and unlocks for easy drinking. The inside of the double-walled bottle is stainless steel, while the outside is plastic. The 2mm double walls are actually thinner than most single-wall plastic bottles and so the bottle is also about one-third lighter than traditional designs.
4. Classic Stanley flask
Stanley flasks have been around since 1913, are widely available and are a popular choice for outdoor enthusiasts. This one-litre heavy-duty vessel comes in hammertone green, keeps beverages hot or cold for 24 hours and has a leak-proof easy-pour stopper. The stopper locks when not in use, twist it and you can pour from the front or back. The lid can also be used as a drinking cup and the flask comes with a secure handle.
Price R800 (1 litre)
Camp and Climb stores and
5. Isosteel vacuum flask
This large old-school stainless steel flask, like all the others featured, has double-walled insulation to keep drinks hot or cold. The wide opening allows you to store food as well as liquids and makes it easier to clean. This flask comes with a quickstop easy pouring system, where you depress the centre platic button in order to pour. It also has a foldable handle.
Price R740 (1.5 litre)
6. Hydro Flask
This double-insulated flask is more expensive than most, but if you love innovative items, it might be for you. The Hydro Flask was developed in the USA and comes with a range of cleverly designed interchangeable lids and boots, plus a wide choice of colours. There are lids with handles, flip-top lids, sports-top lids and lids with straws for sipping chilled beverages. Hydro Flask invites you to, “join us on our mission to save the world from lukewarm”.
Price R770 – R1 945 depending on size
More info: hydroflask.com
7. Thermosteel wide mouth flask
The Thermosteel flask comes with a handle built into the lid, making it easier to carry. The wide mouth makes it easy to clean and you can fill it with a chunky broth or drink. This 530ml container keeps liquids hot for up to eight hours and cold for up to 24. It is also available in one-litre and 1.9-litre volumes.
Price R300 (530ml)
Price R400 (1 litre)
Price R500 (1.9 litre)
8. Thermos floating flask
From the original creators of the flask as we know it, this one-litre thermos should buoy your spirits. The stainless steel interior and exterior is covered with a shock resistant plastic outer shell and not only does it keep the contents hot or cold for 24 hours, the flask floats even when it’s full. We’re not 100% sure of the intended application, but we can imagine hikers doggie-paddling across the Bloukrans River (on the famous Otter trail) and dragging their sealed backpacks along with the thermos, attached by rope, dutifully bobbing along behind.
Text: Elise Kirsten
Photos Tauriq Loofer (Atlasware, GSI ), supplied