Kamil Szumotalski / Unsplash

The Best Hiking Thermoses

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Hot or cold?

Kamil Szumotalski / Unsplash

By Justine Harrington, OnRamp

Hydration is always important, and even more so when you’re on the go or doing something strenuous like hiking. With so much activity, you’re bound to get a bit parched. But you also might need a little something to eat. That’s why a solid thermos should be in every hiker's hand or backpack. Depending on your needs or the distance you plan to hike, a great thermos should meet a few different criteria, including being easy to carry, airtight, and good at keeping foods and beverages at the temperature you want for hours to come. We've tested a few thermoses and rounded up a list of the best of the best.

Thermos Stainless King 40 Ounce Beverage Bottle

King of the Hill

Best Overall: Thermos is a natural winner in the field for best hiking thermoses and it’s clear why.

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Thermos (the company) makes, well – you guessed it, amazing thermoses. No need to worry about your hot beverage going cold or a cold beverage turning tepid in the heat. This thermos is definitely built to handle those long days or nights when hydration is a must. Holding more than a liter of liquid, the stainless steel remains cool to the touch even if you have a really hot liquid inside. And for cold items, you don’t have to worry about the exterior sweating.

Pros:

  • Unbreakable stainless steel

  • From a reliable brand that has been around for more than a century

Cons:

  • Over time, the interior can peel if not washed and cared for properly

Mira Vacuum Insulated Metal Thermos

Stand Out at the Camp Out

Best Straw: The bold hues mean you’ll never mix your thermos up with anyone else’s ever again.

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Sometimes you just get tired of opening and closing a lid, and it’s even worse if you somehow lose the lid. But Mira’s thermos features a trusty straw that makes sipping a breeze. The lid is composed of an easy-to-flip straw and a handle you can loop your finger through or even attach to your bag. The MiraGuard technology holds a liquid’s temperature for 12 hours for hot beverages and 24 hours for cold ones. Some thermoses can look a bit boring and you might even mix yours up with someone else’s, but with color options ranging from taffy pink to lemon yellow and robin blue, you don’t have to worry about that with this one.

Pros:

  • Composed of food-grade stainless steel

  • BPA-free, non-toxic bottle

Cons:

  • Only holds 24 ounces

  • Doesn’t come with a cleaner for the straw

Thermos Nissan Intak Hydration Bottle

See the Forest for the Trees

Best on a Budget: If you're of the mindset that there's no need to overcomplicate a thermos purchase, this option is low on cost but still holds its own and is from a reputable, household name.

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Thermos makes the list again. Shocker, right? Sure, some of the brand’s items can be a bit more costly, but this bottle clocks in at a price anyone can afford. With that said, don’t assume that the low price means the bottle cuts corners; no, it’s made of BPA-free material and is impact-resistant, so you don’t have to worry about it shattering after taking a few tumbles. That curved appearance isn’t just for show, either. It’s ergonomically designed for an easier, more comfortable grip. Also, the locking ring keeps the cap from accidentally opening.

Pros:

  • One-push open for the lid

  • A meter at the top can help you keep track of your water consumption

Cons:

  • The meter to calculate water intake can only be adjusted when the cap is off

  • Not ideal for maintaining temperatures over extended periods of time

Enloy 61-Ounce Stainless Steel Vacuum Thermos

Fine Dining

Best Cup: This thermos and its included cups make sipping and eating a breeze when you’re on the go.

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This thermos has many of the same qualities as others (keeps hot items hot and cold items cold) but it stands out in other ways. Ranging from 61 to 101 ounces depending on which model you choose, it can hold an impressive amount of liquids or food. It also includes two cups and a storage compartment for tea, coffee, medicine, or any other small item. The triple-layer silicone around the opening ensures liquids won’t leak and the temperature isn’t impacted. Also, some cylindrical thermoses can be pretty hard to lay flat without them rolling around, but the grooves on the side of this bottle mean the bottle can be laid flat without moving around.

Pros:

  • Includes a strap for easy carrying

  • A vent makes it easy to pour out the perfect amount without completely unscrewing the lid

  • Easy to hold rubber handle

Cons:

  • The small vent opening can be hard to clean

Frequently Asked Questions

What makes a good hiking thermos?

A great hiking thermos depends on your needs, but there are a few general requirements that should be met. It should be easy to carry or attach to a backpack, have a secure lid so you don’t have to worry about spills, and keep your items hot or cold.

What can you put in your thermos while hiking?

Water is always a must when hiking, but you can also add other beverages like coffee or tea, or even your favorite soup or chili.

How do you clean a thermos?

Some thermoses come with supplies so you can clean them. This is especially helpful for a thermos with a straw. But using soap and water is really all you need to clean the thermos like you would any other cup. Many are even dishwasher-safe.

Justine is a freelance writer covering the latest in travel and cooking

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