There are thousands of travel thermos flasks on the market right now, so knowing exactly what to buy can be difficult. Fortunately, there are a few key factors that can help you to decipher your individual needs and make the decision much easier.
What are you planning to store in your flask? Do you want to enjoy the odd coffee at the top of a hill, or are you hoping to carry foods like pasta and soup? Traditional flasks generally come with a lid that doubles up as a mug, while thermos bottles are created for you to drink from directly.
If you're planning to eat from your flask, however, it is definitely best to purchase a larger, wider container. These travel thermos flasks often come with a lid that's large enough to be used as a bowl, and some even have their own folding forks and spoons.
Are you a solo hiker, or do you prefer to walk in a group? If you're the latter, it's likely your friends and family are going to want to get in on the flask action, and you'll end up sharing your cuppa when your pals are caught short.
Consider this when shopping for your travel thermos flask – do you want a good 500ml aluminium water bottle, or are you going to need something a little larger for sharing?
Adding a flask to your hiking essentials can quickly increase the weight of your backpack. One litre of water is equivalent to one kilogram of weight, so buying a lighter flask is the best way to save your back (and legs!) when out on your adventures.
A good quality, lightweight high grade vacuum flask can weigh in from around 0.35kg – this is a great base figure to keep in mind when shopping for your container.
How long do you need the contents of your personalised travel vacuum flask to stay warm? More expensive flasks tend to keep food and drink hotter for longer, but this may be of little use to you if your coffee is likely to be gone within the first hour of your hike. On the flip side, purchasing a cheaper travel thermos flask is no good if you're planning to store its contents for most of the day.
All insulated flasks are made up of both an interior and exterior container, with a cavity separating the two. Though most commonly used to keep hot food and drink warm, they can also be used to keep cold drinks cool. It's usually the quality and opening of a flask that determines how well it performs in each situation – most brands list an insulation timeframe which will give you a get idea of the quality of the Thermos.
If you know your rucksack is no stranger to a little rough and tumble, it's probably best to purchase a stronger, more durable travel thermos flask.
The inner container of older and cheaper flasks are more likely to crack if dropped, so investing in stronger travel thermos flasks from stainless steel vacuum flask manufacturers are likely to work out much better in the long run.