When preparing to take the Trans-Siberian Railroad from Russia to China, I read that insulated flasks were must bring items. Food in the dining car was way overpriced, but every train car had free boiling water on tap – meaning passengers could make their own tea, instant noodles or even hot chocolate. I ended up taking the tank-like Thermos King Jar to hold my hot water.
Looking back at my Trans-Siberian adventure, maybe I should have gone for the GSI Outdoors Glacier Stainless Vacuum Bottle. The towering bottle feels bulletproof and can keep 1 liter (34 oz) of liquids warm or hot for several hours. The cap even doubles as a cup, and the stopper keeps everything spill free – all this in a sleek, albeit large, design.
- No condensation
- Lid doubles as a full sized cup
- The stopper does not need to be completely removed in order to pour water out, preventing the contents to being exposed in the cold or heat
- Slip-proof bottom
- Keeps food or drinks hot or cold for several hours
- Vacuum insulation keeps contents cold or hot for several hours
- Sleek design – love the color choices as well
- Odorless and tasteless stainless steel interior
- Does not hold onto smells or flavors
After making hot chocolate in the vacuum bottle and keeping it in there for around 12 hours, I expected the vacuum bottle to hold onto the smell for a few days. I was wrong.
To clean the bottle, I poured some hot water inside, screwed the stopper on, then shook the bottle. After repeating that a couple of times, the chocolate taste/smell was completely gone – no soap needed.
Unlike lid-cups on other insulated bottles the GSI Outdoors lid cup is almost a full sized cup. The cup is insulated too, so even if you pour boiling water in it, you won’t burn your hands.
Tip: The instruction manual recommends to “prime” the bottle to make it warm before putting your drink inside:
Before use, prime vacuum bottle by filling with hot (for hot beverages) or cold water (for cold beverages) and let stand for 5 min. Pour out and immediately replace water with desired beverage.
One design aspect which I thought was really cool was that the stopper has notches to allow you to pour water out of the vacuum bottle without completely unscrewing it.
You’re best off hand washing this bottle and the instruction manual states that “dishwashers may prematurely age components”.
To test how long the GSI Outdoors vacuum bottle can keep contents hot, I primed it, filled it to the brim with boiling water, then placing it in the freezer.
- 10:00 AM – placed in freezer with 1 liter of just boiled water
- 1:00 PM (3 hours in freezer) – I checked up on the water, took the vacuum bottle out of the freezer and tried to unscrew the first cap. It was frozen shut – I had earlier screwed the cap on while it was still wet. After a bit of shaking and twisting, I got the cap unscrewed.
Then I unscrewed the main valve and poured some water into the cup. Although the outside of the vacuum bottle was ice cold, the water was steaming and too hot to drink.
- 4:00 PM (6 hours in freezer) – I checked up on the water before I went out for a run and it was still hot – hot enough to burn your tongue.
- 8:00 PM (10 hours in freezer) – By 8:00 there was about 2 cups left in the flask. The water inside was still very warm and still steaming.
- 10:00 PM (12 hours in freezer) – The water was not quite hot, but still warm. I left the GSI Outdoors vacuum bottle in the freezer for the night, there was about 1.5 cups of water left.
- 8:00 AM (22 hours in freezer) – After 22 hours in the freezer, I opened the flask to check on the water. The cap was freezing cold but when I unscrewed the stopper I saw that the water was still liquid – it hadn’t yet become the same temperature as it’s surrounding (below freezing). In fact, the water was room temperature, I’d imagine around 70ºF. It wasn’t cold, it wasn’t warm either.
My test was unscientific, but the results were still pretty impressive. A rough calculation would be that the water went down by 140ºF over the course of 22 hours:
[starting temp.] 212ºF – 140ºF ≈ 70ºF [ending temp.]
So about 6 degrees per hour (if you assume that it went down at a consistent rate):
140ºF ÷ 22 hours ≈ 6ºF
The chances are you would have finished your drink within 22 hours, so you should have no concern of your drinks getting cold, even if you’re in a subfreezing environment.
The packaging of the bottle has an icon depicting that the bottle can keep liquids hot or cold for 30 hours. I assume this refers to the amount of time it would take for a full bottle of boiling water to reach the temperature of the surrounding environment.
- 1 liter may be a bit too big for one person
- Won’t fit in a cup holder
- A bit heavy if you’re traveling light (23.5 oz) – considering how large the vacuum bottle is, it’s lightweight, however if you’re traveling light, you’ll probably not want to take any vacuum bottle at all.
If you’re looking for a personal bottle to take to work or school, you may want to go for the 0.5 liter version. The 1 liter bottle may be a bit too big and bulky – unless you’re a really thirsty person.
The base of the 1 liter Glacier Stainless Vacuum Bottle is wide and stable enough to be placed on shaky camp tables, but that means it won’t fit in your average car cup holder.
In order to limit exposure, the GSI Outdoors insulated bottle has a pretty narrow opening. You can’t put your hand inside, so if you need to scrub, you’ll need a special cleaning brush. In case your vacuum bottle is very dirty, instruction manual suggests cleaning it with baking soda.
The Glacier Stainless Vacuum Bottle from GSI Outdoors is perfect for campers, adventure travelers and anyone who wants to keep their beverages hot for a long time.
You can find the 1 liter version for retail $35 and the 0.5 liter version for $30.
GSI Outdoors Glacier Stainless Vacuum Bottle Ratings
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The Glacier Stainless Vacuum Bottle was provided for this review. As always, this GSI Outdoors Glacier Stainless Vacuum Bottle review contains only my honest views and opinions. 🙂 Find out more about me and this site here.