Best Insulated Food Containers, Water Bottles, Mugs, and Flasks (2021 Edition)

Thanks to technology we now have insulated food containers, water bottles, mugs and flasks that can keep our colds cold, and our hots hot for longer than ever. Below is a selection from each of these categories that offer conveniences we’ve grown to love deeply.

These days, it’s hard to imagine a hiker or camper heading to the outdoors without an insulated bottle for cold water or hot drinks. That’s why we’ve rounded up some of the best insulated mugs, bottles, flasks, and food jars in 2020. And although the insulated bottle’s popularity has surged in recent years with new brands and technology entering the market, it’s actually a pretty old idea. In fact, it was first invented in 1892!

A few years later in 1904, two Scottish businessmen came up with a vacuum sealed bottle that could be used by the general public. They called it a “thermos” (from the Greek word for “heat”), and it later became the very first product of The American Thermos Bottle Company (known as Thermos today). Other brands and designs soon followed and the insulated bottle became a must-have for anyone spending extended time in the outdoors.

This simple, low-tech design has stood the test of time and it’s still your best option for keeping drinks and food hot or cold. (Especially if you plan on fall or winter camping.) Here are some of our favorites for crisp fall evenings and hot summer days.

Insulated Mugs

Sometimes you just need a mug that keeps your coffee hot but doesn’t do much else. The following options won’t hold a lot and don’t fit in car cup holders, but they’re great to have for mornings at a campsite. (Or at work!)

Most insulated mugs and bottles are designed for the long haul—not this one. The Doppio Mug by GSI Outdoors is the perfect size for sipping and sitting by the campfire. Perfect for when you’ve got nowhere to go but still want to keep your morning coffee hot.

With its simple design and various color options, this mug has already become a classic in its own right. Easy to clean and dishwasher-safe. Plus, its Duracoat finish makes it scratch-proof.

Similar to the Yeti model, this mug has a sleek handle and splash-proof lid. (But not leak-proof.) It’ll hold 12 oz of your favorite hot (or cold) beverage and currently is available in 5 colors.

insulated mugs for coffee

Insulated Bottles and Flasks

Whether you want to keep water cold or coffee hot, these insulated bottles are your best options when you’re on the go.

Not long after Thermos was created, William Stanley invented his own vacuum sealed bottle using steel instead of glass (unlike the earlier Thermos models). More than a century later, Stanley has a reputation for tough insulated products that last. This 1-quart Stanley Classic will keep drinks hot and or cold for up to 24 hours.

This 40-oz bottle from Thermos will also keep drinks and food at temperature for 24 hours. The lid doubles as a serving cup and the handle makes it easy to carry.

If you like Thermos products but want something a big smaller and more portable, this 16-oz bottle offers the same technology as the 40-oz version. The lid has an easy twist-and-pour function so you don’t to remove it to use the bottle.

Stainless steel bottles offer excellent insulation but some people claim they can impart a metallic taste. If that’s true for you, this bottle offers an easy solution. The inside of the bottle is lined with smooth-fired ceramic instead of metal.

Double-walled insulated bottles are standard, but this is Bear Grylls so he took his bottle design a step further. This triple-walled insulated bottle keeps drinks at temperature without extra weight. It’s actually 20% lighter than the average bottle of its size.

This 32-oz insulated bottle from DuraFlask comes with two lids: a BPA-free plastic flip-top lid and a food-grade stainless steel screw-on cap. The bottle’s powder-coated exterior makes it scratch-resistant.

With Hydro Flask’s standard bottle, you get plenty of options—it’s available in 3 sizes (18 oz, 21 oz, and 24 oz) and 14 colors. And unlike other insulated bottles, it’s designed to fit in standard car cup holders.

If you’re looking for an easier-to-clean option, Hydro Flask also has a wide-mouth version of their standard bottle. It comes with a BPA-free plastic lid with a convenient built-in straw. Available in two sizes (32 oz and 40 oz) and a range of colors.

Spills won’t be a problem with Coleman’s FreeFlow bottle. Its “autoseal” cap seals the bottle between sips to make sure it never leaks. This bottle is ideal for hot summer weather—it’ll keep drinks cold for up to 58 hours!

Kleen Kanteen has one of the most streamlined designs on the market. It’s available in 4 sizes (12 oz, 16 oz, 20 oz, 40 oz) and a variety of colors. Because its leak-proof cap has a built-in loop, you won’t have to worry about it breaking with repeated use.

insulated food containers for soup

Insulated Food Containers

Insulated containers aren’t just for drinks, they’re perfect for meals and snacks too. These insulated food jars will make sure that your meal is ready when you are. Perfect for bringing a hot meal on a cold hike.

This double-walled food jar not only keeps your food hot, it comes with a spoon and a leak-resistant lid that doubles as a cup or bowl. Even better, when you buy a Stanley product from one of their retailers, it comes with a lifetime warranty.

This 16-oz food jar from Thermos also comes with an integrated cup and a folding spoon. It’s available in 10 colors.

Mira’s insulated food jar has a sleek, futuristic design made from food-grade stainless steel. Its 13-oz size means it can even fit in a child’s lunchbox. It’ll keep food hot for 5 hours or cold for up to 10 hours.

At 12 oz, this jar from HydroFlask is just slightly smaller than the Mira version—although it also comes in an 18-oz size. It’s dishwasher-safe and BPA-free. Rugged enough for the trail but portable enough for school or the office.

Now that’s you’ve found a way to keep food and drinks hot, it’s time to plan a fall or winter outdoor adventure! Need inspiration? Check out one of our fall or winter posts: