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Reviews > Cook Gear > Cooking Accessories > Stanley Classic 17 oz Food Jar > Test Report by Kristine Mar

Stanley 17 oz. (500 ml) Classic Vacuum Food Jar

Test Series by Kristine Mar
Initial Report - March 21, 2010
Field Report - May 27, 2010
Biographical Information

Name: Kristine Mar
Age: 44
Gender: Female
Height: 5'3" (1.6 m)
Weight: 120 Pounds (54 kg)
Email address: kmar546@yahoo.com
City, State, Country: New York, New York, U.S.A.

Backpacking Background:

My love for the outdoors began about ten years ago, while I was living in Northern California. Most of my hiking experience includes day hikes with an occasional 2-3 day backpacking trip. I'd consider myself an all season hiker and generally like to keep my pack as light as reasonably possible. I am currently living in New York City. I've hiked in various parks in several states and countries and enjoy hiking in various terrain, but prefer mountainous terrain for the vistas and views, and enjoy forest/river hikes for the scenery.

Product Information:

Manufacturer:  Stanley
Year of Manufacture/received:   2010
Manufacturer Web site:  www.stanley-pmi.com
MSRP:  USD $21.99 from handout enclosed with product
             USD $25.00 on website
Color:   Red (Other colors available: Green, Black)
Volume / Storage Capacity:   17 oz. (500 ml)
Dimensions:   3.8 x 3.8 x 7.3 in (9.7 x 9.7 x 18.5 cm)
Listed Weight:  1.6 lbs (0.73 kg)
Actual weight:   1.4 lbs (0.62 kg)


Product Description:

The Stanley 17 oz. (500 ml) Classic Food Jar is made of 100% stainless steel with a durable rust-proof finish. The double wall vacuum insulation is made to keep food hot or cold for up to 12 hours. The wide-mouth opening is designed to allow for easy filling and cleaning and the compact size seems small enough for easy transportation to the office for lunch, or to fit in a day pack for outdoor activities. The 12 oz. (355 ml) stainless steel lid also serves as either a cup or a bowl.

This food jar is part of Stanley's Classic line, known for the durable and reliable construction. The product is comes with a lifetime warranty which the manufacturer advertises to be leak-proof and BPA (Bisphenol A) free, which is a potentially carcinogenic compound found in many plastics.


Product Instructions:

The food jar arrived with the standard manufacturer's packaging as shown. The back of the label shows a diagram with the different parts of the jar including the double wall vacuum insulation, the wide opening mouth, the 100% stainless steel construction, and stainless steel lid which also serves as a cup.

Manufacturer's original packaging with back of label shown

A pamphlet came enclosed with the jar which had the following care and use instructions with details of how to get the most out of the Stanley product:

For Best Results:

  • Preheat or precool jar by filling it with boiling or ice water.
  • Let stand for five minutes
  • Empty jar and immediately fill with your favorite food.

Care & Use of Your New Food Jar:

  • Wash all parts in warm soapy water before using.
  • To clean your jar, wash with warm water and mild detergent. Let stand for five minutes. Pour out and rinse with warm water. Wash with mild detergent with a soft, damp cloth or sponge and rub dry.
  • If interior becomes stained, use a mixture of baking soda and warm water. Let stand open for one hour before rinsing thoroughly.
  • Do not use bleach or cleansers containing chlorine to clean.
  • Do not place in dishwasher.

Caution:

  • Don't put your jar in the microwave.
  • Don't overfill your jar with hot food or liquids. It could spill and scald you.
  • When filled with hot foods or liquids keep out of reach of children.
  • To prevent spills, make sure your lid is screwed on completely before use.
  • Do not use with carbonated or fermenting foods or beverages.

Guarantee:

Stanley products are warranted to be free from any defect in workmanship or materials and to be thermally efficient provided used according to the instructions. This warranty does not cover component parts or malfunction due to alteration or accident.

Initial Impressions:

I received the food jar in the original packaging shown. My first impression of the food jar was that it was solid and well constructed, with a nice compact design which allowed a good amount of storage inside the container. I was looking for a food jar a few months ago, and noticed that many of containers had such thick walls for insulation, that there was little room left inside for food storage. This was not the case with the Stanley Classic. The jar was slightly heavier than I expected, but the size was good for a daypack or for lunch at the office.


Top view of the jar, the vacuum lid, and the stainless steel cup


Side view of the jar with the vacuum lid inserted and the stainless steel cup

The vacuum sealed lid is a made of a durable plastic and measures approximately 3.25 inches (8.25 cm). The lid fit easily into the jar, and had a ribbed edge which allowed me to get a good grip, with no slippage, while tightening and loosening the jar. I felt that the both the shape and the size of the lid were good a fit for my hands.

The outer lid to the jar which also serves as a cup or bowl is generous in size and was also made of high quality construction.

Summary:

I will be testing this product while day hiking and kayaking in the states of New York and Connecticut over the next few months. I expect the temperatures to range from 50 F (10 C) to 80 F (27 C) and my hikes and kayaking expeditions will generally range from 4 miles (7 km) to 15 miles (24 km).

So far, I like the compact design of the jar, and the ample space provided for food storage. The jar seems to be slightly on the heavy side for what I would normally carry out on the trail. In the coming months, I will test this product to determine if it is leak-proof, keeps my food warm or cold as advertised, preserves the original taste of the food, and determine if the size and weight of the food jar fit comfortably into my daypack.

This concludes my initial report on the Stanley 17 oz. (500 ml) Classic Food Jar. I would like to thank Stanley and Backpackgeartest.org for allowing me the opportunity to test this food jar. Please follow up for the results of my field tests in two months.


Field Conditons:

I used the Stanley 17 oz. (500 ml) classic food jar a total of 14 times on outdoor excursions usually to carry chili, soup, stews, and pasta. I took the food jar out on day hikes in the states of Connecticut and New York which included hikes in Naugatuck State Forest, the DEP Centennial Watershed, Kettletown State Park, Paugusset State Forest, Saugatuck Valley Hiking Trails, and various trails around the Lake Zoar area. The day hikes generally ranged from 3 miles (5 km) to 10 miles (16 km), depending on the weather conditions which ranged from clear to overcast for most days, to light snow. There was at least one day that had strong wind conditions with gusts up to 20 mph (32 km/hour). Temperatures ranged from 2F (-17C) to 60F (16C) without the wind chill factor and elevation gains were never more than 1200 ft (366 m). In addition to the outdoor excursions, I also used the food jar for five days carrying my lunch to the office, which consisted of different kinds of pasta.


Observations:

The Stanley 17 oz. (500 ml) classic food jar is well constructed, provided an adequate amount of storage space, and had good insulating properties. I followed the manufacturer's instructions and put boiling water inside before filling the jar each time which helped to prevent the food from cooling down. In general, I would either heat up food that was pre-made or prepare it from scratch, and fill the jar. The food was kept in the jar for anywhere between 3-5 hours before I opened it for lunch and in all cases, the food remained warm when it was time for lunch. The jar was placed inside a plastic bag and placed at the bottom of my day pack or purse when I was using it at the office. It seemed that the pastas cooled down faster than the more liquid items such as the soup, chili, and stews. I also noticed that if I ate my lunches earlier, within 3 hours, the food was significantly warmer, than if I waited 4-5 hours. The food in this case, was as warm as I would expect my lunch or dinner from a restaurant to be served. After 4-5 hours, the food was only lukewarm. The jar sealed nicely and I never had any leakage. The cup/lid was of adequate size and worked nicely as a serving container, especially when I shared my lunch with my hiking partner.

The exterior of the jar is well constructed and the jar continues to look the same as the day I received it with no noticeable dents, dings, or paint chips. The weight of the jar is a little heavier than I like to carry on a day hike with the weight after filling the jar with food generally weighing just over 2.3 lbs (1.04 kg), slightly heavier than I like my lunch to weigh while hiking or on active outdoor pursuits. The wide mouth of the jar is a nice feature and allowed for easy filling and cleaning.


Summary:

The Stanley Classic 17 oz. (500 ml) food jar is well made and durable and so far has done an adequate job of keeping my food warm while out on the trail. The jar is a nice compact size which fits easily into a daypack. Its insulating properties were adequate for hot foods. As the weather warms up here on the East coast, I will continue to test the product, but may switch the foods kept in the jar to determine if the cooling properties work as well as the heating properties.

This concludes my Field Report on the Stanley Classic 17 oz. (500 ml) Food Jar. I would like to thank Stanley PMI and BackpackGearTest.org for the opportunity to test this product. Please check back in two months for my final results.


Field Conditions:

After writing my Field Report in May, the weather started to warm up here on the East Coast, so I switched from testing hot foods in the food jar, to cold foods. Since my report in May, I have used the food jar on two day trips to the beach, four day hikes averaging approximately 6 miles each, four kayaking excursions, and two car trips. I would store such items as juice, water, and fruit salads on my outings. The temperature ranged anywhere from 75 F to 95 F (24 C to 35 C) and the food or liquids were consumed from 2-4 hours after initially filling the jar. I felt, that similar to the warming properties, the ability of the jar to keep the food and liquids cold was adequate. It is difficult for me to describe what an adequate temperature would be, so I did a few controlled tests in my apartment with a set room temperature to give the readers an idea of what I meant by adequate.

I took bottled water from my refrigerator and poured it directly into the food jar. The air conditioning in the room had been set to keep the room at 75 F (24 C). The initial temperature of the water right out of the refrigerator was 40 F (4 C). I poured the water into the food jar, tightened the lid and allowed the contents to sit on the kitchen counter for two hours. I took the temperature of the water, and I found that it was now 60 F (16 C).

I decided to do the exact same test a second time, but this decided to include a control sample, by placing a glass of water on the kitchen counter for comparative purposes. For this test, I also decided to test the water after two hours to see what the difference was in temperature. I found that the results of the water in the food jar were the same as before after two hours 60 F (16 C), and the water in the glass on the counter was 70 F (21 C).


Observations:

My impression of the Stanley Food Jar has not changed. The food jar is well constructed, and nicely designed. Its compact size is easy to fit into a daypack or purse and the lid doubles nicely as a bowl or a cup. The weight of the jar could be lighter for longer hiking and backpacking expeditions, but for short day hikes, car travel, kayaking excursions, and days out to the beach, the weight of the jar was never a limiting factor.

The jar was easy to fill and held an adequate amount of food, generally enough to feed both myself and my hiking partner who was always envious of my hot lunches especially during the cold winter hikes. In general, we would split the food and one would use the cup / bowl and the other would eat directly out of the jar. The lid of the food jar did a nice job keeping the contents of the liquid or food inside the container. The seal was very tight and not once, was there any accidental leakage or spilling.

I did feel that even when following the directions, the food did not stay as warm or as cold as I had expected it to be. Even though the food was piping hot or chilled to a nice cold temperature as it was placed in to the jar, when ready for consumption, it was usually closer to luke-warm, or luke-cold, respectively.


Summary:

I found that the 17 oz. Stanley Food Jar is solidly constructed and is a useful food container to have during the winter months or hot summer days. The size of the container was convenient and fit nicely into my day pack for easy transportation, yet the capacity of the jar was enough to feed two. I liked the fact that the jar had a nice tight seal with no leakage and a wide mouth allowing for easy cleaning and filling. In my opinion, however, I felt that the insulating properties of the Stanley Food Jar could be improved upon and it would have been nice if the jar were a little lighter in weight.

    Things I like:
  1. Compact Size & Design
  2. Leak-proof capability and tight seal
  3. Durability and Construction
    Things I don't like:
  1. Weight
  2. Warming and Cooling Properties could be improved upon

Thank you to Stanley-PMI and BackpackGearTest.org for allowing me to test this item.



Read more reviews of Stanley PMI gear
Read more gear reviews by Kristine Mar

Reviews > Cook Gear > Cooking Accessories > Stanley Classic 17 oz Food Jar > Test Report by Kristine Mar



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