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Reviews > Cook Gear > Cooking Accessories > Stanley Nineteen 13 Vacuum Bottle > Test Report by Richard Lyon

STANLEY NINETEEN•13 VACUUM BOTTLE
Test Report by Richard Lyon

Initial Report March 29, 2010
Field Report June 6, 2010
Long Term Report August 2, 2010


PERSONAL DETAILS and BACKPACKING BACKGROUND
Male, 64 years old
Height: 6' 4" (1.93 m)
Weight: 205 lb (91 kg)
Email address: Montana DOT angler AT gmail DOT com
Home: Dallas, Texas USA

I've been backpacking for 45 years and regularly in the Rockies since 1986.  I do at least one week-long trip every summer, and often take three-day trips.  I'm usually camping in alpine terrain, at altitudes 5000 to 10000 ft (1500 - 3000 m).  I prefer base camp backpacking, a long hike in with day trips from camp, but I do forced marches too.  Recently I've been actively reducing my pack weight, though I still often include my favorite camp conveniences and always sleep in a floored tent.  Hot drinks are a required food group when I’m camping.

INITIAL REPORT - March 29, 2010

THE BOTTLE


The BottleAccording to a product sheet that accompanied it, Stanley’s Nineteen•13 Vacuum Bottle is a new product for 2010, new enough that it’s not yet reached its manufacturer’s website.  The bottle is made of double-walled stainless steel and has no liner or coating.  As may be seen in the photographs, a hard plastic threaded stopper secures the Bottle’s contents, and a hard plastic cup with a square finger hole handle screws on top.  The product sheet indicates a 16 oz [473 ml] capacity for the Bottle.  

A Stanley brochure reports that the water bottles, mugs, and vacuum bottles in the Nineteen•13 line will be adorned with “a new generation of intense graphic treatments designed to keep your personal edge in tow no matter where you are.” Hmmm . . .

Manufacturer: Pacific Marketing International
Website: www.stanley-pmi.com
Dimensions, measured: 10 in (25 cm) tall, 2.75 in (7 cm) diameter
Capacity, listed and measured: 16 fl oz (473 ml)
Cup capacity, measured: 4 fl oz (118 ml)
Weight, measured: 11.6 oz (329 g)
Color: Pewter. Also available in gold or stainless steel.  
Graphic: Two elk locking horns.  The brochure illustrates three other graphics for the Bottle: a roaring bear, a large mouth bass, and “Stanley” in ornate script.
MSRP: $25 US


FIRST IMPRESSIONS


PiecesOut of the box the Bottle felt heavier and sturdier than other vacuum bottles that I own. I confirmed the weight aspect; testing should tell the tale on durability.  Other than stouter material and the “intense” graphics, the Bottle looks very much like any other double-walled thermos-type vacuum bottle, with the two walls meeting at the lip of the mouth.  As noted the vacuum is maintained by a stopper that screws down tightly with threads.   The plastic cup has only two threads and so doesn’t affix quite as securely as the stopper, but so far it’s been secure enough, not having worked loose or slipped off during my handling of the Bottle. I’m pleased it has any threads at all and isn’t expected to stay put by a tight fit alone.  I also like the Bottle’s wide mouth, 2.0 inches (5 cm) in diameter.  This is large enough for ice cubes from my refrigerator and should make cleaning easier.

The graphic has developed a few chips already, just from everyday handling, though the nicks are small and only really visible if I’m looking for them.  The pewter color is darker than shown in the accompanying photos.  The dueling elk are visible, but just barely, a welcome understatement.  

The plastic cup has a square finger hole that’s large enough for my thumb, and large enough to thread a compression strap with plastic buckle through, should I wish to carry the Bottle in the water bottle pocket of one of my packs.  The cup isn’t insulated, but with me four ounces goes down quickly.


FIELD REPORT - June 6, 2010

The Stanley Nineteen•13 Vacuum Bottle has been in my pack on just about every hike I have taken during the past two months and has performed with distinction, in cold weather and in hot.

FIELD CONDITIONS

My only backpack was an overnighter in the Texas Hill Country in mid-April, at 80 F (27 C) in mid-afternoon, sunny and dry weather.   I have though packed the Nineteen•13 on every one of my day hikes in Texas, Montana, and Wyoming, probably a dozen hiking days.   Temperatures have ranged from near freezing in Yellowstone Park, amid frequent snow showers, to a sunny 90 F (32 C) on the Katy Trail in Dallas last weekend.  On my backpack trip and in Yellowstone the Nineteen•13 was stashed inside my pack, not specially wrapped but placed among various soft items, and added as the last piece, to protect it from direct impact with anything solid.  On day hikes I’ve stored the Nineteen•13 in a side pocket on my daypack, directly exposed to the sun and weather.

In Yellowstone and the next day’s hike along Pine Creek in the Absaroka Range I filled the Nineteen•13 with herbal tea, brewed at about 7 am.  Tea was also the beverage of choice on my Hill Country overnight and a couple of day hikes here in North Texas.  As hot weather set in, though, testing turned to the Nineteen•13 ‘s ability to keep iced beverages – tea, lemonade, and water – cold.  On these later trips I have filled the container about half full with ice from my refrigerator, then added the liquid of choice. 

Twice more I’ve repeated the use of my Nineteen•13 reported in my Initial Report, its contents a part of a packed lunch at performances of the Metropolitan Opera telecast at a local movie theater.

OBSERVATIONS

Insulating ability.  The theater performances allowed reasonably accurate timing of the Nineteen•13’s ability to keep tea hot.  I’ve filled the Nineteen•13 with hot tea at about 10 am, and it’s been steaming hot at 2.30 and well above lukewarm at 4 pm.  This has mirrored Texas day hike use, though on these I’d begin to tap the contents earlier.   The Yellowstone Park hike, during which the temperature never exceeded 40 F (4 C) and we were constantly beset by wind and snow, was the toughest test – and the Nineteen•13 passed with flying colors.  I welcomed hot tea at lunch and a mid-afternoon rest stop.  The rest stop, when our path was blocked by a grazing bison, was about 2.30 pm, at least seven hours after filling it.

If anything warm weather insulation has been even better.  On my first day hike with the Nineteen•13 I started out about 6.30 am, filling the container with iced tea just before that time.  Throughout the hike the contents remained icy cold, as they did at 4.30 pm, when I got around to cleaning up.  Last weekend on the Katy Trail the timing was similar, and so were the results – ice cubes slightly smaller than when put in, but still there, after nine hours’ exposure to warm air in the side pocket of my pack, on the trail and in the rear of my sport-utility vehicle. 

On this score, the true test of a vacuum bottle, nothing at all to complain about.

Ease of use.  The cap works as it should, easily screwing tight to seal in the beverage.  I haven’t had a leak.  The cup handle hasn’t interfered with storage in the mesh side pockets of one pack or the fabric of another.  Nor has this hindered stashing the Nineteen•13 inside my pack on occasion.  Having the cup means I don’t need to pack a separate cup for my own hot drink.

The ding! Durability.  When extracting another item from a side pocket on my pack on the Katy Trail last weekend my hiking companion accidentally pulled out the Nineteen•13 too, causing it to fall about four feet to the asphalt below.  This resulted in a noticeable ding on the bottom edge, visible below the dime in the photograph, giving it some character.  This mishap occurred at the very beginning of the hike and, as noted above, the contents were intact and cold several hours later, so it’s safe to say that functionality wasn’t affected. 

Care.  After every use with anything other than water I empty the container, fill it with warm water, and then clean it with a very diluted detergent solution the next time I wash the dishes.  After rinsing I leave all three pieces to air dry.  So far I’ve detected no retained taste or odor.

Summary.  The Nineteen•13 has performed consistently and well with hot and cold beverages.  It’s easy to use and pack, and saves me the trouble of packing an extra cup.  What more could I ask from a vacuum bottle?



LONG TERM REPORT - August 2, 2010

FIELD CONDITIONS

Mid-June – Four-day visit to a friend’s cabin on the Stillwater River, Montana.  Daytime temperatures about 70 F (21 C), in bright sunlight interrupted by an occasional late-afternoon thundershower.  I took the Nineteen•13 on a day hike/fishing expedition on the West Stillwater trail, and on a fishing morning on the main Stillwater River.  On both occasions the Bottle was filled with hot tea.  On Saturday I drove over to Big Timber to look at two cabins for sale; on this day the Bottle contained iced tea.

Early July – I took the Nineteen•13, filled with hot tea, on a daylong fishing float on the Bitterroot River near Hamilton, Montana. A great fishing day, with no rain but overcast skies and pleasant breezes, with an afternoon high about 85 F (29 C).

Mid-July – A week in Big Timber, Montana, hiking, fishing, and as much relaxing as possible while baby-sitting two teenagers. More great Montana summer weather: no rain during the day, mixed sun and clouds with temperatures between 60 and 90 F (16-32 C), and occasional gusty winds.  I packed the Bottle in my daypack on two day hikes, in the back pocket of my fishing vest on one wade fishing day, and left it in my car on another wade fishing day.  Hot cider (from a mix) on two days, iced tea on the third, and iced lemonade on the fourth.  

Over the four-month test period I’ve had the Bottle in the field on about fifteen days with a hot drink and four or five with an iced drink.   That doesn’t count the front country use noted in my Field Report or recent daily use near home.  Now that my gym has classes that have me on the floor at 6.15 am four days a week I’ve begun taking coffee to the office in the Bottle, to avoid the brown water passed off as coffee by our office administrator.

PERFORMANCE

Insulating ability.  More use with iced drinks has led me to conclude that the Bottle keeps hot drinks hot better than cold drinks cold.  When using it for an iced drink I fill the container about half full with ice cubes, then top up with the beverage.  Drinks so prepared at 6 am still have a few remaining ice cubes at noon, and are still chilled but not icy.  I staged a test with some lemonade, leaving the Bottle in my garage at noon at 90 F (32 C) and checking the contents every hour.  The lemonade had returned to room temperature (still cooler than the ambient air, however) and the ice had melted by 8 pm. Hot drinks, on the other hand, remain scalding at least eight hours after filling, and once when I forgot to empty the Bottle when I returned home late at night found still-lukewarm tea inside the next morning.  

The distinction between hot and cold beverages is a quibble; I consider both results to be terrific, certainly as good as achieved with any other similarly sized vacuum bottle I’ve owned, and more than adequate for my day hikes.  I was most impressed on a fishing day in Montana.  River access required some heavy bushwhacking, so I left the Bottle in the car to save some weight.  Inside a locked vehicle, at a temperature a good deal higher than the 86 F (30 C) recorded outdoors, my lemonade was deliciously cold, with a few ice cubes intact, after five hours.  

Durability.  The Bottle has met with no further major mishaps, though I have knocked it over a few times.  Despite taking no care whatever to avoid contact with other metal objects in my pack I’ve noticed no major scrapes or scratches on the pewter-colored surface (other than the large dent mentioned in my Initial Report).  More importantly, everything still works properly.  It’s easy to screw the cap into the threads on the throat of the bottle, and I haven’t had a leak.  

Careful cleaning and rinsing, in the manner described in my Initial Report, have kept the bottle itself from retaining any flavor from its prior contents.  Once I noticed a bit of cider odor on the cup, but that vanished after a good sudsy wash and rinse.

SUMMARY

Stanley PMI has come up with a winner.  Two more months’ frequent use has only reinforced my earlier conclusion: “The Nineteen•13 has performed consistently and well with hot and cold beverages.  It’s easy to use and pack, and saves me the trouble of packing an extra cup.  What more could I ask from a vacuum bottle?”  I’ve even come to like the battling elk pattern.  I’m looking forward to carrying the Nineteen•13 on fall hikes and winter ski tours, two occasions when I really appreciate a hot beverage.

My sole suggestion to the manufacturer is to consider additional sizes.  A larger size would allow sharing tea or soup with my comrades.  A quarter-liter size would be perfect for a tough morning’s ski tour.

My Test Report ends here, with sincere thanks to Stanley PMI and BackpackGearTest.org for the chance to test this very useful product.



















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