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Reviews > Cook and Food Storage Gear > Cooking Accessories > Stanley Classic 17 oz Food Jar > Test Report by David Wyman

Stanley Classic 17 oz Food Jar
Test Series by David Wyman

Picture of food jar from website
(image from website)

Test Phases:

Initial Report - March 23, 2010

Field Report - June 3, 2010

Long Term Report - August 15, 2010

Tester Information

NAME David Wyman
EMAIL wyman(AT)wymanhq(DOT)com
AGE 31
LOCATION Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
HEIGHT 5' 10" (1.78 m)
WEIGHT 175 lb (79.40 kg)

While I've been camping for years, I've only been backpacking for a short time. I'm trying to find the right equipment, alternating between tent and hammock. My dog usually comes along on the longer hikes, and my wife and toddler join me on the shorter ones. I tend to carry more gear than I need resulting in a heavier pack, but I'm working on that. When I hike with my dog and/or my wife and son, we take it a bit slower, stopping frequently to enjoy the forest. I rarely hike fast unless I'm trying to make up time.

Initial Report - March 23, 2010

Product Information

Manufacturer Stanley, a brand of PMI
Product Stanley Classic 17 oz Food Jar
Year of manufacture 2010
MSRP US$21.00
Features (from website) Keeps hot/cold 12 hours
  Double wall vacuum insulation
  Wide-mouth opening
  12oz (355 ml) lid doubles as a bowl
  Stainless steel
  Durable rust-proof finish
  Durable rust-proof finish
  Lifetime Warranty
  Leak Proof
  BPA Free
  Listed Measured
Weight 1.6 lbs (.73 kg) 1.4 lbs (.64 kg)
Diameter - Body 3.8 in (9.6 cm) 3.75 in (9.5 cm)
Diameter - Interior Opening   2.75 in (7 cm)
Height 7.3 in (18.5 cm) 7.25 in (18.4 cm)
Capacity - Food Jar 17 oz (500 ml) 18 - 20 oz (530 - 590 ml)
Capacity - Cup 12 oz (355 ml) 12 oz (355 ml)
Color Tested: Green
Other Colors: Black, Red

Initial Impressions

Side view
Lid and cap next to the food jar

The Stanley Food Jar is a very solidly constructed, and hefty, thermos. Weighing in at 1.4 lbs (.64 kg), it seems a bit heavy for carrying in a backpack on a long trip. That extra weight is offset by the incredibly robust construction. To get a quick idea of how well it would stand up to rough use, I filled it with water and then let my three year old son play with it and after several hours of being dropped, knocked over, rolled around, and used as a drum, the only wear it showed was a collection of fingerprints and a few slight scratches to the green paint. No water leaked out and there was no damage to the cup or the body of the food jar.

The food jar lists a volume of 17 oz (500 ml). After putting 17oz (500 ml) of water into the food jar and sealing it, there was a significant amount of sloshing when shaken. Removing the lid, I completely filled the food jar to the very top and then slowly screwed the lid on, allowing any water that wouldn't fit to spill out. After shaking it a bit, there was almost no sloshing and after opening, I measured almost 20 oz (590 ml) of water in the food jar. When I don't mind a little spilling out while filling, I can fit a comfortable 18 - 20 oz (530 - 590 ml) in the food jar.

The cup held the listed 12 oz (355 ml) with around a half inch (1 cm) of room to spare. One downside is that the cup is not very well insulated and it only took a minute or two after pouring 12 oz (355 ml) of hot water in it that I was no longer able to hold it in my hand. This could make it tough to use without gloves or a cozy of some sort. The only other downside I found is that the 2.75 in (7 cm) size of the interior opening is small enough to make washing it a bit more work than I'd like.

Field Report - June 3, 2010 Trips Taken

The food jar saw quite a bit of use in a variety of situations over the last two months, including several day hikes, 2 to 4 miles (3 to 6 km) in local parks with temperatures ranging from 20F to 60F (-7C to 16C), one overnight car camping trip with temperatures in the 50s F (low 10s C), almost daily use at work, and while shoveling for several hours after one extreme snow storm with temps around 10F (-12C).

Thoughts and Impressions

Day hikes:
The food jar really worked well on the day hikes. All of the hikes were less than 4 miles (6 km) in length and within an hour drive of my house which meant that the food jar only had to keep things hot enough for a few hours. If the weather was going to be cold, I carried a hot beverage or snack in the jar and followed the manufacturer's instructions by filling it with boiling water for a few minutes prior to filling with the actual food/beverage. Of the hot items, liquids seemed to work better than more solid food. Coffee, hot chocolate, apple cider, and tea all stayed hot enough to enjoy after 4 hours. More solid foods like stews and oatmeal didn't fare as well. They remained hot enough to enjoy for 2.5 to 3 hours but after 3 hours they started to cool off enough that, while still edible, they weren't nearly as enjoyable.

Car camping:
When car camping, my wife and I like to have coffee while sitting around the camp fire. That usually means getting the stove out again to boil water but this time I was able to make the coffee while I had everything out for dinner. It was much nicer being able to pour hot coffee out of the food jar a few hours later without the hassle of making coffee at that time. It also helped with my son's lunch. He really likes exploring the campsite and getting him to sit down and eat his lunch can be a chore. Using the food jar let us give him small amounts and keep the rest warm during short hikes.

Extreme Snow Shoveling:
We got hit with a few major storms this year and I spent several hours at a time outside shoveling snow. The food jar kept my coffee hot and allowed me to take a quick break without having to go inside. With temperatures down around 10F (-12C), I found that the coffee would cool off within an hour if I left the food jar unprotected. Sticking it inside a larger plastic container to protect it from the wind and contact with the cold ground improved things significantly and the coffee would stay hot for at least 2 or 3 hours.

Use at work:
The food jar saw almost daily use at work during the test period. I work in a standard office building that is climate-controlled at 68F (20C) and I also drink a lot of coffee - 4 to 6 12 oz (355 ml) mugs a day. The food jar was used to bring extra coffee back to my desk and it worked admirably at that task. The food jar held enough coffee for 1.5 extra mugs and, after preheating the jar with boiling water, would yield an incredibly hot full refill after two hours and a decently hot half refill after 4 hours.

Long Term Report - August 15, 2010 Trips Taken

As the summer rolled through, I was able to test the Stanely jar out on 4 day hikes, each around 4 to 5 miles (6.5 to 8 km), and one overnight trip. Temperatures on all of the trips were hot and humid with highs around 90 F (32 C) and the overnight had a low around 78 F (26 C).

With the weather being so hot and humid, I used the Stanley food jar quite often to try to keep beverages cold. It did an average job at this task - water that started out around 40 F (4 C) would still be cool for the first two hours or so but after that, it would reach room temperature. I almost gave up on it after a few hikes because keeping water room temperature wasn't worth the bulk and weight of the food jar. Then I tried using it a different way and found new life for it. I started filling the food jar with water and then putting it in the freezer with the lid off. After the water had frozen, I found that I'd have ice cold water for three or four hours or I could use the ice to cool room temperature beverages. That made it much more useful on day hikes. I still don't think it's worth the bulk and weight on overnight trips during warm weather, but I'm glad I found a niche where it did work well.

I still think the Stanley food jar works well in cold weather and has it's place on warm weather day hikes. I will continue to use it daily at work and on car trips as well.


  • Doesn't leak
  • Tough/robust construction
  • Holds a decent amount
  • Keeps liquids hot for a long time
  • Seems a bit heavy for backpacking
  • The cup/lid isn't well insulated and gets too hot to hold after just a few minutes
  • Interior opening is a bit small, making it a little difficult to fit my hand inside to clean it

This concludes my test of the Stanley Classic 17 oz Food Jar. Thanks to and Stanley for this opportunity.

Read more reviews of Stanley PMI gear
Read more gear reviews by David Wyman

Reviews > Cook and Food Storage Gear > Cooking Accessories > Stanley Classic 17 oz Food Jar > Test Report by David Wyman

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