Since O.G. and bottle innovator William Stanley introduced the first all steel vacuum bottle in 1913, the name Stanley has come to mean a trusted and reliable friend to generations. Whether it's the thermos that your granddad got for his 15th birthday that he still uses to this day, or the swanky chrome and black switchback you picked up for a long weekend camping trip, our bottles are made for life and for a lifetime. And when we say a “lifetime” we ain’t fooling: we’ve got a Stanley vacuum bottle here at HQ that was run over by a truck years decades ago and still has coffee in it. Not a single leak. That’s a real bruiser of a bottle right there.
When you get to be 100 years old and you make bottles as tough and beloved as ours, you hear some fantastic stories about how people use our products. We’ve heard so many over the years that we coined a word for it: Stanleyness. It’s more than just having an old bottle kicking around that you break out for a sip now and then, it’s a way of a life. And to the people who cherish our bottles like a member of the family, the essence of Stanleyness is about adventure, fun, and pushing things to the limit.
These are the stories that define Stanleyness, gathered straight from 100 years of real history from real customers. These are the story of the Unbreakables.
13,435ft - Hot Coffee At Low’s Peak, Mount Kinabalu
“It was 1.30AM, the temperature had been near freezing for most of the night. I put on my jacket and long johns, headed out to the camp pantry with my Stanley outdoor vacuum bottle. Honestly it was the first time I’ve ever tried using it.
“I poured in a few packets of coffee and sugar, added boiling water, locked it up tight and placed it in my bag and got ready for the hike to the summit at 2.30AM. By the time we were on the mountain, pretty much everything I froze. The warm water I brought in a separate - non Stanley bottle - was ice cold halfway up, so I had doubts as to whether my Stanley bottle filled with the hot coffee I made earlier could withstand what the mountain had to offer.
My team reached the summit at approximately 6:00AM, by that time the sun was almost up and the temperature was at freezing point. We snapped a few pictures, and I finally took out my Stanley bottle, shared a cup with my buddy and I dare say the coffee was still boiling hot. Instant coffee never tasted as good as it did 13,435ft up in the sky. My Stanley bottle has proven its worth, no doubt.”
-Mohamad Adam Bin Mohamad Yakob
Like A Phoenix From The Ashes
“My mother bought me my Stanley thermos in 1979 when I joined the plumbing trade. I was working in Maryland years ago and the hotel I was staying at had a freak gas explosion and burnt down to the ground. I was not there at the time, but all my belongings were. I lost everything I had on me there. After the fire was put out and the rubble sifted through, the only thing left standing, basically untouched? My Stanley thermos.
“I’ve used that thermos every day since then. It’s not green anymore and has quite a few dents, but still keeps my coffee piping hot all day, every day. I use it at work and when I am hunting or fishing. It is very seldom not with me. It joined the workforce with me and it is going to retire with me!”
A 1600 Foot Bounce
“In 1978, I worked in an underground mine. While waiting to go down to working level, my Stanley was knocked from my hand and rolled into the shaft. I wrote it off, but later that day when checking the sump pumps, I found it floating in the sump. It was banged up from falling 1600 feet and the cup was missing, but otherwise completely solid. I’m still using the same thermos to this day!”
Generation To Generation
“As a young boy, I can remember with warm feelings my father getting up early in the morning much before dawn. Sometimes I would get up and see the Stanley sitting on the counter next to my father’s huge lunch box. I can remember dad mentioning that there was only one thermos worth packing into the woods - Stanley. He used to say that there was nothing worse than lukewarm coffee. I could remember thinking that one day I would grow up and proudly pack my Stanley into the woods. I soon grew up and went off to college. During the summers I worked in woods. I bought my first Stanley that first summer and proudly carried it off to the woods. When you had a Stanley it was a status symbol.
“Now 35 year later, my own son has gone off to college and is working construction during the summer. I get up each morning at 5AM and pack his lunch and fill his first Stanley. He said that it is an amazing thermos. He too proudly carries it onto the job site. My grandfather, my father, myself and now my son all packed Stanley thermoses. From generation to generation, Stanley thermoses remain a family institution. Someday, my grandchildren will pack a Stanley.”
A Badge Of Honor, A Bullet Graze
“My Stanley classic bottle has endured 10 years of extreme abuse across the US, Mexico, Central America, Chile, and Peru. While it is now officially the ugliest thermal bottle on the planet, it works like the day it was purchased. Its badge of honor is a bullet graze obtained on a construction site in Guatemala during a robbery attempt. I plan to be buried with Stanley.”
Stanley Vs. An 18 Wheeler
“This is short and sweet: My husband unknowingly dropped his thermos under his truck. He then rolled over it with all 18 wheels, loaded at 80,000 lbs. When he noticed it was gone, he backed up to find it - rolling over it again!
“When he got out of the truck, he pulled out the thermos - which only had minor scratches on it! He poured out steaming hot coffee that had been there for at least 8 hours.”