If you are into ice fishing, then you know the value of a hot beverage while being on the ice. There is nothing better than having drilled your holes, putting your lines in the water, sitting down, and then drinking a delicious and warming cup of coffee while watching the sunrise on the ice!
In order for you to enjoy that cup of coffee, you will need a high-quality vacuum thermos that can keep the liquid that is inside of it hot for many hours.
Having to drink lukewarm coffee when ice fishing can be a really disappointing experience. So in order to save you from such a moment, I wrote this article on the best thermos for ice fishing. And because it’s always better to have a few options to choose between, I reviewed not just one, but three vacuum thermoses.
Stanley Classic Vacuum Insulated Wide Mouth Bottle
The brand Stanley stands for quality vacuum thermoses and highly effective insulation. Thousands and thousands of ice fishermen swear by this bottle!
Here are some of this thermos’ very best features:
- Multiple sizes (1.1 or 2Qt)
- Rustproof 18/8 stainless steel
- Double-wall vacuum insulation
- Keeps drinks hot or cold for up to 48h
- Easy to pour
- Collapsible handle for easy transport
- Lifetime warranty
- Multi-purpose lid (doubles as an 8-ounce cup)
- 100% BPA-free
- Dishwasher safe
All these features make this thermos the perfect choice for your ice fishing trips. With a weight of only 2.5 ounces and a length of 14.5 inches, it’s also extremely light and compact; making it super easy to transport.
The feature that impressed me the most is definitely its ability to keep drinks hot for such a long period of time. 48h is the absolute maximum, but when I tested it during my winter sessions, which were pretty cold at times, it always kept my coffee extremely hot during the entire day.
I even kept the coffee in the thermos overnight a few times, after getting home from a trip. I placed it on the balcony and checked the coffee the next morning. By then, a good 36h had passed and the drink was still warm! Not hot, but still warm enough for me to enjoy it while eating breakfast.
Pro Tip: Preheat your thermos with boiling water before you fill it up with your beverage in order to keep the drink hot for longer!
Another feature that I really appreciate is that you can actually wash the entire bottle in the dishwasher. There can always be some residue that is hard to get rid of, something that only a dishwasher can clean.
I don’t know about you guys, but I think my coffee tastes so much better in a totally clean thermos.
All in all, a really awesome and highly advanced ice fishing thermos that will literally last you a lifetime!
YETI Rambler Bottle Stainless Steel
YETI is the other top brand for ice fishermen and the YETI Rambler Bottle will not disappoint you!
This thermos is probably the most compact and easily transported on the market.
Here are some of its key features:
- Keeps drinks extremely hot or ice-cold for 24-36h
- 26oz capacity
- Made of 18/8 stainless steel
- Double-wall insulation
- Over-the-nose technology for easy drinking directly from the bottle
- Triple haul cap for easy grips
- 100% leakproof
- 5-year warranty
With a height of only 9 1/2 inches and a diameter of 3 inches, the YETI Rambler is an extremely compact thermos that can be stored virtually anywhere.
Of course, such a level of compactness does not allow for an extra handle or a cup, which is exactly why I included this thermos in this review article.
Not every ice fisherman needs an extra handle on the thermos, or wants to drink his or her coffee out of a small cup. Many actually prefer to either bring bigger thermos mugs, or to simply drink directly from the bottle itself.
If that’s your preference, the YETI Rambler is your thermos!
When it comes to keeping drinks hot or cold, this thermos is a real wonder! While its limits start to kick in after around 30h, it manages to keep your drink super hot, or super cold, during that entire time.
When testing the YETI Rambler, the coffee inside of it still managed to burn my tongue after 24h. Similarly, I still detected smaller pieces of ice cubes in the iced water that I had poured into the thermos 30h (!) before.
This is definitely proof of its highly advanced double-wall insulation technology. Really impressive!
It’s easy and to-the-point design makes it extremely easy to clean, as there are virtually no tiny, hard to reach surfaces within the bottle, or on the lid!
This is something I can appreciate immensely, as you can give it a super quick wash after every trip. A few seconds of scrubbing under hot water and the bottle is as good as new. That’s it!
THERMOS Stainless King (Budget Thermos)
This third pick is yet another great thermos for ice fishing and one that fits a somewhat lower budget. The THERMOS Stainless King is the perfect pick for shorter sessions on the ice.
Here are some of its best features:
- Made of unbreakable stainless steel
- Advanced thermos vacuum insulation technology
- 40oz capacity
- Keeps your drink hot or cold for 12-24h
- Insulated stainless steel serving cup
- Cool to the touch with hot liquids
- Secure handle
Given its great design and advanced technology, you get a lot of thermos for less than $30!
However, its insulation power decreases somewhat after 8-12h, which means that this thermos bottle is the perfect fit for short ice fishing trips.
Both the lid and the bottle are cleaned very easily and swiftly, thanks to the easy-to-reach interior of the bottle and the simple lid design.
Pro Tip: Make sure to scrub this thermos immediately after you get home! It’s the best and simplest way to keep it nice and clean.
Best Thermos Mug for Ice Fishing
If you don’t want to drink directly from your thermos bottle or use its cup, or if you prefer heating up your coffee directly on the ice, it can be a nice idea to also take a thermos mug with you on the ice.
Personally, I actually dislike using the serving cups of my thermoses, as they are both rather small and my coffee or tea cools off way too fast in them.
Having your hot drink in a big insulated cup with a lid on it allows you to both take your time while drinking your hot coffee and to be able to enjoy it after a bite, as the lid will keep it hot for a long time.
YETI Rambler 14 oz. Mug
By far, the YETI Rambler Mug is my favorite thermos mug for ice fishing. I both like its capacity level, its insulation abilities, its wide handle (wide enough even for thick gloves), and the fact that it comes with a lid.
In fact, you could almost call it a mini thermos, as it will keep your drink hot for many hours (if the lid is on).
And if you ask me, no ice fishing trip is complete without sitting on your fishing chair or bucket and enjoying a nice cup of coffee!
How Does a Vacuum Thermos Work?
Simply put, a thermos bottle has a double-walled container inside of it. The air between the outer and inner wall of the bottle is sucked out during construction, which creates a vacuum in that in-between space.
As Scottish scientist James Dewar already found out back in 1892, a vacuum is, by far, the best insulator you could possibly find.
His experiments led to the invention of the vacuum flask (also referred to as the Dewar bottle), which later turned into the modern-day thermos bottle we all cherish so much when we’re out on hard water.
The thermos’ brilliancy lies in its ability to trap the heat inside of it for a considerable amount of time. As heat is transferred through air, the best possible way of trapping it is by simply having no air anywhere near it (the vacuum surrounding the inner container of the thermos).
Hence, if there simply is no air to transfer the heat, then, by the laws of physics, the heat remains retained where it is. The thermos’ vacuum works the same where for cold liquids. Brilliant invention, isn’t it!
Featured image courtesy of Christian Johansson