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Kevin enjoying fresh morning coffee from the Stanley Stacking Vacuum Pint before a late-fall ascent of Grays and Torreys peaks.

The Best Insulated Pint Glass Buyers Guide – Keep Cold Cold and Hot Hot

If you want to keep your cold beer cold, hot coffee hot, and look good doing it, an insulated pint glass may be for you. Here’s how things went during my 2 month long evaluation of a 5 of the leading insulated pint glasses on the market.

TL;DR: The Stanley Stacking Vacuum Pint is the best insulated pint glass.

Kevin enjoying fresh morning coffee from the Stanley Stacking Vacuum Pint before a late-fall ascent of Grays and Torreys peaks.
Kevin enjoying fresh morning coffee from the Stanley Stacking Vacuum Pint before a late-fall ascent of Grays and Torreys peaks.

The insulated pint glasses I tested were:

  • Hydro Flask True Pint
  • Stanley Stacking Vacuum Pint
  • Avex Brew Insulated Pint Glass
  • Kleen Kanteen Vacuum Insulated Tumbler
  • Silipint Happy Camper Measuring Pint
  • Primus Commuter Vacuum Insulated Mug
  • Kathmandu Coffee Grip Tumbler

What It Is

The vacuum insulated pint is the outdoor industry’s answer answer to the traditional pint glass. It’s the shape of a traditional 16oz pint glass, made of stainless steel, and has a double-walled vacuum insulated construction. The glasses don’t usually come with lids, although a few are available. They’re easily hand washable, are super durable, and look great. They don’t need coozys to insulate your hands from them, they don’t sweat with cold drinks, and you can pick them up immediately after pouring boiling water in them.

Who It’s For

It’s for the hip beer drinker or coffee connoisseur who love the form factor and universal utility of a pint glass (LIKE ME). It’s for the person who is sensitive to keeping their drink at the perfect temperature, and loves to look good while holding their drink. It’s for the person that needs more than an 8oz cup of coffee to get started in the morning, and wants the first and last sips just as hot. It’s for the person who wants to enjoy their drink in extremely hot or extremely cold environments. It’s for the person who doesn’t want their cold drink sweating on their wood table.

First Impressions

I love the general feeling of the pint glass – it’s perfect to hold, 16oz capacity is great for a solid drink, and the shape makes it easy to clean. All of these glasses, save for maybe the Primus one are generally shaped like traditional pint glasses.

Stanley, Silipint, Kleen Kanteen, and Primus ship theirs with lids – a nice addition for sure, even though I usually don’t use the lid.

While most of the glasses come in a variety of colors, I immediately prefered the universally good looking brushed stainless steel color.

The Avex pint comes with a nifty silicone band which provides additional grip, and prevents multiple glasses from dinging against each other when they’re in a box.

Testing Methodology

I used each one of these glasses in a regular rotation over the course of about two months. I drank my coffee out of them in the morning, drank soda water from them during the day, and relaxed with a cold beer at night. Additionally, I took the glasses on a bunch of camping trips for use hot and cold. I also dragged them out to my car to accompany me on my daily driving commutes.

How the pints stack up.

Each pint is different, and they each have their strengths and weaknesses. Overall, I tended to prefer the traditional-shaped glasses without too many extra bells and whistles like a built in bottle opener or lid. Here’s how testing went on each:

Stanley Stacking Vacuum Pint

61k7Plzq89L._SL1500_The Stanley Stacking Pint is the undisputed winner of the insulated pint glass bunch. Its design is straightforward and good looking, it feels great in the hand, and it insulates both hot and cold like a champ. Out of all of the pints I tested, this is the one that naturally became my go-to pint for my morning coffee and afternoon soda water. I liked using it so much that I had to make a conscious decision to keep my rotation going so I could give equal review time to each pint.

The Stanley Pint features a minimal and basic design – it’s the size and shape of a standard pint glass, nothing more. No strange shapes, snazzy grips, bottle openers, or other superfluous features – just a pint glass. But a great one. The pint I tested was unpainted stainless steel, but they also sell it in a number of other colors, including the very handsome and classic “hammertone green”. The stainless steel is brushed on the outer wall, polished at the lip, and untextured/matte inside. The bottom has a very small lip around the edge, with a stainless steel disk covering the finishing port.

On the table, the Stanley Pint is handsome and singular. It holds its own as a nice looking drinking glass for social gathering, outdoors sports, etc.  In addition, I believe the stainless steel color would even be at home in a more “trendy” house, classy yacht, or private rooftop poolside – it’s simple and classy. The black Stanley logo doesn’t stand out too much, and is understated and cool. The only improvement I could wish for on this front would be for the stanley logo to be laser etched into the steel near the bottom of the glass as simply the logotype without the box, rather than screened on with ink near the top – that would truly make it at home in the most sophisticated tables and for restaurant use.

In the hand, the pint feels natural and solid. The outside wall is smooth, but the combination of texture from the brushed steel and pint-glass-standard taper makes it solid to hold, even when wet. The lip at the top is slightly thicker than the Hyrdo Flask True Pint, but it’s still a pleasure to drink out of, and the polished lip keeps things looking and feeling clean.

Inside, the pint is matte steel, with straight walls down to the bottom. There’s a very slight lip at the very bottom, but nowhere near as pronounced as the True Pint. The straight inner walls of the pint make it easy to clean quickly with a sponge. So if you have a stack of these after a raucous party, they’re a cinch to wipe out.

Performance for this pint is excellent – hot stays hot, cold stays cold as you’d expect. It’s not leaps and bounds ahead of the competition – all of them did their jobs well – and this one is no exception. Buy this if you’re looking for the ultimate performing and good-looking vacuum insulated pint glass, and can do without added features, and a lid. 

The Stanley Stacking Vacuum Pint isn’t widely available yet, and I tested a pre-release unit. Pick one up when they do go on sale on Amazon. 

In the mean time, if you’re looking to pick up an insulated Stanley beer vessel, I’d recommend checking out the currently-available Classic Vacuum Pint. It’s much larger and heavier than the Stacking Vacuum Pint reviewed above, but it does come with its own lid with built in, removable bottle opener, and is more heavily insulated. It works great and looks good – although it’s certainly not as slick or nice as the Stacking Vacuum Pint. Use this Groupon coupon to pick up a Stanley Classic Vacuum Pint for a sweet discount online at Kohl’s.

Hydro Flask True Pint

295539_40142_41The Hydro Flask True Pint looks and feels great. It’s brushed stainless steel inside and out, and remains true to the simple pint glass form factor. It doesn’t have any super special bells and whistles, and is purely an insulated pint glass – excellent.

For its 16oz capacity, the True Pint is remarkably svelte an feels great in the hand. It’s a bit more “conical” looking and feeling than other pint glasses – which is actually pretty nice to hold. The walls of the pint gently taper as they go up to the lip, and the lip is remarkably thin considering it’s a vacuum insulated pint. The True Pint I’ve been using is simply brushed stainless steel. It’s matte/brushed on the walls, except at the top lip, where it’s shined to a bright shine. The pint glass looks great, both on the table, and in the hand.

One small design detail that I’m not a fan of is the step-down lip on the inside of the pint. At the very bottom of it on the inside, the diameter suddenly narrows, breaking up the smooth and straight inner wall. I understand this is probably to aid in stacking the pints and preventing them from sticking together. However, I really do think it takes away from the complete aesthetic of the pint, and makes quickly cleaning it a bit of a pain – it’s hard to quickly stuff a sponge down in that little constriction at the bottom. Stanley seems to make a stacking pint work without this design quirk.

In use, the True Pint works very very well – it keeps hot hot and cold cold, no problem. The outsides of the glass never get hot or cold, and it sits flat and stable on the table.

 

Avex Brew Insulated Pint Glass

brew_cyangreen_front_1Gotta love them for trying to add a little something extra -the Avex Brew has a built in three-position bottle opener on the bottom. This allows you to grab a bottle of beer, use the base of the glass to open it, and then pour into the pint. The pint has a slightly higher capacity than most other pints, and comes with a nifty rubber ring that sits 2/3 of the way up the glass, and provides a bit of additional grip. There’s also a black grip ring glued onto the bottom, making it grip the table well. The blue color is bold and eye catching, and the polished steel at the top has a nice, although slightly warmer glow than others.

The bottle opener feature of this mug is great in theory – of course the time you really need a bottle opener is when you’re about to pour a beer. However, to make the bottle opener work, additional space is needed in the bottom of the pint – this increases the overall size, without any additional capacity. Additionally, the cavity needed for the bottle opener to work is nearly impossible to clean, and after a bunch of use, I’ve noticed a build up of random dirt and grime. I accidentally smushed some peanut butter into the bottle opener opening while it was sitting in the sink, and it took a good bit of scrubbing and a partially shredded sponge to get it out. The rubber grip ring is a fun accent – but in usage I didn’t feel like it added too much. similarly, the bottom grip ring is a nice touch – but i don’t feel like I was lusting after more grip in the first place, and I’m afraid that the ring is going to become unglued at some point in the future and fall off.

Also worth noting, Avex is partnering with 5 water conservation organizations and for one month, working with them to bring awareness to that organization. Check it out here: https://www.avexsport.com/ittakesadrop/

Buy this if you’re planning on dragging it to picnics and parties, and need a functional and distinctive glass that’s easy to spot and won’t slip from your hands once you’ve had a few. 

Kleen Kanteen Vacuum Insulated Tumbler

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The Kleen Kanteen Tumblr looks great – its stainless steel has the best finish and lustre of the bunch, and the chrome cap on the bottom is classy. The pint works great too. Out of the bunch, it was one of the best insulators, seemingly keeping my coffee hot for a bit longer, and cold drinks cold all day. Its construction is solid and reliable, and it sits firmly on the table.

However, after holding it and using it for a while, I felt that for a 16oz capacity, it was a little bit clunky. Its softly rounded base seemed to sit a little fat on the table, and holding it wasn’t as sleek as the rest. A

 

Their lid is undeniably good – it seals on the pint well, opens and closes, and has a bonus straw hole. However in use, the shape of the lid made it hard to sip hot coffee without slurping up a bunch of air too. I’d much prefer the shape of a starbucks lid. I do commend them for making a pint glass lid – if you’re looking for an insulated pint that performs well, and can also transform into a commuter mug in a pinch, this is the one. If you’re a kitchen worker and are looking for a personal cup with lid to keep your shift-drink cold, this is the one. Buy this glass if you want an solidly built and shiny insulated pint that comes with a multifunctional lid. 

Silipint Happy Camper Measuring Pint

SILIPINT-16OZ-HAPPY-CAMPER-PNT-001-022-FAlthough not a vacuum insulated stainless steel pint, the Silipint stands on its own. The Silipint, as the name would imply, is a food-grade silicone pint glass. The walls are thick, yet the glass remains bendable and soft. It holds its shape perfectly, and its rubbery texture is easy to hold. My Silipint is the “happy camper” model, which is a frost-clear silicone, and has handy oz and cup measuring markers printed on the outside. I love that the pint glass is see-through and has the measuring markers on it – I recently used it to measure out all the ingredients for pancakes, and it makes for handy mixing of cocktails too.Although the pint glass doesn’t insulate quite as well as the vacuum insulated stainless steel ones, I was surprised at how well it did insulate. I could hold coffee at any temperature, and although the glass sweated a bit, it didn’t drip from sweat much.One other key feature is that since the glass is indestructible silicone. They’re flexible, so they can be crammed into your backpack, dropped by friends and kids, and generally abused as much as you want – they just bounce back to their original shape. And yes, they do bounce – I’ve tried it, and with the right angle, I can bounce it from the floor onto my kitchen counter.

One final note. After a bit of use, I’ve noticed that this pint has absorbed a little bit of food odor, which won’t seem to come out. The rest of the pints in this review are metal, and this one is silicone rubber, so I understand that it’s a slightly unfair comparison. However, it’s worth mentioning. As an example, this morning I drank 2 glasses of very strong, near-boiling coffee from an orange Silipint pint glass. After those, I quickly rinsed it out, filled it with ice, and drank about 3 glasses of plain soda water from it over the course of the day. Then I washed it out very thorougly with dish soap and water and sponge, and let it dry on the drying rack. Not sitting here with it clean and dry, I can faintly pick up the smell of coffee when I smell the inside of the glass. Comparing that to my Stanley stainless steel pint glass, which I have treated the same way on other days, I smell no odor at all. So, for that it’s worth, there go. If I wasn’t specifically testing for this I doubt I’d notice anything, but for the purpose of this review, I think it’s worth mentioning.

Buy this glass if you have kids or are prone to dropping things, and want a fun, indestructible glass that’s as good for poolside as it is barside.

Primus Commuter Vacuum Insulated Mug

primus-thermal-stainless-steel-vacuum-commuter-mug-white_3795283The Commuter Mug is more of an insulated travelers mug than a pint glass. However, it’s still the basic size and shape of a pint glass, so I thought I’d include it in this review. The glass holds 16oz, and insulates great. After a an hour or so, my coffee is still hot, and my cold beer is still cold.The glass comes with its own screw-on commuter top, and the threads are molded directly into the steel of the glass. The screw on top seals well, and is easy to sip out of. However, after a bit of use, the clicky seal top began to stick and malfunction, and I ended up just leaving it unsealed most of the time. The other flaw with this glass is that the white paint on the outside goes right up to the lip of the glass. Making for a cool-looking white glass, however after a few uses, the paint started to chip off the tup, right where I put my lips. Flaking paint where you put your lips seems like a decent safety concern – so I removed this from the rotation as soon as I saw the flaking.

Buy this glass if you’re mainly on the go and in/out of your car a lot, but only use it with the included sealing top.

Kathmandu Coffee Grip Tumbler

61051_tumbler_960Major fail. The pint glass is single wall stainless steel. Its insulation comes from an outer skin of corrugated rubber, which surrounds the entire outside of the glass, including wrapping around to the bottom. The corrugated rubber traps a layer of air between the rubber and the outside of the steel. This works in theory. However the rubber is soft and stretchable. So when the glass is used for hot beverages, the air in the gap expands, and stretches the rubber out into a bulbous shape around the glass. On the sides this would be fine, but the real failure here is that the normally flat bottom becomes rounded, preventing the glass from sitting stably on a surface. So, add your scalding hot coffee to the glass, set it down on your table, and by itself, this flawed pint glass will spill itself. I used this twice – once to test hot, and once to test cold. The cold performance is marginally better than a standard glass glass.

Don’t buy this. 

The Best

The Stanley Stacking Vacuum Pint is the best insulated pint glass. Bold and handsome looks, awesome insulating performance, stacking perfection, and easy cleaning make this the leader of the bunch. Buy it on Amazon. 

The Rest

  • Hydro Flask True Pint – Near perfect design and good looks. Slightly more flared shape makes design impact softer. The weird interior constriction in the bottom of the glass makes it a bit more of a pain to clean, and perhaps needlessly decreases volume. A strong runner up, though.
  • Silipint Happy Camper Measuring Pint – In a class of their own – perfect for accident-prone areas where ultimate insulation isn’t the goal. Fun and durable, but not the classiest of the bunch. Should be compared to other silicone pints.
  • Kleen Kanteen Vacuum Insulated Tumbler – Good, but not perfect lid. Lustrous and good looking finish with performance to match, but feels overbuilt.
  • Avex Brew Insulated Pint Glass – The built in bottle opener and rubber ring is fun, but ultimately not worth the added complexity. Love the larger capacity.
  • Primus Commuter Vacuum Insulated Mug – Flaking paint and a finicky lid. Even if you’re a commuter, there’s probably a better one out there.
  • Kathmandu Coffee Grip Tumbler – It spills itself. Enough Said.

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3 comments

  1. Derek says:

    Awesome and thorough reviews. Three questions: 1) You sold me on the Stanley Stacking Vacuum Pint, do you now when it will be available? 2) In lieu of waiting, which would you prefer, the Stanley Classic Vacuum Pint or the Hydro Flask True Pint? 3) Any chance you have a picture of the pints side by side for size comparisons sake?

    • 1. Not sure when it will be available. I’ll ask my Stanley rep!
      2. The stanley classic is a great insulator, and includes a convenient lid (with integrated bottle opener that doesnt matter). But it’s pretty big and hefty. Get this one if you want pure performance and an OK lid. The Hydroflask, which I’m drinking Chai out of right now, is slick and nice – not quite as insulating as the stanley, and doesn’t come with a lid – but it’s much less bulky. Sitting at the coffee shop, I feel fine with the hydroflask on the table with me. The stanley would be kind of intense and “piece of outdoor gear”-looking.
      3. I don’t have a pic side by side.. but i’ll see what I can do when i get home, if i remember! :)

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