Whether you prefer sipping whiskey, another spirit neat or even a pre-made cocktail, a flask lets you enjoy a drink when you’re out and about: think a nip or two on the golf course, a wee dram or a large pour while sitting around a campfire, or even a sip with a beer chaser while tailgating. These smaller vessels save space, making potent potables more portable and discreet than a bottle and cup. Flasks also make great gifts (hello, groomsmen or bridesmaids) and heirlooms to pass down.
In order to help you decide which flask is right for you, we've carefully home-tested our favorites. Some of the attributes we looked at in order to properly evaluate each item include design and aesthetics, effectiveness, and overall value. We also looked at how easily the flask was to clean.
For an in-depth look at the finest flasks to fill and take on the go, read on.
Stanley Classic Flask
Larger size may not fit in some pant pockets
The vintage look of this flask is a throwback to the days of the thermos lunch, and the design is simple but classic.
Our home-tester found this flask to be well constructed and attractive. While testing, he found it rugged enough to get knocked around in a cooler or backpack and remain in great shape. While no funnel is included, our tester still found this flask to be relatively easy to fill. Though we would recommend using a funnel to minimize spillage. Lined with BPA-free stainless steel, it’s rustproof and features a cap mounted to a hinge so you can’t drop or lose it. Our tester appreciated that the screw is hinged and worked well. With the flask cap screwed down, the Stanley did not leak. Thanks to the wide mouth, the flask was both easy to pour and drink from.
While this flask is not dishwasher safe, it was still easy to clean. In the end, our tester chose this to be our best overall flask, as it is well constructed, easy to use, and a near-perfect size.
Price at time of publish: $24
Material: Stainless steel | Capacity: 6.4oz | Dimensions: 7.5 x 2.88 x 1.25 inches | Color Options: Yes
“This flask is great for drinking on the go. The wide mouth makes sipping easier and allows you to fill it with a regular sized funnel. The size is slightly large for a pant pocket but fits nicely in a jacket and perfectly in a golf bag.” – Nicholas McClelland, Product Tester
Bormioli Rocco Pocket Flask With Hermetic Lid
Easy to fill
Clear and affordable
Glass is fragile
This glass flask from Bormioli Rocco is a nice option for those on a budget. It’s super affordable, holds 8.5 ounces of liquid, and is made of glass, which won’t impart any unwanted flavors.
Of course, glass is fragile, so our tester recommends that if you’re hiking or popping it into a golf bag or even a picnic basket, you might want to make sure to provide adequate padding to prevent breakage. That said, our home-tester appreciated how this glass flask was so nicely made, noting its classic shape and the useful hinged cap. Our tester found this flask to be on the heavier side, at hefty 12 ounces empty, but it is a large vessel that will hold about a third of a standard bottle of booze.
There wasn't a funnel included when testing, but thanks to a large opening it was easy to fill. We would still recommend using a funnel to prevent mess. The seal worked well and our tester didn't experience leakage, however. The flask poured and sipped with ease and our tester appreciated the straightforward design.
The flask is glass, so you could put it in the dishwasher. Though, we'd still recommend washing the seal by hand. Our tester noted that a bottle brush would be useful to clean the flask if you were using it to transport a sweet cocktail. But otherwise cleaning was a snap.
Price at time of publish: $12.23
Material: Glass | Capacity: 8.5oz | Dimensions: 7.4 x 6.6 x 1.7 inches | Color Options: No
“Glass is great because it doesn’t impart flavor the way metal sometimes can. It’s also clear so you can see how much you have. This one is cheap, reusable and easy to top off with your favorite spirit. The only thing to watch with the Bormioli Rocco is that the seal was aligned when you closed it. Otherwise, it could leak. Of course, the downside is that glass is fragile, but I haven’t broken one yet.” – Nicholas McClelland, Product Tester
Misc. Goods Co Ceramic Flask
Ceramic is fragile and the closure can be difficult to secure
While metal flasks are typically quite durable, some variations of steel can impart a bit of flavor into any spirit they hold. A ceramic flask like this one from Miscellaneous Goods will help preserve the taste of your drink as intended when it went into the bottle.
Our tester thought this flask was beautiful and a very cool conversation starter. Made from ceramic, which our tester worried might be fragile, the quarter-inch thick porcelain made this flask hefty in the hand—something you want when you’re holding 11 ounces of spirit.
A cork stopper lashed in place by a leather strap should help to keep the hooch from spilling in your pocket or pack, so you won’t reek of booze. However, the cork cap was defective for our tester, unfortunately. It had a hole that liquid flowed right through. He replaced it with an old wine cork and it sealed well. But, that made him worried about the longevity of the leather closure. The flask did not include a funnel, and we would recommend buying one separately, though it was easy to fill. Our tester experienced no issues pouring or drinking from the Best Made Co flask. It was easy to do both.
Cleaning was easy but, during testing, there seemed to be no way to clean the flask without getting the strap wet. Our tester had concerns that water would damage the leather over time.
Price at time of publish: $125
Material: Ceramic | Capacity: 11oz | Dimensions: 4.5 x 6.5 inches | Color Options: Black or White depending on retailer
“This flask is a great conversation piece and feels quite special as you pour and drink from it. I was a bit disappointed that the cork that shipped with the flask had a hole, so I had to swap in an old wine cork. Also, the leather closure can be a bit onerous to operate.” – Nicholas McClelland, Product Tester
Best for Outdoor Adventures
Loads of features
Large size for a small capacity
This flask is built for adventure. VSSL’s flask is not just for drinking, it’s a legit multitool. The cylindrical design incorporates not just a space for liquid, but storage for two shot glasses and a bottle opener, a compass on the lid, and an LED flashlight with four modes on the base. Built from military-grade aluminum and food-grade stainless steel which is lined with shatterproof, non-permeable glass, the VSSL is as adventure-ready as they come. Our tester appreciated just how sturdy this flask seemed to be, noting that it could easily be dropped on a rock while hiking and still be fine.
The home-tester thought the VSSL looked great and especially liked that a compass was built directly into the screw-top lid—which sealed very well. Zero leaks were experienced during testing. The VSSL Flask poured easily, and drinking from it wasn't difficult. There wasn't a funnel included but the opening is extremely wide so it wasn't needed.
The VSSL was quite easy to clean thanks to the large opening. But we definitely recommend taking the flashlight off to avoid water coming into potential contact with the batteries.
Price at time of publish: $115
Material: Aluminum exterior/Glass lined stainless steel interior | Capacity: 9oz | Color Options: Black or Green
“The VSSL is a very cool flask, ready for a multitude of adventures, It's a well-designed, rugged vessel that contains not just your liquid but a flashlight, compass, shot glasses and bottle opener to boot.” – Nicholas McClelland, Product Tester
Barbour Hip Flask
Easy to grip
Small mouth makes it more difficult to fill
Not only is the Barbour's tartan wrap stylish, but it also makes gripping the flask a little less slippery. While tartan is traditionally Scottish, you aren’t limited to storing single malts exclusively, and the leather-trimmed design will please even the pickiest of recipients. A 6-ounce capacity makes this vessel perfect for pocketing a few nips, and the hinged arm prevents the cap from falling off or getting lost.
Our tester loved the plaid tartan design and found it to be a sturdy pocket flask. The hinged screw cap worked easily and well. The mouth is the traditional size and our tester found it a bit small to pour liquid into without a funnel. But the cap sealed well and didn't leak, and the small mouth poured and sipped well during testing.
The flask was easy to clean. Our tester did take extra care to prevent water and soap from saturating the leather and fabric that wraps around the flask.
Price at time of publish: $29.99
Material: Stainless steel | Capacity: 6oz | Dimensions: 4 x 4 inches | Color Options: No
“It looks cool and the tartan fabric gives the flask a good feel in the hand. Overall, it’s small and lightweight, so it’s good for a ballgame. But the Barbour flask does utilize the smaller mouth so you’ll want to invest in an appropriately sized funnel to make it easier to fill up.” – Nicholas McClelland, Product Tester
S'well Stainless Steel Roamer Bottle
Keeps cold for up to 48 hours
Sipping from a large mouth can be more challenging
For anyone who wants to bring a big batch of cold cocktails to a tailgate, the Swell Roamer is a top-notch option. It’s made from food-grade 18/8 stainless steel and is vacuum-insulated, so cold drinks like a Negroni or Manhattan stay cold for up to 48 hours and hot drinks like an Irish coffee keeps its heat for up to 16 hours.
Our home tester liked that the Swell's construction felt solid and looked great for being such a large vessel. The screw top worked perfectly and was easy to screw and seal, and no leaks were experienced. With such a massive mouth, a funnel wasn't necessary to fill it up. This also made it easy to pour out a cocktail, but the large mouth made sipping a little challenging to do neatly.
While the Swell is not dishwasher safe, it was easy to clean. For sticky cocktails, we might choose to use a bottle brush to make sure it was cleaned thoroughly.
Price at time of publish: $55
Material: stainless steel | Capacity: 40oz | Color Options: Yes
"The Swell Roamer is a nearly flawless way to transport a big batch of cocktails to a tailgate or party and feels quite compact for a 40-ounce vessel. It keeps drinks nicely chilled and is well constructed, handsome and easy to pour drinks to and from. ” – Nicholas McClelland, Product Tester
Rugged, well constructed, and easy to use, the Stanley Classic Flask can get the job done while hiking, camping, or hanging in the backyard. For a glass option in a classic style that is also a little less expensive, the Bormioli Rocco Pocket Flask is a great choice.
How We Tested
All of the flasks featured in this roundup have been carefully chosen by our editors and then home-tested by an experienced product tester. After ranking each product on key attributes—rating each one by way of a number of steps—our tester provided additional insights on each flask's strengths and weaknesses.
Some of the attributes we looked for and rated each item on included the design and aesthetics, effectiveness, and overall value. We also looked at how it was to pour in and out of the flask, and whether there was spillage. We had our tester taste the drink after it was poured into the flask to evaluate the temperature. And, finally, they tested the product to see how easy it was to clean.
What to Look for When Buying a Flask
One of the most important decisions you'll make before you buy a flask is to decide what you will use it for. Will it be used for hiking and camping trips? If so, then it will get jostled around a bit and most likely hang out in a backpack when not in your hand. Will it be used for sipping when you're sitting out on your deck or attending an event? If this is the case, then it probably doesn't need to be quite as durable.
Flasks come in many different types of material, including stainless steel, titanium, ceramic, pewter, and even glass; although, nowadays most flasks are stainless steel. Consider whether you want a flask that's rugged and sturdy enough to so handle those trips you might make, or is it pretty and delicate enough to sit next to you on a table as you enjoy an evening on the patio.
Shape, color, design, and even the width of the mouth all come into play when deciding what you want your flask to look like. It's in your corner, as only you know what you really want. Also keep in mind that there are some features that make a flask easier and more enjoyable, such as being easy to drink from and clean, having a carabiner clip or neck hanger, and having a sleek curved shape so it can easily fit in a pocket. The weight and quantity of liquor it can hold are also important considerations.
How long can you leave alcohol in a flask?
Flasks are meant to hold liquor for a short period of time—typically one to three days. Liquor left in longer in a stainless-steel flask can start to have a metallic taste, and some, such as whiskey, will turn darker in color.
What is the easiest way to fill a flask?
Most flasks come with a funnel that you can use to easily pour your liquor or beverage of choice into the flask. If you don't have a funnel, try using a measuring cup or another type of cup that has a pour spout.
How should you clean a flask?
Simply rinse out your flask with hot water if you've just used it. If your flask has a smell to it, you can pour 1/4 to 1/2 cup white vinegar in it, shake, fill the rest of the way up with water, then let sit for 20 to 30 minutes. Empty your flask, rinse thoroughly, and let dry before reusing.
Why Trust The Spruce Eats?
Nicholas McClelland is a passionate whisk(e)y drinker who has written about spirits for Men’s Journal, Fatherly, and Inside Hook. His bar is deep with rare single malts, hard-to-find bourbons, and ryes, but he doesn't believe there's anything too precious to share with friends.