Field Test: GSI Outdoors Glacier Stainless 1L Vacuum Bottle

The author put the Glacier Stainless 1L Vacuum Bottle from GSI Outdoors to the test in the duck blind during 2019.

Field Test: GSI Outdoors Glacier Stainless 1L Vacuum Bottle

The author's 17-year-old son, Elliott, pours hot chocolate in the duck blind.

From duck and deer hunting to ice fishing, any cold-weather activity is made more comfortable when you have a hot beverage handy. During the 2019 waterfowl season, I packed a 1-liter (33.8 ounces) Glacier Stainless Vacuum Bottle manufactured by GSI Outdoors. (Old-school hunters like me call it a thermos.) In the past, I’ve had good luck with the company’s Microlite 500 Water Bottles (click here to read my review), but I wanted a larger bottle and one with a cap that could be used for drinking.

The Glacier Stainless 1L Vacuum Bottle holds 33.8 ounces of fluid, and its cap serves as a cup.
The Glacier Stainless 1L Vacuum Bottle holds 33.8 ounces of fluid, and its cap serves as a cup.

First Impressions

The Glacier Stainless 1L Vacuum Bottle is made from 18/8 stainless-steel, so it’s durable. As any waterfowler knows, nothing gets handled gently on the way to or from the duck slough, and this bottle is built to take a beating.

The 1-liter bottle measures 11.8 inches tall and 3.7 inches in diameter. It’s leakproof (you don’t want coffee or hot chocolate spilling on your shotgun shells), and even better, you can pour your favorite hot beverage into the handy cap/cup for sipping between shooting. In fact, you don’t have to fully remove the stopper to pour. This bottle features a “pour-through stopper,” which simply means you can loosen the stopper about halfway and then slowly pour. The advantage to leaving the stopper in place is the bottle pours slower (more control with frozen fingers), and the contents aren’t exposed to cold air, which keeps it hotter longer.

In-the-Field Takeaways

I’m not a coffee drinker but love hot chocolate, as does my oldest son, Elliott. This past fall we carried the Glacier Stainless 1L Vacuum Bottle into the duck blind with us on numerous occasions. We didn’t conduct any scientific tests of the bottle in terms of fluid temperature, but I can provide firsthand experience. As we prepared to leave our house 2 hours before sunrise, we made hot chocolate in the microwave and then filled the bottle. Note: The fluid was hot but not boiling or anything close to that at the time of filling.

Air temperature during most of our Minnesota morning duck hunts was less than 40 degrees, and usually below freezing. The coldest morning temp was 19 degrees. On most days, we didn’t reach for the hot chocolate until we’d been in the blind for a couple hours, meaning it had been at least 4 hours since we’d filled the vacuum bottle. Many days, 6 hours went by before we reached for a drink. In every case, the hot chocolate was piping hot when we poured it into the cap. In addition, during those marathons when we spent all day in the duck blind, the hot chocolate was still hot no matter when we poured it. One time I forgot we had some hot chocolate left and didn’t realize it until I was putting away gear at home. By then, it had been 14 hours since we’d filled the bottle, and the hot chocolate was still too hot to drink quickly. (The company claims it “provides superior heat and cold retention for up to 30 hours.”)

When the shooting slowed, the author’s son treated himself to hot chocolate in the duck blind.
When the shooting slowed, the author’s son treated himself to hot chocolate in the duck blind.

Other features of the Glacier Stainless 1L Vacuum Bottle worth mentioning include: rectangular grooves on the outsides of the bottle and cap make it easy to hold and pour, even while wearing heavy gloves; a non-mar rubber foot protects table surfaces (obviously this isn’t a factor in a duck boat or blind).

Some hunters might consider the $44.95 price of the Glacier Stainless 1L a problem, but in my opinion it’s a decent value, especially when I look at the exterior of the bottle after a full season of duck hunting. It has a few scuff marks, but I see no reason it won’t be joining us in the duck blind for the next decade.

On the GSI Outdoors website, the Glacier Stainless 1L bottle is available in black, red, blue and silver (stainless). That said, as you can see in a couple hunting pics in this article, I own one in orange (or what I like to call, mallard legs). A representative from GSI Outdoors says orange has been discontinued in the 1-liter offering, but they still had a few left in stock at the time of this writing. Call (800) 704-4474 to check availability. I also found the 1-liter orange bottle listed with a few online retailers. Note: GSI Outdoors continues to offer its .5-liter bottle in orange (photo below) and the price is $29.95.

GSI Outdoors Glacier Stainless .5L Vacuum Bottle
GSI Outdoors Glacier Stainless .5L Vacuum Bottle

Prior to duck season 2020, I plan on buying the .5-liter bottle to bring chicken noodle soup into the blind. While hot chocolate is hard to beat on a brutally cold day, I think hot soup will be even better. The trick, of course, will be not losing the spoon.

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