Man isn’t meant to stay indoors — our weekly “Trekking” column can attest to that. It’s a column dedicated to the adventurer inside of all of us, the one pining to ditch the office humdrum for a quick surf session or seven-week jaunt in the Grand Tetons. One day we may highlight an ultra-light stove and the next a set of handmade canoe paddles. Life doesn’t just happen inside the workplace, so get outside and live it.
Drinking is an activity for the everyman. However, lugging a six-pack of your favorite microbrew into far regions of the wild is easier said than done — especially if you have the intention of keeping it cool without ruining it. Fortunately, the modern form of the hip flask has been around since the beginnings of the 18th century, providing a means for nobles to discreetly sip their libations anywhere they choose. There’s now a diverse multitude of flasks on the market, ranging from stainless steel and titanium containers to those constructed of thermoplastic polyurethane, all of which let you unload the weight and keep the drinks flowing when you’re miles from the closest bar.
Below are some of our favorites. They may not be the most attractive, nor the biggest, but they will keep the casual boozehound at bay after a long trek on the trail.
Vapur Incognito Flexible Flask ($7)
The Incognito’s low-profile design, available in either teal or black — is as flexible as it is simple. The BPA-flask allows you to discreetly tuck 10 ounces of fluid in your bag or pocket when traveling, and when done, quickly run it through the dishwasher. The bundled pourer and freezer-safe components only make it that more enticing.
Bush Smarts Hip Flask ($29)
Bush Smarts Hip Flask straddles the line between form and function. The flask’s no-frill design comes in one of three colors (black, red, green), each of which capitalizes on a basic build made of PE-HD thermoplastic. The 1.5-ounce container even has a leather fob and waxed cord stitching, giving you a quick means for attaching it to your belt.
Vargo Titanium Flask ($75)
Vargo’s patented flask presents more convenience than outward aesthetics. The 8-ounce, titanium offering showcases an integrated silicone funnel you can quickly flip up when filling, ensuring you don’t lose any precious liquid. It’s biocompatible, too, and the funnel doubles as the ideal spout for pouring alcohol back in its original container.
Stanley eCycle Flask ($15)
The Seattle-based Stanley remains a touchstone in the realm of bottles years after its debut. The company’s sustainable, eCycle flask is built of recycled plastic and features a two-stage lid, the latter feature of which lets you hand clean the 7-ounce flask or run it through the dishwasher with ease. It’s currently available in either green or navy.
Innate Trad Flask ($23)
Like the aforementioned Vargo flask, the curved Innate Trad combines style with function. It’s made of premium, 304 stainless steel and touts a keyhole lid container that allows you to attach the 6-ounce flask to a variety of mediums. It also comes bundled with a stainless steel refueling funnel, preventing the occasional slip up.
Hydrapak Softflask ($20)
The award-winning Softflask is praised for good reason. The flask’s molded design is constructed of thermoplastic polyurethane and is entirely collapsible, yet it still retains its strength and durability while on the trail. It collapses as you drink, and moreover, is available in a slew of different sizes — including a 25-ounce model.
Nalgene Flask ($9)
Nalgene is a long-standing corner stone when it comes to containers. The company’s aptly-titled Flask features a one-ounce cap and a rugged insulation sleeve, allowing you to stow 12 ounces of your favorite liquid within an assortment of colorful designs that pair well with any pack. And if you drop the sleeve, it weighs a mere 1.86 ounces.
evrgrn Last Call Flask ($25)
There’s no reason to balk at REI’s line of exclusive equipment, especially the Last Call Flask. The BPA-free, stainless steel container holds up to 8 ounces of liquid, while ensuring you never spill a drop with an airtight lid and a simple TPU loop specifically manufactured to hold the cap in place. The assorted, glossy finishes are an added plus.
Snow Peak has as much a penchant for design as it does price. As one of the smallest flasks on our list, the company’s titanium container is a prime example of said vision. The polished flask lets you pack a mere 6.7 ounces into an attractive build that’s designed to curb metallic flavors and unnecessary weight (at a premium price).
GSI Highland Flask ($6)
You can’t really go wrong with the Highland Flask given its budget-based price. Not only is the lightweight container specifically designed to roll up when empty, but it boasts both a tethered lid and silicone grip for hassle-free handling on the go. It’s also BPA-free and adorned with a rewriteable data bar for your name and the distiller.