We all love camping. The wild outdoors; skinny dipping; the fresh smell of pine and bracken… The open fire! Particularly the fire. Sharing stories with friends, laughing and joking, drinking and eating. Camping is a chance to get back to basics, to what’s really important in life. Speaking of eating, though when bringing your own food along for your natural excursion, you need the best equipment possible, and the best insulated food container is vital to ensure your evening meal or all-important breakfast don’t spoil before you get chance to enjoy them.
Choosing the right insulated food containers to take along might seem like a thankless task to begin with, and what exactly makes a good insulated food container, anyway?
Well, we have you covered with that.
Throughout this article we’ll list what it is you should be looking for that makes the best insulated food container, and we’ll also provide a few examples, which we will review against each other from our own standards. Making sure you have the best equipment for camping can make a trip go from being great, to unforgettable.
**Below, you'll find our more detailed reviews, but you can also click the links above to see current prices or read customer reviews on Amazon.
We’ve picked out six containers that will cover the majority, if not all, of the values above, to provide you with a list of solid insulated food containers to take on your next and future camping trips with you.
An excellent brand name in the business of utility is Stanley, also with over 100 years of experience in the market. Masters in countless areas ranging from tools to outdoor utility products, their vacuum insulated food jar is another highly regarded option in their ever-growing repertoire.
This time a classic and the blueprint for food containers. This option comes in two capacities, 17 ounce and 24 ounce. The jar offers a minimum of 12 hours of hot or cold storage, with its classic vacuum insulated design. The same design offers leak-proof guarantees and Stanley also provide their lifetime warranty for the product. It’s the original design, trusted for decades and unchanged. Both sizes are nicely sized to fit comfortably in most backpacks and there are very few issues with this piece, making it a worthy companion to any camping trip.
Another of the best brands, if not the best brand in insulated food and drinks containers is Thermos. With more than 110 years of producing quality and trusted insulated containers, there’s a reason they are still up there as one of the go-to brands in the industry. Thermos are still at the forefront of insulation technology and continue to put in the time to research, development and innovation to make certain their products are the best they can be.
The Stainless King is no different, a 16 ounce container is more than large enough to store most meal types, and with Thermos’ vacuum insulation technology, your food will maintain its optimum temperature for as long as possible with a suggested 9 hours for hot foods and up to 14 hours for cold contents. The container comes with detachable folding spoon contained within the lid for a complete eating experience.
The container is both compact and lightweight, perfect for slotting into your multi-day pack and will fit nicely into most net or stretchable side pockets.
With this product there are very few negatives to consider, it’s a reliable and solid choice for an insulated container.
Another Stanley design in our lineup, the Adventure Vacuum jar comes in three different sizes, from 14 to 24 ounces, and is airtight when sealed, vital to keeping your food at its optimum temperature. The product comes with a handy spork and lid for portioning. The smallest option will keep its contents at optimum temperature for up to 8 hours, whilst the largest offers up to 15 hours of optimum temperature.
All choices provide a compact and lightweight product which will slot nicely into your backpack and side pockets. The jar also comes with a lifetime warranty from Stanley, to prove its worth as a product.
Perfect for keeping you hydrated and refreshed, this 16 ounce liquid flask is designed to keep your drinks as cool as physically possible for as long as possible. Its stainless steel design, including the vacuum is perfect for those summer camps or treks where the temperatures are soaring.
The bottle’s design includes a hygienic push button lid with a pop-up straw for easy, safe drinking. It’s tall, slim design makes it simple to slide into side pockets or just inside your pack and also comes in child friendly designs like Captain America and Star Wars themes, keeping the kids both refreshed and entertained.
The only real con with this product is that it is specifically for cold beverages, not hot ones or other food types, although, if you were to take along a beverage receptacle, this should be one of your top choices.
The Thermos Funtainer is another reliable option from a reliable brand. The product uses the same insulation technology as other Thermos products and will keep food at optimum cooler temperatures for up to 7 hours, and hotter temperatures up to 5 hours, making it reliable, particularly for on-the-go dining.
With 10 ounces in capacity, it’s not the largest container on the list, but it’s perfect for breakfast, mid-morning or afternoon snacks and even lunch. The container also comes in countless styles, which are both colourful and themed with favourite children’s characters, making it a first class choice for any younger campers joining you for the journey.
Its size has other advantages, as it’s super compact and ultra lightweight for perfect portability.
Another excellent insulated food jar from Thermos for smaller food portions. The Foogo uses the same technology as Thermos’ other 10 ounce jar on our list, providing similar cooling and heating durations. Similarly to the Funtainer, it’s also designed initially with children in mind, for school trips or family camping weekends, however it would still be useful for smaller portions and as part of a set of different food containers.
As with the Funtainer, its main flaw is purely its size, however this does offer it an advantage of greater portability over its competitors.
For us, our choice goes to #1 - The Classic Stanley Vacuum Insulated Food Jar has to be our go-to for your next and future camping trips.
There’s a reason it’s withstood the most important test of all; time. All of our picks are excellent at what they do, with the drinks flask from Thermos being perfect for keeping your thirst quenched; the Stanley Adventure and the Thermos Stainless King, both with attachable eating apparatus are worthy for sure as options, but don’t quite hold the prestige of what is ultimately their big brother; and the two Thermos 10 ounce containers are also excellent choices, but are perhaps a little too small in size for what we have in mind.
The classic Stanley has very few flaws, and with a lifetime warranty, it’s hard to consider anything else as the perfect choice.
If you have any experience with other insulated food containers, or comments on our chosen few, why not let your fellow readers know with a comment below?