Here's my LTR for the Stanley Food Jar. Html can be found here: http://www.backpackgeartest.org/reviews/test/TESTS/LTR%20Stanley%20Food%20Jar%20-%20Tim%20Earley/
Thanks for the edits!
STANLEY CLASSIC 17 OZ. FOOD JAR
Long Term Report
Since my field report, I have taken the food jar on about 8 or so
outings. They have ranged from day hikes to overnight trips to a
couple car rides where I wanted to bring some food with me. This
summer has been quite a scorcher so far with temperatures consistently
above 90 F (32 C). My overnight trip saw low temperatures of about 60
F (10 C) and high temperatures of about 85 F (29 C). Most of my day
hikes saw temperatures from 80 F (27 C) to 90 F (32 C). Elevation
gains were similar to my field testing conditions (0-1500 feet or
My first impression of the food jar was that it would be a specialty
item. After the long term test period I still believe this to be the
case. Allow me to elaborate on this point. In my experience, this
jar is best suited to a day hike where food needs to be kept either
hot or cold, not just "medium temperature." This limits the jar to
use in extreme temperatures such as keeping lunch hot during a winter
day hike or keeping some macaroni salad cold during a hot day hike.
With that said, I struggled to find a use for this jar in warm weather
above 70 F (21 C). I was able to fill it with ice cold macaroni salad
or potato salad and have that salad be the proper temperature when I
sat down to eat. However, I don't normally eat macaroni salad when on
a day hike. Likewise I do not eat fruit salads, potato salads, or
cold cereal on a day hike. Again, I struggled to find a use for this
jar in warm weather.
I planned to test the overnight applicability of this jar by cooking
breakfast before I went to sleep and seeing if the contents were ready
to eat in the morning. I filled the jar up with some oatmeal, sealed
it and placed it inside the bivy to act as a hot water bottle. Upon
waking up I was disappointed to see my oatmeal was as cold as the air
around me. I can not say I really fault the jar for this as asking a
jar to keep oatmeal hot for seven or eight hours is a tall order.
Nonetheless, a potentially game-changing application for the jar had
On a subsequent day hike I used the jar to store some macaroni salad
and made a typical bachelor mistake. I forgot to wash the jar out.
When I went to open the jar about a week later I was greeted with a
smell that would make a skunk turn away. Fortunately, with a little
soap and water, the smell was gone in about five minutes and the
inside of the jar was pristine. The inner cap took a bit of scrubbing
to clean the threads but otherwise cleaning was really a snap.
This brings me to my next point about this jar. It is very easy to
clean. I have moderately large hands (thin but long fingers) and so
might have an easier time than most but I still found it easy to reach
the bottom and wipe it clean with a cloth (when I remembered, that
is!), even on the trail. Also, filling it with water and replacing
the outer cap (but not the inner) and shaking it up like a cocktail
shaker will usually remove most food particles from the lower portions.
The jar has proven to be very durable. I'm not easy on my gear and
this jar was no exception. Nevertheless it has stood up to repeated
drops without any sign of damage or any detectable decrease in
performance. The seal has also never allowed a single drop of liquid
to spill. I think Stanley built a tough little food jar. With
regards to packability and weight, my fears of it being overly heavy
or bulky were never realized. It easily tucks away into my pack and I
don't mind the minimal extra weight.
Despite some of the faults I found in my Long Term Report, I find this
food jar to be an excellent piece of gear for cold weather day hikes.
The warm weather during my Long Term Report period probably played a
significant role in my recent experience and as such, I would like to
emphasize that when the temperatures and conditions are right, this
jar is great. That said, I am convinced this is a specialty item
ideally suited for a particular niche (cold weather day hikes) and not
quite ideally suited for others (hot weather, extended trips).
Things I like:
2. Sized just right to store enough food without being overly bulky
3. Insulates plenty for a day hike
Things I don't like:
1. Just not that useful in the warmer seasons.
I would like to thank Stanley-PMI and BackpackGearTest.org for the
opportunity to test this item.
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