I tried the viral Stanley Quencher for a week — here's what I thought

a photo of a hand holding the Stanley Quencher
(Image credit: Stanley)

There’s nothing I love more than grabbing a coffee in my reusable flask, and heading out for an early morning hike with my dog. It’s one of my favorite moments of the day, and something that gets me out of bed in the morning, no matter what the weather. So, like millions of others, I was intrigued and excited to try the Stanley Quencher — known affectionately as ‘the Stanley’ by its huge fanbase. 

The Stanley Quencher 2.0 is a huge 40-ounce water bottle, with a handle and a reusable straw. The water bottle has double-wall vacuum insulation that keeps water cold for 11 hours, and hot drinks warm for 7 hours. Despite its huge size, it also fits in the cup holder of most cars. It also comes in 14 different colors to suit different styles.

The Stanley Quencher has actually been around for a few years now, but the world has gone mad for the cup after videos started appearing on TikTok. Health and fitness influencers have all been seen grasping the pretty pastel Stanley, and the monster flask is pretty much sold out everywhere. Users can sign up to waiting lists to be notified when their favorite color comes back in stock, but it’s become a fashion staple with a cult following. Am I cool enough to use this cup? That was the question I asked myself as I unboxed my Eucalyptus-colored flask.

To find out, I carried the flask around for a week. Here’s my verdict.

It’s huge

When the bottle dropped on my doorstep, I assumed it was a pair of running shoes from the size of the box it arrived in. This thing is massive. I don’t think any nutritionist on the planet would recommend guzzling 40 ounces of coffee in one sitting (the FDA recommends no more than 400 milligrams of coffee per day, which is about four cups), so this definitely wasn’t one I’d take with me on my morning dog walks. 

a photo of the Stanley Quencher 2.0

(Image credit: Future)

Plus, when filled with water, the flask is heavy. On the day I commuted to work with it filled with water and ice, I had to carry a separate tote bag to carry the Stanley, as it didn’t fit in the water bottle holder of my best gym bag. My colleagues laughed when I put it down on the desk in the London office — clearly the trend hasn’t made it across the pond just yet. 

It’s extremely well made

That said, the Stanley Quencher was extremely well made, and definitely lived up to the hype in terms of keeping cold water cold for longer. Fans of the product claim the straw makes it easier to idly sip water throughout the day, helping them stay more hydrated. I categorically agree — it was easy to keep sipping when sat at my desk, and it being so large, I wasn’t walking back and forth to the kitchen to refill it as often as I would with my normal water bottle. 

There are a number of benefits to staying hydrated — from speeding up your metabolism to brightening your skin and reducing headaches. I once drank a gallon of water a day for a month for a feature, so am in the habit of staying hydrated. I wonder if any water bottle with a straw would do the trick, but it was easy to sip from the Stanley. 

It’s definitely not leakproof

One thing I look for in the best water bottles is a leakproof design. I’m clumsy at the best of times, and with the best will in the world, I know I’ll end up chucking my water bottle in with my laptop as I leave work in a hurry. 

a photo of the lid of the Stanley Quencher

(Image credit: Future)

As many TikTok videos have highlighted, the Stanley isn’t leakproof. The FlowState lid rotates and has three different positions — a straw opening that the brand says is ‘designed to resist splashes while holding the reusable straw in place’, a drink opening, and a full-cover top. Obviously, to twist the lid to the full-cover top, you have to remove the straw, and then wash it before using it when you get home. I found while it didn’t cause any tech disasters (my editor will be relieved), it definitely wasn’t 100% leakproof. 

I’m not sure it’s for me, but I can see the appeal

I do get the appeal of this product — it’s wonderfully made, it keeps your drinks cold, or warm, for hours, it’s easy to drink from, and it’s nice to hold with the big handle. There’s something comforting about the ergonomic handle, but maybe I’ve been watching too many TikTok videos. I also loved that I could chuck the bottle in the dishwasher to give it a proper clean. 

It's also worth noting, the Stanley does come in smaller sizes. While it's the 40-ounce model that's gone viral, it also comes in a 30- and a 14-ounce size, although the latter doesn't have the handle. 

That said, it’s not for me. Firstly, I can’t think of a hot drink I’d want 40 ounces of — even my go-to lemon and ginger tea would be too much in that volume. I guess if I was at a music festival, or going camping, it would come in handy, but as a daily flask, I think I prefer a smaller coffee cup and a vacuum-insulated water bottle. 

I can’t help wondering if the appeal of the Stanley is in the chase — living in London, I had no idea these things were so hard to find, but after watching ‘restock videos’ on TikTok, I understand you can’t just pop to Target and pick one up. 

As a fitness editor, I believe anything that makes you want to make healthier choices is worth buying.

As a fitness editor, I believe anything that makes you want to make healthier choices is worth buying. It’s why I tell my friends to buy the $80 yoga pants, because they’ll be more likely to go to the gym if they feel great. If buying this bottle makes you want to drink more water, that can only be a good thing, but for the sake of my lower back, I’ll be leaving my Stanley at home from now on.

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Jane McGuire
Fitness editor

Jane McGuire is Tom's Guide's Fitness editor, which means she looks after everything fitness related - from running gear to yoga mats. An avid runner, Jane has tested and reviewed fitness products for the past five years, so knows what to look for when finding a good running watch or a pair of shorts with pockets big enough for your smartphone. When she's not pounding the pavements, you'll find Jane striding round the Surrey Hills, taking far too many photos of her puppy.