What’s all the fuss with the Stanley Tumbler? Why would anyone camp out overnight with people jostling to get the latest version of a stainless steel water bottle, a “quencher” or “ice flow” — with no water in it! At the bottom of this post we have insights from a professor of consumer psychology that can help explain this hysteria.
But first, here are the 5 best-selling Stanley Tumblers, along with a handful of other stainless steel water bottles like Yeti, Hydro Flask, and Owala, in case you’re looking for a less trendy or more affordable alternative.
Stanley Tumbler Best-Sellers
Best-seller #1: Stanley The Clean Slate Quencher H2.0 FlowState Tumbler 30 oz. in Heather
An opening at top is designed to resist splashes while holding the reusable straw in place. This Quencher even fits in your car cup holder, and the easy-grab handle is what my friend Emily said makes it feel like a weapon.
Best-seller #2: Stanley Winterscape Quencher H2.0 FlowState Tumbler 40 oz. in Pale Stone
If I can’t get away from the city, there’s this Stanley Tumbler — mountains and trees.
Best-selller #3: Stanley The Golden Hour Prismatic Pilsner Glass 15 oz. in Happy Haze
Not a tumbler, but a Stanley best seller. The slender silhouette molds to the shape of the hand, and a silicone base provides soft landings every time. The cool thing is it reflects the lighting of a home bar nicely. Stanley said this glass can raise my spirits. I’m willing to give it a shot!
Best-seller #4: Stanley Deco Collection Quencher H2.0 FlowState Tumbler 40 oz. in Nightfall Gloss Deco
I always liked the art deco furniture I inherited from my grandmother, but this tumbler with bold, gilded accents puts me in a Gatsby mood too.
Best-seller #5: Stanley The Quencher H2.0 FlowState Tumbler 40 oz. in Tigerlily
The lid features a rotating cover with three positions: a straw opening, a wide mouth for drinking, and a full-cover top to prevent spills.
Other Stanley Tumblers
Stanley The IceFlow Flip Straw Tumbler 30 oz. in Citron
This has a built-in flip straw for easy sipping and the folding handle lets you quickly grab and go. This Tumbler is made in part from recycled plastics sourced from discarded fishing nets, sparing our waters of plastic waste.
Stanley The Quencher H2.O FlowState Tumbler 20 oz. in Black
The double-wall vacuum insulation will keep things cold for 8 hours and iced for 30 hours. Made with 90% recycled stainless-steel to help you live a more sustainable lifestyle.
Stanley IceFlow Bottle with Fast Flow Lid Tumbler 16 oz. in Lavender
The leakproof, angled Fast Flow Lid is designed for quick and easy pouring, drinking and cleaning. Snap the cap into the handle’s integrated holder for storage while you drink. Featuring the easy-carry handle of our IceFlow, this size is car cup compatible – other compatible sizes are 24oz.
Stanley The Stay-Hot Camp Mug 24 oz. in Rose Quartz Glow
This one is built to last, with solid 18/8 stainless steel construction. Drink-Thru Lid prevents splashes and makes sipping easy.
Stanley Tumbler alternatives
Owala usually comes in at a lower price point than the Stanley, plus it’s got handles for both righties and lefties. Ambidextrous swillers unite! 40 oz Tumbler has a 2-in-1, sip-or-swig lid and fits into most cup holders. Splash-resistant too.
Owala 40 oz Tumbler in Candy Store Pink
Hydro Flask Tumbler
My friend Tom said he’s too lazy to screw and unscrew a water bottle cap, so this is his savior: double-wall insulation, and the flexible straw is easy to sip any which way. It has a dent but he’s OK with it — he shouldn’t have dropped it from his balcony!
Hydro Flask All Around Travel Tumbler, 40 oz. in Lupine
Yeti people are outdoors-y types. I have a Yeti cooler, and this double-wall vacuum insulation tumbler, with the new chug cap, makes drinking easier. Just a quick half-twist of the TripleHaul handle and I’m ready. Oh, and Yeti’s are dishwasher-safe!
YETI Rambler Tumbler with MagSlider Lid, 20 oz. in Power Pink
At my household this is the water bottle that goes to the office. Paint can chip and it dents — a disaster if you have kids, but keeps my drinks COLD! The TKWide 20 oz features the TK Closure internal thread design and leak-proof Twist Cap with built-in reusable steel straw.
Klean Kanteen TKWide Insulated Water Bottle with Twist Cap, 20 oz. in Blue Tint
Although it looks like it’s designed for coffee, the Toddy XL is great for a variety of beverages, hot or cold. It’s 32oz, cup-holder friendly, and leakproof. BevGuard insulation does the heavy work here.
BRÜMATE Toddy XL Tumbler, 32 oz. in Dark Aura
One of my sister’s friends has a 20 oz RTIC. He keeps it bedside at night and carries it all day long. He fills it 6 times a day but the ice lasts forever! The Road Trip Tumbler has a ceramic-lined interior that protects beverages from metallic taste and smell — and makes it easy to clean.
RTIC Road Trip Tumbler, 40 oz. in Fog
Ello Beacon Tumbler
Ello Beacon straws are big, like the straws from McDonalds. The crystal clear splash-resistant press-fit lid lets you check on the status of your drink inside. It’s as fun as the lighted window on my air fryer. It’s so durable it stands up to getting banged around for prolonged use.
Ello Beacon Vacuum Insulated Stainless Steel Tumbler, 24 0z. in Blue Sky
Here’s What’s Behind the Stanley Tumbler Frenzy
By Brian O’Connor
Why are people climbing over each other for a Stanley Tumbler? And why are re-sellers charging $300 online for one? Is this the new crypto? Or is everyone just keeping their New Year’s resolutions intact to get fit?
Female tweens and gym moms are driving this frenzy for the Stanley Tumbler — with more than 100 colors and options for customization, brand enthusiasts are matching their water bottle with their nail polish and trainer outfits. Small wonder then that Stanley 1913 company reported revenue of $750 million in 2023, up from $73 million in 2019, according to CNBC.
Perhaps social media provides the easiest explanation: last year, a woman’s car went on fire and the only thing that survived was her Stanley water bottle, which still had ice in it. Too incredible to be true? The Stanley 1913 company offered to replace her vehicle. Amazing. (Would they have done the same if it were a house fire?)
This set in motion a mania for a product from a company that’s more than 100 years old. My grandfather swore by his checkered Stanley coffee thermos. But what we’re seeing today is not my grandfather’s Stanley.
“This is not surprising,” said Ross Steinman, PhD, professor of consumer psychology at Widener University in Chester, PA. “We’ve seen over time a lot of blue-collar products that are well made that have been massaged and co-opted by the general public and turned into a trend.”
The professor pointed to Carhartt as an example — a company in Detroit that began making clothes for railroad workers and farmers in the 1890s. Flash forward 100 years and its zip-up jacket had slyly made its way into New York City nightlife and beyond when rap artists like Tupac and Eminem began wearing them.
Add to the list Timbaland boots, or more broadly, military fatigues and flannel shirts. You get the idea: utilitarian clothes that had morphed into casual wear, like an old printing press factory in SoHo reconstituted as a co-op.
“What you have here are products that are really well made for a certain segment, some for many years, and all of a sudden the rest of the United States realized the utility of it,” said Steinman, “and it takes a smart company to figure out how to spread it to influencers.”
Fair enough. I asked some friends and it seems like Stanley’s quality resonates. The double-wall stainless steel keeps liquids hot or cold for extended periods of time. My friend Emily said it’s so heavy it feels like a weapon.
Hydration, its primary purpose, might be another point of appeal. The quencher is aptly named: it carries as much as 64 ounces of liquid — at a $300 re-sell that’s nearly $5 an ounce.
Steinman said that hydration as a motivating factor is not absent from this current hysteria. “A lot of cosmetics products that have been typically geared toward women in their mid 20s and older females have trickled down to the tween market,” he said. “And a lot of the tips and techniques have to do with not only the cosmetics products, but hydration, the health aspects to it. I don’t think this is driving purchase behavior, but it’s a consideration.”
So there’s a social media buzz for a product that hydrates and is well-made. Is that what’s driving the purchase decisions?
“This is largely about status,” said Steinman. “People are interested in these cultural markers because they’re symbolic, they express an ability to afford it and a facility for early adoption in the fashion/consumer world. We look for symbols to let everyone know that.”
Steinman mentioned Crocs as an example. When they debuted in 2002, Crocs were designed for boaters — they liked the antimicrobial material and apparently had no eye for fashion. The unsightly shoe had an appeal though, an ease of use in an increasingly slip-on, slip-off culture. More colors appeared, and four years later the company went public and raised $200 million – the most ever for a shoe brand.
For cross-marketing, Crocs partnered with other companies, much like Stanley has done with Starbucks. This all makes sense when you discover that Terrence Reilly, the CEO of Stanley 1913, has been employing a sort of echo effect: he’s the former CEO of Crocs.
Of course, Stanley has the advantage of social media, something that was not available to Crocs. Stanley has also managed to adeptly manipulate the market with “special editions” and “limited runs” — tactics you see in the video game market all the time.
“It’s a tried and true mechanism,” said Steinman. “A company releases a limited amount of product, and if you, the consumer, are able to procure that object, it means that you have resources and that you’re capable of gaming the system to find it. Again — it’s status as the chief driver.”
It’s not just a stainless steel mug, because there are others — Hydro Flask, Yeti, Owala and others have brand enthusiasts of their own. “It is possible for some of these other brands to ride the wave of momentum about the utility of their products and capitalize on this,” said Steinman.
Still, Stanley is in the driver’s seat. “Yes,” said Steinman, “the brand is driving the behavior here, and it will be interesting to see how long this lasts for them. They have an opportunity to really extend the brand. And so this is where their product and development team, their marketing, their logistics teams, all of them with proper strategy can can take the brand in a direction perhaps they had never anticipated — maybe go upstream where they’re going to create larger, more expensive objects.”
Like a 128 oz. tumbler? “We’ll see,” laughed Steinman. “America is a highly individualistic society and that’s what we’re seeing expressed here. As I watch it unfold, I’m not really surprised by anything we’re capable of.”
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