The flask grows up with you. As a teen pulling Black Velvet under the football bleachers, you were juvenile and unctuous, and so was your swigger. Now, pulling it out during a cold or dull moment among friends marks you the unsophisticated sophisticate. It’s a reputation grounded in relativity: pull that sucker out too often and you’ll earn all sorts of labels, all of them deserved. Or worse, you might even land yourself in the can. But use your flask wisely and you’ll have that hint of lawless confidence, and the look of wonder in your buddies’ eyes as you swig your just-so-uncouth booze will be all the sweeter. These are the flasks that deserve a place in your coat pocket.
Vapur Incognito Flexible Flask
Available in gray or teal, this lightweight outdoor flask folds in on itself when empty. And yes, it’s BPA-free, meaning that the only chemical imbalance happening will be elsewhere.
Fill it with: Baker’s 7 Year Old Kentucky Straight Bourbon
Yes, it looks like an empty bottle of mouthwash, but obviously you’re on a budget, and Nalgene makes sturdy products. The colored sleeve is ideal for hiding the pallid color of your dirt-cheap booze. Plus, if you need to imbibe someplace that has particularly uptight restrictions — say, court — it can get through metal detectors.
Fill it with: Salute American Vodka
Coleman Stainless Steel
Sensible design, sensible material, and high enough capacity (8 ounces) to make you somewhat less than sensible.
Fill it with: Montanya Rum
It’s like the Coleman with some extra strut; at 17 ounces, it’s also much larger. Ding up its logo’d exterior on camping trips for some woodsman cred, and use the extra liquid for manly things: making whiskey pancake syrup, reminiscing with bears or sterilizing amputations.
Fill it with: Highland Park Dark Origins Single Malt
Stanley Adventure E-Cycle
The reasoning here is simple: preserving the environment is key to continued production of alcohol. Stanley’s flask is made with recycled plastic, and its two-stage lid that allows for easy cleaning is the most sensible invention since the flask itself.
Fill it with: Delaware Phoenix Meadow of Love Absinthe Superieure
Bush Smarts Hip Flask
Weighing just 1.5 ounces, this backcountry-bound hip flask is made from tough PE-HD thermoplastic and features a durable leather fob that attaches to your belt. It also transports a generous 11 ounces of liquid. Good times.
Fill it with: Stagg Jr. Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey
Vargo Titanium Funnel
There isn’t one especially strong justification for a titanium flask, but it does look sharp. The integrated silicon funnel is really what you’re paying for.
Fill it with: Willett Family Estate Small Batch 2 Year Rye
Filson Stainless Steel and Bridle Leather
It’s a less modest version of the stainless steel flask, in a genteel, drinking-in-the-stables sort of way, and it’s made in the U.S. of A. Translation: it was made to aid in public bourbon consumption.
Fill it with: Parker’s Heritage Collection Original Batch Wheat Whiseky
Snow Peak Titanium Curved Flask
A curved shape means it won’t hug your hip as well as a kidney style, but it’s also damn handsome. Just don’t lose the cap; the absence of a captive top and the given pairing with booze consumption means you may need to buy some spares.
Fill it with: Suntory Yamazaki 12-Year Single Malt Whisky
Best Made Co. “Stay Sharp”
Pewter is a traditional material for flasks, but it’s been largely phased out by stainless steel and titanium. Best Made Co.’s interpretation is made in England, engraved with a chipper motto (“Stay Sharp”), and rounds out its haughty coolness with an optional cotton-nylon case for an extra $50.
Fill it with: Westland American Single Malt Whiskey
Kaufmann Mercantile Copper
Copper is a beautiful material, its characteristic sheen either maintained or allowed to age for a patina. In flasks, though, it requires some extra work: copper flasks are unsafe to drink from until they are hot-tinned — i.e., dipped in molten tin. This one’s handmade by Jacob Bromwell, a nearly 200-year-old Tennessee company. If you’re going to spend $200 on a flask, you might as well get the stopper-topped version.
Fill it with: Kilchoman Distillery Machir Bay Islay Single Malt
Surname’s copper flask boasts all the positive properties of Kaufmann’s, but with a more modern, finished look — one that, fortunately, stops just shy of the monocle-and-top-hat steampunk look.
Fill it with: The New Zealand Whisky Company Oamaruvian 16
Tradition Hunters Flask
This modern interpretation of a traditional saddle flask is constructed from stainless steel and comes with a protective leather casing.
Fill it with: Booker’s 7 Year Old Straight Bourbon Whiskey
Sir Jack’s Sterling Silver Hip Flask
In booze talk, a sterling silver flask is the ultimate statement in luxury. It’s durable, ages with grace and doesn’t impart any funky flavors to your liquor. It’s also very expensive. But rest easy knowing that you get what you pay for. We’re talking about heirlooms in the making here.
Fill it with: Glenmorangie 18 Year Old Extremely Rare Single Malt Scotch