If you are anything like me (and I’m gonna assume we share a few hobbies given you’ve decided to read this article) then you probably also find yourself on many occasions having to choose between giving into annoyingly expensive event liquor prices or staying dry.
Since the latter isn’t much of an option, an alternative must be found. Once upon a time, a flask was a perfectly respectable option. Men with beards and a penchant for drink were the norm in high society. Even the fancy Victorian ladies in the big hats (and bigger bustles) got in on the flask game. At some point down the road, we lost our way, and both beards and flasks made an exit from respectable society.
Well, just as the beard has returned in style to our modern world, there are now available many different types of drinking flasks. No longer is a flask viewed as the utensil solely of alcoholics – rather, a beautiful, unique flask is once again becoming a symbol of class and style. Slipping a pewter or sterling silver flask out of your pocket at the right occasion is once again a sign of a sophisticated gentleman (or gentlewoman) who handles all of their hobbies with a bit of class.
Here Are the Best Types of Hip Flasks
Given this bump in popularity, it stands to reason that capitalism would do its thing and leave us with more choices than our ape brains can wrap our heads around. In light of that, we’ve put together this guide to sums up the best types of hip flasks to fit your needs.
Stainless Steel Flask
The cup of the people. This is your basic default flask, and for a good reason. It is resilient, affordable, durable and can look good. Get yourself a stainless steel flask with a quality engraving or a nice leather holder, and you are drinking with the best of ‘em.
- Price: Surprisingly affordable. For a vessel that carries spirits you’d expect a much heftier price tag, but no, a good stainless steel hip flask will probably only run you from $10 to $30. Maybe a little more if you go for an engraving or a novelty design.
- Durability: It’s steel – so if you overindulge and start stumbling (not advised, we are keeping it classy remember?) you are likely to break before the flask does.
- Design: Endless options. Seriously, endless: for men & women, in any size imaginable – for 1oz to 6 oz, even 8 ounces (or more) – any color you can think of, engraved or not, and a wide variety of shapes.
- Care: This material is straightforward to care for. The steel won’t rust, and basically, all you need to do is remember to rinse it after use.
There is a reason stainless steel flasks are so popular. There are no real cons here, after all it’s an affordable product that comes in any possible shape & size. The only downside is perhaps the popularity itself. If you’re looking to drink in style, you don’t want to do it rocking the same thing everyone else is. Luckily, we still have plenty of other options.
I have it on good authority that this is the flask James Bond would prefer – and before you go and start claiming Bond never drinks from a flask, I encourage you to read On Her Majesty’s Secret Service where he swigs from a flask of Schnapps. I know my Bond.
Pewter flasks, with a little bit of care, shine like a piece of jewelry. They are the perfect addition to a suited up event or elegant evening – or really any occasion.
- Design: These really are some of the most beautiful flasks you can buy. A well-polished pewter flask can put even the nicest watches to shame as the best accessory.
- Durability: While the fact they can dent easy, will be noted under the cons, cared for pewter can last you a lifetime.
- Price: Though you definitely get every penny’s worth out of a nice pewter flask, many of the other flask alternatives come in at a (usually significantly) lower price.
- Durability (again): While the material itself can last a century or more, pewter is relatively malleable. A bad fall risks leaving a dent in the surface.
These can either be one of two things; a stainless steel flask (typically) wrapped in leather binding or a literal leather pouch. While the leather pouch style may be a hit at the Renaissance faire, it isn’t all that practical for a pocket. The leather bound flasks provide the usual pros and cons of the flask they encompass, while simultaneously adding an extra layer of ruggedness. I’d say a leather wrapped and personalized stainless steel flask is a great gift for the man in your life, but it’s probably just as ideal for most women as well. There are quite a few cool designs and options that leatherworkers can apply to the binding.
- Affordable: Typically as affordable as any other flask, you’ll probably just be paying a little extra for the leather.
- Design: A beautiful black leather flask with an embossing or monogram on it can make for a very stylish accessory. Other treatments also provide their own unique aesthetic advantages. Humans have evolved a penchant for leather.
- Durability: The leather itself may break down before the flask itself does. Unlike metal, leather is much more prone to tears and scratches.
Copper flasks have been around for centuries, one of the oldest types of hip flasks and some of the companies that still make them are that old as well. Copper, when treated right, provides a classy and classic material for a flask with a nice rustic feel. Not too hipster, not too blasé.
- Design: Timely and beautiful. I am kind of a history nerd, and while drinking mead from a ram’s horn is quite tempting, a copper flask is a little more practical. This is a design that goes back centuries and is truly beautiful in that way. A good copper flask can easily work as a shelf display piece as well.
- Options: There are decent copper bottles in the $15 range, and there are exceptionally high-quality ones in the $200+ range. If this is the look you want, there are no shortage of options.
- Maintenance: If you want something that truly shines, you will have to keep it clean. This may mean going out and getting some actual brass polish.
- Durability: Though not an incredibly weak metal, copper will ding up faster than many of the other types of flasks available.
Sterling Silver Flask
This is another jewelry piece style flask. I mean the Tiffany & Co. brand literally carries one. There is nothing that says new school class like drinking from a flask made of precious metals. On top of the beauty and cool factor, this is also a very resistant material.
- Design: This is a thing of beauty. A real piece of functional jewelry. I prefer silver over gold, so until I can afford a solid diamond flask, this is about as good as it gets in my world.
- Durability: For something so pretty, these flasks can surprise you. Sterling silver is a relatively strong metal and is relatively resistant to everyday bumps and bruises.
- Price: This costs exactly what you think it would. A lot. This makes carrying one around a little nerve racking.
- Maintenance: Like anything expensive, you will want to treat it right. You will need to clean it regularly if you want that silver to shine.
Titanium is one of the strongest, and lightest metals around. It also doesn’t affect the taste of the liquid in any way. It is an excellent choice for both those who really want to taste a fine whiskey and those who need a flask that can stop a bullet (I’m sure somebody out there would like that feature).
- Durability: This is titanium. There aren’t many materials out there that will outdo it in overall toughness. Any item made from titanium is made to do business.
- Flavor: Being inert, there is little to no chance of your liquids taste being thrown off.
- Price: While it is not as expensive as the silver flask, a good quality piece of titanium isn’t exactly cheap. You can expect to pay somewhere between $40 and $200 for a good titanium flask. I even saw one at around $600 once.
“Bring out the crystal!” Crystal is a cherished favorite for both durability and decorative properties. While it probably won’t withstand a severe drop – it can last forever with proper care. An entirely crystal flask is a rare thing, best suited the finest of events. I’m not sure if anyone drinks wine out of a flask- but if you were going to do it, you’d want to do it from one made of crystal.
- Design: Crystal is commonly used on celebratory occasions like weddings, or any special party, for a reason. It elevates the events sense of purpose, aesthetics, and class. I see no reason why a crystal flask can’t do the same.
- Durability: This could also go in the Pro category if we are talking longevity, but in this case, I think the relative fragility of crystal is more noteworthy. This is pretty much glass. Something that can be chipped or cracked relatively easily, is something you may need to be wary of if you plan on drinking.
A wooden flask fits in nicely with the timeliness of the copper flasks and the ruggedness of the leather ones. It is perfect for the outdoors, and for certain liquors drinking from a wooden container just feels right. There is a huge variety of sizes, designs, and quality when it comes to wooden flasks.
The lack of metal also makes them great for travel…
- Design Options: If you can imagine a type of wooden flask, someone has probably already made it. Big and small, the possibilities are endless. The workability of the material means that the level of customization is unparalleled. Everything from a beautiful finish to a natural wood grain – all have their own charm and appeal.
- Price: Though there are plenty of expensive options, generally speaking, a wooden flask is inexpensive, durable and often quite fetching.
- Durability: While a well made wooden flask can be nearly as durable as metal, wood itself, as an organic material, just comes with inherent problems that need to be overcome. Heavy usage over time will likely wear a wooden flask down faster than any others on this list.
There Are Many More Types of Drinking Flasks
Whether to carry alcohol, or just carry your water or some home-brew tea, there are numerous types of drinking flasks out there.
As booze container, we didn’t include the lesser impressive types of hips flasks, like plastic hip flasks, or disposable ones. We did so with intention, as we look at hip flasks as a cool, classy accessory and we wish to avoid the low-end alternatives. Hip flasks are affordable, even in their respected form, so we don’t see any reason to sink to the abyss of plastic; liquor and plastic are two entities that should never meet.
As for the types of flasks for drinking water, hot and soft drinks – well, that’s a topic for a different article. We’ll get to it some day. Stay tuned.