Let’s drink to staying warm

bicycle thermos

When it feels this damp, time has come to swap your water bottle for a thermos. Whatever the weather, this small thermos from Stanley will help keep you warm however you travel.
stanley thermos

Win a thermos

We have a 0.47 litre Stanley bicycle thermos worth £30 to give away. Simply leave a comment at the bottom of this page and let us know what you’d fill it with. We’ll pick a winner next week.

Cold weather cycling

This week’s commutes might have felt miserable, but it’s all relative. The pioneer adventure cyclists of the 1890s who took to the snowy wilds of northern Canada without the benefit of modern clothing (and 80 years before mountain bikes) knew a thing or two about cycling in the extreme cold. The Great Gold Rush drew 100,000 prospectors to the Klondike region of the Yukon in north-western Canada between 1896 and 1899. Those who didn’t have the money to invest in dog teams used bicycles and rudimentary cold weather gear.

Max Hirschberg was 19 when he took to a bicycle to join the gold rush. His journal gives a fascinating insight into the cold weather gear of the day:

The day I left Dawson, March 2, 1900, was clear and crisp, 30° below zero. I was dressed in a flannel shirt, heavy fleece-lined overalls, a heavy mackinaw coat, a drill parka, two pairs of heavy woolen socks and felt high-top shoes, a fur cap that I pulled down over my ears, a fur nose piece, plus fur gauntlet gloves. On the handlebars of the bicycle I strapped a large fur robe. Fastened to the springs, back of the seat, was a canvas sack containing a heavy shirt, socks, underwear, a diary in waterproof covering, pencils and several blocks of sulfur matches. In my pockets I carried a penknife and a watch.”

ETA cycle insurance

Ethical cycle insurance

On the face of it, one cycle insurance policy is much like another, but the devil is the detail. How much excess you will be charged is just one of the things that varies wildly between providers. Another is so called ‘new-for-old’ replacement – many insurers use this term, but if your bicycle is more than a few years old, devalue it severely. This means you are left out of pocket when you come to replace it.

With ETA cycle insurance, however old the bike, if it’s stolen you get enough to buy a new model.

For 29 years we have been providing this kind of straightforward, affordable bicycle insurance. Little wonder The Good Shopping Guide judges us to be Britain’s most ethical insurance company.




  1. Su


    I would fill it with hot lingonberry juice, to remind me of being in the snow in Sweden!

  2. Clare Gordon


    Hot blackcurrant made with homemade cordial – a taste of summer in the depths of winter.

  3. Graham Corfield


    I would fill it with hot chocolate, to keep me warm and give me calories to carry on!!

  4. Toity Deave


    Hot Marmite has to be in there! If not, it will be basic ‘char’ – good old teabag tea.

  5. Steve


    Just the job!!

  6. Peter Clark


    Good old fashioned tea.

  7. Keith Graham


    I would fill it with decaff coffee – heat without hyperactivity!

  8. Gavin


    I had one of these exact thermos when I was in the army. A few years later, when back in the UK, I lent it to my dad – who then left it on the roof of a cathedral (he was a stonemason). Never got it back. This would be a good replacement after going without my Thermos the past 30 years!!!

  9. Robert Nunney


    I’d love one of these. Ours leaks.

  10. Peter Shirley


    Needed this today, 2 punctures and a total soaking.

  11. Chris


    What an absolutely spiffing idea.

  12. Richard Scrase


    Soup, mushroom, tomato, whatever is on the oven.

  13. Yousaf Mirza


    Old school style for a veteran cyclist!

  14. Wynn James


    I’d fill it with strong coffee to enhance my performance on the bike and reduces my aches when I get off the bike

  15. Bryn Gwyndaf Jones


    Hot stuff!

  16. Ben


    For me it would be gløgg, gluhwein,vin chaud or mulled wine – depending on brexit of course….

  17. Julia


    Hot marmite drink or homemade soup.

  18. Hollie


    It might be a slightly unconventional cycling fuel, but it’s got to be Heinz Tomato soup.

  19. Carol W


    Nice toasty hot lentil soup. Yum 🙂

  20. Jamie J


    A sweet chai…

  21. Alan


    Coffee. Add scotch to taste from hip flask

  22. Giuseppe Caruso


    Tea at hand akways

  23. Jim Woodlingfield


    Broth to fuel me up those hills!

  24. James


    Could be used in winter for hot drinks and in the summer to keep drinks cold sounds a great idea

  25. David


    A hot drink without the fuss of a stove:)

  26. Sarah


    Good heartwarming homemade soup, probably something spicy like a Mexican bean.

  27. John Fletcher


    The prospect of taking my wife’s wonderful smoked bacon and lentil soup on a winter ride – heaven indeed!

  28. Chris


    I should have said soup!

  29. Rory Harkins



  30. Toby James


    Hot chocolate with marshmallows during the winter. Ice cold chocolate milk during the summer, cos it’s the best for recovering

  31. Seph


    It has to be tea.

  32. Raf


    I’d fill it with the milk of human kindness : )

  33. Peter Chisnall



  34. Greg


    Themobost my ride

  35. Mark B


    Hot chocolate with a splash of dark rum. Only to be consumed on arrival you understand!

  36. Craig


    On a long ride on the coldest days recently, I would have been glad of any hot drink in one of these.

    Nice prize, thanks ETA.


  37. Gillian Watling


    I was out riding off road in the snow near Zurich Switzerland a couple of weeks ago and it was so cold my water bottle froze!!!! Think I need to start taking some hot chocolate in a nice thermos flask, just like this PLEASE. 🙂

  38. frank


    Just plain boiled water from the kettle!

  39. Mike Croker


    Definitely hot chocolate, for the calories.

  40. David Hamilton


    I’d love this for my morning coffee on the way to work.

  41. Iain Shanks


    Perfect for a cup of tea

  42. Stephen


    My choice would be steaming hot Ribena for winter rides on my classic Bianchi bicycle. Think the colour of this flask will even match the frame!

  43. Rob


    Does it fit in a standard water bottle cage? If so, I would love one!

  44. Jonathan


    I’d fill the beauriful flask with hot steamy ‘mocha’ hmm.

  45. Johnny Faro


    I’d fill it with anything sweet as still bitter about the wife chucking my faithful 15 year old flask as took up too much space in the cupboard!

  46. Darren C


    Keep it simple – black Coffee. Great all year round, perfect in the summer on those cycling/camping trips and a good hit of hot caffeine to warm the toes & fingers in the winter.

  47. MARK


    Nothing can beat a nice hot chocolate on a cold ride. Hot with some calories and tasty as well.

    (Drinking hot chocolate in the cold, reminds me of sitting around a camp fire at scout camp as a youngster….)

  48. David Hunt


    Stanley is the original and best thermos! I had the one from my grandparents for years!
    I’d use it for all types of hot drinks, but soup is a great warmer after a walk/ride in the cold!

  49. Philip


    Stew…piping hot….a meal and a drink in one to restore mind and body

  50. Sue


    Just the thing to keep the inside warm on those bitterly cold mornings in the frozen north!

  51. Penny Price


    I think some hot spicy ginger and pear cordial would be pretty good

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