Why Are Stanley Water Bottles So Popular? - Twice the Ice


Why Are Stanley Water Bottles So Popular?

By now, you’ve probably noticed a particular brand rising to the top of water bottle prominence; Stanley™. Stanley water bottles, including their Quenchers and IceFlows, are all over social media, and you may have a friend or two (or more) enamored of Stanley. But why are Stanley water bottles so popular? Are they worth it? And is this the latest in a long string of similar trends? If so, what will be next?

What Are Stanley Water Bottles?

First off, what are Stanley water bottles? And how did they become so popular so quickly?

Stanley water bottles aren’t new. The company is over 100 years old, and famously used by WWII pilots. Made of durable, vacuum-insulated stainless steel, the cups were built to withstand lots of damage and keep their temperature even in extreme conditions. They were popular with many blue-collar workers, as well as popular items for camping. However, the brand was somewhat obscure until about 2019.

Find your closest ice and water vending machine to fill up on-the-go
Get the ICE2U app >

How did Stanley Water Bottles Get Famous?

In 2019, a group of social media influencers and bloggers worked to catapult the previously unknown brand to viral status. The influencers also operated a shopping website, The Buy Guide, and purchased 5,000 Stanley Quenchers wholesale to sell. After reviewing the product on their Instagram accounts, the Stanley water bottles sold out quickly.

That was the beginning. The next events cascaded quickly; a viral video of a Stanely cup that survived a car fire, a partnership with the Stanley company and it’s parent companies, additional partnerships with other influencers and businesses, and, soon after, videos of Target shelves being stormed for Stanleys, made Stanley water bottles the next hot trend. The planned scarcity that followed the sales boom—as well as the addition of the career branding expert Terence Reilly, who had previously leveraged relationships with pop stars and rappers to lift the plastic shoes Crocs to “cool” status—made Stanley water bottles a hard-to-get, “it” item.

Trends, Scarcity, and Marketing

Stanley water bottles had previously been known for their functionality, durability, and ability to get the job down. Through marketing and social media, it has shifted to a lifestyle and aspirational product used by wealthy social media influencers with camera-ready lives. Limited-edition colors and scarcity made the water bottle appear rare, which skyrocketed prices to hundreds of dollars on resale sites like Poshmark. This, in turn, increases the product’s desirability. “Not everybody could get a Stanley,” said Reilly to Inc.com “and that’s a brand’s dream.”

Why are Stanleys so popular?

Are Stanley Quenchers Worth the Price?

Stanley’s most popular product, the Quencher, also called the Stanley Tumbler, sells for about $45 on its website. Those with special colors and designs generally sell for more. The 40-ounce cup has a handle and straw, and the latest versions fit in standard car cup holders. Previously, buyers complained that the lid leaked and that the handle made it difficult to fit in a cup holder, but the Quencher H2.0 FlowState Tumbler has reportedly solved these issues.

Its most popular feature, besides its rarified colors, seems to be its cold-keeping capacity. By some accounts, ice will stay intact even as fire rages around the cup. Other reviewers say it keeps water cold overnight with ease. The stainless steel construction makes it durable, and the handle makes it easy to hold. All-in-all, it appears to be durable, functional, and enjoyable. But is the Stanley Quencher worth the price?

are Stanley water bottles worth the price?
There are many similar water bottles for sale at a lower price than Stanley tumblers, though you’re likely to find even cheaper water bottles at thrift stores.

Trend or Function?

There is certainly no shortage of water bottles to choose from. And, there’s no shortage of large, stainless steel water bottles that sell for less. Stanley is another in a long line of trendy water bottles that will, likely, be replaced by a new brand before long. Camelbak, S’Well, Hydro Flask, and Yeti, among others, have all fallen in and out of vogue. Because of these trends, you’re likely to find similarly durable, useful water bottles already in your own cupboard, or your friends’ cupboards. Or, you’re likely to find these other brands in thrift stores for a few dollars after they’ve fallen from stardom.

It’s difficult to say whether or not a Stanley water bottle is worth $45. You can certainly find cheaper, very similar alternatives. And, if you already have a water bottle, or several, close at hand, it might be worth asking what’s special about this one. The trend is unlikely to last more than a year or two, and another water bottle is likely to end up at the back of the cupboard, collecting dust. However, if you don’t have a water bottle already and you’re looking for a durable, functional water bottle you can use into the future, it’s likely to be a good investment.

icon snow

Your first bag of ice is on us!

Download the ICE2U App and get your first bag free.

Plus, get one free bag for every 10 bags purchased.

download on the app store
get it on google play