I like to bring home-cooked food in to work, and I don't like dealing with microwaving in the office kitchen. This seemed like a great solution. It turned out to be kind of an "eh" solution.
It's got some good points: It's sturdy and it keeps a seal very well (too well -- see below). And it holds a decent amount of food -- 16 oz capacity is generally sufficient, though if your food is irregularly shaped, like chicken cutlets, you may find it's not quite spacious enough.
But I was disappointed in several aspects of this item. First, even though I follow the instructions, my blazing hot food is lukewarm by noon. (The instructions are to warm the container with boiling water for several minutes before putting food in, and put the food in while it's still piping hot.) I have been bringing in solid food like chicken cutlets and sausages -- it's possible that if my food were liquid, or if it didn't allow for so much air in the container, it would stay hotter. Still, what's the point of a thermos if it doesn't keep your food hot for a few hours?
Also, the heat generated when you pack this with food appears to create a very powerful suction. That's nice from the "won't spill" aspect, but no so nice from the "won't open" aspect. I have had to do serious battle with this thermos in order to open it, even when I made an effort not to overtighten it. It's kind of embarrassing to be spotted at the office writhing around, trying to twist open your food container. Hilarious lunch antics like these would fit in at Dunder-Mifflin, but they're out of place where I work.
Finally, either I was sent the wrong item, or the color of the lid is much more "navy blue" than the "royal blue" that's pictured. I don't really care, but if color matters to you, you might.
Incidentally, I noticed that other reviewers mentioned that the hole at the bottom of the thermos tends to collect water when the thermos is washed, water that is then nearly impossible to drain. My solution: I put a piece of masking tape over it. It keeps the water out, but doesn't seem to make much difference to the functioning of the item. If it turns out that it makes the thermos explode or something, I'll come back and update this review.
If there are any inventors reading this, I have a request: Please invent an *oblong* stainless steel thermos that closes with a *latch*, and I'll be first on line to buy it.
UPDATE: I've increased my review to 4 stars now that I've had further experience with this item. I recently brought some stew to work in it, and, as I had assumed, packing the thermos full of food so no air remains is the way to keep the food acceptably hot. So I'd say: If your food is liquid or can be packed tightly enough that no air remains, this might be a 5-star item. If it's solid or irregularly shaped, it's going to cool off no matter what you do.
I also somewhat resolved the lid-suction problem by being REALLY scrupulous about never tightening even one micron past the arrows on the lid. (There is an arrow on the body and an arrow on the lid; they are supposed to be aligned when the item is closed.) Of course, now I'm paranoid about leakage with the lid so loose, but so far, it seems okay.
on November 25, 2012
Loved the product itself, but it didn't keep hot for long. Mac & cheese was room temperature, perhaps a little lukewarm by lunch time.
What I loved about it:
(1) Stainless interior, including interior of lid - this was the only thermal container I could find that did not have a plastic lid inside touching the hot food. (2) Wide mouth, so easier to spoon in and out and for washing. Felt like a bowl.
What I did not like:
(1) Too wide for little hands - though the wide mouth is what I loved.
(2) Unable to open when over tightened. My 1st grader over tightened and now we have a useless sealed metal container. Have tried everything but it won't budge. Why is it made so that a 1st grader can easily over tighten? The container comes with two little stickers to line up that tells one when to stop tightening the lid. But try having a Kinder or 1st grader remember when they are carelessly closing while their attention is elsewhere. And what happens when the stickers wash off?
(3) Before ours met an early demise when my child over tightened, I noticed small point-sized rust spots in the interior after a few uses. Have no idea what could have caused the rust spots on a stainless steel bowl.
I read another post that you can boil the container and hear a "pop" sound and can re-open the container. We tried it and it worked! Downside is that by submerging in the pot of boiling water, the plastic portion of the lid discolored though the bottom plastic did not. The top now looks like bleach was unevenly poured on it, but the container is functional again.
on March 11, 2012
So we got this a few days ago for my daughter's school lunches.....we had a smaller product earlier - which worked really well.
Anyways, so far, this container doesn't seem to keep the food too warm for long..... we warm the food up and put it in, however, 4 hr later, it's totally cold.