A hip flask is small container that is typically used to store and transport spirits and other alcoholic beverages. Being compact, they are perfect to carry with you on outdoor adventures, hikes, hunting trips and camping for example. Over the years, hip flasks have become not only a staple accessory for the discerning gentleman (and lady!) on the move, but also somewhat of a fashion statement as they now come in many shapes and sizes.
The origin of hip flasks dates back to the medieval times when knights would carry a small flask filled with wine (see our Wine Guide!) to help keep them warm on longer journeys. Over time, their popularity increased and spread far and wide, attracting the attention of sailors, hunters, fishermen and outdoors people generally. By the 18th century hip flasks had become a symbol of wealth, luxury and status and would often be made from precious metals such as silver or pewter and decorated with intricate designs.
Today, hip flasks are available in a wide range of materials including stainless steel, pewter, plastic and glass. They come in all shapes and sizes, though the traditional shape remains the most popular. You will often find them available with unique features such as integrated shot glasses and funnel caps etc. Typically, the 6-8oz flasks are the most popular sizes as its perfect for a small drink while out and about, though you can find much larger flasks for when out in groups, such as hunting. Some flask sets will even contain 3 separate smaller flasks, so you can carry 3 different choices of beverage, along with 4 drinks cups for a group.
When considering buying a hip flask, there are things to consider like the size, features (shot glasses etc), design/finish and material. The material can be very important if you intend to store spirits in the flask over time. If you use it as a “day flask” which you just put enough in for the day and consume it all, then it matters less. But if you intend to store spirits in for days, weeks or even months, then you are far better off with a glass-bodied hip flask, as this is no different to storing the spirit in its own glass bottle and it can keep it fresh for many years. However, if you put spirits into for example whisky in a stainless-steel hip flask, then you can expect it to spoil within a few days, a week maximum.
In terms of design, you will find many options available, limited only by your choice of material. Glass flasks for example, do not tend to have the same intricate designs associated with pewter and stainless-steel flasks. Often, with more expensive flasks, they will have a lovely leather sheath or sleeve, which really makes them stand out and they can look incredibly desirable, not to mention stylish.
Below is our choice of the best 5 hip flasks for general use:
Ragproper Modern Glass Hip Flask
We like this hip flask as it’s made from glass, which makes storing drinks for long periods of time possible, without any spoiling of the spirit.
The leather sheath looks modern, yet also has a traditional look to it, oozing quality and style. The leather cut out works nicely to show you how much spirit you have left in the flask.
Premium Round Oak Whisky Flask
We love this unique little stainless steel hip flask with a wooden finish, as it is small enough to tuck into your pocket and weighs very little. It contains enough room for 1.7oz of liquid, just enough to enjoy a quick shot or two on a cold day.
It comes complete with a lid which doubles as a small 0.9oz cup and also comes with a small funnel for filling. It’s 19cm tall and just 3.2cm diameter, which can fit quite nicely in a pocket, small bag or pouch.
Pewter Flask with Luxury Leather Pouch
If looks are everything, then this stunning 6oz pewter hip flask from the English Pewter Company will impress. Simple, yet understated and wrapped in a beautifully crafted leather pouch.
When it comes to luxury items which stand out from the crowd, handmade with a stunning finish, then you’d be hard pressed to find anything much more beautiful than this hip flask. It really does make a statement.
Harris Tweed Hunting Hip Flask
Should you be looking for something a little different, then you cannot go far wrong with this hip flask from Harris Tweed. Coming wrapped in a beautiful, high quality Harris Tweed cover, this 8oz stainless steek flask really looks the part.
Perfect for a day of hunting, this flask comes with 4 stainless steel cups, which all sit on top of the flask neck, held in place with a leather cover. The flask also bares the Harris Tweed Orb sign of authenticity, so you can rest assured it will be high quality.
Triple Stainless Steel Hip Flask with Leather Carrier
We really love this triple flask set, as you can carry 3 of your favourite drinks at the same time, perfect if you’re in a group and some of you have a different preference in alcohol choice. Each flask holds 6oz of spirits.
Of course, you do not have to fill it with 3 different spirits, you can just carry more of one. This stainless steel hip flask kit also comes with 3 shot cups for ease and to ensure you don’t leave them behind. All of this fits together in a beautifully crafted leather carrier and is perfect for a day at the races, a day of hunting or even just a simple camping trip.
In conclusion, hip flasks are a versatile and convenient way to carry alcohol with you when you’re on the go. Whether you’re using them for outdoor adventures, concerts, or just as a gift, they are sure to come in handy. With a wide range of materials, designs, and sizes available, you’re sure to find a hip flask that suits your needs and personal style. So why not treat yourself or a loved one to a hip flask today and enjoy a drink on the go!