The Top 5 Travel Mugs Reviewed
It’s fair to say that hot drinks have become something of a national pastime. We love our cappuccinos, cafe mochas, lattes, herbals, and green tea, and nothing, short of the end of the world will change that. But unless you want to spend a small fortune on a fresh cup of Joe from your local coffee house every morning, you have to find alternatives for keeping your drinks (or cold) warm on the go.
Enter travel mugs. Travel mugs, though an old idea, have suddenly found resurgent popularity, owing to our increasing need to take our favorite beverages with us, wherever we go. Yes, you’ll need a travel mug if you go hiking in the wilderness or fishing on a deserted lake, but they can come in handy in practically any situation, even the morning commute. Travel mugs come in all kinds of shapes, sizes, and prices. Here we’re going to take an in-depth look at some of the best travel mugs on the market so that you can better decide which is the right one for you. So, without further ado, let’s begin.
For those of you in a hurry, our choice for the Best Travel Mug is the YETI 20oz Rambler.
Best Travel Mugs
When you pick up the Rambler, you can immediately tell that YETI is a company obsessed with the idea of travel mugs. It’s not just a product to them: it’s a philosophy – a way of life. YETI has managed to cram practically every feature you could ever want into their 20 oz beverage container, ensuring that the drinking experience is just as good for its customers as if they were sat down in their favorite coffee shop.
Top of the list of advantages of the Rambler is the self-locking, self-sealing lid. Called the “MagSlider,” the mug uses in-built magnets to close the lid when not in use and is in the only travel mug to do so anywhere in the world. YETI has also taken pains to ensure that the Rambler is as “over-engineered” as possible. The mug features a stainless steel body – a rarity in the world of travel mugs – and double-wall insulation. The magnetic lid is removable during cleaning and is shatter resistant. Thus, the Rambler is a mug that YETI has deigned to withstand the harshest treatment. Great for the daily commute in the car, but just at home in the wilderness, or on camp.
YETI are keenly aware of the current concern people have with various chemicals in food containers and packaging. Consumers don’t want products that they put in their mouths to be laden with harmful plastics, like BPA. Not only is the Rambler BPA-free, but it’s also dishwasher-safe and won’t leach.
Although the quality of the Rambler is high, there are some concerns around its ability to maintain a constant internal temperature, whether hot or cold. Although the Rambler is a somewhat premium product, it doesn’t appear to be able to keep drinks warm (or cold) for any longer than much cheaper competition. Customers, therefore, need to ask themselves whether they need something as over-engineered as YETI’s offering, or whether they would be better off going for something a little cheaper.
In short, the Rambler is a premium travel mug with a range of innovative features. However, if you’re not looking for something bomb-proof, then there may be better value options on the market.
- These Ramblers come standard with our YETI MagSlider Lid, the only drink lid that uses the power of magnets to keep your water, beer, or favorite drink on lock
- Our Ramblers are BPA-free, dishwasher safe, and have a No Sweat Design to make sure your hands stay dry
- Dracut is a durable coat of color that won't fade, peel, or crack through extended field use and also provide additional grip to the Rambler's exterior
- We over-engineered these double-wall insulated tumblers with an 18/8 stainless steel body, which means your drink still keeps its temperature no matter how much of a beating this cup takes
- The YETI 20 oz. Rambler Tumbler stands 6 7/8 in high and has a lip diameter of 3 1/2 in. All YETI Tumblers are sized to fit in standard sized cup holders
Zojirushi began making food and beverage equipment in Japan in 1918. Since then, they’ve been refining their designs, moving out of their original niche making rice cookers and bread makers and into vacuum-insulated travel mugs.
The Zojirushi SM-KHE48AG is the culmination of nearly a century of research and development. The mug comes in several color varieties, including black, smokey blue, lavender pink, stainless gold, cherry, emerald, and lavender. It also comes in two sizes: 12 and 16 oz.
But is it any good? Just like the YETI, the Zojirushi SM-KHE48AG is made of food-grade 18/8 stainless steel for maximum hygiene. And, like its competitor, the remaining components are made from BPA-free plastic.
But the Zojirushi SM-KHE48AG isn’t just a “me too” product. The Japanese firm has taken pains to ensure that their offering has features that competitors do not offer.
Perhaps the most important of these is the wide mouth of the mug. The company says that it will accommodate full-size ice cubes for people who like to use travel mugs to keep drinks cold. It also emphasizes the mug’s compact footprint, ideal for those with limited backpack or luggage space.
Zojirushi also wants to make travel mugs more practical. For too long, travel mug users had to give special consideration to the transportation of their mugs, either by holding them the right way up or by fiddling around with complicated fastening mechanisms. The Zojirushi SM-KHE48AG is different. Using the company’s proprietary closing mechanism, the mug can be placed in a handbag at any orientation and not spill.
The Zojirushi SM-KHE48AG, therefore, is for people who want a stylish mug that is also convenient on the go. And while it’s a premium offering, its features more than make up for the additional cost.
- Stainless steel vacuum insulation keeps beverages hot or cold for hours
- Durable and sanitary 18/8 stainless steel interior
- Slicksteel finish. Made of BPA-free plastic
- Wide mouth accommodates full size ice cubes
- Compact design takes up minimal space while maximizing capacity
When Simple Modern were designing their 20 oz travel mug, they turned to the science of thermodynamics to build the best product they could. After all, customers want drinks that stay either hot or cold. At the end of the process, the company settled on a design that incorporated copper into the layers of stainless steel and vacuum to enhance heat retention.
Copper isn’t a cheap metal. But Simple Modern have managed to include this feature without forcing their 20 oz travel mug to a premium price point. It’s an impressive achievement, given the complexity of the production process.
Simple Modern also wanted to give people the option of using their travel mug to consume drinks in different ways. Perhaps the most novel feature of the mug is the option to use an internally-insulated straw lid (as opposed to the regular flip lid), to drink a beverage through a straw without wrecking the insulation.
The Simple Modern mug comes in a wide variety of designs and colors. It also features a double-walled vacuum chamber which, the company claims, keeps beverages cold or hot for hours.
The downside? One quibble might be the build quality. It doesn’t’ have the high-quality feel of the Zojirushi or the satisfying hand-feel of the YETI. But when you consider the Simple Modern donate 10 percent of the profit from each mug, you soon realize that this is a company on a mission to not only keep drinks warm but improve the world at the same time.
- Vacuum Insulated: Simple Modern Journey travel mugs are double walled and vacuum insulated, which keeps your favorite beverage hot or cold for hours
- 2 Lids Included: Straw Lid & Flip Lid - An internally threaded insulated straw lid and insulated flip lid are included with your purchase
- Premium 18/8 Stainless Steel: Travel mug is made from high-quality, food-grade 18/8 stainless steel and is coated in a durable finish
- Fits Most Cup Holders: The shape of all Journey and Classic tumblers will fit normal sized cup holders
- Why Simple Modern: Our Generosity & Excellence core principles lead us to sell quality products, partner with others, and donate over 10% of profits
If you love all things vintage, then the Ello Campy Vacuum-Insulated Stainless Steel Travel Mug is probably the mug for you. There are no modern style gimmicks: no ugly plastic features – just a retro design with features you’d expect from a bleeding-edge travel mug.
First thing’s first: leaks. Vintage travel mugs were known for having appalling leak protection. Not so with the Ello Campy. The company claims that the mug provides 100 percent leak resistant, keeping you, your luggage and other people safe from hot, sticky spills. The newest version of the Ello Campy features a unique slider design on the lid making it easier to open and close than before.
One of the downsides is that it is not dishwasher safe. Only the lid is dishwashable. With that said, Ello Campy have designed a travel mug that harkens back to an earlier style while incorporating new technologies savvy buyers expect.
- Perfect for the Commute: 16 oz vacuum insulated stainless steel travel mug designed to keep drinks cold up to 10 hours and hot for 5 hours. Enjoy this stainless steel mug that is car cup friendly and completely leak-proof.
- Comfy Carry Handle: Convenient handle with Ello Evercork inlay is designed for taking coffee on-the-go.
- Guarateed Leak-Proof: Ello's patented sealing slider won't leak and is designed for easy, one-handed open/close.
- Easy Cleaning: To ensure product quality and longevity, hand wash the mug. The lid is dishwasher safe.
- Peace of Mind: All parts are BPA free. Ello's Lifetime Guarantee protects purchases from authorized retailers.
Contigo is an ambitious company. Not only do they want the AUTOSEAL West Loop to be leak proof, but spill proof too. Naturally, you might be wondering what the difference is, but rest assured that there is one. Leaks are what happens when liquid exits the travel mug while fastened in the closed position. Spills, on the other hand, are when liquid leaves the container when the lid is open. Stopping spills might sound unrealistic, but Contigo has developed a special kind of cap which automatically seals in situations where liquid might rush out. Handy for people drinking on the go.
What about performance? Contigo says that the AUTOSEAL West Loop can keep drinks hot for up to five hours and up to 12 hours cold, which is longer than many of the other travel mugs in this review. But perhaps the most impressive aspect of the Contigo is the price, coming in right at the bottom of the range. Contigo offers premium features in an entry-level package.
Video of the Contigo travel mug in action:
Some of Contigo’s marketing attempts with the West Loop are comical. Yes, it does have a handle (which is helpful), but the company claims that you can achieve “easy one-handed drinking” which is hardly the breakthrough of the century.
So to wrap up, the West Loop is a value offering from a company with substantial experience in the travel mug market. It comes in a range of colors and has excellent thermal performance. The spill-proof lid is an added benefit and helps to make the mug safer than those of the competition.
- Our Lids Are Sealed: AUTOSEAL technology is leak and spill proof (Yes there is a difference!)
- For the Long Haul: Drinks stay hot up to 5 hours and cold up to 12 with THERMALOCK Vacuum Insulation
- Lend a Hand: Easy one handed drinking from this travel coffee mug with the push of a button
Recommended Travel Mug Accessories
Yeti Mug Handle
- 1.Perfect Fit Our handle is the best fitting handle on the market.Perfect fit on your Yeti, Ozark Trail, RTIC, ORCA, or most other Tumbler brands, hang your stainless steel cup securely. One of the perfect gadgets to compliment your mug in any season or environment.
- 2.Sweat Absorption&ComfortableThanks to their grip coated with silicone oil rubber(BPA free), these offer Sweat absorption function, and is not easy to dirty your handle, can keep to you a clearn and a healthy cup handles.Comfortable handle firmly grips your heavy tumbler without straining your hand or wrist.
- 3.DurableThe handle is made with high quality Food-grade Polypropylene, Light weight, strong and Dishwasher safe. You can flip your cup in any direction with confidence, it will not slip while pouring out an old drink! The silicone ring makes it slip proof.
- 4.Easy to Clean&Carry:Easy to clean under the tap or water, Light-weight anti-slip handle and adjustable strap was easy to switch out and fold up into a nice compact size to store in travelling bag, camping bag, insides of tumbler and backpack etc, which ideal for travelling, outdoor activities.
Other Car Accessories
Travel mugs are just one way that you can make your morning commute to the office more comfortable. Another great way to bring joy to your car ride is getting an essential oil diffuser. These will not only keep your car from smelling bad, they will boost your mood. A support cushion is another great option for car comfort. Having a clean car will make the ride better as well, so we recommend getting a good car vacuum. You want to make sure your car is safe with plenty of tread on your all terrain tires. Lastly, you don’t want to worry about breaking down and getting stuck, so you should always have an air compressor and an emergency kit.