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LIY Tested and Approved: Travel Tumbler Edition

December 4, 2020


Erin Schrader

Travel tumblers. We all have them, we all love them. From keeping your hot coffee to cocktails cold, they do it all and it’s no wonder these little guys get a ton of use year-round. They make amazing gifts [to give AND receive] and you better believe I have one in hand the majority of the time regardless of the season. But when it comes to deciding which one is really the best, your options can be slightly overwhelming. Never fear, team LIY is here. We took matters into our own hands [errr, beverages] to find the very best travel tumblers on the market.

Brands We Tested:

How We Tested

The process was simple, really. We took the testing seriously, similar to a middle school science fair project [minus the tri-fold display board].  Consistency was key– we made sure each tumbler received the same amount of liquid [and ice for cold testing] at the same temperatures, stored them altogether in the same location for the same amount of time. Like I said; consistent. We noted the starting temps and checked periodically within the following 24 hours, making note of temperature changes and loss of ice. Highly scientific, my friends. Here’s what you need to know: first, all tumblers were tested at room temperature. Hot summer days or frigid winter mornings may effect drink temps slightly. But more importantly, many of the brands we tested make different claims for keeping beverages hot or cold. For example, Corkcicle brand claims to keep drinks cold for 9 hours, while YETI has been known to keep ice for up to 24. In this case, YETI would be the clear route to take when it comes to keeping beverages chilly the longest, but we wanted to put these claims to fame to the ultimate test to find the very best bang for your buck. These were our results…

The Results: Our Top Picks

YETI [Best for Hot + Cold Beverages]

YETI Rambler 20 oz Tumbler

No huge surprise here, folks. YETI has made a name for itself in the cooler industry and their tumblers bring the heat [and keep the heat] too. Hot or iced, your beverage is in good hands with YETI. Bonus points for durability, dishwasher safety, a non-sweaty design, cupholder compatibility, and a ton of cute colors. Bottom line: it’s durable and lives up to the hype. If you don’t already have one, what in the world are you waiting on? We’re giving this one our LIY seal of approval. 

Tervis [Best for Hot Beverages]

Tervis 20oz Tumbler 

If you’re here for the hot beverages, Tervis won’t let you down. This little guy kept drinks warmest for the longest amount of time, complete with a leak-resistant hammer lid. While I wouldn’t bank on your coffee staying “piping hot” for the entire 8 hours as the website claims, we don’t think you’ll be disappointed packing this one on your morning commute. And if you like a little extra pizzaz, Tervis offers a gazillion fun designs. ps. This one also still had ice in it after 24 hours so it’ll get the job done on a hot day too. Take that, YETI. The only thing we didn’t love about it? You’ll have to wash this one by hand.

RTIC [Best Budget Friendly Option]

RTIC Insulated 20oz Travel Tumbler

You heard it here first, folks. YETI, Tervis, and RTIC brand all held their own and still had a small amount of ice after 24 hours. It’s no secret our love for YETI runs deep, but if you don’t want to break the bank, RTIC passed the [highly scientific] test. These bad boys will cost you less than $15 compared to a hefty $30 for a YETI.

S’ip by S’well [Best for On-the-Go Beverages]

S’ip by S’well 16 oz Travel Mug

How cute is this little guy? If you’re truly traveling with your travel tumbler and looking for something you can safely throw in your bag [and trust it to not leak all over your expensive electronics and important work documents] look no further. I’m a huge fan of S’well brand and already own several of their bottles. The trusty twist-on lid is spill-proof, leak-proof, and work-bag friendly. Cheers to that!

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  1. Christy Peeples DuBois says:

    I just learned last week that some of the brands you tested were not dishwasher safe!! I thought that could easily be a deal breaker for many.

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