Hot or Cold? Thermos ‘Travel Tumbler’ Test

Thermos bottles have been around for more than 100 years. A new type is made for your morning coffee or tea.

It stands 8 inches tall and can keep liquid hot half the day. Bring it on a hike, even stowed inside a backpack, and the vessel will not leak.

Lid screws on like a regular leak-proof “stopper” but offers a hidden drink valve

Called the Travel Tumbler, the $24.99 product melds a traditional Thermos bottle with a mug.

I have used Thermoses for years in the outdoors, from camping trips to winter ice climbs. Hot chocolate or dark coffee when you’re cold or far from the comfort of home is a godsend.

The brand’s basic technology hasn’t changed in decades. Stainless steel walls with an airless chamber in between allow liquids — hot or cold — to maintain a steady temperature nearly unaffected by the outside air.

I tested the Travel Tumbler against its thermo-regulating claims. The company touts 5 hours of temperature-maintaining effect for hot liquid and 9 hours for cold.

Close-up: Leak-proof lid has hidden sip valve; push the button to pop it open or closed

Indeed, ice chips floated in my drink still after a whole night uninterrupted on my kitchen counter. The ambient spring air, at about 60 degrees, did not effect my hot coffee much either. It stayed steaming hot even after 5 hours outdoors.

The Thermos mug — official name: Vacuum Insulated Black Trim Travel Tumbler — is hardly a new concept. Cup-like vessels of similar design have been around for years.

16 liquid ounce capacity

But the Travel Tumbler adds a new type of lid. It screws on tight and offers sips of hot liquid via a button that pops open a hidden valve.

Its lid is leak-proof when snapped closed. That’s something I appreciate for hiking, walking around the block, or with a cup of something hot (or cold) on a bumpy ride in the car. —Stephen Regenold

Travel Tumbler next to bike water bottle

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Stephen Regenold is Founder and Editor-In-Chief of GearJunkie, which he launched as a nationally-syndicated newspaper column in 2002. As a journalist and writer, Regenold has covered the outdoors industry for nearly two decades, including as a correspondent for the New York Times. A father of four small kids, Regenold and his wife live in Minneapolis.