Hot or Cold? Thermos 'Travel Tumbler' Test

Thermos Vacuum Insulated Travel Tumbler - 3.jpg

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.

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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.

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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.

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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

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Travel Tumbler next to bike water bottle

Posted by James - 05/21/2013 11:11 AM

This looks like a great investment! I’ll have to pick one up at some point.

Posted by brett - 05/21/2013 12:13 PM

REI came up with this exact idea like four years ago

Posted by paddlingOtaku - 05/21/2013 02:25 PM

I came here to say what brett did – I used a similar, though admittedly not as stylish REI mug on the inside passage last year. – But what is freaking me out is this…. My name is brett too!

Posted by Brett - 05/21/2013 10:27 PM

Brett, don’t be alarmed, this is you from the future. I’ve been asked to use your peoples ancient “internet” tool to help spread the word. So long Brett — faaaaaarewellllll! Oh by the way, try to avoid a certain busy intersection on July 3rd.

Posted by genebean - 05/23/2013 01:16 PM

I got this same thermos last year. It definitely works and I love it. If I were to improve it, I would make some sort of indicator on the lid that I could feel with my mouth or see more easily when I’m aligned with the openings. I always have to look carefully for the opening when I take a sip and this gets annoying if I’m drinking my coffee in the car or in the dark.

Posted by genebean - 05/23/2013 01:19 PM

I would love it even more and would be willing to pay more for a special titanium edition.

Posted by Dave - 05/26/2013 12:52 PM

@genebean I had the same issue with seeing the opening on mine. I put a sticker on body of the tumbler to the center of the sticker lines up with the opening. The threads line up the same every time so you’re set. Made it much quicker (and safer) to grab a sip.

Posted by Mark - 06/04/2013 10:41 AM

Future Brett, that was damn funny!

Thermos mug: I’ve had this one and another design with similar locking technology and LOVE both. I now own about 5 of the two models total and use them every day for many many months. Fantastic engineering and durability. You can’t go wrong with this thing.

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