(The Gear Loop) - Since its creation in 2006 by two fisherman keen to own a cool box that would not only keep their drinks and food cold but last longer than a season, Yeti has quickly become one of the de facto brands for cool boxes and tumblers for those that consider themselves adventurous.
The brand, which has an Apple-like appeal in some circles, offers tumblers, mugs, and bottles in various shapes and sizes and demands a hefty price compared to some of its competitors.
So, are the Yeti mugs worth the cash and with so many options to choose from, which one is the best for you?
We’ve been testing several of the tumblers, mugs, and bottles to find out.
Yeti Rambler Mug (10-30 oz)
The Rambler Mug, so-called because it has a large handle on one side, comes in several sizes ranging from 14-30 oz (414ml – 852ml), is a sturdy and robust drinking vessel that looks ready to be beaten up.
The Rambler Mug also comes in two distinct designs: traditional and tapered for your car cup holder. Considering the Rambler Mug isn’t really suited for the car (more on that in a bit) the more traditional design is the one to go for in our books. It will certainly be the tougher option for drinking around the campsite.
Made from stainless steel and available in dozens of colours that are sure to match your wardrobe (or camping gear), whether that's Highlands Olive or Seafoam, the Rambler Mug immeadiately feels well insulated and durable. More importantly for many, it’s also one of the only insulated mugs on the market that is dishwasher safe.
Where it gets contentious, though, is the Magslider lid. It will keep the Rambler’s contents at a desired temperature for longer - a cup of coffee will stay warm for around four hours with the lid on. It’s also easy to take on and off, and it’s easy to drink to from, but it won’t keep the liquid contents in the Rambler when moving.
That’s likely to be a big bone of contention for many, especially those looking to use the Rambler on the go. This is very much a campsite or deskside drinking mug, rather than something that is watertight and can be slung into a backpack.
Yeti Rambler Tumbler (10-30 oz)
The Tumbler is also part of the Yeti Rambler range, and like the Mug, it too comes in various colours, is made from the same durable stainless steel construction, and also comes in a car cup holder-friendly version.
The big difference here is you lose the mug handle, making this more akin to other standard tumblers on the market in terms of design.
The Tumbler does come with a straw lid option for those drinking cold drinks and you can buy either lid on their own if you lose it. Neither lid is completely leakproof though, which is worth bearing in mind, but both do make a huge difference in keeping the contents at their desired temperature longer.
One of the benefits of the quick-release lid is that without it, the Tumbler, just like the Rambler, is great to drink from. You won’t find annoying lid screw groves here.
For those really wanting to camp in style, Yeti offer a 10 oz (414ml) wine tumbler that is sure to keep that Sauvignon Blanc chilled for even longer.
Like the Yeti Mug, it’s also dishwasher safe, and the lack of crevices or latches makes for an easy clean.
Yeti Rambler Bottle (12 oz - 64 oz)
If you’re looking for a flask that is watertight then you’ll need to turn to the company’s Bottle range.
It comes with four lid designs: Hot Shot, Chug Cap, Straw Cap, and the Magdock Cap. All are interchangeable and sold separately so you can mix and match.
The Chug Cap features a useful handle allowing you to hang it from the gear loop on your bag and twists off to reveal a spout for speedy gulps.
The Hot Shot always stays in place, and its twist stopper design allows you to sip from the bottle.
The Magdock is a spout that features a twist-off bottle lid, which in turn comes with a magnet inside, allowing you to attach it to the lid when you’re drinking. Why you can’t simply hold the cap in your hand is beyond us.
The Straw Cap features a handle and a straw spout that snaps shut.
The completely sealed approach has a huge impact on desired temperature times. We’ve easily managed eight hours of steaming hot drinking time... and then some. That’s more than enough for your coffee to still be warm on the commute home or a long day out hiking in the mountains.
The bottles themselves are made from stainless steel, come in a variety of colours and are all dishwasher safe, with the promise that the paint won’t chip or crack thanks to its DuraCoat finish.
Sizes range from 12oz – 64 oz (354ml - 1.9L) and depending on which option you go for, this will impact the overall size and whether or not it will fit in your car cup holder. We found anything over the 26 oz design didn’t fit our car.
So, are they worth the money?
Robust, well made, and coming in various cool colours, Yeti’s range of mugs, tumblers, and bottles certainly look the part, and more importantly act the part by keeping your beverage hot or cool for hours.
But (and here’s the catch) to get the most out of a Yeti Rambler, you must know what you want to use it for.
Buying a Yeti Rambler 24 oz Mug for the car or on the go, for example, isn’t going to work. The Magslider lid isn’t leakproof, and the mug design will be too thick to fit in your cup holder. Put simply, that’s not the model for you.
But once you work out what you need, you should be able to find a Yeti solution that suits you.
The Rambler Bottle with a Chug Cap is great for trekking, while we just love the idea of the wine tumbler for keeping things cooler a little longer (although you have to question how long the wine will stay in there).
There are better tumblers and better bottles out there that will address specific needs, but for most people, the Yeti range delivers a good all-round offering that will suit most situations.
Like Apple, Yeti has created a desirable brand that many want to be seen with, and to some, that’s just as appealing as a drink that says hot for days on end.