Best travel mug for outdoor adventures

Keep your beverages hot and ice cold for longer with these travel mugs.

Stainless steel featured image

by Ellen Kinsey |
Updated on

Whether you are a hot drink lover or love your beverage ice cold - the best travel mug can really make your day. With an increasing number of coffee shops offering discounts for those who bring their own mugs, owning a travel mug is not just about sustainability - it helps you save money, too. Whether you're embarking on a scenic road trip, setting up camp under the stars, navigating the hustle and bustle of office life, or simply enjoying a warm cuppa from the best kettle in the comfort of your home, a trusty travel mug is an indispensable companion.

From the classic coffee-shop cups to the thermos-shaped designs perfect for longer adventures, there's a style of travel mug for every sip. Materials play a pivotal role in ensuring your drink stays just how you like it - so we have selected only the highest quality, leak-free products that will last. Stainless steel, for instance, offers durability and is impressive in maintaining the temperature of your beverages, ensuring that the first sip is as hot as the last.

Best travel mug at a glance:

• Best travel mug with a handle: ThermoCafé by Thermos - View on Amazon UK
• Best-sized travel mug: YETI Rambler Hotshot Bottle - View on Amazon UK
• Best travel mug on a budget: Lifeventure Thermal Mug - View on Amazon UK

Now, before you fill that mug, the quality of your drink often starts with the water source. For those grappling with the challenges of hard water, selecting the best kettles for hard water tailored for this issue is a good idea, so your tea or coffee remains true to its flavour, devoid of any unwanted nasties. Just like stainless steel travel mugs, the best stainless steel kettle is a surefire way to ensure your appliances stand the test of time.

Travel mugs also save you time as well as money. Think of the time and money you'll save by prepping your own beverages in the comfort of your home. With that in mind, here are our pick of the best travel mugs in all shapes and sizes to suit your lifestyle.

Best travel mug

Best travel mug with a handle

Travel mug
Price: $8.49

The ThermoCafé Desk Mug is a vacuum-insulated, stainless steel mug that ensures your drink remains piping hot for up to eight hours, all while staying cool to the touch. The double-wall insulation maintains the desired temperature for your beverages, while its durable stainless steel interior and soft-touch plastic exterior make it a breeze to clean. This mug is shaped like your regular cuppa mug and is both practical and stylish. Plus, the twist lock lid guarantees no spills for those always on the move, making it a trusty companion for your desk or travels.
Customer review: "I like this cup. It keeps your hot drinks hot for longer. Brilliant."

Pros

  • Keeps beverages warm for up to eight hours
  • Double wall insulation ensures safety and temperature retention
  • Features a twist-lock lid and leak-proof

Cons

  • The soft-touch plastic exterior might not appeal to everyone
  • It doesn't fit in all cup holders

Best plastic-free travel mug

For the eco-conscious, the Dualit Travel Mug is a dream. It is a plastic-free gem with a sleek stainless steel body complemented by removable silicone trims. Its slim, minimalist design makes it great for keeping in your bag, and the insulation keeps your drinks hot for up to seven hours or refreshingly cold for up to 12. Plus, with its leak-proof lid and spill barrier, sipping on the go has never been so effortless.

Customer review: "This is a premium travel mug, really well built and sturdy."

Pros

  • Plastic-free
  • Its minimalist design and travel-friendly
  • Keeps drinks hot for seven hours or cold for 12 hours

Cons

  • Some might find the removable silicon trims less durable

Best-sized travel mug

The Yeti Hotshot Bottle is a real winner when it comes to design. It is leak-proof and crafted from 18/8 kitchen-grade stainless steel, so you can be sure you are drinking from the highest quality sustainable material. Its No Sweat Design ensures dry hands, while the vibrant Duracoat colour remains unblemished over time. It also comes in different colours, so you can customise your companion to your liking. Being dishwasher safe, it's low maintenance, and its double-wall vacuum insulation means your drink stays the way you like it until the very last sip.
Our review: "This is the perfect size mug that you can take everywhere in your bag. I was looking for a travel mug that was made of high-grade stainless steel, and this was the perfect choice. It fits easily in your hand. You can drink through the lid or take the lid off entirely. A great investment that will really last."

Pros

  • Leak-proof experience
  • Made with top-notch kitchen-grade stainless steel
  • No Sweat Design ensures dry hands, and the colour remains vibrant

Cons

  • Limited size variations might not cater to everyone's needs

Best travel mug on a budget

Lifeventure
Price: $33.99

The Lifeventure Thermal Mug is an excellent value pick for those on a budget. It challenges its pricier competition with impressive heat retention, both short and long-term. While sipping may require more effort (you'll need to unscrew the lid), it's a small price for its stellar performance. Leak-proof and without any metallic aftertaste, it's perfect for those leisurely picnics, camping trips, or cuppas at home.

Customer review: "The seal is excellent and keeps my drink hot for hours. I love it! And attractive colour (mine is purple)."

Pros

  • 14 different colours
  • Good value
  • Drinks stay hot for up to six hours 

Cons

  • Lacks a sipping hole, requiring the lid to be unscrewed

Best large rambler travel mug

Yeti Rambler
Price: $65.99

Meet the Yeti Rambler - the epitome of durability and style. Crafted from robust stainless steel, it promises to keep your beverage at a desired temperature for hours on end. The MagSlider Lid is a game-changer, ensuring no spills too. This travel mug is BPA-free, dishwasher-safe, and created with a 'No Sweat Design'. Whether you opt for the classic or coloured tumblers with their resilient Duracoat coating, it's designed to fit seamlessly into your life and cup holders, making it the perfect travel mug for your car and on the go.

Customer review: "These are the best out there. Been using them for years. Keeps your coffee/tea hot for hours and hours. Also, they're virtually indestructible."

Pros

  • 14 colours
  • Durable stainless steel ensures longevity
  • MagSlider Lid offers added protection for your drink
  • BPA-free
  • Dishwasher safe

Cons

  • Might be too large for some users

Best travel mug for grip

Contigo
Price: $36.55

Sophistication meets functionality: the Contigo Luxe Autoseal Travel Mug has a curved design that is visually appealing and provides a snug grip. The push-button seal is a great feature, too, ensuring no messy spills. While it may not be the best on the list for keeping drinks hot for extended periods, it's a champion in keeping them cold. Its ergonomic design is perfect for those who are always on the move, making every sip an easy leak-free experience.

Customer review: "Bought two of these now, won’t buy any other flask. These work perfectly."

Pros

  • A stylish mug with a comfortable grip
  • Features a push-button seal for a spill-free experience
  • It can be used one-handedly

Cons

  • Doesn't keep warm for as long as others

Best ceramic travel mug

Add a splash of colour to your mornings with the Frank Green travel mug. Its spill-proof lid and innovative push-to-open button make it a reliable companion on the road. While it might not be the marathon runner in long-term heat retention- it keeps your drinks hot and cold to your liking. Its compact design and vibrant neon colours will brighten your day - and be your reminder to stay hydrated.

Customer review: "Really sturdy travel mug, and keeps drinks hot for probably three or four hours at least."

Pros

  • Multi-award-winning product design
  • Very lightweight
  • Triple-wall vacuum insulated to maintain heat or cold
  • Made from stainless steel and is ceramic-lined

Cons

  • May be too small

Best silicone travel mug

Using this portable coffee cup ensures a no-hassle drinking experience. Its latex-free spill-proof silicone lid keeps drinks from spilling, while its sleeve allows you to hold the cup firmly. It also comes in many fun colours and designs too.

Customer review: "Light enough to carry in your bag (if you remember to put it in!) Doesn't taint the taste of your coffee which I've found to be a problem with plastic or metal cups."

Pros

  • BPA, BPS and melamine free
  • Vegan friendly
  • Very lightweight

Cons

  • May be too small

Best collapsible travel mug

Cheap and cheerful, this collapsible coffee cup is minimalist and comes in many different colours. When fully extended, the cups are sturdy and hold 350ml of coffee. So if you would like a travel mug that is made of silicone and easy to store, this would be a great choice.

Customer review: "A good travel cup. I have tried this with both hot and cold liquids. It keeps the hot drink hot for around an hour."

Pros

  • Very lightweight
  • 100 per cent food grade Silicone and PP
  • Collapsible

Cons

  • To use this cup, you need to lift the drink hole cover
  • Retains heat for one hour

What to consider when buying a travel mug

Plastic: Plastic mugs are lightweight, making them easy to carry around. Plus, they are also often more affordable than their stainless steel counterparts. Over time, plastic can absorb flavours, which might affect the taste of your beverages. They also might not be as durable or efficient in maintaining temperatures.

Stainless steel: Stainless steel is known for its excellent temperature retention, ensuring your drinks stay hot or cold for extended periods. It's also durable and resistant to rust and staining. Some people might detect a slight metallic taste, especially if the interior isn't coated. They can also be a bit heavier than plastic mugs - but are generally the more preferred option.

Size and capacity: Consider how much beverage you typically consume. If you're a one-cup person, a smaller mug might suffice. But if you drink multiple cups or enjoy larger beverages, opt for a larger-capacity mug that can last the day.

Lid type: A leak-proof lid is crucial, especially if you're on the move. Some mugs offer twist-on lids, while others have snap or press seals. Choose one that you find easy to use and secure -there are even some options that are designed to be able to use one-handedly.

Handle: While handles can make a mug easier to grip, they might not fit all car cup holders. Decide based on where and how you'll be using the mug most often. If you want a more conventional mug feel, opt for one with a safely designed handle. If it's the flexibility you are after, then a handle-free mug is your best bet.

Insulation: Double-walled insulation is ideal for maintaining your drink's temperature and preventing the mug's exterior from becoming too hot or cold to touch. The best travel mugs will naturally be designed with this in mind.

Both materials have their advantages. Stainless steel is excellent for temperature retention, while plastic is lightweight. The choice often comes down to personal preference and intended use.

Woman holding to go take out coffee cup

FAQs

What are the benefits of a travel mug?

Travel mugs are eco-friendly, economical, and convenient. They allow you to carry your favourite beverages on the go, reduce waste from disposable cups, and often lead to discounts at coffee shops. If you are looking for more eco-friendly appliances, then our guide to the best energy-saving kettle could be a good place to look.

How long can a travel mug keep my drink hot or cold?

This completely varies by design and material, but a good-quality travel mug can keep drinks hot for up to eight hours and cold for up to 12 hours.

Are travel mugs dishwasher-safe?

While many travel mugs are dishwasher safe, checking the manufacturer's instructions is essential. Some materials or designs might require handwashing.

Can I use my travel mug for both hot and cold drinks?

Absolutely! Most travel mugs are designed to handle both hot and cold drinks. However, always ensure the mug is at room temperature before pouring in a very hot or very cold liquid to prevent potential damage.

Ellen Kinsey is a senior health and wellness product writer for Yours, specialising in natural health and beauty. She lives and breathes all things food, travel and wellness.

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