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The Best Travel Mugs for Dawn Patrol

Hot beverages and Dawn Patrol go together like surfboards and waves. Photo: Jody Marcon.


The Inertia

Nothing goes better with a morning surf than a steaming mug of coffee or tea. If you plan to be out at first light, you’ll likely want to bring your favorite hot beverage to go so you can sip en route. And, if your session is going to be a chilly one, you’ll want a mug that’s going to keep it warm while you’re in the water to help thaw out post session. Cue insulated coffee mugs.

What Are The Best Insulated Mugs?

YETI Rambler 20 Oz. Travel Mug ($34.99)
Klean Kanteen TK Wide 20 Oz. ($32.95)
Miir Travel Tumbler ($24.95)
Stanley Quadvac Trigger Action Mug ($30.00)
Hydro Flask 24 oz. Coffee Mug ($29.95)

What Makes A Good Insulated Mug?

While it may seem like a simple purchase, not all mugs are created equally. You could score a travel mug at the dollar store, but chances are it’ll leak and won’t keep your coffee hot for long. When looking for a mug, I want one that’s easy to clean, is leakproof, features insulation that does its due diligence, and passes the car cup holder test.

Easy to Clean
There’s no better way to ruin your morning coffee than a mug full of gunk. When looking for a mug, I want one with a generous mouth, so it’s easy to get a sponge in there and keep it clean for many sessions to come.

Leakproof
We’ve all been the guy who has walked into the office with coffee stains down our shirt – thank you, cheap mug. A good mug is leakproof, meaning it’s not going to spill on you, no matter what.

Insulation
There are a lot of mugs out there that claim to be insulated but don’t live up to their claims. I want a mug that is going to keep my coffee warm for the better half of the morning, if not all day long.

Cup Holder Test
Nothing is more frustrating than a mug that just won’t fit into any of the cupholders in your vehicle. If you’re trying to drive, corral the kids, and jam out to your favorite radio station, it’s a difficult balancing act with a mug in hand. I always make sure my mug will fit into my cup holder, because life is about choosing your battles.

YETI Rambler

YETI Rambler 20 Oz. Travel Mug ($34.99)

Easy to Clean: 5
Leakproof: 5
Insulation: 5
Cup Holder Test: 4
Overall: 4.75/5

YETI’s Rambler 20-ounce travel mug is as tough as they come. The mug is made from 18/8 stainless steel, features double-wall vacuum insulation that will keep your hot drinks hot and your cold drinks cold, and it’s dishwasher safe. The mug includes the Rambler Stronghold Lid that is ultra-leakproof, featuring a twist-on upgrade with dual-sided magnet technology, so it’s extra secure. Available in seven eye-catching colors, YETI’s Rambler is a mug that’s going to get the job done for years to come.

Check Price on YETI and Amazon.

Klean Kanteen TK Wide 20

Klean Kanteen TK Wide 20 Oz. ($32.95)

Easy to Clean: 4
Leakproof: 5
Insulation: 5
Cup Holder Test: 5
Overall: 4.75/5

Klean Kanteen’s TK Wide is like a cross between a coffee mug and a water bottle, meaning it’ll keep your beverages hot and sealed. Made from BPA free 18/8 stainless steel, the bottle will keep drinks hot for up to 17 hours and iced for up to 63. Not only is the lid leakproof, but it features an internal thread design that works to increase thermal performance. I’m a big fan of the narrow, water bottle style of this mug because it’s easy to pack and it fits in all of my cup holders. You also can’t beat Klean Kanteen’s commitment to the environment for peace of mind when online shopping.

Check Price on Amazon, Klean Kanteen, and REI.

Miir Coffee Mug

Miir Travel Tumbler ($24.95)

Easy to Clean: 5
Leakproof: 4
Insulation: 4
Cup Holder Test: 5
Overall: 4.5/5

I tend to drink my coffee and tea in small doses, so this compact tumbler is perfect for me. The simple design has everything I need in a travel mug: 3D double-wall insulation, a leakproof travel lid, and a durable powder hardshell powder coast finish. Available in three colors and offered at an affordable price, this is everything I need in a travel mug.

Check Price on Amazon and Miir.com.

Stanley Coffee Thermos

Stanley Quadvac Trigger Action Mug ($30.00)

Easy to Clean: 5
Leakproof: 4
Insulation: 4
Cup Holder Test: 4
Overall: 4.25/5

Designed to fit in most cupholders, the Quadvac mug keeps beverages hot for up to nine hours, cold for 12, and iced for 40 hours. Designed to keep up with all of your adventures, the mug is made with 18/8 stainless steel, which works well for someone like me who tends to drop things while loading up the car. Additionally, the mug features a wide mouth, a leak resistant cap, Quadvac insulation, and is dishwasher safe.

Check Price on Amazon and Backcountry.

Hydro Coffee Mug

Hydro Flask 24-oz. Coffee Mug ($29.95)

Easy to Clean: 5
Leakproof: 3
Insulation: 4
Cup Holder Test: 3
Overall: 3.75/5

Available in five different colors, the Hydro Flask coffee mug features TempShield double-wall insulation and is constructed from 18/8 pro-grade stainless steel, so it’s durable and will keep your coffee hot for hours. However, the lid is sealable but isn’t entirely leakproof and fitting it in some cup holders can be a challenge. It’s better suited for camping or enjoying once you’re already set up on the beach.

Check Price on Backcountry and REI.

Editor’s Note: For more gear reviews and features on The Inertia, click here.

Disclosure: The Inertia may receive a small commission if you make a purchase from the affiliate links included in this feature at no additional cost to you. Our goal is always to entertain, educate, and inspire, and we hope you find this feature useful.

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