I have been on a life long, well actually a quest over the past year to find the perfect way to keep my coffee hot, one of the most important beverages I drink throughout the day, warm. Sit back, get comfortable and get ready to find out the best outdoor coffee mugs to keep your coffee warm longer while playing outdoors.
Here’s our favorite outdoor coffee mugs:
Best Coffee Mugs
I tested the Stanley One-Handed Vacuum Mug in both the 16 and 20-ounce sizes, now these are not the most practical for carrying into the backcountry as they are a little larger and heavier than the other mugs listed here.
If you work in a truck, or out of an office and need a mug that you can easily pick up and go, the Stanley One-Handed Vacuum Mug 16 oz or 20 oz sizes are a solid choice. The only problem I ever had with this thing is from time to time the vacuum suction is so strong it can be a royal pain in the ass to remove the cap, on this outdoor coffee mug especially at elevation. Having a strong vacuum seal on a coffee mug that can keep your beverages warm for up to 7 hours is not a bad thing at all. Plus this is pretty much an unbreakable coffee mug, it’s why they are found on job sites around the world.
One of the more practical ways of bringing hot beverages into the backcountry is via a Hydro Flask Vacuum Insulated Coffee & Tea Mug. The Hydro Flask 16 oz and 18 oz sizes can easily fit inside your backpack, and will actually fit inside the cup holder of your truck or SUV.
My only problem with this amazing mug is the stupid flip-top opening. Having a flip-top may be a practical and fast way to get to your coffee, however, if the lid isn’t fully locked into place your SOL and your coffee will happily coat the inside of your backpack, the floor of your truck, etc, etc. If the Hydro Flask team can change the design a little bit this will once again be my go-to mug for backcountry adventures.
The Yeti Rambler Mug 14 oz is a gift that will keep on giving. Whether you’re going out for some winter touring or afloat in the peak of the summer action, this mug is for you. The Rambler will keep your hots HOT and your colds COLD far longer than any other mug out there.
Figured I would save the best for last, ahh the Camelbak Forge 16 oz! I have been putting this mug through the paces, taking it with me across the country and back a few times, up many a mountain tops and it is the clear winner when it comes to taking hot beverages into the backcountry and here’s why. First of all the Camelbak Forge is the best-insulated coffee mugs with a handle as it’s essentially spill proof thanks to a super fun trigger activated coffee dispenser. Um, that actually sounds complicated however it’s one of the first travel mugs with a “self-sealing cap and lock-open button combination” and can keep beverages warm for up to 6 hours.
*Warning ~ When you hit the trigger for the first time each day stream of smoke billows out of the top. So if your tired, and not paying attention, you just may find yourself waking up really fast without ever taking a sip of coffee. That being said, you know the vacuum insulation is truly working on this mug every time you push the trigger.
Keep in mind when the brands mention how long these mugs can keep coffee warm the test are usually in a controlled environment, ie an office. When I tested these and where you will end up using them come with a totally different set of challenges, temperatures, and conditions.
What I have found is that none of the mugs listed above actually keep coffee piping hot for the time they mentioned in their PR/marketing pieces especially here in the Tetons, in mid-winter above 10,000 feet. My advice to maximize these mugs is a simple trick. Run some warm water in your mug before adding in your coffee, or leave boiling water in overnight. This will help to prime your coffee mug.