Best Coffee Mugs for Travel (Coffee on the Go!)

Most of us have to eat or drink on the go because of busy lifestyles schedules. The same goes for coffee. We have to take a daily dose of energy and java while we drive to work. 

Travel mugs or thermos are an excellent way to keep your coffee hot on your morning commute or while running afternoon errands. It is also a better option instead of drinking coffee in a plastic or paper cup. 

Whether you need a travel mug to drink coffee on your way to work or plan to go on a road trip, having one travel mug is essential. 

We have so many diverse options to choose from, which can become challenging to decide the best one. 

No worries, I have narrowed down the list of best travel mugs so you can choose easily. My top picks for best travel mugs are:

  • Contigo Vacuum Insulated Travel Mug
  • Stanley Classic Trigger-Action Travel Mug
  • Yeti Rambler Lowball
  • HydroFlask Coffee Flex-Sip Wide Mouth 

What should I look for in a travel mug?

a cup of coffee, a camera, and a floral wallet

You should look for material, size, lid type, and insulation in a travel mug. 

Always choose high-quality travel mugs that are leak-proof, so you travel without worry. These factors are essential to consider before you get yourself a travel mug:

  • Material: Stainless steel, plastic, and aluminium are the most common materials for travel mugs. These materials are used because they keep your drink warm for longer on the go.
  • Size: The standard size for a travel mug is 16 ounces. But you can find travel mugs ranging from 8 to 64 ounces. 
  • Lid: there are a variety of lids that come with travel mugs, including snap-on, screw-on, press-on, thermos cap, bottle cap, handled cap, and attached cap. 
  • Insulation: A travel mug made from metal insulation (aluminum or stainless steel) will best hold the temperature. Also, try to opt for something that is vacuum-sealed. 

The most common is a snap-on, as it keeps the travel mug spill-free. I have another article on mugs similar to this and if you’re interested, you can check it out

Best coffee mug for travel

What you need in a travel mug is durability and easiness to carry it with you wherever you go. That’s exactly what my list of best mugs for travel does. Here are my top picks for travel mugs:

Stanley Classic Trigger-Action Travel Mug

This classic travel mug by Stanley is made of 18/8 stainless steel that prevents coffee stains and smells. It has double-wall insulation that keeps the drink hot or cold while you travel on the road. 

The brand claims that the mug keeps the drink warm for up to five hours, but certain reviewers stated that the mug only kept their drink at the ideal temperature for about an hour. There were plenty of other reviews though that made the opposite claim.

Please don’t get fooled by the size and material. Stanley is comparatively lightweight than other travel mugs and its empty weight is only 0.68 lbs. 

What sets Stanley apart from other tumblers is its trigger-action lid that has a push-button. This mug will keep your coffee leak-proof either you put it in a car cup holder or toss it in your backpack.

One thing though is that this mug does not have a finger hook, so carrying it might be a little bothersome, especially if your hands are full.

With all these features, this one indeed will hold up your coffee well on the long way. 

Yeti Rambler Lowball

You might already own one of the Yeti mugs at home. Yeti is famous for making the best travel coffee mugs. Most of the buyers swear that once you get yeti, you will never go to another brand. 

The best part I like about this specific mug is that it is comparatively tiny compared to other travel mugs. This one can fit in your bag or car easily. The design is elegant, and the mug is lightweight so that you can keep hold comfortably.

The downside to this mug though is that it seemingly does not come in other sizes and is only available in 10 oz. While others may not have any problem with this, those with small cupholders in their car might end up disappointed.

Another yeti mug that I can recommend is their Rambler tumbler. This one is a stainless steel travel mug and is also available in a standard mug size with a handle.

HydroFlask Coffee Flex-Sip Wide Mouth 

HydroFlask is made of 18/8 professional-grade stainless steel and a BPA- and toxin-free plastic twist-open lid. 

The best thing about this one is it has a flex-strap handle attached to the lid for comfortable carrying. 

It is available in a variety of colors, backed by the manufacturer’s claim of color-last coating.

They allow you to customize the design by choosing the cap, strap, and bottle color, which is fantastic. This model is dishwasher safe, plus it is easy to disassemble and reassemble the numbered lid parts and the rubber gasket slots right in.

However, this mug isn’t exactly leak-proof. Many reviewers faced problems with leakage as the direction to put the lid on is the same direction that opens the lip. If you’re not careful and simply put the mug into your bag without checking, you may end up with a mess.

Contigo Vacuum Insulated Travel Mug

Looking for a big quality travel mug in affordable pieces? Then you have to buy Contigo Vacuum Insulated 24-Ounce Travel Mug, the best budget-friendly option. 

This one is made of durable stainless steel and BPA-free plastic. Contigo can hold up to 24 ounces of coffee or any other drink. 

Comes with a lifetime guarantee, Contigo can make a good traveling mug to keep your beverage warm or cold for hours. However, there have been reports of not-so-helpful customer support so take that lifetime guarantee with a grain of salt.

That said, this travel mug may also subject you to a certain “smell” that many customer reviews pointed out, and it’s also worth noting that they can be a little difficult to clean.

Can I travel with a coffee mug?

a mug full of coffee

If your coffee mug doesn’t have teeth that bite people, then yes, you can travel with your mug without any worries.

Use a lightweight mug so it will be easy to carry wherever you go. 

You can take a travel mug on the plane as well, with caveats. You can only take your cup through the security checkpoint if it is empty.

What is the best material for a travel mug?

Metal is the best material for a travel mug. 

It will keep your coffee warm for hours without changing the taste. Moreover, you don’t have to worry about breaking your mug on the way. If it’s empty, throw it in your bag or car seat; if it’s filled with coffee, place it carefully in the cup holder in your car. 

Most of the travel mugs are made from stainless steel, aluminum, and plastic. These materials are more durable compared to glass and ceramic. 

Plastic is affordable and lightweight but can affect the taste. Metal offers better insulation to keep the drink warm and is less likely to leach any chemicals. However, it is heavier and expensive compared to plastic. 

How long do travel mugs keep drinks insulated?

Travel mugs keep beverages insulated for a minimum of 4 hours. It also depends on which type of travel mugs you are using.

In the below table, you can see a breakdown of five different travel mugs and how well they keep temperature throughout the day.

Travel Coffee Mugs with LidHow long keep the hot drink warm?How long keep cold drink stay cold? 
Stainless Steel5 hours 15 hours 
Stainless Steel with vacuum insulation 4.5 hours15 hours
Plastic 3.5 hours10 hours
Aluminum with copper vacuum Insulation 4.5 hours14 hours
Aluminum with snap-on lid4 hours 12 hours
Mug material and how long they keep drinking hot or cold

Insulated mugs also keep drinks cold for an average of 12 to 13 hours. The exact length of time for each mug, though, depends on the material and how it’s built.

How do you pack a mug in a suitcase?

an Acer laptop and a black DSLR next to an almost packed suitcase

To pack your mug in your suitcase, wrap it securely in packing paper and put it inside a snug kind of box, and then place it in the center of your suitcase.

I would recommend putting your ceramic or glass mugs in your hand luggage instead of a suitcase. However, mugs made of other materials such as stainless steel and plastic can easily be put right in the center of the suitcase, and they won’t break.


All in all, the best cup for travel is stainless steel or aluminum as they keep coffee warm on the go.

These four, in my opinion, are best for travel: Contigo Vacuum Insulated Travel Mug, Stanley Classic Trigger-Action Travel Mug, Yeti Rambler Lowball, and HydroFlask Coffee Flex-Sip Wide Mouth.

While buying travel mugs, always choose one with a double insulation wall and is the perfect size to fit in your commute or backpack.

Don’t buy ceramic or glass mugs even if you like to drink your coffee in them as they are not durable to take on the road. Lastly, make sure to keep your cup clean once you reach home to avoid any build-up in it.

Want to know how to make the best coffee while traveling? Watch this video below to learn how:

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Matt Marshall

As I learn more and more about coffee and coffee products I want to share all my learnings with you here on this website. I hope you find my articles useful and entertaining to read.

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