The Quest for a Tumbler

This is by no means tech or gaming related, but recently I began a search for a tumbler. A couple guys at work use (daily) and swear by Yeti for both hot and cold beverages. Both use a 30 oz Yeti for cool beverages, since it holds a lot of ice, and a 20 oz for hot beverages, typically coffee in the morning. The only down side to these is the cost, since the 20 oz version is $30 and the 30 oz version is $40. Now, I’m all about “buying good once” and spending a little more to get a quality product that I know is going to work well and last a long time, but $70 for two cups was a bit shocking.

I do drink coffee in the morning sometimes, and when I do I typically end up throwing half of the cup away because it gets cold before I finish it. I also try to drink water during the day, but unless it’s extremely cold I don’t particularly enjoy it and as a result I don’t hydrate as much as I should. Having both a hot and cold option would be nice, but not for $70. If I was going to go with only one, it’d be the cold option.

I remembered seeing an ad on Facebook for Rtic brand, which basically looked like knock-off Yeti tumblers. A quick Google search revealed that they basically pride themselves on being just as good for half the cost. So much so that they actually name Yeti by name on their site as being directly comparable for twice the price (ballsy), and Yeti is actually in the process of suing them. I also found that Walmart had its own brand of tumblers as well, Ozark Trail, which – if Internet lore is true – come from the same factory in China as the Yeti tumblers. The biggest difference with Ozark is the price.

Remember that 30 oz Yeti for $40? The Ozark version is $9.74. As an answer to the $30 20 oz Yet, the Ozark version is just $7.74. Wow. In addition to those two, if you really want to get your drink on, they have a massive 40 oz cup for $12.74, but seeing this in real life proved it to be extremely ridiculous. It was so big. Yeti also sells a “Colster” stainless coozy to keep a 12 oz can or bottle cold for $30. The Ozark version of the same thing is $7.74. Nuts.

Rtic products are nearly the same price as the Ozark stuff, typically around $1 or so more per item, but must be ordered online.

I began watching 3-way tests between all of these tumblers, which seem to be the most popular 3 by far. The funny thing is that enough people apparently are interested in this to the point where there are thousands of websites and YouTube videos comparing the three side by side in scientific tests. Reading the comments on the videos where people argue about the scientific method behind each test was entertaining for a while. “You used the spoon in X brand first each time when you should have used 3 different spoons! There could have been heat transfer!” “You should have weighed the ice and made sure that an exact amount of ice in each cup was the same! Number of cubes is not an accurate unit of measure!”

No matter how many videos I watched or write-ups I read, the result was always the same: The results of each test between each of the three brands was within any margin of error that any of the nit-picky “testing mistakes” outlined above could have created. Basically, you’d be paying more for a brand name on an identical product with the Yeti.

I walked out of Walmart with a 20 oz Ozark and two 30 oz Ozarks (one for me and one for my wife) for less than $30 even after tax. Keep in mind the 20 oz Yeti by itself is $30 BEFORE tax. The Ozark tumblers just came out in 2016 and were apparently really hard to get at first, but when I went in looking for one they had piles of them. I’ve been using it all day today and so far it’s been great!

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