This morning I came across Marco’s post on Joulies, small metal inserts meant to stabilize the temperature of a cup of coffee. He doesn’t recommend them, but at the bottom he mentions the travel mug he owns, the Contigo. It got me thinking about our current travel setup.

We’re currently using Keep Cups. They’re fine for bringing the last cup of coffee in the car, and the seals stand up to mild sloshing, but absolutely do not hold in coffee if on their sides. They might be nice for somebody who buys a lot of coffee shop coffee and wants to avoid using a lot of paper cups, but they’re just not great as travel mugs.

I did a quick search of Marco’s site hoping he had a clear travel mug winner, but unfortunately the last time he mentioned it he couldn’t recommend any strongly.

I’ve certainly had the same problem myself. My favorite so far was a set of sealable mugs I bought at Costco several years ago. They were unbranded as sold at Costco, but I think they were these Contigo Extreme mugs. Mine came as a set of two, one with the handle and caribineer clip, and one with no handle. The caribineer clip is a bit silly, I was never sure what exactly they thought I would be clipping it onto. The one without the handle was great in that it fit in my bike’s water bottle cage, and the seals held up even in that nearly horizontal position.

Those were wonderful for about three years. You could fill them with coffee and toss them fearlessly in a bag, they just never leaked or came open. Sadly, last fall their rubber gaskets failed at about the same time. Maybe I should have spent more time trying to repair them, but I decided to let them go. Now that I know what brand they are I may order another one or two, but it looks like only the ones with the handles are available now.

Before I order another Contigo Extreme, does anybody have any travel mugs they do recommend? My criteria are mainly excellent seals (can sit horizontally without leaking), good heat retention, and easy to drink out of without dribbling.