|Rating:||8.6 / 10|
|Value for money||2.1 / 2.5|
|Weight||1.8 / 2.5|
|Ease of use||2.2 / 2.5|
|Temperature management||2.5 / 2.5|
This is a bit of a strange product to review for a hiking website but bear with me as there is a method to my madness. Gill and I do all types of hiking and given our busy schedules it’s not uncommon for us to head off early in the morning and have breakfast on the road to do some shorter hikes before returning home. The limit for our day excursions is around three hours drive each way which covers a fair chunk of southern NSW. Almost without fail when we head off in the morning we bring a cup of tea or coffee with us so a decent drinking vessel is essential. We had been using a couple of old plastic keep mugs that we had owned for around 15 years (way before they trendy!) and they were showing their age and just not cutting it anymore. The plastic versions also don’t do the same job as the metal ones. The other issue we had is that cup holders in many vehicles have narrowed over the past 10+ years meaning we were fairly limited in our placement options so decided it was time for a couple of his-and-hers travel mugs. Thermos has always had a great reputation for producing containers for food and drink so after looking around we opted for the Thermos Stainless King Travel Mug.
These mugs are available in blue and red (and silkver if you can find them) which is lucky as I like lairy colours and Gill doesn’t object to blue so we opted for one of each so we didn’t confuse our mugs. The profile of these mugs is narrow and tall and as such they fit into just about any car cup holder currently on the market although I’m sure that there will be the odd one around that won’t fit. The mug capacity is fairly decent at 470 ml and while I am quite happy for this for cold drinks, that’s an awful lot of tea or coffee to consume in one go. The handle on the mug is open at the bottom and fairly chunky so this mug is easy to manage however if you are driving and drinking a tea or coffee (yes I know that you aren’t supposed to do this but nearly everyone does) it means if its dark, you don’t have to guess where the opening is. Thermos also makes a tumbler option which is essentially the same product without the handle. Back to the profile like many travel mugs this one is narrower at the base and widens out towards the top so it sits comfortably in the cup holder. Weight wise this mug isn’t the lightest of options at 460 grams but that’s what you get for using stainless steel which is the best option for keeping drinks warm.
This mug is a double skin stainless steel vacuum and boy does it work well. The first time I used it my tea stayed at almost boiling level so it took me a long time to finish my drink. In fact it stayed so hot that I didn’t finish my tea until after a two hour drive and a 2.5 hour walk and by that stage it was just cool enough to drink without having to take small sips. Thermos quote that this mug will maintain a hot drink at the appropriate temperature for around 7 hours and keep a cold drink cool for around 18 hours. I’ve found that ever since I’ve been using this mug for hot drinks that 8 hours is around the limit.
The lid unit is where much of the action is happening – it has a lever that you switch between open and closed so liquid won’t spill at any stage, and it doesn’t. The lid also has a ‘teabag’ hook on its underside and while that’s potentially a wonderful idea I don’t like my tea getting stronger as the time goes on preferring to get it to a level I like and then shutting up the lid without the tea bag.
To use these mugs fill them with hot/boiling water or cold water while you are getting your drink ready. I just used the hot water out of the tap which was fine. When you are ready empty the water out and make your drink (hot or cold) then close it back up and it’s ready to go. Without a doubt this is the best most useable travel mug that I have owned and while the RRP is AUD$64.99 you can usually buy it at a much cheaper price. At the time of publishing this article they were on sale found its typical to find them much cheaper than the RRP.
I can see these mugs lasting many years and while I will never carry this mug on a hike it will always have a home in my car for those early morning trips to the trailhead!
Great for those trips to the trailhead
Thermos Stainless King Travel Mug in blue and red
Thermos Stainless King Travel Mug red colour with open lid
Thermos Stainless King Travel Mug showing the tea bag hook on the underside of the mug lid
Thermos Stainless King Travel Mug showing open and closed positions (see the text on the lid)
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AUD $64.99 RRP but usually available cheaper
Thermos make an excellent range of drink and food holders including:
This review was done with product purchased by the Australian Hiker from a retail store