I wanted to hate Yeti.

First of all, who in their right mind spends $55 on a cup? And don’t give me that “reusable cups save the planet” crap. It’s stainless steel. Hello? What do you think the carbon footprint of manufacturing that is? I have a perfectly good plastic drink mug that keeps my Coke cold most of the day. It cost me $8.99 at Home Depot and it has a handle.

But there I was, Yeti in hand, a little put out at myself for even wanting to try it. I shop for utility and function, regardless of the company name. I’ve always said that my 1972 Coleman metal cooler could probably outperform any of these new-fangled, high-dollar coolers on the market today. I was equally certain that the Yeti drink cup would not live up to its pop culture icon-ness.

Test # 1: I put the empty cup in the car and left it baking in the sun while I went shopping at Home Depot. My first stop after HD was at McDonalds where I filled the hot Yeti with ice and my third favorite beverage. Back in the car, I noticed that the Yeti fit nicely in the console drink holder. My Home Depot mug stays home because it’s too fat for the car.
I gave that damn cup ten minutes of ice-melting time before I took a sip– certain that the hot cup would have diluted my precious Coke. I was wrong. My drink was miraculously bubbly, fresh, and ice cold!

Test # 2: I had more shopping to do so the Yeti and my Coke spent most of the afternoon in the hot car. After an hour at Academy, I knew that both the Yeti and my console would be a drippy mess. I live in Central Texas. Everything sweats. Everything except Yeti, apparently. The cup was dry but warm to the touch on the outside. Ha! I knew it. It couldn’t take Texas heat. I expected warm, watery Coke to flow from the straw, but what I got instead was ice-cold, refreshing Coke. Argh!

Test # 3: This is where my drink mug has to really excel. When I am not traveling, I write. I sit at my desk for long stretches with that Coke I thought I the-home-depot-22-fl-oz-thermo-insulated-tumblers-mugneeded when I sat down completely forgotten, puddling pools of cup sweat onto the desk and whatever papers happen to be near it. As drafts near completion, or come to a standstill, the urge to drink overcomes me and I fumble for the forgotten Coke. My Home Depot mug serves this purpose pretty well. First, it’s orange so I can spot it amid the usual clutter of my desk. Hey, don’t judge. Second, it’s squatty shape usually prevents me knocking it over in sudden grabs for the handle. It sweats a little in the summer, but a paper towel rubber-banded around it solves that. I have learned to strategically place my cell phone a foot or more away from it, just in case.

Enter the Yeti. Let me just say again that I wanted to hate this cup. But I love this cup. Day after day it patiently awaits my bursts of thirst between bursts of creativity. Without sweat. Nada. Nothing. Not even when I am dripping Texas sweat. And the drink inside is always cold. The ice melts so slowly that I find myself needing more Coke. My trusty Home Depot mug and I had a good arrangement; it melted the ice at an appropriate rate so that most of the afternoon I sipped watered-down Coke, followed by coke-flavored ice water, and finally room-temperature vaguely coke-y, vaguely watery liquid. By that point, it was after five and time to switch to a more appropriate evening beverage.

The Yeti is out of sync. The watered-down Coke phase never happens. I drink it all because it’s fresh until it’s gone. The coke-flavored ice water doesn’t happen until well after dinner. And the room-temperature water? Ain’t happening. Not even the next morning. I hate this damn cup. It’s coming between me and a glass of wine or a cold beer.

Test # 4: While my afternoons revolve around Coke, my mornings revolve around steaming cups of tea. I don’t use the Home Depot mug for tea; that job is reserved for any one of my souvenir ceramic coffee cups. But what if the Yeti could keep my tea hot longer? It kept it so hot that thirty minutes into the cup I nearly burned my mouth on tea that should have already been cooling down. At the two-hour mark, the tea was still drink-ably warm. Having said all of that, I did not care for the steel taste with the tea. Hot tea belongs in a ceramic or china cup. It’s that simple. Sorry Yeti.

So can I recommend a Yeti Rambler? I know it’s a tough sell at $54.99. There are cheaper knock offs, but I haven’t tested any of them. Why would I? I have the real deal and I plan to make it last the rest of my life, right there alongside my 1972 Coleman cooler.
Here’s the link. I think you know what you have to do.