You Keep Me Hanging Oooooon ....
September 19, 2013 11:28 AM   Subscribe

I'm looking for a sturdy travel mug that's easy to sip from and comfortable to hold.

I'm looking for a sturdy travel mug for my morning dog walks. I need something that's easy to sip from, since I'll be wrangling a puppy at the same time. For the same reason, a mug with a comfortable, easy-to-hold handle would be great, too.

I've done quite a bit of research, but most recommendations are based on how long the mug keeps coffee warm, which is not important to me since I'll be drinking the coffee right after it's made. Similarly, it would be nice if it didn't leak all over the place, but since I won't be throwing it into my bag, that's less important. A lot of the mugs that get good marks on these points seem to have flimsy handles or overly-complex sipping mechanisms.

Finally, I need something for under $30 (ideally under $20, but it seems like most good mugs are in the $20-30 range).
posted by lunasol to Shopping (13 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
I took this mug with me to the dog park for a couple of years. It has a screw top, so it's once it's open it's all the way open, but the handle clip makes it easy to snap to your belt/backpack/leash handle until you're ready to drink from it. Maybe not the easiest to 'sip' from, but it's fairly cheap and as durable as a hammer, so it's good to drag around with you all over the place.
posted by Pecinpah at 11:34 AM on September 19, 2013

I'm a big advocate of Contigo's autoseal mugs. The one I have is lacking your handle requirement, but you can't beat 'em for easy intuitive sipping, and not ever leaking anywhere. (At least, not until you've dropped them on the concrete a few times...)
posted by jeffjon at 12:21 PM on September 19, 2013 [3 favorites]

Best answer: This is my favorite travel mug. My requirements are a little different from yours in that I need something I can seal completely and throw in a bag without fear of leaking, but in addition to satisfying that one it seems to meet all yours:

- big handle that's easy to hold and can be used as a hook to hang it from something in a pinch
- sipping is as easy as unscrewing the lid a bit and then sipping from it like a normal mug

I'm on my fourth one, having lost two and finally decided that after 3 years of daily bike/bus commute use my old one was no longer presentable enough to take to work, though it's still perfectly functional.
posted by contraption at 12:37 PM on September 19, 2013 [1 favorite]

Contigo, hands down. The lack of a handle is made up for by the fact that the auto-seal is so good you can put the mug in a jacket pocket (upside down, if you're bold) and it won't leak. I use mine for morning dog walks. Keeps the coffee hotter than any other mug I've used, too.
posted by Pantengliopoli at 12:50 PM on September 19, 2013 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Thanks for the recommendations so far!

Just to clarify regarding my picky preferences: I'd rather not have something I need to screw the lid off - I will be using this while walking an energetic puppy, and anyway, if I'm going to screw the lid off, I might as well just use one of the regular mugs I already have.

Re: Contigo - I checked out online reviews of the ones with handles when I was doing my initial research and there seem to be lots of complaints about the handle. The handle is pretty key for my purposes.
posted by lunasol at 1:00 PM on September 19, 2013

Response by poster: Oh, sorry, I misread contraption's note about sipping from the Thermos mug - looks like that one may work!
posted by lunasol at 1:01 PM on September 19, 2013 [1 favorite]

Best answer: The Nissan mug contraption linked to was what first came to mind when I read your question. If you want a handle, I agree that's your best option. I don't think the Contigo is a good fit for your needs - pressing the button every time you want to sip is more work than you need to do, and its sleek profile means it can easily slip out of your hand if you're not paying attention. One fall was all it took to destroy my Contigo - my various Nissan mugs seem indestructible.
posted by ndg at 1:07 PM on September 19, 2013

I've used the Contigo mug with carabiner clip for over 5 years (the same mug). The handle is sturdy. The seal is great. I repeatedly stash it in some very expensive bags, with computers and other electronics. It seems many people on Amazon had the pull tab break off -- you need to unseal the mug by pulling the tab vertically then twist the lid, not pull-and-twist with the tab.
posted by melissasaurus at 1:22 PM on September 19, 2013

Best answer: I've had the same Nissan mug for about 5 years and use it while dog walking all the time. The little screw-on lid is great for many reasons:
(a) doesn't have to be removed to drink from the mug
(b) can be easily screwed all the way shut, which is nice if you want to just hold the mug for awhile without drinking from it (maybe on the way to the park or something)
(c) is actually leak-proof
(d) isn't hard to open or close
(e) the handle is big enough to hold with winter gloves or mittens!

I tend to just rinse mine out by hand, and I think it's kept the seal perfectly intact for 5+ years. Dishwashers sometimes warp plastic lids.
posted by barnone at 1:49 PM on September 19, 2013

This one (wide mouth, 12oz, with the coffee-style lid) doesn't have a handle, but my lifelong search for the perfect travel mug ended when I saw, then bought this one.

It's narrow enough that you can keep a grip on it, the lid doesn't leak, but can be operated one-handed. It does keep things hot, and its easy to clean. It's so good.
posted by furnace.heart at 3:31 PM on September 19, 2013

For what it's worth, there is no better way to teach leash manners than whike carrying and sipping hot liquid. Really focuses a dog walker. Enjoy your mornings!
posted by Lesser Shrew at 5:24 PM on September 19, 2013 [1 favorite]

Nthing the Nissan mug. I've had mine for years after seeing it recommended here.
posted by fieldtrip at 8:39 PM on September 19, 2013

Response by poster: It's settled, I just ordered the Nissan mug! Thanks again!
posted by lunasol at 10:39 AM on September 20, 2013

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