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Two containers are forever by my side: an insulated water bottle (gotta stay hydrated) and a travel coffee mug (gotta stay caffeinated). Not only are travel mugs sustainable, but they also allow me to take my own coffee—like my go-to sparkling Americano, a splash of Jot concentrate with sparkling water—on the road. That means I can skip the coffee shop when I don’t feel like paying for a $6 latte, and when I do drop by my neighborhood café, I don’t have to waste a single-use cup.
Versatile coffee mugs come in various styles, shapes, and sizes, but they’re not one size fits all. While some features are must-haves—leak-proof lids, temperature regulation, and durability—others come down to a matter of personal preference. I tested six different mugs while hiking the Texas Hill Country with my dog, driving through speed humped neighborhood streets, and walking around the city to determine the best travel coffee mugs for every occasion, whether you’re headed to the backwoods or just picking up the kids from school. (And if you’re more of a cold brew drinker, no matter the season? Click through to read about our favorite iced coffee cups.)
Fellow is known for its BA-approved coffee paraphernalia, from its temperature-controlled electric kettle to its sleek Ode burr grinder, and its high-caliber drinkware is of equal quality. The award-winning Carter Move Mug comes with a range of different lid options, but my favorite is the Slide-Lock lid that glides into action with the flick of a thumb. Bon Appétit food director Chris Morocco is a fan too: “You can open the lid with one hand, so it’s great if you’re in the car. Plus it accommodates a standard pour-over dripper, so I can pop my V60 filter on top and brew right into it.” Another feature that sets the Carter Mug apart is the interior ceramic coating, which will keep your coffee from picking up a metallic taste.
From Japanese table- and drinkware brand Kinto, the To Go Tumbler comes in an array of muted, tasteful colors like blush or khaki. The powder coat finish prevents surface-level scratches while the transparent lid won’t hide away your barista’s latte art. I find the lid easier to sip out of than Corkcicle’s similar model, and it has a new and improved seal that allows you to close it tight to prevent spills.
Australian brand Huskee, a certified B Corp, creates cups from the husks that are produced as waste during coffee production, bound together with polypropylene plastic. The brand offers a cup exchange program that enables cafés to transition away from single-use cups by supplementing them with returnable Huskee tumblers. While the program is robust in Australia, it’s still up and coming in the US. You can find out which local cafés participate near you by downloading the HuskeeSwap app or going to this page.
Snow Peak specializes in outdoor cooking products, so trust this rugged vessel to hold up for many camping trips to come. Lightweight and made with foldable handles, it’s ready to be latched onto a backpack with a carabiner. Its silicone lid not only keeps your drink from spilling, but also protects your lips from extreme temps. To take your camping coffee setup to the next level, pair it with Snow Peak’s multifunctional brewing system, the Field Coffee Master, that’s compact enough to take with you anywhere.
Stojo cups are conveniently collapsible, making them the ultimate portable cup. Once you’re finished with your coffee, you can seamlessly push the bottom into the top, allowing you to stash your cup just about anywhere—even, as contributor Victoria Cavazos writes, in the pocket of a naval uniform. Made of food-grade silicone, Stojos can accommodate both hot morning coffee (the included heat sleeve comes in handy) or iced Americanos (it also comes with a silicone straw).
Corkcicle allows you to customize your to-go drinkware with its array of playful colors and patterns, including collabs with the likes of Disney and Marvel. From holiday patterns to this dreamy cloudscape, there’s a Corkcicle mug for everyone—including teachers, new parents, and that person on your gift list you don’t know that much about, but you’re pretty sure likes coffee. While the brand also offers standard-sized tumblers, its classic coffee mug is a good option for those that prefer a handle. Plus, they partner with nonprofit organization Charity: Water so that each purchase goes toward funding clean drinking water.