CamelBak Forge 16oz Travel Mug

I bought a 16 oz CamelBak Forge to see if it could beat two other travel mugs I’ve tested before (Contigo AUTOSEAL West Loop and Zojirushi SM-YAE48RA).

Out of the CamelBak’s competition, the Zojirushi holds heat the best, but the Contigo is easier to use and clean.

The CamelBak is at least as good as the Zojirushi at retaining heat. I consider the CamelBak superior to both the Zojirushi and Contigo.


The competition for this mug is stiff. The Zojirushi is a competent heat retainer while the Contigo is easy to use and clean.

The initial base for all of these tests is a cheap plastic travel mug my wife bought me some years back, against which I tested the Zojirushi and Contigo.

So it’s only fair to use the plastic mug as a base for testing the CamelBak against.

In the end, the CamelBak Forge doesn’t just beat the plastic mug, which is to be expected, but also the Zojirushi and the Contigo.

Read on to see why.

The cheap plastic travel mug, a gift from my wife a few years back. This formed the basis for my travel mug tests
The cheap plastic travel mug, a gift from my wife a few years back. This formed the basis for my travel mug tests.
The three mugs I put through their paces. From left to right, Zojirushi, Contigo, CamelBak
The three mugs I put through their paces. From left to right, Zojirushi, Contigo, CamelBak.

TL;DR

For those who don’t want to read the whole post, here are my findings, abbreviated.

Heat retention

I ran two heat retention tests for each mug (the cheap plastic mug, the Zojirushi, the Contigo and the CamelBak).

In the first test I poured coffee into each mug, took the temperature, closed the mug for 6 hours and 26 minutes, opened the mug and took the temperature.

In the second test I poured coffee into the mug, took the temperature, closed the mug and opened it every half an hour to take the temperature.

The CamelBak beat the Contigo easily and drew with the Zojirushi in this department.

Toughness

The CamelBak’s as tough as a metal mug will be.

Its body will bend under strain or dent when knocked and the lid won’t bear a beating either, so handle it with care.

This is not unique to the CamelBak though. They design travel mugs to hit the sweet spot in a number of areas; it’s impossible to create a product that’s indestructible, retains heat well, is easy to clean and use AND doesn’t weigh a ton.

Spilling and leaking

The CamelBak is leakproof.

I filled it with coffee, turned it upside down and shook it. Nothing spilled.

So I turned it right side up and opened it. It released some air and splattered a few drops of coffee.

Then I turned it upside down again and nothing leaked from it.

The splattering of coffee got me curious.

Would this mug splatter drops of coffee every time I pressed the button to open the lid for a sip?

So I went through the motions of drinking from it, paying attention to what happens whenever I open it.

It did NOT sputter coffee when I opened it.

The only reason it did so when I tested it for leakage, was because I shook it while holding it upside down, which caused pressure buildup in the mug.

But it won’t leak. So don’t worry about coffee seeping out of it if ever the CamelBak finds itself on its side in your car.

The CamelBak Forge is leak proof, as this picture of it dangling upside down from my hand shows
The CamelBak Forge is leak proof, as this picture of it dangling upside down shows.

Lockable

This is one area where the CamelBak loses to the competition.

It does not come with a lid lock, which means inquisitive young hands might pick up the mug, press the wrong button and spill something.

However, the button you press to open the drinking spout is solid. A baby won’t be able to open it easily.

Besides, with enough fiddling, even a mug with a lock could end up being opened.

Warranty

CamelBak’s warranty is far too involved to post here.

They offer what they call the Got Your Bak lifetime guarantee.

You can read more about it at camelbak.com/en/customer-service/warranty.

It’s probably the most comprehensive warranty I’ve ever come across.

In the box

The CamelBak didn’t come in fancy packaging. It arrived with tags attached to it, in a box, but it wasn’t wrapped.

No dents, unlike the Contigo

when I tested the Contigo, one thing that miffed me was that both the Contigos (I bought two) came with dents.

They weren’t big dents, and it’s not a big deal, but my money had no dents. One expects a new product you pay for to not have even the slightest defect.

The CamelBak Forge came nickfree, despite the lack of fancy packaging.

Before using it

Take these steps before using the CamelBak Forge:

  1. Unscrew the lid from the body.
  2. Remove papers from the mug (if there are any).
  3. Wash the lid & tumbler.
    1. See cleaning instructions below.
  4. Dry with a cloth, or place on a rack to dry.

Maximum beverage temperature

You don’t want to use your travel mug to melt gold in; you want to drink coffee or tea from it.

Provided you use it with common sense, you should be able to fill the CamelBak Forge with a piping hot beverage often and not damage it.

Heat retention tests

I ran two heat retention tests with the CamelBak.

For both tests I made coffee in the AeroPress coffee maker, poured the coffee into a metal jug and transferred it to the CamelBak.

For both tests the starting temperature was 66 degrees Celsius.

I made a cup of AeroPress coffee to test in the CamelBak Forge
I made a cup of AeroPress coffee to test in the CamelBak Forge.

First test

In the first heat retention test I poured coffee into the CamelBak and measured the temperature at 66 degrees Celsius (150,8 degrees Fahrenheit).

Then, for the next five hours, I opened the CamelBak every half an hour to measure the temperature.

The coffee’s temperature dropped a total of 32 degrees Celsius (57.6 degrees Fahrenheit) over a period of five hours.

Below is a table showing the difference in temperature over a five hour period.

This table shows the drop in temperature of coffee in a CamelBak Forge and a cheap plastic travel mug, measured every half an hour, for five hours.
TimeframeCamelBak Forge (Celsius)Cheap plastic travel mug (Celsius)CamelBak Forge (Fahrenheit)Cheap plastic travel mug (Fahrenheit)
Initial temperature6666150.8150.8
30 minutes later5451129,2123.8
60 minutes later5240125.6104
90 minutes later4931120.287.8
120 minutes later453011386
150 minutes later4329109.484.2
180 minutes later402510477
210 minutes later3923102.273.4
240 minutes later372398.673.4
270 minutes later342193.269.8
300 minutes later342193.269.8

These pics display the drop in temperature of coffee in the CamelBak Forge…

…and these pics display the drop in temperature of coffee in the cheap plastic travel mug I tested the CamelBak Forge against…

Second test

In the second heat retention test I poured coffee into the CamelBak and measured the temperature at 66 degrees Celsius.

After 6 hours and 26 minutes, I unscrewed the CamelBak’s lid and measured the temperature again. It measured 33 degrees Celsius.

That’s a drop of 33 degrees Celsius (91.4 degrees Fahrenheit), which turns out to be similar to the first heat retention test.

Note: These tests weren’t done in a lab, but in a room in a normal home.

Ideal coffee temperature

The Coffee Detective says that the ideal temperature range for coffee is between 155°F to 175°F (70°C to 80°C).

Driftaway Coffee‘s Scott says coffee should be between 120°F and 140°F (48.88°C to 60°C).

It’s down to personal preference.

And then there’s the growing interest in cold brew coffee, which is a different, and dare I say, superior beast, to traditional coffee.

How to use it

Unscrew the CamelBak’s lid, pour your beverage of choice into the tumbler and screw the lid back on.

You could screw the lid back on immediately, especially if you want to keep your beverage scorching for a long time.

But if you’re like me, who uses a travel mug more for the convenience of having coffee securely on the go, rather than for having it as hot as possible for as long as possible, you might want to allow the contents in the tumbler to cool down before you screw on the lid.

Before you screw the lid on

When you wash your CamelBak, you remove the lid set from the tumbler, flip open what CamelBak calls the arms of the lid set and clean it, either with a brush or in a dishwasher.

But before you screw the lid back onto the tumbler after you’ve washed it and want to use it again, make sure the arms are in the correct position. If they’re in the wrong position and you try to put them in place after you’re screwed the lid on, you won’t be able to do so.

How to drink from it

Drinking from the CamelBak is similar to drinking from the Contigo.

To drink from the CamelBak:

  1. Press the button at the back of the lid.
    1. This releases the spout lock (which extends from what CamelBak calls the arms of the lid).
    2. Make sure you hold the mug away from your face when you press the button, because it can build up pressure while standing.
  2. Put your lips to the Forge’s spout.
  3. Tilt back your head and sip.

Lock it in the open position

If you want to keep your CamelBak’s spout open permanently, simply press the button to open the spout, as you would when you take a sip, then press the little button on top of the arms down to lock the arms in place, thereby leaving the spout unblocked.

How not to use it

Although the CamelBak doesn’t come with a manual, you should use it with care.

Do that by following these guidelines:

  1. Don’t let babies or kids use it.
  2. Ensure that no parts (like the rubber seal) are missing before using it.
  3. Make sure the lid’s arms close after you’ve taken a sip.
  4. If it stops retaining heat, stop using the CamelBak.
  5. Hold the mug away from your face when you press the button to take a sip.
  6. Don’t put your CamelBak in a microwave oven.
  7. Don’t drink and drive.
  8. Don’t drink from it too quickly. Take it easy.
  9. Don’t shake the mug while it’s filled with something.
  10. Don’t fill it with dry ice.

Can you use it for soup?

I don’t know if the CamelBak Forge is supposed to be used for drinking soup from, but I was going to find out in any case, since I tested the Zojirushi and Contigo in a similar fashion.

I used a creamy tomato soup, the same one I used for testing the other mugs.

I prepared the soup according to instructions, then strained it into a jug to remove lumps.

From the jug I poured the soup into the CamelBak.

It worked.

I could drink soup from the CamelBak easily.

But you use it for this kind of thing at your own risk. I suspect they make the CamelBak for use with coffee and tea, not soup.

How to clean it

Follow these steps to clean your CamelBak Forge:

  1. Fill a sink with warm water and add detergent.
  2. Place the CamelBak in the water.
  3. Remove the lid set from the tumbler.
  4. Clean the lid set.
    1. Open the arms by pressing the open button.
      1. This flips open the arms and keeps them open, since the lid set is not connected to the tumbler.
    2. Soak in warm water.
    3. Use a small, soft brush to get to hard-to-reach places.
  5. Remove the lid set from the soapy water and rinse in clean water.
    1. Shake a few times to assist in drying.
  6. Wash the tumbler.
    1. Use a soft sponge.
  7. Remove the tumbler from the soapy water and rinse in clean water.
    1. Shake a few times to assist in drying.
  8. Place the lid set and the tumbler on a drying rack and leave to dry.

The CamelBak is easier to clean than both the Zojirushi and the Contigo.

It’s not hard to beat the Zojirushi in this department, since the Zojirushi requires you to remove parts from it when you clean it.

The Contigo, however, is easy to clean.

So the fact that the CamelBak is even easier to clean than the Contigo is a big deal.

Dishwasher safe?

The CamelBak Forge’s lid SHOULD be dishwasher safe, but don’t quote me on that. It’s hard to find info on this mug, and since I promised to gift mine to a friend after the test, I didn’t want to sacrifice it for the sake of a test.

The tumbler is NOT dishwasher safe.

Technical details

Tech specs for the CamelBak Forge. Metric and Imperial.
 MetricImperial
Body materialFood-grade stainless steel
Lid materialPolypropylene
Height (assembled)219mm8.62 inches
Height (lid set)61mm2.4 inches
Height (main body / tumbler)183mm7.2 inches
Maximum width (lid)106.5mm4.19 inches
Maximum diameter (main body / tumbler)72.5mm2.85 inches
Weight (assembled, dry)330g11,64 oz
Weight (assembled, filled with water)750g26.45 oz
Weight (lid)84g2.96 oz
Weight (main body / tumbler)246g8.67 oz

Construction

The CamelBak Forge is made from a variety of materials, including BPA-free polypropylene (the lid) and stainless steel (the tumbler).

Sizes

The CamelBak Forge comes in two sizes:

  • 12 oz
  • 16 oz

I only bought the 16 oz for this test. I can’t see how anybody would be happy with only 12 ounces of coffee. It just does not compute.

Does it fit inside a cup holder?

This obviously depends on the diameter of your automobile’s cup holder.

The CamelBak Forge tapers up from ~70mm.

Our Mitsubishi Pajero’s cup holders have a diameter of ~76mm, which means the CamelBak Forge fits fine.

My wife owns a 2006 Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution 9, the cup holder of which the CamelBak fits into.

Does the AeroPress fit?

Like with the Contigo, the AeroPress does NOT fit into the CamelBak, which means the Zojirushi wins this round, since the AeroPress fits snugly into it.

If you make AeroPress coffee for the CamelBak you’ll have to make it in another container, like a stainless steel jug, and pour it into the CamelBak.

Tip: when you press AeroPress into a metal container, preheat the container so it doesn’t cause the coffee to lose too much heat.

The AeroPress does NOT fit into the CamelBak
The AeroPress does NOT fit into the CamelBak.

Colors

The Zojirushi comes in ten colors:

  • Aubergine
  • Black Smoke
  • Blaze
  • Blue Street
  • Bronze
  • Deep Sea
  • Ghost
  • Ghost Berry
  • Olive Sky
  • Slate

Price

I bought the CamelBak Forge for under $30.

However, you’ll need to check the current price on Amazon. I think it’s gone up.

The CamelBak Forge’s price is also affected by size and color.

Final thoughts

The CamelBak is a great travel mug, the best out of the three stainless steel travel mugs I’ve tested.

It’s leak- and spill proof. Although it doesn’t come with the locking system you’ll find on the Zojirushi and Contigo, the CamelBak won’t spill liquid easily.

It keeps your drink hot. The CamelBak keeps up with the Zojirushi and beats the Contigo in heat retention tests.

It’s easy to clean and use. The CamelBak is as easy to use and clean as the Contigo, which is much easier to clean and use than than the Zojirushi.

The Contigo AUTOSEAL is a GREAT mug, but if you want a travel mug that’s as easy to use, easier to clean, won’t spill and keeps your drink hotter, the CamelBak Forge is for you.

The GoBout Lets You Carry Your Body Wash, Shampoo, Face Cream And Conditioner In A Single Carry On Friendly Container

The GoBout is a plastic container that consolidates important toiletries into a single carry on friendly container (without mixing them).


It’s lovely to open your travel bag and have charging cables pop out like jack-in-the-boxes (because you don’t own the Magible).

It’s even better when a funky smell dances up into your nostrils and scorches your nose hair. It’s those dirty shirts having a party (because you don’t own the Scrubba).

You’re not sure what you did with your extra camera battery, but you need it, so you keep rummaging.

Locals are staring. You look like a hungry monkey scrounging for food in a stolen backpack.

Your hand reaches the part of the bag reserved for toiletries. Fingers meet bottle upon bottle of conditioner, sunscreen, toothpaste, shampoo, face wash, what not else. You have enough creams to lubricate a truck engine.

Something must have leaked, because your fingers feel creamy.

It’s about time you sort out your bag, don’t you think?

Here’s the perfect product for you (if it works as advertised). It’s called the GoBout, and it’s in funding stage on Indiegogo.

Let’s take a look…

What is the GoBout?

The GoBout is a round plastic container with a rotatable top. It contains a number of clear plastic bottles, each with a dispenser.

(If you’re familiar with the multi-chamber spice jar, you’ll have a rough idea how the GoBout works.)

The small GoBout takes four slim dispensing bottles; the large one takes five.

The clear dispensers slide into the GoBout, where they sit and wait for you to use them.

The GoBout’s top cap has a single hole on the side and twists around the main container. You line up the hole with a dispenser nozzle and press the top. This dispenses whatever you keep in them.

How does it work?

The GoBout is a low-tech gadget (right up my alley). Here’s how it works…

How to fill the GoBout

Fill the GoBout in five steps…

  1. Open the bottom of the GoBout.
  2. Remove the dispenser bottles.
    • These should slip out.
  3. Fill each of the dispenser bottles with a substance of your choice.
    • This could be shampoo, conditioner, face wash or a similar item.
    • Don’t fill it with toothpaste. It might be too thick.
  4. Slide the dispenser bottles back into the GoBout.
    • The dispensing nozzle must be top side.
  5. Screw the bottom back on.

Your GoBout is loaded and ready for use.

How to use the GoBout

Use the GoBout in two easy steps:

  1. Twist the top cap to reveal the nozzle of the dispenser you’d like to use.
  2. Press the button on top of the rotatable top.
    • Dispensing into your palm seems like a good idea.

Flying

At some airports you’ll need to remove the dispenser bottles from the GoBout. You won’t need to do this with the small GoBout.

Concerns

Some concerns about the product include…

Cream gets old

If you fill your GoBout but don’t travel often, you’ll end up with a container filled with contents that go old. Your face cream might separate; your moisturiser might turn into window putty.

It won’t cut down on waste

They make a big thing about the product cutting down on waste.

I’ll take that claim with a pinch of bath salt.

You need to buy toiletries to transfer to the GoBout’s dispensers. Those toiletries come in plastic containers, unless you’ve found an outlet where they dispense face cream or body soap into your palm when you buy it.

By buying the GoBout you’re adding MORE plastic to the environment.

Lose a GoBout dispensing unit or two and your footprint swells.

How are the dispensers marked?

What if you wash your hair with thinners by accident?

Granted, if you’re the type of person who puts thinners in a container like the GoBout, you have bigger problems than flammable hair.

Final thoughts

The GoBout’s not my thing.

If I had my way, I’d travel with a single t-shirt, a pair of jeans, a toothpick and a splotch of toothpaste, which I’d mix with a little shampoo to give me the best of two worlds. (Plus, I need space for my AeroPress.)

But my wife likes the GoBout. I wrote this post because she sees its potential. And I understand why.

The GoBout is for you if you’re a frequent traveller and you want your toiletries organised into a single unit.

It’s one of those products that might end up in your cupboard, forgotten, if you don’t travel often. That’s what would happen if I owned it.

But for those who travel much, this seems like a great addition to their travel luggage.

Rumble – Travel Mugs – Zojirushi SM-YAE48 VS Contigo AUTOSEAL West Loop

I reviewed the Zojirushi SM-YAE48 and Contigo AUTOSEAL West Loop travel mugs. Read on to see which one is the best.

NB. You might want to read my CamelBak Forge travel mug review. It beats both the Contigo and the Zojirushi.


I bought two Contigo West Loops and a Zojirushi SM-YAE48RA. My wife annexed one of the Contigos and a friend got the other. This left me with the Zojirushi.

Which one is best?

Let’s take a look…

Looks

Both the Zojirushi and the Contigo are gorgeous. There’s no way I can call the one a babe and the other a dog.

The two contestants share the crown in this category.

Usage

To drink from the Zojirushi, you press a button on the side of the lid set. This flips open the lid, giving you access to a large spout.

To drink from the Contigo, you press a button at the back of the mug. This opens the drinking valve from which you sip.

Although the Zojirushi’s spout is large, it’s more difficult to drink from than the Contigo.

If you don’t flip the lid back all the way when you open the Zojirushi, the lid cover gasket touches your forehead when you take a sip.

The Contigo’s lack of a lid is another bonus, since it’s one less part that can break off.

The Contigo West Loop takes the usage round.

Cleaning

Before you clean the Zojirushi, you have to remove the lid cover gasket and the stopper gasket from the lid set, both of which are made from silicon.

Removing the gaskets while your fingers are wet is a difficult task. I gave up trying after a while.

Before you clean the Contigo, you remove the lid from the main body, press the ‘PUSH TO CLEAN’ button and clean it.

Both mugs require the use of a small brush.

The main bodies of both mugs clean in the same way.

The Contigo West Loop takes the cleaning round.

Heat retention

I made AeroPress coffee to test in both mugs.

Both times, the coffee had a temperature of 66 degrees Celsius (150.8 degrees Fahrenheit) when I poured it into the mugs.

The coffee in the Zojirushi dropped to a temperature of 34 degrees Celsius (93.2 degrees Fahrenheit) after five hours.

The coffee in the Contigo West Loop dropped to a temperature of 30 degrees Celsius (86 degrees Fahrenheit) after five hours.

The Zojirushi SM-YAE48RA takes the heat retention round.

The difference in heat retention between the Zojirushi SM-YAE48RA and Contigo AUTOSEAL West Loop over a five hour period.
TimeframeZojirushi (Celsius)AUTOSEAL West Loop (Celsius)Zojirushi (Fahrenheit)AUTOSEAL West Loop (Fahrenheit)
Initial temperature6666150.8150.8
30 minutes later5856136.4132.8
60 minutes later5351127.4123.8
90 minutes later4944120.2111.2
120 minutes later4640114.8104
150 minutes later4436111.296.8
180 minutes later4134105.893.2
210 minutes later403310491.4
240 minutes later373298.689.6
270 minutes later35319587.8
300 minutes later343093.286

Final thoughts

Although the Zojirushi SM-YAE48RA edges past the Contigo with heat retention, the Contigo West Loop takes all the other categories.

The West Loop is easier to clean. You don’t have to remove parts from the West Loop to clean it. The Zojirushi’s lid set contains two silicon parts you need to remove every time you clean it.

The West Loop is easier to use. You push a button, put your lips to the lid and drink. With the Zojirushi, you push a button which flips open a lid.

It was a tough call. Both mugs are top quality.

But there is a winner.

The Contigo AUTOSEAL West Loop takes the crown.

Thanks for joining us, folks. And remember to sign up for the free newsletter for more in-depth product reviews.

Zojirushi SM-YAE48 Travel Mug

I bought three mugs online to test and use. Two of those were Contigo AUTOSEAL West Loops, and one was a Zojirushi SM-YAE48RA. I gifted the two Contigos and kept the Zojirushi. Here’s my review of the Zojirushi.

(Want to know which of the two is best? Read my Zojirushi SM-YAE48RA VS Contigo AUTOSEAL West Loop article.)


When you hit the road, you want a comfortable mug of warm coffee perched on your lap or sitting in the cup holder.

What better way to spend a long drive than with a good companion (my wife), Morrissey’s ‘Everyday Is Like Sunday’ oozing from the CD player and a warm mug of caffeine to snuggle up to?

In this review I pit the Zojirushi against a cheap plastic mug my wife bought me some years ago. I followed the same route with the Contigo West Loop mug (read my Contigo review). In another post I compare the Zojirushi to the Contigo. Better sign up to receive more of this sort of thing.

Here’s why you’ll want to buy the Zojirushi SM-YAE48RA travel mug.

Heat retention

The plastic mug showed a drop in temperature of 45 degrees Celsius (81 degrees Fahrenheit) over a five-hour period.

The Zojirushi showed a drop of 32 degrees Celsius (57.6 degrees Fahrenheit) over five hours.

The Zojirushi—because of its double wall stainless steel construction—does a far better job of retaining heat than a plastic mug.

Toughness

Plastic is a great option for container products. It makes a tough travel mug too.

The problem is, plastic doesn’t retain heat as well as metal.

So you can have your tougher plastic mug, but if you want warm coffee, you need double wall stainless steel insulation.

The Zojirushi gives you double wall insulation.

So it’s as tough as a metal mug can be.

If you drop it, it will dent or bend. The lid won’t last either.

So, even though it’s tough, you need to handle the Zojirushi with care.

Spilling and leaking

The Zojirushi’s lid clips into place when you close it. It also features a lid cover gasket, made from silicon, that seals into the sip area when you clip the lid cover into place.

The lid set screws onto the main body with a stopper gasket—also made from silicon—that keeps your Zojirushi’s contents inside.

The Zojirushi doesn’t leak even a little bit.

The Zojirushi is leak proof. Here I'm helping it do a handstand with a belly full of coffee, cos it can't stand on its head by itself. No leaking.
The Zojirushi is leak proof. Here I’m helping it do a handstand with a belly full of coffee, cos it can’t stand on its head by itself. No leaking.

Lockable

The Zojirushi’s lid set contains a safety lock. This is next to the lid set’s button.

Why is this important?

Let’s say you decide to buy a travel mug; a cheap one, cos buying a Zojirushi is a waste of money.

You make coffee and fill your cheap new travel mug. You’re proud of having saved money by not buying the Zojirushi. The coffee tastes the same in the cheap mug, after all.

Your cheap mug doesn’t lock, but that doesn’t bother you. You told yourself to be more careful when you use it; you won’t allow your little one near it.

You grab your mug of delicious coffee and head for the porch, where you ease into a hammock chair. You place the mug next to you on the tiled floor.

Your little one’s waddling around in the lounge. She’s in a good mood, but driving you nuts with her incessant humming and singing.

You lay back your head and close your eyes. You could do with a quick snooze.

Something’s up. Your little one’s gone quiet.

You hear a muted plonk, followed by a, “Whoopsy!” next to you.

You turn to see your new mug lying on its side, bleeding coffee, your little one squatting next to the accident, covering her mouth in mock shock.

You’ll have to make another cup and you can’t set it on the floor, but you’re thankful, because it could have been worse.

What if she’d tried drinking the hot coffee? You don’t want to think about the consequences.

The Zojirushi’s lock adds another layer of security to your travel mug. A little one will have a difficult time opening it.

Warranty

I found the following on a Zojirushi product page…

5 year warranty on heat retention

That doesn’t say much, so I emailed Zojirushi USA for more info.

Jacqueline kindly replied with the following email:

Thank you for contacting Zojirushi America.

The vacuum mugs are non-Electrical products that come with a 5 year heat retention warranty.

Parts however, such as the lid, are not covered under this 5 year warranty.

You have up to five years to exchange the main body, but not the lid set, if I understand their warranty.

In the box

The Zojirushi came in a neat box, along with usage pamphlets in various languages.

No dents, unlike the Contigo

The Zojirushi had no dents when it arrived. That’s because Zojirushi ships their product in a box. It handles a journey better.

Both the Contigos I ordered came with minor dents, because Contigo doesn’t package their products in a box.

Before using it

Take these steps before using the Zojirushi:

  1. Unscrew the lid from the body.
  2. Remove the pamphlet from the tumbler.
  3. Wash the lid & tumbler.
    1. See cleaning instructions below.
  4. Dry with a cloth, or place on a rack to dry.

Maximum beverage temperature

Unless you drink molten lead, metal, lava or something similar, the Zojirushi will handle what you fill it with.

Use it for coffee, tea or a similar beverage and it won’t give you trouble.

Heat retention tests

I ran two tests to compare the Zojirushi’s heat retention to the plastic mug’s. (The plastic travel mug can’t compare to the Zojirushi.)

For both tests I made coffee in the AeroPress coffee maker. I measured the contents immediately after filling the mugs.

I boiled the water for the coffee to 100 degrees Celsius, but by the time I was done with the AeroPress, the coffee’s temperature had plummeted.

I made a delicious cup of AeroPress coffee to test in the Zojirushi
I made a delicious cup of AeroPress coffee to test in the Zojirushi.

First test

For testing the Zojirushi, I compared data collected from testing the Zojirushi, to data collected from testing the plastic travel mug for the Contigo article. There’s no need to duplicate the plastic travel mug test.

For the first test, I poured coffee with a temperature of 66 degrees Celsius (150,8 degrees Fahrenheit) into the Zojirushi and the plastic travel mug.

In both cases I measured the coffee’s temperature every half an hour, for five hours.

For me, 66 degrees Celsius is warm enough, but some might find it too cold. I wasn’t concerned with the drinking temperature; I wanted to test the Zojirushi’s heat retention capability.

The temperature of the coffee in the Zojirushi dropped 32 degrees Celsius (57.6 degrees Fahrenheit) over a five hour period.

The temperature of the coffee in the plastic travel mug dropped 45 degrees Celsius (81 degrees Fahrenheit) over a five hour period.

Here’s a table showing the difference in temperature over a five-hour period, measured every half an hour.

This table shows the drop in temperature of coffee in a Zojirushi and a cheap plastic travel mug, measured every half an hour, for five hours.
TimeframeZojirushi (Celsius)Cheap plastic travel mug (Celsius)Zojirushi (Fahrenheit)Cheap plastic travel mug (Fahrenheit)
Initial temperature6666150.8150.8
30 minutes later5851136.4123.8
60 minutes later5340127.4104
90 minutes later4931120.287.8
120 minutes later4630114.886
150 minutes later4429111.284.2
180 minutes later4125105.877
210 minutes later402310473.4
240 minutes later372398.673.4
270 minutes later35219569.8
300 minutes later342193.269.8

These pics display the drop in temperature of coffee in the Zojirushi…

…and these pics display the drop in temperature of coffee in the cheap plastic travel mug…

Second test

For the second test I poured coffee into the Zojirushi at 10:42 am in the morning. It measured 70 degrees Celsius (158 degrees Fahrenheit). I measured it again at 17:08 pm. That’s six hours and 26 minutes later. It measured 35 degrees Celsius (95 degrees Fahrenheit).

That’s a drop of 35 degrees Celsius (63 degrees Fahrenheit). The second test showed similar results to the first.

Note: These tests were done in a normal home in a normal suburb of a normal little town on a spectacular coast.

Ideal coffee temperature

The Coffee Detective says that the ideal temperature range for coffee is between 155ºF to 175ºF (70ºC to 80ºC)

Driftaway Coffee‘s Scott says coffee should be between 120°F and 140°F (48.88°C to 60°C).

It’s down to personal preference.

How to use it

Unscrew the Zojirushi’s lid, pour your beverage into the tumbler and screw the lid back on.

If you don’t want to scorch your lips, wait a few minutes before you screw the lid onto the main body after having filled it.

How to drink from it

To drink from the Zojirushi:

  1. Press the release button at the front of the mug.
    1. This releases the lid cover and it pops open.
    2. Don’t do this close to your face. The mug can build up pressure when sealed.
    3. Make sure the lid cover is flipped open all the way.
      1. If it’s not, it’ll touch your forehead when you drink from the mug.
  2. Put your lips to the Zojirushi’s sip area.
  3. Tilt back your head and sip.

How not to use it

The Zojirushi comes with a booklet chock full of warnings. Here’s what they say you shouldn’t do with it:

  1. Don’t allow small kids or babies to use it.
  2. Before using it, ensure that the lid cover gasket and stopper gasket are attached.
  3. Don’t fill it while the lid is attached to the main body.
  4. Make sure the lid cover is clipped into place after taking a sip.
  5. Stop using the mug if it doesn’t retain heat anymore.
  6. Don’t open the lid cover with the mug close to your face.
  7. Don’t heat it in a microwave oven.
  8. Don’t drink from the mug while driving.
  9. Drink slowly from it.
  10. Don’t shake the mug if it contains a beverage.
  11. Don’t put dry ice into it.

Can you use it for soup?

Zojirushi’s usage pamphlet says to not use it for drinking the following liquids:

  • Liquids high in sodium
    • Soup
    • Kombucha
  • Dairy
  • Fruit juice
  • Fruit pulp
  • Tea leaves

I wanted to see whether it would handle soup.

I used the same soup I used for testing in the Contigo. It’s a creamy tomato soup.

I prepared it according to the packet’s instructions and strained it into a jug to remove large lumps. I poured the soup into the Zojirushi.

It wasn’t necessary to strain the soup, since the drinking hole is big enough. But I wanted to emulate the Contigo soup test.

The soup poured from the Zojirushi like a river.

The verdict?

Zojirushi says you can’t use it for soup. I’ve proven that you can use it for soup. But if you use it for soup, you do so at your own risk.

How to clean it

Follow these steps to clean your Zojirushi:

  1. Fill a sink with warm water and add detergent.
  2. Place the Zojirushi in the water.
  3. Remove the lid set from the main body.
    1. Remove the lid cover gasket from the lid set.
    2. Remove the stopper gasket from the lid set.
  4. Clean the lid set.
    1. Soak in warm water.
    2. Use a small, soft brush to get to hard-to-reach places.
  5. Remove the lid set from the soapy water and rinse in clean water.
    1. Shake a few times to assist in drying.
  6. Wash the main body.
    1. Use a soft sponge.
  7. Remove the main body from the soapy water and rinse in clean water.
    1. Shake a few times to assist in drying.
  8. Place the lid set, cover gasket, stopper gasket and main body on a rack to dry or use a cloth to dry.
  9. Place the stopper gasket and cover gasket back onto the lid set once all parts are dry.

Dishwasher safe?

The Zojirushi is not dishwasher safe. Wash it by hand.

Technical details

Tech specs for the Zojirushi SM-YAE48RA. Metric and Imperial.
 MetricImperial
Body materialFood-grade stainless steel
Lid materialPolypropylene
Gasket materialSilicon
Height (assembled)218mm8.58 inches
Height (lid set)70.6mm2.78 inches
Height (main body / tumbler)170mm6.69 inches
Maximum diameter (lid)86.2mm3.39 inches
Maximum diameter (main body / tumbler)82.1mm3.23 inches
Weight (assembled, dry)298g10.51 oz
Weight (assembled, filled with water)760g26.8 oz
Weight (lid)96g3.38 oz
Weight (main body / tumbler)203g7.16 oz

Construction

They make the Zojirushi’s lid from various materials, including polypropylene. They make the gaskets from silicon. The lid set contains small metal parts too.

They make the main body (tumbler) from a food-grade stainless steel.

Sizes

The Zojirushi SM-YAE48RA comes in one size:

  • 16 oz

Zojirushi makes more models in other sizes, including 12 oz and 20 oz.

Does it fit inside a cup holder?

That depends on the cup holder’s diameter.

The Zojirushi tapers up from ~69mm.

Our Mitsubishi Pajero’s cup holders have a diameter of ~76mm. The Zojirushi fits.

My wife owns a 2006 Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution 9. The Zojirushi fits the Evo’s cup holders.

Does the AeroPress fit?

Great news.

The AeroPress fits into the Zojirushi. Can’t say the same for the Contigo West Loop.

Why is this important?

When you make AeroPress coffee in a different container and pour it into your travel mug, you lose heat with the transfer.

I made coffee inside the Zojirushi straight from the AeroPress and the temperature measured 73 degrees Celsius. When I made coffee in a stainless jug and poured it into the Zojirushi, the temperature measured 66 degrees.

The AeroPress fits into the Zojirushi
The AeroPress fits into the Zojirushi.

Colours

The Zojirushi comes in four colours:

  • Cherry red
  • Dark cocoa
  • Lime green
  • Stainless (plain silver)

Price

I bought the Zojirushi for under $30.

Size and colour determine the Zojirushi’s cost. The dark cocoa Zojirushi is the cheapest offering, while the cherry red is the most expensive.

Final thoughts

The Zojirushi is a good travel mug.

It’s leak- and spill proof. The locking system ensures that your coffee (or tea) goes nowhere when you’re juggling or shaking the Zojirushi.

It keeps your drink hot. The double sealed walls ensures that your Zojirushi’s contents remain hot for long. It retains heat better than the Contigo.

It’s not as easy to use or clean as the Contigo, but if you place a high premium on keeping your drink warm, get the Zojirushi.

Want to know which travel mug is the best between the Zojirushi SM-YAE48RA and the Contigo West Loop? Click here.

Magible Is A Cross-Device Charging Cable

Magible is a charging and data transfer cable with Lightning, MicroUSB, USB-C, USB and USB-C to USB adaptors, all in one. It keeps Apple fans calm when Apple releases new products.


You own a stash of charging cables. They’re part of the family. They have a permanent place in your travel bag’s side pocket. You can’t imagine leaving home without them.

There’s a cable for your iPhone 6. There’s one for your iPad. You have another one for your Kindle. Then there’s the cable for your laptop, and another one for your mirrorless camera.

Of course, your partner’s cables go into your bag too. That includes the MacBook Pro’s cable. Best to keep similar things together.

There are also the extra cables you bought while on the go because you’d forgotten some cables the last three times you travelled.

When you pass through customs, the X-ray makes your bag look like it has a severe worm problem.

When you open your bag to find a cable, they pop out like streamers. It takes some scratching, but you always find the right one.


That sound like you?

There’s no way to fix this. It is what it is. You’ll forever be travelling with a million cables.

Right?

You might be wrong.

Someone wants to cure the cable conundrum with a prototype USB-based interchangeable cable called Magible.

Let’s take a close look.

What is the Magible?

Magible is an all-in-one power and data transfer cable.

One end of the cable is a Lightning and MicroUSB connection with detachable USB-C connector.

The other end is a USB connection with detachable USB-C connector.

The idea is to chuck out all your old charging cables in favour of one, even if you’re an avid Apple fan.

Magible is an all-in-one charging and data transfer cable
Magible is an all-in-one charging and data transfer cable.

Why it looks good

Magible looks like a good product. Here’s why.

Versatile

Magible is an all-in-one cable.

It does everything your other charging cables do, and if it works as advertised, even better than the old cables.

Chuck out all your other charging cables and get Magible.

Charging

Magible charges a wide range of electronics.

If your device comes with a Lightning, Micro USB or USB-C port, Magible can charge it.

The table below shows a partial list of products the Magible can charge.

A table of devices the Magible can charge.
Charging typeDevice
LightningiPhone 5iPhone 5S
iPhone 5CiPhone SE
iPhone 6iPhone 6 Plus
iPhone 6SiPhone 6S Plus
iPhone 7iPhone 7 Plus
USB-CMacBookNew MacBook Pro
Samsung S8Google Pixel
Nexus 5xNexus GP
ChromebookOnePlus 3
OnePlus 5Huawei
MicroUSBSamsungKindle
NexusHTC
HuaweiLG
SpeakersHeadphones
Portable camerasXBOX controllers

Data transfer

Need to transfer data between two devices?

Easy task for the Magible.

Which devices are most likely to have data shared between?

You might download a podcast to your computer and transfer it to your phone. Or you might take pics with your phone and upload it to your laptop.

Whatever your data transfer needs, Magible takes care of it.

Of course, in most cases, an app does a fine job of transferring data. If you have two devices on the same Wi-Fi radio connection, use SHAREit.

SHAREit covers all operating systems and according to their website, the app is 200 times faster than Bluetooth.

Cheap

A list of cables Magible replaces, along with their cost.
CablePrice
USB A to Lightning (AmazonBasics)$6.49
USB A to MicroUSB (Anker)$19.99
USB A to USB-C (Anker)$25.99
USB-C to Lightning (Metrans)$25.00
USB-C to MicroUSB (Rankie)$3.99
USB-C to USB-C (AUKEY)$19.99
Total$101.45

The Magible is available for $19. You save $82.45.

Charge phone to phone

When it comes to charging (and data transfer), you need two things: a host and a device. Power flows from the host to the device. In our household, the PC and wall power outlets are hosts, while our Android phones are the devices.

You might have a MacBook play the role of host, while your iPhone is the device.

You’re out for coffee with a friend, but you forgot to charge your phone, so you pack your charging cable in the hopes that the coffee shop has a USB outlet. Why wouldn’t they? These are modern times.

You arrive at the coffee shop, see your friend and take a seat opposite him. You scan the place for a wall outlet, but there’s nothing.

You need your phone to stay on. You’re expecting an important call.

Now, if you had a Magible, you’d be able to grab some power from your friend’s phone. You’d be able to turn your friend’s phone into a host.

Turn your phone into a computer

Magible’s USB On The go technology allows you to turn your phone into a host, provided it comes with USB-C.

This allows you to connect any USB device to your phone. This includes:

  • Keyboard
  • Mouse
  • Flash drive
  • External hard drive
  • Printer

Extra display

The Duet Display app, available for Mac and PC, coupled with Magible, lets you use your iPad as an extended display.

Concerns

I have a few concerns about Magible…

No creator info

There’s hardly any info on the creator of the product.

Their Indiegogo campaign doesn’t show a website, Facebook page or Twitter account. It only shows that their email address had been verified. That means nothing.

It’s possible that this scheme could turn out to be a scam.

I hope it’s not. I hope it turns out well for all backers.

They’ve received more funding than they’ve asked for. Time will tell if they can deliver.

Charges and transfers faster…

…than what?

The Magible video claims that their product charges 150 percent faster and transfers data 30 percent faster.

But they don’t compare it to anything.

Does it charge your device faster than Usain Bolt running the 100 metres?

Does it transfer data faster than a tortoise walking across the Kalahari?

No Mini-USB

Magible can’t help you if you own a camera with a Mini-USB port.

Can’t charge some laptops

USB-C is far from standard for most laptops. You’re still stuck dragging your laptop’s charger along, if your machine is of the older variety.

Final thoughts

Magible looks like a great product.

If they deliver, the creators of Magible gives you all the reason in the world to chuck out most of your charging cables in favour of their product.

Not only does it give you an all-in-one charging and data transfer solution, it also let’s you charge phone-to-phone.

It also gives you USB On The Go, which allows you connect any USB device to your phone.

Take a closer look at the Magible. You might like it.