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

Jansie Blom
I reviewed the Zojirushi SM-YAE48RA and the Contigo AUTOSEAL West Loop. Who's the champ? Find out in this head-to-head clash.

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…


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.


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.


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.

Timeframe Zojirushi (Celsius) AUTOSEAL West Loop (Celsius) Zojirushi (Fahrenheit) AUTOSEAL West Loop (Fahrenheit)
300 minutes later 34 30 93.2 86
270 minutes later 35 31 95 87.8
240 minutes later 37 32 98.6 89.6
210 minutes later 40 33 104 91.4
180 minutes later 41 34 105.8 93.2
150 minutes later 44 36 111.2 96.8
120 minutes later 46 40 114.8 104
90 minutes later 49 44 120.2 111.2
60 minutes later 53 51 127.4 123.8
30 minutes later 58 56 136.4 132.8
Initial temperature 66 66 150.8 150.8

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.

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