While vacuum-sealed, stainless steel tumblers have been around for years, the durable drinking cups have seen a recent surge in popularity thanks to the success of Yeti Rambler tumblers ($29.99-$39.99, Academy).
Now Wal-Mart has launched a more budget-friendly version of the popular tumbler through its house brand, Ozark Trail.
Available in two sizes (20-ounce and 30-ounce), the Ozark Trail vacuum stainless steel tumbler ($7.74-$9.74, Wal-Mart) is a double-walled and vacuum-sealed tumbler designed to help keep drinks hot or cold for hours on end. For this week’s Fab or Flub? review, I put the Ozark Trail tumbler to the test to see if the drinking cup holds its own against the much-hyped (and more expensive) Yeti tumbler.
Side by side, the 20-ounce version of the Ozark Trail stainless steel tumbler is almost identical to the Yeti tumbler of the same size. Both are made in China and, if the rumors are true, in the same factory. Made from the same durable materials (high-grade stainless steel), both tumblers feature a shatter-proof lid and are double-walled and vacuum-sealed for maximum temperature control.
After much investigation (and Google searching), the only difference I could find between the two tumblers is that the Yeti is dishwasher-safe, while the Ozark Trail must be washed by hand.
I decided to first see how well they would perform against each other. After filling both tumblers with two cups of ice (about enough to fill each to the top), I left the tumbler out on my dining table, and every six hours I would check on the level of ice. At the 12-hour mark, both cups were still filled more than halfway with ice. At the 24-hour mark, both still held a significant amount of ice (an impressive feat for any cup).
For my second test, I decided to focus on the Ozark Trail tumbler and see how long it could keep the flavor of a carbonated beverage before it became watered down. To do this, I filled the it with ice and Coke one night before bedtime.
Leaving it out on my dining table overnight (a grand total of 12 hours), I awoke the next morning to find there was still ice in the tumbler. I sipped the drink and found it extremely cold and only slightly watered down.
Overall, the drink still tasted carbonated and not like it had been sitting out all night.
Fab or flub?
Fab! While the Ozark Trail stainless tumbler might not carry the same name recognition as the Yeti, it still performs exactly like its expensive competitor.
The budget-friendly tumbler is exceptional at keeping drinks cold and has the insulation power to maintain ice for well over 24 hours. Thanks to the tumbler’s sweat-proof, insulated design, I never had to deal with a cup that was too cold to hold with bare hands or worry about condensation leaving a ring on my dining table.
$7.74-$9.74 Price of an Ozark Trail tumbler
$29.99-$39.99 Price of a Yeti Rambler tumbler
By far one of the biggest bargains I’ve featured in a Fab or Flub? column, the Ozark Trail tumbler is 75 percent cheaper than its competitor and carries a lifetime warranty.
If you wish to nab an Ozark Trail tumbler, I suggest checking online first. The tumblers sell out regularly in stores and online, so it’s best to check store inventory on Wal-Mart’s website before heading out to your nearest location.