Coffee: the word alone has the ability to make many of us salivate the moment we hear it. I love coffee. Like I deeply, truly, unconditionally love coffee. I may even be addicted to it. And, you know it’s bad when you stop drinking coffee by the cup and start tallying up how many pots you have a day… but we won’t go there.
I’m an active woman who is always on the move, I need my coffee. And as any avid coffee lover knows, a good mug is required to indulge in your favorite brew. If you aren’t able to sit on your couch the entire time you’re sipping away (ah, what a life that would be), it’s necessary that you invest in a good, reliable travel mug.
There are many travel mugs out there in a wide array of various price ranges. I mean, you can pick one up at the dollar store or even spend upwards of $100 on a mug (now that’s an entirely different level of coffee love). But from what I’ve noticed, there’s no need to drop that much cash on a coffee mug. In fact, my favorite mugs cost me between $10 and $20 each.
The two go-to mugs that I chose to hold my precious liquid energy are a Contigo AUTOSEAL® West Loop mug and an Ello Campy vacuum insulated stainless steel travel mug. The two big claims each of these travel mugs boasts is: 1. They will keep your beverage hot or cold for hours, and 2. They are leak proof and spill proof. Even though they both earned a top spot in my coffee mug collection, there’s one mug I prefer over the other. Let’s take a closer look at each one:
Contigo AUTOSEAL® West Loop
Now this mug is pretty crazy. I’ll admit, I was intrigued by the product the first time I saw it at Target. The Contigo has AUTOSEAL® technology that claims to be both leak and spill proof, so if you’re a klutz like me, that’s a huge deal! I can’t even begin to tell you how many outfits, papers, even carpets I’ve ruined by spilling coffee. So yeah, my Contigo is probably saving me money at this point.
How AUTOSEAL® works: You have to press a little button on the top side of the mug that slides open a valve. It’s pretty simple: open the valve, gulp down coffee. You can open the valve easily with one hand and keep it open as you sip away. The fact that you can easily unlock the valve with one hand makes this mug perfect for when you are driving to the gym for an early morning workout, holding a baby, typing on your computer, or just too lazy to use both hands (admit it, we’ve all been there). Also, there is a button that allows you to lock the valve on top of the lid, a feature that I don’t use often but can be great for mothers who want to make sure their kids don’t swipe it off the counter and make a mess.
Another thing I love about this mug is that it keeps my coffee hot for hours on end. According to Contigo: “drinks stay hot up to 5 hours and cold up to 12 with THERMALOCK™ Vacuum Insulation”. I’ve found that claim to be reliable. In fact, whenever I screw on the top of the mug I always hear a little “puff” sound that lets me know my coffee is locked up tight and will be good for hours (which, honestly, it hardly ever takes me more than 30 minutes to gulp it down anyway).
Personally, I think the only drawback to the Contigo mug is screwing it on. Sometimes I get a little carried away while pouring coffee into the mug and fill it a too close to the top. I hate having to pour it out, and it’s hard to sip enough scalding hot coffee off the top without burning my mouth (I know, the struggle is real). If I try to screw the top on when the liquid level is too high, it seeps out the sides and all over my hands since the valve at the top is sealed. It’s not a huge problem, just something to consider.
Ello Campy Vacuum Insulated Stainless Steel Travel Mug
This mug is just darn adorable and probably looks more feminine than the Contigo does. Like the Contigo, the Ello Campy mug also claims to be leak proof. According to Ello, the mug has a “leak-proof sealing slider for easy open/close.” In my opinion, the mug does keep coffee safe inside while I’m driving, walking, or moving around with it in my hand as long as the slider is closed. However, I’ve found the slider a bit more challenging to use than the AUTOSEAL® technology the Contigo mug has. I find that opening the slider is fairly difficult and it has a sudden “click” that jerks the mug around and sometimes even causes coffee at the top of the mug to splatter.
Unlike the Contigo, the Ello Campy requires two hands to unlock. I’ve found it difficult to unlock the slider on my Ello Campy while driving or trying to multitask. Also, to my dismay, the Ello Campy does not fit into the cup holder slot in my car, it’s too big! Now, that is a major downside for me and probably my least favorite thing about the Ello Campy.
As far as keeping my coffee hot goes, I’ve found the Ello Campy is just as good as the Contigo. Ello’s website claims the “vacuum insulated stainless steel keeps beverages hot for 6 hours [and] cold for 10” and I’ve found that claim to be reliable.
The Ello Campy is more stylish, as I mentioned earlier, and that’s probably the biggest advantage it has over the Contigo mug. Not only does it come in pretty colors, but it also has a handle with a cork inlay that’s cute and comfortable to hold. The only other drawback I have is that the lid is white, so coffee stains do appear on the top and are hard to wipe off. Luckily the top of the mug is dishwasher safe, so I run it through the dishwasher after every use.
After exhaustive deliberation and countless cups of coffee, I declare the winner as…
The Contigo AUTOSEAL® West Loop travel mug! After weighing the pros and cons of each mug, I’ve come to the conclusion that the Contigo West Loop mug is more practical for me and has features I prefer to my Ello Campy.
All this travel mug talk has left me craving some coffee… I guess it’s time for a mid-morning cup of joe!
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