Stanley vs Yeti vs Hydro Flask vs $15 Walmart cup: which tumbler is best?

2 stanley cups

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Over the past year, the Stanley tumbler has become all the rage, with the popular cups selling out at Target in minutes, and prices closing in toward the $50 mark for some versions.

So as we get into the warmest months of the year, we decided to put the Stanley cup up against other designer brands, plus, a much cheaper option, to see if it is really worth the extra money.

For around $45, Stanley claims the famous 40-ounce “Quencher” will keep drinks cold for 11 hours, and up to 48 hours with ice.

Stanley Quencher H2.0 FlowState Insulated Tumbler

$45.00 at Amazon

Stanley vs Yeti vs Hydro Flask vs Ozark Trail

If you’re thinking a Tumbler isn’t worth spending that much money on, we tested a $15 alternative from Walmart. It is the 40-ounce Ozark Trail tumbler, similar to a Stanley, but lighter, according to editor Shea Simmons.

“It is just barely lighter, just by like 0.2 ounces,” Simmons said but pointed out that it is also a lot cheaper.

We wanted to find out which cup keeps drinks cooler longer. For our experiment, we added two more popular brands:

A 40-ounce Hydro Flask, for about $40, and a 35-ounce Yeti, for around $42.

We put an equal amount of ice in each one, filled the rest with cold water, and then put them out in the hot sun for two hours. By evening time, we moved them safely indoors.

Fast forward to the next morning.

We opened the lids, and discovered that only one tumbler had a trace of ice left… the Stanley. All the rest had cold water inside, but no ice.

Then, to duplicate a typical day, we took them all on a car ride, in the cupholder of a 70-degree SUV. After a half-hour drive, we let them sit in the hot car for another hour in a parking lot, as many people would do.

24-hour temperature test

Now, 24 hours after we first filled them, it was time to check temperatures with a digital thermometer.

The winner, with the coldest temperature, was the Stanley, which registered a very cold 37 degrees.

The bigger surprise was the runner-up. The Ozark Trail from Walmart registered at 44 degrees, coming in second place.
Ozark Trail cup

$15 (was $20) at Walmart

Ozark’s $15 cup beat out the two other well-known brands, Yeti and Hydro Flask, which were a few degrees warmer.

If you haven’t been hooked by the Stanley trend, where you absolutely have to have one, Shea Simmons said you don’t have to overspend.

Besides the $15 Ozark, she said, “I think Owala (a $38 cup) is a great alternative. Simple Modern also makes a $30 alternative. That’s great. They come in multiple colors,” Simmons said.

Dedicated Stanley fans can feel good knowing their cup was the clear winner. It kept our cold drink coldest for the longest time, so for that, you don’t waste your money.

About the Author
John Matarese

John's goal is to help as many TV viewers as possible save money, avoid bad deals, know a rip-off when one comes their way, and be educated consumers. His informative weekly consumer segment "Don't Waste Your Money" now airs on 45 TV stations from San Diego to Tampa to Houston and Cincinnati. More.