Emma Crist

If you're debating whether or not to give in and purchase a $40 Yeti tumbler, don't cave just yet. We found a $10 look-alike that might just outperform the real thing.

Emma Crist
January 19, 2017

I don't know how or why it started, but 2 years ago, metallic silver water bottles began popping up all over my college campus. I spotted them in the caf, the gym, the library, and classrooms, always gripped firmly by a girl in an oversized t-shirt or frat star as though they were clutching the keys to a brand-new Benz. 

"It's called a Yeti." 

I soon found out they were the so-called 'best new tumblers on the block,' as I listened to countless tales of the magical temperature-retaining properties of these glistening metallic sipping vessels.

I will be the first to admit, they did look pretty slick.

And how could I not be jealous? My friends were able to keep steaming-hot coffee and brain-freeze-level ice water intact for hours on end while I carried around a cheap-o plastic mug that would render my weak caf coffee tepid before I even walked to class.

I wanted one, too... until I saw the price tag. The uber-popular Yeti came at a hefty cost--$40 for a 30-ounce cup or $30 for a 20-ouncer. I didn't give in and settled for my cheap plastic cup, but I've questioned my decision countless times since then while sipping lukewarm coffee at my day job and attempting to avoid the pop-up ads for the stainless steel cup that always seems to find me on the Interwebs. (That Google is pretty smart, I tell you.)

Yeah, I've questioned my money-saving decision throughout the past few years. That is, until today.

Behold, the $9.74 Ozark Trail tumbler from Walmart.

Emma Crist

For a quarter of the price tag, you can buy a near-spitting-image tumbler that boasts all of the same features of the popular durable cup, including a double-wall vacuum insulation to keep drinks cold or hot, a sweat-free design, and free of BPA. Okay, I get it, any brand can say that. So how does it actually match up? Listen to these side-by-side comparisons.

  • According to a test done by a Houston-based news channel, after coffee sat in both tumblers for 6 hours, the coffee in the Yeti was 116 degrees and the coffee in the Ozark Trail was 114 degrees. 
  • A similar experiment found that, 8 hours after being filled with cold water, liquid in both the Yeti and Ozark Trail tumbler measured in the 60s, versus temperatures in the 80s and 90s for other popular tumbler brands that were tested.
  • And that's not all: The BroBible also recommends it, YouTube videos claim it, and people on Internet forums and message boards have been discussing it for quite some time.

If that isn't enough to convince you, check out these customer reviews on Walmart's website:

"I've had this cup for about 6 months and love it! I've compared notes with a friend who has a Yeti tumbler and if anything mine is a bit better at keeping things chilled." -Trobi

"I own all 4 of the Yeti cups, and I absolutely love them. When I saw these I had to give them a try. Upon arrival, I did a comparison to the Yeti cups. They are exactly the same in every way, the lids even fit each other. I put the 30 oz Ozark Trail up against the 30 oz Yeti for an ice test. They were pretty close, the Ozark Trail melted a little more, but they were so close it's not enough to matter. The next day I decided to use the Ozark Trail. The only thing I noticed was the outside of it got cold to touch whereas a Yeti doesnt. However I am very pleased with the Ozark Trail and definitely recommend it. It's well worth it for the price." -Kjones

"If a business offered you basically the same product with one costing $40 and the other costing less than $10...which one would you buy? Not sure about you, but I'm going to save some money!" -BamaDrumm3r

 

"This tumbler is a very good alternative and excellent value compared to the Yeti tumbler, of which I also have. I wanted another but did not want to spend the money on another Yeti." -Pike

"Why would you pay way more for a Yeti just because of the name when you can get a cup of the same or greater quality for way less??? Ozark trail got it right. Affordable and good quality." -mhoelzer2988

"I absolutely LOVE this cup. Side by side ice test between this cup and a Yeti, in a motorcycle shop July 2016 in Florida and OT won!!I fill mine with ice and bottled water, carry on my bike in the sun, and my drink and ice remain cold for over 8 hours. All I do is refill it with cold water. I am going to get a smaller one for my hot drinks. This tumbler also kept my boiling hot tea very hot for over 3 hours--while sitting in an air conditioned truck!" -Joz73

"This works just as good, if not better, than the much higher priced Yeti. Still had ice after 14 hours." -64Reason

 

After all this, if you still plan to purchase a Yeti, at least own up to the fact that you're buying it for the brand name.

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