James Stanbury

See other accessory reviews written by James Stanbury

Travel mugs make enjoying a drink on the move easier and safer – we review the Bodum Travel Mug to find out if this is a key bit of kit for your next tour

Overview

Long drives are an inevitable part of motorhome holidays, meaning anything that can perk you up, sustain you and help break up that drive is a bonus. And what's better than a revitalising cup of your favourite hot beverage? Or, indeed, a refreshing gulp of a chilled juice, smoothie or fizzy drink? Yes, travel mugs are, we think, touring essentials, and here we review the Bodum Travel Mug, which retails for £20.

This was part of our travel mug group test and it came out on top, scoring five out of five. So, how did we assess each contender and what makes this product a winner? Read on.

A proper travel mag will ensure you can use it safely and easily on the move helped, of course, by the fact that for the last few decades, cupholders have become increasingly prevalent in 'vans. A proper travel mug will be splash-proof, it won't leak and it will keep your drink hot or cold, as you desire. All use double-wall construction, but only the very best models can boast a vacuum between the two skins to provide truly flask-like thermal performance.

What other factors should you consider when looking to buy a travel mug? How about the lid? You'll want it to be simple and easy for the driver to just flick it open or shut, and for the design to allow the user to take a decent gulp of drink each time he or she tips it – you'd be amazed to know how many of these mugs struggle to do this.

In addition, it's a bonus if your travel mug can double as an insulated camping mug. For it to do this, ideally it would be usable without its lid, it would be microwave-safe and, for a more conventional drinking experience, it would have a handle.

Taste is a further possible issue. Some plastics can give an unpleasant taint, particularly with hot drinks. Mugs with inner walls made from superior plastics, aluminium or stainless steel will leave your drink tasting as it should.

Last but definitely not least, hygiene. Products that are dishwasher-safe are, obviously, handy. However, whether or not the opening spout of the lid can be taken apart, cleaned and dried is actually more important, and many models don't allow this. It means you're able to clean right into the nooks and crannies, so your mug won't harbour dried bits of leftover drink from a previous holiday!

We said that this Bodum Travel Mug, which can be ordered in either black, purple, red, off-white or, as pictured here, lime green, was our group test winner; but we have one gripe. It has a narrow rim at the top, so this is not a mug you'd want to drink from unless its top is in place. But this isn't a problem, due to the fact that its lid is a cinch to open and close, and it permits a good volume of fluid through. You'll also be pleased to know that the mug's design allows for thorough cleaning, and it is dishwasher-safe.

The stainless-steel body of this Bodum mug is tough, smart and leaves the flavour of your drink untainted. Finally, it outperforms all others we reviewed in terms of thermal insulation, edging out others such as another Bodum product, the Double Wall Travel Mug, which costs £12.

Verdict

The Bodum Travel Mug received a sparkling five-star rating. And not only is this, we think, an excellent travel mug, you can colour match it to the rest of your touring kit!

Conclusion

Pros

  • It's easy to open and close
  • It is good at keeping your drink hot (or cold)

Cons

  • You'd not want to use it without its lid
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