Tumbler test: Which tumblers stand up to the hype

HOUSTON – The forecast may not show it, but the calendar tells us it is about time for hot cocoa and coffee by a warm fire. To get you ready for the big chill, we are testing tumblers to find out which will keep your hot toddy's toasty the longest.

Last summer, we compared tumblers to find out which could keep your drink coldest the longest. For this challenge, we added a brand called RTIC. The company is a serious competitor to the yuppie Yeti cup and the company is based right here in Houston. 

Is Yeti all that?

From a 60,000 square foot warehouse in Cypress, employees pack up and ship out hundreds of RTIC tumblers a day.

“If you order today, it ships out today from this location,” said co-owner John Jacobsen. 

On Amazon, the RTIC tumbler is the number one best selling item in kitchen and dining. It rivals Yeti, the popular, but pricey insulated cup that took off about 2 years ago.

“We looked at the product and said ‘$40 for a tumbler, does that make sense?’” said Jacobsen.

Twin brothers John and Jim Jacobsen set out to provide a good tumbler at a better price.

Meet the Houston twins who created RTIC 

Do you use any RTIC Coolers products? You might be surprised to know that the company is based in Houston and creators, twin brothers John and Jim Jacobsen, actually attended Klein Oak High School? KPRC2 Amy Davis puts the RTIC tumbler to the test to see how it stacks up against the Yeti-->http://bit.ly/2g1KlhV

Posted by KPRC2 / Click2Houston on Wednesday, November 16, 2016

To find out how it stacks up, we brewed a lot of coffee and filled a 20-ounce RTIC tumbler, a 20-ounce Yeti and a 20-ounce Ozark Trail tumbler made by Walmart.

Walmart’s version was the winner in our cold test last summer. It costs just $7.74, compared to the Yeti at $29.99. The 20-ounce RTIC is now $9.99.

We wanted to know if the higher price means better insulation. We took the temperatures of the coffee in each tumbler after 2 hours, 4 hours and then 6 hours later. Each time the warmest read came from the RTIC tumbler. It was 118 degrees 6 hours after we filled it. The coffee in the Yeti was 116 degrees; and the Ozark Trail coffee was 114 degrees.

So what's the secret?

“There's no secret here,” said Jacobsen. “It's basically the vacuum insulated tumbler that's been around since, I think, the 1950s.”

Jacobsen says all three tumblers are made in China with the same technology. He says RTIC's success is all about efficient shipping.

“That's one of our competitive advantages is being able to process big and bulky items in a quick and efficient manner,” he explained.

Since the company shipped the first bulky RTIC cooler in September 2015, Facebook has been a friend. RTIC got 1.1 million likes in about a year.

“We've never seen anything like it,” Jacobsen told Davis. “To be honest, it kind of caught us by surprise.”

Their new found fame on social media translated to more sales and more jobs in Houston… a win for the economy, the consumer and your cup of coffee.

RTIC sells most of its tumblers and coolers online. You get free shipping on all orders of $35 or more. You can also buy the cups at their warehouse at 20702 Hempstead Road, Ste. 110 in Cypress or at any Buccee's.

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Are you team RTIC or Yeti? KPRC2 Amy Davis tested the tumblers. Comment below with which one you use and share a picture. STORY-->http://bit.ly/2g1KlhV

Posted by KPRC2 / Click2Houston on Thursday, November 17, 2016