Life seems to get difficult quick if you can’t bring your coffee with you; but if you spill, your treasured drink can become a mortal enemy. Nobody wants that. The solution is a great travel mug — one that keeps your coffee hot, your sips accessible and your crotch free of searing pain and disappointment. Finding the best mug for your cup holder (or mesh slot on your favorite backpack) isn’t as easy as you’d think, but we’ve gone ahead and vetted, researched and tested anyway, because hell, it’s your cup of joe, the most important part of the morning. Here’s 10 great mugs, from the backcountry hippie to the sharply dressed office warrior. – Chris Wright
Best Man-on-the-Run Mug: Contigo’s Autoseal mechanism is hands down the easiest commuter mug drinking system available, making it the most popular line of travel drink ware available. The Extreme mug adds versatility to its already impressive beverage-dispensing abilities by employing a carabiner-style handle and grippy surfaces for the man on the go. It clips easily onto a bag or pack, though we wouldn’t recommend all-out sprints for the train with a mug full of hot java.
Zojirushi SM-KB48TM Stainless Steel Travel Mug
Best Long Haul Mug: Plan on taking your coffee out for a full day of caffeine-pumping use? Zojirushi’s stainless steel vacuum insulation mug will keep the hot joe hot and the cold joe cold for hours on end thanks to the securely fitting lid and double wall. And in case you’re one of those guys who carelessly throw their stuff every which way but properly upright, the Zojirushi Travel Mug’s flip lid stays in place with the help of a safety lock, so the goods don’t come pouring out unless you want them to. Its slim design is easy to grip and easy to store, so now all you’ll have to do is upgrade your coffee beans to match your mug.
Thermos 14-Ounce Vacuum Insulated Stainless Steel Travel Mug
Best Rough-and-Tumble Mug: If the Thermos name reminds you of pouring Spaghetti-Os out of a plaid canister in grammar school, you’re still stuck in the past. Their 14-ounce travel mug is the kind you can take anywhere, full of piping-hot coffee. The contoured mug holds hot or cold drinks, and thanks to the strong stainless steel body and robust rubber grip, it can handle the rigors of the day with ease. The addition of a handle-mounted carabiner means easy transport, even when there isn’t a cup holder or pocket in sight.
Camelbak Forge 16 Ounce Insulated Travel Mug
Best One-Handed Mug: Camelbak doesn’t just make liquid-filled backpacks for endurance athletes, they also make a damned fine travel mug for endurance drinkers (not what you think). The Forge is primarily designed to be the ultimate spill-proof, one-handed mug. And it does its job beautiful thanks to its leak-proof cap, which self-seals and snaps in place. And, it can lock open, if you plan on chugging for longer periods, uninterrupted. Throw it in a pack or bag without worrying about the embarrassing wetness, while the Forge keeps your coffee or tea hot for over four hours and your cold drinks even longer. And, should you worry that all of this fanciness is a pain to clean, everything comes apart easily so dark matter doesn’t fester in the dark places.
Bodum Insulated French Press Travel Mug
Best Repeat Self-Service Mug: If fresh coffee is what makes you happy, and you don’t want to pay for it every time you want a cup, then Bodum has your answer wrapped up in its brilliant French Press Travel Mug. The double-walled, BPA-free plastic mug holds 15 ounces of freshly brewed coffee and uses a miniature screen plunger to push down the grounds after properly steeping in hot water. Not only does it save you time in the mad morning rush to get out of the house, it also allows you to bring along your own grounds so you don’t have to settle for the hot brown swill at the office or on the road.