Monday, February 7, 2011
Have you ever had a travel mug that was supposed to seal tightly, put it in a bag, and then found out that it didn't really seal as tightly as you had hoped (as evidenced by a small puddle of coffee at the bottom of your bag)?  Well, I have.  Despite numerous attempts, I've not had much luck in finding a mug that keeps coffee hot and inside the mug for a long enough period of time to take it anywhere further than class.  I have one mug that I can throw in my bag and take to class, but it's not big enough or insulated enough to take on a "trip".  Really, I need something I can throw in a bag, take hiking or leave in the car for a while, and come back later to a HOT beverage. 

I did some Amazon shopping (since I still have $113 dollars of Amazon money to spend!), but didn't find anything that peaked my interest.  Then I took a field trip to REI, and after reading some reviews (ALWAYS read reviews!), I snagged the 0.5L Bullet Vacuum Bottle.  I don't know what the difference is between a bullet vacuum bottle and a thermos, but to me it just looks like a thermos. 

Reasons I liked it were:
  • Reports that it kept things HOT for a long time (like overnight, or in the freezer).
  • Good capacity without being too bulky.
  • Color (I got it in Marine Blue). 
  • A cup on the top. 
  • General trusted REI quality.
I took it hiking with me today (read about the hike here) to see how it fared.  I put the coffee in about an hour before I left for the hike.  I did preheat the thermos with hot water, but only because my heat was out, and my apartment was about 50 degrees.  I doubt I'd need to do that in normal conditions.  So I threw it in my bag, we drove an hour to the state park, and hike for about an hour (maybe a little more) to the top of the fire tower.  Here's the proof.

I should have taken a picture of the steam coming off the top of the coffee...  Yes, it stayed piping hot!  Not much better than hot coffee at the top of a fire tower with a 360 degree view.  A+ for that performance test.  Also, I didn't notice the weight of it in my bag, which was nice.

Although it passed that test well, I wasn't convinced it could do everything I wanted it to.  I threw it back in my bag, and we hiked back down the knob (Moore's knob, to be precise).  Then, we got in the car, drove home, I dropped Chris off, and went home. Then, I took a shower, ate some lunch, talked to the dude who fixed my heat (woo hoo!), watched some TV, and decided to see if the coffee was still hot (about 4 hours after drinking it on the fire tower.  I opened the thermos, poured it into my (freezing cold) mug from this morning, and it was still hot enough that I needed to blow on it. 

Mission: accomplished!

So, while I can't yet speak to the durability of the REI Bullet Vacuum Bottle, it sure does keep things hot!  I'll let you know what happens when I'm drinking coffee on the top of a fire tower and accidentally knock it off...

Although I hope that never happens. 

Overall, I give it a solid A.  Only because it's not tested enough to get an A+.  It serves all the purposes I wanted it to, and has a lovely tree design at the bottom that makes it pretty to look at. 

And I like pretty.

But not as much as I like hot coffee at the top of a mountain.


About Me

I am a Family Medicine intern at a community hospital in Indiana, navigating the new world of being a physician. I am privileged to work in a field I love, where every day is a new and unpredictable challenge.
I am not only a doctor, but also a cyclist, runner, DIYer in the making, lover of the outdoors, traveler, and human.
Human, MD is a glimpse into the world of a young doctor who is just trying to stay true to herself through the grueling whirlwind of residency.


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