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Choosing the proper cups or bottles are more complicated than they may seem. It’s not just about getting in your favorite online store and picking the coolest one.

You should always read the product’s description to get more information. If you’ve ever read a description of any travel cup, sports bottle or outdoor container, you probably stumble upon terms such as insulated, vacuum-sealed or thermal insulation. Honestly, do you know what they mean?

In order to get a cup durable enough to last years, and more importantly, retains heat, should you choose one with insulation, vacuum-sealed or a thermal cup?

Luckily, you are in the right place. In this article, we will clarify these terms and help you choose the best construction and materials for you.

Insulated Bottles, Cups, and Containers

Single Wall Insulation: In fact, this isn’t really insulation. The heat of your drink is transferred quickly through the stainless steel via conduction. Cups and bottles with single wall insulation will burn you when they contain hot liquids and sweat when filled with a cold beverage.

Double Wall Insulation: Insulated or double-wall cups and bottles have two layers that are keeping drinks cold by added materials in form or an extra wall. In order to maintain temperatures of your beverage, products with double-wall insulation house an inner and an outer wall.

The inner wall is usually made from stainless steel while the outer wall can be made from stainless steel, plastic or other kinds of proprietary materials.

While insulated bottles, cups and tumblers are relatively effective, they only work for cold liquids, and not a hot one. In addition to all of that, this insulation is less effective in hot environments or after prolonged use.

Vacuum Sealed Bottles, Cups and Containers

These days, all the popular brand stainless steel bottles and tumblers such as Yeti, Hydro Flask or RTIC are manufactured with vacuum-sealed double-wall insulation.

Hydro Flask Vacuum Insulated Wine Tumbler

Hydro Flask Vacuum Insulated Tumbler / Credit: Hydro Flask

Vacuum Sealed Insulation: What does vacuum sealed mean? We are talking about a technology that is using a double-wall construction and also adds a layer of space in between the two layers that are sealed.

Since the air is vacuumed from between the two layers, the temperature is minimally transmitted through to the next layer. Simply put, your drink will keep the same temperature for a longer time. It works for cold liquids, and hot too.

Usually, brands well-known for their high-quality insulated products are using vacuum sealed technology.

Although the materials and methods needed are generally more expensive, the overall performance is better in comparison to double-wall insulation.

Thermal cups

What does it mean when someone is talking about a thermal cup or bottle? In fact, this is just a general term for any cup or bottle with some sort of insulation. It is not a category on its own, it’s simply a commonly used phrase.

 

 

Main photo by LARQ