Reviewers say the Thermos Element 5 Vacuum Insulated Travel Mug E10500 is an excellent travel mug for outdoor activities like backpacking or camping. Office workers also like it because the mug is stable and hard to accidentally tip over. The stainless-steel mug has a wide rubberized base and a handle with an attached carabiner (a small clip attached to the handle), so the mug can be clipped to a bag or backpack. It holds 16 ounces, and reviewers say the insulation is excellent, keeping drinks hot for four to six hours. However, the mug is too wide for many car cup holders, and it's not safe for use in dishwashers or microwaves. Some users also complain that the mouth is pretty narrow and doesn't accommodate large ice cubes. If you don't need such a rugged travel mug, the Contigo AutoSeal Stainless Steel Travel Mug (*Est. $20) also gets good reviews and it keeps drinks hot for around four hours.
Men's Journal has the best review of the Thermos Element 5 Vacuum Insulated Travel Mug E10500, rating it on a 10-point scale in a test of six travel mugs. Wired also tests the Thermos Element 5 Vacuum Insulated Travel Tumbler E10501, a nearly identical travel mug that comes without a handle. A review at NileGuide.com is also useful. Amazon.com has a good number of user ratings.
1. Men's Journal
Stan Horaczek gives the Thermos Element 5 Vacuum Insulated Travel Mug E10500 an overall rating of 8 out of 10, saying it kept coffee hot for six hours. The mug fits awkwardly in cup holders, Horaczek says, but the leak-proof design gets high marks.
Review: Tested: Travel Mugs, Stan Horaczek, April 21, 2009
In over 80 reviews, the Thermos Element 5 Travel Mug gets 4.5 stars out of 5. Users love the durability and stability of this travel mug, and it gets very high marks for its insulation. However, some complain about the wide base, which makes the mug very stable but also makes it a bit bulky.
Review: Thermos 16-Ounce Leak-Proof Travel Mug, Thermos 16-Ounce Leak-Proof Travel Mug
Melissa Wagenberg Lasher tests the Thermos Element 5 Vacuum Insulated Travel Tumbler E10501, an identical travel mug that comes without a handle, calling it a "bombproof mug" and a "camping staple." In her test, coffee stays hot for six or seven hours, but the mug doesn't fit in standard cup holders.
Review: Test: Freeway-Legal Scooters, Top HD Tuners, Tricked-Out Travel Mugs, Melissa Wagenberg Lasher, Oct. 23, 2007
NileGuide.com, a travel website, picks the Thermos Element 5 Travel Mug as one of the best travel mugs, perfect for the "hardcore-but-I-still-need-a-handle-outdoorsman." Alexi Ueltzen likes that the lid "is drinkable from any direction."
Review: Coffee on the Go: The Best Travel Mugs, Alexi Ueltzen, Sept. 10, 2009
5. National Geographic Adventure
Christopher Percy picks some of his favorite camping gear in this brief article, including the Thermos Element 5 Vacuum Insulated Travel Mug E10500. Few details are shared here, but he praises the mug's heat-retention abilities.
Review: Road Gear, Christopher Percy, Not Dated