The Hydro Flask Cooler Cup is a surprising product and has quickly become one of my favorite Hydro Flask products (and I own a lot).
In this Hydro Flask Cooler Cup review we are going to look at the details of this cup like performance, pricing, durability etc and also look at what makes it so surprisingly good and what other comparable options are other there that you may want to consider.
The Hydro Flask Cooler Cup is great at keeping cans and bottles cold for hours but also doubles as a cup for cold or hot drinks. It's durable and comes in a variety of colors. Paired with the 10 oz Wine Tumbler lid it becomes the best small vacuum insulated travel mug. I highly recommend this product.
I personally own 2 of these cups (which were given to me by Hydro Flask Australia for review and testing purposes) and I absolutely love them. I take them with me when I travel in my van and use them for both beers and coffee and I also use them at home when I want to take my time drinking my coffee.
Don't forget to grab the wine lid also as this fits perfectly onto the Cooler Cup making it one of (if not THE) best small vacuum insulated travel mug.
Performance: What Exactly Does It Do?
When it comes to performance how does the Hydro Flask stack up and what exactly does it do?
One of the main things you're going to use a Hydro Flask Cooler Cup for is to keep your beers or sodas cold.
We've all had the experience where you crack open a beer on a warm summers day only (to your dismay) to be drinking disgusting warm beer 20 or so minutes later. The beer is either wasted and tipped out or you push through having a terrible experience.
To date the best solution to combat this was a neoprene foam cooler which uses similar fabric to a wetsuit to help keep your beers colder for longer. These work ok but not amazing.
Hydro Flask Cooler Cups use vacuum insulation which is THE MOST EFFECTIVE FORM OF INSULATION (according to Wikipedia) so needless to say it works much better than a foam coozies.
Below you can see a video where I compared the Hydro Flask Cooler Cup to a traditional foam coozie. So it'll definitely work to keep your drink cold for 2+ hours which is more than enough time to drink your beer before it gets flat.
When used as a cup for holding ice it'll keep ice for around 8-16 hours depending on the outside temperature. Combining it with a 10 oz Wine Lid will increase how long it's able to keep ice frozen for and you'll get a bit longer out of it.
The Hydro Flask Cooler Cup also doubles as a 12 oz cup which you can use for hot drinks like tea and coffee.
The vacuum insulation will keep the drinks hot for up to 6 hours and the wide mouth design makes it a pleasure to drink out of as you can experience the aromas of your drink and it also makes for easier latte art if you're getting a barista made coffee.
I found it'll keep my barista made milk coffee (starting temp around 140ºF or 60ºC) hot for 2-3 hours until it starts to feel lukewarm and my tea (starting temp around 212ºF or 100ºC) will stay hot for around 4-6 hours.
If you also purchase the 10 oz Wine Tumbler Lid which fits perfectly on the Cooler Cup you'll significantly increase how long your drink stays hot.
This is because the lid traps the steam from escaping and escaping steam actually takes a lot fo heat energy out of your drink making it colder.
When it comes to price the Cooler Cup isn't going to be anywhere near as cheap as a neoprene foam coozie. I picked mine up from my local store for $1-$2.
But the Hydro Flask does perform at lot better and given it's made from durable stainless steel with a powder coat exterior it's going to likely last a lot longer than your cheap foam coozie.
So what exactly is the price? Well as well all know prices fluctuate from time to time and store to store but at the time of writing the Hydro Flask Cooler Cup has an RRP of $24.95.
I would also highly suggest getting the 10 oz Wine Tumbler Lid as this turns the product from mainly being something to keep your beer cold to being a fully functioning travel mug and perfect for 8 oz or 12 oz coffees.
Quality and Design
Hydro Flask aren't the only brand that make an insulated coozie, but I think it's their quality, design and functionality that really makes them stand out from the rest of the pack.
What sets the Hydro Flask apart from other brands like the Yeti Colster or the Brumate is their use of the silicone holder.
This easily slips on and off the top of the Cooler Cup and holds in either your beer/soda can or your bottle and stops it from falling out. It's firm but easy to put on and remove so it's super simple to use.
It's also genius because it doubles as a non-slip and non-scratch pad for the bottom of the Cooler Cup when you're using it as a cup. I use this a lot in my van as it means if I'm not parked on even ground I don't have to worry about my coffee sliding across the table.
Compare that to other brands like the Yeti Colster or the Brumate and they both use hard plastic screw holders which I have personally found more difficult and cumbersome to take on and off. They also don't double as a non-slip base.
Hydro Flask are known for their quality and I love that they made the move in 2013/14 to remove all lead from their manufacturing (which not all other vacuum insulated bottle manufacturers do).
Hydro Flask Cooler Cans are made from kitchen grade 18/8 stainless steel which is the same material their famous water bottles are made from. It's safe to drink from and won't leave a metallic taste in your drink.
I'm a coffee snob and I don't noticed the difference in taste drinking from a Hydro Flask or a ceramic mug.
Their products are made to an extremely high quality and the powder coated paint is strong and isn't prone to scratching easily. Which is something people noted when I compared S'well vs Hydro Flask.
One of the best things about Hydro Flask are the wide variety of color options they have. Whatever your personality theres a color for you.
You might for a for a masculine blue or a sleek white or a more playful yellow or girly pink. There are so many color options to choose from and I love them all.
10 oz Wine Lid
I know I've mentioned it a few times but for me the 10 oz Wine Lid was a GAME CHANGER!
It fits perfectly on the Cooler Cup and it's hard to explain but the texture and lip of the lid makes for one fo the best coffee drinking experiences, better than any other travel mug out there.
Prior to the Cooler Cup my go to travel mug was the 10 oz Yeti Rambler which is slim-lined and I absolutely love it. However, the lip of that one is more square and jagged (for lack of a better word) and just doesn't feel as nice on your lips.
The curved lip and soft (but hard) plastic of the Hydro Flask Wine Lid as well as how flush it sits with the outside of the Cooler Cup makes for an amazing drinking experience. I'm a coffee snob and if you are to then you should definitely get this lid.
The only downside to the lid is that it's not completely leak proof, but it's more than good enough to walk around with or drive with and not have to worry about your drink splashing everywhere or ruining your shirt.
I definitely recommend the wine lid if you have any plans of using this for hot beverages
The Hydro Flask Cooler Can is made from 18/8 stainless steel and is powder coated with paint that is scratch resistant.
Overall it's a pretty durable product but like all vacuum insulated metal flasks it is prone to denting if you drop it. I've had many Hydro Flask bottles dent due to it being dropped or my kids not being careful enough.
The silicone cover which doubles as a rubber base can actually be great for preventing dents making your Hydro Flask look brand new for longer when compared to other products.
But even if it does dent it'll still keep on working just as good. You can also remove dents from Hydro Flasks with some success
Overall I've found the Hydro Flask Cooler Cup to be very durable and it should last years.
Like all Hydro Flask bottles the Hydro Flask Cooler Can actually comes with a LIFETIME WARRANTY!
So this means if you have any issues with it (eg. If your Hydro Flask stops working or loses it's vacuum insulation) then Hydro Flask will replace the product free of charge.
Their customer service is really good and this is a huge positive that very few other companies offer.
Do I Recommend The Hydro Flask Cooler Cup?
I absolutely recommend the Hydro Flask cooler cup. I own a lot of Hydro Flask products from water bottles to food flasks to lunch boxes and aside from maybe the Hydro Flask Trail Series bottles the Cooler Cups are my favorite Hydro Flask products.
I definitely recommend it if you're interested in keeping your beers cold or coffee hot. I also recommend the wine lid if you're planning to use this cup for coffee.
Lastly I want to have a quick look at some of the competing products out there and how they compare to the Hydro Flask Cooler Cup.
You want to know what other options you have out there before committing to buy the Hydro Flask.
Yeti Colster – Best For Durability
The Yeti Colster is probably the biggest competitor to the Hydro Flask Cooler Cup and honestly for me it doesn't compare.
Yeti makes AMAZING products and I own a lot of them and even used to own a Colster. However, it just works to keep cans and bottles cold and doesn't really double as a good cup because of the screw thread for the top ring.
However, one thing I will say about Yeti is their durability is second to none. Their water bottles feel much more durable than any other brand and their Colster is no different. If you want maximum durability and don't need it to double as a cup then get the Yeti for sure.
Brumate – Best For Cold Retention
The Brumate Hopsulator Trio is a unique design in that it has 3 main features.
- It can fit a 16-oz can
- It can fit a 12-oz can (with a specifically made ice brick)
- It can work as a 16 oz cup
It also comes with a splash proof lid. So you can take off the ring that holds in a can and replace it with a splash proof sip lid so you can use it as a cup.
I also love the fact that Brumate Hopsulators have a rubber base which makes them non-slip and non-scratch just like the Hydro Flask when you place the silicone ring on the base.
All up this is a great product and is sold at a great price. It's a similar price to the Hydro Flask Cooler Cup but comes with the ice pack that fits perfectly into your Brumate underneath your beer to keep it cold even longer. A really clever idea.
Ozark Trail Can Cooler – Most Affordable
If you're looking for the most affordable option then look no further than the Ozark Trail Can Cooler.
Sold in packs of 2 these work out to about $5 each (or 1/5th of the price of a Hydro Flask Cooler Cup).
Surprisingly, these also come with a lifetime warranty so if something ever happens to them you're covered.
They seem to only come in stainless steel but if you're not fussed about color and want to save some money then this is a great option.
Yeti 10 oz – Best For Small Coffees
While not a direct comparison to the Cooler Cup as this cup is not designed to fit beer cans or bottles at all, it is the closest comparison I've found the the Cooler Cup when it's being used with the lid for tea or coffee.
At around $20 it's cheaper than the Hydro Flask Cooler Cup even before you add in the extra money for the Wine Lid. So all up you'd be saving around $12.50 but it's less versatile. This can only be used for small drinks.
But it does have the MagSlider Lid which is splash proof (not leak proof)