Equally able to keep hot liquids steamy and cold water icy, the 26-ounce Yeti Rambler withstood pretty much everything we threw at it, proving its might in the crowded field of insulated water bottles.
Yeti Rambler 26 ounces ($29.99, originally $39.99; dickssportinggoods.com)
The Yeti Rambler is a durable, versatile bottle that’s great at keeping drinks both hot and cold, and its vast array of lids, sizes and even engravings make it easy to tailor to your life.
One of the most important aspects of an insulated water bottle is its ability to keep contents hot or cold over time, and the Rambler’s proficiency in maintaining temperature was impressive. It utilizes the same 18/8 stainless steel and dual-vacuum technology that other bottles have, but it outperformed many of the others we tested.
There isn’t any flashy, gimmicky tech behind this bottle. It just simply works.
With cold water, the temperature only rose 9.4 degrees Fahrenheit over a 24-hour period, just below the average of 9.98 degrees. Hot water in the 26-ounce Yeti Rambler dropped 61.6 degrees Fahrenheit over the course of 12 hours, though, quite a bit below the average of 72.26 degrees. In a thermoregulation test that had many bottles performing nearly equally, the Yeti was able to maintain steady temperatures (especially cold ones) better than nearly all others we tested — hot water was still pretty warm and the cold water was plenty cold.
The Yeti performed extraordinarily well in drop tests, especially when dropped on its body. The bottle had some small denting on the bottom, but it barely had any wobble to it, which is really saying something after being dropped onto concrete three times.
The lid left a bit to be desired in terms of toughness. While it feels rough and sturdy, the loop cracked on the third drop — though the testing did expose it to some extreme conditions. Replacement lids are available for $9.99, however, so we didn’t weigh it too heavily against the bottle overall.
A signature of the Yeti Rambler is its ultra-wide mouth. There’s essentially no neck and the bottle barely narrows before it opens, giving the Rambler a wide expanse of an opening. This design is both a blessing and a curse: On one hand, it’s so much easier to wash than the other bottles, and you can throw as much ice in there as you want. The downside is that the liquids come at you suddenly and fast, making it hard to regulate how much you’re getting into your mouth and how much is spilling onto your shirt. Add walking or a moving vehicle into the equation and real caution and skill are required to avoid a soaking.
Luckily, Yeti has options for customizations, including lids that combat over-pouring. Yeti offers straw lids, a screw-on chug cap, a lid for hot drinks and more. Most of these go for $12.99, but we think they’re worth the extra cost because they solve our biggest gripe with the Rambler.
The design of the Yeti is simple and clean, but it resonates toughness with its girthy build. That bulk is one of the big reasons we prefer the 26-ounce bottle over the 36-ounce. The larger bottle is so big, it might be hard to grasp for those with smaller hands. The shrunken diameter of the 26-ounce really makes a difference.
Customization is one of this bottle’s strongest features. The Yeti Rambler comes in a variety of colorways, from clay and stainless steel to seafoam and brick red, and with some colors, you can select the “Customize It” option on the Yeti site to add text, a monogram, your own logo or even preloaded designs with symbols from colleges, states, national parks and more.
For $39.99 ($29.99 right now) the 26-ounce Yeti Rambler is an absolute beast of a bottle that performed incredibly in our tests.
We’d recommend this to anyone looking for a personalized, tough, everyday insulated water bottle. It maintains the temperature of your drinks quite well, and it’s basically bomb-proof. It costs a little more than our overall pick, the Healthy Human Curve ($24.99; amazon.com), but if you like a simple design or dig the different lid options and engravings, the Yeti Rambler is your bottle.
You can buy the 26-ounce Yeti Rambler right now for $29.99 at Dick’s Sporting Goods.
Note: The prices above reflect the retailer’s listed price at the time of publication.