Yeti tumbler cups and bottles say they can keep drinks cold for a long period of time. But exactly how long does Yeti keep drinks cold? And what factors go into keeping drinks cold for longer in your Yeti tumbler or bottle.
I personally own 2 Yeti tumblers and 2 Yeti bottles and I've done many ice tests on Yeti and other brands and have some insight into this.
Yeti tumbler cups and bottles can keep drinks cold for 6+ hours to 3+ days. The colder the drink starts, the more ice in the drink, the larger the drink volume and the outside temperature all play a role in how long a drink will stay cold for. 12-24 hours is a good estimate for iced water.
It's impossible to say exactly how long your exact Yeti will keep your drink cold for because there are so many different factors you have to take into account.
Below is a rough guideline for how long your Yeti is likely to keep your drinks cold depending on size and how much ice you use.
This is assuming moderate temperatures where the Yeti is kept inside and out of direct sunlight.
If it is extremely hot or if it is kept in direct sunlight then these times will be reduced.
|Size||Full of ice||Half ice/half drink||No ice|
|10 oz Tumbler||12-20 hours||6-12 hours||2+ hours|
|20 oz Tumbler||24-36 hours||12-18 hours||4+ hours|
|30 oz Tumbler||1-2+ days||18-24 hours||4-6+ hours|
|12 oz Bottle||24 hours||12-18 hours||3+ hours|
|18 oz Bottle||24-48 hours||18-24 hours||4+ hours|
|26 oz Bottle||1-2+ days||24-36 hours||4+ hours|
|36 oz Bottle||2-3+ days||1-2+ days||4-6+ hours|
As you can see bottles keep drinks colder than tumblers, larger sizes keep drink cold longer than smaller sizes and the amount of ice in your drink plays a major major role in how long your drink will stay cold for.
Larger Yeti Tumblers/Bottles Keep Drinks Colder Longer
While the different sized Yeti tumblers and bottles all use the same double walled vacuum insulation technology the size of your drink actually plays a huge role in how long your Yeti will keep your drinks cold for.
A larger drink will stay cold longer than a smaller drink and so a Yeti 30 oz Tumbler will keep your drink colder than a 10 oz lowball.
This is because a larger volume of ice/liquid takes more total energy in order to warm up all the liquid.
Think of how long it takes to warm up a cup of water in the sun vs how long it takes to warm up a swimming pool. These are huge differences in volume and thus a hot day can quickly warm up a cup of water in 1-2 hours while hardly having any effect on the total overall temperature of a swimming pool.
This same premise works for Yeti cups and bottles too. More cold drink and more ice will take longer to warm up than a small amount of liquid/ice.
The Colder Your Drink Starts The Longer It Will Stay Cold
If you're starting with some room temperature tap water and a couple of cubes of ice it's already starting out not very cold. So it will become warm much faster than a Yeti full of water that is near freezing temperature.
So the colder you can start your drink the longer it's going to stay cold for.
More Ice = Colder For Longer
The more ice you use in your Yeti the longer it is going to stay cold for. This is for two main reasons.
Firstly, ice starts out way colder than liquid water or your drink.
Ice in the freezer is around 0ºF (-18ºC) whereas water in your fridge is going to be around 39ºF (4ºC).
This means it's going to take a lot more energy and thus a lot more time for your drink to warm up to the point where it feels too warm to drink.
Also, ice is a solid and it's harder to warm up a solid than a liquid because heat can't move around as easily.
So the more ice you can and the bigger your blocks of ice the longer your drink will stay cold for.
Bottles Keep Ice Longer Than Cups Do
Insulated Yeti bottles keep drinks colder longer than insulated Yeti tumblers.
This is because the bottles have airtight lids that have thicker insulation whereas the lids in the cups aren't airtight and don't have as much insulation.
The difference isn't massive and the cups still hold ice way longer than you would expect, but if you're really after that maximum cold retention then you'll want to get yourself a bottle instead of a tumbler cup.
Keeping The Lid On Will Keep Your Drinks Colder Longer
The lid of your Yeti cup helps to insulate your drink instead from the warmer outside air.
The plastic it is made out of is insulating and stops heat getting into the cup but it also stops the flow of warmer air from the outside getting into the cup easily.
The lid also helps keep drinks hotter for longer by stopping the steam from escaping which actually takes a lot of heat with it.
The MagSlider lid is better at insulating as you can close the sipping hole when you're not drinking, but surprisingly even though the original lid has a permanent open hole it still insulates pretty well.
Keeping the lid on will keep your drinks colder, sometime hours longer than if you leave the lid off.
Warmer Outside Temperatures Warm Up Your Drink Faster
A Yeti kept inside an airconditioned office and out of direct sunlight will keep drinks colder longer than a Yeti kept in 100+ degree heat in direct sunlight and place on the hot ground.
Yeti cups are good at keeping out a lot of heat, but they aren't perfect. So the more heat they are exposed to the more of that heat will transfer into your drink in the cup and warm up your drink faster.
So do what you can to keep your cup in cool shady places away from direct sunlight and not touching hot surfaces.
Empty Yetis Warm Up Faster Than Full Yetis
I discovered this interesting fact when I looked at the best coolers for ice retention.
While larger coolers hold ice way longer than small coolers when completely full, the opposite was true if each cooler had the same amount of ice.
If say 20 lbs of ice was put into a small cooler vs a large cooler the ice in the large cooler would melt WAY faster than the ice in the small cooler.
This is because the extra air space inside the cooler warms up and melts the ice faster.
The same is true for your Yeti tumbler or bottle.
As you drink your drink your Yeti has more and more air in it compared to drink. This air will warm up your drink faster than if your Yeti was completely full of cold drink.
So completely filling your Yeti cup or bottle will lead to your drinks staying colder longer.
You Don't Need To Pre-Chill Yeti Tumblers/Bottles But You Can
With Yeti coolers if you don't pre-chill them then ice will melt extremely quickly in your Yeti because the insulation can absorb a lot of heat.
But coolers use foam insulation and Yeti tumbler cups and bottles use vacuum insulation. It is the lack of anything (a vacuum) between the inner and outer metal wall that does the insulating.
You can't heat up or cool down a vacuum so pre-chilling your Yeti cup or bottle won't do much.
Obviously you don't want the metal inside to be hot when you're trying to keep something cold, but if it's room temperature it's not going to make a huge difference.
You can always pre-chill your Yeti cup with some iced water for 2-5 minutes or you can put it in the fridge. But make sure you don't freeze your Yeti and here's why.
What If Your Yeti Cup Isn't Keeping Drinks Cold At All?
If your Yeti cup seems to not be keeping drinks cold like it should then chances are there is an issue with it.
Most likely it's lost it's vacuum seal and thus the cavity between the inner and outer walls is now full of air and it no longer insulates.
There are ways you can test this and this is also covered under warranty. Click here if you think your Yeti cup isn't working to keep drinks cold.