Ozark Trail tumbler cups are a great alternative to popular brands like Yeti. They sell for a small fraction of the price of the more expensive brands for what seems to be exactly the same cup.
While Ozark Trail tumblers are good and work just as well as more expensive brands in many cases, they aren't perfect and they do have some problems.
It's always good to save money, but often when you do you make some compromises.
This article isn't to say don't buy an Ozark Trail, I actually think they are really good cups and offer amazing value for money. But rather it's to make you aware of the problems they have so you can make a more informed purchase.
So here are 12 problems with Ozark Trail tumbler cups:
1. Lid is Not Leakproof
It's hard to see from the photos on Walmart's website but the lid that the Ozark Trail tumblers come with is NOT a leakproof lid.
It's a see through plastic lid with a fairly wide mouth opening for drinking out of. However, this mouth opening has no way of closing it.
There is no slider (like the Yeti MagSlider lid) to even make it splash proof.
This means when you're walking or driving if your tumbler is pretty full then it can actually splash and spray quite dramatically out of the top of the lid.
The lids aren't actually leakproof, they break within just a couple of days of using them and overall the quality is extremely poor. So I would avoid these.
Luckily the lids are the same size as Yeti tumblers so check out my article on the best leak proof Yeti tumbler lids.
2. Label Sticks To The Cup
When looking at the 1 and 2 star reviews this is one of the major complaints of the Ozark Trail cup. People seem to have a problem with the adhesive used for the cardboard sleeve sticking to the tumbler and not being able to be removed.
Some people get lucky and there is no residue while others seem to get unlucky and even soaking the cup in water won't remove it.
Some people have ended up scratching the paint on their tumblers simply because the glue was so hard to remove.
This seems like a problem that would be easy to solve but obviously with the cheap manufacturing and the cost reduction they don't seem to care about this problem.
3. Poor Shipping
Another major complaint and problem people have with the Ozark Trail cups is when they buy them online they are often poorly shipped without enough padding to protect the cups from damage.
Ordering multiple cups or multiple items from Walmart and the packers seem to just throw the cup in the box. They might wrap it in some butchers paper but often there is no bubble wrap or padding used.
This means that during shipping the bottles move around, clang against each other and often arrive scratched, dented and damaged.
4. Problems With Vacuum Seal
When in good condition the Ozark Trail tumblers actually work really well at insulating drinks.
They can keep ice just as long as a Yeti cup and can also keep drinks hot for hours as well.
However, the quality assurance doesn't seem to be as good with Ozark Trail as it is with other brands.
Many customers have complained about the lack on insulation and how their cups sweat and how ice melts in just a couple of hours or how drinks don't stay warm at all.
This is covered under warranty, however it's painful and annoying to have to send back your cup to get a replacement. According to Walmart's return page it can take 2-3 weeks to get your replacement. There was one customer who got THREE dud cups in a row.
While getting the replacements didn't cost them anything the time spent and the annoyance meant they probably would have preferred to just buy a better brand.
5. Warranty Difficult To Get Honoured
While Ozark Trail tumblers do come with a lifetime warranty sometimes this can be difficult to get honored and to get a replacement cup.
Other brands like Yeti only come with a 5-year warranty but the customer service team seems to be a lot better at organizing replacement products.
You'll still likely get a replacement, it just probably won't be an easy process for you.
6. Not Dishwasher Safe
Ozark Trail tumblers are NOT dishwasher safe. If you put them in the dishwasher then the combination of extreme heat and water pressure can actually be enough to break the vacuum seal.
If the vacuum seal is broken then the cavity between the inner and outer wall of the cup will fill up with air and your cup will no longer be able to insulate.
As far as I can find Yeti cups are the only dishwasher safe cups.
7. Quality of Appearance
Not all Ozark Trail tumblers are created equal. Some of the Ozark Trail cups, even directly off the shelf, have issues with them that you wouldn't need from a more expensive brand.
This can be anything from scratches to dents to the paint being uneven at parts.
If you're buying online then it's pot luck depending on who picks and packs your tumbler, but if you're buying in store make sure to check your tumbler for any defects before buying.
8. Gaskets Can Be Loose
Generally speaking Ozark Trail lids have a pretty firm gasket that keeps the lid on pretty snuggly.
However, some people have complained that the gasket is a bit loose on the lid itself and that when you pull the lid off the gasket can come loose from the lid.
This means each time you take your lid off you'll need to adjust your gasket back into the groove it's meant to sit in. Not a huge deal but would get annoying over time.
9. Paint Can Peel Off
Ozark Trail tumblers are powder coated and while it's not a common problem some people have reported that the paint can start to peel off at the edges.
It doesn't completely peel off but comes off in sections making to tumbler look not very nice.
10. Lid Has a Big Lip That Is Hard To Sip From
This is something I saw a few people complaining about with the Ozark Trail cups.
Apparently the lid has just a large plastic lip that when you go to drink from it it can be tricky to get a good seal with your mouth.
This can lead to you dribbling your water all over yourself or wetting your t-shirt.
Most people didn't complain about this so I assume there is a work around and way to drink it where it doesn't spill. But some people may have issues.
11. Hard To Fit In Cup Holders
Ozark Trail tumblers are surprisingly large and despite them being tapered and smaller at the bottom they can struggle to fit in some car cup holders.
The bottom is quite wide and while this is fine for larger center console cup holders smaller cars and smaller cup holders may need a cup holder expander in order to fit it properly.
12. Can't Put In The Freezer
This isn't unique to Ozark Trail tumblers but something that is true for all insulated tumblers.
Because liquid expands in all directions as it freezes putting drinking in your Ozark Trail tumbler and then putting them in the freezer could potentially lead to the expanding liquid bending the metal cup and breaking the insulating seal.
Once the seal is broken the vacuum fills up with air and the cup no longer works. So don't freeze your Ozark Trail cup. Learn more about why you can't freeze insulated cups.