Polar Camel vs Yeti: Which Make the Better Bottles, Tumblers, and Mugs?

Bottles, flasks, and travel mugs designed and sold by Polar Camel look quite similar to that of Yeti – the most well-known name in the world of insulated tumblers and mugs. However, the products offered by Polar Camel are typically sold with custom printing options or custom laser engravings, which makes them quite different and unique.

In this article, I’ll be taking a closer look at these two brands and see how they compare to one another in terms of value for the money, durability, performance, and design. But first, let’s analyze a couple of products from both Polar Camel and Yeti to see what makes them so popular among outdoor enthusiasts:

Popular Polar Camel Products

Polar Camel 30 oz Insulated Travel Mug

As the name suggests, this is a typical travel mug whose capacity stands at 30 fluid ounces. Just like most products of this type, it is also made out of stainless steel and it features double-walled vacuum insulation whose job is to keep one’s drink hot or cold for hours on end.

However, as a Polar Camel product, this tumbler comes with a laser engraving on its exterior. The particular model I’m analyzing here sports a laser engraving of the US flag, but other options are also available – from the service mark of the US Coast Guard to all kinds of quotes and funny sayings.

The model comes accompanied by a clear lid, a straw, and a cleaning brush, and all of these are made out of stainless steel as well. Finally, the bottom of the mug easily fits most cup holders due to its narrow profile – you’ll be able to use it in your car.

Polar Camel 20 oz Insulated Travel Mug

The next Polar Camel product I’m going to analyze is the 20 oz Travel Mug, which is available in 4 different colors (maroon, yellow, green, and black) and which is, as the name suggests, well-insulated and therefore capable of maintaining the temperature of one’s water, tea, coffee, and other drinks.

Just like all other Polar Camel products of this type, this one is also made out of stainless steel and sports an eco-friendly construction (no harmful toxins). One of its most interesting features is the self-sealing lid, which is transparent and includes a convenient straw slot.

In terms of dimensions, the Polar Camel 20 oz Insulated Travel Cup measures 7” x 3” x 3” and fits in most cup holders. Let’s not forget the free customization – you can have this travel mug engraved with a design, text, or logo of your choice.

Polar Camel 12 oz Insulated Wine Glass

The last Polar Camel product I’m going to analyze is also the most interesting one – an affordable insulated wine glass with a capacity of 12 fluid ounces. The model is available in six different colors – teal, purple, light purple, blue, light blue, and plain black.

The best thing about this wine glass is that it’s made out of food-grade 18/8 gauge stainless steel, which makes it far more resistant to high and low temperatures than plastic or glass cups. It sports a seamless construction with no leak points as well as double-walled insulation with thermoregulatory capabilities.

Other things worth mentioning are the fact that this glass is not recommended for dishwasher use and that it’s, just like all other Polar Camel products, laserable. It weighs 8.9 ounces and its dimensions stand at 4.37 x 3.5 x 3.5 inches.

Popular Yeti Products

Yeti Rambler 30 oz Insulated Tumbler

Available in 28 different colors, this 30-oz tumbler from the Rambler lineup of drinkware is one of Yeti’s most popular products. Is it a better choice than the 30-oz Travel Mug offered by Polar Camel? In short, it is.

This is because Yeti’s products always sport fantastic build quality and lots of convenient features, and the same is true for this tumbler. First of all, the model is made out of BPA-free stainless steel and maintains the temperature of the drink with its double-walled vacuum insulation. As such, it keeps one’s coffee hot or water ice-cold for hours.

The no-sweat design of this tumbler, allowed by the presence of the DuraCoat finish, is also worth mentioning. Finally, the model fits inside most standard cup holders and comes equipped with the convenient MagSlider lid. There is also a review of  Yeti and Takeya in another post and our Yeti vs Under Armour Thermos comparison.

Yeti Rambler 20 oz Insulated Tumbler

The design of this 20-oz tumbler is very similar to that of the one I’ve described above. This model is also available in a number of vibrant colors and also features a phenomenal build quality that turned Yeti into one of the world’s most beloved manufacturers of insulated drinkware.

The 18/8 stainless steel body of this tumbler, combined with the vacuum insulation, allows one’s drink to stay cold or hot for hours on end. The face, crack, and peel-resistant DuraCoat finish is also here and it provides the user with a secure grip. And, just like in the case of the 30-oz tumbler, this model also uses the power of magnets to keep the beverage under lock (MagSlider lid).

Other features worth mentioning are the relatively low weight of 12.7 ounces and the fact that this model is dishwasher-safe. It is, in my opinion, the best 20-oz insulated tumbler on the market.

Yeti Rambler 10 oz Insulated Wine Tumbler

Just like Polar Camel, Yeti also manufactures and sells insulated wine tumblers. The one I’m about to analyze here is available in only 4 colors but is, in my opinion, a better product than the 12-oz wine glass offered by Polar Camel.

This is because, as you can already guess, Yeti’s wine tumbler comes with all of those features found in their other products, just in a smaller package. These include the double-walled vacuum insulation, the tough DuraCoat finish, the secure MagSlider lid, a stainless steel construction, and the overall eye-catching design of the whole thing.

While you may think that the capacity of this tumbler is somewhat small, keep in mind that this product was made for wine, which is, as you already know, best enjoyed in small sips. The tumbler is 3.5” wide, 4.5” high, and weighs 9.9 ounces.

Polar Camel vs Yeti – The Comparison

Woman drinking out of a tumbler

The Performance

Speaking generally, the drinkware manufactured by Polar Camel is significantly cheaper than the one offered by yeti, especially when bought without an engraving.

Is the higher price of Yeti tumblers justified by a better performance? Are Polar Camel products just cheap imitations or can they actually maintain the temperature of drinks as long as Yeti’s mugs and tumblers can?

Truth be told, a Polar Camel tumbler that has the same size and shape as a model made by Yeti will be able to hold the ice nearly as long. While it’s true that Yeti’s drinkware performs better, it does so only by a very slight margin.

In other words, the difference in performance is not something an average user is likely to notice during everyday use. Both the tumbler made by Polar Camel and the tumbler made by Yeti should be able to keep the drink hot or cold for a decent amount of time. So, in summary, I wouldn’t say that the difference in performance is equal to the difference in the cost.

The Durability

While it’s possible to say that the performance of the drinkware designed and sold by these two brands is similar, the durability certainly isn’t.

When it comes to the overall sturdiness of insulated mugs, cups, bottles, and tumblers, Yeti doesn’t have a serious competitor on the market. All of their products are tested very rigorously and are typically dishwasher-safe and accompanied by 5-year warranty deals.

I owned many, many different insulated tumblers and other similar products throughout my life and none of them were as durable as the ones made by Yeti. I’m not exactly sure if their drinkware just feels tougher or if the company actually uses thicker stainless steel, but the unmatched durability of their products is very obvious.

To find out if the tumblers and mugs made by Polar Camel are as durable as the ones made by Yeti, one would have to test the products made by both companies for years. However, I’m pretty sure you’d notice dents and other types of damage on Polar Camel’s mugs much sooner than on Yeti’s.

While Yeti’s durability is often lauded, and I’ve personally observed differences when comparing Polar Camel’s mugs to Yeti’s, the Stanley vs Yeti debate introduces another heavyweight contender. Stanley, with its longstanding reputation for ruggedness, certainly holds its ground.

Drinkware Size, Shape, and Lids

Yeti products

In terms of the overall design, size, and shape, most of the products sold by these two brands are quite similar.

The differences are often minimal, like the bumps and ridges that can be found on some Polar Camel tumblers but not on the ones made by Yeti. As you can already guess, these groves provide the user with a better grip. Yeti’s products typically sport smooth exteriors, but also the DuraCoat coating which is crack, peel, and fade-resistant.

Another important difference is the fact that Yeti’s drinkware is often equipped with the so-called MagSlider lids. As their name suggests, these lids feature small magnetic sliders whose job is to cover the spouts of mugs and tumblers.

On the other hand, Polar Camel drinkware typically comes equipped with simple plastic lids whose drinking sections are permanently open. However, it is entirely possible to obtain a different kind of lid for your Polar Camel tumbler, bottle, or mug. In fact, a lot of Yeti lids can be used with Polar Camel products and vice-versa.

One extremely important thing to mention here is that Yeti’s MagSlider lids, which I have mentioned above, are splash-proof but not leak-proof. In other words, you won’t be able to just throw your Yeti tumbler into the bag – that’s a recipe for disaster.

Branding and Warranty

Besides the company logo that is usually molded into the lid, the drinkware designed by Polar Camel has zero branding. This is precisely what makes these mugs and tumblers so perfect for laser engraving – there’s a lot of space for your own logo or text.

All Yeti products, on the other hand, come with the company’s logo printed or embossed onto them. In my opinion, this can actually be a good thing. Let’s be honest here – this brand is a status symbol and a lot of people want to show off that they have the money to afford Yeti’s products.

In terms of warranty, Yeti is a clear winner – most of their drinkware is backed by a 5-year warranty, which is seriously impressive. So, in case your Yeti mug, bottle, or tumbler stops working properly because of malfunctioning insulation, the company will have it replaced for you free of charge. There was no way to find anything about warranty deals offered by Polar Camel – if they even exist, that is.

The Pricing

Yeti Rambler Tumblers on a Shelf

Pricing is one of the most important factors (if not the most important factor) that influence whether a person is going to get a Polar Camel or a Yeti product.

When it comes to insulated drinkware manufacturers, one can easily compare prices between the two brands by checking out their products on websites such as Amazon. However, there’s a catch here – unlike Yeti, Polar Camel does not sell its products directly to the consumers, but rather to laser-engraving companies.

That is precisely the reason why the prices of their products vary dramatically. A Polar Camel tumbler without an engraving will be very affordable, but one with an engraving will typically have a price that almost matches that of a Yeti tumbler of identical capacity.

Polar Camel vs Yeti – The Verdict

As far as I’m concerned, Yeti is still the number one manufacturer of insulated drinkware on the market and the only option you should go for if you’re looking for a tumbler, mug, or bottle that is genuinely durable and rich with convenient features.

However, if you really want a product of this type that is not only cheaper but also provides performance that almost matches that of Yeti’s offerings, you won’t make a mistake by going with Polar Camel’s insulated drinkware. Just keep in mind that these products are not as durable and that having them engraved can greatly increase their prices.

If you are interested in other Yeti alternatives, check out my Ozark Trail and Yeti comparison.

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