Sunday, June 20, 2010

REI Recycled Camp Mug - 12 fl. oz.

I gotta say, I'm pretty impressed with REI's inexpensive and tough Recycled Camp Mugs

I went into REI to kill some time on a day off, and reasoned that my water bottle collection is out of control. I have more Nalgene (and other brand) bottles than I need. I drink a ton of water, especially in the warmer months, so I'm well supplied. I've gotten back into coffee lately, and Yerba Mate tea. It dawned on me that I don't have any cool travel mugs, as I usually buy cold energy drinks from convenience stores, but now that I have access to a fancy Keurig single cup coffee maker, I'm drinking more, and I didn't own any lidded mugs.

I was looking at REI's Recycled Tumbler, which is also made by Stanley/Aladdin, for REI, but I decided I don't ever drink 20-some oz of coffee, at least, not since I was a 17 year old punk rocker who liked to spend all hours of the night with my bandmates at Seattle's greasy landmark, Beth's Cafe and Denny's type coffee houses, eating hashbrowns and getting wired after our nighttime adventures. I sometimes wonder how many hours we spent at Beth's befriending fellow regulars, cooks, and waitresses (mmm the waitresses, there were SO many crushworthy pierced and tattooed girls!). Anyhow, it's been awhile since I was a coffee fueled chainsmoking punk kid, but I still love coffee, in moderation of course.

I had a $20 REI dividend, as REI is a co-op membership store, and you get a credit for a percentage of the previous year's purchases. So it was nice to pick up some items and legally leave without paying! That said, these guys go for about $6.50 USD and come in "Okra" (green), and "Marine" (blue). Not bad at all, they hold 12 oz. and come with a securely fitting watertight lid which is ringed by a rubber o-ring/gasket. There's a drinking slot, and a small hole poked across from that, to allow your beverage to flow freely. REI's site (see link @ beginning of post) implies that these won't fit in cupholders, though mine fit decently in my car. It will vary from vehicle to vehicle, as there is a handle, but the base size is right for my center console in my trusty old bucket.

Weight 7.6 ounces
Material(s) - Recycled polypropylene
Dimensions - 3.5 x 4.25 inches
Capacity/Volume - 12 fluid ounces
Fits in cup holder - No (SOME)
Insulated - Yes

These mugs are 100% recycled, a quarter of the material being post-consumer. They are also obviously 100% recyclable. My blue (Marine) mug was scentless when new, but for some reason the green one had, and to some extent still has a weird mild odor that *almost* reminds me of pickled veggies, but it's not terribly offensive, and seems to be fading by the day. These mugs have a drink through spout lid, so my guess is that they could absorb odor from other products when in a stockroom, inside a taped shipping box or something, or perhaps the smell is from the light adhesive on the product description sticker on the lid. Either way, it's fading, and wasn't all that strong in the first place...just something I noticed.

I've made a point to drink my morning coffee from one of these every day for about a week. I don't like scalding my tongue on coffee, so these are nice, as you can wait a bit, even after adding fridge cold milk, put the lid on, and your drink stays drinkable warm for at least 25 minutes or a half hour, after that it starts to cool rapidly, but I'd rather drink lukewarm joe than burn my tastebuds off and suffer every time I put food in my mouth for a week!

Stanley makes other nice travel/outdoor mugs & bottles as well, though it looks like this was done specifically as an REI edition.

They recommend hand washing only, and based on the reviews on REI's site, I'm certain it's just because certain temperatures and pressures can peel the treeline silkscreened motif on the mug's body. These are BPA-free polypropylene, so I can't figure any other reason why they'd encourage only hand washing.

All in all I'm pretty impressed, time will tell how durable these are after car trips, camping and general outdoor or boating use, but they feel pretty solid, and I'd be satisfied with my purchases even if I had paid cash money for them. Not bad at all, check out REI to buy one.


lowly said...

If it's poly-vinyl, whatever kind, I wouldn't drink any hot drinks out of it regardless of what isn't in it.

As to to any kind of of odor, Baking Soda is a very efficient, low-tech de-smellifier. A few tablespoons and a fill up with water and a day later a lot of the smell will be gone.

Aaron said...

thanks Lowly. It's interesting that they claim it's microwaveable, that sketches me out bad. They say handwash only too... thanks for the baking soda tip, i never woulda remembered that. I know there are lots of other nasty things in plastic that can leach out into your beverage, so I appreciate your words. I do feel that REI and Stanley are probably on top of things like this, just as Nalgene/Camelback and everyone else was fairly quick to respond once Bpa was definitively determined to be fucked up stuff. Who knows what kind of long term damage plastics will do to us, our generation may not find out until we're sick old senior citizens! I guess I'm not too worried, medically I should be dead already from multiple, massive bloodclots in my lungs...twice, so I'm not about to let a puny little mug do a number on me!!

thanks for reading and commenting!

Aaron said...

Just to add, it does seem as if we're finding out more about the nasty effects of plastic every year. I'm in the petfood industry for my day job, and I know many vets and people who are into holistic petcare recommend only stainless steel for pet dishes and bowls, we all know that aluminum is bad stuff too, with a rumored link to alzheimer's from aluminum oxide deodorant and alunimun beverage cans! Gah! is nothing safe!!!!!!!!!!!

Aaron said...

Quick update, so weirdly enough, the bottom of the mug indicates it can be microwaved, as long as it's not empty (what idiot would do that?) but strangely it's "handwash only". My theory is that the high pressure hot water in some dishwashers could peel off the treeline silhouette graphic. Well, I put mine on the top rack, and it came out fine, no peeling logo, and the weird smell is totally gone!