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My morning commute is a pretty important stage-setter for the rest of my day, and as such I’m always acutely aware and appreciative of the things that make it run a little more smoothly.
Compact travel bags, comfortable shoes, and phone cases that allow me to take my MetroCard out without digging around in my bag are a few choice favourites. But surprisingly, the one product that has really made an impression on me is the YETI 20 oz. (591ml) tumbler.
I’m not the only one apparently. With nearly 12,600 reviews, it’s rated a solid 4.8/5 stars on their site. At $A40, it’s listed in a highly competitive price range with peers for a performance that can’t really be beat. Personally, I would have paid a lot more for mine.
There’s a reason that most of the images you’ll see of YETI products on the internet feature them surrounded by people in camouflage gear. And it’s because everything that they create is built specifically for the outdoors, focusing on engineering products that can withstand the elements without ever lapsing from a high-performance level.
Founders Roy and Ryan Seiders grew up hunting, fishing, and travelling outdoors, and they realised through their experiences that most of the products they had weren’t exactly up to snuff. Handles would break, latches would snap, and lids would cave in on products that weren’t especially well-made or durable. So instead of buying a new cooler every year, they set out to make the products that they would use every day, if they only existed.
Since they were the customers that they were designing for, the Seiders brothers decided that YETI’s product innovation should come from necessity and firsthand experience, rather than market research. As a result, everything feels deceptively simple at the same time as being extremely convenient.
I mostly just use my tumbler as a way to keep my coffee hot during my commute. Thanks to double-wall vacuum insulation, the coffee I left the house with at 8 a.m. is still piping hot at 11 a.m. And thanks to YETI’s proprietary No Sweat, there’s never any condensation transferred to my hands while I hold it.
Because it’s viable to transition from home to desk with a nice cup of coffee, not only am I a lot more chipper, but I’ve also stopped spending so much at the Starbucks near work. And though the temperature control is really what sold me on it, it also doesn’t hurt knowing that I could probably run over this with my car and still have a functioning product.
Whether your week calls for a trek up Everest, a backyard barbecue, or an hour-long commute to work every morning, you’re probably able to see the benefits of owning something engineered for the wild.
This article was originally published on 3/1/2017.
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