Yeti cups, along with all other insulated stainless steel cups, have grown more and more popular over recent years. People bring them all over the place, so it’s no surprise that they are one of the most common items to pass through airport security.
Fortunately, Yeti cups are allowed on airplanes, both as a carry-on and in checked baggage. The only requirement is that they are empty when you pass through the security checkpoint.
That’s pretty much all there is to it. If you’re carrying your cup on the plane, you can just refill it on the other side of the checkpoint. There should always be no issue at that point.
I have heard of rare scenarios in which someone was held up because of their Yeti cup, but that shouldn’t really happen unless you get a TSA (or other agency) worker who doesn’t know better. Always be prepared though, because we all know that it’s not always a good idea to count on TSA to know better.
Here’s a link to the official TSA.gov webpage that shows that you are permitted to carry on a “coffee thermos”. Pull up that page if for some reason you have any issue at the airport.
99.99% of the time, you’ll never have to worry about it. Airports see a million insulated cups/mugs/thermoses every day and the only time I’ve seen someone stopped has been when there’s liquid in the container.
Our Favorite Insulated Cups for Travel (Yeti & Others)
Here’s a little list of some of our favorite cups for taking on an airplane. Even though the Yeti Rambler really started the stainless insulated cup craze, there are plenty of other good options. There’s not a huge difference between most of the well-made cups, but some are still slightly better than others for travel.
If I had to choose one cup/mug to travel with, it would be a lowball style. And it has to be admitted that Yeti does a great job with this kind of cup.
The Yeti Lowball is well made, comes in a ton of colors, and it keeps your drinks hot or cold for just about as long as you could possibly need. And even though all of that is great, the best thing about the Lowball is really the size.
Honestly, how many times have you taken a gigantic tumbler and only partially filled it? Probably more times than you could count. Most people lug around a way bigger cup than they actually make use of.
The 10oz capacity of the Lowball is the perfect size for almost all casual travel situations. It fits in all but the smallest of bags, it’s easy to carry around, and it has more than enough capacity for a single drink
It’s worth mentioning that the Lowball is also that much better for cocktails. If you like to have a stiff drink on the plane, this is the way to go.
Arguably my favorite medium Yeti-style cup isn’t a Yeti, but a Corkcicle. I’m a fan of the Corcicle’s size, build quality,
They are also available in a variety of additional sizes. We just think the 16oz size is the sweet spot for travel- big enough to hold enough liquid but small enough to easily carry around in/with your luggage.
The only downside is that they’re a bit heavy compared to a lot of the competition. I actually prefer the more substantial weight, so it’s not much of a “con” in my book. The only time the extra weight is truly a negative is when you’re cutting it extremely close to your luggage weight limit and every pound counts.
Need a completely sealed, leak-proof mug? The Camelbak Forge is the ticket.
This is a well-designed mug that does as good as job of keeping your drink hot/cold as it does keeping your bag dry. The lid mechanism works extremely well and can be operated easily with one hand. You don’t have to fiddle around with complicated seals- just push the lever and take a sip. It’ll seal itself back up soon as you’re done.
The Forge is also very easy to clean- something that isn’t always true of “leak-proof” mugs that involve complicated levers and other contraptions. The lid is built to be as clean coming out of the dishwasher as it would be if you hand washed it in the sink.
The extra little detail I like on the Forge is the loop located on the top. It’s a small touch, but it makes it really easy to carry the mug around when your hands are full. You can also use this to quickly clip it on a backpack or other bag.
This is only a good option for travelers who don’t mind losing the high-end insulation of the larger mugs on this list. Even though the Paria 450ml mug is double-walled and does offer some insulation, it falls far short of the earlier entries.
The Paria is a specialty choice, great for backpackers, outdoorsy travelers, and those who want to generally cut down on size/weight. Minimalists will love that the handles fold down flush against the mug, making it easy to stow away.
Build quality on the Paria is phenomenal. High-end titanium construction means that this one will last practically forever if taken care of.
And I’ll just say it: the style factor of the Pariah can’t be ignored. It’s got all of the utility of a high-quality backpacking/camp mug, but it has a sleek build and a luxury feel. Backpackers familiar with the popular Snow Peak mugs will find the Paria to be a worthy upgrade.
That’s everything you need to know about bringing Yeti (or other brands) cups on a plane, along with a few of our favorite travel mugs. It’s always a good idea to have a go-to travel mug, especially with how simple it is to carry them onto a plane.
Let us know if you’ve ever been stopped by TSA or other airport security for having an insulated mug! We’ve heard a few (rare) stories and would love to know which particular mugs caused an issue!