Expert Review: HydroFlask 12 oz Cooler Cup

Published on 08/26/2022 · 5 min readThis review is my honest opinion of the cup, which I purchased with my own money in January of 2021.
Hunter Reed, Camping Expert
By Camping Expert Hunter Reed

All photos courtesy of Hunter Reed

About this Review: This review is my honest opinion of the cup, which I purchased with my own money in January of 2021.

My take

The HydroFlask 12 oz cooler cup is a dual-purpose product from Hydroflask that can be used as a koozie or as a cup. As with all Hydroflasks, it insulates very well, and I find the 12oz is the perfect size for coffee or wine. This product is mainly intended for car camping, though I still bring it on the majority of my backpacking trips.

Using the HydroFlask 12 oz Cooler Cup in California for matcha!

About the cup I own

  • Model: HydroFlask 12oz Cooler Cup
  • Size: 12oz

About me

  • Experience: 20+ years of backpacking

Test conditions

  • When I bought it: January 2021
  • Days tested: 100+
  • Seasons I’ve used it in: Fall, summer, winter, spring
  • Weather conditions I’ve used it in: Intense heat, extreme cold, and everything in between
  • Used for: Coffee, wine, tea, cocktails

How it performs

Ease of Use

What I was looking for

I got this cooler cup because I wanted something small to use for coffee on camping trips. Previously I had a 20oz thermos, but I never drink that much coffee, so it was too large.

Why I chose this gear

Though I drink coffee everyday, I don’t drink large quantities—usually just a cup. Most insulated coffee cups are 16oz or larger, which felt too big for me. The 12oz seemed perfect. I also saw that this cup could be used as a koozie because it has a silicone cover to keep a can secure. The dual use really sold me—along with the fact that HydroFlask products have never disappointed me. I have a water bottle, a thermos, and a food container from them that always keep my beverages and snacks at the right temperature.

What I love about it

  • Durability: HydroFlask products are pretty durable. This cup is made out of tough stainless steel and will last a lifetime.
  • Ease of use: This cup is both super easy to use and easy to wipe out with a sponge or paper towel when it needs to be cleaned.
  • Car Camping: This product is mainly intended for car camping. It is a bit too heavy and nonessential for most people to want to carry it on backpacking trips.
  • Temperature Retention: As with all HydroFlask products, this cup does an awesome job at temperature retention. It has TempShield technology with two walls of vacuum insulation. It is better than a regular cloth or rubber koozie at keeping cans cool, and it keeps my coffee warm for a long time in the morning as well. I have found that no matter if it’s their bottles, thermoses, or cups, HydroFlask has never disappointed me with their ability to insulate my beverages.
  • Versatility: The cup can be used with or without the silicone topper. If used with the topper, it will fit a regular 12oz can of beer, La Croix, or soda. The topper can be placed over to keep the can secure and insulated. Take the topper off and it will fit 12oz of fluid.

Issues I’ve encountered

  • Leakage: There is no lid on this cup. So if it’s tipped over while there is something in it, it will spill.
  • Packability: Since this is a metal cup, it is not the most practical thing to toss into a backpack. It also weighs .6lbs, so it’s not ideal for those concerned about weight on backpacking trips.
  • Backpacking: I’ll be honest, I still bring my HydroFlask cooler cup on most of my backpacking trips. That being said, it is heavy and totally not necessary or ideal for backpacking. I have gotten some “wow looks heavy” comments and rolled eyes when I take it out at camp because it weighs .6lbs. A regular cup weighs maybe a third of the weight and would be fine for holding my coffee for a few mornings.

Favorite moment with this gear

My favorite moment with this gear was a camping trip with a friend in California. We had gotten in late and camped in the back of my truck. When we woke up exhausted and a bit disoriented the next morning, I made some matcha in my cup and drank it while sitting on a rock as the sun started to rise. It was really a beautiful view, and my tea stayed nice and warm!

Value for the money vs. other options

This is totally not a necessity for camping, but I use it all the time. In terms of versatility, the only downfall is that it doesn’t have a lid. It can be used for any type of drink, and it insulates canned beverages. I love using it on hot river trips where I am switching off between beer and coffee everyday. I picked this up for $25 and think it is totally worth the money. I have given a few as gifts to outdoorsy friends who also like them. Because of its dual use, it’s a much better value than the HydroFlask wine tumbler or a regular HydroFlask cup.

Final verdict

The HydroFlask 12oz cooler cup keeps my drinks insulated year round. I always need a cup for coffee, tea, or wine while camping. So it’s a bonus that this one also doubles as a koozie for cans. It makes a great gift and comes in fun colors!

Out of stock
  • We price match
  • Returnable

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