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Which Contigo Travel Mug Is Best

Updated on February 22, 2014

And What's The Difference Between Them All Anyway?

Contigo has a large lineup of insulated travel coffee mugs and tumblers. They come in many different styles and colors but if you are anything like me then it's hard to tell much of a difference between them all. They are all just so similar.

The first travel mug I bought from Contigo was their West Loop 16oz mug. It's the upgraded (new and improved) version of the stainless steel autoseal tumbler and at a passing glace looks basically identical.

In fact my uncle owns both the older version and the newer version and even he mixes them up. I personally do not own the older model but having inspected his I can say that it's super easy to tell the difference - that is if you remove the lid and look underneath. The newer model has a lid that opens up to allow for better and more thourough cleaning. A nice upgrade in my opinion.

Is the West Loop the best mug made by Contigo? It sure is for some people but in my experience it's not best for everybody.

Read on to see the main lineup of mugs made by Contigo with my thoughts on which one is best for various types of people.

To Each His Own
To Each His Own

All Contigo Mugs Are Great

Each Is Best For Certain People However

Before I start talking about each individual Contigo mug it's important to understand that each is best for certain types of people. Some people drink tons of coffee and need a larger mug. Some sit at a desk and have acess to refills all day long. Still other people (myself included) like to drink coffee very slowly.

Whatever your unique needs are there is a Contigo designed for you. I personally own and use the 16oz West Loop. My wife actually uses it more than me though because I'm not a huge fan of the flagship Contigo autoseal function. I am however looking forward to ordering the 100z Aria in the very near future. It's the smallest one Contigo makes which is exactly why I like it.

I'm not a biker but if I were I'd like the Aria also for it's push-button locking feature. The west loop won't open when you tip it but if the button is accidentally pushed, say by a book binding in a backpack, the coffee can escape. With a lock on the Aria this is far less likely to happen.

As is the case with Contigo, all their mugs are going top last a long time and they are all going to have excellent thermal insulation. They feature double wall vacuum insulation resulting in coffee that stays hot for hours and warm for the better part of a full work day.

See below for my thoughts on each mug and who I think it's best for.

The Contigo West Loop Travel Mug - Best For People Who Want Their Coffee To Stay Hot For A Long Time

This is the workhorse of the Contigo line. It's nothing fancy and has no gimmicks. It's just a well made mug that keeps drinks hot or cold for a long time. It doesn't leak, won't spill, and it's super easy to clean ever since the lid redesign.

Contigo Autoseal West Loop Stainless Steel Travel Mug with Open-Access Lid (Discontinued by Manufacturer)
Contigo Autoseal West Loop Stainless Steel Travel Mug with Open-Access Lid (Discontinued by Manufacturer)

This is the standard size in travel coffee mugs. It fits most standard cup holders and comes in many different colors.

 
Contigo AUTOSEAL West Loop Vacuum-Insulated Stainless Steel Travel Mug with Easy-Clean Lid, 24 oz, Stainless Steel
Contigo AUTOSEAL West Loop Vacuum-Insulated Stainless Steel Travel Mug with Easy-Clean Lid, 24 oz, Stainless Steel

Like the 16oz model this comes in many different colors and is bigger meaning people who drink tons of coffee won't have to refill as often.

 
Contigo AUTOSEAL Stainless Steel Vacuum Insulated Tumbler, 16 Ounces, Silver
Contigo AUTOSEAL Stainless Steel Vacuum Insulated Tumbler, 16 Ounces, Silver

This is the older model that has a lid that is tougher to clean well. It's great for people who value super hot coffee. According to my uncle who owns both he swears this one keeps coffee hotter longer than the newer West Loop. If you don't use creamer then the cleaning issue is far less significant. This mug also comes in a 20 ounce size.

 

Contigo Aria Autoseal Travel Mugs - Best For People Who Travel A Lot Or Those With Single Serve Coffee Makers

Do you ride a bike to work or school? Maybe you go camping or hiking a lot. I work from home so these don't really apply but I do have a single serve coffee maker and not ever mug fits in the coffee mug space. For me the Aria is best when I use my single cup coffee maker because it actually fits in the space provided without even having to remove a drip tray. These mugs may not necessarily last as long as the West Loop but they perform just as good and they are my top choice.

Contigo Autoseal Aria Vacuum Insulated Stainless Steel Travel Mug, 20-Ounce, Charcoal
Contigo Autoseal Aria Vacuum Insulated Stainless Steel Travel Mug, 20-Ounce, Charcoal

Again, this is for the person who drinks a lot of coffee or tea.

 
Contigo AUTOSEAL Aria Vacuum Insulated Stainless Steel Travel Mug, 16oz, Stainless Steel with Blue
Contigo AUTOSEAL Aria Vacuum Insulated Stainless Steel Travel Mug, 16oz, Stainless Steel with Blue

For those with moderate appetites for coffee the regular 16-oz size is best. The 10-oz size mug can also be found here. It's best for those that use single serve (one cup) coffee makers in the home.

 

Are Contigo Travel Mugs Dishwasher Safe?

Check out this lens to find out.

About The Author

My name is Brian. I am the author of Top Off My Coffee - The Blog. I am a coffee enthusiast and know more about the subject than just about anyone I know.

I work from home, am married, and a kid, a cat, and a dog and I am a very happy man.

If you like this please check out my other published pages and please do head over to my site. Thanks!

Have you any experience with Contigo mugs? What are your favorite aspects of them and who would you recommend them to most.

Your Thoughts Please - We All Have Personal Experience To Share Share Your Thoughts With The World Right Here

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    • profile image

      Jessica 

      21 months ago

      Good approach discussing the coffee-drinking habits that are supported by each mug, very helpful. I have had several West Loops (older and newer models) and they are off-the-charts wonderful for keeping coffee hot. For the tactile/aesthetic benefits, the new matte finishes are very pleasing.

    • SusanDeppner profile image

      Susan Deppner 

      4 years ago from Arkansas USA

      Good reviews! I've never used a Contigo mug, but I certainly do like the look.

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