Stanley vs YETI: Which tumbler is worth the hype?

By Emma O'Regan-Reidy

Published Mar 1, 2024 at 12:03 PM

Reading time: 3 minutes

At this point, you’re probably more than familiar with the Stanley Quencher H2.0 Flowstate Tumbler—aka the viral Stanley Cup. It’s that extra-large thermos-like water bottle with a handle and a straw that everyone, from preteens and momfluencers to avid hikers and construction workers, praises as the best insulated tumbler these days. The popularity of the cup has skyrocketed since 2019. According to CNBC, the 110-year-old company’s sales have grown from $73 million to a projected $750 million last year. With all of that in mind, it’s no surprise that the highly lucrative and beloved Stanley Quencher has a few competitors in the water bottle marketplace—namely, the YETI Rambler.

Have you found yourself asking: Is Stanley better than YETI, or vice versa? Below, read about the pros and cons of each product—along with technical specs—to help you decide which option is best for your lifestyle. Plus, discover why this Stanley vs YETI tumbler conversation is happening now.

@cnnunderscored

Replying to @16___alex Which water bottle should we test next? Link in bio to shop your pick! #yeti #stanley #stanleytumbler #yetirambler #waterbottle #waterbottlechallenge #waterbottletest #ice #commissionearned

♬ Out of My League - Fitz and The Tantrums

Overview of the Stanley Quencher H2.0 Flowstate Tumbler

Let’s start off with the Stanley Quencher. Many praise this cup as the best tumbler for cold drinks due to its double-wall vacuum insulation. The high-quality design can keep beverages cold for hours on end; for instance, you may have even seen that video of a woman’s Stanley Quencher (and the ice inside of it) surviving a car fire. It’s made of premium stainless steel (90 per cent of which is recycled) and, perhaps most importantly, comes in an array of annual, core, seasonal, limited and customisable colour options, so you can seamlessly curate your cup to match your style.

Other highlights include the comfort grip handle, its car cup holder compatibility, and a rotating lid with three positions.

@stephgmacedo

Its a vibe 🤍 #fyp #stanleycup #stanley #aestheticfinds #cleanaesthetic

♬ Collide (sped up) - Justine Skye

That being said, even though it’s intended to be taken on the go, the Stanley Quencher isn’t the easiest to travel with due to its size—especially if your usual mode of transport is anything other than a car. But, this drawback also applies to the YETI Rambler; it’s really just a downside of these extra-large cups with straws in general.

Overview of the YETI Rambler

Next up is the YETI Rambler. This insulated tumbler offers many of the same features as the Stanley Quencher. It has a car cup holder-compatible base, comes in several large sizes and has an elongated handle for easy gripping. Moreover, the thermos-like water bottle is also double-wall vacuum insulated, so you can count on it to keep beverages at their ideal temperature for hours, or even days, according to some reviewers.

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A post shared by YETI (@yeti)

While the YETI Rambler is still popular, it’s arguably a bit less hyped than the Stanley Quencher. To be honest, I think this is largely down to style rather than the function of these tumblers. While the Stanley Cup comes in a variety of luxe neutrals, contemporary earth tones and other vibrant hues, the YETI is limited in its colourways. And, the options it does offer aren’t the trendiest—meaning they don’t align with Gen Z’s preferred colour palette.

Even though it may seem like a small detail, colour seems to play a huge role in Stanley’s accelerated success. Terence Riley, the president at Stanley, told CNBC: “When I joined, I realized that this [product] could be something that, in the right hands, with new colors, materials and finishes, could be something that catches the eye of a new customer.”

YETI Rambler vs Stanley Quencher

So, which is better, YETI or Stanley? In short, they’re pretty much the same product. Both have similar price tags, can be used to keep drinks cold for hours and come in a variety of extra-large sizes with easy-to-hold handles. As mentioned above, the main difference comes down to aesthetics. The Stanley Cup will probably be the best choice for you if you prefer more contemporary colour options.

Why is the Stanley vs YETI conversation happening now?

Over the past year, the insulated tumbler has become the most coveted accessory across an array of demographics. Why? Most of it comes down to marketing, unsurprisingly. In 2020, Stanley gained a new president, the previously mentioned Terence Riley, who had just finished a seven-year job at Crocs as their Chief Marketing Officer (CMO). While at the footwear company, he transformed the ugly shoe into a wardrobe staple mainly through influencer branding and authentic partnerships with celebrities like Post Malone and Justin Bieber.

According to Sedge Beswick on TikTok, Riley successfully achieved three things across his time at both companies. First, he understood how to engage the brand’s base audience, while also finding new ways to engage them and diversifying product offerings. Secondly, Beswick emphasises the importance of understanding understanding your niche and what audiences or fandoms fall within it.

Both of these points are demonstrated by Stanley’s partnership with The Buy Guide. The trio of women behind the blog were longtime fans of the cup and happily introduced the insulated tumbler to the influencer sphere, resulting in its boost in popularity. They even saved the Stanley Quencher from being discontinued in 2019.

Lastly, Beswick talks about how Stanley successfully strikes a balance between performance and brand marketing by staying true to its brand. It accomplishes this by supporting its original consumer base while continuing to welcome new types of buyers.

@sedge_beswick

The CMO from @Stanley 1913 used to be at @Crocs - what a wizard! #marketing #stanleycup #justinbieber #postmalone

♬ original sound - SedgeBeswick

The bottom line: Stanley vs YETI can be viewed as just another arbitrary trend that promotes a cycle of unnecessary consumerism (and rightly so). However, the comparison also speaks to how pivotal social media marketing can be for any product—even a stainless steel thermos that’s been around for more than a century.

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