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Reviews > Hydration Systems > Thermos Flasks > Avex Highland AUTOSEAL Travel Mug > Test Report by Andrea Murland

Avex Highland AUTOSEAL Stainless Travel Mug
Test Series by Andrea Murland

Initial Report - June 12, 2014
Long Term Report - October 28, 2014

Tester Information

Name: Andrea Murland
Email: amurland AT shaw DOT ca
Age: 28
Location: Kimberley & Elkford, British Columbia, Canada
Gender: Female
Height: 5 ft 2 in (1.57 m)
Weight: 130 lb (59 kg)

I began hiking frequently in 2006 and have since hiked in Western Canada, Australia, and spent 2 months backpacking in the Alps. I spend most weekends either day-hiking or on 2-3 day backpacking trips, with some longer trips when I can manage them. I also snowshoe and ski in the winter, but don’t have a lot of experience with winter in the backcountry yet. Elevation is typically 500-3,000 m (1,600-10,000 ft), in the Canadian Rockies and the Selkirk, Purcell, and Monashee ranges. I try for a light pack, but I don’t consider myself a lightweight backpacker.

Avex Highland Mugs

Initial Report – June 12, 2014

Product Information

Manufacturer: Avex
Manufacturer's URL: www.avexsport.com
Model: Highland AUTOSEAL Stainless Travel Mug
Year of Manufacture: 2014
MSRP: 16 oz (473 mL) - US $22.99
20 oz (591 mL) - US $24.99
Size: 16 oz (473 mL) or 20 oz (591 mL)
Colours Tested: Blue Stainless 16 oz (473 mL) and Black Matte Stainless 20 oz (591 mL)
Listed Weight: None
Measured Weight: 16 oz (473 mL) – 336 g (11.9 oz)
20 oz (591 mL) – 369 g (13.0 oz)

Description & Initial Impressions

The Avex Sport Highland AUTOSEAL Stainless Travel Mug is a double-walled vacuum-insulated drink holder. It features an AUTOSEAL lid, to prevent spillage. The AUTOSEAL allows me to drink by pushing a button on the lid, conveniently located right where my fingers sit when I want to take a drink. This button also slides up and down, with the down position being “locked”, which prevents the button from being depressed.

The mug is made from stainless steel, with a plastic lid. The bottom of the mug has some rubber around the edge, and on the very bottom it reminds me that the mug is top rack dishwasher safe, not to microwave it, and that hot contents can release pressure when the button is depressed.

The manufacturer indicates that the 16 oz (473 mL) mug measures 3.3 in (8.4 cm) in diameter and 8.8 in (22.3 cm) in height, and will keep liquids hot for 5 hours or cold for 14 hours. The 20 oz (591 mL) mug is stated to be 3.3 in (8.4 cm) in width and 9.25 in (23.5 cm) tall, and keep liquids hot for 7 hours or cold for up to 20 hours. The heights of my mugs are the same as listed, though both sizes are smaller in diameter, just under 3 in (7.6 cm). I filled up both mugs to just below the threads for the lids (where the manufacturer says to fill to), and the volumes are about right, according to my not-so-accurate kitchen measuring cup.

The mugs came with an instruction sheet for care and cleaning. After some warnings about hot beverages, it indicates that the body and lid are top rack dishwasher safe, and then offers some tips for cleaning all the little parts of the lid.
Lid Details

Trying Them Out

Well, I didn’t conduct any scientific experiments with temperature (that will come...), but I worked an awful lot over the past week, so I have used the 20 oz (591 mL) mug quite a few times already. I am happy to report that the mug keeps hot liquids hot, and I have had a still-warm drink to come back to after forgetting it on my desk for a few hours by accident. The mug fits in the cup holders in the vehicles I’ve driven this week, too. I took the opportunity to turn the full mug upside down and shake it a bit, and didn’t have any dripping of liquid from the lid, so it appears not to leak. Further testing impressions will have to wait until my final report in four months!

Summary

The Avex Sport Highland AUTOSEAL Stainless Travel Mug is a vacuum-insulated, double-walled drink holder which promises to keep my liquids hot or cold and to keep them from spilling too. I hope that this proves to be the case when I’m hiking this summer!

Long Term Report – October 28, 2014

Field Conditions

The Avex Highland Stainless Travel Mug has been a nice item to have in my gear pile this summer. I have used it on one overnight hike, one three-day hike, and seven day hikes, all in my local area, at elevations up to about 2300 m (7545 ft). I have also used it on a lot of commutes. On the day hikes and the overnight hike, I carried the bottle inside of my pack, and on the three-day hike I carried it in an exterior side pocket. The temperatures overnight never got lower than just above freezing, and during the day it was up to about 30 C (86 F).

I have almost always put hot liquids into the Highland mugs. It just never occurs to me to put cold things in, as I rarely have cold water when I’m out and about anyway. A few times I have put in water when the mug’s been empty and convenient, but I’ve never paid attention to how cold the liquids have remained.

Observations

LTR Use Through the test period, I have enjoyed having warm drinks on my hikes. The Highland Travel Mugs served this purpose well. For hiking, I mostly used the 16 oz (473 mL) mug, as the 20 oz (591 mL) mug just seemed too large for the amount of tea or hot chocolate that I usually drink. On the overnight and three-day hikes, I made tea in the evening once I arrived at camp, and hot chocolate in the morning. I would typically make tea and then sip at it while I set up camp, cooked dinner, and sat around after dinner. I had to make sure to let it cool off enough before putting the lid on, or I’d still be burning my mouth by the time I was ready to think about going to bed. I would do the reverse in the morning with hot chocolate, sipping while I tore down my camp. I really liked having the insulated mug instead of a little cup (what I usually use), as in the cup my drink is always cold quickly. I also found that the mug insulated my hand from the contents, and I never had to worry about grabbing a hot mug. As a bonus, I found that the mug had a wide enough mouth for my UV water purifier to fit in the top.

The 20 oz (591 mL) mug I usually used for driving around. I drive for two hours at the beginning and end of each week, and it was nice to have a big mug of something warm to keep me company. I also used it at work frequently, and I liked that it was black so I couldn’t see most of the coal dust that it picked up. My car’s cupholder fits the mugs nicely, and it was fine in our work trucks too.

I loved the AUTOSEAL function, especially the fact that it can be locked. It was great to be able to throw my mug in my pack or bag and not have to worry about it leaking or the button being pressed by accident. I also didn’t have to worry about knocking over the mug on uneven surfaces outside, or even about putting it upright to start with. As a backcountry mug, I really like being able to drink straight from the mug, instead of having to pour the drink into a separate small cup/lid (as is the case with many insulated flasks). I am excited about being able to use it in the winter. The AUTOSEAL is also easy to use. It became habit to depress the button for venting before moving the mug to my face, though I found that this was required more while the liquid was hotter, and it didn’t vent as much after some time had passed. The button was easy to feel and depress with gloves on. It was also easy to slide the button between the locked and unlocked position with one hand.

I found that the small mug stayed securely in the outside pocket of my overnight pack. It also packed into the body of the pack just fine, in which case I stuffed the mug full of things like tea bags and matches.

I usually cleaned the mugs and lids by hand, in hot soapy water. The bodies of the mugs cleaned easily, and I was happy to note that coal dust even came off the gray rubber on the bottom of the larger mug. The lids were less easy to clean, with all the little crevices and moving parts. If I leave hot chocolate or coffee (which has milk in it in my case) residue in the lids for a day or overnight, I end up with little pieces of dried stuff (actually, it looks more like what I’d skim off a soup) in the various bits. These were sometimes hard to get out, and I did have to resort to bottle brushes and other small fibres to get them out. The lids of both mugs went through the dishwasher several times, as did the body of the 16 oz (473 mL) mug, and they seemed to clean well in there. The 20 oz (591 mL) mug was too tall for the top rack of my dishwasher. Once thoroughly cleaned I didn’t find that the mugs or lids held too much of an odour. I could usually tell what I’d last had in the mug if I sniffed when it was empty, but as soon as it was re-filled and I was using it I couldn’t notice anything.

As far as durability goes, both mugs have some scratches on the bodies. The marks are more noticeable on the black mug, where the black coating has scratched off. Neither mug or lid shows any serious signs of use, though.

I mentioned that I was looking forward to winter use with these mugs. Since this test is ending before things get too cold, I thought I’d simulate winter in my freezer. My freezer is a balmy -16 C (3 F), and I filled the bottles right to the top with water. Here are the results of my test:

Elapsed Time 16 oz (473 mL) 20 oz (591 mL)
0 (start) 93 C (199 F) 94 C (201 F)
1 hour 75 C (167 F) 80 C (176 F)
2 hours 61 C (142 F) 70 C (158 F)
3 hours 50 C (122 F) 61 C (142 F)
4 hours 43 C (109 F) 54 C (129 F)

I found that the temperature of drink that I’d want at lunch was between 60 C (140 F) and 70 C (158 F), so I would only have a couple of hours at winter temperatures. Of course, I usually fill my mug, drive somewhere, and then go outside, and I also usually wrap my insulated container in a jacket to help it retain heat, so I would probably get a bit more time. It looks like the larger mug would keep my drink warmer for lunch, but, as I mentioned, I prefer to carry the smaller one while hiking. Perhaps in the winter I’ll change my mind.

Summary

The Avex Highland AUTOSEAL Stainless Travel Mugs have been great to test. I really like the addition of the smaller one to my hiking and overnight gear, and look forward to seeing how it works in the winter. I have also enjoyed using the larger mug for commuting and work.

Thumbs Up:
Doesn’t leak
Locking AUTOSEAL function
Retains heat well at moderate temperatures

Thumbs Down:
Minor surface scratching
Lid can be hard to clean, especially if not rinsed soon after use.

Thanks to Avex and BackpackGearTest.org for the chance to test these insulated mugs! It has been a fun test and I will be continuing to use them in the future.



Read more reviews of Avex Sport gear
Read more gear reviews by Andrea Murland

Reviews > Hydration Systems > Thermos Flasks > Avex Highland AUTOSEAL Travel Mug > Test Report by Andrea Murland



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