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Reviews > Hydration Systems > Thermos Flasks > YETI Rambler Bottle > Owner Review by Richard Lyon

Owner Review by Richard Lyon
November 29, 2016
Yeti 1


Male, 70 years old
Height: 6' 4" (1.93 m)
Weight: 205 lb (91 kg)
Email address: Montana DOT angler AT gmail DOT com
Home: Bozeman, Montana USA

I've been backpacking for nearly half a century, most often in the Rockies.  I do at least one weeklong trip every summer, and often take three-day trips.  I'm usually camping in alpine terrain, at altitudes 5000 to 10000 ft (1500 - 3000 m).  I prefer base camp backpacking, a long hike in with day trips from camp.  Though always looking for ways to reduce my pack weight, I still tend to include my favorite camp conveniences.  I always sleep in a floored tent and like hot meals. Summer adventures are often centered on fly fishing opportunities; winter on ski or ski touring.


The YETI Rambler Bottle is a stainless steel vacuum bottle intended by its maker "to keep your drink as cold (or hot) as science allows." YETI offers the Bottle in 18, 36, and 64 oz [0.5, 1.0, 1.9 liters] sizes; pictured above are the two smaller sizes, which I own.

Manufacturer: YETI,
18 oz [0.5 liter] model: 3.0 in [7.6 cm] diameter, 9.25 in [23.5 cm] high (including stopper), 16.0 oz [454 g] in weight
36 oz [1.0 liter] model: 3.5 in [8.9 cm] diameter, 10.25 in [26.0 cm] high (including stopper), 21.75 oz [617 g] in weight
MSRP: 18 oz, $29.99 US; 36 oz, $49.99 US
Related products: The Rambler line also includes three sizes of sipper cups and a can cooler called the Colster.
Customization: For a small additional charge YETI will add an image from its library or of the customer's design to a Rambler product.

All details above are measured; YETI does not provide dimensions on its website.

Each Bottle is made of 18/8 ["kitchen grade"] stainless steel with a double-wall vacuum construction. YETI mentions two trademarked features: No Sweat design,  intended to keep condensation from beading on the outer wall; and Over-the-Nose Technology, to facilitate drinking from the bottle and cleaning. The hard plastic stopper cap also carries a trademark, TripleHaul, that refers to the stout grip that extends all the way across the top. This helps in carrying the Bottle or lashing it down to a pack or watercraft.


For reasons I'll explain, most of my use of the Ramblers has occurred on fishing and in-bounds skiing days, though I've used one or both on dayhikes and a few times on weekend backpacking trips. All use has been within one hundred miles (160 km) or so of my home in the Northern Rockies, at temperatures from 0 to 90 F (-17 to 32 C) and altitudes from 6000 to 10,000 feet (1800-3000 m). At least one and sometimes both are daily companions when I'm fishing from a boat or on foot. Each Bottle also goes into the picnic basket for group lunches or evening events such as Independence Day fireworks displays. Most recent adventure was an overnight trip to a Forest Service cabin in the nearby Bridger Mountains, a short hike with a friend. This was one of the few times when on foot I packed both bottles, carrying them in an overlarge pack that I pulled out of storage for the occasion.


Preparation. Following my longtime practice with all vacuum vessels, before filling a Bottle for the trip I'll temper the Bottle by filling it with hot or iced water, depending upon the eventual contents, and allowing this to steep inside for ten minutes or so.

One great thing about the Rambler is a mouth wide enough for easy filling by pouring from a tea kettle, coffee carafe, or saucepan. I screw the stopper in immediately, though for tea I prefer to discard the tea bags before setting out, so I'll let the bags steep inside, stopper on, for a few more minutes.

Contents. The smaller one holds a beverage, usually tea (sometimes hot, sometimes iced); the larger sometimes tea but more often soup (hot except one occasion last summer). When I needn't carry both Bottles all day - fishing trips - both might accompany me. On all hikes except the latest backpacking trip it's always been one Bottle filled with hot soup that's consumed for lunch on the trail or dinner in camp, though after the soup is consumed I might rinse the Bottle with boiling water and refill it with coffee or tea for the trail the next morning.  On the recent overnight the larger bottle contained hot soup as part of an elaborate dinner - it was a celebration - and the smaller one spiced tea for the trail.

Storage. I have a few packs with side pockets for bottles, but even on them I'll normally stow the Bottle inside. Filled with water the Bottles weigh 37.25 and 58.25 ounces [1056 and 1651 g] respectively, enough to unbalance the pack and cause some listing to port or starboard as the case may be if stored outside. Also I'm afraid the Bottle will fall out, even if lashed under a compression strap. I don't want to lose my lunch or beverage and I don't want to have to purchase another Bottle.

Boat storage is easier - it goes in a locker or the bow. I haven't needed to use the TripleHaul yet but I certainly intend to when I hopefully resume packrafting next spring. (A knee injury in March prevented that this past summer.) Though it's a noticeable extra weight, I'll often stow the smaller Bottle in the back pocket of my fishing vest on wading days.

Insulating Ability. Phenomenal. Without a doubt the best of any vacuum bottle I've ever used. Once I left a Bottle of hot coffee in the car when leaving for an all-day fishing adventure. Upon returning to the car eleven hours later the coffee was still hot to the scalding point. I have left an iced beverage inside a Bottle overnight in camp and there's ice remaining the next morning. If it goes in hot and the stopper is immediately screwed it, it stays hot; ditto for cold.

Yeti 2Features. The Over-the-Nose feature, pictured at left, appears to be a design that combines a thicker than normal lip with carefully recessed threads for the cap. I cannot say it makes drinking from the bottle easier; when in the backcountry I'm thirsty or in need of a jolt of java I don't pay much attention to such details as dribbling a few drops. It does reduce minor spillage when I'm pouring contents into a mug or bowl. And a drinking vessel is almost always needed. Unlike other vacuum bottles I own the cap does not also serve as a cup. Perhaps that's one reason the insulation works so well. At any rate I'm not complaining about having to pack a mug or bowl, both of which I normally carry anyway. By the way, the caps are interchangeable. The photo at left, of the larger Bottle, shows how the cylinder is reduced in size just below the bottom thread to achieve this.

The No Sweat design greatly reduces condensation. I've had a very small bit of condensation in very warm weather but never in the winter - much appreciated when handling a Bottle with bare hands in freezing weather.

Durability. These Bottles are indeed the tough customers YETI advertises. I haven't noticed a ding and both Bottles have been banged around fishing boats considerably. A careless screw-in of the stopper hasn't skewed the threads on the throat, and while the stoppers show some grit and grime on occasion it's always been easily removed with a damp cloth. I expect many years of good use.

Care. After each use I carefully clean each Bottle upon my return home. First it's filled with hot soapy water and allowed to soak for a few minutes. Then I'll scrub it out with a brush, rinse it a couple of times, and refill it with hot water for more soaking. The stoppers are washed and rinsed the same as any plate or utensil. After drying I store the Bottles with stoppers on in my garage. In the field if conditions allow - that is if I have access to boiling water - I'll follow about the same procedure; otherwise it's simple washing and rinsing. I have not yet tasted the vestiges of prior contents after a full wash and rinse.


Tough, easy to use and care for, and remarkably good at keeping different things hot or cold as I desire. What's not to like?

As you may have gathered from my earlier commentary, they're heavy. Their weight makes them, for me at least, too heavy for use simply as water bottles. That's the reason they are not always in my pack, especially on a tough backpack. But when conditions allow - a large group, a short hike, ski touring, fishing, or a picnic - or just when I want to pamper my companions or myself, the YETI Rambler Bottles are great.

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Reviews > Hydration Systems > Thermos Flasks > YETI Rambler Bottle > Owner Review by Richard Lyon

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