The Science Inside Your Yeti Cup

The Science Inside Your Yeti Cup

Ever wonder why your Yeti cup is that much better than any of your other tumblers? Read this to find out the science behind the cup.

Yeti cup

You've planned an epic camping weekend with your friends. You're going to do everything: hike, hunt, fish, and grill everything you catch over an open fire. 

There's just one problem: the forecast for that awesome weekend? 

Over 100 degrees. Instead of canceling your trip, you just need to learn how you can stay cool! One of the most important things to do to keep yourself safe?

Staying hydrated. 

The famed Yeti cup, which has become a cult product over the past few years, can help.

It's able to keep your drink ice cold for hours at a time -- but how? 

Read on to learn more about the science behind everyone's favorite tumbler. 

The Origins Of The Yeti Cup

Fascinatingly, Yeti cups were originally born as coolers and were created by two fishermen

The fishermen wanted to create something that was strong enough for them to stand on, that also kept food and drinks ice cold for hours. The pair realized that they were losing time -- not to mention fish -- by frequently having to return home to cool down. 

Their goal? 

Create a cooler that kept food and drinks as cold as possible, for as long as possible. What seemed like a simple, basic idea turned into an industry worth nearly $5 billion. 

Soon, the target market wanted more. How could the technology of the Yeti cooler be used on cups? 

Keep reading to learn how the science of Yeti coolers was transferred to a hand-held cup. 

Science Is Cool -- Literally

Sure, Yeti cups are a bit more expensive than the plastic SOLO cups that most people bring along on outdoor trips. 

But the science behind them certainly helps to justify their price tag. There are lots of thermal cups on the market today, each one claiming that they can keep your beverage of choice cold or hot for hours. But there's nothing quite like the original. 

And science backs us up on that. 

It's What's On The Outside That Counts

The design process starts with the cup's exterior. Since it was originally designed for the outdoorsy types, creating something that could stand up to the harshest of conditions -- and temperatures -- was a major priority. 

Remember that the company was started by two fishermen -- and they looked to their own fishing boats as inspiration. Like many popular fishing boats, and even come kayaks, the exterior of the Yeti is roto-molded. 

This means that it's made all in one swipe. There are no "seams" that could easily crack and cause damage to your tumbler. This also means that it's strong enough to withstand being dropped even from great heights. 

Don't believe us? 

Try it yourself, or just watch one of the many videos on YouTube of people trying to break their cups.

It took one YouTuber an astounding 5 minutes to cut through a single Yeti cup -- with a table saw. So, we're pretty comfortable saying they can take almost anything. 

What makes these cups so strong? 

For starters, it's their 18.8-grade stainless steel. But what about the inside? 

It's All About A Vacuum Seal 

When you're designing a product that's meant to keep things cool, you have to keep the contents separated from anything that could transfer heat. 

How does a Yeti cup accomplish this? 

Through the use of an airtight vacuum seal. What material helps to make that vacuum seal so impenetrable? 


This is essentially the "secret ingredient" of the Yeti cup.

If you're a science type, you might be scratching your head, because you know that copper is actually one of the best materials used to conduct and contain heat. Yeti has physics to thank for its success -- and it's all about the way in which heat and thermal energy are transferred. 

Heat can be conducted when two hot materials touch one another. So, let's say that it's a super sunny day outside, and the interior of your car is really boiling. If you put your Yeti cup in your armrest cupholder since it's made of copper, it should get hot too, right? 


Because of that 18.8-grade stainless steel exterior layer we mentioned above, the heat can't conduct -- because it's not actually touching the copper. 

OK, so why doesn't the Yeti tumbler get hot when it's hot outside? If you set it in the sun for several hours, it's only logical that it will overheat, right?

Wrong again. 

This is because that heat from the outside is blocked by the stainless steel and the copper walls of the cup. Basically, the heat can't get to the copper, and it also can't get to your drink. 

Eventually, your drink may get a little bit warmer, but because of all these excess external layers, it will take a lot more time than usual to do so. 

Let's move onto the final option. 

The Truth About Radiation

You're likely familiar with the concept of radiation -- the third and final way that copper could potentially get heated up. Well, the Yeti has taken this option out of the equation as well, thanks once again to the power of science. This is where the copper layer of the Yeti tumbler really has the chance to shine. 

Without getting too much into complicated scientific theory and terms, let's look at the basics here. Radiation is the process through which heat is transferred through light. Again, copper is known as one of the best materials to use if you want to attract and conduct light. 

So why doesn't it work on the Yet? 

Because it's all about reflectivity. Hang on, here's where things start to get a little bit more complicated. 

When things get hot on the external, stainless steel side of the Yeti, it's still true that the light gets pushed towards, or reflected on, the copper. 

But, instead of conducting that heat (and therefore warming up what's inside your cup) the copper in the Yeti tumbler reflects it back. So, that light and energy? It's actually moving away from the contents of your drink. 

We know -- it's a lot to take in. 

The point is that the folks at Yeti have created a product that is scientifically proven, in multiple ways, to stand up against heat. 

Other Information On The Yeti Cup

Of course, the science behind the Yeti cup is only a portion of the story. While it's a fascinating read, consumers want cold, hard facts about the effectiveness of these cups. 

Though there's no exact time frame that Yeti's are guaranteed to keep your drinks cool for, the more ice you add, the longer things will stay chilly inside. So, if you're going to be out for several hours, you might want to fill your cup entirely with ice, and melt it a bit at a time. 

However, Yeti cups are designed to make sure that your drink stays cold for at least twice as long as other cups would. 

There are also lots of different designs to choose from, including the Rambler Tumbler, Colsters, and even a bottle shape. The cups and tumblers also come in a variety of sizes. These options range from 12 ounces all the way up to 128 ounces.

For easier gripping, the largest sizes come with handles. 

We love that Yeti has clearly taken into consideration all the things that can happen if you lead a rugged life. They've created their cups with 100% leakproof caps, so even if your tumbler gets tossed around, your water won't go anywhere. 

For those that love accessories, Yeti has something for you, too. Especially if you've obsessed with making awesome summer smoothies, you can get a special straw lid. 

Replacement parts are also available.

Finally, your Yeti cup, unlike so many other thermoses on the market today, isn't a pain to clean. It's dishwasher-safe, meaning you can just toss it in and walk away. 

If you don't have a dishwasher, soap and water will work just fine. 

Where Can You Get A Yeti Cup? 

This year, temperatures will likely be hotter than ever. So, no matter what kind of lifestyle you lead, investing in a Yeti cup is a smart idea for those who want to stay cool. 

But where can you buy these highly in-demand items? We know they're hard to find, as they keep getting more and more popular. 

You might even remember the fights that broke out over Christmastime when people would do whatever it took to get a Yeti cup in their loved ones' stockings. 

That's where we come in. 

We offer a wide variety of Yeti products, including the cups we've discussed in this article. We have options in 20 different colors -- so no matter your style, you're guaranteed to find something you like!

If you're thinking about adding a cooler to the mix, we've got you covered there, too. Spend some time on our website to learn more about the latest gear you can't live without. 

With our help, you can take your camping trip to the next level -- and you won't have to worry about what the thermometer says.

Have questions? Want to learn more about a particular product? Feel free to get in touch with us!


Leave a comment

← Previous post
Next post →