I need to get one thing out-of-the-way before we dive into the review of Snow Peak’s 450 Titanium Double Wall Mug. It’s $50. That’s right, this review is about a $50 coffee cup. Now I know you’re probably thinking this mug must be some “must have” Gucci piece of kit hipsters and overcampers buy, but I’m going to set you straight. The 450 Titanium Double Wall Mug is the single greatest beverage container I’ve ever owned. Why? Well that’s what I’m here to talk about.
For starters, let’s take a look at the mug. Snow Peak is a Japanese company known for their high quality camping and outdoor gear. From cookware to camp stoves, tents to tools, they make just about everything you need for an enjoyable outdoor experience. Their titanium line of cookware and tableware is hands down some of the nicest in the business. It’s not only high quality, it’s also aesthetically pleasing and built to last. Their 450 Titanium Double Wall Mug is a prime example of that. The 450, which stands for 450ml (just shy of a pint of beer), has been my “go to” mug for the past 6 years.
At first I couldn’t wrap my head around why anyone would spend $50 on a camping mug. While I liked the weathered patina the titanium takes on after years of use, I thought for sure this was more of a status symbol that a useful piece of kit. It wasn’t until I took a camping trip with a couple of buddies where I borrowed a friend’s 450 that I became a true believer.
The Snow Peak mug features a double wall design to help insulate your beverage. It was a real treat having your coffee stay hot for more than five minutes when camping in the freezing cold. I tested it against my el cheapo big box mug and the difference was noticeable right away. Whatever hot beverage I was drinking at the time stayed warmer well after the one in the other mug gave up the ghost.
The insulation also works great for cold beverages. We all enjoy a nice adult beverage around the campfire at night after a long day on the trail. Drop some ice in your Snow Peak cup, pour yourself a drink, and enjoy. You’ll still have cubes long after your buddies are on their second and third trip to the cooler for more ice. After that camping trip I was sold and had to have one.
Now I know many of you are thinking that an insulated bottle from Kleen Kanteen or Hydro Flask does the same thing. Yes, they do. However, when I’m drinking coffee I want to drink it out of a coffee cup, not some narrow neck, pain in the ass to clean bottle. The same thing goes for having a scotch or a bourbon. I like drinking them on the rocks in a regular full-size drinking vessel, not a water bottle.
The double wall construction has another benefit. You can actually hold the cup in your hands when it’s full of molten java without getting second degree burns or having to put on a set of welder’s gloves. We’ve all been there before. You just finished brewing that first cup of joe and eagerly pour it into that metal camp cup. Before commonsense or logic sets in, you wrap your hands around it and next thing you know you just burned your hands and spilled the coffee all over your lap. Or how about trying to hold the frosty mug when you’ve got a glacial spring inside? Better break out the gloves before you go into hypothermia. Not with the Snow Peak. The outside of the mug stays at ambient temperature regardless of what beverage you’re enjoying inside of it. Another side effect of the double wall design is that your lips don’t get seared when taking a sip of hot coffee or stuck on the cup like Flick’s tongue in a Christmas Story when you’re enjoying a cold one.
Weighing in at just 4.2 ounces, the Snow Peak 450 Titanium Double Wall Mug is a great travel companion and easy to carry with you wherever you go. For the past six years I’ve travelled with my mug everywhere! It’s been on countless camping trips, off-road adventures, and even business trips or weekend getaways. In fact, it’s usually the last thing I pack with me because I drink out of it every day. Yes, you read that correctly. I use it every day – even while at home or at the office. In fact, I’m drinking out of it right now as I type this. My 450 has pretty much replaced all the other coffee cups in our house. While for the first three or four years I got a lot of grief from my better half about drinking out of a “camping cup” while at home, it only took a couple uses for her to become a believer as well.
We’re now a “450 family” as I like to joke since we have three of them in the house. How do you know whose cup belongs to who? Easy! My 450 has the small dent along the bottom edge after falling off the roof rack of a moving vehicle in Baja, my better half uses the one with a few less battle scars, and our daughter rocks an anodized version. Laugh all you want, but once you introduce a 450 into the household you’ll have to fight off the vultures coming to snatch it up for their own enjoyment.
All of that being said, I can honestly say that the Snow Peak 450 Titanium Double Wall Mug is a great piece of gear and you should definitely consider getting one. Back to that $50 price tag you’re probably still having sticker shock over. Think about all the patches, knick knacks, or bling EDC gear you’ve bought over the past year and add it up. Do you use any of it every single day? I’ve been using my Snow Peak 450 for right around six and half years straight at this point. At roughly $0.02 per day, I’d say it’s a hell of a value for what I’m getting out of it.
So, what are you waiting for?