Best Backpacking Mug Titanium

Best-in-class ultralight titanium backpacking cup options for hot liquid

A backpacking mug for warm drinks is an essential non-essential. With a steaming hot coffee, tea, or cocoa, we guarantee you will derive more net joy and comfort in the backcountry. A backpacking cup is worth its weight to carry! However, not all vessels are created equal.

We recommend choosing from among those weighing approximately four ounces or less, since within that weight class you will find fully-featured, top performing options that wont weigh you down. Specifically, double wall insulated titanium mugs in the 3.5-4 oz range offer the best overall user experience. But single walled titanium mugs and ultralight mugs made of plastic still get the job done while saving money and an ounce or two of weight.

Jump ahead to read more criteria and things to avoid. And while you’re here, you may also be interested in our guides to backpacking stoves, pots, water filters, water bottles, and barista-quality camp coffee.

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Best Insulated Backpacking Mug

Best Ultralight Backpacking Cup

Best Backpacking Cup Comparison Table

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Model Price ($) Weight (oz) Material Insulation Handle Lid Capacity (oz)
Sea To Summit X-Mug 15 2.1 Plastic None No No 16
Sea to Summit Delta Mug 6 2.2 Plastic None No No 16
Vargo Travel Mug 450 30 2.2 Titanium None Yes No 15
Snow Peak Titanium 450 35 2.4 Titanium None Yes No 14
MSR Titan Cup 450 40 2.4 Titanium None Yes No 15
Toaks Single Wall 450 20 2.7 Titanium None Yes No 15
Snow Peak Ti H450 Stacking 55 3.5 Titanium Double Wall No No 15
GSI Infinity Backpacker 13 3.5 Plastic Foam Yes Yes 17
Snow Peak Ti-Double 450 55 3.6 Titanium Double wall Yes No 15
MSR Titan Mug Double Wall 50 4.1 Titanium Double Wall No Yes 13
Toaks Titanium Double Wall 40 4.2 Titanium Double Wall Yes No 15

Best Backpacking Mug – Insulated

Snow Peak Double Wall Titanium mug 450 Stacker

Snow Peak Ti-Double H450 Stacking

We’re all for handle-less double wall titanium mugs like Snow Peak Ti-Double H450 Stacking, since the insulative qualities eliminate a strict need for handles. The flush surface is easier to pack, saves weight, and eliminates failure points. Beyond that, this mug is the simply elegant and highly functional thanks to immaculate Japanese design and vacuum-sealed walls. Perfection!

  • Price: $55
  • Weight: 3.5 oz
  • Material: Titanium
  • Insulation: Double Wall
  • Handle: No
  • Lid: Sold separately
  • Capacity: 15 oz
  • Pros: Ultralight. Durable. Insulated. No handles to snag or break.
  • Cons: Expensive. No handle to use when too hot.
Toaks Double Wall Titanium 450 backpacking mug

Toaks Titanium Double Wall 450

Choose the Toaks Titanium Double Wall 450 because it is the least expensive among premium, titanium double wall vacuum sealed models. At 4.2 ounces, it’s still respectably light. However, it’s also the heaviest in its class, so we’re less impressed from that angle. We’ve also found the Toaks handles to always be a bit awkward. It also comes with an orange spacer mesh storage bag, but you can ditch that while in the backcountry as it doesn’t serve much purpose.

  • Price: $40
  • Weight: 4.2 oz
  • Material: Titanium
  • Insulation: Double Wall
  • Handle: Yes
  • Lid: No
  • Capacity: 15 oz
  • Pros: Best price for double wall titanium. Insulated. Lightweight.
  • Cons: Awkward handle. Heaviest in class.
MSR Titan Double Wall backpacking mug

MSR Titan Double Wall Mug

The new for 2024 MSR Titan Double Wall backpacking mug is durable, well-made, and highly functional. This model comes with its own 0.9 oz lid (counted in the list weight), which drastically increases the insulative capabilities. Used with the lid, it’s one of the most thermally effective mugs. Used without the lid, it’s actually one of the lightest double wall options on the market at 3.2 oz. No handles for this one, but that’s not a problem as long as you don’t mind giving it a few minutes to cool after pouring boiling water. Our biggest knock, aside from the premium price tag, is that it’s a bit smaller than average, coming in at 375ml, instead of our preferred 450. But not a big deal. Still within the lower range of the size bullseye.

  • Price: $50
  • Weight: 4.1
  • Material: Titanium
  • Insulation: Double Wall
  • Handle: No
  • Lid: Yes
  • Capacity: 13 oz
  • Pros: Lightweight. Comes with lid. Durable. Insulated. No handle to snag. Lightest in class when used without lid. High quality and great to use.
  • Cons: Expensive. A bit small. No handle to use when too hot.

Snow Peak Double Wall Titanium 450 Backpacking mug

Snow Peak Ti-Double 450

Japanese manufacturer Snow Peak makes an incredible line of titanium mugs, and the Ti-Double 450 is their flagship. It’s the lightest in its class for size/materials/design/features, gets everything right, and even has a lid available, sold separately for $12.

  • Price: $55
  • Weight: 3.5 oz
  • Material: Titanium
  • Insulation: Double Wall
  • Handle: Yes
  • Lid: Sold separately
  • Capacity: 15 oz
  • Pros: Lightweight. Insulated. Durable. Well-made. Handles improve hold.
  • Cons: Expensive. Handles can snag.
GSI Outdoors Backpacker Mug

GSI Outdoors Infinity Backpacker Mug

The GSI Outdoors Infinity Backpacker Mug is the only model we could find that was plastic, insulated, ultralight, and well-loved. The others were either clunky, heavy, or poorly reviewed. What’s more, it proves that closed-cell foam still gets the job done when it comes to keeping liquids hot. Is it quite as effective as a vacuum sealed double wall? No, but for 1/3 the price and roughly the same weight – including lid – it’s a steal of a deal.

  • Price $13
  • Weight: 3.5 oz
  • Material: Plastic
  • Insulation: Foam
  • Handle: Kind of
  • Lid: Yes
  • Capacity: 17 oz
  • Pros: Lightweight. Sturdy. Insulated. Comes with lid. Grippy and easy to hold
  • Cons: Less effective than double wall titanium mug. Handle doesn’t have structure. Generic plastic-related health concerns.

Best Ultralight Backpacking Cup

MSR Titan SIngle Wall Mug 450 backpacking cup

MSR Titan 450 Cup

The MSR Titan 450 compares favorably to just about any other ultralight backpacking cup. The titanium chassis is durable and lightweight, while the silicon grip handles and lip saver help prevent burns and increase functionality. You can pretty much have your cake and eat it too. The only downside here is that double wall models from other brands exist at the same price point.

  • Price: $40
  • Weight: 2.4
  • Material: Titanium
  • Insulation: None
  • Handle: Yes
  • Lid: No
  • Capacity: 15
  • Pros: Ultralight. Durable. Silicone grip handles. Silicone lip saver. Expensive.
  • Cons: Uninsulated mugs can cause burns. Handles can snag. Single wall model for double wall price.
Toaks Single Wall Titanium 450 backpacking cup

Toaks Titanium Single Wall 450

It’s hard to argue with $20 for a titanium backpacking mug, and easy to see why Toaks Single Wall 450 wins our award for best value. Compared to its chief competitors, the aforementioned Snow Peaks and MSR models, this Toaks titanium mug is marginally heavier and has marginally worse handles. But considering it costs about 40% less, it’s obviously a better buy. All Toaks mugs come with a spacer mesh bag, which you can leave behind when packing. No need once you’re on the trail. This mug has been one of Alan’s go-to’s for many years, and is an absolute classic.

  • Price: $20
  • Weight: 2.7 oz
  • Material: Titanium
  • Insulation: None
  • Handle: Yes
  • Lid: No
  • Capacity: 15 oz
  • Pros: Ultralight. Great value. Durable.
  • Cons: Uninsulated mugs can cause burns. Handles can snag.
Vargo Titanium 450 Travel Mug

Vargo Titanium 450 Travel Mug

While all of the titanium single wall mugs are quite similar, the Vargo Titanium 450 Travel is technically the lightest weight, and the second least expensive. While both are by only a small margin, so are all of the differences in this class of gear. Nice one, Vargo!

  • Price: $30
  • Weight: 2.2 oz
  • Material: Titanium
  • Insulation: None
  • Handle: Yes
  • Lid: No
  • Capacity: 15 oz
  • Pros: Ultralight. Lightest titanium model in volume class. Expanded rim helps prevent lip burns.
  • Cons: Uninsulated mugs can cause burns. Handles can snag.
Snow Peak Single Wall Titanium 450 backpacking mug

Snow Peak Titanium Single 450

For a simple-yet-top-of-the-line ultralight titanium mug, choose Snow Peak Titanium Single 450. This mug is one of the lightest in its size/weight/insulation class (by a small margin), and delivers on quality craftsmanship and simplicity. Shout out to Japanese manufacturing!

  • Price: $35
  • Weight: 2.4 oz
  • Material: Titanium
  • Insulation: None
  • Handle: Yes
  • Lid: Sold separately
  • Capacity: 14 oz
  • Pros: Ultralight. Durable. Classic. Handles.
  • Cons: Uninsulated mugs can cause burns. Handles can snag.
Sea To Summit X-Mug backpacking mug

Sea To Summit X-Mug

Now here’s an interesting backpacking mug, the Sea to Summit X, which is a collapsible design that can be flattened down to a disc shape. This, combined with the 2.1 oz weight makes it one of the very lightest and most packable ultralight mugs on the market. The downside is that it’s one of the least functional/pleasant to use or drink out of. You usually have to hold it around the rim when contents are freshly boiled. And the tapered design is easier to spill and overall less functional than a classic cylinder. But using the lightest smallest version of anything comes with small sacrifices, and this is is significantly easier to pack

For a few bucks and an extra half ounce, you might also consider upgrading to the Cool Grip Version, which has textured plastic on the cup body to prevent you from burning your digits when holding the sidewalls.

  • Price: $15
  • Weight: 2.1 oz
  • Material: Plastic
  • Insulation: None
  • Handle: None
  • Lid: no
  • Capacity: 16 oz
  • Pros: Ultralight. Most packable. Affordable.
  • Cons: Worst user experience. Uninsulated increase likelihood of burns. Handles can snag. Lower than average durability. Generic plastic-related health concerns.
Sea to Summit Delta Mug

Sea to Summit Delta Mug

For a basic yet completely functional backpacking mug at an incredibly low price, choose the Sea to Summit Delta. It’s just a food-grade plastic drinking vessel, but when it comes down to it, that’s all you need. Arguably the biggest downside is that it has no handles and is not insulated, so using it with a boiling hot beverage requires grasping the upper rim. An insulated version of this backpacking mug is also avaiable, but it has a poorly designed lid that is prone to dribbling.

  • Price: $6
  • Weight: 2.2 oz
  • Material: Plastic
  • Insulation: None
  • Handle: None
  • Lid: no
  • Capacity: 16 oz
  • Pros: Ultralight. Very affordable and functional. Durable. Pleasant grip.
  • Cons: Featureless. Uninsulated increase likelihood of burns. Required to hold rim when contents are boiling hot. Generic plastic-related health concerns.

Backpacking Mug Pro Tips, Criteria, and Buyer Considerations

Single Wall vs Double Wall Titanium Mugs

When it comes to choosing a titanium mug for backpacking, you have two sub categories – single and double walled. This refers to the structure of the mug. Single wall means there is only one layer of titanium between you and the liquid. Double wall means two layers of titanium with a vacuum sealed air chamber in between.

The upside to single wall titanium backpacking mugs is that they are roughly $20 less expensive, and 1-2 ounces lighter weight. They also transfer much more heat and are more likely to cause burns. However, you can use their heat output to your advantage. In cold whether, Alan recommends pouring hot water into a single wall mug, allowing it to cool slightly, and then using it as a hand warmer as you break camp. To do this, simple alternate between holding your warm mug to thaw cold fingers, and then putting another piece of wet frosty gear away. Ingenious!

Double wall titanium backpacking mugs are for the drink connoisseurs out there. They insulate your drink, keeping it warmer for longer. They’re also safer, in the sense that touching their sidewalls is much less likely to cause burns. However, this comes at price. Compared to single wall titanium mugs, double wall models are $20 more expensive, and 1-2 ounces heavier. They are also slightly bulkier.

In short, choose a single wall titanium mug because it’s lighter and less expensive. Choose a double wall tintanium mug because it’s safer and more pleasant to use for drinking. Neither is strictly better.

Backpacking Cup Materials: Titanium vs Aluminum vs Plastic

Compared to aluminum, the most common backcountry metal, titanium is both harder and lighter weight. But most importantly for mug design, it is less heat conductive. Aluminum mugs are more prone to burning fingers or bending while titanium mugs hold heat better and are less prone to damage. Plastic is another tempting alternative because it is more economical, pliable, and even lighter than titanium. However, every year more studies are released highlight new ways in which plastic harms our bodies. So you may wish to avoid it entirely.

Do not confuse a camping mug with a backpacking mug

A backpacking mug needn’t weigh more than five ounces, and it shouldn’t burden you down on the trail. Fancy, hyper insulated car camping mugs are nice to use, but might weight 2-3x as much. The juice is definitely not worth the squeeze. Avoid models from that brands that don’t specifically design their mugs for backpackers.

What size backpacking cup is best?

We recommend choosing mid-size models with a 450ml designation, which equates to 15 oz. This is the most universal size, and it’s okay to deviate by plus or minus a few ounces. The twelve ounce drink is a perfect size, and 15 oz mugs hold that with a bit of room to spare to prevent overflow spillage. We recommend avoiding much small sizes, such as those twelve ounces or under, because you are statistically more likely to overfill and spill. Large mugs, in the 750ml size range, are also not worth carrying because they take up so much room and weigh more, unless they are also your cooking pot (in which case it cannot be double walled).

Where and how to store your backpacking mug?

Consider as to whether you are prone to using your mug during the hiking portion of the day, or only while at camp. Personally, I use mine during the day! I like to have a cup of cold brew (unheated instant coffee) around midday, or I may also use it as a vessel for electrolyte powders (so as not to taint my water bottles).

If you use your mug during the day, you should try to store it either on the top inside of your pack for easy access, or directly on the outside. When storing your backpacking mug on the inside of your pack, attempt to nest another scented item in it, so as not to waste the volume. I’ve had some success nesting the bottom of a Smartwater 1L bottle into my mug which sits at the bottom of a side pocket.

Does a double wall titanium backpacking mug require handles?

A double wall titanium backpacking mug does not require handles. The vacuum seal is insulative enough to allow use of the mug by holding the side walls. However, when your beverage is at its very hottest shortly after pouring the boiling water, it may still be too hot to hold, but in that scenario, it’s also too hot to drink; so no big deal. But that is one reason to choose and use a handled model. Holding the side walls but running your hand through the handles also increases security of grip and a redundant mechanism to prevent drops.

Backpacking mug handles, especially the fold out kind are rather flimsy, and do not offer exceptional grip. One reason to avoid fold out handles, aside from adding a fraction of an ounce of weight, is that they create protrusion off the side of mug which can snag on your pack or other items inside it as you pack or unpack. It also creates another potential failure point to break off. Of course, handles are strictly necessary for single wall mugs. But we leave it up to you to decide if it’s worth while for a double wall titanium cup.

Avoid any backpacking mug with static protruding handles

Any backpacking cup with a static, structured style (not flip out) protruding handle will be awkward to pack, waste volume, and be far more likely to pack. Handles create empty space, rather than filling it, which is the opposite of what you want. Avoid static mug handles!

msr backpacking cup

Conclusion to the Best Backpacking Mug

Thank you for reading our guide to the best backpacking mug, where we hope you found your next ultralight cup! A good titanium mug can last a lifetime, and we strongly recommend upgrading if you’re currently using anything heavier than five ounces; especially if you’re using a car camping style mug. Double wall models offer the best user experience, but single wall mugs are less expensive and slightly lighter. Happy camping!

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