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YETI Rambler 26 Review

Our favorite choice for daily use because of the size, shape, and ease of use in an insulated stainless steel bottle
YETI Rambler 26
Credit: YETI
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Price:  $40 List | $40.00 at REI
Compare prices at 3 resellers
Pros:  Durable, easy to carry, wide mouth for easy cleaning, lid insert for easy drinking
Cons:  Expensive, heavy
Manufacturer:   YETI
By Jane Jackson ⋅ Senior Review Editor  ⋅  Jun 10, 2022
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79
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#3 of 21
  • Ease of Use - 40% 9.0
  • Durability - 25% 10.0
  • Weight - 20% 2.0
  • Taste - 15% 9.0

Our Verdict

The Yeti Rambler 26 continues to earn our praise as our favorite water bottle to use day in, day out. The latest version of this bottle has a "Chug Cap" insert, a drinking spout that makes hydrating that much easier. We love the carrying handle and the overall ease of use this bottle provides. It is stylish and sleek and comes in a variety of color options. Of the bottles we tested, it's one of the easier to clean, whether you want to rinse it out by hand or throw it in the dishwasher. All that, plus its impressive insulation abilities and a durable build, and it's easy to see why the Rambler is our go-to daily driver for hot or cold beverages. As a cherry on top, we also like its looks.

Editor's Note: This product review was updated on March 25, 2022, with more information to help compare products.

Compare to Similar Products

 
YETI Rambler 26
This Product
YETI Rambler 26
Awards  Editors' Choice Award Best Buy Award Top Pick Award Best Buy Award 
Price $40.00 at REI
Compare at 3 sellers
$32.78 at Amazon
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$30 List
$29.99 at Amazon
$22 List
$21.99 at Amazon
Overall Score Sort Icon
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Star Rating
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Pros Durable, easy to carry, wide mouth for easy cleaning, lid insert for easy drinkingWell-insulated, great carrying handle, easy to clean, stainless-steel strawSimple design, inexpensive, lightweightSleek design, affordable, low-profile for filter bottleAffordable, insulates well, has interchangeable lids, easily portable
Cons Expensive, heavyHeavy, expensiveMade of plastic, doesn't fit in all cupholdersLimited to water use only, small capacityPaint chipping after a few months of use, flip cap seemed to lack security
Bottom Line Our favorite choice for daily use because of the size, shape, and ease of use in an insulated stainless steel bottleA thoughtfully designed bottle with an impressive feature set and works extremely wellThis bottle is recommended because it is simple, lightweight, durable and has a solid feature setA bottle that is aesthetically appealing and effective at providing filtered water without leaks and other mishapsThis is one of our favorite bottles because it's easy to use, just the right size, lightweight and inexpensive
Rating Categories YETI Rambler 26 Klean Kanteen TKWid... CamelBak Eddy+ Trit... Brita Stainless Ste... Simple Modern Summit
Ease of Use (40%)
9.0
10.0
8.0
8.0
7.0
Durability (25%)
10.0
10.0
8.0
9.0
8.0
Weight (20%)
2.0
3.0
8.0
4.0
4.0
Taste (15%)
9.0
9.0
7.0
8.0
8.0
Specs YETI Rambler 26 Klean Kanteen TKWid... CamelBak Eddy+ Trit... Brita Stainless Ste... Simple Modern Summit
Body Material 18/8 stainless steel 90% post-consumer recycled 18/8 stainless steel BPA-free plastic 18/8 stainless steel 18/8 stainless steel
Empty Weight 22 oz 20.1 oz 7.1 oz 13.9 oz 15.7 oz
Volume 26 oz 32 oz 32 oz 20 oz 32 oz
Bottle Weight per Fluid oz Capacity 0.85 oz 0.63 oz 0.22 oz 0.7 oz 0.5 oz
Mouth Diameter 3 in 2.6 in 2.3 in 2 in 2.25 in
Base Diameter 3.25 in 3.6 in 3.8 in 2.8 in 3.5 in
Height 10 in 10.36 in 9.25 in 10.75 in 9 in
Body Type Hard-sided/traditional Hard-sided/traditional Hard-sided/traditional Hard-sided/traditional Hard-sided/traditional
Free of Materials BPA-free BPA-free BPA, BPS, BPF free BPA-free BPA-free
Cap/Lid Type Wide-loop cap Screw cap, twist top Screw cap, flip top Screw-cap with straw Screw Cap, flip top
Volume Options 18 oz, 20 oz, 36 oz 12 oz, 16 oz, 20 oz, 32 oz 14 oz, 25 oz, 32 oz 20 oz 14 oz, 18 oz, 22 oz, 32 oz, 40 oz, 64 oz, 84 oz

Our Analysis and Test Results

The Rambler is a durable, vacuum-insulated bottle that accompanied us everywhere during our three-month testing period. It sat by our side at work, was our go-to for hydrating when out climbing day or on day hikes, and was the ideal road trip bottle with its ability to hold both hot and cold drinks. The Rambler has a 26 oz capacity, making it a more reasonable option than the hulking 36 oz version. Its major positives are the width of the mouth, which is significantly wider than most bottles, and the lid design, which is easy to clean and has a very comfortable, built-in carrying handle. The big pros and limited cons ended up landing the Rambler our top recognition for a daily reusable bottle.

Performance Comparison


YETI Rambler 26 water bottle - the updated yeti with the chug cap insert is shown here. we...
The updated Yeti with the Chug Cap insert is shown here. We appreciate how low profile the Chug cap is - you can hardly see it's there!
Credit: Jane Jackson

Ease of Use


This bottle is about as easy and convenient as it gets. A simple, easy-to-hold carrying handle, an exceptionally wide mouth, and a smooth rim to the bottle make it easy to fill and drink out of. These factors also make it super easy to clean - a simple lid and a wide body make for a quick and easy rinse. In our second run of formally testing this bottle, we tested the Rambler with the Chug Cap insert. Our testers agree that this upgrade improves the overall drinking experience of this bottle.

The Chug Cap spout fits inside the wide mouth and has a narrower spout, which eliminates spillage and allows for easy one-handed drinking, and even allows for taking swigs while walking or driving. We are big fans, as this is a common drawback of wide-mouth bottles. We love wide-mouth bottles for their ease of cleaning, filling, and because they accept ice readily, but they usually require the user to stop moving to take a successful swig. Even then, sometimes we spill. This new drinking spout solves this issue without losing the advantages of wide-mouth bottles.

YETI Rambler 26 water bottle - a detailed photo of the chug cap.
A detailed photo of the Chug Cap.
Credit: Jane Jackson

The Chug Cap spout is not intended to be used with hot beverages. If you fill a Rambler with hot beverages, you can remove the spout and drink directly from the bottle. Our lead tester repeatedly did this with hot tea during testing, and it works fine. Important to note: You cannot use the lid without the Chug Cap.

The simplicity and pleasure of using this bottle helped sky-rocket this bottle to the top of our favorites list for daily use. Any bottle will work for carrying water, but this one makes the experience better.

YETI Rambler 26 water bottle - the drinking spout makes for easy one-handed drinking and reduces...
The drinking spout makes for easy one-handed drinking and reduces spillage.
Credit: Jane Jackson

Durability


Making durable, heavy-duty products is Yeti's claim to fame as a company. Their bottles are built like their coolers—well insulated and incredibly durable. The Rambler is no exception, and takes the cake in terms of durability in our performance comparisons.

Like other vacuum insulated bottles we tested, the Rambler is durable simply because of its design and materials. The 18/8 stainless steel construction makes the bottle resistant to punctures and dents. The double-walled design of the vacuum insulated bottles also helps them in the durability metric.

The new dual lid design adds another layer of complexity and more opportunities for leakage, but we found that the Rambler still aced our leak test when the lids were tightened down completely. The Chug insert didn't leak at all when the bottle was shaken, nor when it was left on its side for a few hours. Even when the bottle was dropped with the plastic spout exposed, it still passed our drop test without a scratch.

YETI Rambler 26 water bottle - the sturdy lid on the yeti rambler is easy to hold and extremely...
The sturdy lid on the Yeti Rambler is easy to hold and extremely durable. This bottle is built to last.
Credit: Eric Bissell

Weight


Here, the Rambler comes up a bit short, as its girth makes it durable and functional, but also makes it one of the heaviest bottles in the fleet. At 22 ounces, this bottle isn't the one to take on overnights, ski tours, or other extended excursions. The Chug Cap adds a tiny bit more weight to the overall heft of this bottle, but the addition is negligible when considering the overall weight of the bottle itself. Typically, metal bottles that are not vacuum insulated are a lot lighter. For use at home, the office, the gym, and even shorter day hikes, most of our testers have no problem bringing this bottle along in a backpack or messenger bag.

Taste


When we performed the standard taste test on the Rambler, we were happy to find that it did not hold onto flavors for long periods. We filled the bottle with electrolyte powdered drink mix, which often lingers in water bottles after one use, and left it in the bottle for a few hours. Then, once the drink mix was finished, we rinsed the bottle once with water and refilled it, finding that the taste of the mix was hardly detectable.

The Rambler has the benefit of the wide mouth opening, so it's easy to clean frequently, which helps it to avoid taste buildup. The wide mouth and the fact that the threads are on the outside of the lid make the Rambler one of the easiest bottles to clean, and thus lingering tastes are less of an issue here. One minor downside to the updated cap is that there are more threads to clean and more plastic surfaces where flavors can get caught. We were still impressed by how easy it is to clean the Chug Cap, but its added complexity means that the bottle may require more frequent cleanings.

YETI Rambler 26 water bottle - in part because it is so easy to clean, the rambler nailed our taste...
In part because it is so easy to clean, the Rambler nailed our taste tests.
Credit: Jane Jackson

Should You Buy the Yeti Rambler?


This bottle has been one of our absolute favorites for several years running. The Rambler really has it all. It's easy to drink from, easy to clean, carries comfortably, and it's built to last. Its insulative qualities work perfectly, and we love the updated Chug Cap that makes drinking while walking or driving much more spill-free. In short, we can't recommend this bottle enough.

What Other Water Bottles Should You Consider?


We love this bottle as our everyday beverage receptacle, but we admit that it's a bit heavy to carry into the backcountry. If you want a lightweight, durable bottle for a backpacking trip, you will be better served by something like the Nalgene Wide-Mouth. We'll also admit that the Rambler is somewhat pricey. If you'd like a great insulated bottle, but you're on a budget, take a look at the Simple Modern Summit

YETI Rambler 26 water bottle - whether it's filled with ice water or tea, the rambler does its job...
Whether it's filled with ice water or tea, the Rambler does its job well.
Credit: Jane Jackson

Jane Jackson
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