Cup Holders That Heat and Cool
Automobile cup holders accommodate more cup sizes than ever before―from skinny Red Bull cans to gargantuan Big Gulp cups. What most cup holders don't do, however, is help keep your tasty beverage hot or cold.
A few luxury cars offer temperature-controlled cup holders. And now the Chrysler Sebring comes with this option, bringing this built-in convenience to the masses. But what if your car isn't equipped with heating and cooling elements for your cups and cans?
Some drivers choose to heat only the cup, not the holder. It's a cheap and easy option, but it limits you to using the same cup every day, and can only keep the contents hot―not cold.
Brugo has a solution that doesn't actually add heat, but it does improve on the simple insulated cup concept. The cup is divided into top and bottom chambers. Each sip is kept hot until you're actually ready to drink it, since liquid in the bottom chamber is protected from the ambient air.
To actually add heat you'll need a mug that you can plug into your cigarette lighter. Kragen Auto Parts can hook you up with a hot bevvie for only $5. But if you want your latte to travel in any kind of style, spring for a $20 travel mug in red or blue that you can plug not only into your car's cigarette lighter, but into your laptop or desktop computer (via USB) as well. Keep your drink piping hot in the car and at the office. How, er, cool is that?
You might prefer not being tethered to the same mug every day. For the freedom to heat any take-out coffee cup or chill any soda can, you'll want a cup holder that can perform that duty.
Believe it or not, you can buy cup holders that clip to your vehicle's climate-control vents so that your car's heat or air conditioning will blow on your drink. Hey, if it's good enough for the BMW Z4 Roadster (this is actually listed as a built-in feature), maybe it really works. Otherwise, you can find vent-mounted cup holders at auto parts stores such as Checker Auto Parts for less than $6 each.
At these price points, any of these temperature-controlled cups and cup holders would make a great gift.Other Topics in This Section
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- Cup Holders That Heat and Cool