Klean Kanteen—What's Not to Love?
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Just twenty years ago, reusable water bottles were an extremely niche accessory. Very few people actually owned one, and there was almost no supply. Those that did exist were both made out of and lined with plastic, allowing harmful chemicals to reside within the water itself. This changed dramatically in 2004.
Wanting to provide people with bottles that were not only safer but also more eco-friendly, the Chico-based entrepreneur Robert Seals introduced a new type of product into the market: one made not of harmful plastic, but of stainless steel. His bottle became a success, and ownership of the patent (and company) was transferred to the Creswell family in 2005, who has run it ever since.
This, in itself, is worth noting. For the past fifteen years, Klean Kanteen has remained a family business with a passion for improving the health of our environment.
An increase in demand in the following years caused Klean Kanteen to thrive. It steadily introduced line after line of new products alongside its existing ones, and has achieved the status of being a household name.
However, it is not the only company to sell such commodities. Hydro Flask, S’well, YETI, and other widespread brands have grown at the same rate it has, leading there to be a vast range of competitors within the water bottle industry.
With that being said, do Klean Kanteen bottles stand out among the rest? Let’s find out.
Klean Kanteen offers a large range of products, from water bottles to cups to tumblers and even food canisters. They are most famous, however, for their bottles. As such, is the focus of this article (though even if you want to purchase another type of container, this information may be useful).
Drinks Stay Cold for 135 Hours
As with almost all other reusable water bottles on the market, most of Klean Kanteen’s containers are vacuum insulated. This is brought about by the brand’s Climate Lock™ technology, which, according to the company's website, can keep cold drinks cold for up to 135 hours (depending on bottle size) and hot drinks hot for up to 38 (at least for the 64 oz. bottle).
What does that mean to you? Well, think about it... now you can bring ice cream to a picnic or drink your coffee piping hot even after a full day out in the backcountry.
If you do not particularly care about insulation and are looking to save a few dollars, you may want to look into the brand’s single-wall, non-insulated bottles instead.
It’s worth mentioning here that there is one aspect of Klean Kanteen that most brands do not have: a large range of water bottle sizes.
Whether you want a small, medium, or large bottle (or anything in between), there is undoubtedly one for you.
For most purposes, we suggest insulated—simply because most of us exist in extreme climates and prefer our drinks stay hot or cold throughout any given day.
Below are three different variants of Klean Kanteen's insulated water bottles. The insulated TKWide, Insulated Classic, and their insulated TKPro.
The TKWide has a smooth, rounded lip. People like this because it feels better and gives them a more comfortable and versatile drinking experience. Comes in 12 oz, 16 oz, 20 oz, 32 oz and 64 oz sizes and plenty of color choices.
The Original Classic design, made of steel has been around for over 18 years and still going strong. A fun fact is that in 2002, this was the first metal hydration bottle on the market.
Insulated Classic for Kids 12 oz
These insulated 12 oz bottles are so cute, we had to feature them here. And if you're going to teach hydration starting at an early age, these graphics and bright colored caps make it fun.
With the TKPro, Klean Kanteen has given us an entirely plastic-free bottle that includes a stainless steel cap that you can pour into from any angle, as well as an external thread design that enhances the insulation of its predecessor, the Original.
All the above types of bottles are sold both individually and in kits with accessories. They can be purchased directly from www.kleankanteen.com, from Amazon.com or in stores such as Whole Foods, Target, REI and others.
With all this talk about stainless steel and insulation, there is one question that is most likely at the front of your mind: Are Klean Kanteen bottles actually any good? To answer that, one needs to look at a variety of aspects.
According to Outdoor Gear Lab, they tested the original Classic bottle out on mountains and rocks and found it to be durable and perform extremely well..
Expert World Travel notes that Klean Kanteen beats its main competitor, Hydro Flask, in terms of how long its bottles can keep beverages at the same temperatures.
In terms of being leakproof, Cool of the Wild finds that the caps actually do prevent spillages—just as long as you screw them on tightly enough, that is. Obvious enough.
Klean Kanteen also has perhaps the widest range of bottles to choose from out of any of its competitors. What’s more, the bottles come in quite a few different colors and variants. You can even have an emblem or logo printed on the side for promoting your organization or brand. See examples on their website.
Single Wall vs. Double Wall
Double-wall bottles have a vacuum (empty space) between the walls so that the temperature outside of the bottle doesn't affect the inside temperature. Thus, it's called "double-wall insulation" and allows the liquid temperature inside the bottle to keep constant for a period of time. In other words, your liquid stays COLD or HOT, despite the temperature outside.
Advantages of a single-wall bottle: But if you're using your bottle to store liquid for a short period of time, or have no worry about outside temperatures affecting your drink, a singe-wall is good enough. The single-wall stainless steel bottle is lighter to carry and is less expensive than the double-wall insulated.
What causes "sweat" on the bottle's exterior? When air comes into contact with a single-wall (non-insulated) bottle containing cold water, it begins to cool down. When it cools enough, water vapor in the air is condensed and turns to liquid, causing droplets of water (beads) on the outside surface of the bottle. With a double-wall vacuum insulated bottle, this will not happen.
Klean Kanteen offers single-wall bottles with 18/8 stainless steel construction and they come in a variety of colors and sizes:
A Lid for Everyone
Klean Kanteen sells a wide variety of lids, each designed for a particular purpose. Similar to their bottles, most of these can be found directly from kleankanteen.com or from Amazon.com or in stores. They are:
The TKWide Chug Cap: This lid has a far wider spout than the default one and is made for quick hydration in large gulps (useful during a workout). A spout cover protects whatever beverage you have from leaking out. As the name implies, this—as well as the caps below—are only compatible with the TKWide bottles. This means they will not fit onto either a TKPro or a Classic, so be sure to keep that in mind when you’re choosing which cap to get.
The TKWide Café Cap: If you’re looking to carry warm beverages in your bottle, this may be the lid for you. The cap contains a spout that you can pop open to drink out of and close when you’re finished. A swivel loop handle is also connected adjacent to the top so that you can carry it wherever you go. Klean Kanteen also carried an updated, supposedly more-leakproof version of the cap known as Café Cap 2.0. (Note that this is compatible with bottles other than the TKs).
The TKWide Straw Cap: Unlike its peers, this lid actually comes with a straw. You can screw the cap on, plunge the straw in, and sip your drink with ease. The straw itself contains a silicone extender that allows it to fit the height of any of the bottles’ sizes. The page does note that the cap is not leak-proof, so determine whether or not that will be of concern to you.
The TKWide Wide Loop Cap: This one combines the swivel loop handle of the Café cap with pure stainless steel. Sealed by a double silicone gasket, the cap works to increase the overall insulation of the bottles and thus preserve the temperature of whatever is inside for even longer. There is also a non-TK and non-stainless steel version of the cap that can be found here. Either is perfect for one of our Hydrocords to allow you to carry your bottle easier.
The Sport Cap: At $6.95, this lid is much cheaper than any of the others ($11.95-$12.95). It consists of both a silicone spout and an attachment loop. Thrusting the spout up allows you to drink out of it as you would a straw (perfect for if you were to go on a run or some similar form of dynamic exercise). Like the Straw Cap, this is not designed to be leak-proof.
The Bamboo Cap: If you’re searching for a purely aesthetic accessory, look no further. The lid is made entirely of stainless steel with the only exception being its bamboo top. At $14.95, it’s also the most expensive of the caps. It is only compatible with Classics and is not intended to contain hot beverages. Unfortunately, it is the sole cap that is not dishwasher-safe, meaning you’ll have to thoroughly wash it by hand.
The Steel Loop Cap: Some people would prefer their water bottles to not contain any plastic whatsoever. This lid helps make that dream a reality by ensuring your drink only comes into contact with stainless steel and stainless steel alone. A small elevated bar at the top allows the cap (and thus the bottle) to be easily picked up. Like the Bamboo Cap, this is only compatible with any of the Classics and should not hold hot beverages.
There you have it. A cap for whatever you need, no matter your lifestyle or activities.
Klean Kanteen is undoubtedly a premium brand. They have been proved by many to stand out among its competitors in terms of insulation and its ability to prevent leakages altogether. Combine those with options for customization, and you have yourself a very reliable (and unique) water bottle, one that should last you for years and years.
Even beyond the product virtues, the people behind the brand are making an impact on the planet. The company gives back in many ways, focusing on two areas: access to clean water and reducing single-use waste. Even in their eco-friendly packaging you will immediately see they truly care about the environment.
Paracord Handles for the Classic
Our commitment has always been to "make a great water bottle greater"—by developing easier ways to carry them wherever you go.
Our HydroCord® handle—a durable paracord strap that attaches to a no-leak straw lid—fits the Klean Kanteen Classic bottles (not wide mouth). It also comes with a detachable shoulder strap for when you want to be completely hands-free.
The lids come with a variety of colored paracord straps. You can see them online at Amazon.com or in stores such as O'Neill and Scheels.
DISCLAIMER: We are not affiliated with Klean Kanteen or any other bottle manufacturer. This page is provided as an informational guide on various bottle manufacturers and does not imply any affiliation with or endorsement by Klean Kanteen or any other brands. Sometimes we will link to products being sold and if you make a purchase, we may receive a small commission.