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Klean Kanteen Review

   
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  • Currently 4.0/5
Overall avg rating 4.0 of 5 based on 6 reviews. Most recent review: August 17, 2014
Street Price:   Varies from $17 - $20 | Compare prices at 5 resellers
Pros:  Durable, does not mold or hold taste, wide choice of tops.
Cons:  Not compatible with water filters, heavy.
Best Uses:  Any activity where weight is not a critical issue: daily use, sports, hiking, camping
User Rating:     
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 (4.0 of 5) based on 5 reviews
Recommendations:  75% of reviewers (3/4) recommend this product
Manufacturer:   Klean Kanteen
Review by: Atherton Phleger ⋅ Review Editor, OutdoorGearLab ⋅ August 17, 2014  
Overview
The Klean Kanteen is the perfect water bottle for daily use. We liked its simple design, durability, and metal interior. It's great for any application where weight is not an issue, but it was simply too heavy to justify to bring backpacking, climbing, or ski touring. For these activities, we preferred the Nalgene, which, in addition to being considerably lighter, was compatible with water filters and could be used as a nighttime heat pack.

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OutdoorGearLab Editors' Hands-on Review

Durability
We found the Klean Kanteen to be extremely durable. Klean Kanteens will dent rather easily, but beyond that they're very difficult to break. The plastic tops will crack or break just as easily as any other type of plastic, but they are easily replaceable. One tester dropped his bottle 100 feet, replaced the shattered top, and continued using it. It seems that the only way to render the Klean Kanteen unusable would be to bend the neck of the bottle in a way that would make it impossible to get a top in there. The Klean Kanteen comes with a wide variety of lids, from carabiner-compatible loops to "Sport" sippy-tops. The tops are well designed but do not seem to last as long as the Nalgenes'. The plastic protrusions tend to crack and shatter well before the bottle itself comes to the end of its life.

Utility
One of the unique advantages of the Klean Kanteen is its ability to be used as a cooking vessel. In a pinch it can be used to cook or boil water.
However, the heat capacity of stainless steel comes with drawbacks. On cold nights, you can fill a Nalgene with hot water and keep it in your sleeping bag, but the Klean Kanteen will get too hot to do so comfortably or safely. The plastic does a much better job of insulating liquids.
Most water filters and water-bottle accessories are designed to fit the wide-mouth Nalgene. In response, Klean Kanteen began producing wide-mouth sized bottles, but we found them to be less reliable than their original design. For purposes of compatibility, we prefer the Nalgene.


Ease of Use
The Klean Kanteen is designed with simplicity in mind. The bottle is a cap and a body, with no frills or breakable moving parts. You could use it with a blindfold on. The bottle isn't attached to the cap, as with the Nalgene's retaining strap. This could potentially lead to missing caps, but we didn't find this to be a problem. If anything, it made us more vigilant.

Leak Proof
The original Klean Kanteen was reliably leak-proof, always. We had some trouble with an o-ring that detached from a wide-mouth bottle minutes after purchasing, but later bottles confirmed that this was an anomaly.

Best Application

Hiking/Car Camping/Daily use: Klean Kanteen. When weight is not a concern, we prefer the Klean Kanteen.
Canoe Tripping: I used and broke a number of Nalgenes over several years of canoe tripping before switching to the Klean Kanteen. The bottles weathered the summer well, with significant denting but they remained completely functional. The Klean Kanteen's durability serves it well for the rigors of multi-month canoe tripping.

Value
Klean Kanteens are more expensive than a comparably sized Nalgene, but they make up for it in durability.

Other Versions and Accessories
The Klean Kanteen comes in a variety of sizes. The 16 oz Wide Mouth Insulated With Cafe Cap, $28, is insulated; this would be perfect for coffee or a drink that you would like to keep hot or cold. This lidded kanteen comes with a cafe cap, for easier sipping. The Klean Kanteen ranges in size from the Klean Kanteen 18, $19, all the way up to the 64 oz Wide Mouth, $33.

With the bottles come a variety of caps, including the Sport Cap 3.0, $5, which will turn your bottle into an easy and on-the-go pull top. The Stainless Loop Cap Wide, $6, provides you will a stainless steel (on the inside) looped cap, while the Stainless Loop Cap, $10, is totally stainless. The Stainless Bamboo Cap, $12, contains a 100% stainless cap, with no plastic involved.

Atherton Phleger

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OutdoorGearLab Member Reviews


Most recent review: August 17, 2014
Summary of All Ratings

OutdoorGearLab Editors' Rating:   
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 (4.0)
Average Customer Rating:   
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 (4.0)

75% of 4 reviewers recommend it
Rating Distribution
5 Total Ratings
5 star: 40%  (2)
4 star: 40%  (2)
3 star: 0%  (0)
2 star: 20%  (1)
1 star: 0%  (0)
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful:
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   Feb 2, 2014 - 12:56pm
Badger · Hunter
Water is essential for survival and should be given extra consideration. My preferred set up is a 40oz wide mouth Klean Kanteen nested in a GSI cup and a re-purposed 1.5L soda bottle. Why, because you can boil water in the stainless Klean Kanteen and GSI cup while using the soda bottle for solar purification (aka SODIS). The ubiquitous plastic Nalgeen bottles are not capable of this kind of emergency purification. The wide mouth Klean Kanteens are both easier to clean and useable for cooking.

Will they dent if you drop them? Of course, that's a no-brainer. Even my stainless steel .357 will get dents and dings if I drop it. Are they fragile? No, they are very durable if you take care of them. I have not tried all the different lid configurations. The flat cap and loop top have worked well for me. I keep spare lids on hand, but have yet to have one fail.

Nalgeens and bladders are fine for around town and general recreation. If your activities take you far from home where water can mean life or death, get a good stainless steel water bottle. Filters can clog and break. Bladders can develop leaks. Good idea to have a back up plan.

Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this product to a friend.
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   Jun 10, 2013 - 05:39pm
locker · Climber · CO
I have quite a few Klean Kanteens (Varied sizes). Love the things! Maybe not the best for "Backpacking" however, due to the weight and such. But if weight isn't an issue, they're great!

I use the longer, narrower ones (22oz's?), along with a top with the LOOP in it to hang on the bottom end on my TR solo rig for weight. When I bring it up, BINGO! Nice to take a KLEAN drink!

Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this product to a friend.
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   Jun 10, 2013 - 05:10pm
jarmland · Climber · Stockholm, Sweden
I've had my Kleen Kanteen bottle for years and years. I bring it everywhere every day. Yes, it's dented beyond recognition, there's hardly any paint left on it, but I think that just adds personality to it. You can tell it's been on adventures.

I have one of the bigger ones, roughly a liter, with the loop top. Also functions as a rope weight when clogging/top rope soloing with an ascender.

I never put anything but water in it and hardly wash it, mostly just rinse it and have never experienced mold or funny taste.

Great, no frills bottle.

Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this product to a friend.
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Jun 10, 2013 - 03:17pm
 
Candyman · Other · Not Far From Hell
Makes a great cocktail shaker as well.!
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful:
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   Nov 26, 2012 - 10:57am
max · Hiker · burlington, VT
It is a nice bottle. it is light and functional. The downsides of this bottle come very close to canceling out the positives.

For starters, it is difficult to clean. I found tablets that soak in the bottle for a few hours to be the best option. Unfortunately, the tablets cost $1 each. That adds up in time.

Second, the bottle is not very durable. I've owned the 40 oz version for a few months and dropped it twice, neither time from very high. For example, one time it rolled out of my backpack when I was getting out of my vehicle and fell about three feet. I now have three sizable dents in the bottle. I wouldn't say I'm very rough on it and in fact I am very conscious of it and I still have dents under what I would consider careful use. I feel the bottle will be too dented to use within a few months at this rate.

Third, it is expensive considering the above two problems. I don't mind paying the money but it is too much money if it wears as it does. I'm sure it wouldn't be difficult to put a rubbery case on it to absorb some of the shock and add grip for when it is wet.

I'll baby it as best as I can but that seems ridiculous considering it is a device used for transporting watering, sometimes over rougher terrain.

Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this product to a friend.
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Klean Kanteen
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