Though we have tested the Klean Kanteen Classic in the past, we fell in love with this bottle all over again this year. We were wooed by the simple design, new color selections (don't laugh, style is important!), and updated sport cap. The bottle is the perfect size for bike bottle holders and cup holders, sleek enough to have on your desk at work, yet still light enough to take on a hike on the weekends. We also loved the sport cap for road trips — forget trying to get a lid on and off while driving with your knee! The cap is tight, and the silicone spout kept leaks at bay. While we were excited about the updated sport cap, we were truly won over by the Klean Kanteen's versatility. This bottle is at home at the crag, in the coffee shop, or at the gym. If you want a stainless steel bottle that comes close to rivaling the all-time favorite, plastic Nalgene, this is a fantastic choice.
Klean Kanteen Classic Review
Compare prices at 2 resellers Pros: Lightweight, easy for one-handed drinking, re-designed sport cap is effective, durable, good color options
Cons: Sport cap not as secure as a screw cap, carrying handle is small
Manufacturer: Klean Kanteen
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Our Analysis and Test Results
The simplicity and versatility of the Klean Kanteen Classic have made it a longstanding favorite among our testers. We are impressed with the updated sport cap — which seemed to work better than the previous version. From the coffee shop to the trails, the Classic was our go-to bottle because of its uncomplicated minimalism.
Ease of Use
As more and more bottles flood the market, their designs can get overly complicated with bells and whistles, carrying loops, and protective sleeves. Against this backdrop, the Klean Kanteen Classic is a welcome change. This bottle shines in its simplicity. The bottle itself is sleek and simple in shape. It is slim enough to fit in cup holders and bike water bottle holders but not so tall that it is prone to fall over. We ran into trouble here with the Mira Cascade and the Hydro Flask Standard - both of which stand a few inches taller than the Klean Kanteen.
In the past, we had issues with the sport cap; the cap sucked so much air in while drinking it was both incredibly noisy and provided aerated water that was annoying to drink. That said, we were pleasantly surprised by the Sport Cap 3.0, which is a huge improvement over the previous design. We especially loved the sport cap for driving — no lid to remove — and for using at the gym, where we didn't have to remove the lid to drink, or worry about getting the rim dirty. We were most excited about the fact that the new cap doesn't let air in when you drink (something that drove us nuts on the old bottle).
It's no surprise that the stainless-steel body of the Klean Kanteen is fairly durable. We brought this bottle everywhere - in packs full of metal climbing gear and in bike bottle holders. We weren't shy with letting the Klean Kanteen lie amongst rocks on days out in the boulders. All this abuse hardly took a toll on the bottle — we barely saw a scratch when we wrapped up the testing period this season. Unlike the Simple Modern Summit, the Klean Kanteen Classic ended up unscathed after dropping onto rocks (we noticed chips in the paint on the Summit within the first week of use).
The simplicity of the lid also helped the Klean Kanteen in this metric. The silicone spout is exposed to the elements without a hinged cover, which is both a blessing and a curse. Many bottles with hinged lids seemed prone to breaking or more rapid wear and tear — think of the Lifefactory Glass Flip-Cap or the Platypus DuoLock. The downside to this feature is the fact that the silicone spout is exposed and thus more prone to getting dirt and grit in it. This can wear out the spout more quickly. We didn't find this to be a huge issue over the two months we used this bottle, but could foresee it being a durability issue in the future.
Ease of Cleaning
The Classic is a fairly easy bottle to clean, especially if you have access to a dishwasher. The lid is dishwasher safe and this is by far the easiest method to clean the nooks and crannies of the sport cap. The rest of the water bottle is comparable to the Hydro Flask Standard in terms of cleaning, with a similar sized mouth and height. Bottle brushes are handy for a thorough cleaning in both of these instances. The Hydro Flask and the Yeti Rambler have lids that can be cleaned easily by hand — they both have exposed threads that can be wiped clean with a sponge or paper towel quickly. The simple efficiency of cleaning these lids won us over in instances where we were out camping for extended periods of time.
The Klean Kanteen falls in the middle of the pack in terms of weight among its competitors. This bottle weighs in at 7.4 ounces, right alongside the Camelbak Eddy+ and the LifeStraw Go. These bottles are all similar in volume capacity as well as weight, which makes them good to compare side-by-side in this metric. While the Klean Kanteen has a sport cap, both other bottles have integrated straws, all of which assist in one-handed drinking. With a weight between 7 and 8 ounces, all of these bottles are light enough to take hiking or on the daily commute.
The Klean Kanteen Classic is impressive in this metric. Though we never filled the bottle with coffee — a flavor that tends to linger more than most — we did fill it with electrolyte drinks frequently and found that the fruity flavors never seemed to linger more than one or two uses. After one quick rinse, the bottle shed the flavor of the electrolyte drink and left us with clean, flavorless water. The cap, being harder to fully clean out, did retain a lingering smell of the sports drink, though. It can be tough to compare this bottle's performance in this category to insulated stainless bottles, because we tended to fill those with hot beverages (like coffee or tea) that have more persistent flavors. Being uninsulated, we found sports drink mixes to be the most relevant liquids to use to test flavor retention with this bottle.
This bottle is a great all-arounder. Whether you are an urban dweller or an outdoorsy type, the Klean Kanteen Classic will fulfill your hydration needs with ease. This bottle is sleek enough to live on your desk, but durable enough to be taken on hikes or to the crag on the weekends. It is lightweight, easy to clean, and the sport cap adds efficiency for hydrating on the go. Though it's been around for a while, we still love the Klean Kanteen as a great alternative to a plastic bottle.
The Klean Kanteen Classic costs $21 online, which makes it a relatively inexpensive option, especially considering the bottle's durability and versatility. For a non-plastic bottle that is lightweight, portable, easy to clean, and easy to use, we found the Klean Kanteen to be a bottle of excellent value overall. We would recommend this bottle to a friend in a heartbeat - and tell them that it is definitely worth the $20.
With so many options out there, we sometimes freeze when friends ask, "What bottle should I buy?" But, as far as we can tell, the Klean Kanteen Classic is about as close as it gets to a non-plastic, one-quiver bottle. Though it lacks insulation, the Classic fulfills many of the other functions we have deemed important in a bottle. It is not plastic, it is easy to clean, it is fairly straightforward to use and it has proved to be durable over the years. We are thoroughly impressed by the updated sport cap which we found super useful for one-handed, efficient hydrating (especially driving!). Though the silicone spout requires a bit of care to keep clean and to keep from leaking, we loved this feature and the simplicity of the bottle as a whole.
— Jane Jackson