Klean Kanteen Vacuum Insulated Review
Cons: Retains residual flavors, difficult to clean, narrow mouth is hard to fill
Manufacturer: Klean Kanteen
Our Analysis and Test Results
Ease of Use
This model isn't great for drinking from. Its wide mouth has a thin rim that is not only uncomfortable to drink from but also becomes very hot when we filled the body with hot contents. Because we expect to be often drinking hot liquids from an insulated bottle, we were disappointed on this front. The narrow mouth also makes it difficult to fill, especially if you're handling hot water. We found it hard to use without spilling water on our hands when filling. A bottle that remedies this problem is the Yeti Rambler, which has an extra wide mouth, making it easy to drink from and fill.
Regarding insulation, this bottle won some points back. We filled it with ice and water, and it took 25 hours for the ice to completely melt. At 50 hours, the water inside was still ice cold. It also kept liquids hot longer than the Hydro Flask, keeping our coffee at a drinkable temperature for about an hour longer (approximately seven hours of hot drinks). The simple cap and bottle design are leak-proof. Also, the looped cap is one of the sturdiest tested.
This insulated model proved to be slightly more durable (though not much) than the Hydro Flask, as it maintained its integrity after drop tests on its bottom and cap. The resulting dent on the bottom didn't affect its insulating properties but did make it more wobbly on a flat surface. The cap suffered only minor scratches. With proper care, though, this stainless steel bottle should last a long time.
Ease of Cleaning
Because of its narrow mouth, the Insulated model was significantly difficult to clean. In addition, the internal threads on the lid of the handle collected gunk and were difficult to wash, reducing the overall score in this category. Do not wash this product in the dishwasher, as it will damage its insulating properties. The wide mouth of the Yeti was easier to clean but had more complex lids, so ended up being equally challenging to clean in comparison to the Insulated.
For its size, the Insulated is pretty heavy. But, if you are just using it as a work specific bottle, this added weight is not a huge issue. The most lightweight, insulated model we tested is the Simple Modern Summit.
Our biggest disappointment in this Klean Kanteen Insulated model came in the taste metric. Why? It imparted a significant metallic taste in our plain water and 24-hour taste tests. The results from the flavor retention tests were equally unsatisfactory, as our taste testers were able to detect the taste and smell of the sports drink in subsequent water refills. The Hydro Flask and Yeti did better in flavor retention, so if you plan to put lots of different beverages in your bottle, we suggest checking out another insulated bottle instead.
This bottle fared even worse when it came to retaining the taste of coffee. After filling it once with coffee, we were unable to remove the strong coffee smell from the bottle, even after soaking it for 12 hours in a mixture of baking soda, vinegar, and water.
If you need a bottle to take hot beverages to work, this bottle is a great choice. However, after we went with coffee, we found we couldn't go back to water due to the lingering coffee aftertaste. Alternatively, if you are looking for an insulated bottle for cold drinks while at work or play, this bottle will serve you very well.
The Insulated model is cheaper but isn't as good a value as the more versatile and award-winning Yeti Rambler. We found it to be on the expensive side, especially considering its limited areas of use. For a more versatile, yet still inexpensive insulated bottle, check out the Simple Modern Summit. Its interchangeable lids make it great for keeping hot and cold beverage tastes separate.
The Klean Kanteen insulates beverages well. However, it does have significant drawbacks: it affects taste and has an uncomfortable rim for drinking. If you have $30 to spare and need a bottle to fill with your favorite hot/cold beverage for the office, this bottle is a great option. However, if you want a more versatile bottle, have a look at the Yeti Rambler, winner of our overall water bottle award.
— Jane Jackson