Looking to buy a reusable bottle? Seems like it should be simple. But then you start looking at the different tops, brands, you start to wonder what the best size is…because if it lasts as advertised, you won’t be able to justify throwing it out for years….So which is the best bottle? That’s the question, no doubt about it. Come & learn from my mistakes, grasshopper.
Spoiler alert – I love the Kleen Kanteen line. Allow me to explain.
Kleen Kanteen - 12 oz., 18 oz., 27 oz. The silver one is 9 years old. I swear. And that's with kid usage.
I found the Kleen Kanteen line 9 years ago. I was looking for a bottle my son could take to bed. I had a couple of Siggs but I found the various lids unsatisfying. I ended up getting the small silver 12 oz. bottle seen left. I liked that it would take an Avent sippy cup top, & that is what I used.
Time passed & I slowly added to my little cupboard. That’s happened mostly in the last 3 or so years, as my son has gotten older & more active.
We now have the white 18 oz. for his lunch, & the larger bottle is mine. The little bottle continues to be his bedtime drink, only now we use the sport top.
Sigg 13 oz. & 20 oz. Notice how banged up they get.
KLEEN KANTEEN IS SO MUCH BETTER! I cannot get over how much more I like the Kleen Kanteen over the Sigg. I cannot get ice cubes into the Sigg unless I crack them, which is a huge pain. To witness my swear-fest as I attempt to hammer ice cubes into the bottle with the back of the ice cream scoop is to develop a new appreciation for the wondrous expressiveness to be achieved when one mixes language with groans, screams, & gnashing of teeth. Again, I am annoyed & my time is wasted (hellooooo, there are Star Trek reruns to be watched) by having to hand wash them. That stupid, small opening again. It thwarts the dishwasher. The Kleen Kanteen, with its bigger opening, is fine on both counts.
View from the top. The Sigg is quite small.
WHAT SIZE? Size wise, I find the 27 oz. to be the most useful on a daily basis. That’s the yellow one. It’s ample water for an outing in the car. Bit heavy for a walk, tho, if I’m just attaching it to my belt. For that much liquid weight, you’d want to put it in a bag or pack. Which is not a problem!
In fact, you can't get an ice-cube into the dang thing. The Kleen Kanteen is easily loaded.
WHY ALL THE LIDS? Because the loop & flat lids are both totally leak proof. The sport lid, that’s the one with the nozzle so you can slurp out stuff without opening the bottle, that one will leak. They tell you that on the site. It’s got an air valve so if you’re really hoovering down the liquids, you don’t have to stop to let the bottle breathe or risk having your face sucked into the nozzle.
A word on Sigg lids – the most useful here, in the house of kid, was the…what is it called…ABT cap. It’s mostly leak proof. It has a cover to keep the nozzle free of fuzz from the car seat. You press it with your mouth to drink. That’s fine, but it comes into 3 parts for cleaning, & one of them is a delicate & easily lost metal ring, without which the rest of the lid it totally useless.
Sport Cap, Loop Lid, Stainless Loop Cap, ABT Top
Also I have had covers break off at the hinge after unfortunate fumbles on pavement. The Kleen Kanteen sport top, which would compare, is only the one part.
We have, for our Kleen Kanteens, 2 lids. The sport cap, which is great to carry around in the house, to use at your desk, while you’re doing yard work, & in the kid’s room – all because if you knock it over it won’t spill more than a couple of drops. The stainless loop cap is used for anytime I’m on the move. You can throw that in the backseat of the car & not even worry a minute that it’ll leak. They make 2 loop caps. One is plastic, the other has a stainless steel core. I like that, as it won’t react with anything in the bottle, & also what can leach from it into what I’m drinking? Nothing. Win, win.
Beastly, annoying Sigg lid breaks into THREE pieces, one a tiny metal ring.
- Insulated amazingness for hot & cold drinks. Once I cleaned one 24 hours later & it STILL had ice.
INSULATED BOTTLES. Last year Kleen Kanteen started making an insulated bottle. I was a bit leery. There are plenty of thermoses out there. Would this one be worth the bucks? ($23-28, depending on size.) Yes, yes, YES! Whoa Nellie! These will keep your bev of choice hot or cold for hours. These are the best insulated thermoses I’ve ever found. For those you can get a cafe top, which prevents sloshing in the car cup holder, but lets you sip your tea, or you can get 1 of 2 leak proof lids. One is flatter & cooler looking, if you are looking for that sort of thing, but otherwise there is no diff. And I will say the cafe lid is wonderfully designed & snaps into 2 parts for cleaning, both of which can go thru the dishwasher. Size wise, they come in 12, 16, & 20 oz. I have the latter two. After having them, I can’t think why anyone would get the 12 oz. size. Who drinks so little? That’s ONE cup of coffee. If you’re going to spend the money & carry the thing around, at least get the 16 oz., which I think is the most versatile. You should have seen me doing my pre-purchase research. What a geek! I’d make a cup of hot tea in my fave mug, then pour it into a clear pyrex cup to learn the oz. of my normal drink, & what 2 times that would be. In real-time I find the 16 oz. good for coffee & tea when I’m heading out of the house for a while, & the 20 oz. is excellent for ice tea, which I might share with my son in the back seat. You drink more of cold drinks so the capacity is really nice.
Kleen Kanteen insulated 20 oz., Kleen Kanteen regular 18 oz., Sigg regular 20 oz.
Only down side is the insulation takes up a heck of a lot of space. Look at this comparison, to the left, of 20 oz. bottles. You see what I mean. And if you back up the page, you’ll see it’s about the same size at the 27 oz. reg bottle. You have to determine if the mass is worth it to you. I did use the larger insulated at Burning Man last year. It didn’t hold as much as the 27, but we carried both. We’d be moseying with the speed of drugged slugs thru the heat of the day & then make our tongues ache with the sudden shock of ice & liquid. Perfect. And along those same lines, a thermos of some hot & steamy drink is very welcome on a late night when you can barely see the lights of center camp, there are no art cars in sight, & you are weary beyond words, cold & tired.
CLEANING. Sigg wants you to wash their bottles by hand. I assume to protect the finish. I believe I shared my feelings about that earlier. All the Klean Kanteen bottles can be washed in the dishwasher, including the thermos, which is unexpected. They say to handwash the leak proof lids, but I throw every piece in there & have had no problem.
DURABILITY. or…WILL I GET MY MONEY’S WORTH? Well, duh. Yes. Go back & reread the part where I said that little bottle is now 9 years old. Just don’t leave it on the roof of the car. The Siggs dent like crazy. I don’t know why but I don’t like it. The thermoses are also in heavy rotation &, as said, have been to the playa, which is the kind of place sure to put on some age & take off some value. No dents, no flaws of any kind. I’ve never replaced a lid. The painted models do lose paint. That’s how that goes. I sandblasted a drawing onto the yellow bottle, & also did that with a plain thermos I gifted. You can certainly sandblast, sticker, or in other ways decorate your thermos. Makes it harder to lose.
PRICE. The insulateds are $23, $26, & $28. The regular bottle in the sizes mentioned here is $15, $17, & $18, with the price varying slightly depending on cap choice. They also now have some limited edition bottles. They also have a water filter adapter for in the woods. Siggs are $22 for the 20 oz. size. Wait, I just did the math. That 9 year old bottle I have – that works out to $1.66/year. A YEAR.
DON’T TELL ME YOU CAN’T AFFORD A DECENT REUSABLE BOTTLE!! On more than one occasion someone has asked me about one of these & flinched when I said I paid about $25 for it. What the heck? When’s the last time you bought overpriced bottled water infused with the health giving qualities of sun-warmed plastic at some festival? How about the last time you caved to your whining kid & bought some sugary thing on ice while on a walk? Which he only drank half of anyway because it was so ick? Is your last cup of coffee in one of those little paper condoms still a fresh memory for you? And how much did you pay for that? Alright then.
Get a decent bottle.