Klean Kanteen 12oz Wide Insulated
Takes the prize for a pack-ready, sip-top insulted mug/bottle. The totally reliable seal opens with a twist, and the top disassembles easily for cleaning. Looks like it should take a lot of abuse.
- Sip top with reliable seal
- Top disassembles easily for cleaning
- Two-handed operation to open for sipping
- Top needs frequent cleaning
I am on a quest for the Holy Coffee Cup, and this one is getting pretty close. What I want is an insulated mug with a totally reliable seal that won't leak in my pack even if I take a 1,000-foot fall down a couloir, that can be opened for sipping with one mittened hand without having to find a place to put down a cup or lid or any other loose parts in the snow, and that will keep my coffee at a perfect drinking temperature for at least 6 days and weighs less than 2 ounces and won't break or deform after falling off a cliff due to unintended droppage and can be cleaned without calling in Mary Poppins.
What can I say? I have high standards!
A while back I wrote a review of a flip top REI insulated bottle that failed the one-hand test and could be closed without fully sealing, and reflected back on a Thermos brand model that had one-hand operation (on "standby mode") but was subject to breakage. And I have tried an array of other models with deficiencies in the weight, sealability, insulation factor, or number of moving/removable parts departments.
I received the Klean Kanteen version as a freebie on a recent raft trip, and used it for the duration of the trip, which included some day hikes, and basically every day since. Basically it's my new Best Friend.
The sip top opens with a 1/4 turn twist, which opens up a rubber seal that is otherwise firmly cammed up against the sip holes. It takes two hands to do this, one to hold the bottle and one to do the twist, but if the bottle is kept more or less vertical thereafter (for example while gesturing wildly with bottle in hand while raving about that last run) there will be no or at least only minimal spillage. It should be doable with mittens. There is little risk of accidental opening, and I have had zero problems with leakage. I would trust this bottle to ride around upside-down in my pack all day, if not quite for that 1,000-foot fall.
The top comes apart into no less than 5 parts—the rubber seal and four molded plastic (polycarbonate, I think) pieces—for thorough cleaning. The stack is held together by a little wingnut, in the middle of the arrangement in the photo below. Liquid can get trapped in the cap so a thorough cleaning at least every once in a while is a good idea. I suppose there is some risk of losing a part after washing but I would attribute that to operator error. Some of the types mentioned above don't require disassembly for cleaning, but I can live with that as a tradeoff for durability.
While I have not done any comparative heat loss curves, I can say that it will keep my coffee hot-ish up until lunchtime, which is about as well as any of the other variants I have tried.
It looks to be quite durable, with a tough plastic top and cap on the bottom. I have an older 16 oz loop-top bottle with a few dents that is a little tippy on flat surfaces but otherwise still going strong. I'm sure the new one will pick up a few dents in the years to come, but they shouldn't affect function (and they build character!).
Weight: 275 g / 9.7 oz, fine for day trips or cold weather weekenders. It turns out the caps are interchangeable, so I can use the sip top (called a Cafe Cap) on my old 16 oz-er for a little extra boost! (weighs about 2 oz / 54 g more empty)
Source: received it as a sample, freebie, or prize (O.A.R.S.)
A thermos that is easy to clean, compact, and seals well.
- Stainless steel construction
- Wide mouth
- Dents easily
I have found this be a most useful container for both cold and hot drinks. I debated whether to get the 16 or 12 oz. but was glad I went with the latter. It is the perfect size for my corresponding coffee press and is also very portable.
The main reasons I chose a Klean Kanteen were the stainless-steel construction and the wide mouth. I wanted to get away from drinking hot liquids from a plastic container, plus the steel is easier to clean and doesn't hold the taste (which also makes it a good container for spirits).
I use it a lot as a coffee cup, so it does get stained. But every once in awhile I give it a bleach treatment and it looks good as new. The wide mouth also allows for a good scrubbing with a sponge.
I purchased the sippy-lid to go along with this, but it has too small of an opening, in my opinion. But be careful of drinking hot liquids directly from the rim, as the steel does heat up. Most often I use the cap that it came with since it seals tight. It is somewhat easy to cross thread the cap, though.
With the cap in place, hot liquids stay that way for hours. If you are worried about liquids coming in contact with the plastic in the lid, well KK has thought of that detail too. The inside of the lid is stainless steel and I have seen few other products like that.
Because of the material, insulation, and the lid, this container is heavier than most. That is the main reason I went with the smaller size. It is also easy to dent, which hasn't yet affected the performance at least. The diameter allows for it to be jammed in MOST cupholders...unfortunately it's a very tight squeeze in my car's cupholder.
In summary, a very quality product and makes a great gift for the holidays.
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $20
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Historic Range: $12.48-$29.95
Reviewers Paid: $20.00