The battle of Hydro Flask and Klean Kanteen is a close one. These are both immensely popular brands with a good following. They have quality, value, and durability on their side. Both of these brands do the same job, and they do it admirably. There are, however, some differences in the approach. Let’s take these to the microscope in this Klean Kanteen vs Hydro Flask comparison. We aren’t necessarily looking for a winner, but for specific features that can be useful in a better-informed purchase.
Pros And Cons
Since we are looking at brands, this list takes a somewhat macro approach. Notable outliers are mentioned wherever necessary.
- Excellent insulation
- Available in several size and color options
- Single-walled (non-insulated) bottles are dishwasher safe
- Most lids and caps are not dishwasher safe
- Insulated bottles are tough to clean, and are not dishwasher safe
- Excellent insulation – Only insulated bottles available
- Many sizes (12oz to 128oz) and vibrant color options
- Bottles, and most lids, and caps are not dishwasher safe
- Can be tough to clean
Volume And Capacity Of The Bottles
It seems rather dull to start with something like volume, but that is a big part of choosing a water bottle. The water bottle must be conveniently sized for your requirements to be actually useful.
Klean Kanteen Bottle Volume
Insulated water bottles from Klean Kanteen used to be available in three sizes, viz. 12, 16, and 20 oz. Thankfully, they’ve also included the 32 oz. size to their lineup. I’m thankful for the new addition because the other sizes are too small for practical use, especially hydration. The 12 and 16 oz bottles aren’t going to do much for an adult. Having a 20oz bottle helps, and the 32 oz opens up more options, including outdoor use.
Hydro Flask Bottle Volume
Hydro Flask has a better volume range for its insulated bottles. The bottles are available in 12, 18, 32, 40 and 64 oz. They’ve also added a 128 oz bottle. Overall, there are plenty of options in terms of size and volume. I find this range more practical. It includes everything to catering for a single person, to possibilities for use by a group. Simply put, this is a more practical variety for general, as well as outdoor use.
About Insulation Of These Water Bottles
Both of these brands use double-walled bottles for insulation. This usually means two layers of stainless steel work together to protect the temperature of the contents. The inner layer retains the temperature. The outer layer of steel acts as a shield and prevents any temperature exchange between the inner layer and the outside environment.
Double-walled bottles for both designs also use the same 18/8 stainless steel. Insulation is the star here, but there’s also another implied positive. The outer surface of your bottle will be the same as the ambient temperature, not the contents of the bottle. This is to be expected considering the insulation, but it’s still worth pointing out. While the principle is the same, both brands employ a different strategy to achieve it.
It is worth noting that the temperature and time claimed are gradients. Once you pour a hot beverage into these bottles, it will start getting cold. The process just takes longer.
Even if the bottle says it can keep hot drinks for 12 hours, don’t expect your coffee to come out piping hot after 10 hours! It will still be warm, but hot is questionable. Bottles from both brands to perform exceptionally well for the first few hours. I would expect my coffee to be tolerably hot even after four hours.
Are Klean Kanteen Water Bottles Insulated?
It is worth pointing out that Klean Kanteen makes its water bottles available as double-walled (insulated), and single-walled (non-insulated). The biggest advantage for buying a single-walled bottle is that these are dishwasher-safe, including the cap. This seemingly simple, but important convenience alone can sway some decisions!
Insulation on Klean Kanteen bottles works wonders. They make use of Climate Lock vacuum insulation, which seems to be extremely effective. The claim is that the Classic Bottles maintain the hot beverages for up to 20 hours, and iced beverages for up to 90 hours. Insulated TKPro bottles fare better, with claims of hot beverages up to 38 hours, and iced ones up to 100 hours.
I find that these numbers are a bit of an exaggeration based on ideal conditions that a consumer is unlikely to find. It is better to consider the hot beverage times at 12 hours and 20 hours, in a more realistic scenario.
These times also depend on the size and cap of the bottle. Still, pretty impressive numbers!
How Good Is Hydro Flask Bottles Insulation?
Hydro Flask only offers insulated bottles. They use TempShield insulation for their bottles and claim more modest numbers. Hydro Flask bottles will keep cold drinks for 24 hours, and hot drinks for 12 hours. It’s pretty straightforward and worthy of notice.
Hydro Flask Vs Klean Kanteen — The Durability Metric
As far as water bottles are concerned, these are expensive bottles. They’re only worth it if they can last a very long time. Both brands live up to their promise in this regard. Both of them offer a lifetime warranty, which is pretty comforting. As with most warranties, you can expect regular deterioration and wear and tear to not be included. That is expected and acceptable, because both these brands have tolerably good durability and performance.
Both brands make use of 18/8 stainless steel, which is both durable, and a popular food-grade material. An added advantage here is that this steel does not retain, transfer, or in any way affect the taste of the bottle’s contents. Seems like a given, right? Yet, it is surprising how many bottles available on the market don’t manage to do that.
How Durable Are Klean Kanteen Bottles?
Klean Kanteen bottles are available in two finishes. Many of the bottles are powder-coated, while the others have a brushed stainless steel exterior. Powder-coated bottles have an excellent, sweat-free grip and are durable. The material is also more resistant towards showing general wear and tear, like scratches. You can expect the powder-coated bottles to last much longer than their counterparts.
Bottles with the brushed stainless steel exterior are not that durable. They are more prone to dents and scratches, which will eventually reduce their lifetime or at least decrease their efficacy.
How Do Hydro Flask Bottles Fare On Durability?
Hydro Flask only offers powder-coated bottles, all of which are built to be durable. You can expect a good lifetime out of these bottles without running into any problems. Dependability of these bottles is one of the reasons Hydro Flask is so popular.
Ease Of Use — Filling And Drinking
Easily filling up and using your bottle is an obvious necessity. Two factors weigh in on these metrics, more than the brands themselves. These are filling the bottle and drinking from it.
Using A Klean Kanteen or Hydro Flask Bottle
Filling any bottle is a simple job: remove the cap, pour the beverage in! As you know, wide-mouthed bottles are easier filled as compared to narrow-mouth bottles. The difference is irrelevant for those who intend to use water in their bottles. Well, except the risk of some spillage.
Other beverages make things trickier. Letting a coffee or cold drink pour through the exterior of your bottle can end up making it feel icky. And that is a real risk with narrow-mouthed bottles, plus there’s additional spillage to handle.
Hydro Flask recommends against any hot liquid coming in contact with the exterior of the bottle. It can damage the powder coating, thus reducing the expected lifetime and durability of the bottle.
As we see, wide-mouthed bottles are superior in terms of pouring liquid in. On the other hand, they don’t work so well when you want to drink from the bottle. Of course, this is a matter of preference, but generally speaking, wide-mouthed bottles can be a bit inconvenient.
When it comes to cleaning, narrow-mouthed bottles are decidedly tougher than their wide-mouthed counterparts. This isn’t to say the latter are easy to clean. In fact, bottles from both these brands are difficult to clean, the narrow mouth just happens to be more difficult. None of these bottles are dishwasher safe, so all cleaning will have to be done manually. Klean Kanteen single-walled bottles are dishwasher safe, but they don’t offer any insulation.
About The Caps And Lids
Caps and lids play a big part in the usability and convenience a bottle can offer. Both Klean Kanteen and Hydro Flask offer a variety of caps and lids that can be convenient for different uses.
Interestingly, Klean Kanteen and Hydro Flask caps are interchangeable. Of course, this is dependent on the compatibility of the mouth size.
Also, not all the caps and lids are leakproof. It’s not that much of a problem when you are well aware of the challenge and the intended use. Not everything needs to be leakproof, and you can sidestep this problem more often than not.
As an example, Sports Caps from both brands are not leakproof. However, these caps make one-handed use of the bottle possible. If you’ve got the bottle with you in your car, the single-handed use certainly is more desirable.
If you must have one that is leak proof, pick Flex Cap from Hydro Flask, and Loop Cap from Klean Kanteen. Some of the lids have specific purposes, and some are dishwasher safe. Your choice of lids will impact the usability, but do look out the functions you want to get out of your lids and caps.
Where necessary, you can also find accessories to fit your choice of bottle into your car’s cup holder. In most cases, you’ll need an adapter. Being aware of the dimensions of your car’s cup holder and the bottle will make the process a lot smoother.
Looks And Design Choices
Appearance is important, as is finding the right fit to suit your specific needs.
What Are The Bottle And Color Choices On Klean Kanteen?
There are plenty of choices available on Klean Kanteen, in terms of colors, as well as the general shape and use of bottles. There is an excellent range of bottle types on offer, suited for everyone from kids to adults. The sippy bottle variant is pretty cool, although it is single-walled. And as we saw above, there are several volume options available. So yeah, there’s a good chance you’ll find the bottle you want in your preferred color, size, and volume.
What About The Color And Volume Choices On Hydro Flask?
Hydro Flask has an interesting range of colors available for its insulated bottles. I’d go so far as to say they are more vibrant and interesting as compared to Klean Kanteen. There’s a fair bit of choice in the volume of bottles as well. They range all the way from 12oz bottles for kids, to 128 oz bottles better suited for groups. All bottles are insulated, so they are easier for use as well as storage.
Where Do Hydro Flask And Klean Kanteen Stand?