It wasn’t long ago that the idea of carrying around your own water bottle was utterly ridiculous. Then the rage for ‘healthy lifestyles’ exploded with that all-important accessory, the plastic Evian bottle. It was probably filled up with tap water as much as the real stuff, but it kept us hydrated in a thirsty world where sugary soda drinks were a no-no. When the world discovered that plastics were technically full of ‘bad stuff’ — potentially hazardous chemicals that could theoretically leach out into the water — and that we were discarding huge amounts of plastic that was terrible for the environment; those who cared switched to either glass water bottles, or stainless steel. The problem with glass is obvious, it’s heavy and relatively fragile. Stainless steel water bottles are lighter and we tend to trust them with a knock or two. This is where the Klean Canteen comes in. It’s sold in a range of colours and sizes to suit differed thirsts, backpack sizes — and aesthetic tastes.
The unpainted, brushed finish steel is probably the hardest wearing. I prefer the slimmer necks, because they are more comfortable to drink from, but they’re still wide enough to pop a kitchen sponge in when they need cleaning. I find the smaller tops are easier to grip when you’re screwing them on and off. And I’m not keen on the plastic tops: they seem to defy part of the point of using a stainless steel bottle.
There are insulated versions of the classic Klean Canteen, which because of the double wall, provide less volume than the standard ones. The insulated canteens are great for carrying around smoothies. I usually pop in an ice cube to ensure it’s nice and chilled for later.
One of the great things about Klean Canteens, and probably why they have a growing fan base, is that they are lovely objects to own. They feel nice to use and they’re reassuringly robust. Their construction is basic in some respects, but that’s part of their appeal. It’s also good to know that you can buy replacement silicone seals for the caps as these are usually the first things to wear out. The silicone seals for the stainless steel caps are a cinch to replace and engineered in a simple way that makes them easy to remove, clean, and replace.