KleanKanteen vs Hydro Flask: Choose One!

When it comes to the world of insulated bottles, there are two brands that reign supreme – KleanKanteen and Hydro Flask. Both companies make high-quality products and have fan bases that claim their preferred company is the best. They both have a plethora of positive reviews which makes it tricky to decide which company to purchase from.

High quality insulated stainless steel bottles are an investment that should last for years. These aren’t cheap plastic bottles so it’s worth it to take the time to compare both product lines to ensure you get the right one for your situation.

Before getting into a comparison of each brand’s strengths and weaknesses, here is a summary of bottle options, design, and features.

KleanKanteen Insulated Bottles

  • Classic (standard) Mouth – 12, 20, 32 or 64 oz
  • Wide Mouth – 12, 16 or 20 oz
  • Growler Style – 32 or 64 oz
  • Available in a variety of colors, in matte or stainless finish
  • Electropolished interior to prevent bad tastes
  • Keeps drinks cold up to 24 hours
  • Keeps drinks hot up to 12 hours
  • BPA-free
  • Compatible with multiple accessories, including different caps

Hydro Flask Insulated Bottles

  • Standard Mouth – 12, 18, 21 or 24 oz
  • Wide Mouth – 18, 32 or 40 oz
  • Growler – 64 oz
  • Available in a variety of colors, in powder coated or classic stainless finish
  • Wide mouth bottles are compatible with most water filtration systems
  • TempShield technology
  • Keeps drinks cold for up 24 hours
  • Keeps drinks hot up to 6 hours
  • Made of 18/8 stainless steel
  • BPA- and Phthalate-free
  • Lifetime warranty
  • Compatible with multiple accessories, including different caps

Going by the above information it is easy to see how similar each brand’s insulated bottles are to one another. With the details out of the way, let’s get into some of the major features of these bottles and how they stack up against each other.

Usability and Care

First and foremost, ease of use needs to be addressed. Both KleanKanteen and Hydro Flask have insulated bottles available in a variety of sizes, as well as standard or wide mouth. Whether you want a small bottle for taking your hot coffee to work in the morning or a huge bottle that will keep your ice water chilled all day, you can find the right size.

The standard mouth bottles are best saved for those who need a bottle that is slim since these are thinner than the wide mouth bottles. The downside of the standard mouth bottles is that they are narrow which means cleaning is more difficult. You also can’t put regular ice cubes in it.

The wide mouth design is much more versatile. You can really pack in ice cubes and keep the bottle clean is much easier. Some people who go camping or maybe outdoor for the day will even pack their soups, stew or chilis in the larger Growler wide mouth. However, the wide mouth is less likely to fix in universal cup holders, backpack water bottle pockets or on a bike.

Conclusion: It is truly a tie in this category. KK and HF are nearly identical except for a couple differences in sizing between their respective standard and wide mouth options. Either way, you can find an easy to care for bottle in the perfect size from either brand.

Visual Design

While looks alone shouldn’t be the sole reason to choose a product, it can be useful as a final deciding factor if you really can’t pick between bottles as similar as these.

Hydro Flask and KleanKanteen have a range of colors to choose from. They both have two different finishes as well, aside from the plain stainless steel metallic look. HF’s has the option of a tough but attractive powder coating while KK has a matte satin finish. When it comes to color vividity, Hydro Flask has a bit of an edge but they lack KleanKanteen’s limited edition bottle designs.

Conclusion: It’s difficult to say which bottle looks better because it is a matter of personal preference, but based on color options and habit of co-branding designs KleanKanteen is a winner.

Insulation

Both Hydro Flask and KleanKanteen bottles have superior insulative properties compared to other brands. They are also very similar compared to one another.

Hydro Flask and KleanKanteen bottles both have the same double-walled design using the same 18/8 stainless steel. This double-walled vacuum construction is quite impressive as it keeps your beverages roughly the same temperature. Having double walls also means that your hands will be protected from heat or cold.

A common issue with regular stainless steel bottles is how they can get too hot or cold to touch comfortably, but these double-walled models solve this problem.

Hydro Flask’s TempShield technology guarantees that icy cold drinks will stay cold for up to 24 hours. KleanKanteen has the same guarantee for cold beverages. Where the two differ is with hot drinks. Hydro Flask has a 6-hour guarantee whereas KleanKanteen has a 12-hour guarantee.

Conclusion: If you plan on only using your bottle to keep water or other drinks cold, either brand will work perfectly for you. But if you are looking for a bottle that will keep coffee, hot chocolate, cider and other hot beverages warm pretty much all day, the KleanKanteen will be a better choice.

Durability

Durability is an important factor. If you’re going to spend $30 to $40 on something like a water bottle, you’re going to want to get a lot of use out of it and not worry about tossing it around.

Durability when it comes to KK vs HF is fairly equal. As mentioned above, both bottles are made out of the same materials. The high quality 18/8 stainless steel is resistant to dents and will stay looking great for a long time. You can expect some scratches if you use it constantly, from accidental drops and the effects of daily life, but you’d really have to purposely abuse these bottles to damage them.

However, there is one thing to consider with durability – while the stainless steel body may be fairly invincible, the plastic caps are not. The KleanKanteen lids screw inside of the bottle while the Hydro Flask lids are a cap that screws over top.

Hydro Flask recently updated their bottle lids to a new Flex Cap which functions better than KleanKanteen’s design. The issue with the KK lid is that the plastic seal seems to be prone to leaking when used for daily for a long time.

Conclusion: Both bottle bodies are essentially the same but a bottle is useless if it leaks. The Hydro Flask design wins for this factor due to it’s stronger cap.

Some other factors like price and accessory options can also help to make a decision. KleanKanteen and Hydro Flask bottles are both reasonably priced, but KleanKanteen is a few dollars less expensive. KleanKanteen has less accessory options which, for example, limits your ability to switch out caps. Hydro Flask has more cap options so if you don’t like the Flip Cap, just buy a different one.

Deciding on which bottle is best is difficult but it can be summed up that the Hydro Flask is more of a workhorse while the KleanKanteen is better for casual use. If you only want a pretty bottle of water, you’ll probably prefer the KleanKanteen due to its design options. If you are a very active individual, plan to take this hiking, camping or if you work in an outdoor environment, the Hydro Flask will serve you better.

About the Author Sam Hardy

Sam Hardy is an outdoor enthusiast with a penchant for survival prepping. He writes about the great outdoors and his favorite equipment here.

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