If you are in the market for an insulated metal bottle for your daily hit of caffeine or a long-lasting cold drink, then Klean Kanteen and Hydro Flask are worth your attention.
They are both very experienced in making stainless steel, double-walled (aka insulated) bottles for hot and cold drinks. At the top end of the spectrum, both these companies offer a variety of sizes, drinking spout options and colors (for those that want to stand out from the crowd).
The big question most of you will have though is – what’s the difference between the two, and are they worth the high price tag.
Well, in this detailed comparison, I will do my very best to break it all down for you, so you can make an easy, and informed, decision.
The Main Differences – Klean Kanteen & Hydro Flask
Let’s start with the most important things first. Size.
When it comes to water bottles, drink bottles, or carrying your coffee around, size is often one of the first considerations. A couple of big questions come to mind, such as
- How much liquid does the container hold
- Does it fit in the most common places I will put it (bag, car, etc)
So, let’s compare the sizes of the two most common bottles from both – the standard/classic and the wide mouth.
Hydro Flask comes in:
- Wide Mouth: 18, 32, 40, 64oz
- 2.91, 3.56, 3.56, 4.7 inches wide
- Classic: 18, 21 & 24oz (2.87 inches wide)
Klean Kanteen comes in:
- Wide Mouth: 12, 16 & 20oz (3 inches wide)
- Classic: 12 (kids), 20, 32 & 64oz
- 2.9, 2.9, 3.6, 4.65 inches wide
So, it’s actually not that simple to choose, because they both offer quite a variety of sizes in terms of what they hold – and depending on what style of opening (standard or wide) you want.
Also keep in mind, the width varies a lot in some models (Hydro Flask wide and Klean Kanteen classic) so keep an eye on that, especially in terms of your car cup holder. Most are 3.6 inches or under, but the really big ones are around 4.7 inches.
Lid /Cap Options
Another important consideration is the lid. Most come with a standard screw on lid with a hook or loop at the top, but many of you will want something more practical.
Both Klean Kanteen and Hydro Flask have certainly gone all out to provide options, but what are they? And which bottles can you get them on?
Hydro Flask Standard Caps
There are two lids available with the Hydro Flask standard bottles:
The Flex Cap, which is more your standard screw on/off lid, but is also insulated to help keep the contents warm/cold longer.
The Sports Cap, which is great for drinking on the go. Just be aware that it is not guaranteed to be leak proof, and does not have the extra insulation of the Flex Cap above.
Hydro Flask Wide Mouth Caps
The wide mouth also comes in the flex (insulated) cap and the sports cap, although this sports cap has a spout that can flip back into the lid for storage. It’s intended for cold drinks.
There is also a Flip Lid which is a combination of the two above (kind of) giving you the option to drink without having to screw open the bottle! It is not leak proof though, and intended for hot drinks.
Klean Kanteen Classic Caps
The basic options on the classic bottles are the same as the Hydro Flask Standards, with a screw on and a sports cap.
They do offer a couple of other interesting options for anyone who wants to have stainless steel only, and drinks cold drinks (otherwise the lid might get hot – and they don’t recommend it). There is an all-stainless steel, and one with a sustainable bamboo top.
For the kids size bottle (or larger ones if your kid gets thirsty :>) they also have a dedicated kids top.
Klean Kanteen Wide Caps
The opposite of the Hydro Flask, Klear Kanteen wide bottles come with less options – the standard screw on cap, and a coffee sip cap. The reviews on their website for the coffee cap are not great (more on that later) though.
In general, the bigger the bottle (like the 64oz) the less options you have. I guess they sell less of them, so do not have the volume to offer such a range.
However, that being said, Hydro Flask seems to offer a wider range of colors in most of their bottles. You should always check online before you make a decision, but that is what I have seen “in general”.
Here are some examples showing almost the same range of colors. However, Klean Kanteen only offers this wider choice on the 16 and 20oz (depending on the bottle). Hydro Flask seems to offer it on more models (all wide and standard mouths, apart from a few exceptions).
So, if you want color choice, Hydro Flask is the way to go!
Hydro Flask Color Choice
Hydro Flask Color Choice
Let’s compare a couple of similar products here (wide vs wide of about the same size, for example) to get a clear picture of whether there is a big price difference.
Both of these around the 18-20oz size are approximately $30 in each case. So, there is no real difference between the two.
Now, we have looked at the differences between the bottles. Let’s quickly go over their awesome shared features and then at the end, mention a few issues I have seen on reviews online (it pays to check reviews as you get to see what happens when hundreds of people test something for you :>).
Double Walled Insulation – Staying Hot or Cold
If you buy the insulated, double-walled bottles the aim is to keep your drinks either hot or cold. They stay cold a lot longer, and hot for more than long enough.
Both manufacturers have perfected this technology, so you should have no issues with either. If you do, from what I have seen on various reviews, it is more than likely because the bottle is faulty. The majority of people report no problems in this area at all.
So, it should not be a deciding factor for either brand.
Safe BPA & PVC-Free Materials
You probably know how bad BPAs are for your health, so it’s always good to see manufacturers like these not using them. They also avoid phthalates like PVC in their plastics and only use safer ones like Polypropelene (Plastic number #5). There are also some cases where silicon is used, and this is safe medical grade.
Of course, the bottles are made from high grade (18/8) stainless steel too, so there are absolutely no worries about that.
Are They Dishwasher Friendly?
In general, these two manufacturers recommend hand cleaning their bottles for a variety of reasons. The powder coating is not dishwasher proof (the fully stainless steel , silver colored from Klean Kanteen are) and depending on the lid/cap you get, it may or may not be. Check the specs on the specific caps on each manufacturers sites.
So far, I have only seen the coffee cap from Klean Kanteen to be specifically listed as dishwasher safe. Assuming that they are all NOT is your best bet unless stated otherwise.
I like to scour the online reviews when researching products and in the majority of cases there will always be complaints. The question is, are there consistent issues worth mentioning?
Both manufacturers seem to have complaints about not staying cold/hot for long enough, but there are not enough of these reviews for me to think it’s an issue with the bottle. If yours has issues (test it when you get it) then send it back, it should stay cold/hot for hours and hours.
Both seem to also have issues with slight leakage issues on the more open caps, particularly when liquid remains on the lid after drinking. So, the design is not always perfect. But, this was only mentioned by a few people, more so on Klean Kanteen.
The biggest issue I saw was a weak base on many of the more recent production models of the Klean Kanteen. Some people even claimed small drops on carpet caused dents! Seems a bit extreme to me, but some also mention it on harder floors from low heights. It might be a reason to consider Hydro Flask over Klean Kanteen if all other things are the same.
Which Is The Perfect Bottle?
Neither of these comes out a clear winner. They are very very similar.
Their sizes, caps and colors differ, so this may be the biggest reason you choose one over the other, so take a look at what they have to offer that suits your needs (hot or cold? different caps for each, different sizes and colors in each model etc).
If you cannot choose then the slightly higher quality of Hydro Flask seems to tip the scale in their favor from all the reviews online.
You can check them all out on Amazon via the links below.