Hydro Flask vs Klean Kanteen

Hydration is key to a successful hike. And staying hydrated is much easier when you have a stainless steel bottle. But you already know that by now. What you don’t know is which insulated bottle you should buy.

I won’t tell you which bottle is the best one, that’s up to you to decide, but I will tell you that Hydro Flask and Klean Kanteen are two great brands that are worth taking a look at.

Both Hydro Flask and Klean Kanteen make durable, high-quality drinkware. However, Hydro Flask products cost twice as much as Klean Kanteen products. Moreover, they’ve been around for longer and are far more popular.

But does all of this mean that Hydro Flask is better? To find out, I’ve tested the most popular bottles from both brands.

Klean Kanteen Products

Klean Kanteen Classic Insulated

Klean Kanteen insulated bottle

Specs

  • Volume: 20 oz
  • Body material: 18/8 Stainless steel
  • Empty weight: 12.3 oz
  • Colors: 6

This bottle is essentially an improved version of the Klean Kanteen Classic. It’s one of the few reusable bottles that come with a stainless steel cap.

This isn’t a standard feature among stainless steel bottles. If you want to avoid plastic altogether, you usually have to order an extra cap.

The simple and sleek profile of the bottle, brushed stainless steel exterior, and the stainless steel unibody cap make it one of the most beautiful reusable bottles on the market.

Still, I was disappointed to find out that the Klean Kanteen insulated bottle is more stylish than functional. Even though it has a wide mouth, the bottle is not easy to clean or fill.

Moreover, the rim of the bottle is quite thin. So, when you fill the bottle with hot contents, the rim also becomes very hot.

The Klean Kanteen retains residual flavors. I was able to detect the smell and taste of coffee in subsequent water refills.

So far it sounds like the Klean Kanteen only looks great but doesn’t perform well, so why would anyone even compare it to a Hydro Flask bottle? Well, it still has exceptional temperature retention and durability.

I filled the bottle with water and ice and put it in my backyard. I took a peek inside the bottle after 24 hours and some of the ice was still there.

Moreover, the Klean Kanteen is quite durable. The leak-proof stainless steel lid is one of the sturdiest I’ve ever tested. I dropped the bottom on the lid numerous times and it only suffered minor scratches.

However, the body of the bottle isn’t as robust as the lid. The bottle maintained its integrity after all the drops. But the dents did make it more wobbly on a flat surface. Still, there’s no doubt that the Klean Kanteen Insulated will last you a long time with proper care.

Pros

  • Fits in cup holder
  • Lifetime warranty
  • Awesome insulation
  • Sturdy carrying handle
  • Sleek

Cons

  • Retains residual flavors

Klean Kanteen TKWide

Klean Kanteen TKWide bottle

Specs

  • Volume: 32 oz
  • Body material: 18/8 Stainless steel
  • Empty weight: 20 oz
  • Colors: 9

Klean Kanteen has recently revamped its Wide Insulated Bottle line. The latest version of this wide-mouth bottle has a few new interesting features, one of them being the larger, multipurpose opening.

It comes with Klean Kanteen’s award-winning Climate Lock double-wall vacuum insulation and TK Closure internal thread design.

This formidable combination helps keep tea and coffee piping hot, while water and electrolyte drinks stay ice cold. The proprietary TK closure design also allows for easy cleaning.

I like its easy-fill opening as well. It allows the bottle to carry beverages like carbonated drinks, kombucha, smoothies, and more.

The specially rounded lip is also a nice touch. Compared to other Klean Kanteen bottles, drinking without the lid is a more pleasant experience.

The TKWide bottle can fit three different interchangeable lids. However, I wasn’t impressed with any of them.

The straw cap allows for easy sipping and the cafe cap is great for cold and hot drinks. But they are a bit difficult to screw on.

And rest assured that there will be leaks if you don’t close the lid all the way. Because of this, I prefer to stick to the insulated stainless steel loop cap.

The TKWide is likely the most durable Klean Kanteen bottle. It’s built like a steel bullet. During the testing period, I dropped it on concrete, down a hill, and even ran it over with my bike by accident. The TKWide barely got a scratch.

Pros

  • Well-insulated
  • Simple design
  • Dishwasher safe
  • Durable
  • Lifetime warranty

Cons

  • Lid is difficult to screw

Hydro Flask Products

Hydro Flask Standard Mouth

Hydro Flask standard-mouth bottle

Specs

  • Volume: 32 oz
  • Body material: 18/8 Stainless steel
  • Empty weight: 11.3 oz
  • Colors: 8

Chances are you’ve seen this bottle more than a few times: in people’s hands in airports and on the subway, all over your friend’s feeds, and on the trails you walked.

It’s easy to think that such popular items are overrated, but this bottle definitely lives up to the hype.

People love this Classic Hydro Flask bottle because it is convenient to use, durable, and effective. Even though it’s designed for active lifestyles, you don’t have to be an outdoor enthusiast to enjoy it.

I found a use for it any time I was on the move, whether by bike, plane, canoe, or foot. Unlike many bottles I’ve tested, the Hydro Flask Standard Mouth has never leaked. 

I really liked the lid of the bottle. It only takes a turn-and-a-half to remove it. The flexible handle is also a nice touch. It accommodates your hand without getting in the way.

And because this Hydro Flask bottle isn’t as heavy as the wide-mouth version, you won’t have to worry about the handle snapping while you are carrying the full bottle in your hand.

The capacity of this bottle makes it perfect for short day hikes or use around town. Whether you put it in a car’s cup holder or a shallow backpack pocket, the Hydro Flask Standard Mouth will stay put.

Pros

  • Nice color selection
  • Easy to grasp
  • Insulates well
  • Lifetime warranty
  • Stylish

Cons

  • Expensive

Hydro Flask Wide Mouth 2.0

New Hydro Flask wide-mouth bottle

Specs

  • Volume: 32 oz
  • Body material: 18/8 Stainless steel
  • Empty weight: 15.2 oz
  • Colors: 10

Last year, Hydro Flask launched a new and improved version of its Wide Mouth bottle. I’ve been testing it for a couple of months and the results are great so far. I’ve dropped it a handful of times to see how robust it is and I’ve only found a few tiny dents along the bottom edge.

Weighing in at about 15 ounces, the Wide Mouth 2.0 is noticeably lighter than most 32-oz double-wall vacuum insulated bottles.

I also like the Hydro Flask’s Color Last Powder Coat. It allows you to grip the bottle securely even when it’s wet. And the only way it will get wet is if you drop it in a puddle, for instance, or leave it in rain, thanks to its sweat-proof design.

Unlike older Hydro Flask products, the Wide Mouth 2.0 bottle is dishwasher safe. The coating won’t come off so easily.

The handle on the cap has a little bit of stretch to it. This allows for versatile lashing or packing. But, at the same time, the handle feels sturdy. The cap itself is also insulated. But I don’t like the fact that the cap squeaks when you remove it. And it’s not a quiet squeak either.

Pros

  • Relatively lightweight
  • Excellent grip
  • Great insulation
  • Durable
  • Lifetime warranty

Cons

  • The lid squeaks

Side By Side Comparison

Insulation

Hydro Flask bottle leaning against a tree

Both Hydro Flask and Klean Kanteen products feature double-walled vacuum seal insulation. To see which bottle is better at keeping beverages cold, I filled each bottle with water and ice and left them sitting at room temperature.

The ice in the Hydro Flask Wide Mouth melted just before 24 hours. However, the water in the bottle was still very cold past 24 hours.

It took more than 25 hours for the ice to completely melt in the Klean Kanteen TKWide Bottle. At 50 hours, the water inside the Klean Kanteen TKWide was still ice cold.

As for keeping your beverages hot, Klean Kanteen claims it can keep contents hot for 24 hours while Hydro Flask claims it can keep drinks hot for 6 hours.

I’ve tested Hydro Flask bottles a bunch of times and I’ve found this claim to be accurate. In fact, it’s even a bit conservative.

Not gonna lie, I had raised my eyebrows upon reading the Klean Kanteen’s claim. But, to my surprise, I found the brand to be true to its words.

I filled the TKWide with piping hot water. In fact, it had my drink at 100°F after 24 hours. When it comes to insulation, Klean Kanteen is clearly the winner.

Accessories

You have different accessory options for both brands. However, Hydro Flask sells more accessories.

Moreover, all of the accessories are compatible across most of the different types of Hydro Flask bottles. For instance, you will be able to fit the same lid on a Hydro Flask mug and a Hydro Flask bottle.

Last but not least, Hydro Flask offers more types of products than Klean Kanteen. But it’s important to note that Klean Kanteen has been continuously expanding its list of offerings.

Durability

Yellow Hydro Flask lying on the ground

Both Klean Kanteen and Hydro Flask are known for making exceptionally durable water bottles. Pretty much all Hydro Flask products I’ve tested have proven to be equally robust.

I found the Klean TKWide to be as tough as any Hydro Flask bottle. But I can’t say the same for other Klean Kanteen products.

As mentioned, the Klean Kanteen Insulated became wobbly after a few drops. If I had kept going at it, eventually, the bottle would not have been able to stand straight.

So, Which Brand Is Better?

Hydro Flask bottle on a park bench

Even though Klean Kanteen bottles offer better insulation, I’d still say this one’s a tie. Of course, thermoregulation is very important, but does anyone really need a bottle that can retain ice past 24 hours?

Moreover, I’ve never come across a Hydro Flask bottle that retains residual flavors. I can’t say the same from Klean Kanteen. And, on average, Hydro Flask products are easier to clean, easier to use, and more durable.

Generally, choosing Klean Kanteen over Hydro Flask is a good idea if you want to save money. But Klean Kanteen’s flagship product, the TKWide bottle, isn’t that much cheaper than the average Hydro Flask bottle.

Other Klean Kanteen products are significantly more affordable, but none of them outperforms Hydro Flask.

If you want a stainless steel bottle that will keep your drink hot for longer, it is probably better to go with Klean Kanteen. But if you want a reliable, easy-to-use bottle that will last you for years to come, Hydro Flask is the safer choice.