Klean Kanteen has been a known commodity in my household for years. My wife and I have used Klean Kanteen products since we ditched our plastic Nalgene bottles 10 years ago. Throughout that decade I didn’t think to look into any insulated Klean Kanteen container options, because my Raynaud’s syndrome kept us from going outdoors too much. But with my recent change of heart, I decided it was high time to start investigating. I’m glad I did.
The company’s general body and lid design haven’t changed much over the years, but the formula works, so they haven’t really needed to. So, a look at the insulated Klean Kanteen container lineup looks an awful lot like the non-insulated one. The biggest difference is that the physical sizes, while similar, accommodate less liquid because they have a vacuum-sealed exterior double-wall that cuts down on capacity.
For the purposes of my reviews, I tested a 32-ounce insulated Klean Kanteen, a 20-ounce insulated Klean Kanteen, and a 16-ounce insulated Klean Kanteen food container. I hadn’t previously used a food container, but all Klean Kanteen products use the same 18/8 food-grade stainless steel, so I was fairly sure the quality would be high.
For sizing context on the beverage canisters, a 32-ounce insulated container has the same exterior form factor as the non-insulated 40-ouncer. Its smaller overall capacity is due to its double vacuum-insulated walls. From the outside you can’t really tell them apart, but the inside is what really matters. Your insides will only stay warm if the stuff on the containers’ insides stays warm. And each insulated Klean Kanteen container I tested was a warmth warrior.
People often associate Klean Kanteen with the threaded “tongue” that goes down into the neck of a bottle. That’s still an option with the Classic versions. This tongue leads to a bit of a guessing game as to how much liquid you can actually pour into the container before screwing on the lid. If your eyeballs deceive you, you’ll get some overflow spillage as you screw it down tight. However, the tongue seems to add an additional physical barrier between heated liquid and its uppermost desired point of exit, so while it may be a bit of an irritant at times, it can serve a purpose. And if you don’t want that, you can always choose the wide-mouth version.
After filling the canister with hot liquid, the top lip around the edge of each insulated Klean Kanteen container is somewhat hot, so I recommend pouring into a cup if possible rather than drinking right from the Kanteen. Also, the lids seem to pick up some of the heat, though the primary bodies all stay totally steel-cool to the touch.
I poured boiling water into all three containers to see how long each could keep it warm. Water boils at 212 degrees Fahrenheit, so for easy math, let’s say I filled each insulated Klean Kanteen container with 215-degree water.
I tested the mid-sized 20-ounce insulated Kleen Kanteen first. It’s rated to keep liquids hot for 6 hours and cold for 24 hours. After eight hours outdoors, with the weather conditions 36 degrees Fahrenheit and 25mph wind (35mph gusts), the water temperature was still 120 degrees. A similar but separate indoor test (69 degrees Fahrenheit, no wind) saw the water at 115 degrees after 12.5 hours – twice its rated time for keeping beverages warm. That’s a serious winner in both counts.
Next up was the larger 32-ounce insulated Klean Kanteen, rated to keep beverages hot for 12 hours and cold for 24 hours. After 12 hours in the same outdoor conditions, the water temperature was 124 degrees. My indoor test (69 degrees Fahrenheit) of this larger Kanteen saw the water at 125 degrees after 12.5 hours. In both cases this Kanteen performed as advertised, but it wasn’t quite the slam dunk of its younger cousin.
Rounding out my tests of the 2015 insulated Klean Kanteen container lineup was the 16-ounce food container. This one’s rated to keep food hot for four hours and cold for up to 12. I tested it in similar conditions: a 36-degree outdoor environment and a 69-degree indoor environment. Outdoors, the food measured 134 degrees Fahrenheit after 4.5 hours, and 120 degrees after six hours. Indoors, the food was 135 degrees after four hours and 112 degrees (lukewarm) after eight hours. Again, in both cases the insulated Klean Kanteen food container performed as advertised, and actually a bit better in a warmer environment.
So, would I recommend the insulated Klean Kanteen container options I gear tested? Definitely. From beverages to food, these Kanteens outperform their technical specifications even in near-freezing conditions. However, there are other options out there, and I ran them through similar paces. If you’re looking for the best performer across multiple brands, you should check out my head-to-head canteen comparisons roundup. In the meantime, if you’re a brand loyalist, you can buy any of the 2015 insulated Klean Kanteens with confidence.
These insulated Klean Kanteen containers were provided for review. All opinions and words are my own and honest, and there are no affiliate links herein.
Insulated Klean Kanteen Containers (2015)
- Exceed the advertised specs for keeping food/drink warm
- Insulation holds up well even in very cold conditions
- Beverage canister pricing is a tad higher than competitors
- Lip/rim area can get hot (cups recommended)
- Tongue-like lid on the Classic conducts a little heat