Everybody knows how useful and convenient the reusable, insulated water bottles are – they’re the only viable choice for all those who want their drinks to stay hot/cold no matter the outside temperature.
However, choosing which one of these bottles to buy is an entirely different matter. After all, there are dozens of renowned drinkware brands on today’s market and this can be terribly confusing for a new hiker.
Two of such brands are Klean Kanteen and Yeti. Their stainless steel, insulated water bottles are wildly popular for a good reason – they are extremely well-made and they’re more than capable of maintaining the temperature of hot and cold drinks for hours on end.
If your search for the best water bottle brand has narrowed down to these two, keep reading – this short but informative Klean Kanteen vs Yeti comparison should help you make the ultimate decision.
Table of Contents
Klean Kanteen Classic Insulated Bottle
- Weight: 12.3 oz (20 oz version)
- Material: Stainless steel
- Insulation: Vacuum insulation
- Sizes Available: 3
- Colors Available: 7
When it hit the market, Klean Kanteen became one of the best Yeti alternatives almost instantly. Made out of stainless steel and available in several different colors, this is one of Klean Kanteen’s most popular insulated water bottles.
Using double-walled vacuum insulation, the model keeps hot drinks hot and cold drinks cold for an impressive amount of time. Moreover, it is surprisingly durable for a bottle in this price category – with proper care, it should last you a lifetime.
- Excellent construction quality
- Outstanding insulation
- Retains residual flavors
Yeti Rambler 26 oz Insulated Bottle
- Weight: 21.9 oz
- Material: Stainless steel
- Insulation: Vacuum insulation
- Sizes Available: 1
- Colors Available: 19
There’s a lot to like about this fantastic Yeti water bottle. It costs significantly more than its rival for a good reason – it has a lid insert for easy drinking, a wide mouth for easy cleaning, and it was made to last a long time.
In fact, this bottle is just yet another example of why Yeti is considered to be the brand in the insulated drinkware industry.
- Phenomenal build quality and performance
- A wide mouth allows easy cleaning
- Doesn’t hold flavors
Klean Kanteen vs Yeti – The Comparison
When it comes to these kinds of bottles, nothing is as important as their insulation. After all, a vast majority of people buy these products because of their thermoregulatory capabilities – not because of their looks or durability. A well-made insulated water bottle keeps liquids warm or cool for a long time.
The Klean Kanteen bottle certainly doesn’t fall short in this department, even though it costs a lot less than the Yeti Rambler model. Upon filling it with ice and water, I found that the ice was completely gone only after 25 hours.
What is more, the water inside the bottle was still very cold after 50 hours. This is extremely impressive for a flask that costs around $20.
The Yeti Rambler 26 oz bottle is just as impressive in this regard. While I was testing its insulation, I found that the temperature of cold water that was inside the bottle rose only a bit over 9°F over a 24-hour period.
When it comes to hot beverages, on the other hand, the temperature of hot tea poured inside the bottle dropped around 60°F over a 12-hour period. In any case, the model is more than capable of maintaining steady temperatures of liquids, particularly cold ones.
The Construction Quality
When compared to simple plastic bottles, stainless steel flasks are certainly a lot more durable. However, the longevity of these products varies from one manufacturer to the other, with some models being extremely tough and some ending up with dents and scratches after only one accidental drop.
Due to its affordable price, I was quite surprised with Klean Kanteen’s durability – the Classic Insulated Bottle is actually a lot more hard-wearing than many Hydro Flask models I’ve had a chance to test throughout the years. The model easily maintained its integrity after a few quick drop tests on its cap and bottom.
But the Yeti Rambler 26 oz Insulated Bottle is still a clear winner in this department. The model performed incredibly well in the drop test, particularly when I dropped it on its body.
This is a seriously well-made flask – its 18/8 stainless steel construction makes it extraordinarily resistant to dents and punctures. It was built to last and to give you complete peace of mind whenever you’re taking it with you on your rough-terrain adventures.
The Ease of Use
Unfortunately, the Klean Kanteen Classic Insulated Bottle is not the most comfortable product of this type to drink from. The thin rim of its narrow mouth can become very hot when the model is filled with hot tea or coffee.
The same narrow mouth also makes filling this bottle somewhat difficult – not spilling some water on your hands while filling it quite hard.
Yeti’s Rambler bottle, on the other hand, is as convenient and easy to use as it gets. A smooth rim, an exceptionally wide mouth, and a simple carrying handle all make it easy to carry, to fill, and to drink out from.
Moreover, all of these features also turn cleaning into an effortless process – a quick and easy rinse is allowed by a wide body and a simple lid. One feature I particularly liked is the Chug Cap, which allows easy one-handed drinking and eliminates spillage.
All in all, Yeti’s bottle is the definite winner when it comes to ease of use. However, I have to admit that I’m somewhat biased in this department – I always liked wide-mouth bottles more because they accept ice readily and because they’re easier to fill and clean. Klean Kanteen’s narrow mouth may be more up your alley for some reason.
The weight of an insulated, stainless steel bottle is rarely a dealbreaker, but it really does matter to some people. If you’re an ultralight hiker, you’ll want to shave off as much weight from your backpack as possible, and one way to do this is by purchasing a bottle that is as lightweight as possible.
In my opinion, the Klean Kanteen model is somewhat heavy for a bottle of its size. However, those planning to use it as a work-specific flask shouldn’t really worry about this added weight.
In any case, if you can’t decide between the two bottles I’m comparing in this article and you really care about the weight, the Klean Kanteen model is definitely a better choice.
That’s because the Yeti Rambler 26 oz Insulated Bottle weighs close to 22 ounces and is, therefore, one of the market’s heaviest bottles of this size. This is not something you’ll want to carry to ski tours, overnights, or any similarly extended excursions.
But if you’re planning to use it for shorter day hikes or at your gym/office, the model’s weight shouldn’t be that much of a concern.
This is where we come to the biggest drawback of the Klean Kanteen bottle – during my 24-hour taste test, I noticed how the model imparts a very noticeable metallic taste in plain water.
The bottle didn’t fare well in the flavor retention test either. If you’re looking for a stainless steel bottle that doesn’t retain flavors, you will, unfortunately, have to steer clear of this Klean Kanteen flask.
Yeti’s Rambler 26 oz bottle is a much better choice in this regard. I filled it with some electrolyte powdered drink mix and I let the liquid sit inside the bottle for a couple of hours.
Later, I rinsed the bottle’s interior, filled it with clean water, and then tasted that same water straight from the bottle – the taste of the drink I mentioned above was hardly detectable.
Another thing worth mentioning here is that cleaning the Rambler bottle is much easier due to its wide opening, and this is something that undoubtedly helps it avoid the buildup of taste. One thing that really surprised me is that cleaning the Chug Cap is just as easy as cleaning the rest of the bottle.
Let’s be honest here – the price difference between these two bottles is precisely the thing that will make most people opt for one or the other. The Klean Kanteen model is, without a shadow of a doubt, a better choice for all those looking to save some money.
It’s a relatively cheap but well-made stainless steel bottle with only one major drawback – it tends to retain residual flavors.
The Rambler bottle, on the other hand, excelled in almost every department I tested it in but comes with a hefty price tag. Does it make sense to fork out that much money for a water bottle? In my opinion, it does – its incredible construction quality and the efficiency of its insulation make it well worth the price tag.
Klean Kanteen vs Yeti – The Verdict
Yeti’s model wins this battle quite easily, as it effortlessly justifies its hefty price tag by excelling in most departments – insulation, durability, ease of use, and taste. The only genuinely bad things about it are its high price and the fact that it’s significantly heavier than its rival.
If you’re on a budget, however, and you don’t really care that much about taste retention (i.e. you drink only water from your bottle), the Klean Kanteen Classic Insulated Bottle is a great choice. For the price it comes at, this flask offers exceptional insulation and can keep your beverages cold/hot for hours on end.
I love hiking, backpacking, and camping. From the Camino de Santiago to the West Highland Way in Scotland or simply a great day hike on the weekend. Hiking refreshes me, my mind, and keeps my body reasonably fit. So far I have walked three Camino routes and many other long distance hikes in the UK, Canada, and around the rest of Europe. One of the best was my hike up Ben Nevis.