This post is horribly overdue. I fell in love over a year ago and failed to post about it.
Here's the back ground. When I was working at Sea World I always brought a "spill-proof" stainless steel mug filled with tea to work. Generic brand. It had some kind of screwy cover to make it spill-proof (didn't work) which would eventually get all gunked up (tea residue, dirt). But! I could get out a screw driver and take it apart to clean it. Woo! It wasn't insulated -I could feel the temperature of the drink through it. The guys at work would often thoughtlessly lay it on the dash of the golfcart and then my tea would be gone (thanks!). Also, those guys were gross. They were often sick, and I don't know if they ever covered their mouth. So, here they are hacking all over the place and there's my cup, getting germs all over the exposed mouth part.
So, I needed something better. I had been reading the waterbottle reviews over at reuseit.com and was waffling between Klean Kanteens and Sigg bottles. Sigg had such pretty designs but Klean Kanteen got a lot of good reviews. I think I had also been looking for sippy cups (not for me!! For some friend I guess!!) and Klean Kanteen was winning out. Their winning features? A wide mouth that is easy to clean and is easy to toss ice cubes into, and pure stainless steel interior with no lining - that was a major failing point for Sigg. You can't leave liquids in it for a long time, and you can't put acidic drinks like applejuice in it. Oh, and you should clean it with special tabs. Oh, and it turns out their bpa liner wasn't bpa free. But now it is - really!
Now, I was also searching for a new travel mug. I had certain requirements. It had to be leakproof, I wanted the mouth piece to be covered so germ-boys couldn't nastify it, it had to be sturdy, easy to clean and earth friendly. And that, is how I eventually met and fell in love with Klean Kanteen.
I bought it with two lids; the regular steel topped lid and the cafe cap which is like a regular travel mug top. One for tossing in my bag and turning the bottle into a thermos, and one for drinking on the go. No, the cafe cap is not leakproof, but it is incredibly easy to clean. There are just two little parts that easily come apart. If I want it to be leakproof I put on the regular cap. No big deal. As a thermos it does an excellent job. I would come to work at Sea World some time between 4 or 6 and during the freeze in the spring of '010 it kept my tea pipping hot. It keeps liquids so hot I always add a few ice cubes in with my tea. It goes with me everywhere. Its been to the beach, to New York, Pennsylvania and now Texas. I take it through airport security empty and fill it up on the other side either with water or with tea at Starbucks. If I leave the house, it leaves the house. If I'm on a road trip and its become empty, it goes into the restaurant with me.
The wide mouth on the thermos (Klean Kanteens come in two "mouth" sizes. Wide and classic) makes it especially easy to pour in a drink from another cup. This comes in handy if you don't want to ask the waitress to fill it for you.
Of course, you know how it is, sometimes a girl has needs one kanteen just can't satisfy. Enter the 40oz classic.
You see, the insulated bottle tops out at 20oz, and I drink way more than that. Especially when I'm out playing at Canaveral National Seashore which, by the way, is a dry beach. No waterfountains, no showers, no bottle machines, nothing but a chemical toilet. In a word, the way a beach is supposed to be. And the very important fact that the "classic" klean Kanteens come in a wide array of colours. Currently the insulated does not. Plain brushed steel isn't me. You can choose to buy your Klean Kanteen with either the classic cap or sports cap (shown here with the dust cover up). I bought my 40ozer with both. Like the cafe cap, the sports cap is not leak proof. But hey, be aware and carry both. Since classic Klean Kanteens are not insulated they do sweat. I've wrapped the 40ozer in a bandanna or stuck it in a sock. For their 27ozers my mom found some old neoprene beer cozies and repurposed them for her & my brother's kanteens. Klean Kanteen does sell built brand cozies, but since they are made from petroleum based neoprene, I do not recommend them. (yes, my mom's is made from neoprene but it is being reused from the days when we didn't know it was bad) You can find all sorts of great handmade cozies on etsy though!
Since I love Klean Kanteen so much (why? because they're a good company! They bottles are ethically made [yeah, in China, fugetaboutit] and the company belongs to 1% for the planet) I bought a 27oz for my mom, dad, little brother and boyfriend. I also bought the sippy cup for my friend's baby and a thermos for another friend. You know what my mom and boyfriend said? "Do you own stock in this company?" Ha. I gave my dad his filled with iced tea. I'm actually using the boyfriend's since he doesn't really - but I bought it for his bike cage (they fit!) so its there for when he goes out again. I'm hoping other people will see them using their awesome bottles and will want one for their own.
You might be wondering, why? Whats wrong with water bottles? Well, that is a whole blog post in itself. Suffice to say; plastic is not always recycled and when it even gets in the bin, it still isn't always recycled. Secondly, plastic is made from petroleum, bp was just drilling for the oil we wanted to make our bottles with. As long as I'm using petroleum, aren't I also to blame? Lastly (for now) your not just drinking out of pure delicious oil, there's all sorts of fun chemicals in that bottle to hold it together, and they don't just stay in the bottle.
Although I'm usually fine just holding my kanteen by the loop in the cap, sometimes I want to hike ("hike" strolling through the woods is hiking right?) hands free. I didn't like the options available at reuseit or Klean Kanteen at the time (virgin petroleum products) but luckily I found a really cool sling through ChicoBag.com. Luckily reuseit & Klean Kanteen have since added it to their site. I like it because its made from 99% recycled content, rolls into a pouch, and and has a little pocket on the side for my iPhone or wallet. There's even a place on the strap for a pen or chopsticks & chapstick. My 40oz (with sock) and insulated & classic fit in it fine. Lately on my walks around Town Lake I've actually been carrying my Kanteen & using the sling to carry my pstyle, iPhone & a snack or whatever. Oh, don't take it into the beach with you. It will take forever to get the sand out of those little pockets. I'd post a picture of the sling in action but I may have met my blogger limit....
So, if your still drinking from disposable or plastic water bottles what are you waiting for? Sure they cost a bit up front, but you'll be saving money by no longer buying disposable water bottles. If your using a plastic reusable water bottle, do you feel comfortable leaving it in your hot car all day? I know nothing will leach into my Klean Kanteen if I leave it in the car - I even got their stainless steel cap just for that reason. No plastic to leach into my water.
By the way, they do make a great sippy cup. Check out their facebook page or flicker account for some cute pictures of kids drinking out of the sports cap or sippy cap. They're sturdy enough to last through all the crap kids put their stuff through. I would suggest getting a strap to attach it to a stroller since I hear many parents have lost theirs due to kids propensity for throwing things. Seriously though, plastic contains hormones that may lead to early puberty. Who wants to deal with that any earlier than you have to?