Sunday, December 15, 2013

Klean Kanteen Insulated Tumbler Review

Klean Kanteen Vacuum Insulated Tumbler
A week ago, I decided to pick up a new "bring your own beverage to work" habit and purchased an insulated Klean Kanteen bottle. While researching the company's product line, I found their tumbler and fell in love with it.

Out with the old: Stainless steel travel mugs
Tea and decaffeinated coffee are my "thing" after the first meal of the day -- this is usually breakfast on weekdays and lunch on weekends. A while back, I got tired of ceramic and glass mugs and made the move to a stainless steel mug for hot beverages. The travel mugs that have been in use are relatively cheap at only CAD$ 10, are difficult to break, not too hot to the touch, large, and work. What's not to like?

Both mugs that I've used also have plastic handles and felt pads on the bottom. Neither are major issues, but they take away from the totally stainless steel feel. The points where the plastic handle attaches to the steel body also tend to stain -- still not sure if it is mineral deposit or adhesive (glued or mechanically attached?).
Klean Kanteen Tumbler exterior
In with the new: Klean Kanteen Tumbler
Before I purchased the tumbler, what I loved was the completely stainless steel body. Even the lettering is laser-etched on, so no ink to fade off over time. The insulated body would help maintain the relatively cool exterior, and lack of a handle would mean a lot fewer mineral deposits and stains. One concern I had was the 16 oz. size, which seemed a bit exorbitant. Better over than under?

Klean Kanteen Tumbler interior

Unboxing
Bought it from Amazon for about CAD$ 23.95 and it came naked without any packaging aside from the shipping box. There was one big label sticker on the front of the mug and a UPC on the bottom.  The large one came off seemingly cleanly, but the one on the bottom left some residue -- laser etched letters made it a bit harder to scrape off though.

Review
After washing the tumbler, I took it to work and used it to make a cup of tea the next morning. This was not a pleasant experience.

Remember that part of "seemingly cleanly"? It turns out that the big sticker left a thin layer of adhesive residue. I did notice the discoloration after peeling it off, but didn't think it was a big deal, and that it would come off over time. Regardless, the stain didn't feel that sticky and wasn't too noticeable, so I left it alone.

After making my tea, I noticed that the residue was indeed sticky and I could rub a bit of it off with my fingers.  This was annoying and led to me trying to rub the sticker off with the cup filled to the brim with hot water. A few spills and burns later, the tea was finished and the mug was taken home. Olive oil took the adhesive right off -- got the idea off Google.

The cup has since been impeccable. In terms of look and feel, the brushed steel is very attractive and the relatively light weight makes the mug easy to handle -- as does the uniform, rounded exterior with no handle. An insulated body helps to keep the exterior a manageable temperature despite being filled with hot water as well. I have not noticed any tastes or odors coming from the mug either. Since I only drink tea with it, cleaning consists of simply rinsing the interior and upper outside edges.

Klean Kanteen base

Lid available?
This mug does not come with a lid, which has been a source of annoyance with the Klean Kanteen bottle I have. However, I noticed very recently that a Klean Kanteen Pint Lid was listed on the company's website. There was a notice saying that it would be available in December 2013 -- still not available in the middle of the month. I found the product listed at Amazon.ca website, but not the Amazon.com. Price is US$ 6.95 on the official website and CAD$ 6.95 on Amazon.ca at the time of writing.

Anyways, the official websites says that the lid is not leak-proof and made from polypropylene. It looks like a useful addition despite not being leak-proof. I could use something to just cover the lid during transport, even if it's empty -- for $7, I'm not so sure though.

Conclusion
Love it. I don't want to say that the tumbler is perfect, but I can't anything to complain about. The only problem was adhesive residue that came right off. This is a very nice mug that is both functional and attractive. The price is heftier than other stainless steel travel mugs I've seen, but this seems like an item that should last for a very long time and worth the investment.

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