Thursday, December 12, 2013

Klean Kanteen Stainless Steel Insulated Bottle Review - Part 1

A while ago, I set out to try to save a bit of money on daily lunches and beverages. The good news is that I sort of succeeded by cutting my expenditures by about 40% on average -- $50 per week to $30 per week. On the other hand, my "bring my own lunch" plan got ditched along the way. Instead of buying groceries, I just keep track of how much I spend by recording my expenditures on a small Post-It note at my desk.

You mean that coffee adds up?
One major item that I've been side-stepping so far, though, is beverages. Way back when, I used to make a run to the store every week or two to carry a case of Coke back to my cubicle. You can imagine why I stopped doing that -- heavy and cumbersome. Health didn't factor in once, surprisingly.

I've since moved onto buying a coffee or tea a few times a week on my way to work or during the day. It doesn't seem like that big of a deal at $1.50 or so each time, but the cost is significant enough that I make an effort not to pick one up every single day. Over a week, $1.50 turns into $7.50, and most of my drinks are not as cheap as $1.50. In this case, health and waste did factor in because every single cup I buy produces one plastic coffee lid and one paper/wax cup that go in the recycling bin. There is an alternative to this unlike soda, which usually comes in aluminum cans. They do come in larger quantities in plastic bottles, but then there might be too much, it doesn't get finished, and then it goes flat and undrinkable.

The point is that now I'd like to start addressing the beverage thing, namely hot beverages. I "need" a caffeine fix in the middle of the afternoon. Days at home are usually spent with a cup of tea after breakfast or lunch. A lack of a usable kettle or dispenser at the office prevents that -- there are kettles, but they're pay per use, disgusting, abused, etc.

If you can't make your hot water, then bring it! Tea bags or coffee are light enough to carry in bulk anywhere and last a while at room temperature in storage.

Find a stainless steel insulated bottle
Getting an insulated bottle was not on my priority list because most bottles, even the stainless steel ones, I came across had plastic in them. Most of the time, I found that the entire lid was made of plastic. Due to the difficulty in finding a plastic-less kettle and the realization that the disposable cups I regularly used had plastic lids, I just said "screw it".

First Try: Thermos Bottle
My first attempt was a Thermos bottle that was on sale at Canadian Tire for $15 like this one -- emphasis on "like" because I don't know if that's the exact model or not. Stainless steel body, plastic cap, long estimated keep-warm time, done deal?

I have no idea. The bottle came with a huge sticker on the body, which did not peel off fully. Even my usual trick of peeling slowly, using a piece of tape to stick'n'rip left over adhesive, scraping with finger nails, and washing with soap didn't completely work. There was also a label on the bottom that didn't peel off cleanly. After seeing the one on the bottom, I just gave up. Here's an "after" shot.
Thermos on right with sticker residue
The interwebs suggests that I can buy an adhesive removal product or use any number of solvents to get the stuff off, but meh. While researching removal methods, I came across a very nice looking and high quality bottle: Klean Kanteen Wide Mouth Insulated Water Bottle. If it's not obvious, I just gave up on the Thermos bottle and it sits in a cabinet now.



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