Hydration hasn’t really been an obsession, but it’s nice to have a nice water bottle, and to use it daily. Ever since I first started buying Camelbak bottles a few years ago, I’ve been keen to finding the best ways to keep drinking water all day. Ensuring that your water bottle is also BPA free is a must. That way, you’ll keep the ingestion of harmful chemicals at bay, at least those coming from your bottle.
I can keep sipping from a Camelbak bottle all day, but once you get over the novelty of a straw, any bottle will do, so long as you keep drinking enough water. I initially bought an insulated Kleen Kanteen to replace an old Camelbak. Then, I started using it to bring coffee to work. I found that I preferred very strong coffee, the kind that I can make at home with a Moka Express from Bialetti. Store-bought coffee gets expensive and it’s too weak. With my homemade coffee, I only need to bring half a liter to work.
Here’s why I decided to add a vacuum insulated tumbler to my water bottle armamentarium.
Last year, I got myself this vacuum insulated tumbler from Kleen Kanteen. I have been using a Kleen Kanteen, a 20 oz vacuum insulated bottle, for the last few years to carry my coffee to work. I waited a while before getting, mainly because it was expensive. It’s nearly double the price of any cheaper insulated mug, but since I have been using a Klean Kanteen for a few years, I reckoned that I could be using this tumbler for a long time. Cheaper insulated mugs last a year or so, in my experience, before something breaks. Ironically, the Klean Kanteen tumbler is the same price as most insulated mugs or bottles you can buy at Starbucks, at least locally ($30 US).
In 2014, I also hacked together a Klean Kanteen bottle and a Camelbak lid to moderate success to form my current main water bottle (blue bottle pictured above). This system isn’t perfect, because the lid isn’t a perfect match, even with a seal, and tends to leak slightly. However, the Klean Kanteen performs much better than any insulated bottle, especially in the summer, and I prefer it over the ones Camelbak has on offer.
I had noticed that drinking directly from the Klean Kanteen wide mouth bottle can be annoying, because for one, hot liquids stay hot for a long time, scaldingly so. Also, there is a constant drip from your the top of the bottle from your lips, whenever you drink from it. It’s not much of a problem when it comes to water, but it needs to be constantly wiped if it’s anything else, since it can drip on clothes, all over your desk, etc. The tumbler solves this, by being a simple mug.
Initially, I was disappointed by the pint lid. It wasn’t advertised as waterproof, but I had expected it to be at least spill-proof. It isn’t. It means that you can’t fill up the tumbler with a liquid and put it in a backpack without spilling coffee all over the place. The same goes when you are picking up a coffee from a shop, even if the tumbler remains upright, like in a bike or a motorcycle. There’s no way that the coffee stays inside the tumbler. The usual shakes from the road will make the coffee gurgle up and spill over.
Once you remember this, and simply use it as a travel mug, the tumbler starts to shine. It’s become my default mug/glass at home and at work, simply because it keeps cold drink cold for a long time and hot drinks hot. I use it every day, and usually let it soak during the night to ensure that the coffee smell doesn’t stain or imbue its smell to the tumbler.
The stainless steel can get scuffed if you use a scrub of any kind that can be too abrasive, like those 3M pads. Normal brushes are fine. It definitely needs a handle, so I’ll be getting a pint cozy and combining it with a carabiner to see if that works.