May 20th, 2009

Sigg and Klean Kanteen Reusable Bottles

There are lots of reasons to give up plastic cups: the potentially harmful chemicals (like BPA) that, some think, may leach into our beverages. The environmental impact of plastic (which takes far too long to decompose in our landfills). The fact that plastic is, let’s face it, not the most attractive material on the planet.

A few years ago, when both my kids were toddlers, I gave away all the traditional plastic sippy cups we owned and launched a stainless-steel bottle buying spree that caused my husband to call from where he sat in front of his accounting software: “A hundred dollars in Reusables? Really?”

Yes, really. The Siggs and the Klean Kanteens were an investment, I felt, in the health of our children and the health of the planet. A worthy cause in which to sink your cash, if ever there was one.

Now, several thousand cups of milk and juice later, I have a few opinions on both these brands.

Let’s start with Sigg, a Swiss company that makes eco-friendly, aluminum water bottles.

Siggs are super cute. There’s no denying that their kid-and-mom-friendly designs are darling.

Sigg has compensated for the fact that their bottles are made of aluminum by lining the interiors of their bottles. (Sigg won’t divulge the formula for the bottle liners, but they claim it will not leach, crack or chip). The fact of the lining itself, however, which is surely manmade, slightly dilutes my glee over this product.

Siggs are not dishwasher safe and the openings are so small that a bottle brush (which I thought I was done with three years ago) is required to clean it.

If the Sigg lids are screwed on tightly, these suckers do not leak. Which means no puddle of apple juice in the bottom of my tote bag. This is a huge plus, as it once took me more than a month to notice something liquidy had saturated the bottom of my purse—and even then I didn’t take it seriously until it began to grow mold and stink.

The red Sigg bottles, for some reason, seem to chip easily. I’ve noticed more than one of our red bottles sporting ugly silver patches where the enamel has come off. Massive nicks decidedly take away from Siggs’ cute factor.

Klean Kanteens, on the other hand, are solid stainless steel. They don’t, as of yet, boast any adorable pictures or designs, but they do come in an assortment of attractive solid colors: pink, olive, rust, black and others.

I feel comfortable washing them in the top rack of the dishwasher and the openings are larger than Siggs’ so they are easier to clean by hand (though a bottle brush still helps).

They tend to leak more than the Siggs. And there is something odd about the sport tops—namely, when you drink from them, they squeal like suckling pigs. If I’m driving in my car alone, I do not mind this. If, however, I’m at a coffee shop or at an event where a silent sip of water is prudent, I don’t want to sound like swine. Perhaps this design flaw has changed in the last year or two since I bought mine. I want to think it has, because I love the Klean Kanteens.

Klean Kanteens will definitely dent if you drop them on, say, concrete or granite, but overall they’re tough. They pass the bang-around, everyday in-and-out-of-the-car test far better than the Siggs.

While both stainless bottles are worthy of your time and money, I prefer my Klean Kanteens. They are 100% steel, tough as nails and still look shiny after several years.

More from this Author

Momicillin on Facebook

This Weeks Tip

Dang Mosquitos!

While camping last weekend our editor inadvertently sealed her kids in a tent together with about 50 hungry mosquitoes. Needless to say she spent a lot of time looking for itch relief. One of the best? A plain bar of bath soap, rubbed directly on the bite. Natural remedy! (Though we still recommend keeping the mosquitoes OUT of the tent.)