SIGG vs Klean Kanteen: Which is the Better Metal Bottle?

Buying a tap water equivalent someone has slapped a fancy label on and packaged in a plastic bottle is both economically and ecologically unsound; we all know this. But it’s summer, and with myriad outdoor play dates, we understand how vital it is to keep our kids hydrated. So at some point we opt to purchase a reusable water bottle that meets this need – one that recent press has told us should not be a Nalgene (or other) bottle made of plastic.

Sigg versus Kleen Kanteen, SIGG vs Klean Kanteen, Which is the Better Metal Bottle, Eco kids bottles, eco baby bottles, green bottles, sustainable bottles, metal bottles

We go on a search (trawling websites, questioning like-minded parents, perusing the isles of sporting goods stores) for that perfect eco-friendly metal water bottle that our kid will absolutely adore. The only problem is that most searches will turn up two ‘best’ choices, and it can be difficult to decide on which is the better of the bests.

If you’re a minimalist like my wife, you’ll go for Klean Kateen’s 12oz bottle “designed for small hands, making it easy to hold, and the large-mouth makes it easy to clean too”. If you’re like me, and can’t get enough kiddy cuteness, you’ll spring for SIGG’s “Swiss engineered” Kidz line.

The design of the SIGG bottle – pressed from one aluminum ‘blank’ – is so fetching that SIGG has been “incorporated” into MoMA NYC. SIGG Kidz offers 47 graphically embellished bottles (including a very imaginative landscape where “the mountains are made of sugar, the whales can speak and the cats can fly”). All SIGG Kidz bottles come with a snap lid, and optional accessories include carrying straps, Kidz grips and bottle pouches.

Klean Kanteen bottles, on the other hand are devoid of fussy graphical treatment and present new color choices (green moss, tree bark, pink renewal) that stylishly accent the bottles’ environmentally friendly nature. Klean Kanteen’s 12oz bottles come with “a special adapter that works with Avent’s™ patented sippy cup spout”. And the company is unabashed when stating that their bottles are so well designed that they allow parents to “put your energy into the important stuff like bedtime stories and teaching junior to say “mama” and “dahdah”, not worrying about whether your child’s bottle is leaching chemicals.”

We decided to go with my wife’s choice. Though SIGG bottles are made of aluminum which is cleaned “using ecologically friendly cleaning agents”, we decided to purchase a Klean Kanteen since it is made of “100% recyclable, high-quality, food-grade stainless steel so it doesn’t need a special lining like some other metal bottles” (ie. SIGG’s “taste-inert, food-compatible stove enamel” which lines every SIGG bottle).

In this case – as in most cases – less won over more.

+ Klean Kanteen
+ SIGG Bottles

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8 Responses to “SIGG vs Klean Kanteen: Which is the Better Metal Bottle?”

  1. Stacy says:

    Good article – I spent the better part of two months doing extensive research on the best sippy cups around and narrowed it down to the Klean Kanteen and Safe Sippy (both stainless). I did like the SIGG designs, but not the aluminum makeup of the SIGGs, so those were ruled out before the “final round”. Ended up getting the Safe Sippy bottles because I had read quite a few comments about the Klean Kanteen sippy tops leaking/dripping and didn’t want to deal with more of a mess. Have to say I’m really happy so far.

    This is a photo of the Safe Sippys I purchased (pink and green):

    Haven’t gotten around to downloading my own photos off the camera yet… one of these days!! Good luck with your new bottles – I’m sure they’ll be great!

  2. Desmond says:

    Thanks for this third option Stacy. I’m sure our readers will agree that Safe Sippy is a great addition to our ‘bests’. Can’t wait to see the photos of your little one sipping away.

  3. deb says:

    is klean kanteen still manufactured in china? I chose SIGG since Switzerland has stringent environmental and health regulations.

  4. Rachel says:

    I’m an online retailer who sells both SIGG and Klean Kanteen bottles. We also use both for our almost 3 year old daughter. While I know most parents are looking for a single solution, we find that having one of each works perfectly for us.

    We use the Klean Kanteen for beverages other than water because it is easier to clean. It is a bit tricky to get the seal to work on the avent top but once you do, it doesn’t leak at all. Klean Kanteens are manufactured in China which can be a concern but company reps visit 4+ times yearly and have stringent ethical and materials control procedures.

    We like to pair our 3 ounce SIGG with an active bottle top for overnight use. The top is leakproof until you depress it so we can leave it in our daughter’s bed all night. We also pack it on trips because it’s a bit more compact and we love the flip top dust cover to keep out grime and dirt.

    We welcome questions and orders at our sustainable business,

  5. rebecca says:

    I am really happy with our Klean Kanteens. However, I have to say that the enamel on the colored ones scrapes off too easily. I would stick with the plain ones. I trust the production conditions are fine, and I’d rather have stainless steel than aluminum for my toddler. We used Born Free sippies which leaked a fair amount until KK. Amazingly even with no cap the KK sippies do not leak. They rock.

  6. Rav says:

    I went with the Sigg bottle myself. I’ve read about people worried about the coating inside too. Having asked friends that hike and looking at people comments that have used Sigg for years it became clear that there is nothing to worry about with real Sigg bottles. No leaching at all and no chipping.

    After using my Sigg I’ve found the the advice I was given to be true. I don’t just like it, I love it.

    As for Klean Kanteen I didn’t go with them so don’t know how they are. But my turn offs boiled down to two concerns. The first is that I’ve owned several stainless steel coffee cups and always I’ve found it so very hard to clean. I don’t know what it is with coffee and steel but they stain and never seem to get clean for me. The second was the fact that Sigg is Swiss made and Klean Kanteen is made in China. Daily, it seems, you hear about China and labor, lead, human rights, tibet, etc. Since my choice to stop using disposable bottled/canned drinks was to help the planet I just didn’t feel all that happy with a ‘made in china’ sticker.

    Anyway, thats my own personal journey into reusable.

  7. regine says:

    here´s an interesting link i´ve found on the subject:

    makes you think again about how safe those sigg bottles really are…

  8. Sarah says:

    I’ve also opted for the SIGG. China was a concern, and I looked into the liner issue with regard to the SIGG bottle. I found out that leaving beverages in a stainless steel container will eventually add metals into your drink!

    Knowing that my kids don’t drink all their juice and the bottle will sit with juice in it most of the day, it concerned me that they are drinking traces of metals their small bodies don’t need. Even the smallest amount doesn’t make me feel good.

    The customer service over at SIGG was really great, she showed me this report that says because of the liner, nothing leaks into the drinks. This is where “less” is “more” to me.

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