For someone with little dress sense and a habit of packing odd flip-flops for a day at the beach, I’m rather more discerning when it comes to my outdoor accessories. When gifted a Klean Kanteen bottle and asked to choose the colour, therefore, there was really only one option as soon as I saw the range. I loved the Mineral Red and so nearly plumped for Winter Plum, but in the end it had to be zesty Sea Crest. It matches my new bike perfectly, you see.
Yes, I’m one of the thousands of lockdown cycling newbies getting out into local lanes and testing my pedal power on hills I can barely run up, let along cycle. All the more need, therefore, for a long, cool drink at the top – and Klean Kanteen claims to keep liquid iced for an astonishing 50 hours. I’ve had my eye on the brand for a while – it’s enthusiastically recommended by some of my favourite people over on Instagram – so I was more than a little excited to receive the 20oz insulated classic flask halfway through a hot spell staying very close to home.
Based on Klean Kanteen’s stainless steel water bottle combined with double-wall vacuum insulation, the flask keeps drinks hot for 20 hours as well as icy cold for a couple of days. Its powder coat finish is also more durable and chip-resistant than many other brands, and was made with GreenScreen® chemical testing technology which, developed by the non-profit Clean Production Action, means it’s safe for people and the planet. And I’m delighted to report the flask is compatible with my LifeStraw water bottle filter adapter, a handy gadget that reduces the amount of water I need to carry on long hikes and wild camps (providing I don’t hike or camp in a desert, of course).
But, as well as looking beautifully coordinated with my bike, does the bottle match up to its claims? Months of lockdown haven’t afforded the chance to test it on an overnight adventure, but on hot-day hikes and cycles it’s been a tonic. Our water cooler breaks in work so I start taking it into the office, too, and the contents remain smugly chilly at the end of the afternoon. In an every-expense-spared office, it’s a godsend. I must admit I haven’t used it for hot drinks yet – my Hydroflask 16oz is the perfect size for tea for one – but the two partner perfectly for all the refreshment I need on my travels.
Klean Kanteen’s distributor, Whitby & Co, specialises in outdoor accessories and kindly sends me a ChicoBag Bottle Sling too. Before it arrives, I’m not convinced I’ll use it, but it’s fabulously handy. Sitting comfortably over my shoulder and with a cute pocket spacious enough for phone and keys, it cuts back the need for even a small rucksack on short, evening walks to the top of our local hill and bypasses the alternative – the dreaded overstuffing of light summer pockets.
The ChicoBag holds most bottles up to 64oz and, again, has strong eco-credentials. It’s made from 100% recycled PET (Polyethylene terephthalate); in other words, wholly from used plastic bottles, and it’s estimated to replace 120 single-use bags during its lifetime. It’s machine washable and squishes conveniently compactly into a larger bag or pockets and, oh, it coordinates with my bike, too…