It’s hard to find someone these days without an insulated water bottle—at least in California.

A company that has been making these products for 20 years is based in Chico—Klean Kanteen. (Unfortunately, they don’t offer tours of the facility.)

Klean Kanteen’s special bottle after the 2018 Camp Fire in Paradise. (Image: Kathryn Reed)

While these types bottles seem ubiquitous today, it wasn’t always the case.

“Back in 2002, there were no stainless steel water bottles for personal hydration, and the health and environmental issues linked to plastic use were not widely known. Seeing the issues early and clearly, Robert Seals, the inventor and founder of Klean Kanteen, began cobbling together the first prototype with things he bought at the local hardware store in Chico,” the company’s website says.

Klean Kanteen works with organizations to create environmentally friendly swag. (Image: Kathryn Reed)

Klean Kanteen’s first BPA-free stainless steel bottles came to the market in 2004.

Siblings Jeff Cresswell and Michelle Michelle Kalberer bought the company a year later. Now it is an international success story.

It’s not just traditional water bottles, though, that the company makes. Cups for various uses, in various sizes—even baby bottles are available. They come with a variety of tops. Reusable straws are also for sale. Even food storage containers are available.

A few of their products are in our house. What I use the most is the stainless steel pint cup I got when I did the Wildflower Century bike ride a couple years ago. Pour a cold beer in it and the suds stays cold until the last drop. It’s perfect for taking into the hot tub because I don’t have to worry about it breaking.

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