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The 5 Best Canteens
As far as portable hydration methods go, the best canteens remain a time-tested solution. It’s important to stay hydrated while camping, and having a canteen is one of the best ways to do so. They’re versatile, reliable, and modern conceptions may even bring a touch of style to your drinking. We combed over dozens of products to find the best canteen for your next outing as well as come up with several features you should consider before buying one. Check out the canteen reviews and ratings below to determine the best canteen for avoiding dehydration.
In This Article
Best Choice: Military issue 2 Quart Water Canteen
The Military Issue 2qt. Water Canteen is the best canteen because it has a large capacity, collapsible, and it comes with a wool-lined carrying pouch that helps keep the water cool and insulated.
You can easily carry the Military Issue Water Canteen along with you just about anywhere. It features a pouch that’s desert color tan, and the strap is adjustable for versatile carrying options. As the canteen can carry two quarts of water, which should weigh just under five pounds, the strap can help you cart the canteen around with no difficulty.
Inside the pouch, you’ll find that it’s lined with wool. There are instructions available that teach you how to soak the pouch in water so that you can take advantage of that wool lining to cool your canteen. As for the canteen itself, it seems to have adequate insulation on its own. It may be the best camping canteen that combines simplicity with reliability as it’s made from durable plastic material.
The canteen is also capable of collapsing, if needed. Although this collapsible nature doesn’t cause leaks in the canteen itself, the cap area may have some problems. There’s some difficulty with properly threading the cap on, so there’s a chance it may not tighten enough, which then might cause leakage. Once on properly, the cap does seem to seal well.
- Collapsible design
- Carries up to two quarts
- Durable military-grade construction
- Functional insulation
- Trouble screwing on cap
Premium Pick: Jolmo Lander Military Canteen, Mess Kit and Cookware Set
The Jolmo Lander Military Canteen Cookware Set is the best canteen because it’s made of extremely durable stainless steel and cords with a cup, vented lid, stove, and carrying pouch to store everything in.
The Jolmo Lander Military Canteen Cookware Set might be the best canteen made from high-end materials. Although it’s expensive compared to others like it, this one provides you with food-grade stainless steel construction. It may hold up to rough, frequent use for the likes of camping and hiking. This even comes with a cup, vented lid, stove, and carrying pouch to store it all in.
This camping canteen has a moderately wide opening so that it may be simple and mess-free to fill up. You get around 1.3 quarts worth of space to fill with water, and the cap of the canteen tightens well enough to prevent leaks and accidental spills.
The design of the canteen might make it tough to clean thoroughly, though. This may be due to the seams designed on it as there’s a chance bacteria can grow there. However, as the stainless steel design may allow you to boil water in the container, you just might be able to disinfect the canteen after cleaning if you wish.
- High-quality stainless steel construction
- Cap tightens well to prevent leaks
- Easy to fill
- Can be difficult to clean
Best Value: Goetland Stainless Steel WWII US Military Canteen Kit
The Goetland Stainless Steel WWII US Military Canteen Kit is the best canteen because it’s an affordable and stylish option that’s made of stainless steel, so there’s no risk of corrosion.
Our budget-friendly choice for the best canteen goes to the Goetland Stainless Steel WWII US Military Canteen Kit. If appearances are your thing, consider that this features the vintage design of classic canteens used in the military. It even comes with a nylon cover and a grab handle cup. The cover doesn’t feel all that durable for long-lasting use, however.
Even so, the canteen is made from strong stainless steel that may survive some rough outdoor use. The material isn’t known to corrode either. Designed to hold one quart, there is some quality insulation felt too. With or without the cover, the canteen may be able to keep your drink cold for a good amount of time.
If there is any precaution you may want to take with this camping canteen, it’s that it might take some time to completely clean it out. There’s a chance it may arrive with an oily residue inside, and if so, multiple cleaning sessions may be needed to rid the canteen of the feeling and smell.
- Keeps liquids cold for a good deal of time
- Stainless steel construction that won’t corrode
- Retro military design
- Canteen might come with oily residue
Runner Up: Military Outdoor Clothing Previously Issued U.S. Military Canteen
The Military Outdoor Clothing Previously Issued U.S. G.I. Military Canteen is the best canteen because it’s easy to hold, and the plastic is durable and high quality—plus it’s good at keeping water cold.
The Military Outdoor Clothing Military Canteen features a military-like design. As it’s made from simple plastic material, it should only be used for cold or lukewarm water and not over any type of heated element. The plastic does appear to hold up well, so you may use it for a long time.
This camping canteen is easy enough to carry around, and you seem to be able to get a good grip on it. The nylon cover might make it even more user-friendly, and it even features some quality construction too so both items can last wherever you decide to take them. It’s another one near the top as the best canteen that’s affordable and dependable.
Capable of holding one quart, the canteen does well at keeping your drink cold. In spite of its quality construction, the cap seems to lack a rubber seal, so you may experience some leakage. Also, this may require some proper cleaning as there’s a chance your drink might have a plastic-like taste to it.
- Easy to carry
- Construction seems to hold up well
- Stays cold long
- Seal seems low-quality
- Liquids may have a plastic-like taste
Honorable Mention: TRAVELTO Collapsible Water Canteen – Military Portable Canteen
The TRAVELTO Collapsible Water Canteen – Military Portable Canteen is the best canteen because of its unique design that includes a compass, metal carbine clips and a carrying strap for easy transportation.
The TRAVELTO Collapsible Water Canteen features a military color appearance in a unique canteen design. This may be the best canteen with a versatile layout. Rather than something just to hold your water, you also get a built-in compass, a metal carbine, and carrying strap. These types of features may assist you if you go out camping or do something similar outdoors.
Another factor that makes this easy to take along is the fact that it’s collapsible. This way, you may be able to pack it up when it’s not filled. When collapsed, it even offers a small footprint as the canteen is only capable of holding around 0.6 quarts.
With its wide neck, it should be relatively quick to fill this camping canteen up. It even features a small platform for you to stand it up. However, it doesn’t always stand well, and it may be prone to tipping over. As for the overall quality, the canteen is made from environmental-friendly, food grade silicone.
- Versatile design
- Made from environmental-friendly materials
- Good portability
- Only holds 0.6 quarts of water
Important Canteen Features to Consider
Like camping water bottles, all canteens have the same purpose: to carry your water. There are certain features to consider that will help you decide which stands out the most.
You may find quality canteens made from some type of plastic material or stainless steel.
Stainless steel canteens are designed with durability in mind. They tend to be beneficial if you know the canteen will encounter some rough use and abuse. This material may also be easy to clean as long as you can reach every nook.
The reliability and longevity of plastic canteens depends on the grade of material used. Food grade plastic tends to be as environmental-friendly as some stainless steel products. It also has some good strength to it. This may even be more cost-effective compared to steel canteens.
Cap and Opening
Canteens are not just meant to provide you with hydration on-the-go, but also convenience.
The cap should twist or pop on and off simple enough. The canteen may also benefit from having a wide enough opening that you can quickly pour water into.
Once it’s filled, the cap should offer a good enough seal that the water won’t leak out. Some canteens may have a bit of a learning curve in twisting it on properly, but as long as there’s some sort of rubber seal, it may lock into place well enough so that you can carry it without worry.
Canteens in general are built to be portable. However, some come with additional features that may make it even simpler to carry around with you.
Some come along with a carrying pouch of sorts, which includes strap carrying options so you can sling it on and go. Others feature a strap or carbine for you to hook the canteen directly onto something like a backpack.
While a camping mug may be convenient, a canteen is the way to go if you want your water to go with you without spilling.
The size of the canteens varies, and what may work best for you may not work best for someone else. So, the right canteen size will probably be a more personal opinion.
If you’re going to be out long, then you may want to consider canteens with more depth that can hold more than a quart. This way, you won’t have to stop and refill as often as you would with a canteen that’s around or less than a single quart. If you foresee yourself needing more water than that, you may want to invest in a hydration bladder or hydration pack instead.
Benefits of Using Water Canteens
You may be weighing why buy a canteen when another water storage container can quench your thirst. Well, canteens have a way of standing out above the rest:
Unlike some common water containers, canteens tend to have more strength to them. As long as they’re made from high quality materials, you may be able to use them time and time again.
Canteens usually offer a small amount of water compared to some other methods, but they might serve as just enough for the occasional outing. In addition, they’re quick to refill thanks to their wide mouths.
As stated before, many canteens are smaller in size than other bottles. You may be able to slip them into a backpack or use an included carrying pouch to take them along with you. They’re usually lightweight too so you may not feel fatigued wearing them.
Depending on how the canteens are made, some may offer variety in what you can do. For example, some may offer built-in carrying methods, compasses, or other survival-useful features. Things such as this might help if you’re out camping. You can even heat some canteens if they’re made of metal. However, if you prefer plastic ones, you’re better off getting a camping kettle to go with it.
Precautions for Using Water Canteens
One of the main things to look out for when choosing canteens is just how well it’s made. There may be a chance that you may taste the material in your water. If that’s the case, then consider washing it out a few times before you use it again.
Also, something else we touched on was leakage. Be sure that the cap is actually threaded properly or else you may have a nasty surprise waiting in your pack when you go to retrieve your canteen.
Another aspect we mentioned was how small canteens actually are compared to other products that carry water. Because of this, you should always keep in mind what you’ll be doing that you’ll need the canteen compared to how often you’re able to refill it.
Lastly, remember that water gathered from the wild should be filtered and purified before drinking. Don’t store water in your canteen unless you’re sure it’s clean, otherwise you may become ill.
There are many canteens out there, but only one from our list can take the top spot. After a good deal of research and comparing the different products, we feel the Military Issue 2qt. Water Canteen is the best canteen we found.
It’s made from military grade plastic so you can be sure it will hold up to frequent use. Also, as it’s collapsible, you can pack it up easier when it’s not filled. Out of all the canteens we reviewed, this one offers the largest capacity. The insulation in the canteen is well enough too so your drinks are kept cold.
The canteen also comes with a carrying pouch that’s high in quality too, and with the adjustable strap and lightweight nature of the canteen, it may be simple enough to carry for long walks.