Steripen Adventure Opti ?

10:19 a.m. on May 21, 2010 (EDT)
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I've been giving serious consideration to these little pens and wanted some input.

I spend a significant amount of time in the backcountry here in the eastern mountains where clear water sources are plentiful and thought that the Steripen would be ideal given the fact that filtration would be for the most part unnecessary.

I could use a simple bandanna if necessary.

Seems the Opti is more user friendly.

Any reason i would be unsatisfied?

1:03 p.m. on May 21, 2010 (EDT)
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The Opti was designed to get around a common "operator problem" with the original Adventurer. With the original, it is necessary to keep the electrodes in the water during the sterilization process. Some operators would either not immerse the Adventurer far enough or would lift it out of the water, thus breaking the circuit and shutting off the UV light. Being unaware of the need to keep the electrodes in the water, they thought the SteriPen had failed.

The Opti uses a light sensor instead of the electrodes, so is less prone to user error. The one place it has a problem is in ultraclear water, something you are unlikely to encounter in the field.But like any battery-powered device, you have to either have spare batteries on hand or use rechargeables and have an occasional source of power available (such as the optional solar charger case). And you do need to do some pre-filtering of murky water (coffee filters work well for this).

I have been using my Adventurer for several years. I do find the solar case a bit slow for recharging. However, I find the batteries last for a couple weeks worth of water, so the recharging has never been a problem.

Bear in mind, though, that some of your Eastern US water sources (and some of ours out here on the Left Coast as well) have industrial and agricultural runoff that leaves the water apparently very clear. The streams in the Almaden Valley, about 20 miles from me in the Santa Cruz Mountains, are an example - they are heavily contaminated with leaching from mercury mines, yet the water appears crystal clear. Be sure to check on the situation in the area you are headed into. The SteriPen, most filters, boiling, and halogens (chlorine and iodine) do nothing for such contamination.

5:48 p.m. on May 21, 2010 (EDT)
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Thanks for your reply.

Same batteries are use in my headlamp "Petzel e-lite" so i should always have extras.

I think I'll pick an Opti up tomorrow.

7:16 p.m. on May 21, 2010 (EDT)
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How has your pen held up over time? I have been watching these for a while. I have been using a sweetwater but am looking for something lighter, but have been turned off of the need for batteries and somewhat concerned about not having the mechanical filtration.

7:53 p.m. on May 21, 2010 (EDT)
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I have had no problems with my SteriPen, nor gotten sick from the water I have treated with it. I noted in my 4-part article on water here on Trailspace that my government-required cook and porters on Kilimanjaro used SteriPens as their standard water treatment. Only digestive problems I had there were due to a known side effect to the anti-malarial I was prescribed (it was pretty minor , but I am going to use a different one next time - the increased solar UV sensitivity was more significant, since I got a serious sunburn despite the SPF80 sunblock, and no, it wasn't the UV from the SteriPen).

October 20, 2014
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