User Review: CamelBak All Clear
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $80 (I used my REI 20% coupon)
The water purification system I've been looking for!
- Kills virus without imparting bad taste
I've been enamored with the use of UV light to inactivate bacteria and virus for quite some time. I love to backpack in the Hawaiian Islands but over there a number of water sources are infected with Leptospirosis virus which a normal filter cannot deal with.
Other UV devices I've tried are, in my opinion, not too reliable. The first one I tried was plagued with short battery life and it was a pain to carry extra batteries, remove them from the device, etc. etc.
The All Clear is super easy to use. You can prefilter your water with a mesh device that is purchased separately for $15. That is a gross decontaminator only though and does not filter anything from the water. Then you press the button on the lid for two seconds and a sixty second timer comes on simultaneous with a blue light in the bottle (the blue is just so you can see the light and "know" it's working as ultra violet light is in an invisible spectrum of light.
You gently agitate the bottle for the sixty seconds rotating it 180 degrees and back throughout the cycle. When your done you replace the filter lid with a smaller lid and your ready to go. Camelbak recommends wiping the threads if they were contaminated during the filling stage and that's probably good advice.
So far I've used this on one overnight trip and one three day trip and there has been plenty of battery life to keep me supplied with sterile water for the entire trip. I don't plan, right now, to carry a solar charger with this unit.
Only drawback that I can find is the weight which is about 16 ounces give or take a little. Other than that it seems to be well built, the bulb is well protected, and the sterilizing unit seems very solid.
Someone told me that Camelbak says this can only be used with the provided bottle. I've reread the instructions a couple times and couldn't find that blurb. I tried it on several Nalgene bottles and Camelbak bottles and it fits a lot of different bottles. My guess is that it will work fine with any bottle AS LONG AS THAT BOTTLE CONTAINS THE SAME AMOUNT OF WATER AS THIS ALL CLEAR BOTTLE.
This is a great unit – you're hiking along a fresh, snow fed stream, you pop this baby out of the mesh side pack on your pack, fill it up, push the button, agitate for sixty seconds, and drink fresh cold water knowing it won't make you sick! Awesome.