User Review: SteriPEN Adventurer
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $25.99
A fast, reliable, lightweight, and easy to use water purification/treatment option. It takes the fiddle factor out of having to mess with filters and pumps. I would highly recommend the SteriPen Adventurer to anyone looking for a lightweight and fast water treatment option.
- Lightweight at 3.6 oz
- Will treat 50-60 liters per battery set
- Treats 1L in 90 seconds
- Treats .5L in 30 seconds
- Neutralizes all bacteria and viruses
- Uses batteries
- Bulb will only treat a maximum of 5000-8000 liters
- Can be finicky in turbid water
- Bulb has potential to break if rough handled
- Does not improve water clarity or otherwise remove particulate matter
I was lucky enough to find the Steripen Adventurer on Steep and Cheap about a year and a half - two years ago. I decided to buy it on a whim, because I was very curious about it and was also wanting a treatment option for the winter when my filter pump has the potential to freeze. I have been using the Steripen for about two years now and I could not be more impressed, and satisfied with a purchase.
The Steripen has a hard plastic shell which encloses the bulb and main body of the device. The lower portion removes easily to expose the UV bulb. On the front are the operation LEDs and a push button. On the sides directly above the bulb are two metal sensors. On the top is a screw on cover to access the battery compartment. A soft neoprene case is also included with the Steripen, which has a belt loop attachment as well. Overall it feels as rugged as a device can weighing only 3.6oz and having a "light bulb" section. Build quality seems top notch.
Operation is easy and straight forward. You simply press the button once to treat 1L, or twice or .5L. The LED will start flashing green, and then you put the bulb in the water so that the two metal sensors on the side are under water. The bulb will turn on a moment later and will turn off upon completion of treatment. If treatment fails for any reason the bulb will turn off and the LED will begin flashing red. There are different patterns in which the light will lash to identify different error codes, these codes are referenced in the owners manual.
Once you place the bulb in the water and it turns on, it is recommended to slowly stir the Steripen inside of the container for maximum effectiveness. I found that the Steripen works perfectly in Nalgene 1L or .5L bottles, gatoraide bottles, my Snow Peak 700ml cup, and my 1.8L Mors Bushpot. I am sure it will fit in any bottle or container of sufficient depth and a moderately wide opening.
I found that filtering my water through a bandana is all that is neccesary to remove large particles before treatment. Obviously this is only effective if the water is relatively clear in the beginning. The Steripen will not improve water clarity, and will only neutralize bacteria and viruses in the water.
Issues/ Things to be aware of:
I have only had two issues with my Steripen, neither severe.
1) The batteries went dead after treating 58L. This was easily remedied by replacing the batteries with the spares I always carry.
2) I had not used my Steripen in about 5 months and I forgot that I needed to wait for the light to start flashing green after pressing the treatment button and then place the bulb in the water. I was placing the bulb in the water and then pressing the treatment button, this caused the red LED to flash and the Steripen would not operate. After a few moments of cursing and pondering I realized what I was doing wrong and when I used it per instructions it worked flawlessly.
The Steripen does not remove anything from the water, nor does it improve clarity. In fact if the water is too turbid/cloudy, or too cold (I never experienced the too cold issue reported by others and I used this ALOT in winter in the Northeast) the Steripen will fail to operate in the water. This has been remedied somewhat with the newer model the Steripen Adventurer Opti line, with new and improved sensors. These issues with turbidity and temperature are noted in the instruction manual.
The Steirpen operates on (2) CR123 batteries. It is extremely important that you pay attention to what CR123 batteries you are buying. Alkaline batteries operate VERY poorly in the Steripen. The lithium batteries are the preferred. For comparison sake, the alkaline batteries will treat around 8-12 liters before going dead. The lithium batteries will treat 50-60 liters. Rechargeable lithium batteries will treat 30-40 liters.
I am very satisfied with the Steripen Adventurer. No more kneeling at a stream side fiddling around with a pump. I can now scoop water up into all of my bottles etc, then treat in a matter of a few minutes and be back on my way down the trail. No filter elements to scrub, no hoses to keep seperated. Simplicity and speed. The Steripen is a perfect fit for those that are normally using already clean water that has a good natural taste.