User Review: SteriPEN Classic
Price Paid: unknown
Overall, the SteriPen is perhaps the best idea I have come across in the outdoor industry with regards to water purification. I have used pumps, pills, boiling and this is the most efficient. I previously used an MSR MiniWorks pump filter and I could never get the thing to work quite right, even after I had sent it back to MSR for repairs.
I will echo what most of the users have said about the benefits of the SteriPen in that it is light, fast, packable and very easy to use and does kill everything in the water. After using it on a 4 day backpacking trip to Cold Mountain, I was impressed at how easy it was to use when I had access to a deeper body of water.
Two problems that I encountered: I was not aware that the SteriPen had a compatible Pre-Filter that screwed onto the top of a nalgene so I was forced to use two water bottles, one for dunking into the stream and the other to hold the purified water. I have since purchased the filter so that problem has been rectified.
The largest problem that I had was that if I could not fit my water bottle into the water source, I was outta luck. Luckily, some folks on my trip had a pump filter and the hose could fit into the little nooks and crannies and extract water. There are obviously ways in which to pool water but when it's freezing outside, that last thing I want to be doing is dipping my hands into frigid streams.
I wrote SteriPen an email asking if they had designed a simple pump system that would be compatible with either the Pre-Filter or a nalgene and they never replied. I wish I could say that I don't see this as being a big issue, but I do believe that I will be backpacking in areas of drought or places with hard to reach water and a simple and small yet effective pump system could totally complete the SteriPen system. As for now, I have jerry rigged my MSR mini works to screw onto the top of the Pre-Filter just in case.
Overall, an excellent system and a great purchase!