User Review: SteriPEN Classic
Price Paid: $80
This thing is like something out of science fiction! Granted I'm not doing long haul hiking through a Guatemalan jungle. My outdoors adventure mostly consist of weekend to four day camping in the Hoosier National Forest and other mid west venues.
I hike with a pair of ancient dogs that are fine drinking out of creeks and ponds when they’re available. The problem is we like to camp near hill tops where there isn’t much water and we’re all thirsty at day’s end. With this thing I can refill my 2 quart army surplus canteens during the day’s hiking (using the funnel/filter gizmo to remove any solids) and then nuke any micro critters with the UV rays from the SteriPen. One push of the button clears an entire 32 ounce canteen.
I admit I’ve only had limited experience with a fellow hikers pump type filter, and that seemed like a lot of work! The purification tablets work okay (and I still carry them for back up) but the water tastes nasty! I made sure to read the instructions for the SteriPen so I knew to use name brand lithium ion batteries. I’ve had the thing several months now and am still on the first set.
I did read one negative review of this product. I’ve got to think that particular user cut corners and used the alkaline batteries, which the manufacturer warns only last about 40 zaps. (The guy’s gripe was that the batteries went dead after only a few uses.) The lithium ones purport to be good for several hundred zaps, and I’m beginning to believe it.
The pump filters I’d looked at weren’t that much cheaper than the SteriPen, but much bulkier. Doing a little math it looks like the long term expense of changing batteries isn’t too far off from what I’d spend on filter cartridges and such.
I admit you do need to either carry back up batteries or be close enough to civilization that you can get more. But as I said at the outset, I’m a Midwest hiker so that’s not a problem. You folks heading up the Amazon may want to stick to your manual filters, and carry purification tablets as back up. But hey, that’s what I do here in Indiana, too!