Updated: May 29, 2015
SteriPen Water Purifier Reviews:You don't really appreciate clean drinking water until you're out of it. Most of us take turning on our taps or taking a bottle of purified water out of the refrigerator for granted, but when you're out hiking or there is a problem with your water source, it suddenly becomes the most precious element we can have. It is essential that you have access to water no matter where you are, whether it is a vacation in a foreign country or a hike through the Appalachian Trail, and because there isn't a huge cooler of ice cold, treated water waiting for you at the top of a mountain, you need to either bring your own or choose a filtration method that will allow you to utilize the water and make it potable. This latter is a smart move because if you run out of water or have an unexpected delay, you can still get the water your body - and mind - needs to continue working. This is where the SteriPen comes in. This small, portable water purifier is a must on travels, hikes, or if you live in areas at risk for hurricanes, earthquakes, floods, and other events that compromise water quality. This guide will take you through the hows and whys of the Steripen Water Purifier so you can be prepared whenever for whatever.
Why Do You Need to Purify Your Water?- The amount of water we use is staggering: according to SteriPen's makers, it takes more than 9 gallons of water to process a can of fruit or vegetables, and 1850 gallons to refine a barrel of crude oil. Virtually everything we do or consume uses water. Why is this a big deal? Isn't most of the Earth covered with water? That's true; there are hundreds of millions of cubic miles of water; but like the old adage, "Water, water everywhere, and not a drop to drink," only 3/10 of 1 percent of the Earth's water is potable, or drinkable for people. Because of the unavailability of tap-quality water in the natural world, as well as most developing nations, water purifiers are a must. Water from lakes, streams, rivers, and brooks may look crystal clear and beautiful but it can harbor contaminated run-off, bacteria, viruses, fungi, protozoa, and algae that can make you sick. It is also not advisable to drink water from taps where the source has been compromised. This can happen after floods, hurricanes, and other natural disasters, as well as power outages. While most of the tap water in the U.S. and other developed countries is safe to drink and is tested by cities or municipalities, it is handy for everyone to have a water purifier. Even if it's for "just in case." You'll never regret buying a SteriPen because it is so convenient and necessary in any number of situations. You can browse the best selling SteriPen water purifiers here.
What is the SteriPen and How Does It Work?SteriPen creates different water purifiers for different purposes, including outdoor use for hikers, campers, and adventurers and travel and emergency models. The Steripen water purifier you choose will depend on your usage, but all models use the same proven, effective technology to treat water. Let's take a look at how this works. Most bottled water manufacturers and many cities use the power of Ultraviolet (UV) light to purify water. UV light is invisible to the human eye and is measured in nanometers, one of which is equal to one billionth of a meter. The range for UV light is between 400 nm to 100 nm; this is why you will see UV-A, UV-B, and UV-C when you're looking into sun exposure and sunscreens. SteriPen utilizes UV light at the UV-C range, which is germicidal. This means that the light in this UV range (between 290 nm and 100 nm) can destroy the DNA in the microbes that may be infesting the water you are about to drink. When the DNA is destroyed, the microbes can't reproduce, and since they can't reproduce, they can't overwhelm your immune system and make you sick. How effective is UV-C light used by SteriPen? It has been tested extensively and found to kill over 99.9 percent of the microbes that can make you sick. SteriPen carries the Water Quality Association's Gold Seal. The WQA is a nonprofit that works with the water treatment industry in order to maintain safe standards for drinking water.
How do you use the SteriPen?- You need to use the SteriPen with clear water so the UV light can hit the most microbes without impediment. If you need to drink water that is muddy, first pre-filter it. You can do this with the SteriPen Pre-Filter or FitsAll Filter. You can find the Pre-Filter at Amazon for just over $12 and the FitsAll for under $15. Yes, this is another piece of equipment, but it dramatically increases the water that you will be able to make potable. In a pinch, you can use your t-shirt or a coffee filter. When the water is clear (not clean, but clear), you push the green LED button twice and wait for the flashing to indicate that the SteriPen is ready for use. You then dip the tip into the water, submerging the UV lamp and stir it a bit to agitate the water. Stir until the lamp turns off and the LED indicator is green. Red means it is not done treating the water with UV-C rays. After it's complete, the water is safe to drink. It's easy, and even with the addition of the filter, it is very quick. What Do the Experts Say? - Besides the WQA, experts on outdoor gear, gadgets, and traveling give the SteriPen rave reviews. The Travel Insider calls it a discrete, effective way to treat water at restaurants in developing countries, and its compact design makes it possible to take everywhere. National Terror Alert (not nice to think about, but there we are) calls it a "must have" for any emergency kit. TravelEssentials calls the SteriPen the best water filter you can buy, while consumers on Amazon, Buzzillions, and other review sites give these water filters consistently positive reviews. One reviewer noted that her child used the SteriPEN Classic while traveling through Nepal and India; many of her traveling companions became ill after using iodine tablets to sterilize water (which also leaves a funny aftertaste), while she had no problems.
A BackPackGearTest review noted its efficacy, as well as Hydro-Photon's superior customer service, but also pointed out an issue with the SteriPen. When used continuously in very humid conditions, it can malfunction. When you try to activate it, the LED light is red, meaning it is not ready for use. He says that he "tricked" it by waiting for the red light to stop, putting it into the water, pulling it out, and starting anew to actually purify the water. While a pain, the SteriPen was still effective. This problem only occurs with heavy use (this hiker was trekking more than 2000 miles) during very humid weather. If given a few days to dry, the unit works perfectly. But if you call Hydro-Photon and tell them there is a malfunction, they will immediately send you a replacement with no questions asked. View all top rated SteriPens here.