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SteriPEN Opti Review
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Addie Bedford
(addiebedford) - MLife

Locale: Montana
SteriPEN Opti Review on 10/05/2010 15:20:59 MDT Print View

Companion forum thread to:

SteriPEN Opti Review

George Matthews
(gmatthews) - MLife
Re: SteriPEN Opti Review on 10/05/2010 18:30:55 MDT Print View

Nice review.

Good shot of light at work.

Kathy A Handyside
(earlymusicus) - M

Locale: Southeastern Michigan
Re: SteriPEN Opti Review" on 10/05/2010 20:08:18 MDT Print View

Very interesting review! I've often wondered how the SteriPEN would work. I am on thyroid medication and so I can't use iodine for purifying water, so I have to use chlorine dioxide or a filter (or both). The SteriPEN seems much more convenient and faster to use than ClO2. Thanks for the information! Cool photo of the SteriPEN at work, BTW!

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: Re: SteriPEN Opti Review on 10/05/2010 20:18:19 MDT Print View

Hi George

> Good shot of light at work.
Thanks, but it took a sequence of 5 shots in a bracket to get the one I wanted!


Nick Klockenga

Locale: Chicago Area
Which filter is it? on 10/05/2010 20:58:10 MDT Print View

Just curious.

> filtration is faster but quite heavy, and (with one expensive exception) is not able to deal with viruses

Which filter is the 'expensive exception' ?

Great review, simple, to the point, just what I wanted to know.

Ben 2 World
(ben2world) - MLife

Locale: So Cal
Re: Which filter is it? on 10/05/2010 22:05:18 MDT Print View

A pump filter that can handle virus? I would say the First Need Purifier. Not the lightest or most compact, but this is the "do it all" option -- fast and easy to use too -- and reasonably light.

Edited by ben2world on 10/05/2010 22:06:58 MDT.

Roman Vazhnov
(joar) - F
Re: SteriPEN Opti Review on 10/06/2010 01:22:47 MDT Print View

Is there some lightweight filter that can be added to Steripen to deal with industrial/agricultural chemicals?

Edited by joar on 10/06/2010 02:08:14 MDT.

Robin Evans
( - MLife
SteriPen Opti Review on 10/06/2010 01:42:42 MDT Print View

Bottle filtration units can be very light:

The Super Delios is only 58g, yet filters most nasties:

If you want to filter viruses as well the Travel Tap is 158g:

I can't understand why anyone wants to use anything else. These systems are light, reliable, require no power and fool proof. They are also very cheap over the life of the product.

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: Re: SteriPEN Opti Review on 10/06/2010 01:57:06 MDT Print View

> Is there some lightweight filter that can be added to Steripen to deal with
>industrial/agricultural chemicals?

Good question. You would need a fairly good activated carbon filter at least. That is not hard to create of course. In general we dodge those situations, but this is not always an option.


Dan Lazarowski
(chronon) - MLife
Wigglers on 10/06/2010 03:52:05 MDT Print View

I've heard that, although it neutralizes bacteria and viruses, that there can still be (harmless) live larva and other small swimming things in the water after treatment.

Does anyone know if that's true?

Michael Davis
(mad777) - F

Locale: South Florida
Re: "SteriPEN Opti Review" on 10/06/2010 04:55:11 MDT Print View

I have always loved the concept of UV treatment and so I purchased the Steripen Adventurer. However, after the thing stopped working for no apparent reason, I have gone back to gravity filter with tablet backup. There is simply less to go wrong and therefore more reliable.

I'll wait a year to see how long these last, but right now, I'm pretty ticked at the Steripen folks for sucking $100 out of my pocket for nothing in return.

bob ferrari
Steri pen on 10/06/2010 06:52:56 MDT Print View

I took a steri pen to Kyrgyzstan in 2005. It stopped working - just stopped - the 2nd time we went to use it. I don't think I'll ever trust one again.

Chris Benson
(roguenode) - F

Locale: Boulder
RE: Optii on 10/06/2010 07:24:11 MDT Print View

Nice tip regarding the battery isolating strip. I also found the cap on the older adventurer troublesome to remove.

I know this wasn't a direct comparison, but I'd be interested in seeing a head-to-head comparison on number cycles each gets from a fresh battery.

Keith Selbo
(herman666) - F - M

Locale: Northern Virginia
chemicals on 10/06/2010 07:30:16 MDT Print View

"Is there some lightweight filter that can be added to Steripen to deal with industrial/agricultural chemicals?"

Yes, the Katadyn Carbon Cartridge (REI $14.95) will remove many chemicals. It definitely removes the chlorine I add to my water to kill viruses before I filter it. Here's my setup. The black filter is a Sawyer bacterial filter, the grey filter is the Katadyn charcoal filter. One end screws onto my a Platypus "dirty" reservoir, the other snaps into my hydration bladder.

sawyer and katadyn combination

As Roger said, it's heavier than a Steripen but I leave my steripen at home in favor my always reliable and labor saving filtration system. All my hiking partners have made similar setups to mine after one or two trips with me. The gravity filter does all the work while you relax or tend to other chores. It only takes a few minutes and has the added benefit of removing most chemicals.

Edited by herman666 on 10/06/2010 07:47:17 MDT.

John S.
(jshann) - F
Re: SteriPEN Opti Review on 10/06/2010 08:12:18 MDT Print View

The opening paragraph gives only the pros of UV and only the negatives of boiling, filtration and chemicals.

UV treatment cons-
1. must carry backup
2. uses batteries
3. must protect the product from damage
4. not the lightest solution
5. must use heavier water container with wide mouth opening
6. must use described procedure (agitation/stirring) to properly treat water
7. best used only above 32 degrees F
8. device not waterproof
9. must use extra treatment in murky water
10. contains mercury

Edited by jshann on 10/06/2010 08:53:37 MDT.

Dean F.
(acrosome) - MLife

Locale: Back in the Front Range
anti-viral water filter on 10/06/2010 08:20:03 MDT Print View

Speaking of Sawyer...

Sawyer makes an 0.02 micron filter that is rated against viruses. So, I guess all I'm saying is that there is more than one filter that will remove viruses.

Why does Sawyer get no love? :o)

I mean, seriously, everyone should be using these things.

That said, I've been dying for an excuse to try a UV treatment system. I guess I'm holding out for UV LEDs.

Edited by acrosome on 10/06/2010 08:23:15 MDT.

Mark Roberts
(redwedge) - MLife

Locale: Lapland
steri pens on 10/06/2010 10:05:45 MDT Print View

I don't own one, but my experience of other people who have travelled with me with on is that in each case they malfunctioned after a day or two of use, either through a fault in the unit or battery problems.

I'll stick with my Sawyer filter (which those with a broken Steripen ended up using also). I just think that anything relying on electronics and batteries is too unreliable for such a vital task.

Rick Dreher
(halfturbo) - MLife

Locale: Northernish California
Re: Wigglers on 10/06/2010 10:40:43 MDT Print View

Hi Daniel,

I briefly addressed this in my BGT review of the Meridian Design mUV.

Based on five or so years' experience with UV, it's preferable to use a prefilter of some sort before treating, at least one fine enough to keep out multi-celled critters. This is pretty easy to do.



Greg Mihalik
(greg23) - M

Locale: Colorado
Re: Reliability on 10/06/2010 10:43:45 MDT Print View

Regarding Filters -

Most of the time they work, and continue to work, as advertised. But on my last trip, pumping "optically clear" water, the Hiker Pro gave it up. There was no forewarning.

On Day 4 it just became incredibly hard to pump. I was on a 5 day hike, but if it had been a 10 day hike it would have been a real struggle to pump water. Including this trip, we had run less than 50 gallons through the filter. (It is rated for a nominal 200 gallons.)

I called Katadyn customer service and they said "Yep - It Happens". Apparently there both sediments and algae that are not "visible" but readily clog the filter.

I have used a Hike Pro for years and years and this was a first.

Much as I dislike it, I'll now be taking something as a backup, "just in case".

Evan McCarthy
(evanrussia) - MLife

Locale: Mid-Atlantic
Reliable enough! on 10/06/2010 10:52:06 MDT Print View

I've used versions of the SteriPEN for years without any malfunction. You need to sleep with it/stick it in your coat pocket during colder periods, but other than that I love the ease and speed of using it. I bring a bandana and keep whatever cup/bowl container I naturally use for the outing near the outside of the bag so I can scoop from a stream, strain through the bandana (also dual use), and have treated water a couple minutes later. The Nalgene canteen or normal one liter gatorade bottle work great for water storage.