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SteriPEN Adventurer Water Purifier REVIEW
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Benjamin Smith
(bugbomb) - F - M

Locale: South Texas
SteriPEN Adventurer Water Purifier REVIEW on 02/27/2007 22:13:15 MST Print View

Companion forum thread to:

SteriPEN Adventurer Water Purifier REVIEW

Eric Brewer
(enbrewer) - M
Comparison to AquaStar on 02/28/2007 10:14:49 MST Print View

Nice review! Have you compared the Steripen to the AquaStar unit? I picked up an AquaStar a couple of months ago but haven't used it much yet except in kitchen trials. It does solve the problem of downwards UV light transmission in larger containers since you can screw it tightly onto a Nalgene soft canteen and swirl the water around so it is evenly "lit" by the UV.

I've found CR123 batteries to be quite inexpensive if you buy them in bulk. Lithium's have a shelf life of 20 years (they lose only a small percentage of their total strength in that time) so there's really no downside in buying them that way.

Benjamin Smith
(bugbomb) - F - M

Locale: South Texas
Re: Comparison to AquaStar on 02/28/2007 10:42:24 MST Print View

It's not a direct comparison, but check out: AquaStar review

Edited by bugbomb on 02/28/2007 10:43:35 MST.

Joe Kuster
(slacklinejoe) - MLife

Locale: Flatirons
Recharge system for UV water filter batteries on 02/28/2007 10:44:22 MST Print View

The rechargers for the batteries for both the Aquastar and the Adventurer style steripen are commercially available. I have had a set of rechargables working for dozens of charges so far - and they were pretty cheap.

Here is a line to Aquastar's site which has the batteries and charger that should work in the new Adventurer model Steripen.

Brett Balmer
(backcountry) - F

Locale: Northeast US
Freezing Conditions on 02/28/2007 12:20:00 MST Print View

I have a Steripen adventurer(owned it since December) and like it a lot. As the article above mentioned, it does make you re-think your gear load-out because of the need for a container with a wide enough mouth for the unit to fit through. I was previously a filter user, and would fill my bladders through an adapter that fit on the end of my hydration tube. Instead I now carry a single 32oz Nalgene along with two 20oz plastic beverage bottles (which have a concave grip area that allow them to be bungied to the straps of my pack). I do all the purification inside the Nalgene and pour the water into the 20oz bottles. I don’t consider carrying a Nalgene to be ideal and am looking for a lower weight alternative.

I have only had the chance to take the Steripen on one 3 day trip (in which the temperature never broke 20F and went as low as 8F). I found that the battery performance did suffer, and it was necessary to warm the unit up inside my jacket before treating water to be able to run a full cycle. My thought is that at a low enough temperature the batteries have difficulty generating enough voltage to satisfy the Steripen.

To echo Eric's thoughts above - you can save a lot of money by purchasing the CR123 cells in bulk online. I was able to get them for $1.60 per cell by purchasing as few as 12 at a time. (Note: these are high quality Panasonic lithium cells) Unfortunately I don’t have enough data to report on the number of uses I get out of these cells.

Douglas Frick
(Otter) - MLife

Locale: Wyoming
Re: Freezing Conditions on 02/28/2007 12:51:32 MST Print View

>I don’t consider carrying a Nalgene to be ideal and am looking for a lower weight alternative.

The Nalgene Cantene (1 liter: 2.1 oz) is much lighter and has the same wide mouth.

> I found that the battery performance did suffer, and it was necessary to warm the unit up inside my jacket before treating water to be able to run a full cycle.

I've had the same experience with the UV AquaStar and AquaStar Plus.

roland horth
(rhorth) - F
removing cover on 02/28/2007 13:05:14 MST Print View

In the instructions, there is a defined method for removing the cover(hold cover so angled part is away from you, then pull cover towards you). If you follow these, it snaps off easily, otherwise it is as challenging as the article says.

Eric Brewer
(enbrewer) - M
Nalgene containers on 02/28/2007 13:14:35 MST Print View

Oddly enough, if you really like the Nalgene bottles instead of the flexible Cantene, the old-style Nalgene (milky white) is a little lighter than the newer clear polycarbonate Nalgene. Don't remember the exact measurements, it isn't much, but it's definitely a real difference. I haven't compared any of the other brand "knock-offs".

Dondo .

Locale: Colorado Rockies
Re: SteriPEN Adventurer Water Purifier REVIEW on 02/28/2007 14:15:59 MST Print View

Great review , Roger. Thanks for putting this together.

I've been saving an REI gift card since my birthday waiting to combine it with the current REI 20% off coupon and dividend, so the review couldn't have been more timely.

A question. I noticed that you are using a pot to purify the water and discourage the use of deeper containers. My plan for well-watered mountains is to drink up as much as I can right at the source and carry very little between sources. I was going to use a Heineken can as a purifying container/drinking mug. The diameter of the opening is about 2.75" across and the depth is about 5.75". Is this a good size to use or should I go for something shallower? Thanks.

Dondo .

Locale: Colorado Rockies
Re: Freezing Conditions on 02/28/2007 14:18:36 MST Print View

Brett or Eric, do you have a good source for batteries?

Eric Brewer
(enbrewer) - M
source for batteries on 02/28/2007 14:28:37 MST Print View

Unlike Brett, I didn't get the name-brand batteries - mine are a "store brand" (which I DO worry about, but so far everything's been fine). I got mine at and paid roughly $1.00 each.

paul johnson
(pj) - F

Locale: LazyBoy in my Den - miss the forest
$1 single qty CR123A primary batts on 02/28/2007 14:53:34 MST Print View


For Secondary (i.e., rechargeable CR123A batts)

For Primary (i.e., non-rechargeable CR123A batts)

Streamlight brand = 12 for $18.95,_Streamlight.php

Surefire brand = 12 for $21.00,_SureFire).php

Surefire brand = 12 for $20.00

Titanium brand (recommended by the "guy" at Flashlight Reviews - he has test data comparing the "Ti" brand to some of the "big guys") Singles, or MATCHED PAIRS, and TRIPLETS = $1.00 each

NOTE that this $1 per batt is even if buying only ONE batt!

Test Data for Titanium brand vs. Surefire and BatteryStation-brand

be sure to look at the different graphs. Performance changes depending upon current draw. The Ti brand appears that it might have an "overactive", so to speak, PTC (positive temperature coefficient) protection that may account for its high current performance.

Note that for ~50 cents less per cell than most others, Titanium brand is a VALUE with, generally, just a bit less performance than the more expensive "big boys".

Battery Station (a bunch of brands)

Expensive KODAK and Sanyo brands

hope this helps. i'm still looking for another link i came across 2-3wks ago (96 cents each). i'll post back if i can find it.

Sorry 'bout the URLs. Hyperlinks no longer work for me after 2+ yrs of successful hyperlinking and posting to others to teach them how to mark up a HTML Anchor mark-up. The hyperlink doesn't display properly, nor work, and upon editing my Post containing the HTML, the HTML is mangled badly and is no longer what i typed, viz. the HREF portion is stripped out of it and is completely gone! Don't know why. Only started happening somewhat recently for me.

Edited by pj on 02/28/2007 15:11:16 MST.

Brian Markey
(bmlaw) - MLife

Locale: Northeast
Re: batteries on 02/28/2007 14:54:42 MST Print View

I have the Steripen Adventurer, but I have not had an opportunity to try it yet.

For batteries, try:

Rick Dreher
(halfturbo) - MLife

Locale: Northernish California
Re: CR123s on 02/28/2007 16:21:50 MST Print View

While I've not used the Steripen, I've used a UV AquaStar for two seasons. My rule of thumb on batteries is that in cold weather, or for any destintion where the water's bound to be cold (say, <45 F) to use only name-brand batteries (e.g., Energizer, Sanyo, Duracell). I've not surveyed all the generic brands out there, but have been disappointed by the cold performance of those I've used. A number of times I've had the unit not cycle on new generics, but would on my used name-brand backups.

In warmer conditions though, there seems to be little significant difference and the cost savings are definitely warranted.

James Iry
(jiry) - F
Steripen in a baggie on 02/28/2007 17:17:18 MST Print View

Will a baggie (e.g. quart or half gallon) stop enough UV-C to be safe?

Rick Dreher
(halfturbo) - MLife

Locale: Northernish California
Re: Steripen in a baggie on 02/28/2007 18:32:35 MST Print View

Yup, between that and the water it should do the trick.

John Arnold
(Mtnsummit) - F
Prior Version on 02/28/2007 20:20:57 MST Print View

For me, I was really dissapointed with the prior version of this pen. It ate batteries like no tomorrow, and I found it very finicky in cold weather. Maybe they have improved this model, but I vowed after fussing with the pen on two prior backpack trips, and having the batteries drain where I had to keep my fingers crossed if the water had been purified, this product is not for me.

Dondo .

Locale: Colorado Rockies
Re: $1 single qty CR123A primary batts on 03/01/2007 17:38:47 MST Print View

Thanks to everyone for the replies. I think I'm going to try some of the Titanium brand that pj suggested and have some name brands along as a spares.

James Foxworthy
(jimfoxworthy) - MLife
5000 gallon filter. 1 oz. $30 on 03/02/2007 07:23:00 MST Print View

Can you folks review this product? I have it as part of my in-home emergency kit, and have been using it backpacking/daypacking for a few years. But I can never find any reviews of it! Either it really works or I have just been really lucky...

Linda Voll
(Mataharihiker) - F

Locale: NW Wisconsin
Original Steripen... on 03/02/2007 08:04:00 MST Print View

I prefer the original unit as I use AA betteries in my camera so move them back and forth.

Not mentioned in the review but the most useful accessory I have made by Steripen is the Pre-filter. I thread this onto my Naglene bottle, dip the bottle into the river or lake, remove the filter cartridge and plug the UN unit into the top. It makes a watertight seal so you can invert the Naglene and move the water around...

This removes floaties which can just be rinsed off the filter cartridge...I love this Pre-filter almost more than I love my Steripen....