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Steripen Opti still the way to go?
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jeffrey armbruster
(book) - M

Locale: Northern California
"Steripen Opti still the way to go?" on 02/26/2013 10:14:27 MST Print View

I don't like carrying water if I can help it; in the Sierras you usually don't have to. Also the water is usually very clear. However I'm realizing that I don't drink enough water if I have to take off my pack to access my Katydyn water bottle. Hence the Steripen. Rick, the idea of a 1 liter roll up bottle is great. I don't like carrying even an empty bottle on my pack harness or belt if possible. Hopefully I can just stick the roll up bottle and Steripen into my belly pack and be done with it. Since I'm thinking of a lot of one liter pit stops during the day, sort of on the go, to keep my water consumption up, I'm hoping the Steripen will perform well. In camp I can use alternative methods--Sawyer?--for larger amounts of water. (I boil, so cooking water is not an issue.)

At the moment I like the idea of lack of fiddle factor with the Steripen over the Sawyer on the trail for 1 liter amounts of water. But as usual, opinions seem split on the reliability of the Steripen. Still, people seem to write that it's better for smaller amounts of clear water. This is what I picture using it for. And I'll bring back up batteries!

jerry adams
(retiredjerry) - MLife

Locale: Oregon and Washington
Re: Re: Re: Steripen Opti still the way to go? on 02/26/2013 10:15:31 MST Print View

" have had to throw away one Squeeze already because I forgot to keep it warm at night and it got down to 28(f) and I used it before I went to sleep and it had water inside of it.

I read a number of basically the same accounts from Thru-hikers in 2012 that also had to toss their Squeeze because of them freezing."

Did you throw away the filter because you noticed a problem, or just as a precaution?

My theory is that if you shake out the filter real good so there is mainly just water inside the tubes, that those tubes can stretch because that's what happens when you backflush the filter, so they shouldn't be damaged by freezing.

So far, I've taken my filter on three winter trips, but just barely got below freezing, so my filter should be fine because I put it in protected location. There were drops on the outside that didn't freeze, so inside should be fine.

John Abela
(JohnAbela) - MLife
Re: Re: Re: Re: Steripen Opti still the way to go? on 02/26/2013 10:27:16 MST Print View

@Jerry,

The Sawyer Sqeeze is a legit Absolute One Micron filter. Even a single ice-crystal forming inside of it is going to be big enough to cause damage to pore size of the filter where the crystal formed - thereby turning it from an Absolute one micron filter into a Nominal one micron filter, or worse.

jerry adams
(retiredjerry) - MLife

Locale: Oregon and Washington
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Steripen Opti still the way to go? on 02/26/2013 10:57:43 MST Print View

"The Sawyer Sqeeze is a legit Absolute One Micron filter. Even a single ice-crystal forming inside of it is going to be big enough to cause damage to pore size of the filter where the crystal formed - thereby turning it from an Absolute one micron filter into a Nominal one micron filter, or worse."

I can't disagree with you, especially because Sawyer says to discard if it freezes, but

When a water pipe freezes and breaks, there's a restriction like a valve. As the water freezes down the pipe, the water expands, there's no room to expand through the restriction so large force is applied to pipe and it breaks.

If an ice crystal forms in a pore, I don't think there would be huge force applied to the sides of the pore.

If the water in a tube froze, the tube would expand a little, but so what?

When you backflush the filter, the tube expands a little, include the size of the pore, which releases any particle entrapped. That's the same force as if it froze.

Sawyer's statement just says they don't know if freezing it would damage it, so just in case, throw it out if you think it might have frozen.

But, like you reported, it's common for backpackers to encounter freezing conditions.

If the filter is actually tolerant of freezing, it's too bad, because that's the one big problem with this filter.

But they just ignore it????

Sorry to rant - just a pet peeve of mine : )

Steven McAllister
(brooklynkayak) - MLife

Locale: Atlantic North East
Classic User on 02/26/2013 11:17:48 MST Print View

I am a big fan of the Classic because it uses AA batteries, cheaper, longer life and more common than the other types.
The Classic works well with standard soda bottles, quick and easy, no pouring water from one container to another.

It doesn't seem to make sense to rely on rechargeable, unless you only do short trips
Sometimes you need to go a long ways before you can buy batteries and when you do, it may be at a gas station that only carries AA batteries.

The Steripen really shines over chemical treatments because you can drink immediately and don't have to carry water waiting for the treatment to finish.

I find it quite reliable, but I do carry Aqua Mira just in case.

I will never go back to filtering my water, the Steripen has worked so well for me.

Stephen M
(stephenm) - MLife

Locale: The Great Lakes Bay Region
Re: Classic User on 02/26/2013 12:16:22 MST Print View

I have a Classic also but barely use it as I think its too heavy, its good to know that other folk are stilling using them :-)
I tend to switch between the Steripen and one of 3 different filters in my gear box, also just bought Aquamira tabs to try out.

Chris S
(csteutterman) - F

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
Re: two years w/ the Opti (battery tester) on 02/26/2013 12:20:53 MST Print View

Mike,
Which battery tester do you use? And would you recommend it? I've got a bunch of batteries that could use some testing.

Steven McAllister
(brooklynkayak) - MLife

Locale: Atlantic North East
Classic User on 02/26/2013 12:23:44 MST Print View

The Classic maybe heavier than other Steripens, but only by a couple ounces. It is still lighter than chemicals or most long distance filters.

Chemicals require that you carry treated water several miles before you can drink and so averages out to be much heavier.

John Abela
(JohnAbela) - MLife
Re: Classic User on 02/26/2013 12:26:22 MST Print View

...and the important part is that it uses AA batteries and not those stupid CR123 batteries... which might be great for some gadgets, but not hiking gadgets... when was the last time you were in some small trail town store on the PCT/CDT/AT that had those things!!

Bob Bankhead
(wandering_bob) - MLife

Locale: Oregon, USA
Steripen Opti still the way to go? on 02/26/2013 12:29:02 MST Print View

Thanks to John for the comparison link.

Here's a clarifying quote from that link"

"Similar Models: Classic, Traveler, Emergency & Defender are the same device just targeted to different needs with just a few variances. UV lamp on the Classic & Defender lasts 8,000 treatments while Traveler & Emergency lasts 3,000 treatments (noted below). The Classic comes with AA Lithium batteries included, while Traveler & Emergency do not come included with batteries. Classic now comes included with a pre-filter, while Traveler, Emergency & Defender do not. We are asked this a lot so we have added this info to make your selection easier."

"Military Products: The SteriPEN Defender is the same product, same materials as the SteriPEN Classic. Only difference is Defender is assembled in the United States. Protector Opti is the same device and materials as Adventurer Opti."

Stephen M
(stephenm) - MLife

Locale: The Great Lakes Bay Region
Re: Steripen Opti still the way to go? on 02/26/2013 12:39:49 MST Print View

Mine is the one that came with the pre filter and a Nalegene, I say I have about 50 litres treated with mine if at all.

Must get it back out of my gear box.

Mike M
(mtwarden) - MLife

Locale: Montana
Re: Re: two years w/ the Opti (battery tester) on 02/26/2013 12:47:25 MST Print View

Chris it's the ZTS Mini Multi-Battery tester- tests all of the common batteries, including CR123's

http://www.batteryjunction.com/zts-mbt.html

jeffrey armbruster
(book) - M

Locale: Northern California
Steripen Opti still the way to go?" on 02/26/2013 13:16:35 MST Print View

A two year old review on this site complained that the Classic drained batteries even when it wasn't being used, but the Opti had solved that problem. The Opti was preferred. Maybe a newer version of the Classic remedied this problem as well.

Bob: yeah the Steripen comparison page tends to leave me more confused than before. I wish that Steripen would just put all of the good features on one--or every--model; that is, an easy to use switch and easy to read status lights (one model seems to have smiley faces that are visible in sunlight, unlike the indicator lights on other models).

Steven McAllister
(brooklynkayak) - MLife

Locale: Atlantic North East
Battery Draining on 02/26/2013 13:27:36 MST Print View

I think the battery draining issues with all Steripens was resolved with the newer electronics a few years back.

It was really only an issue if you left your batteries in all the time. I always removed mine when I'm not backpacking anyway, to avoid any corrosion issues that happens with any battery operated device.
So I never had that problem.

Texas Chinooks
(TexasChinooks)

Locale: DFW
Steripen Ultra on 06/12/2013 17:58:01 MDT Print View

I'm going to get the Steripen Ultra because it looks like you might be able to stick it in the top of a Platypus bottle (the ones you can roll up when not used) and then invert the bottle. The shape of the Ultra is such that it seals the top unlike my old Steripen Adventurer (which was sadly left beside a swollen river) which had to be held in a much larger opening by the tips of my fingers and wiggled about.

Also, in bright sunlight it was difficult to see if the Adventurer actually turned on.

Ian B.
(IDBLOOM) - MLife

Locale: PNW
Re: Steripen Ultra on 06/12/2013 18:08:59 MDT Print View

"The shape of the Ultra is such that it seals the top unlike my old Steripen Adventurer"

"Also, in bright sunlight it was difficult to see if the Adventurer actually turned on."

You've named the two biggest flaws that I've found with the adventurer. I think they really screwed up when they didn't offer it with the PET bottle compatible collar.

Billy Ray
(rosyfinch) - M

Locale: the mountains
Re: Re: Re: Steripen Opti still the way to go? on 06/12/2013 19:51:16 MDT Print View

The CR123 batteries are indeed pricy if you buy them at a local store... I now buy mine on the internet... about 1/3 or 1/4 of the price!!! But you have to buy a few... though they have a shelf life of several years...

bill

Billy Ray
(rosyfinch) - M

Locale: the mountains
opti with 1/2 liter bottles... on 06/12/2013 20:09:29 MDT Print View

I have the Opt Adventurer... yes it is a disappointment that it does not have the round rubber ring that allows it to seal to a Platy bladder... but...

I found 1/2 liter bottles with openings a little bigger than the standard water bottle... found them in the grocery store where they sell vitamin water... nice bottles... well... the Opt just fits inside the mouth of these bottles... and... I find that in the Sierra (btw... it's NOT Sierras guys)... there are so many streams and lakes that most of the time I can get by just fine with only treating 1/2 liter at a time... saves 1 lb over carrying 1 liter of water!!!

Works for me...

I take a few iodine tablets as backup.... but have never needed them and find that one set of fresh CR123 batteries is reliably good for an 8 day trip for one person... including treating cooking water...

no issues with the Opt Adventurer... has worked flawlessly for a 40 days of backpacking...

bill

Derrick White
(miku) - MLife

Locale: Newfoundland & Labrador, Canada
Adventurer Opti on 06/12/2013 21:13:56 MDT Print View

+ Opti Adventurer

I have used it extensively and has never let me down. It has been fully submerged many times and continues to work. I have got at least 14 days of water from one set of batteries. Carry tablets as back up. Have never used them yet.

Derrick