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Aquastar Aquastar - plus

in Hydration - Water Treatment

Average Rating
3.17 / 5 (6 reviews)

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cary bertoncini
( cbert )

N. California
Aquastar Aquastar - plus on 03/20/2006 14:04:46 MST Report Post Print

Rating: 4 / 5

Weight - 8.5 ounces, including the 1 liter lexan bottle. Dead on what I got for the weight on my scale.

Features - water purifier, water storage, LED lantern.

Just tested out my new UV Aquastar Plus purifier on an overnight in the foothills (I had the previous model & had some issues - they recently replaced my original with this new model). I am very impressed with the improvements.

It is much easier to use - fill to the 1 liter line, replace cap, press button, hold upside down and swirl for 80 seconds. If it worked fine, green light flashes on button - if some kind of error, red light. That's it!

The cap seems sturdier & has easy to open screws that require no tools (previous model required tool). UV unit inside has a glow in the dark strip so it's easy to see when you need a drink mid-night - AND if you want to press the button twice to turn on the INTEGRATED LED Lantern! Nice touch.

One issue - and they discuss this in their manual - it was 33 degrees and since this is battery operated, doesn't work well as temps approach freezing. No problem, I just tucked the UV unit under my coat while getting things set up for breakfast and once it warmed up, it worked like a charm. Probably will remember to treat some water night before whenever I'm expecting cold morning temps, especially if I'll be in any kind of hurry in the morning.

Will update later after more field testing.

Terence Woolston
( tdwool )
Aquastar on 03/22/2006 13:02:00 MST Report Post Print

Rating: 3 / 5

I have had several issues with the battery life--both in cold weather and the number of cycles which a set of batteries deliver. With cold water and cold air temps, battery life is significantly compromised from the manufacturer estimate. One tip, a regular Nalgene bottle (not the Lexan version) is several ounces lighter. However the threads must be sanded down a bit to allow the Aquastar unit to thread on properly.

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Joe Kuster
( slacklinejoe )

Excellent improvements from Aquastar on 10/04/2006 08:24:41 MDT Report Post Print

Rating: 3 / 5

I received one of the early generation II AquaStars. They company seems very responsive at not just handling customer inquiries but actually fixing and evolving their product. I had issues with my earliest product and they not only replaced it, but changed the design to address the issue.
** Updated review below **
As someone who was an early adopter into UV, I figured I should throw in my 2 cents as I've had nearly every mode of failure.

Like most things, build quality is absolutely critical to having a successful product. I initially bought in with Meridian with the AquaStar. It worked fantastic for exactly three trips then stopped unexpectedly. I returned that unit, they blamed a switch failure (that was supposedly being redesigned).

I got a replacement unit and it again worked great, very fast and convenient. Until my batteries went low and the brand new off-branded ones I bought online we're dead. I ended up having to go untreated on water that was suspicious at best (didn't pack enough fuel to boil everything). Frustrated, I tossed in the back of my closet for the summer only to find that the housing was cracked between the bulb and the battery housing when I tried to use it during the fall and it was getting water in the circuits. They replaced it with a third unit which arrived with the housing already cracked.

The fourth unit has been more or less stable for four years, but I just don't trust it like I used to. I tried using it for winter camping where chems are slow and pumps might freeze, but the batteries went flat too quickly as they seemed to chill quickly when in close proximity to near freezing water even if kept in my jacket when not in use. It also seemed to occasionally lose contact for no apparent reason mid-cycle and force me to run it again, this time keeping a very close eye on the status meter to make sure it made it all the way through.

Given my communications with Meridian over the past and after doing a few reviews, they send me a Muv at one point to evaluate. I used it for a few weeks and while it seemed novel, it just didn't fit my style of use as it didn't work with the "throw away" style water bottles. While it worked great in a pot, if I was using it for cooking water, I usually had to boil it anyway - so what was the point?

Besides, I couldn't use the Muv while moving, which had been one of the major benefits of the other systems. I didn't have any major issues with this fourth AquaStar unit besides spotty connections, it wasn't enough benefits to offset the higher weight than KlearWater which was my alternate during that time (before it disappeared from the market).

All that said, my friend has one of the SteriPen Optis and I've always looked at it longingly as I remember the carefree approach of dunking my bottle in a creek and starting off the trail swishing it about a bit before drinking un-altered tasting mountain water. The allure is certainly there, and it seems SteriPen worked out their initial bugs (I can't say the same for Meridian unfortunately) but I find that I can't quiet put the past away, or at least not yet.

Edited by slacklinejoe on 09/02/2012 15:57:52 MDT.

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Tim Cheek
( hikerfan4sure )
Aquastar Aquastar - plus on 03/28/2007 20:48:32 MDT Report Post Print

Rating: 2 / 5

The first generation of this product failed in the first 24 hours of a six day trip on the CDT in the Weminuche. I carried the half pound the rest of the trip, and "stretched" my back up aquamira by allowing water to sit a long time before consumption, and by boiling untreated water for meals and hot drinks.

The second generation they sent me for free lasted 36 hours into a three day trip. I used backup aquamira again. When I got home, it started working again.

The temperatures were cool to warm, nothing extreme.

The concept is excellent, and very convenient, although heavy. But, I can't recommend it because it hasn't been reliable. I will use it for day hikes where weight is not such an issue, and clean water is just a few miles away.

I have worried that when packed away before trips it may be turned on inadvertently. Remove the batteries until you need it.

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Steve Skinner
( skskinner )

mid west
I like this method, my choice on 08/15/2007 08:41:02 MDT Report Post Print

Rating: 4 / 5

I have been carrying the Aquastar plus for about six months. I am impressed so far with the reliability of the unit and the weight is OK when you consider it is on a water bottle, which is very handy for use while using the device. I usually get asked to purify everyones water when I go with a group of two or three, but that's OK. Carrying an extra battery is only a few grams.
I an reserving my giving the Aquastar a "5" until I see what the actual longivity and reliability pan out to be. I am hoping to hear of anyone having problems if they are occurring.
Secondly, I am a little concerned with the fact that dipping the bottle in water means the lip of the bottle opening is contaminated, and since the UV does not penetrate the plastic, one must drink from the bottle knowing it may contain cysts, or, what I do, sometimes, is pour the water from the bottle into a Platypus. Unlike chemical purifiers, you cannot just slosh some treated water onto the lip of the bottle and call it good.
What I especially like is just scooping up a bottle of water on the run, push a buttom and walk on down the trail. By putting it back into its pouch on my hipbelt I know that I now have a quart of water ready. Very nice feeling knowing everything is disable or dead in the water.

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Alan Seegert
( zemmo )

Very convenient, but not robust. on 05/04/2010 12:24:43 MDT Report Post Print

Rating: 3 / 5

I just got back from walking the Annapurna Circuit. Our group of 7 had my Aquastar Plus, a SteriPEN Adventurer, and a First Need filter. I used my Aquarstar for the first few days until it failed, and carried water in the unit most of the time; when I talked to the manufacturer on my return, I was told that this really doesn't work, as the unit is insufficiently sealed for (near) constant immersion. This is kind of a deal breaker for me, as the bottle uses up a lot of space if one cannot use it to store water. The First Need filter eventually failed as well, we should have had another cartridge for it. Only the SteriPEN worked throughout the trip, even though it got pressed into heavy duty after the failure of our other systems.

I liked the design and convenience of the Aquastar, but it's just not durable enough for my uses.

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