SteriPEN Ultra UV Water Purifier Promises Safe Drinking Water on the Go
If you backpack in the wilderness or prefer your travel on the rugged side, a portable water purification system is a must. These days, UV purifiers are compact, affordable, and required kit for traveling well off the beaten path (ike, say, Africa) or in countries with limited access to safe drinking water (Dominican Republic).
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I’ve long been a fan of SteriPEN’s compact water purifiers as they promise to kill more than 99.9% of harmful bacteria, viruses, and protozoa that cause water-borne illness. They’re ultra compact, well-designed, and rugged enough to withstand the rigors of long-term travel. Plus, it seems like every two years, they’re reinventing their (already great) products with even more features and portability. Their latest SteriPEN Ultra Water Purifier is by far my favorite such product to date.
In SteriPEN’s own words, the new Ultra promises:
The Traveler’s Take
The first thing I like is the overall design of the Ultra: it’s compact, lightweight, and solidly constructed from a sturdy plastic. It’s practically an afterthought to throw in your pack because it takes up so little room, but I rarely ever leave home without it. The company’s also taken a giant leap forward with the user-friendliness of the device. The new OLED (Organic Light Emitting Diodes) screen relays the device’s info in a much clearer, more concise way.
As the video above indicates, use of the Ultra is dead simple: tap the power button, dip the lighted wand in your water (1L Nalgene bottles are ideal for this), and wait for the smiley face to appear on the OLED screen. Voila! Safe drinking water.
If there was one sticking point with past SteriPEN models, it was their lack of rechargeability. Many previous units relied on proprietary one-time-use batteries that didn’t last long and proved difficult to find in the places where you needed them most (Dominican Republic, I’m looking at you). The Ultra features a standard USB port and is rechargeable via a computer, outlet, or portable solar panel.
As a testament to how awesome the company is and how well they back their products, they even guarantee to replace the lamp bulb on any SteriPEN product that reaches its maximum number of uses (currently 8,000 one-liter treatments).