Gear: SteriPEN Water Purifier

Hydro-Photon is a company founded by a guy named Miles Maiden, an outdoor enthusiast. I always seem to gravitate towards products that were developed by people just hanging out in the wilderness. They are more likely to be aware of what works and doesn’t work when you are actually out on the road. Much like Hennessy Hammocks, there’s a back story of TIY (try it yourself) and ‘family vibe’ from the history of Hydro-Photon. I appreciate that.

Here’s a brief intro to SteriPEN, excerpt from the website:

“SteriPEN harnesses the brilliant power of ultraviolet light to make water safe to drink. It’s the same technology used by leading bottled water manufacturers, as well as major cities in the U.S., Europe and Asia to purify water. View the WQA video explanation.

Extensive testing has proven SteriPEN to be safe and effective, eliminating over 99.9% of bacteria, viruses and protozoa that cause water-borne illness. SteriPEN has earned the Water Quality Association’s Gold Seal, certifying its effectiveness.”

Essentially, with SteriPEN you get clean water without weight, bulk, hassle, mess.. and no pumping! Sounds like a perfect solution to me. There is even a model that runs off solar charges. Of course, you must keep in mind the difference between a filter and a purifier. A filter with remove debris from your water as well. But check out the accessories page on SteriPEN’s website – there are two nifty pre-filter options that look like they would work well in semi-clear waters.

SteriPEN inserted into Pre-Filter

I just purchased the SteriPEN classic along with the pre-filter that attaches directly to your Naglene bottle. I chose this pre-filter over the fits-all-filter because it gives more protection to the threads of the Naglene when you are actually filling the bottle with the contaminated water. What’s the point in sterilizing your water if you’re just going to mix it with nasty droplets on the rim of the container?

I seriously considered the Freedom model, because I already have a solar charger with USB port. The only reason I went with the Classic is that it mates perfectly with the pre-filter, so there is less chance of cross contamination. Plus, I can always get rechargeable batteries that have a USB hub. All in all, for my situation I get better features for about $60 bucks less. I expect my SteriPEN to arrive in the next week or so – so keep an eye out for an update with my personal review. Check out the website, and if you have questions, I’d recommending calling Hyrdo-Photon directly – their customer service people were very friendly and helpful.