I found out about the Steripen Traveler UV Handheld Water Purifier from another parent in my son’s Boy Scout troop so I had to check this nifty device out. As any Scout knows, untreated water in the wild may look good but may harbor nasty organisms like Giardia and Cryptosporidium. If you do any traveling to areas of the world where water treatment isn’t always done right, having a device like this may help you prevent unpleasant illness. Let’s take a look at this handy water purifier.
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It’s hard to believe but just swirling the Steripen Traveler UV Handheld Water Purifier in a 16 ounce glass of water for about a minute will destroy 99.99% or more of the bacteria, viruses and protozoa using ultraviolet (UV) light technology. UV technology has been used for almost a century in hospitals and treatment plants to purify water but the Steripen Traveler is the first time that such a device has been available in a handheld package.
The Steripen Traveler UV Handheld Water Purifier is lightweight and uses CR123 batteries, a typical camera battery. I would have preferred for it to have used less expensive and more common AAA or AA batteries but I guess this would add to the weight. The battery life seems to be decent enough but you probably wouldn’t want to be purifying water for a lot of people with it at once. It is a personal device, after all.
Operating the Steripen is easy, just swirl it around until the detector light turns green. You don’t need to do any pumping through a filter, timing how long you’ve swirled it around or use any additional chemicals or test strips. Of course, the Steripen Traveler UV Handheld Water Purifier won’t do anything about the taste of the water either good or bad. It won’t get the rotten egg smell out of sulfur rich water, for example, nor will it change the taste of the water like many chemical purifiers do. If the water you intend to drink isn’t clear, you may need to do some filtering first or just find a better supply of water.
If you travel to less developed areas of the world, are concerned about natural disasters cutting your supply of clean water or just like to camp out in the wilderness you should check out the Steripen Traveler UV Handheld Water Purifier.