Review of SteriPEN for Quickly Purifying Water

by Jay | Updated on December 27th, 2022

Are you an avid outdoorsman or traveler looking for a safe, reliable way to purify your water? Look no further than the SteriPEN! In this blog post, we’ll review the SteriPEN and discuss its features and benefits. Read on to learn more about this groundbreaking purification device!

How did SteriPen get started?

Many municipalities use UV light to purify their water, and the Center for Disease Control and The Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Science and Technology – through the site SODIS – recommend a method of solar water disinfection which is as simple as putting a plastic bottle in the sun for up to 6 hours.


In this latter method, both the water’s temperature and ultraviolet radiation work to eliminate pathogens.

In 1999 Hydro-Photon, Inc came out with the SteriPEN, a small portable UV light that backpackers and travelers can use to treat water. This handheld device is the fastest way to purify water in the backcountry or when traveling abroad.

Overview of SteriPEN Products

The SteriPEN is a revolutionary water purification system that offers many advantages over traditional water purification methods. There are several different models of the SteriPEN, each offering different features and advantages.

The SteriPEN Adventurer Opti is an exceptionally light and fast-acting device that can purify water in 90 seconds. This device is waterproof, rechargeable, and capable of removing viruses and other pathogens from drinking water.

The SteriPEN Ultra is another popular, proven, safe, and effective model. This device eliminates over 99.9% of bacteria, viruses, and protozoa that cause water-borne illness. It is easy to use and requires no mechanical parts, making it ideal for wilderness backpacking.

The SteriPEN Freedom Water Purifier is designed for cold-proofing and neutralizing biological organisms. It does not work with all bottles or reservoirs and is battery-dependent.

When selecting a SteriPEN, it is important to consider factors such as size, weight, and ease of use. Reviews from customers can also provide valuable insight into the quality and performance of the product.

Now that you better understand the SteriPEN and its various models let’s look at the benefits and drawbacks of using this device.

Benefits of SteriPEN

The SteriPEN has several benefits that make it an ideal water purification solution for travelers. Not only is it lightweight and rechargeable, but it also removes viruses and other pathogens from contaminated water.

SteriPEN Ultra is proven safe and effective, eliminating over 99.9% of bacteria, viruses, and protozoa that cause water-borne illness. Furthermore, it’s fast-acting and can deliver safe drinking water in just 90 seconds. Plus, it’s easy to use, charge, and effective. This makes it a great choice for travelers looking for a lightweight, fast, and reliable way to purify their water.

How Does Ultraviolet Light Treat Water

Ultraviolet light purifies water by irradiating the virus genes, bacteria, or protozoan hikers worry about. In doing this, it destroys the DNA so the organism cannot reproduce. Since it cannot reproduce, it does not multiply in the intestines and passes through them, causing no ill effects.

For ultraviolet purification to work, the water must be relatively clear. If the water is too murky, the UV light cannot effectively pass through all the water.

Someone planning to hike or travel somewhere where the water is turbid would do better using another method to treat it or finding a way to filter it, so it is relatively clear. SteriPEN offers a 4-micron filter for water bottles, but DIY’ers have used coffee filters and pantyhose effectively.

Pathogens Destroyed by the SteriPEN

According to the manufacturer, the SteriPEN works against GiardiaCryptosporidium, and all types of bacteria and viruses.

Using the SteriPEN

The SteriPEN is easy to use; one method is to fill a water bottle and then stir, shake or agitate the bottle so the water swirls around the lighted part of the pen. The light will not treat the water around the threads of the bottle, so wipe these dry. Another method is to fill a cup or pot with water, stir it with the pen and then either drink it or transfer it to another container.

Set the pen for two amounts of water, either a half-quart or quart, and it operates for a predetermined amount of time, around a minute for a half-quart and 90 seconds for a full quart. The water is then safe to drink.

For backpackers, this is as close as one can get to drinking directly out of a stream without worrying if something in there could cause illness. Dip a cup, use the SteriPen, and drink. The water will still be cold (assuming it was cold in the first place), and if hiking close to the water, there is no need to weigh down a pack by carrying a bottle of water.

Travelers to foreign countries will appreciate the ease of using ultraviolet light for purifying water. In addition, one no longer needs bottled water, as tap water can be treated in a hotel room or restaurant.

Ease of Use and Maintenance

When it comes to ease of use and maintenance, the SteriPEN is a simple, straightforward device that is easy to use. You have to press the button, submerge the SteriPEN in the water for the prescribed amount of time, and you’re done! Not only is this process easy to understand, but it also doesn’t require any additional parts or supplies. Additionally, the SteriPEN is extremely light and portable, making it a great choice for those who are always on the go.

When it comes to maintaining the SteriPEN, the device is extremely durable and can withstand the elements. It is also waterproof, so you don’t have to worry about getting wet. The SteriPEN also requires very little maintenance—you must charge the battery occasionally and keep it clean. What’s more, the SteriPEN Ultra and Adventurer Opti models come with a lamp life of 8,000 treatments, so you won’t have to worry about replacing parts anytime soon.

Factors to Consider When Choosing a SteriPEN

When choosing a SteriPEN, there are a few important factors to consider. First, consider the type of water you will be purifying. There are three main types of SteriPENs: the Adventurer Opti, the Freedom, and the Ultra. Each has different features, so selecting the one best suits your needs is important.

The Adventurer Opti is lightweight, rechargeable, and waterproof, making it perfect for travel. It is also designed to remove viruses and other pathogens from water sources. However, it does not work with all bottles or reservoirs.

The SteriPEN Freedom is cold-proof and neutralizes biological organisms, making it ideal for cold climates. It also works with most bottles and reservoirs.

Finally, the SteriPEN Ultra is proven safe and effective, eliminating over 99.9% of bacteria, viruses, and protozoa that cause water-borne illness. It is also user-friendly and fast-acting, allowing you to get clean drinking water in just 90 seconds.

In addition to the type of SteriPEN, you should also consider the cost and ease of use. Different models vary significantly in price, so consider your budget and what features you need before deciding. Additionally, think about the ease of maintenance. Can you change the batteries, or do you need to have the SteriPEN serviced regularly? Answering these questions will help you make the best decision for your needs.

Pros and Cons of the SteriPEN

The SteriPEN has many advantages for those looking to purify water on their travels. Lightweight, rechargeable, waterproof, and proven to remove viruses and other pathogens, the SteriPEN is quick and easy to use. It is also non-mechanical and requires no pumping, making it ideal for backpacking. In addition, the SteriPEN Ultra is proven to be safe and effective, eliminating over 99.9% of bacteria, viruses, and protozoa that cause water-borne illness.

However, the SteriPEN does have some drawbacks as well. It may not work with some bottles or reservoirs and is battery-dependent, making it only suitable for short trips. Additionally, some users have found the instruction manual hard to understand, making it difficult to use. It is also important to consider the cost of the SteriPEN, as it can be relatively expensive compared to other water purification options.

Overall, the SteriPEN is an excellent choice for those looking for a fast, reliable way to purify water on their travels. However, it is important to consider the pros and cons and determine whether it is the best option for your needs.

Alternatives to the SteriPEN

Now that you know about SteriPEN, it’s time to consider some alternatives. Although it is a great option, it’s not the only one. A few other products you could consider for water purification include the LifeStraw, Katadyn Base Camp Pro 10L Water Filter, and the MSR Guardian Purifier.

The LifeStraw is a great option if you want something lightweight and easy to use. It filters up to 1,000 liters of water, removing 99.99% bacteria and parasites. It also requires no batteries or chemicals, making it perfect for outdoor activities.

The Katadyn Base Camp Pro 10L Water Filter is a great option for larger groups. It has a 10-liter capacity and can filter up to 100 liters of water per hour. This makes it perfect for camping trips or whenever you need clean water.

The MSR Guardian Purifier is another great option for those who need something more reliable and durable. It is designed to handle any water, including the dirtiest, and can filter out protozoa, bacteria, and viruses.

Final Thoughts on the SteriPEN

With the SteriPEN, you get an easy-to-use, fast-acting, and reliable water purification system. The rechargeable battery ensures you can always have clean water, no matter where you are. If you are looking for a water purification system for your travels, the SteriPEN is a great option. It is lightweight, compact, and highly effective. The variety of models makes it easy to find one that fits your needs.

The SteriPEN is a great way to ensure you have access to clean water no matter where you are. The only real downside is that it is battery dependent. So, ensure you have a backup plan if the battery runs out. With the right precautions, SteriPEN can provide safe and clean drinking water for years.


Jay is a health and wellness enthusiast with expertise in water quality and nutrition. As a knowledgeable advocate for holistic well-being, Jay successfully manages Type 2 Diabetes through informed lifestyle choices. Committed to sharing reliable and authoritative insights, Jay combines firsthand experience with a passion for enhancing health."