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49 of 49 people found the following review helpful
on October 24, 2008
Took my SteriPEN for 8 days in the Smoky Mountains. It worked every time and must have done the job because there were no ill effects. Do use lithium batteries however.

For anyone having problems I found this at [...]%20Treatment/Ultraviolet/SteriPen/Owner%20Review%20by%20John%20Heubi/

I was able to determine that the extended outdoor use seemed to create too much humidity within the unit and caused this malfunction. The malfunction occurred with a much greater frequency during periods of extremely high humidity and periods of extended rain. I was able to "fool" the unit when I got a red light by waiting for the indicator light to stop blinking and then placing the unit in the water, just as if I were purifying the water. Then I would pull it out of the water, just as if I had completed the purification, then push the button again. The SteriPEN would then work just fine for any number of uses. I am certain that this would not even be an issue to anyone using the SteriPEN for weekend or week long treks. The problem also goes away after the unit is in a controlled environment (inside) for approximately 1-3 days to get a chance to get completely dried out.
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55 of 61 people found the following review helpful
on August 20, 2010
I would love to be able to recommend the steripen because when it works, it works great. What I can't figure out is why it works perfectly at home, but is very sporadic on the trail. On a recent weeklong backpacking trip in Utah three of us had these along and all experienced the same problem. It would only work correctly about 25% of the time - meaning that the light would successfully stay on for the required amount of time. The other 75% of the time we would all get the red failure light. I can assure you this was not operator error. It would often take three or four tries of having the light on in order to get it to work. Other times it would go straight to error and we had to give up.

If you disregard this review and take it into the backcountry I strongly suggest that you bring either chlorine or iodine tablets as a back-up.
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43 of 48 people found the following review helpful
I spent Memorial Day hiking in the San Gorgonio Wilderness with my wife and a friend. It's always beautiful there but this trip took a turn for the worse when I found that my water filter had cracked. This happened in a dry year when water flow in all the creeks was pretty low. Happily, some friends shared their steripen with us and I was amazed at how quickly we were able to purify water with the UV light. It takes about 45 seconds per quart. They had purchased the full system: steripen, pre-filter, and Nalgene bottle. It weighed considerably less than my filter even with batteries--under a pound. I'm sold and am purchasing my own. You can get the steripen and prefilter (good for removing particulates) separately, which I will since I have many Nalgene bottles, but if you are looking for a good all in one purification system, this is it.
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24 of 25 people found the following review helpful
on May 29, 2011
I brought my SteriPEN into the Himalayas during a month-long trek. It failed, for no reason, on the fourth day of my ever using it and never worked again. I tried new batteries, drying it, I tried it over and over. I found this product to be completely unreliable and quick to fail. I have since spoken with other trekkers in Nepal who had the same experience with it. The product is a good idea but should be taken off the market until a more reliable product can be produced. It is a waste of money.
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21 of 22 people found the following review helpful
on December 4, 2012
IrReceived a Steripen Adventurer for Christmas last year and was THRILLED, since I travel abroad to developing countries several times a year. I used it in Fiji for about 20 liters. Then I used it in Nepal on the Annapurna Circuit. 5 days into the 17 day hike it stopped working. We replaced the battery but it still did not work. We were forced to scramble to find questionable water purification in a remote Nepali village. While this was inconvenient and disappointing, I knew the product had a warranty. When I returned home I discovered that replacing/repairing the product UNDER WARRANTY required me to pay $7 plus shipping to AND from the warehouse! So it cost ME $15-20 to fix THEIR malfunction! This is, of course, in addition to the issue of having the product fail at the most inopportune time. i emailed the company to express my dissatisfaction with this policy. It has been 3 days. I have received no response.
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19 of 22 people found the following review helpful
on October 29, 2012
Purchased this item excitedly for our trip to Brazil. Out of the box it ceased to work. I used pricey 2900 Mah rechargeable batteries and it probably worked twice before quitting and flashing a red light. The company refuses to offer a refund.
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
on September 4, 2011
We used this for about 5 backpacking trips and loved it because it is lighter than a pump and you do not have to sit at the water source (full of Mosquitos). But on our last trip, it stopped working - the constant red blinking light. We replaced the batteries with no improvement. We waited until later in the day when the batteries were warmer - no improvement. The suggestion made in a comment to another reviewer that water from snowmelt is too pure and he should have added salt is interesting, but if that is the case, there should be a warning in large red letters on the instructions. If you are bringing a water purifier, you need it to be reliable. By the time you bring replacement batteries and iodine tabs as back-up, it is not really any lighter than a pump and far less reliable. I do not recommend this product. Should be zero stars, but that is not a choice!
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on March 9, 2013
I saw this product being promoted in some Outdoor stores and got interested. Lot of reviews online were were not good and was good to know since you have to be careful with the sensors.
My trick was to fill the water bottle, activate the PEN (make sure that the sensors are dry first) then insert it in the bottle. The Blue light stays ON for a minute and then shuts down as expected. If the sensors are already wet before putting it in the bottle, then it may not give you desired results and can lead to a frustrating experience.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on January 3, 2013
I was a little skeptical about this product at first, but when I traveled to India for 4 months I had no choice but to give it a try. While I can't speak for the science behind how it works, I can say that I drank a lot of water from questionable sources in the notoriously malaria-ridden water of India and didn't get sick once.

Having the full pack is nice because I wouldn't trust a regular non-Nalgene bottle subjected to UV light. The UV wand is very small and packable, and the water bottle can just be hooked onto the strap of your backpack so it won't take up room in luggage.

I actually felt much safer using this than I did drinking water out of disposable bottles, because the thick plastic of the Nalgene reduces the chance of carcinogen exposure. Of course, it is also cheaper (in the long run) and more environmentally-friendly to use this over bottled water. I would recommend this to anyone!
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13 of 16 people found the following review helpful
on August 26, 2008
The product did perform as describe. I order two sets of the Lithium Ion battery from another source, one set worked and the other did not.
After a week of constant use, about 6 times a day, it needed a new set of battery. Rechargeable NiMH battery also worked in the unit.

I purchased the combination set with the bottle and pre-filter. The main advantage is the fileter adapter allows the SteriPEN to be inserted into the bottle and form a water tight connection. This makes it easier to shake or swire the bottle without worrying about spilled water.

It took me a while to figure out what was the sediment filter. I thought at first it was missing, but it was the funny thing sticking out the middle of the adapter. Removing the filter from the adapter allows the SteriPEN to be tightly inserted into the bottle. For most purposes, the filter serves no useful purpose, so I just put it away for safe keeping.

I used the unit to purified all my drinking water in Inner Mongolia and any water used to brush my teeth in any hotels in China. At the Beijing Airport, when leaving the country, it did raise some concern about what the device was, and added an extra step to the out processing when they attached a photo of me with a x-ray picture of the unit.

I will take the unit on my next back packing trip to truely purify my drinking water. I have never been sick from just using a water filter on previous trip, but this unit is convenient.
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