View Full Version : Trying to save some weight with a steripen

08-18-2013, 19:40
Currently I use a Pro Katadyn filter and looking to save some ounces with a steripen. What is the difference between all the different steripens? Also, how do you use it in a camelbak?

08-18-2013, 20:04
steripens are great for shorter hikes. I have one, it's the most basic model they have, and I take it for hikes of 7 days or less. Based on what I have read here and observed on my thru hike, I'm not sure they are sturdy enough for longer hikes - one guy I talked to on the trail on his 3rd one in southern/central Va. while getting great support from the company, he was aggravated with the reliability issues.If you are near an REI, go talk to their sales folks - they are usually fairly knowledgable. Also, check out Aqua Mira as well if you haven't already. Preferred choice of most long distance hikers. I carry it on most hikes. (and also have a filter - sometimes when water is scarce you need the ability to pump water which aqua mira or the steripen can't do)

08-18-2013, 20:36
I started out hating my steripen. I could not get it to work properly. I forgot the directions. The key for me was to bring a small cloth that I carry by jamming it down the steripen pouch. You wipe that thing of real good every time you use it. Wet pins and that thing won't work. The only way to get it to work with a camelback is to put the water in a soda bottle, sterilize it then fill the camelback. I now like it and bring it along every trip. Don't drop it.

08-19-2013, 17:07
I've used the Freedom model (lightest & USB rechargeable) from GE to ME. It is not perfect and sometimes require me to trick it to work and sometimes it takes a bit of time to do so but it has not failed me and I believe that I carry less weight because of it.

I would also consider the Sawer squeeze for a thru. For less distance hikes may consider the Steripen Opti ( not sure if that is the correct name but the one that has a optical sensor and uses CR 123 batteries ). I feel replaceable batteries are a better option for shorter trips as rechargeables don't really work well with occasional usage.

Aquamira. Forget it. If I want chemicals in my water I'll get some city tap water. If I go out in nature I want to taste the surroundings, it is noticeable for better or worse, and also aquamira is a heavier solution when I include the extra weight of water carried with this method.

Sandy of PA
08-19-2013, 21:34
I have been carrying a Steripen Classic for over 1300 miles. Do one liter and pour it into your camelback, repeat until full. I just carry one liter platys.

08-20-2013, 07:47
I think I am going to try a sawyer

08-21-2013, 15:06
I've had mine for over 5 years. Has it always worked perfectly, nope. Is it the best of all the options out there for people that value lightweight and instantly drinkable water, I think so.

Regarding bladders, studies have shown that you only have to treat the water the numbers of times as the number of liters, (i.e. If you have a 3l bladder, treat it as a liter 3x.) And thats what I do. (I'm not one of those folks that freak out about untreated water on the bottle threads)

08-21-2013, 16:01
Currently I use a Pro Katadyn filter and looking to save some ounces with a steripen. What is the difference between all the different steripens? Also, how do you use it in a camelbak? I have been using steripens for several years. I have the model that uses the CR 124 batteries and also a model that uses AA batteries. The one that uses AA batteries is a bit heavier, but the batteries are easier to find and cheaper. The steripen is especially good for international travel. I keep one in my brief case to use any time I have doubts about the water -- even in restaurants.

08-21-2013, 19:29
(I'm not one of those folks that freak out about untreated water on the bottle threads)

On the AT (and most trails in the US) there is no reason to freak about untreated water on the bottle threads unless you are getting your water out of a beaver pond. Africa -- different story.

08-21-2013, 20:02
I like my Steripen. I take it every time.
if I know there will be lots of water, or it's cooler, I'll take my one liter bottle and use my Steripen.
if I know it's going to be hotter or water is farther apart, I'll Take my 3 liter camelback and my sawyer inline. I have a "dirty" water bag that filters into the camelback, so my camelback never has untreated water in it.
But I always have my .7liter mug/stove, so I could even use the Steripen in the mug on the 1/2 liter setting if needed.

08-21-2013, 20:18
I like my Steripen. I use it by scooping water in my cook pot and stirring with the pen, then I can pour the treated water into any container/bottle/platy/person. Using the pot lets me get a real good mix and light exposure. My back up (and day trip treatment) is an Aquamira squeeze bottle; I'm carrying a bottle anyhow, so the filter is very little weight to add for a redundant treatment option.

Wise Old Owl
08-21-2013, 20:23
I am in a different place I am going to differ to Lone Wolf's point of view that running clear water as close to the source is as good as you can get. Once you get Giardia and other nasty's you do get sick and then... your immune system adjusts... yea you still have it - so what.

I still carry a bunch of lightweight systems... I am still on the fence. FYI I have been been very sick on Iodine tabs.