There is no doubt in my mind that this device has already paid for itself simply because we don´t have to constantly buy bottled water when the tap water isn´t clean enough to drink. The fact that it may one day save our lives is an even bigger benefit. There are other, fancier Steri-pen models on the market but we chose this one because it uses AA batteries, which we can recharge easily on the road. The safety features included in this device can make it difficult to use at times, but they’re safety features, so can we really complain?
When the SteriPEN doesn’t adequately clean the water it tells you this with a series of red lights. You know something is wrong and that you shouldn’t drink the water but you don’t know if the problem is a dirty bulb or a lack of battery power or plain old human error. The series of lights usually tell you which it is but it can be difficult to understand; the new models on the market have addressed all this.
Having pointed out the difficulties of using this device I must say that when it does work it works brilliantly. It is surprisingly simple to operate and we´ve yet to get sick, in more than a year of travel, which means we must be doing something right. We use this pen almost daily to clean tap water in cities and stream water in rural areas. The fact that when using this we can drink the water right away and don´t have to wait (like with tablets) to drink has been a lifesaver as well. The only place this won’t work is in dark water as the UV light won’t be able to pass through the water.