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Steri Pen Ultra


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Viewing 25 posts - 1 through 25 (of 35 total)
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  • #3625244
    dirtbag
    BPL Member

    @dirtbaghiker

    So I currently use katadyn BeFree.. All is well. I have a SteriPen Adventurer, which I occasionally use.. I have been looking at the SteriPen Ultra.. Anyone have it and use it?  I kind of like to use the steriPen for my winter trips and am wondering if the Ultra is worth it.

    #3625258
    matthew k
    Moderator

    @matthewkphx

    I’d be curious to hear more about this topic. I’ve been tempted to try a Sterioen for the last couple of seasons and that’s the model that looks best to me.

    #3625259
    Ken Thompson
    BPL Member

    @here

    Locale: Right there

    So far so good with my Ultra. Made the switch from an Adventurer. Now everything is rechargeable.  I haven’t done a long trip with it but have had no issues on three day trips even with doing extra water for others. Not the lightest option but I like that I can use a regular water bottle or an open container.

    #3625264
    dirtbag
    BPL Member

    @dirtbaghiker

    my current set up.. Weighs 6.46 ounces. The steripen adventurer. The one bottle is a nalogene soft sided canteen, wide mouth with the red top.. Which I put a mesh coffee strainer inside the mouth part. I use this to scoop my water and strain the sediment out.. Which I pour into the other nalogene soft side canteen ( it holds 32 ounces).. As you can see, I cut the top off the canteen.. So it’s wide open and when full of water, it sits on its own.. Won’t tip over.. I then use my steripen and swirl it around in here with no problems at all. When finished, I easily pour the filtered, clean water into my smartwater bottle or soft platy. This works well for me, fairly compact, lightweight and easy to use. I’ve been using it in winter months for last 4 years or so now. i also like that the adventurer has the flashlight option.. So I have my backup light.. Multiple use gear. I am eye balling the Ultra..because I really like that it is rechargeable and I do carry a short cord and battery charger already..

    #3625265
    dirtbag
    BPL Member

    @dirtbaghiker

    Edit: spell check.. Nalgene

    #3625282
    Dan Y
    BPL Member

    @zelph2

    Dirtbag, your link shows 5 different models, which one do you use?

     

    #3625309
    dirtbag
    BPL Member

    @dirtbaghiker

    Wasn’t supposed to be a link.. Weird. Anyway I use the 1 liter and the 20 ounce.

    #3625310
    David Thomas
    BPL Member

    @davidinkenai

    Locale: North Woods. Far North.

    I didn’t like my first, much larger Steripen due to its weight, size, and how picky it was about batteries – alkaline batteries had to be pretty new and warm (yet I live in Alaska).  Then I got a smaller one, one I believe they have discontinued but which is still available on eBay in Red Cross labelling for $52:

    I like it because it is small, light (2.6 ounces) and has worked for me in Alaska, California, NZ, Mexico, Cuba, etc.  And because it is USB chargeable, so I start every trip ready to treat 20 liters.  20 liters isn’t a lot, true, but fine for a weekend trip, any day hike, and longer if you have a battery bank with you.  Also, here in Alaska, most trips are cold, so we perhaps sweat less and boil more water for hot drinks.

    I think UV is especially nice in my area (versus, say, the desert) because water is plentiful and cold.  Plentiful means I don’t otherwise need to carry water with me because there’s always more pretty close.  Cold water requires 30-40 minutes for chemical treatment so that means I’m carrying a liter of water for 1 to 2 miles – another 2 to 4 pound-miles.  That’s more pound-miles than carrying the Steripen for 18 miles so I come out ahead.  Also, my wife doesn’t like the taste of chlorine or iodine.

    Since you’re considering it for winter trips, maybe you have similar limits: long contact times for chemical treatment, much of your beverages served hot and but not a lot of sweating.

    #3625317
    matthew k
    Moderator

    @matthewkphx

    What type of container do you treat in, David? I like Dirtbag’s cut off collapsible Nalgene for collection and treatment.

    #3625318
    dirtbag
    BPL Member

    @dirtbaghiker

    Looking at the specs on REI.. My adventurer is slightly smaller and weighs slightly less then the Ultra.  It also has the flashlight which the Ultra does not. So other then the rechargeable aspect of the Ultra.. Not so sure I would prefer the Ultra over my Adventurer. While I only use it on short winter trips, 3-4 days, maybe a little longer or less, there is no upgrade or advantage to me switching to the Ultra. Fresh batteries will clearly last the trip.

    #3625321
    dirtbag
    BPL Member

    @dirtbaghiker

    • Mathew the first picture shows the 2 bags rolled up together next to the adventurer. The 2nd picture shows them unrolled. It works so well. I can easily get water into the large mouth bag and then easily pour it and strain it into the cut open bag. Then that bag pretty much stands on its own, enough that I can swirl the pen around in it really well and I have never spilled it over. I can then pretty easily pour it from there, into my smartwater bottle or soft platy bag.  As you can see, it rolls up nicely and I can keep it all together in outside pocket of my pack for easy access when needed. It also simple to clean that mesh strainer after every use of needed.
    #3625336
    Curt Peterson
    BPL Member

    @curtpeterson

    Locale: Pacific Northwest

    I had the Adventurer Opti years ago. The batteries were a pain. They burned through them pretty quickly and they were expensive. I’m not a fan of ongoing costs and it seemed like I was buying a new set every trip and needing to carry a backup set as well. A friend used the similar yellow one and had nothing but problems. SteriPen replaced it a couple times and finally gave him a newer model.

    Switched over to the Freedom probably a decade ago. It’s essentially the Red Cross one but in green. Zero problems and still on the original one. I do carry a small battery bank, but almost never use it. A single charge gets me through trips up to a week pretty easily.

    Backpacking buddy has an Ultra. It’s pretty slick, but bigger and heavier than the Freedom/Red Cross by quite a bit. You could carry 2 Freedoms/Red Crosses and it would almost be a wash as far as weight and bulk. It works great, though. It’s never had a failure in the couple of years he’s been using it.

    Like Dave, I love the ease of using it getting water on the fly. There’s water everywhere here in Washington. With the SteriPen I almost never carry water. Scoop. Zap. Drink. It really is that easy.

    #3625414
    Ken Thompson
    BPL Member

    @here

    Locale: Right there

    The Ultra lets you use a regular small mouth bottle unlike the Adventurer

    #3625417
    David Thomas
    BPL Member

    @davidinkenai

    Locale: North Woods. Far North.

    Matthew: I score various sizes of Gatorade bottles at the recycling center.  Other bottle styles work, but I stick with Gatorade bottles so one extra lid is a back up for the whole family.

    #3625444
    Curt Peterson
    BPL Member

    @curtpeterson

    Locale: Pacific Northwest

    Yep. Gatorade bottles work great for the Freedom/Red Cross. Snapple bottles are even better if you have narrow bottle holders on your pack. Don’t even need to hold the SteriPen – just place it and walk away if you want. Really slick setup.

    #3625733
    Sarah Kirkconnell
    BPL Member

    @sarbar

    Locale: Homesteading On An Island In The PNW

    I lost all love for SteriPen after the first one died in a few months, and the second one caught on fire on its second use…in the backcounty.

    Never again.

    #3625741
    jscott
    BPL Member

    @book

    Locale: Northern California

    My Steripen with batteries was trouble free and a breeze to use over five or six seasons. I was happy to put pump filters behind me. Like David I hike where water if plentiful, so it’s simply a matter of stopping and filling my water bottle, sterilizing and drinking and moving on without having to carry water. I carry the Steripen with lunch in a 2 ounce belly pack so it’s easily accessible.

    #3625759
    dirtbag
    BPL Member

    @dirtbaghiker

    I lost all love for SteriPen after the first one died in a few months, and the second one caught on fire on its second use…in the backcounty.

    Never again.

    Ummmmm.. Second one caught fire .. In backcountry??? Ohhhh my Goodness.. What the heck????

    #3625794
    Cameron M
    BPL Member

    @cameronm-aka-backstroke

    Locale: Los Angeles

    I use the Steripen with my all-purpose 550ml pot, so no need for a dedicated sterilizing container. I have tried other water methods and the BeFree is good, but the Steripen experience is superior because I don’t get my hands as wet and as cold. I think the choice of which Steripen is a zero-sum game; it is very hard to sort out the exact relative weight penalties of each model because trips vary in length, and you can’t really go wrong with any model. I prefer the Ultralight model because it is the smallest and the lightest, giving the most flexibility for different situations.

    #3625818
    Ken Larson
    BPL Member

    @kenlarson

    Locale: Western Michigan

    @dirtbag & Sarah….What Model Steripen did you have the FIRE issue with?

    Did you ever report it to KATADYN ……AND RECEIVE REPLACEMENTS?

    #3628813
    dirtbag
    BPL Member

    @dirtbaghiker

    True story:  I saw an Ultra for sale on Gear Swap.. Good price, so figured why not try it. I was going on a winter weekend trip and it came in the mail while I was away, so  naturally, I used my Adventurer for the weekend. Now, I always remove the batteries after each trip and put them back in before I go away. This time, when I was installing the batteries, I kind of had the cap on a s!ight angle and felt it sort of snap as I was screwing it closed. I tried to back the screw out but the cap was jammed. I needed this pen to work for my trip, so I just tightened the srew back down, tested the pen.. And it worked fine. Good.

    came home from my trip and the Ultra was on my counter!! Sweet.

    Unpacking all my gear.. Time to remove batteries from adventurer.. Damn back cap was jammed shut and would not come off.. So I used a small flat head screw driver to try and pry it off. It snapped off and broke into pieces!!

    after many years of reliable use.. My pen broke!!

    Weird how I was inquiring about the Ultra.. Decided to stick with my Adventurer.. Then saw an Ultra for sale at good price and decided to give it a shot.. And then adventurer broke on me..

    #3628828
    David Thomas
    BPL Member

    @davidinkenai

    Locale: North Woods. Far North.

    My first SteriPen, now called the Classic, used four AA alkaline batteries to purify 50 liters of water or four lithium batteries to purify 150 liters.

    I found it be dodgy with any alkaline batteries but brand new ones.  It worked fine with lithium batteries.  I also learned that it slowly drained the batteries while in storage, so I took to removing one of the batteries until I was actually hiking and then had better luck with it.  It sill works and I occasionally use it (like when my wife runs off to Antarctica with my smaller one).  The problem I had early on with the alkaline batteries might have solved/lessened had I known to remove one battery during storage.

    As Curt mentions, Gatorade and Snapple bottles allow the SteriPen to rest on the lip of the bottle, no-hands, while you swat a mosquito or whatever.  You should still stir the water a few times during the exposure time.

    #3720578
    Mike M
    BPL Member

    @mtwarden

    Locale: Montana

    I have an Adventurer and it’s worked pretty flawlessly for several years, but uses cr2 batteries and prefer AAA for my headlamps.  Decided to give the Ultralight a go as I typically carry a charger for my iPhone and my inReach.  Got to use it on a recent trip with my family.

    I fully charged it before leaving.  On day one I successfully treated 3 liters of water, no problems whatsoever.  On the morning of day two I treated one liter w/ no problem.  When I went to treat the second liter the light wouldn’t come on.  I dried the sensors a couple of times, but still wouldn’t light up.  I ended using Aquatabs the rest of the trip.

    When I got home I fully charged the unit again, it treated one liter of water w/o incident.  When I tried the second it flashed green lights and when completed it flashed green and red, indicating low batter after just two treatments.  I contacted Katadyne and they are sending me a new unit, but my confidence in this model is a little shaken.

    The new unit will be thoroughly tested at home before heading afield.

    #3720599
    dirtbag
    BPL Member

    @dirtbaghiker

    Well that sucks yes! I have been using the Ultra now on all of my trips, all 4 seasons. No issues or problems, thankfully. I hate hearing stories like that but do understand.. its reality and it can/does happen! I do carry Katadyn tablets for backup.

    #3720603
    Brad Rogers
    BPL Member

    @mocs123

    Locale: Southeast Tennessee

    Is the Freedom/Red Cross the same as the Ultralight?

    Im a Gatorade bottle user and might be willing to try a steripen again if the have one that easily works with them.

    I had an older model Steripen over a decade ago and had nothing but problems and have been using Aquamira for 15+ years but hate the wait and the taste.   I tried a Sawyer and didn’t like the bulk or flow rate.

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