Picture yourself sitting next to a beaver pond. You’re thirsty. You’re far from any other water source. But you’re lucky. You have an empty bottle that you can fill with water. A dangerous proposition, right? Especially with all of the microbes known to infest such water. A smart hunter wouldn’t drink that water no matter how thirsty they were.

But what if they had a little ultraviolet device that claimed it could kill any and all bacteria and microbes in that water and make it safe to drink? Then they’d be fine, right?

That’s the question I kept asking myself as I sat next to a beaver pond a few weeks ago with a bottle full of water I just retrieved from it in one hand and the SteriPEN Adventurer Opti in the other.

This device is tiny. It fits snugly in your hand when you’re holding it. The company that makes it, Hydro-Photon, Inc., assured me when they sent it to me that it is capable of sterilizing clear water in a matter of seconds. An ultraviolet (UV) light comes on and it “disrupts the DNA of microbes,” which then prevent them from being able to reproduce or make you sick.

The purpose of this device is for people in the outdoors, or in another country, to be able to drink water that they normally wouldn’t be able to without getting some diarrhea, dysentery, influenza and other waterborne illnesses.

It’s easy to carry, runs on batteries and is way more practical than carrying hundreds upon hundreds of single-use water-purifying straws with you if you’re planning on being away from clean drinking water for any length of time.

I don’t make a habit of being in a situation where I need to purify water very often, but there were times it would have been nice to have the ability. Yet, I was uncertain as I sat there staring at my beaver pond water. I don’t have a lot of faith in technology to keep me safe. Sure, I use GPS and I have a cell phone, but the former has gotten me lost a time or two and the latter isn’t the most reliable instrument on the planet.

To think that a device could kill tiny little dangerous invisible creatures just by using light–well, that’s something straight out of a sci-fi movie to me. Yet, I’ve heard people swear by these things.

According to the instructions, a mere 48 seconds of SteriPEN Adventurer Opti light would purify a half liter of water and 90 full seconds would do the same to a liter.

With a sigh, and my fingers crossed, I followed the directions to the letter and chugged down about a half liter of water. I’m not going to tell you it tasted good. The SteriPen doesn’t squirt in any lemon flavoring or anything like that. I will tell you that I fully expected to be gripping my stomach within a matter of minutes as it cramped up at the introduction of some beaver fever.

I’m glad to report, however, that I never did. Nor did I get the runs. I felt fine without even a slight sweat breaking at all.

I’ve since tried the SteriPEN on two trout streams and a lake and I have to say all three tasted better than the beaver pond and I didn’t have any sign of adverse effects. It’s been a couple of weeks now and I’m still fine, so it’s not like there’s some microbe waiting inside me to catch me with my guard down.

In short, I turned from a skeptic into a believer, despite the fact that I really, really thought I’d end up paying the price for my decision to review this product.

The SteriPEN Adventurer Opti retails at about $100, depending on where you’re buying it at. While I’m not out hiking enough or camping in unknown areas enough to run out and buy a couple of them, I will tell you that I’ve added it to my travel gear. The batteries typically last for about 100 purification sessions and you can simply replace them or get some rechargeable batteries to keep yourself from wasting a few bucks each time you run out of juice.

The unit only weighs in at 3.6 ounces, which means carrying it around is no problem whatsoever. And, honestly, knowing that you’re never going to be in a situation where you will have to pull a Man Vs. Wild moment and drink your own urine? Well, it’s completely worth it to me. I really think that would be much, much worse than the taste of that beaver pond water.

You can check out the company website by going here, or you can go to REI and buy one, or pick it up at Amazon for the same $100 price tag.

No matter where you buy it, it’s worth the money after just a few trips, especially if you’re the type of person that keeps buying bottled water or finds yourself purchasing a lot of those purification straws.

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One Response to “SteriPEN Adventurer Opti May Seem Strange, but it’s a Quality Product”

  1. Sam says:

    You can get them at LL Bean. You can also just ask your local outdoors store about getting one. They’d still be able to get it to you at the $99 price tag for sure.