Steri-Pen users?

Any users of Steri-Pens care to comment on them? There are comments pro and con on REI’s website, but I wanted to hear from fellow boaters.


I hate “water duty”, that is, pumping a filter, after doing that for many years.

On my last big trip (around Newfoundland) I used the Steri-Pen Journey LCD and it worked very well – easy and fast, and I didn’t get sick. I carried chlorine dioxide tablets as a backup.

My first Steri-Pen only lasted a little over a year and the lamp failed to light, even though it had low hours on it. I replaced the unit. The main disadvantage of the “pen” is that you are relying on electronics that can fail at any time and need to carry batteries (the CR123 batteries for some models are fairly expensive).

Greg Stamer

Thanks Greg.
That about sums up my concerns/worries/backup philosophy. Hate pumping, love the idea of quick water.

My Godson carried one for six weeks during a kayaking pilgrimage to Uganda (stayed at the Fuzzy Lemon) and he suffered only one minor bout of unpleasantness. I figure that if a 17 year-old can use it to stay safe, I can as well.


gravity filter
if you hate pumping. I dont mind it. It makes the water taste better if you have to work for it. Except when youre really thirsty and tired. Ok, I hate it too.

Ryan L.

Jim, Ed uses one…Sierra Trading post usually has some real good deals on them…Rick (I think I’m paddling with him tomorrow at Pymo)

Have a great time!
Wish I could get away and boat with yunz guyz.


BTW: I now own THREE hammocks! (Hennessey, Clark and Warbonnet) Never go to ground unless the Man makes you unstrap your hammock from the trees!

Hmmm. I appear to have hijacked my own thread.

The steri pen does nothing to remove suspended particles or improve taste. That is why I don’t use it anymore.

turbid water
If I can’t find clear water I use the SteriPEN pre-filter. A friend uses coffee filters. This is necessary since turbid water may block the UV treatment and may not result in safe water. My understanding is that the water must be at least as clear as lemonade for the SteriPEN to work.

I have never had a problem with taste but if I was in an area with a lot of sediment in the water I would consider carrying my filter instead.

Greg Stamer