$99.95 | FitsAll Filter | $14.95
| five stars
PERHAPS THE MOST ODIOUS CHORE at basecamp is purifying water. You gather the bottles and pots and spend what seems like hours squatting by a stream laboriously forcing a lever up and down while a thin trickle emerges from the business end of the filter like the feeble zenith of an 80-year-old man’s urine stream. After a long day climbing a mountain or rock, I’d (almost) rather risk giardia than try to pump a gallon of water.
Those days are over, my friend. For a hundred bucks you can pick up the SteriPEN Journey LCD, a lamp that emits UV light, the death ray for viruses, bacteria and protozoa. The LCD reveals battery status and number of uses, signals when the lamp is approaching its life limit, shows a countdown timer and confirms that the water is safe to drink. Best of all, the Journey is easy to use and fast. Simply turn it on, submerge the light stick, and stir. The Journey purifies a liter of water in 90 seconds.
In contrast to some other models, the Journey fits narrow-mouth bottles, allowing you to re-use bottles purchased in places like India, Nepal or South America.
One drawback is that the Journey is a purifier rather than a filter. Junk like dirt and algae remain in the water and can even block the death-light and allow gnarly critters to escape. That’s why I suggest shelling out the $15 for the FitsAll, a filter that cleans the water before zapping it.
I used the SteriPEN and Fits-All combo to treat my water on a recent trip to India and emerged from a two-week stint without once getting sick—almost unheard of in a country where an estimated 665 million people defecate in the open and where even bottled water is notoriously unreliable. World travelers, take note.
STERIPEN JOURNEY LCD
• Purifies a liter of water in 90 seconds.
• 8,000 doses of lamp life equates to purifying four liters of water every day for six years.
• Weight: 4.5 oz. with two CR123 batteries (included).
• Battery Life: 100 treatments.
• Length: 7.3”. Width: 1.6”. Depth: 1.3”.
• Made with flexible materials that allow the filter to be squeezed during storage and return to shape when unpacked.
• 40 x 40 nylon micron screen.
• Weight: 2.3 ounces.
• Dimensions: 3.5” x 3.7” x 2.8”