SteriPEN – Portable Water Purification

Sometimes we take for granted just how important it is to have clean water. Many of us have water treatment plants delivering a constant stream of drinkable water straight to our homes. There are times, though, we may need to use untreated water. That’s where SteriPEN comes in.

SteriPEN uses ultraviolet (UV) light to clean untreated water by killing bacteria, viruses, giardia, salmonella, parasites, and more. Does it work? Experts have found that it does and SteriPEN has even been given the seal of approval from the Water Quality Association (see You can use SteriPEN products when spending time outdoors, while traveling, and in emergency situations. Here’s a comparison of a product from each of those main categories:

steripen purify water uv ultraviolet light portable travel outdoor emergency

SteriPEN Freedom is a new item to join the SteriPEN family. It is smaller and lighter than other SteriPENs and is rechargable. A USB cable and AC adaptor are included but you can also connect to your computer or to a compatible solar charger. One full charge should be enough for up to 40 treatments.

There are no buttons. The SteriPEN Freedom automatically senses when the bulb has been immersed in water and begins working right away. All you need to do is stir the water around until the indicator light turns green, letting you know it’s safe to drink. This takes about 90 seconds There’s also an LED light (on the end where the mini USB port is) that can be used if you need some extra light. To activate that, you just hold the Freedom and twist your wrist back and forth. Do the same to turn it off. This feature is just too cool! A case is included and has a mesh pocket on the back to put the USB cable in.

steripen purify water uv ultraviolet light portable travel outdoor emergency

As you can tell by the name, SteriPEN Adventurer Opti was specifically designed for those spending a lot of time in the great outdoors. This battery-powered item is extremely portable and can be used while hiking, camping, or doing anything else that might require using river, stream, creek, or lake water. It feels more sturdy and durable than the Freedom. With the push of a button, you can purify up to 1 liter of water. Once turned on, you only need to stir the water until the light turns green.

This item uses two CR123 batteries (included) so there’s no need for an external power source. Adventurer Opti is also available for purchase with a Solar Charging Case that uses rechargeable batteries. There’s also an LED light on this SteriPEN but, since it’s on the same side as the UV bulb, the light is amplified and focused by the clear case. That means it can actually be used as a backup flashlight. The Adventurer Opti a bit larger longer and heavier due to the batteries but is still less than 4 oz. The included case has a belt loop on the back so you can bring it wherever you go.

steripen purify water uv ultraviolet light portable travel outdoor emergency

You’ll want to include a SteriPEN Sidewinder in any emergency kit you have. This system comes with a hand crank to power the UV light. After filling the bottle, screw on the crank, flip it, turn the handle for about 90 seconds until the LED flashes green. The Sidewinder will also let you know if you are not cranking fast enough. You can pause for a few seconds at any given time to switch off arms or people as those 90 seconds can feel like forever. Even the mom and daughter featured in demo video look exhausted from turning the crank. Still, it’s great to know that you don’t need to rely on electricity or batteries in such a situation. A one-liter BPA-free bottle and SteriPEN Pre-Filter (used if there are ‘things’ in the water) are included.

SteriPEN purifiers range from $50 to $120. All the items I received were very good quality and VERY easy to use. While you can always boil water to clean it, the UV light gives that extra assurance of making sure water is clean and free of harmful contaminants. I also liked that the directions were printed on the items themselves for easy reference. These were only a few of the products SteriPEN makes so make sure to check their site for more product info, including how-to videos.

Now it’s your turn to win a SteriPEN Classic Safe Water System ($79.99 value) which includes SteriPEN Classic, a Water Bottle Pre-Filter, and Nalgene® BPA-Free wide-mouth water bottle.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

About TerriAnn van Gosliga

TerriAnn van Gosliga is the main writer at Cookies & Clogs and Driving Mamas. Born & raised in the SF Bay Area but loves to travel. She's been married to her best friend for almost 14 years, homeschools her 13-year-old daughter, and has an accident-prone lab mix dog.


  1. for traveling and emergencies

  2. joanne major says:

    i would use for emergencies and travel

  3. This would be great to have in case of an emergency when we go out hiking!

  4. This is something I’ve been wanting to place into my family earthquake 72 hour kit!

  5. I need it for travel and daily life. I travel to different classrooms at work and I carry my own water. I’d like to be sure its clean water.

  6. I’d like to have one for part of our emergency preparedness plan.

  7. Kimberly Schotz says:

    I think the Emergency one would be handy to have

  8. Cindy Merrill says:

    Would use this for travel, husband is going to Canada on business trips now, come home sick last time he went up there.

  9. The hand crank one would be perfect for Christmas stockings.

  10. What a great product. I would love to have one just in case anything we to happen and I need safe drinking water.

  11. With 4 kids I’d use this on the go.
    Thanks for the chance.

  12. Everyday use on the go!

  13. This would be great for emergencies and for hiking

  14. Thanks for the giveaway…would use it for travel / outdoors.

  15. What a practical giveaway! Ready to win.

  16. I’d like to have this for emergencies.

  17. Karen Medlin says:

    traveling on our Boy Scout campouts

  18. I would want it for emergencies

  19. the Emergency one

  20. I’d like to have this for an emergency

  21. Kristen m says:

    For outdoors, as we are avid hikers!

  22. I’d keep this around for our next earthquake. Thx for the giveaway!

  23. I would use it for emergencies.

  24. We could definitely use it for travel.

  25. Kimberly Murat says:

    I work for an airline and I travel… a lot. Once you have been to the tourist spots, you start to seek out the mos remote places in the world, where there is not always the best quality water. I think this system will be perfect for my trips off the beaten path!

  26. We do a lot of camping so this is nice.

  27. Mary Beth Elderton says:

    Certainly for emergencies! But also for hiking and biking trips.

  28. steve brown says:

    outdoors,, my son

  29. Judy Chapman says:

    emergency kit.

  30. Heather Hayes Panjon says:

    I Would Use It For Travel :)

  31. I would use it for travel :)

  32. michelle colon says:

    my husband thinks he is suvivor man this would be a great addition to his emergency backpack! He is also preparing for the zombie apocalypse!

  33. For travel

  34. renee walters says:

    I’d like to have one for our emergency preparedness kit.

  35. Valerie Taylor Mabrey says:


  36. Karen Gonyea says:

    Would LOVE this for travel :)

  37. I think this would be a great item to keep in our emergency kit!

  38. I would love this for my emergency kit and for camping!

  39. Richard Hicks says:

    would love this to keep for those emergencies. One just never knows !

    ardy22 at earthlink dot net

  40. for emergencies

  41. Jennifer C says:

    Camping and hiking

  42. While I am sure I would use it while camping, I think it would truly be worth it’s weight in gold during an emergency.

  43. colleen t says:

    i would use it for emergencies and while traveling

  44. Jennifer M. says:

    For travel and emergencies

  45. I need it for when I go on mission trips to Central America.

  46. My boyfriend is going backpacking and this would be really useful!

  47. this would be great when I go camping with the cub scouts and now the girl scouts also

  48. We would use this for camping and also to have for emergencies.

  49. This would be great in the earthquake survival kit

  50. joseph gersch jr says:

    i need it for hiking

  51. dani marie says:

    all of the above, though i am a huge fan of camping.

  52. Jill Miller says:

    I’d like this for emergencies

  53. Desiree Dunbar says:

    I’d love it for camping.

  54. Looks like a very portable solution for camping and traveling. Will give it a try wether I win or not.

  55. Melanie Montgomery says:

    Id use this for travel.

  56. Heather R says:

    I would use it for camping and for my emergency kit

  57. Marie Oetzel says:

    I would like it for my Zombie Kit……well it is my general emergency kit but that is what it is labeled as.

  58. jeanne conner says:

    We camp, so this would be great for us..

  59. I’d love it for camping.

  60. Brad Merrell says:

    I think it would be useful for all of those things.

  61. Chrissy Nestor says:

    For travel use.

    chrissylea1979 (at)gmail(dot) com

  62. Kate Rivers says:

    I’d use this for travel and hiking

  63. Vikki Billings says:

    I would carry it in my purse in case of an emergency.

  64. This would be so awesome for camping!

  65. christal c w says:

    I would like to have for hiking

  66. shelby brigham says:

    i need it for outdoors

  67. Mya Murphy says:


  68. Jennifer Peaslee says:

    We need it for both outdoors and travel

  69. Saver Sara says:

    I need it for travel

  70. TRAVEL

  71. susan smoaks says:

    i would like to have this on hand for emergencies

  72. Carole Ingram says:

    I would use it for Travel

  73. I would use while outdoors and for traveling!

    sandysaveseveryday AT gmail DOT com

  74. my camping and end of the world kit can’t go wrong with using it for both

  75. Jessica A says:

    Outdoors, our family does a lot of camping.

  76. I would use it while camping!

  77. shanta spradlin says:

    I would love to have this when we go camping and hiking

  78. Laurie Emerson says:

    I would have it in my purse for emergencies and also take it with us when we go camping and hiking.
    lauraemerson17 at yahoo dot com

  79. Juliann Newton says:

    I would add it into my family’s emergency preparedness supplies.

  80. heather c says:

    I’d gift it to my sister, who camps often.

  81. Buddy Garrett says:

    I need it for traveling.

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