Who’s tried a Steripen?

Got ya. I’ll have to look into it.
Steri-Pen works okay on clear water (pristine mountain stream, NY hotel room tap water). The key thing to remember is that it only works properly on water that is relatively clear/transparent. If the water isn't pretty clear then the ultraviolet light may not reach all the water in the container and kill the bacteria and amoeba that may be present. It does NOTHING to remove sediment or fecal matter. If you are trying to sanitize sewage or ditch water, the water will still taste and smell like sewage or ditch water, and any fecal matter will still be there to flavor your food or instant coffee. I spent a year in the Congo in 2010-11. You need a FILTER (I used a Katadyn filter) to remove the particles (mechanical filtration through paper, ceramic, or micro-porous media) of whatever is present in the water (making it cloudy), and you need a CHARCOAL filter to absorb any unpleasant tastes, odors, or chemicals (think NJ canal water, or run-off from agricultural chemicals or insecticides) that may be present. Good filters will remove 99.99% of any viruses, cysts, particles of fecal or other mater, and the charcoal will make it all smell and taste like bottled spring water. Using the Steri-Pen on that final filtered water will kill the last 0.01% of the stuff that slipped past the filter like viruses and smaller stuff that may still be present in the filtered water. For a battery-free final solution, you can then use water disinfectant tablets that release Chlorine Dioxide to do the final disinfection of your water (Chlorine Dioxide takes 4 hours to do the job) without leaving any unpleasant taste or smell behind. Any time you suspect the water that you just filtered may have giardia, cryptosporidium, bacteria, or viruses in it, you SHOULD use some sort of disinfection in addition to the filtration and charcoal absorption. Just using the Steri-Pen on your CLEAR water will probably kill any remaining bacteria, but any smell or taste or particles will still be there . . . . . . . . . I hate coffee that tastes like ditch water and I don't want to see unidentified particles floating in my drinking water.
Not a fan of the steripen. Battery issues and trying to figure out the lights and what it means when it’s flashing versus not flashing versus solid. In very bright sunlight it is hard to tell if it is on. All I can say is make sure you keep the instructions w the unit because it really is kind of tricky. For most applications I prefer the Sawyer mini.
I have used the Steri-Pen for several years, I use Lithium batteries and have had no issues for multiple hunts. I carry it on Multiple day back country hunts as well as day outings. I can pack less water. I carry 2 Nalgenes. I can just fill by bottles when I find water and move on if on stalk. I do recommend the CapCap lid for the Nalgenes though. Keeps my mouth away from the contaminated lid after filling.
I have used it on an 8 day trip in Eastern Oregon’s Eagle Cap Wilderness area. I also used their pre filter and I used a zip lock bag to dip water out of the source before pouring it into the Nalgene bottle. Never dip the Nalgene bottle into the water source. Neither me or my hunting buddy got sick and my unit lasted the whole trip.

A baggie! Wish I thought of that!!
They are OK, but there are many ways they can go bad and you wouldnt know until it was too late.

I prefer a Sawyer Mini, or even a sawyer squeeze. No batteries to worry about, can be used in line with hydration packs, good for 100,000 and 1 million gallons, respectively, can be used as a gravity feed filter at a camp for high volume stuff, and they weigh 1.5-3oz.

Ive used and tested nearly every backpacking filter out there (been backpacking for 20+ years), and the Sawyer stuff always comes out on top.

The sawyer bags are great, too. Makes it quick, easy, and they weigh next to nothing.
To correct, folks, the Steripen actually uses ultraviolet light. That's the wavelength that causes burns and skin tanning. That will destroy bacteria. Infra-red is the wavelength of heat. Not the same at all. Just to be technical, I have not used one.
I’ve used them with mixed results. Work with UV I think.
Use them “as well as”, not as the only thing.
Use in conjunction with the Life Straw. Usually just use the life straw unless water is really suspect.
I've used one for about 8 years, I agree with everything said and would add that it's my go to device for international travel. The bugs of Montezuma's revenge in Belize, middle east or anywhere else don't stand a chance. I also use the Sawyer and Lifestraw for particle contamination in the boonies as well as the Steripen for protozoa / bacteria after that.
Andy and I each use the rechargeable Steripen for backpacking. Micro USB charging port which is compatible with my battery bank I take along to recharge my lightweight headlamps and my smart phone that i use for navigating and for a backup camera.

Take along pills as my backup.

Very satisified.
3 years with the steripen and no problems. Two Alaskan fishing trips and one hunting trip for multiple people with no issues, just replace batteries as needed. Also use it frequently in MT and ID hunting and backpacking. I keep waiting for it to finally give up and die but it hasn't yet. I've been impressed so far.
I had a Steripen and it broke the first trip out. I had fresh batteries and followed all directions. I did have a Sawyer Mini as a backup. That is what I use now. It last for up to 100,00 gallons is simple to back flush and I can gravity filter 4L of water while I do other things or hook it into a camel-bak system for drinking on the go. I realize my methods are filters only and not purifiers but I have never encountered a wild place in North America where the water needed purified, if I did I would just add some drops of bleach. In the boundary waters on canoe trips I frequently just dip my cup when in the middle of a lake away from shore and have never gotten sick. I have started carrying a lifestraw as they are cheap and very light weight and drink straight from my Kleen Kanteen. At $20 for a Sawyer Mini I can save a lot of money compared to a Steripen and it is small enough that on times when worried about it freezing I just keep in a baggie next to my body or in my sleeping bag.

I have used it on an 8 day trip in Eastern Oregon’s Eagle Cap Wilderness area. I also used their pre filter and I used a zip lock bag to dip water out of the source before pouring it into the Nalgene bottle. Never dip the Nalgene bottle into the water source. Neither me or my hunting buddy got sick and my unit lasted the whole trip.
A baggie! Wish I thought of that!!

I mix powdered milk and cereal in sandwich sized bags for each mornings breakfast when I am backpacking, oatmeal if it is cold. I always have baggies with me but I bring a couple quart and gallon sized bags for other miscellaneous reasons including dipping water.
I took one to Mexico hunting and didn't have any gastro issues with the water there.
I used one once while hunting in the north cascades with a couple of buddies. Nobody got sick but, we all felt unsure of its performance, I just didn't feel comfortable with it. We never used it again, preferring to use pump filters, I carry a Katadyn pro hiker on group multi day trips and a sawyer mini for everything else.
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