Do you know what sucks? Getting sick on vacation. It’s even worse when you get sick from something entirely preventable, like an upset stomach from drinking local water.
In the past, I’ve depended on bottled water to stay healthy and it (obviously) worked like a charm. But bottled water is expensive and most bottles end up in the garbage instead of being recycled. I’m not always environmentally conscious about travel, but I love the outdoors and would love to see our planet stay in good health beyond my lifetime.
Last year, I got a SteriPEN Traveler just in time for my Morocco trip. For those of you who don’t know what a SteriPEN is, it’s a small water-purifying device that uses ultraviolet light to destroy protozoa, bacteria, and viruses in your water. You can use it to purify water from the tap during your travels as an alternative to bottled water. I was a bit hesitant on whether or not it would work, but figured I’d try it out.
SteriPENs come in a few different models, but the SteriPEN Traveler is unsurprisingly the one I’d recommend for travelers. It’s compact, lightweight (3.6 ounces), and runs off AA batteries which are easily found throughout the world in case you run out of power.
To use the SteriPen, you simply press the button, insert the UV bulb into your glass or bottle of water and gently swirl the bulb around. You’ll have a half liter of potable water within 48 seconds or a full liter in just 90.
Even if you don’t care about the environment, the SteriPEN is a better option than bottled water. It offers maximum convenience. Forgot to buy bottled water to brush your teeth at night? No need to run out to the store in your pajamas. On a hike and don’t have access to a store for water? It’ll work on the running water in the stream.
At a price of about $45, it can pay for itself after just a few weeks of use. The SteriPEN claims a battery life of 100 treatments, and though I haven’t counted, I’d estimate I’m actually getting higher than that with my lithium AA batteries. The lamp life is estimated at 3,000 treatments! You won’t have to worry about it failing halfway through your trip.
You can swish the SteriPEN around in your drinking glass or use it in a water bottle. If you don’t already have a travel water bottle that you love, I’d highly recommend a Contigo Autoseal bottle because they truly do not leak regardless of how much you jostle them around upside-down in your backpack and are BPA-free. I recently added their Kangaroo water bottle to my collection, which is awesome because it has a built-in storage compartment for cash, credit cards, or keys (admittedly, it makes the bottle a little bulky).
There are plenty of other water treatment options, but I like my SteriPEN for its relatively affordable price, compactness, durability, speed of use, and versatility. Most of all, it’s incredibly effective. It’s been The Girl and Globe tested in Morocco, Nicaragua, and in the great outdoors of the USA. So far, no tummy issues! 🙂 I can’t wait to decide where I’ll be using it next!
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I paid full retail price for my SteriPEN and was not compensated for this review. However, if you choose to buy a SteriPEN (or anything else) through my Amazon store, I receive a small commission. Your financial support helps keep this blog running — thank you!
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