I am looking to buy a Steripen and am looking at the Katadyn Adventurer and the Katadyn Ultralight.  I am just noticed that there are no reviews of the Ultralight, I am guessing that is because it is new, it that the case?  Could you tell me if it a good product?  Thank you


@AJDiamond Thanks for reaching out!

While we have had many discussions here in the community around water filtration and purification, we have not had much in terms of UV light water purifiers. In fact, @Uncle_Bob and @happy_travels are the only users who have spoken about using a Steripen. Hopefully they can jump in here and lend some of their expertise. In the meantime, we encourage you to take a look at these two threads, which contain lots of good information about water filtration and purification and some specifics around using a Steripen:

Hopefully this helps, thanks!

At REI, we believe time outside is fundamental to a life well lived.

Well, I looked at the Steripen a few years ago and was frankly underwhelmed! As to the more recent ARC ultralight version, I like that it is USB rechargeable and smaller, HOWEVER, it is better suited for the city than the wilderness for one simple reason, it [still] only works with clear water.

The Steripen takes a similar (high-tech) approach to "solarizing", or "SODIS" (solar disinfection) of wild water (which is done by using a plastic P.E.T. water bottle placed in the sun. For billions of people around the world, it's been an effective life saver for years, the problem is you need sun and most of the day. Steripen treats a liter of CLEAR water in about 90 seconds.

Both methods can kill viruses, although, with solarizing, it is more effective even with 'cloudy' water. This is because solarizing works with TWO factors, UV-A light and heat. The reason is, the dirtier the water, the easier it is for the nasties to hide. Now, here in North America (and other first-world countries, wild water is pretty clean. The most you need to worry about is giardia and crypto', and unless you have an underlying condition, the effects are mild and easily treated. In third-world countries, it's a different matter entirely.

So... if you are vacationing abroad, buy it. But if you're just in a North American backcountry, just filter it! On that point, I'd recommend a CNOC water bag and a Sawyer filter (I like the Micro).

See also:  https://rei.com/conversations/backpacking/wilderness-safety-and-the-truth-about-wilderness-survival/...

(one guy TRIED to argue against my research... I set him straight!!!)


Be smart, be safe.


Don't bother with the cited thread.  None of it has to do with your request for info on the item you are considering.

Bean innovator!  Someone has to be first.  I'll bet the item is at least decent.  Katadyn products in general seem to be effective.

Me?  I still boil.....


Superusers do not speak on behalf of REI and may have received
one or more gifts or other benefits from the co-op.

As I stated in "... the cited thread... ", boiling is the 'gold standard' in wild water treatment. However since you're considering an electronic device, I can only presume you are leaning away from that. I'm all for "innovation", IF it makes sense to go that route (or if someone ELSE is offering to pay!)

The Steripen line is better than it was, and is good for what it is, but that's all. If it needs batteries, that's another issue, if it's rechargeable that's better, but still a drain on your power resource (battery bank). And in any case, "experience" or not, any Steripen STILL won't work [well] with anything but CLEAR water!!

Therefore, and to reiterate, unless you are going on vacation to a place where there may be something wrong with the hotel water, a Steripen is a perfect choice. But in the [North American] wilderness, you are STILL better off with a good filter.

Again, see the cited thread (to learn a thing or two about the subject) "Be smart, be safe"!


I have a steripen and about 7 other methods.  Haven't used it for about 4 years,


  • you need a wide mouth bottle and you have to repeat the process over and over, pouring the water into a bigger 'holding' bladder.
  • the batteries, eventually, they go down, or out.

I'm surprised anyone would say they still boiled water.  More fuel to carry.  And walking down the trail, hey I need more water, at the next stream I'm going to unload everything from my pack and set up my stove.  Or..I'm going to use fuel to boil 2-3 liters for today's walk, so that's 4-6 extra pounds I need to carry, which I can't drink until it cools off.

If I was that worried (and I do worry about it), I'd re start my using of Chlorine dioxide tablets and wait the full 4hrs.  Note: I read a study which said they are 99.9% effective after only 30 min.

REI Member Since 1979 YouTube.com/philreedshikes

One of the first things I do when I get to a campsite is set a fire and start boiling (while I do other things). Normally, to make a meal, but that doesn't necessarily mean a gas stove (I try to keep that for rain).

Some people don't even treat their water, no boiling either. I ALWAYS treat wild water (usually by filtering), my reason being that although North American backcountry water sources are fairly clean, you never know when you may find yourself in an emergency situation, and that's NEVER a good time to get diarrhea (and the resulting dehydration).