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.