Outdoors Magazine

Gear Box: SteriPEN Sidwinder Water Purification System

Posted on the 28 April 2011 by Kungfujedi @Kungfujedi
Gear Box: SteriPEN Sidwinder Water Purification System
In the spring of 2010 I traveled to Nepal and made the trek to Everest Base Camp. A trip like that one requires plenty of gear, including a good pair of boots, a comfortable pack, and plenty of clothing to keep you warm at altitude. But one of the pieces of gear that I found to be the most invaluable was my SteriPEN Journey water purifier. The little electronic device allowed me to drink the local water without fear, which is both more cost effective and environmentally sound.
For those not familiar with SteriPEN's products, they use ultraviolet light to kill off 99.9% of all the harmful bacteria that can live in drinking water. In the case of the Journey, you simply stick the little wand inside your water bottle and stir for a couple of minutes. After the process is complete, you're good to go. The Journey was so effective that I never once had issues from drinking the water, despite the fact that many in my trekking group suffered ill effects.
Since that time, SteriPEN has released a new product called the Sidewinder, which does away with the battery operated light in the Journey in favor of a new system that uses a hand crank to power the light. The system includes a 32 oz water bottle (BPA free of course!), which you fill up with water and then attach to the Sidewinder. After flipping the device over, you are free to start turning the crank.
SteriPEN has made it nearly impossible to screw up the purification process. If you are turning the crank too slowly, a pair of red LED lights turn on to let you know you need to go fast. The instructions say you need to turn the crank at about two revolutions per second, and turning it faster does not speed up the time it takes to complete the process. It takes about 90 seconds to finish, and when you do, the LED lights turn green to indicate the water is now safe to drink.
That's really all there is to it, and much like the Journey, the Sidewinder does an excellent job of getting you water free from all the potentially harmful stuff inside. But just for a bit of added security, SteriPEN included a filter in the box. That filter attaches to the water bottle and further helps to clean the water for drinking. It is a nice added touch and shows the company's commitment to keeping us healthy while traveling.
The Sidewinder has a few decided advantages over the Journey that I used last year. For starters, it doesn't require batteries, which can be difficult to obtain in the backcountry or a foreign land should you run out of juice. It is also super-easy to use, although it does take some practice to get the cranking perfected, and it can be tiring. Consider the Sidewinder a way of working your biceps while on a camping trip though, and you'll be fine.
On the other hand, the Sidewinder is a bit large and bulky, and I can't imagine taking it with me to Nepal, or most other countries for that matter. It is better suited for car camping or for when you're staying in a base camp for some time and won't be lugging it about. Don't get me wrong, the device isn't all that heavy, just a bit on the large side and awkwardly shaped.
Still, the addition of the Sidewinder to the SteriPEN product line definitely fills a niche. The fact that it doesn't require batteries at all will be a big bonus for some, and it works as advertised, purifying your water as needed.  (MSRP: $99.95)
(Both the Sidewinder and the Journey are available from TravelCountry.com)

You Might Also Like :

Back to Featured Articles on Logo Paperblog

These articles might interest you :

  • Saving Money on Boat Gear

    Really want to save on boating equipment costs this year? Most boat owners get lots of sales flyers and emails in the spring promising big discounts, free... Read more

    By  Sailingguide
    OUTDOORS, SEA
  • Gear Box: Keen Alamosa WP Hiking Shoes

    Gear Box: Keen Alamosa Hiking Shoes

    Spring is clearly in the air. The weather is warming up, the last of the winter snow is melting away, and our winter gear is going back into the closet so we ca... Read more

    By  Kungfujedi
    OUTDOORS
  • Gear Box: Satmap Active 10 Trek GPS

    Gear Box: Satmap Active Trek

    GPS devices are a dime a dozen these days. It use to be fairly easy to go into your favorite gear shop and plunk down your hard earned money, and walk out with ... Read more

    By  Kungfujedi
    OUTDOORS
  • Gear Box: Solite 150 Headlamp

    Gear Box: Solite Headlamp

    Back in January, when the Winter Outdoor Retailer show was taking place, there was a lot of buzz about a new headlamp from a company called Light Motion. The... Read more

    By  Kungfujedi
    OUTDOORS
  • Himalaya 2011: Missing Gear On Kangchenjunga

    Himalaya 2011: Missing Gear Kangchenjunga

    While much of the news out of the Himalaya the past few days has been centered around Everest, which is typical for this time of the year, climbers on other... Read more

    By  Kungfujedi
    OUTDOORS, SNOW
  • Gear Box: Core Lite Survival Tool From Adventure Medical Kits

    Gear Box: Core Lite Survival Tool From Adventure Medical Kits

    Adventure Medical Kits has a great reputation for producing a wide variety of excellent first aid kits for just about any outdoor activity. Read more

    By  Kungfujedi
    OUTDOORS
  • One Gear, No Idea

    Chris Akrigg took on a Fixed Gear Bike, failed at first, then won - big time! Check out the following video. Surely he'd been riding fixies longer than the vide... Read more

    By  Exceedpossibility
    OUTDOORS

Magazine