It blew my mind the first time I heard that UV light could purify water. I was a skeptic until I tried the SteriPEN Freedom this summer. It changed my mind and it changed the way I view purification. SteriPEN did send me the Freedom to test and review.
SteriPEN Freedom Features
- Purifying Element: UV lamp
- Treatment Dosage: 0.5 L
- Total Treatable Volume: 0.5L at a time, 1L by treating twice
- Purification Time: 48 sec
- Dimensions: 13 x 3.5 x, 2.2 cm
- Battery Type: rechargeable
- Includes: USB cable, AC adapter & neoprene case
- Weight: 2.6 oz
- Manufacturer Warranty: 1 year
- Price: $119.95
SteriPEN Freedom Review
The SteriPEN Freedom is light, compact, rechargeable, and easy to use.
The Freedom really can’t be any easier to use. Fill up a container with water, insert the light of Freedom, and swirl around until the green indicator light turns on. It’s made to purify a half liter at a time. A built in timer keeps track of the 48 seconds it takes to treat so you don’t half to. You an purify a liter by treating it twice. You won’t be able to do more than a liter at a time though.
The UV light will kill 99.9% of bacteria and viruses, including giardia and crypto. One thing that was hard for me to get over is visually or tasting you don’t notice a difference. With a filter you an see what was caught in the filter. With drops or tablets you can taste the treatment. With UV light you don’t have any indication, visually or taste, that it’s been purified.
There aren’t any switches to worry about leaving on. The base of the UV lamp features two metal connectors. When inserted into water the water connects the circuit and the lamp powers on. The base of the unit includes LEDs to indicate progress or errors. When finished, just dry off the unit and replace the protective cover and you don’t have to worry about accidentally turning it on. The cover protects the bulb from breaking and an included neoprene sleeve protects the full unit.
The battery is a rechargeable lithium battery and uses a micro USB cable, which is great for charging versatility. Battery life is good. On a full chage you get up to 40 treatments. For most trips you’ll be more than covered. For longer trips you’ll need a way to recharge. That is one downfall of the rechageable battery. If it runs out while in the field and you don’t have a power source, you’re hosed.
Both the battery and lamp are rated for 8000 uses each. At which point both can be replaced by sending it in to Hydro Photon for repair.
At 2.6 ounces it’s extremely lightweight and makes it ideal for hiking, backpacking, and adventure travel.
A handy little feature is a built in LED flashlight. Just rotate the unit side to side to turn it on and off. It is bright enough for task work while purifying, which is nice if you forget your headlamp. Keep in mind though that light use will reduce the number of treatments you can get from a charge.
A few notes of caution:
1. The Freedom (or any SteriPEN product for that matter) works best in clean and clear water. Debris in the water reduces purifying effectiveness and could keep it from being fully purified. Turbid water must be filtered. On that note, SteriPEN does make a small prefilter which is handy (though I didn’t test it out).
2. I always used a Nalgene. Anything more narrow than this will be challenging to keep the unit submerged and good swirl action going. The swirling is what ensures all the water is purified.
3. Water trapped in the lid or on the threads won’t be purified. Take care to full wipe and dry these areas or use another container to fill the bottle or purify in your cook pot.
Overall the Freedom was awesome to use.
- Easy to use
- Good feature set
- No sensory indication that water is purified (such as taste or seeing filtered debris)
- Extra caution must be used to clean lid threads so water doesn’t become contaminated after treatment
- Rechargeablity is great but if the battery dies in the field and you don’t have backup power, your hosed
The SteriPEN Freedom is awesome. It is now my go to water treatment method for backpacking, camping, and hiking. Definitely worth the money.
Buy Now: Pick up the SteriPEN Freedom