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27112IR - SteriPen Adventurer - Mike Lipay

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  • Mike
    Dec 9, 2006
    • 0 Attachment
      Enclosed is my Initial Report for the Hydro-Photo SteriPEN
      Adventurer, the html version can be found at:



      Mike Lipay


      SteriPEN Adventurer and Solar Battery Charger
      by Hydro-Photon

      Review by Mike Lipay

      Personal Information
      Name Mike Lipay
      Age 51
      Gender Male
      Height 5 ft 8 in / 173 cm
      Weight 185 lbs / 83.9 kg
      Email hiking AT westernpa DOT us
      Location Plum, Pennsylvania
      Background: I've been hiking and backpacking since the '60s. I enjoy
      hiking solo, with my kids, or with one of the two hiking groups to
      which I belong. I have taught LNT skills, wilderness survival, and
      outdoor first-aid. I am no ultra-light backpacker (my pack typically
      weighs 29-40 lb (13-18 kg) loaded), although I am always looking for
      ways to cut down on the weight. I'm a low-techie, preferring a hiking
      staff to trekking poles, compass to GPS, fire to fuel; but I am open
      to new products when there is a distinct advantage over more
      traditional "technology".
      Back to Top

      Product Description
      Model SteriPEN Adventurer
      Manufacturer Hydro-Photon, Inc.
      Year of Mfg 2006
      Website www.SteriPen.com
      MSRP N/A

      Mfg. Specs
      Weight: 3.9 oz 110.0 g
      Length: N/A
      Width: N/A
      Thickness: N/A

      Personal measurements
      Weight: 3.5 oz 100.0 g
      Length: 6 3/32 in 15.5 cm
      Width: 1 5/8 in 4.1 cm
      Thickness: 15/16 in 2.3 cm

      Warranty One-year warranty against manufacturer defects.

      Model SteriPEN Solar Charger
      Year of Mfg 2006
      MSRP N/A

      Mfg. Specs
      Weight: 6.9 oz 194.0 g
      Length: 7 in 17.8 cm
      Width: 3 5/8 in 9.2 cm
      Thickness: 1 5/8 in 4.1 cm

      Personal measurements
      Weight: 6.7 oz 190.0 g
      Length: 7 1/16 in 18.0 cm
      Width: 3 11/16 in 9.4 cm
      Thickness: 1 5/16 in 3.4 cm

      Warranty No warranty information was provided.

      Initial Report

      The SteriPEN Adventurer wad delivered by Federal Express on December
      2, 2006. After opening the box (somewhat oversized but securely
      packed), and examining the contents, I determined that everything
      arrived in good condition.

      I was disappointed with the warranty Hydro-Photon chose to offer on
      the Adventurer model (See Product Description). Other models in the
      SteriPEN line come with a lifetime limited warranty.

      With regards to the Solar Charger, no warranty information is offered
      in the literature. Instead, I was referred to the SteriPEN website,
      once on their website I noticed that only the classic SteriPEN
      warranty information was provided.

      I found the instructions for both the SteriPEN Adventurer and the
      Solar Charger easy to follow, and the many illustrations helped in
      identifying the location of different items (switches, lights, etc.).
      Using the step-by-step instructions, I was able to do an initial test
      of the Adventurer within a few minutes (the batteries came with a
      partial charge).

      The instructions are provided in English, German, Spanish, and
      French, in a folded pamphlet. I found the manual for the charger to
      be an easy-to-handle size (12 x 18 in; 30.5 x 45.7 cm), but the
      larger manual for the Adventurer was difficult to handle (15 x 27-1/2
      in; 38.1 x 69.8 cm). A booklet format would be easier.

      I visited the website mainly because the instructions for the charger
      indicated that the warranty information was available there. I was
      disappointed that the website was not only missing the warranty
      information, but has no information at all on the Adventurer model of
      the SteriPEN. I would hope that this will be corrected in the near
      future, especially since there are a number of differences between
      the Adventurer model I am testing, and the classic model which is
      shown on the website.

      First Impressions
      I was impressed by the small size and weight of the Adventurer, until
      now I have been using Hydro-Photon's original SteriPEN, which weighs
      in at 7.7 oz (218 g) - nearly twice as much! The Adventurer also
      comes in at an 1-1/8 in (2.9 cm) shorter, and half the thickness -- a
      definite improvement! Of course, the original has a longer operating
      life between charges, but with 4-AA batteries vs. two CR-123
      batteries, that is no surprise. Even so, the Adventurer claims to
      sterilize up to 50-liters (50 quarts) on a single charge, more than
      enough for even my 5-day treks.

      One observation that I did make right off is the shape of the base on
      Adventurer. The SteriPEN needs a pre-filter to keep sediment from
      entering the drinking bottle, Hydro-Photon makes such a pre-filter
      which neatly fits the SteriPEN Classic, unfortunately the
      Adventurer's shape does not fit the pre-filter. To my thinking this
      is a poor oversight, the pre-filter makes using the SteriPEN easier
      with wide-mouth drinking bottles.
      Setup and Usage

      The SteriPEN Adventurer was already assembled when it arrived, and
      the batteries had an initial charge. Even so, I removed the
      batteries, placed them in the Solar Charger (which doubles as a in-
      the-wall charger), and charged the batteries to full.

      There are two options when sterilizing: 1/2 qt (500 ml) or 1 qt (1
      L), I selected the second as my bottle was 22 oz (650 ml). The
      instructions say to press the switch once then, when the green light
      comes on, insert the Adventurer into the water and swirl. At this
      point the UV tube lights up (this is an indicator that everything is
      working, the sterilization process uses invisible UV light), the
      instructions then say to swirl the Adventurer until the light goes
      out, this took a little less than 90 seconds.

      The SteriPEN Adventurer fits nicely into the Solar Charger for
      transport and easy recharging of the batteries, it also has space for
      two addition CR-123 batteries, which can be recharged while the two
      in the Adventurer are being used. To use the charger requires opening
      the cover and pointing it towards the sun.

      I have two concerns regarding the SteriPEN Adventurer as shipped.
      First, it comes with two rechargeable CR-123 batteries, but no method
      of recharging them. Looking in local stores, I cannot find any
      chargers capable of handling CR-123 batteries. The only way to
      recharge the batteries is to purchase the optional Solar Charger; the
      Solar Charger comes with two more CR-123 batteries, along with a wall-
      plug converter to recharge the batteries inside the Solar Charger.

      Secondly, the lid on the Solar Charger needs to be tilted towards the
      sun, I had a difficult time getting the lid to stay open in a tilted
      position, there is not enough friction in the hinges to keep the lid
      open in all but a few angles.

      The Solar Charger comes with a pouch for carrying the Adventurer and
      Solar Charger on a backpack. The loops on the rear of the pouch are
      to attach the pouch to a backpack so that the batteries can be
      recharged while hiking. I'm curious as to how I will use the loops to
      make the attachment, there are no instructions on how to accomplish

      Test Plan
      My plan for using the SteriPEN Adventurer is to take it with me on
      day hikes and overnight trips in the Alleghenies; my area of travel
      ranges from the lower Alleghenies (SW Pennsylvania, aka the Laurel
      Highlands) into the Allegheny National Forest (Northern
      Pennsylvania). The area is mountainous, with numerous streams and
      rivers flowing through. Typically, because of the abundant wildlife,
      no free-running water here is considered safe to drink.

      Temperatures during the field test period (mid-December through mid-
      February, winter in the Alleghenies) usually fall within the range of
      19 - 43°F (-7 - 6°C), which should put a strain on battery life.
      Hydro-Photon recommends carrying the SteriPEN in an inner pocket to
      keep the batteries warm, and I will follow these recommendations.

      Testing a water treatment system is difficult, since the only two
      methods of accurately determining effectiveness are laboratory tests
      and field tests. The problem with the later is that I can only be
      sure if the sterilization fails, a situation I hope not to encounter
      over the next few months.

      This concludes my Initial Report. The Field Report will be amended to
      this report in approximately two months from the date of this report.
      Please check back then for further information.

      I would like to take this opportunity to thank both Hydro-Photon and
      BackpackGearTest for the chance to test the SteriPEN Adventurer.
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