How many times have we been out on the street in a foreign country, looking for water and mulling over the inflated prices of bottled water? Personally I won’t want to pay $3 for a bottle of water (rather have a soda, isotonic or juice with that price, right? Or beer.)
If we’re in a country with potable tap water, lucky us, but it’s not that often, especially in many developing nations. And sometimes we’ve just gone way too far off the beaten track into the bush for a trek or camp that doesn’t have a tap, duh! Viruses or bacterial infections are really the last thing you want to get while on the road.
So what have we always done? There’s good old iodine – ack! Boiling – sure, if we have a kettle. Filters don’t really do it for bacteria. Usually we’ll just turn to bottled water, even for those living in the city. And our trash adds up after that.
I got pretty excited when I found out about the new CamelBak ALL CLEAR bottle which has a UV Purifier in their bottle! It utilises UV technology to purify water, neutralising microbial contaminants in 60 seconds. There are many UV purifying pens in the market, but this one looked pretty good because it was so convenient and built into the water bottle!
So basically, you can charge up the cap of the bottle (that’s where the UV device is) via USB, which gives you enough power to zap 80 bottles of water. The UV filter works for up to 10,000 bottles of water, which can mean years of not having to buy water when you’re on the go or travelling.
Is it effective? Camelbak claims it is, and the reviews have been pretty good. I haven’t heard of anyone who has gotten water poisoning while using this device yet.
Here are some pros & cons to consider before putting your moolah down.
- Convenience: Since it’s built into your bottle, you don’t need to fumble with an additional UV pen while on the move. You don’t need a kettle or fire to boil water.
- Saves you money: No more buying filters, iodine tablets, bottled water
- Quick: in 60 seconds you can treat 500mls of water.
- Charges via a USB charger in 5 hours (wall socket) or 15 hours (solar) and the full charge lasts for 80 cycles
- Price: Off-putting, at US99 and up, it’s twice the price of a basic UV pen you can get off Amazon.
- Weight: The cap weighs 200 g (7 oz)
- Filter not included
- USB charge means that for those who do not have a solar charger or electricity, you could very well run out of power
Other issues with UV Treatment (in general):
- UV treatment does not change the taste of the water
- You need to filter your water first if it contains sediments
Where to buy:
US$99 at REI with free US shipping http://www.rei.com/product/830862/camelbak-all-clear-water-purifier-bottle
£74.99 at Evans Cycles with free worldwide shipping http://www.evanscycles.com/products/camelbak/all-clear-bottle-water-purification-system-750ml-ec045607