1. Travel
You can opt-out at any time. Please refer to our privacy policy for contact information.

SteriPEN “Freedom” Water Purification System

MSRP $119.95

About.com Rating 5 Star Rating


SteriPEN “Freedom” Water Purification System

The SteriPEn Freedom is a water purification system that uses UV light technology.

Image: © SteriPEN

The Bottom Line: This small, lightweight and durable water purification system is ideal for the backcountry camper, hiker, camper or traveller. It easily tucks in your pocket or backpack, and quickly and reliably treats unsafe water sources. With its use of ultraviolet light, the SteriPEN destroys bacteria that can cause serious illnesses.

With the Steri PEN, you will have the freedom to explore the great outdoors without the worry of finding a reliable water source. The Freedom is the newest and smallest portable water treatment system, and is proven to be effective, dependable and durable. It is quite simply, the best solution for water purification for outdoors enthusiasts. You can use it to purify water from lakes, streams, or even unreliable sources like campground water spigots.

Pros and Cons


  • Small, lightweight and durable.
  • Simple and easy to use.
  • No pumping necessary!
  • Proven effective and reliable.


  • The system needs to be charged, which means you need a source of power.
  • No filter. You will need to buy a filter accessory.

How the SteriPEN Water Purification System Works

The SteriPEN water purification system uses ultraviolet light to kill bacteria making water safe to drink. UV light destroys more than 99% of bacteria, viruses, and protozoan cysts such as giardia and cryptosporidia. It’s the same technology used by leading bottled water manufacturers, as well as major cities in the U.S., Europe and Asia to purify water.

UV purification works as the ultraviolet energy emitted by the light is absorbed by the cells of the microbe, preventing cell enzymes from 'reading' its DNA. Without intact DNA, microbes can’t reproduce to make you sick.

Purifying water with UV light does not alter the taste, pH, or other properties of the water, and works without the introduction of chemicals to the water. Though the system does not actually filter the water. If your water source has sediment or particles in the water, you may want to consider a filter accessory to remove unwanted particles from the water.

How to Use the SteriPEN Freedom: The SteriPEN Freedom is a simple water purification system. First, make sure your SteriPEN is fully charged. Computer, AC outlet, or portable solar chargers can charge the Freedom’s integrated battery.

Remove the lamp cover and immerse the UV lamp into your water, stirring the lamp in the water. A green light indicator lets you know when the water is safe to drink. The Freedom purifies one-half a liter in 48 seconds. Treating twice can purify a full liter bottle. The process is simple but effective.

From SteriPEN: The Water Quality Association (WQA) tested SteriPEN ultraviolet water purification system against the US EPA Microbiological Water Purifier Standard. SteriPEN has received the WQA’s Gold Seal, certifying that SteriPEN purifies water safely and effectively.

SteriPEN products are used world wide for safe treatment of water. The Water Quality Association’s Gold Seal Certification Program is dedicated to providing public health and safety services throughout the USA and globally, while maintaining expert service, superior reputation, and fair pricing. The Gold Seal Program offers certification of all products and chemicals that contact drinking water.

Specifications and Additional Comments

  • Dimensions: 13 cm x 3.5 cm x 2.2 cm (5.1 in. x 1.4 in. x 0.8 in.)
  • Weight: 2.6 oz. (74g)
  • Usage: Up to 40 treatments/charge
  • Treatment: 16 oz. (0.5 L) in 48 seconds; One liter volumes may be disinfected by treating twice.
  • Battery & UV Lamp Life: 8,000 16 oz. (0.5 L) treatments
  • USB cable, AC Adapter and neoprene case included.

Guide Review: I love how small and simple this purification system is! When I first used it I was unsure of how it worked and had a hard time believing that it was working. Without actually physically pumping water through a filter, I just wasn’t convinced it was working.

But, I’ve used it many times in unreliable backcountry water sources and have found the SteriPEN Freedom to be entirely reliable. The science behind the ultraviolet light technology is pretty convincing too. Because the system is so small, I am able to use it for backpacking as well as car camping, and I now travel with it too. It has become such a versatile piece of equipment that I never have had before with a purification system.

Favorite feature: Quick, simple and easy to use. And no more pumping!

Backpacking Gear, Tips and Information

Love backpacking and backcountry camping, or just looking for some information to get started? Here are a few additional resources:
  1. About.com
  2. Travel
  3. Camping
  4. Backpacking
  5. Backpacking Gear
  6. SteriPEN “Freedom” Water Purification System - Portable Water Treatment System

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.