Camelbak All Clear Water Purifier ~ WanderGear Wednesday
There are definitely times when a chilled bottle of water purchased from the local grocery store is the only thing that’s going to keep you hydrated and cool during your travels. But before you reach for one, consider the fact that every bottle purchased is another piece of garbage going into a landfill or, if you’re lucky, being recycled.
Many countries, particularly developing ones that have other things to worry about (like actually feeding its people), don’t have recycling programs in place. And while it’s at these destinations that I’m most concerned, I do try to cut back on my purchased water where ever my travels take me. Therefore, I’ve gotten used to drinking tap water and purifying it when I have to – which means many countries outside the US. (Confession – when it’s simply too hot and I don’t have access to ice cubes, I will break down and buy cold bottled water.)
As you all likely know, I’m already a big fan of SteriPEN, but here’s another option that you should be aware of.
CamelBak’s All Clear is a water bottle and purification system all in one and purifies water in 60 seconds using UV light. All you need to do is fill the bottle with tap or stream water, replace the cap, press a button and it will purify the water as you gently shake the bottle. The digital timer on top lets you know how much longer you have.
The bottle comes with a second cap (a regular lid), that is lighter, making it easier to carry around and drink from. The unit also comes with a USB power adaptor so it can be powered up on your laptop or with a USB power plug at an electrical outlet.
One charge is good for approximately 16 gallons of water (according to CamelBak).
What I love:
- The fact that it’s helping curb the number of plastic bottles in dumps or on hiking trails
- The integrated bottle and purifying cap means you’ve got your bottle already with you
- Unlike the SteriPEN, It seems to work with any amount of water in the bottle so even if you have a cup or 2, you don’t have to worry about the amount. (With the SteriPEN, you need a certain amount because the water needs to reach the sensors in order to work.)
Not so much:
- The lid that purifies the water is a bit on the heavy side and is also a bit bulky and awkward to pack.
- I’d be very concerned about leaving the bottle behind on a bus or in a hotel room and then not being able to use the water purifier throughout the rest of my travels.
- There are a number of moving parts on this unit (bottle, purifying cap, regular cap, USB connector, carrying bag for purifying cap), which means the potential for losing something is greater.
If you’re looking for a way to have a water bottle and water purification all in one – this is a good option. Like the SteriPEN, this kills 99.9% of bacteria and viruses in water so you are just as safe with this unit when drinking nasty tap water. (Hint – I always carry packets of Emergen-C when I travel and use these to mask bad-tasting water.)