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The 5 Best UV Water Purifiers
Camping is more fun when you take some high-tech stuff along, including the best UV water purifier. I used to worry about the drinking water making me sick and staying hydrated while camping. Now, I simply take the best UV water purifier I can find. This way, I can always purify and filter some water to drink during camping, even from sources that may be contaminated. I can also take the best UV water purifier on trips to any foreign countries where the tap water may not be safe to drink or use it with friends who can’t use water purification tablets.
In This Article
Best Choice: SteriPen Portable Aqua UV Lamp Water Purifier
The SteriPen Portable Aqua UV Lamp Water Purifier is the best UV water purifier because it is one of the fastest UV water purifiers on the market. It can purify up to 793 gallons of water, plus the water can be stored in any type of container.
The SteriPen Portable Aqua UV Lamp Water Purifier is a portable UV water purifier, which runs on four AA batteries. Long-lasting lithium batteries are recommended for this product. It eliminates over 99.9% of bacteria, viruses, and protozoa. It treats water in as little as 48 seconds, making it one of the fastest UV water purifiers on the market today.
UV light at the correct intensity disrupts the DNA or RNA of these nasty contaminants so that they cannot replicate. This UV light treatment is extremely effective in sanitizing water. The recommendation for this device is to treat water in a one-half liter (16 ounces) or smaller container so the light can shine throughout the water properly. The water can be in any type of container made of glass, metal, or plastic and the purification will still work. This device can purify up to 3,000 liters (793 U.S. gallons) before the UV light source stops working. It fits in your palm and can be easily carried in a pocket, backpack, or purse.
- Small, lightweight, and portable, weighing only 5 ounces
- Treats water in as little as 48 seconds
- Eliminates 99.9% of bacteria
- Since it’s battery-operated, be sure to take spare batteries along and remove the batteries when not in use
Premium Pick: SteriPen Portable Adventurer Opti Water Purifier
The SteriPen Portable Adventurer Opti Water Purifier is the best UV water purifier because it can treat up to 2,113 gallons of water. It uses innovative technology to detect water and also includes a convenient low-power indicator.
The SteriPen Portable Adventurer Opti Water Purifier is a higher grade model of the SteriPen Aqua. With this better model, you get a neoprene carrying case with a belt loop to make it easy to take along on a trip. It also has a longer working life. The manufacturer gives this unit a three-year limited warranty.
Use this device to treat up to 8,000 liters (2,113 U.S. gallons). It does not change the taste, pH, or any of the properties of water, but it does kill 99.9% of harmful viruses, bacteria, and protozoa.
This is one of the best UV water purifiers because of its innovative technology. It has an optical eye sensor on the tip of the metal water probe. When it detects water, the UV light turns on automatically and turns off automatically when the treatment is finished. When out of the water, it doubles as an LED flashlight. It can be inserted into any container with a mouth opening of at least 1.75 inches wide. Water must be clear before treatment even for the best UV water purifier.
This water purifier comes with two highly efficient, long-lasting CR123 lithium batteries. There is a convenient low-power indicator, which lights up when the batteries are running low.
- One of the smallest UV water purifiers on the market
- Made to be portable, with dimensions of 6.1 by 1.3 by 0.9 inches
- Lightweight, weighing only 3.6 ounces with batteries
- CR123 lithium batteries used for this purifier are not rechargeable
Best Value: CrazyCap Portable Deep UV Light Water Filter Cap
The CrazyCap Portable Deep UV Light Water Filter Cap is the best UV water purifier because it includes rechargable batteries, which can last up to 7 days. It is easy to use and features two different settings for two different types of cleanings.
I love the CrazyCap Portable Deep UV Light Water Filter Cap. It is a twist-on cap and works with standard soda bottles and most water filter bottles. Nothing could be easier to use. I just put this on my bottle of water and tap twice for a quick one-minute clean, or tap it five times for a thorough two-minute clean, which kills 99.9% of all bacteria, mold, protozoa, and viruses in the water.
The CrazyCap provides over 500,000 treatments during its life cycle. That is the largest amount of the best UV water purifier devices included in this review. By my calculations, I am saving thousands of dollars by cleaning tap water to drink instead of buying bottled water.
An advantage of using the CrazyCap is it sanitizes both the cap and the bottle to stop the growth of microbes and eliminate any bad smells. This helps keep my water bottle perfectly clean inside without the need for any scrubbing. I love the zero maintenance.
- Fast and easy to use for decontamination
- Self-contained batteries in this device are rechargeable and can last up to seven days
- Can also be used to sterilize electronics to remove bacteria germs from hand-held devices and earbuds
- Does not fit on all water bottles
Runner Up: SteriPen Ultra USB Rechargeable UV Personal Water Purifier
The SteriPen Ultra USB Rechargeable UV Personal Water Purifier is the best UV water purifier because it is rechargable. It has an OLED screen to display the status of treatment and battery strength.
The main advantage of the SteriPen Ultra USB Rechargeable UV Personal Water Purifier is it is rechargeable. Unless you want to constantly buy batteries, you may want to consider the rechargeable choices of the best UV water purifier devices. This unit is designed to last for at least seven years. The lamp should provide at least 8,000 treatments before needing replacement.
The battery life allows the unit to treat up to 15,000 liters (3,963 U.S. gallons) of water. It can conduct up to 50 treatments on a single charge. It can be recharged 300 full cycles over its full battery life. The recharge port is USB, so it can be recharged by connecting to an outlet, a computer, or even a solar panel. This is a nice design feature in the category of the best UV water purifier devices.
It also features an OLED display, which shows the status of treatment and battery strength. When the treatment is successful, the display shows a smiley face. If the unit has trouble, such as a low battery or a lamp failure, it shows a sad face.
- Rechargeable and includes a charger
- Lightweight, weighing about 3.5 ounces
- Easy to operate with an intuitive display
- Light bulb defects and shipping damage to the light bulb may cause this unit to fail prematurely
Honorable Mention: SteriPen Adventurer Opti UV Personal Water Purifier
The SteriPen Adventurer Opti UV Personal Water Purifier is the best UV water purifier because it includes the same features as the older model at a lower price. It is easy to use and doubles as an LED flashlight.
The SteriPen Adventurer Opti UV Personal Water Purifier is the newest version of the SteriPen Adventure I reviewed above. While it has a slightly lower price than the previous version, it has the same nice features, such as a bonus neoprene carrying case with a belt loop.
Use this device to treat up to 8,000 liters (2,113 U.S. gallons). It has a one-button operation. A light blinks at the end to show the process has finished. It does not change the taste, pH, or any of the properties of water, but it does kill 99.9% of harmful viruses, bacteria, and protozoa. Just like the previous version, it has an optical eye sensor on the tip of the water probe. When it detects water, the UV light turns on automatically and turns off automatically when the treatment is finished. When out of the water, it doubles as an LED flashlight.
It can be inserted into any container with a mouth opening of at least 1.75 inches wide. Water must be filtered clear before treatment. An optional accessory (sold separately) is a water bottle pre-filter screening device used to filter dirty water. This water purifier comes with two CR123 lithium batteries.
- Includes the same features as the previous version but at a lower price
- Small and lightweight
- Including batteries, it weighs 3.6 ounces
- CR123 lithium batteries are not rechargeable
Features to Consider for the Best UV Water Purifier
Price, features, benefits, and precautions are always factors I consider when deciding the winner of my reviews. I will pay more for better quality; however, a lower price is always very appealing.
Consider the size of the purifier. Is it easy to carry? How long do batteries last and is it rechargeable? How many times can it be used? How much water can it clean?
The best UV water purifier will get high marks on these things and also be a good value for its price. You also want a reliable device to protect you from contaminants properly.
Benefits of Using UV Water Purifiers
Invisible nasty things can be hidden in a glass of water, so why risk drinking it? It is better to use the best UV water purifier to destroy anything harmful living in the water. In this way, you can avoid getting stomach aches, diarrhea, or vomiting, which accompanies intestinal problems caused by drinking contaminated water. More importantly, you can avoid getting deadly diseases, such as malaria, typhoid or other serious illnesses.
Have you ever looked at unpurified water under a microscope? It is chocked full of E. coli and a lot of other potentially harmful stuff, which is why most of us drink purified bottled water.
I am so used to using my UV water purifier. I take it everywhere with me and will not drink a glass of any kind of water without purifying it first. People sometimes give me a funny look in restaurants when I am treating water in my glass, but I don’t care. They can get sick if they want. I will be drinking purified water instead.
Precautions When Using UV Water Purifiers
Do not shine UV light from these devices directly into your eyes, as the UV light may damage the retina in your eyes. This is the same reason why you are warned never to stare directly at the sun. When UV purifiers are used in water, the water diffuses the light so it is not dangerous to look at. This is the safe and appropriate use of these purifiers. They are not toys and should be kept away from children.
Do not treat water containing ice cubes. The UV light is not able to penetrate the ice. These UV water purifiers do not work well with cloudy or muddy water either. The light must be able to shine through the water for it to be able to kill the bacteria and protozoa. Filter the water with a camping water filter, gravity water filter, or a water filter straw first if needed.
The best use for the best UV water purifiers is not necessarily for camping when water purification is challenging. For those camping needs, you may also want to have a larger camping water purifier. Ultimately, UV water purifiers come in handy in places where bottled drinking water is not readily available.
Of course, UV water purifiers clean germs in water but do not filter out particulates. Consider using a water filter pitcher in conjunction with a UV water purifier to ensure maximum cleanliness.
My top pick for the best UV water purifier is the SteriPen Portable Aqua UV Lamp Water Purifier because it is small, has the most value for the money and works quickly. To get a more sophisticated SteriPen model, the cost is about twice as much. Although the more-expensive purifiers from SteriPen are nice, my needs for this type of UV water purifier are infrequent. I can toss it into my purse along with a pack of four AA batteries, and I am good to go. I only put the batteries in it when I use it, which helps to make batteries last a lot longer. The best UV water purifier is one in an arsenal of tools to purify water available for campers, and it is a valuable tool to keep on hand.