Monday, 19 August 2013

Camelbak All Clear UV system

I'm by no means an experienced back country water filter user, as some people my age have logged half a life's water out of streams and rivers by now.  I'm a new entrant trying to find something that enhances range in my cycling pursuits.  I've now drank 1.5L of treated water - half from a well clearly marked "non-potable" and half from a stream.  I haven't keeled over with stomach illness... good sign.

The Camelbak All Clear is doing a decent job.  Here's what I can say so far:
- it is sold with a plastic clear bottle that is fine for backpack/travel use, but doesn't fit bicycle water bottle cages.  I suspect that Kleen Kanteen cages fit the bigger bottle for what it's worth, not sure that's the best solution, but they measure exactly the same as the Camelbak bottle.
- the packaging says only use that bottle, however in addition to being the "wrong size" for my use, it comes with two tops - the UV light and one that's a screw top and no valve or straw like some other camel back offerings.
- the battery seems to last a long long time, 80 cycles is sufficient to be practical between charges.
- the 60 second cycles are easy and unobtrusive to perform, I fill up either one or two bottles at a time on rides with natural water source as extension.

I've found that the threads of their caps fit Camelbak branded water bottles, so I've used those on cycling trips, instead of trying to find a cage that holds the larger bottle.  To me this is a win.  I can't see how this would detract from the effectiveness of scrambling the DNA of organisms, and I haven't gotten sick yet.  If someone has input on this, let me know.

You have to take some care to not get water from threads into drinking area.  This isn't very difficult.  I carry the UV cap in my jersey pocket with a little bottle of drink mix or fizzy type electrolyte tablets.  My two bottles can go all day therefore in the Rockies where clear drinking water at surface is easy to come by.

The case the UV cap comes in is a nice little neoprene case.  I put it in my back pocket so it doesn't vibrate all day and potentially sustain damage if it were in a case on the bike.

10,000 uses isn't a limiter.  I don't feel judicious about offering others bottles of water.  Perhaps if I carry this thing in pocket, someone else can have an extra tube in one of their pockets for me.  This probably isn't ideal if a group ride of 10 is relying on it, but for a couple buddies it makes sense.

This will accompany me to Mongolia and Nepal next spring.  It strikes me as ideal for casual or campsite travel as well, such as hotels/cities with clear water taps but perhaps you want to zap it before drinking (Mexico?).

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