I reviewed this innovative Camelbak All Clear bottle in detail over at Practical Travel Gear, but it speaks to such a strong travelers need that I’m mentioning it here as well.
Anybody who has read this blog for a while knows that I put bottled water in single-use plastic somewhere on the evil scale between Darth Vader, Dick Cheney, and Bashar Al-Assad. The manufactured demand for these drink-and-toss bottles of water has led to giant floating garbage dumps in the oceans and the soiling of almost any landscape where people leave the bottles in their wake. Almost nowhere in the world does a majority of them get recycled. Most end up on or in the ground, where they’ll stay for centuries. (The Grand Canyon finally banned them this year, but not without encountering massive pressure from Coca-Cola that led to delays.)
So I’m hoping this Camelbak All Clear bottle is a success. You fill it with ordinary tap water, turn it on, shake it around for about a minute, and drink. That’s it!
In places you couldn’t drink the water before, now you can. So far I’ve only used it in Mexico, but it worked like a dream there: I didn’t buy any bottled water for nine days and drank with this from six different taps. No digestive problems at all.
Sure, this magical technology is going to cost you. The All Clear retails for about $100. But have you ever tracked how much you’ve spent on water over the course of a few weeks or a month on the road? Chances are, that’s about how long it would take to pay for itself. Everything after that is gravy, plus you’ve kept 100+ bottles out of the landfills or streams. It charges by USB, quite handy, and there’s a carrying pouch for the purifier part. (You can put any Camelbak top on it when you’re actually drinking from it.)
You can get the CamelBak All Clear Water Purifier Bottle at REI.com.
If you want something that takes up less room and can be used with any wide-mouth bottle you have already, check out this review of the SteriPen Freedom wand.