It works like a bug zapper for water-borne bacteria, killing 99.99 percent of harmful critters, the company claims. The CamelBak All Clear microbiological UV water purification system uses an ultra-violet (UV) light bulb that’s said to last for more than 8,000 cycles — which the company equates to purifying three liters of water per day for 6.5 years.
The basic idea of this technology — UV light to kill bacteria — has been around for years, including in large-scale municipal water-purification facilities. In the outdoors industry, SteriPEN has several UV-based purification products.
What CamelBak offers is a convenient package. The contraption secures to a 1-liter (32-ounce) CamelBak Better Bottle. It will also fit most non-CamelBak bottles with a 63 millimeter opening. A small LCD screen on the cap shows when the purification is done. Press a button and light floods the suspect water for 80 seconds, zapping the microbiological life to purify the water. For adventure racers or backcountry-bound backpackers, this has awesome potential.
The All Clear uses two 3.0-volt lithium batteries that will last for about 80 purification cycles. An optional rechargeable battery pack, which costs $30, lasts for 40 uses between recharging, the company says.
Keep in mind, the All Clear can’t deal with big floating debris. You need to pre-filter out the large stuff. The All Clear, which comes with a protective cover, weighs 9.8 ounces with batteries (just 3.4 ounces more than a Better Bottle with the Classic Cap). The All Clear will be available in October for $100 without the rechargeable battery pack or $130 with it. www.camelbak.com