Not long ago, I was given a SteriPEN Ultra by a friend of mine. It’s fabulous for traveling, and I find that I use it every day if there is no reliable purified water available. I avoid bottled water for many reasons.
Unless you are really determined to drink only bottled mineral water in India, you really need a water purifier. Actually, I recommend carrying one anyway, as bottled water isn’t always reliable. I found that out the hard way. Even if it’s sealed, there are some brands that just aren’t up to standard, and can even be highly contaminated. I always use purified water even for brushing my teeth. It’s just not worth the risk. I got deathly ill from bad bottled water one time, so now I’m really careful about it.
The Steripen kills virtually all microorganisms in the water, which is generally the primary consideration for traveling in India. It’s small, light, sturdy and easy to use. Easy to use is really important. There are many purifiers that are such a nuisance that fatigue or the need to hurry can get in the way of using them every time. The best purifier is the one you actually use.
This isn’t the first SteriPEN I’ve owned, but it’s definitely the best of the various models I’ve tried. It can be difficult to get good batteries in small towns and villages, so the battery-operated ones can be a bit iffy. And it’s expensive to keep replacing batteries, so those are not recommended.
I like that you can charge the SteriPEN Ultra via USB, but there is also a wall adapter, or you can plug it into a USB-compatible solar charger. Since I almost always have my laptop with me, I can simply plug it in while I’m working.
The Steripen is a hi-tech item and it can fail after some time, or if you drop it or something. However, when my first the SteriPEN died after several months of constant use, I called the company and they immediately couriered me a new one to Ladakh without even waiting to receive the old one. Now that is great customer service!
There are several models. The Steripen Freedom, which is even smaller and lighter, looks great. I don’t recommend the one that uses CR123 batteries if you are going anywhere off the beaten track, as it is hard to get good ones in India. The company has a hand comparison chart, so it’s easy to see which model would be most useful for you.