From giardia to cholera to Montezuma's Revenge, the diseases you can get from drinking dirty water can be dangerous to your health. And if you're hiking, it doesn't matter how clear and delicious the water in that mountain stream looks – chances are, you can't trust it. How about that tap water in a Cambodian hostel (or a St. Petersburg hotel, for that matter)? Don't even think about it. Even brushing your teeth with bad water can render you bedridden for days.
But thanks to ultraviolet technology, which harnesses the same light that can make you sick with sunburn, state-of-the-art water bottles can simply be dipped into that mountain stream, then exposed to light with the simple flip of a switch, and finally shaken for 60 seconds. The result? You now have a bottle full of clean, drinkable water. It sounds like science fiction, but that's exactly what the CamelBak All Clear water bottle does, and it can do it with up to 80 bottles full of water (or 16 gallons on a single charge).
According to the site, the CamelBak All Clear water bottle uses proven ultraviolet technology to "neutralize microbiological contaminants to EPA standards" in 60 seconds. The impact- and weather-resistant cap has an LCD screen that verifies success and insulates the UV bulb for consistent effective purification.
The UV equipped lid fits on most CamelBak water bottles and can be easily interchanged for your favorite lid for drinking. It's an excellent solution that frees you from buying plastic water bottles or using inefficient pumps.
On a recent hike, we filled the All Clear up with water from a mountain stream, turned on the light, swished it around for 60 seconds – not even enough time for the water to get warm – and then gulped down the icy cold delicious water. Who knows if the stream's water was okay to begin with or not? And who cares? Besides not getting sick, the best thing about the All Clear is not worrying about getting sick. [$99; camelbak.com]