The Camelbak All Clear Purifying Bottle uses UV light to filter water. This is hands-down one of the best water filters for bike touring in extreme locales.
I’m a total baby when it comes to the water I drink. My friends are constantly giving me a hard time when I specify which brand of water I want because I can taste the difference.
Despite my high taste standards, I know that all bottled water is technically the same and that all city taps in North America are perfectly safe. However, I did buy a Camelbak Groove filtered water bottle to even out the taste of water across the country.
While this water bottle is great for people traveling from hotel to hotel on a bike tour, it will not cut it for those that venture off the beaten path.
A regular filtered water bottle will not make lake water or river water safe to drink. For that reason, I’m reviewing a better option for all of you super adventurous touring bikers who might go miles without a working tap in sight: The Camelbak All Clear Purifying Water Bottle.
The All Clear UV Light Bottle Purifier from Camelbak
Camelbak’s All Clear UV bottle purifying water bottle essentially uses the same technology as your city’s water purifying plant. By carrying it with you on a bike tour, you can turn even slightly murky water into perfectly drinkable hydration.
Anyone who’s ever been on even the shortest of hikes knows that drinking unfiltered water can make you very ill. In fact, it’s better for you to bear the burden of thirst until you can find filtered water than to sip from an unknown source.
When you’re on a bike tour, it is absolutely essential that you stay properly hydrated. For that reason, I highly recommend the All Clear UV bottle for anyone going on a lengthy trip.
There are a few reasons unfiltered water is unsafe. Of course, lake or river water can contain viruses that will cause illnesses. It might also contain bacteria that, while technically harmless, could cause an upset stomach because your body not used to processing it. Such water could also contain protozoan cysts and microbe DNA.
Filtering water with the All Clear purification bottle is simple. When you find murky water—no murkier than lemonade, claims Camelbak—you fill the bottle and start the 60-second purification process.
Simply shake the bottle gently so that the UV light affects all of the water inside. Then, pour the contents into a clean container.
While Camelbak claims drinking the water out of the purifying bottle is safe, it would be too easy to accidentally drink droplets of water that were stuck in the threading of the bottle and were not purified. Even a drop could make you sick. For that reason, it’s a good idea to have an extra clean bottle available.
Even if you’ll just be going on a tour where hotels are booked, the UV treatment can kill bacteria that would otherwise cause discomfort. If you’re from New York, there’s a very good chance the tap water in Arizona contains bacteria that your stomach is not used to hosting.
Like I said, I highly recommend this water bottle to anyone who tours regularly in areas where clean water is not readily available. Though more expensive than a normal filtered bottle or even bottled water on the go, it’s a small price to pay to avoid dehydration.
If you’re on the fence, below are the pros and cons.
- You can drink water in the wilderness – Hydration is important, and you’re not going to have access to a tap when you’re biking through an area of desolate nature.
- It is proven 99.99% effective – Studies show that the Camelbak All Clear UV Purifying Bottle will kill almost anything in the water that could cause illness or discomfort.
- Camelbak is a reliable brand – Camelbak is known for its commitment to outdoor sport hydration, so when you make a purchase you know it’s built to last.
- The bottle weighs less than other brands – Successful long-term touring is all about packing light. There are a few other brands of UV filtration bottles, but none of them are as lightweight as the Camelbak brand. This bottle clocks in at 10.8oz.
- It has a long battery life – The All Clear purification bottle battery needs to be charged but will last for 80 cycles. The bottle holds 0.75 liters at a time, which is approximately three glasses of water. By drinking the recommended eight per day, the battery should last a little longer than 20 days.
- The bottle cannot filter “chunky” water – If you find lake water with sediment, the Camelbak All Clear bottle will not be sufficient. However, there is an extra attachment you can buy to filter larger chunks from the liquid.
- Drops of water inside the cap will not be filtered – You need to be careful about the water that gets caught in the threading of the bottle. This water will not be purified, and drinking it with your pure water can still cause severe illness.
- The battery needs to be charged – While the battery does last longer than that of other brands, it could still be a burden for travelers that will not see an outlet for a long time. If you were to run out of battery while touring, you probably won’t have brought any backup water and you could face an emergency situation. However, foresight and planning should prevent that.
- Expensive – The Camelbak All Clear UV purification bottle is $99. While it might break the bank upfront, you’ll save money in the long run by avoiding bottled water purchases wherever you go.
All in all, the Camelbak All Clear purification bottle is essential for anyone that may find him or herself biking in areas where tap water is scarce. Bikers like me who tend to tour in populated areas with large groups and stop at hotels or schools will do fine with a lower-end purifying bottle or none at all.
Do you use the Camelbak All Clear UV bottle? Let us know what you think in the comments below!
Where to Buy
You can help support Bicycle Touring Guide by purchasing the Camelbak All Clear Purifying Bottle from one of the merchants below: