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SteriPEN Sidewinder Water Purifier review
Written by Jason Elliot   
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SteriPEN SidewinderThe Sit ‘n Spin made children giggle and dizzy in the 1970’s and 80’s. Sit on the circular round disk Indian-style with your legs wrapped around a pole with a round disk fastened on top like a steering wheel. Grab the steering wheel and repeatedly turn it sending you spinning on the Sit ‘n Spin’s axis until either your arms tire or you are dizzy.

The SteriPEN Sidewinder gives your arms a workout similar to the Sit ‘n Spin. The Sidewinder manually purifies up to one liter of water in ninety seconds – no batteries or electric outlet needed – killing waterborne bacteria, viruses and protozoa with ultraviolet light.

Fill the one-liter bottle with water, screw the bottle into the Sidewinder base and turn the crank attached to the side of the base for ninety seconds. Your water is purified and safe to drink. Turning the Crank powers the gears in the sidewall of the Sidewinder’s base.

The energy from the cranking and turning of the gears is converted to electricity that powers an ultraviolet lamp protruding from the base into the water bottle. SteriPEN touts the UV lamps lasts for 8,000 liters of water treatments.

The SteriPEN Sidewinder has practical applications for base or car camping and emergencies when a safe water source may not be available. It saves unneeded batteries adding to landfills.

If you weren’t thirsty before spinning the crank on the SteriPEN Sidewinder continually for 90 seconds, you will be parched once done. A light on the Sidewinder’s base flashes red if you are not cranking fast enough – at least two revolutions per second.  The light turns green once the water purification is complete.

The SteriPEN Sidewinder allows you to take breaks up to eight seconds to recover, change your cranking arm or let someone else turn the crank.

Several attempts were needed to purify the first liter of water. Following purification attempts were completed easier. Taking a tag-team approach to cranking the Sidewinder is the easiest way to purify water.

Steripen Logoimages/SteripenThe Steripen Sidewinder is an ecofriendly way to purify water for family camping adventures and is handy when a safe water source is not available during emergencies. It will give your arms a workout spinning the crank. Bring reinforcements. It’ll make it easier and won’t leave you winded and your arms fatigued. (MSRP $99.95)


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Jason Elliot

JElliotJason Elliot is the Editor and Publisher of Elliot has established a respected following with the top industry professionals and gearheads for his nonbiased reviews of outdoor gear and apparel. Elliot is a regular contributor to, and other publications on top of his editorial and writing role with

Elliot left a successful fifteen-plus year management career that he worked at Fortune 500 and S&P 500 companies to pursue his passion for writing about the outdoors. He holds a bachelor’s degree from Clarion University of Pennsylvania and a master’s degree from La Roche College.

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