Designed with portable UV purification in mind, the CamelBak All Clear combines the proven design of CamelBak water bottles with a powerful ultraviolet light installed directly into the bottle’s cap. Enabling users to purify their water to render questionable sources definitely drinkable, the CamelBak All Clear is a handy tool for hikers, travellers, campers, survivalists, and adventurers of all descriptions. In this review, we’ll look at some of the flaws and finer points of the bottle.
Because the All Clear is a UV purifier, it does not include any type of filter. This means that if you are drinking from truly nasty water sources, you will need something equipped with a filter to take care of sediment and particulates. In fact, the UV light of the All Clear won’t effectively sterilize water if it is too cloudy (turbid.) If you need portable filtration power, check out our Filtered Water Bottle Buyer’s Guide or our review of the Katadyn Pocket Filter. But if you are getting water from a questionable but relatively clean tap, a clear spring, a running stream, or other water source that may have microbial contaminants but is otherwise relatively clean, the UV purification power of the All Clear should be able to provide for your needs.
UV Purification with the CamelBak All Clear Water Bottle
Exposing microorganisms to ultraviolet light damages their DNA, killing them or damaging their ability to reproduce through a process known as “Ultraviolet Germicidial Irradiation” – which sounds pretty fancy. But in practice, it couldn’t be simpler to do with the CamelBak All Clear. After filling the bottle with water, you simply screw on the UV light cap, and press a small button on the top which begins a countdown from 60 seconds. The instructions mention to turn the bottle over every 10 seconds to agitate the water. After 60 seconds, the light shuts itself off, and the water is ready to drink.
As we noted before, it is important to remember that UV purification only impacts the microorganisms within the water – it does nothing to filter it, so don’t expect any changes in the taste, color, odor, or chemical properties of the water. What it does is reduce the levels of bacteria, cysts, protozoa, and viruses by >99.99%, rendering the water free from harmful biological contaminants that can cause serious disease.
One important thing to note about this process is that it reduces the levels of these contaminants to safe, drinkable levels – it does not completely eliminate the microorganisms. Therefore it is important that UV purified water is purified shortly before it is used. If it is allowed to stand for long periods, especially in the sun or in a warm area, the microbes can potentially reach dangerous concentrations again, requiring the water to be purified once more.
All the Bells and Whistles
The CamelBak All Clear includes with each purchase the UV-light equipped purifying cap, a normal water bottle cap, a 25 ounce BPA free Tritan plastic water bottle, USB charging cable, and a pouch for carrying the purifier cap.
Because the UV purifying cap only needs to be in use occasionally, you can swap it out as soon as you’re done using it and place it back into the included carrying pouch and somewhere secure. This is a great and very thoughtful feature included by CamelBak, as it allows you to always have the durable water bottle out and ready to drink from, while still able to put the relatively breakable UV purifying cap somewhere safe. This is not to say that the UV cap is fragile – it is pretty well put together and feels sturdy, but the electronics are still infinitely more damageable than the practically impervious plastic stand-in lid.
One Important Word of Caution
There is one somewhat glaring design flaw in the otherwise pretty ship-shape construction of the CamelBak All Clear. The problem comes from the way the UV cap affixes to the bottle. Because the bottle screws into the same threads the user drinks from, the UV light is below a segment of the plastic where the lips would touch to drink from the bottle. This means that the rim of the bottle, even after sterilizing with the light, is a potential source of contamination.
For those drinking from mostly trustworthy taps, this is probably no issue, but if you are filling from a stream or river (especially if you’re dipping the bottle into the water) this could be cause for major concern. You will want to sterilize the rim of the bottle with an alcohol wipe or some food-grade hydrogen peroxide or something similar if you plan to drink straight from the rim of the bottle. You could also try activating the UV light and running it along the rim of the bottle in a pinch, however this is of questionable efficacy and we don’t recommend risking your health trying it!
The All Clear UV purifier is rechargeable via the included standard USB cable. It can easily be plugged into a computer, a USB wall adapter, or any standard USB charging port like in a car, or on an airplane. This is handy, since it means you don’t have to worry about replacing batteries or dealing with them at all. Actually, the batteries in the All Clear are non-removeable, so if they fail you will need to send the unit for replacement to CamelBak, but other than this caveat, the battery situation is pretty swell on the All Clear.
The All Clear is advertised as offering up to 80+ 60-second purification cycles (about 16 gallons of water) on a single full charge. In our experiments, this seems pretty accurate. If left unused, the battery seems to have some exceptional staying power as well – after neglecting it for a week, it powered up and went through plenty of cycles just fine. So far we haven’t actually managed to exhaust the battery life, which is conveniently displayed on the LCD readout of the UV purifier cap.
Being USB rechargeable is a huge boon to this product, as it allows you to power it up just about anywhere you find yourself. It charges very quickly when plugged into a USB A/C adapter, and is compatible with standard USB cables you can find anywhere.
But probably the greatest benefit the All Clear gets from being USB rechargeable is its ability to be connected to an inexpesnive portable USB solar panel which makes it a completely portable system, letting you use the bottle even if you’re miles from the nearest power outlet.
Probably one of our favorite features of the All Clear is that fact that CamelBak used the same standard type of water bottle thread found on just about all of their Sports water bottles, which means you can find a huge number of other CamelBak bottles which the UV purifying top from the All Clear are compatible with. More than that, this is actually an incredibly standard and common design, so if you poke around a bit, you can find all sorts of water bottles, CamelBak brand and other brands, which the All Clear cap can be affixed to.
The CamelBak All Clear is a pretty neat product. The water bottle itself is not much to write home about, a standard 25 ounce Tritan plastic bottle. But the powerful UV light cap is a well-made, highly portable, and marvelously cross-compatible tool which is quite handy to have around.
At around $80 on Amazon the All Clear is reasonably priced for everything it includes, and the quality construction of purifier and bottle means that it is likely to be a lasting investment. Especially with CamelBak’s exceptional reputation for customer care.
Our biggest complaint about the bottle is the problem with sterilizing the rim. Be careful to always wipe the rim of the bottle down before drinking, and if working with potentially dangerous water, use disinfectant on the rim frequently and before drinking. If not for this issue, we would give the bottle a perfect 5/5, but we have had to knock off a point, leaving the All Clear with a 4/5 rating.
Video Review of the CamelBak All Clear
This video is from YouTuber Dynamic Prepper. He does a great job of demonstrating the All Clear bottle and giving you a first-hand look at the bottle and UV purifier. Check it out below, and check out his channel for other great content. Thanks Dynamic Prepper!
We looked at a product similar to the CamelBak All Clear back in our Filtered Water Bottle Buyer’s Guide article, the Mountop Portable Water Purifier Bottle, which is pretty much the same idea as the All Clear.
In a different take to the portable UV purification technology is the SteriPEN Portable Handheld UV Purifier which is just a portable UV light without a bottle, which can be used to purify water in almost any container.
Always do your due diligence and research into any product you entrust with your health! Good luck and stay safe and sanitary!
Highly Portable UV Purifier
Only Purifies. Does Not Filter.
Doesn’t Sterilize Drinking Rim
- Editor Rating
- Rated 4 stars
- CamelBak All Clear UV Purification Water Bottle
- Reviewed by:
- Published on:
- Last modified:
The CamelBak All Clear is a 25-ounce Tritan plastic water bottle equipped with a rechargeable, battery-powered UV light aimed directly to sterilize the bottles contents and leave you with drinkable water.
Jacob Hatch is the author and founder of Hydration Anywhere. He has been actively writing about drinking water since 2013. These days Jacob spends most of his time investigating water related news, studying environmental issues, reading health studies, and reviewing products like water bottles and water filters.