What kind of batteries do the SteriPEN products use?

Because of their superior power, well-known, brand name Lithium or Nickel Metal Hydride batteries are recommended. Lithium and NiMH batteries will usually provide about 100 treatments. Alkaline and NiCad batteries are NOT recommended for use with most SteriPEN water purification devices.

See user manuals for model specific information about treatments per set of batteries or compare SteriPEN models.

SteriPEN Adventurer Opti & SteriPEN Protector Opti

CR123 batteries for SteriPEN Adventurer Opti & Protector Opti

The SteriPEN Adventurer Opti and SteriPEN Protector Opti require two CR123 batteries.  One set of batteries will provide around 50 treatments.

If using rechargeable CR123 (RCR123) batteries, we recommend using the highest voltage available.  RCR123 batteries with voltages up to 4.2V per battery work well with Adventurer Opti and Protector Opti.  One set of rechargeable batteries will provide around 30 treatments.

Recommended CR123 battery brands:
Energizer CR123 photo lithium battery
Duracell Ultra DL123 (Photo Lithium battery)

SteriPEN Classic, Traveler, Emergency, & Defender

Recommended batteries for SteriPEN Classic, Traveler, Emergency & Defender Models

The SteriPEN ClassicTraveler, Emergency, and Defender use four AA Lithium or NiMH (rated 2300 or better) batteries.  One set of batteries will provide around 100 treatments.  If using rechargeable batteries, generally the higher the voltage the better the performance.  One set of batteries will provide around 80 treatments. 


Recommended brands:
Energizer E2
AA Lithium
Energizer Ultimate

12 thoughts on “What kind of batteries do the SteriPEN products use?

  1. Jon says:

    Hi there. I love my pen! It really helped on recent hike.

    Is it possible or recommended to use lithium ion rechargeable batteries in a steri pen classic?

    • SteriPEN Marketing Team
      SteriPEN Marketing Team says:

      Yes! You can use rechargeable batteries in your SteriPEN Classic or Classic 3. They will need to be NiMH rechargeable batteries. With rechargeable batteries you won’t be able to treat as many liters of water per charge, however you will still get good battery performance.

    • Kurt says:

      I used Energizer lithium batteries in my Steripen (this is the same design as the “classic” but before it was relabeled “classic”. They worked without difficulty through several days of backpacking/purifying water.

      I don’t know about any “rechargeable” lithium batteries in the AA form factor – what I used were the disposible kind. NiMH rechargeable reportedly work too – their energy density is far lower than lithium, so they’re not going to last as long (but you can recharge them!). My concern would be that the voltage (a lot of NiMH AA batteries don’t exceed 1.2 V, would be a problem for the Steripen.

  2. M.W. says:

    Can a 18650 Nitecore battery be charged in the SteriPen Solar charger ?

    Can 2 single CR 123 batteries be charged in the SteriPen Solar charger ?

    • SteriPEN Marketing Team
      SteriPEN Marketing Team says:

      Although the 18650 Nitecore would be the right size physically, and can be charged by the SteriPEN solar charger, they would not work very well in the SteriPEN Adventurer, Adventurer Opti, Traveler Mini or Traveler Mini Opti, because they only have a rating of 3.7 Volts instead of the necessary 7.4 Volts.

      Two CR-123 batteries can fit in the Solar Charger, but unless they say “Rechargeable”, they will not be recharged and will actually cause damage to both the batteries and the charger. Usually the correct batteries will be designated RCR and/or clearly say “Rechargeable” right on the battery.

  3. Ricardo says:

    How important is the mAh ? I just bought some 800mAh batteries , I know that they wont last as long as the 2300 mAh recommended but does the product works the same? Mine is Traveller Steripen,

    • SteriPEN Marketing Team
      SteriPEN Marketing Team says:

      Hi Ricardo,

      Here is the answer from our support.steripen.com page:

      Q: What kind of rechargeable AA batteries can I use?
      A: We recommend name-brand, Nickel-Metal Hydride (NiMH), at 2300mAh
      ‘mAh’ is essentially the size of the battery’s “gas tank.” Our earlier documentation recommended 2500mAh NiMH, but now we know better. If you go above 2300mAh, you are likely to run into quality issues with your batteries. If you go too much lower than that, then you are going to get fewer doses, so there’s a fine range. This is not to say that Joe-Bob’s 2-billion mAh battery won’t work perfectly, but it’s a cash risk.
      You may also use Panasonic Eneloop batteries of any mAh –those batteries are awesome.

      If you have any other questions, don’t hesitate to contact us at 1-888-826-6234 (US Only)
      +1 (207) 374-4506 or visit support.steripen.com.

  4. Noel Gurwick says:

    What is the reason for recommending not to use alkaline batteries? I just now saw this looking on the web. I looked because I forgot to bring instructions with me this trip and wanted to be sure I was using the right amount of time per volume of water, although I now see that actually marked on the steripen. I’ve used alkaline batteries and it looks like it’s operating correctly. Have the steripens changed since this guidance was published, or does the steripen not work as effectively even though it appears to work based on visual appearance?

    • SteriPEN Marketing Team
      SteriPEN Marketing Team says:

      The reason that alkaline batteries are not recommended for use in the Original Classic and its variations, the Emergency and the AA Traveler, is that they are weaker than lithium, and so, they have demonstrated inconsistent operation. They will work in a pinch, but over an extended period of use, there is the likelihood of them not being up to the task.

      The newer models, the Aqua and the Classic 3, have an upgraded, more efficient circuit board that can use alkaline, though they will only give about a third of the number of treatments, 50 as compared to the 150 you can expect with lithium.

  5. Chris Stevenson says:

    Hi! Just bought a Traveller – lovely bit of kit. Because I’m paranoid ( 😉 ) I filter through a Sawyer first, then Steri what comes out. However, I’m using “quality” 2500MAh NiMH rechargeables. The pen activates fine, and the light comes on for the correct amount of time, but the status light afterwards shows “successful but low battery” for either 1L or 0.5L. This is with newly charged batteries, which a multimeter showed at 1.35V each. So my question, please, is “is it working OK?” Is it simply because rechargeables hold a lower voltage from the kick-off and so immediately show “low voltage” even though they’re doing the job fine? Many thanks!

    • SteriPEN Marketing Team
      SteriPEN Marketing Team says:

      SteriPENs are calibrated for 1.5V Lithium batteries and so it is understandable that the 1.35V rechargeable batteries would show a “weak battery” indication. Incidentally, most multi-meters will not show a battery’s strength “under load”, and so do not give a true indication of how the battery will perform to illuminate the UV lamp of a SteriPEN. Also, most 2500 mAh batteries are of a quality that do not perform well in a device like the SteriPEN. For that reason we highly recommend using Panasonic Eneloop or Energizer Recharge 2300 batteries.

      So, although the pen is working fine and giving you some successful treatments, it is correctly showing you the week battery signal, and you will probably need to recharge those batteries fairly often, since you don’t want them to quit in the middle of a hike or while travelling abroad. You will be much better served and happier if you upgrade your selection of batteries.

      You are, also, not paranoid to have a second method of treating your water. All of our user guides say, “”As with any other water treatment system, always have a backup method.” There’s a bit of a redundancy with the Sawyer filter, but with the SteriPEN treatment you’ll be dealing with viruses as well as protozoa and bacteria.

      • Chris Stevenson says:

        Decided to go for the Energizers. Just charged them and they show 1.44V which is impressive. And of course they work fine, with the correct “all green” status-light afterwards. So thanks for the advice :-).

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