Results 1 to 53 of 53
  1. #1
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Posts
    142

    water filtration

    This topic may have been discussed before so forgive me if Im repeating things here but I am looking for a water filter/purifier and am looking for opinions. I want to be able to use it for long mountain bike races where potable water is most likely not available or may be scarce so I need something small, light and fast. I cant stop on the trailside for 4 hours waiting on a gravity filter to work for instance. Ideally I would like something I can use to pump water directly into a camelback or other hydration bladder and then keep going. My local REI suggested the MSR hyperflow. It gets mixed reviews online from what I see.some love it, some hate it. For reference I live in the southeastern United States and most likely most races I would be doing would be in that region so I am not really concerned with international water at this point.
    Last edited by catsruletn; 04-07-2015 at 09:55 AM.

  2. #2
    I work in .001 tolerances
    Reputation: HomegrownMN's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Posts
    1,243

    Re: water filtration

    Look into the Sawyer brand of 'squeeze' filters.
    Light, quick and can even be run inline with your Camelback hose.

    I'm a big fan of them for bikepacking and backpacking.

  3. #3
    mtbr member
    Reputation: vikb's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Posts
    9,807
    I use Pristine drops on my tours. As long as you aren't trying to filter chunks of crap out of the water they take care of all the bugs that could cause stomach upset. Just fill you bladder, mix two sets of drops in the lid of one of the bottles dump in the bladder and go. Takes about 15mins to be safe to drink. Lightweight, low cost and easy to use plus no pumping.

    I have a MSR pump filter, but I haven't used it for years since I started using the pristine drops.
    Safe riding,

    Vik
    www.vikapproved.com

  4. #4
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Posts
    142
    Quote Originally Posted by HomegrownMN View Post
    Look into the Sawyer brand of 'squeeze' filters.
    Light, quick and can even be run inline with your Camelback hose.

    I'm a big fan of them for bikepacking and backpacking.
    Yeah I was looking at those first but I have two concerns with them. First Im trying to fill at minimum a 70 oz bladder, possibly even a 100 oz, so I am thinking all that squeezing might get kind of tedious. Then at first I was intrigued with the inline filter concept but then I started thinking about what happens if that filter gets clogged or malfunctions in any way.now my water hose is clogged which would put a serious damper on things.

  5. #5
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Posts
    142
    Quote Originally Posted by vikb View Post
    I use Pristine drops on my tours. As long as you aren't trying to filter chunks of crap out of the water they take care of all the bugs that could cause stomach upset. Just fill you bladder, mix two sets of drops in the lid of one of the bottles dump in the bladder and go. Takes about 15mins to be safe to drink. Lightweight, low cost and easy to use plus no pumping.

    I have a MSR pump filter, but I haven't used it for years since I started using the pristine drops.
    Ok thanks. I'll take a look at those. I have the other kind of tablets from Katadyn as emergency backup but they say they take 4 hours to work. Was looking for something faster.

  6. #6
    No Stranger to danger....
    Reputation: Tone's's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Posts
    4,596
    Just filter it through your t-shirt or shoes, it works ok for Bear Grylls....
    Dont ever let the truth get in the way of a funny story....

  7. #7
    mtbr member
    Reputation: vikb's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Posts
    9,807
    Quote Originally Posted by catsruletn View Post
    Ok thanks. I'll take a look at those. I have the other kind of tablets from Katadyn as emergency backup but they say they take 4 hours to work. Was looking for something faster.
    It takes a few minutes to let the drops mix together and 15 mins or so in your bladder. So my routine is stop immediately mix the drops then fill my water bottles. Take care of any other off the bike stuff and the add mixed drops to containers and get back to riding.

    If you are riding in warm conditions you can take a big swig of water before you refill so that you don't need another drink for 15mins....although I rarely worry too much about that time limit if I collecting water from high quality sources.
    Safe riding,

    Vik
    www.vikapproved.com

  8. #8
    mtbr member
    Reputation: s0ckeyeus's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Posts
    2,615
    I think a Sawyer inline filter with drops as back-up would be a good set-up. If you felt it was necessary, you could always pack an extra hose and treat the water in your bladder with drops in case of a clog.

  9. #9
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Posts
    142
    So perhaps a stupid question but what do you do about the water around the top and the threads of the bladder (or bottle)? I am thinking if I scoop up water with the bladder and then put the drops in, isn't there going to be untreated water all around and in the threads etc that won't get treated? I guess I can mix the water and drops in a separate container and then pour into the bladder but I don't really want to have to carry two containers with me.

  10. #10
    mtbr member
    Reputation: vikb's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Posts
    9,807
    Quote Originally Posted by catsruletn View Post
    So perhaps a stupid question but what do you do about the water around the top and the threads of the bladder (or bottle)? I am thinking if I scoop up water with the bladder and then put the drops in, isn't there going to be untreated water all around and in the threads etc that won't get treated? I guess I can mix the water and drops in a separate container and then pour into the bladder but I don't really want to have to carry two containers with me.
    Any water in the bladder or tube is in contact with Pristine. Any water in threads don't matter since they aren't inside the drinking reservoir.
    Safe riding,

    Vik
    www.vikapproved.com

  11. #11
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Posts
    142
    Quote Originally Posted by vikb View Post
    Any water in the bladder or tube is in contact with Pristine. Any water in threads don't matter since they aren't inside the drinking reservoir.
    Yeah I suppose so. I'm probably over thinking it.

  12. #12
    mtbr member
    Reputation: vikb's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Posts
    9,807
    Quote Originally Posted by catsruletn View Post
    Yeah I suppose so. I'm probably over thinking it.
    Yup. If you are getting water from high quality sources it's really a low risk of having an issue even with untreated water.
    Safe riding,

    Vik
    www.vikapproved.com

  13. #13
    A guy on a bike Moderator
    Reputation: TobyGadd's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Posts
    952
    Quote Originally Posted by vikb View Post
    I use Pristine drops on my tours. As long as you aren't trying to filter chunks of crap out of the water they take care of all the bugs that could cause stomach upset. Just fill you bladder, mix two sets of drops in the lid of one of the bottles dump in the bladder and go. Takes about 15mins to be safe to drink. Lightweight, low cost and easy to use plus no pumping.
    In the USA, Aquamira drops have the same ingredients. Great stuff--used it for years. Just be aware that if the water is cold or cloudy, more drops and/or a longer dwell time is required.

    I've only regretted using Aquamira once. I camped near some lakes that were experiencing some crazy algae bloom, probably due to runoff from a large herd of cattle in the area. A filter would have made for far nicer water!

  14. #14
    mtbr member
    Reputation: vikb's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Posts
    9,807
    Quote Originally Posted by TobyGadd View Post
    In the USA, Aquamira drops have the same ingredients. Great stuff--used it for years. Just be aware that if the water is cold or cloudy, more drops and/or a longer dwell time is required.

    I've only regretted using Aquamira once. I camped near some lakes that were experiencing some crazy algae bloom, probably due to runoff from a large herd of cattle in the area. A filter would have made for far nicer water!
    +1 - anticipated water quality should factor into your decision of what to use to ensure safe and enjoyable drinking water.

    I live and ride mostly in BC where I have access to high quality water sources. I take water from fast running cold creeks for the most part and because I know they are frequent I'll pass other more stagnant options up.

    Like your experience I have very occasionally had to use water from a lake/pond with less ideal water, but those experiences didn't made me want to carry a filter and pump my water.

    If I lived in AZ and was pulling water from gnarly cattle tanks I would probably equip myself differently.
    Safe riding,

    Vik
    www.vikapproved.com

  15. #15
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Posts
    142
    I think for the most part I will be getting it from moving water in creeks...not stagnant lake kind of stuff.

  16. #16
    mtbr member
    Reputation: MIKE157's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Posts
    176
    Quote Originally Posted by HomegrownMN View Post
    Look into the Sawyer brand of 'squeeze' filters.
    Light, quick and can even be run inline with your Camelback hose.

    I'm a big fan of them for bikepacking and backpacking.
    I agree .......

  17. #17
    I work in .001 tolerances
    Reputation: HomegrownMN's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Posts
    1,243

    Re: water filtration

    Quote Originally Posted by catsruletn View Post
    Yeah I was looking at those first but I have two concerns with them. First Im trying to fill at minimum a 70 oz bladder, possibly even a 100 oz, so I am thinking all that squeezing might get kind of tedious. Then at first I was intrigued with the inline filter concept but then I started thinking about what happens if that filter gets clogged or malfunctions in any way.now my water hose is clogged which would put a serious damper on things.

    You'd be surprised how little effort is required to squeeze-filter your water. Really fast too.

    If clogging is of a concern, bring the included syringe to back flush during your trip.

  18. #18
    Trail Rider
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    1,418
    Ive been very happy with my Katadyn Hiker Pro(there is a smaller version, pocket), FWIW. I also like the fact that I'm not drinking a sterilized milkshake(drops and steripens).

  19. #19
    mtbr member
    Reputation: bikeny's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Posts
    3,411
    Quote Originally Posted by SuPrBuGmAn View Post
    Ive been very happy with my Katadyn Hiker Pro(there is a smaller version, pocket), FWIW. I also like the fact that I'm not drinking a sterilized milkshake(drops and steripens).
    The only issue with those filters is they do not remove viruses. They are just too small for most filters. But they are also much less common, so again it all depends on what kind of water sources you use. Personally, I have a Steripen and a Sawyer. I will take one or the other, depending on the trip. I also carry some Aquamira tablets as a backup.

  20. #20
    Clueless Bastard
    Reputation: WA-CO's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Posts
    684

    Another vote to try a Steripen...

    Classic | SteriPEN

    I used one of these in Nepal and Tibet where water sources were very suspect. I hauled mine around for 2 months, either in my pocket, in my pack or on the back of a yak. No problems.

    Two downsides. One it needs lithium battery power. Two, the wand part is glass so you need to treat it accordingly. It has a snap on cover, but it's not indestructible.

    Looks like they have a smaller newer model that will run on a smaller battery footprint.

  21. #21
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Posts
    16
    I love my sawyer squeeze filter for bike packing. It doesn't take too long to squeeze out a couple of liters maybe a minute or 2. I don't use my filter inline, mostly because I like to add drink mix to my water, but it's also convenient to have the extra bladder to carry water if I want/need to. with my squeeze setup, I have a 1 gallon water capacity which is more than enough for most of what I do in CO.

    For long day trips, I usually carry aqua mira drops. They take a bit longer, but they're simple, light, and don't affect the water taste.

    I like my steripen, but it's kind of on the bulky side, and I worry about breaking it on my bike so I usually use it for hiking and paddling adventures.

  22. #22
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Posts
    562

    water filtration

    Quote Originally Posted by vikb View Post
    If I lived in AZ and was pulling water from gnarly cattle tanks I would probably equip myself differently.
    Ok so this is actually the scenario I most often find myself in. To date I have carried all my water in a vast little traveled area I have been doing overnighters in. I have been mapping active cattle tanks with the hope that in the future I can reduce weight by filling up along the way.

    But you are correct - some if those sources are pretty nasty. So for cattle tank water (many have both algae and fecal dust settling into it) what do people recommend to get safe drinking water from these sources? I'm too old to learn what doesn't work the hard way...

  23. #23
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Posts
    528
    One tip, if you have the time to wait for the purifying drops to work (I do this when backpacking), is to fill your container as full as possible and leave the lid on loosely, so that it stays on, but leaks. After the required time has elapsed, invert the container and let the purified water leak out a bit. This should flush the lid and threads clean.

    I also use a Katadyn Hiker Pro filter, when I have plenty of time, which is usually the case when backpacking or bike touring. I like the filter for when I'm hiking along a glacial fed river. I don't want to drink the glacial silt. Purification drops or tabs don't take care of that.

  24. #24
    mtbr member
    Reputation: connolm's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Posts
    527
    Second for Katadyn Hiker Pro. To keep the filter from clogging prematurely, I wrap the input with a coffee filter. I carry 1-2 with me and they weigh nothing. This first pass removes solids and silt and keeps it from hitting the real filter.

    Plus the unit itself is very small and light.

    If I'm worried even after filtration, I will still use Aqua Mira and wait. Better safe than sorry!

    Sent from my VS980 4G using Tapatalk

  25. #25
    What day are we riding?
    Reputation: Rockin's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Posts
    1,088
    Another SteriPen user. I have also used jersey, etc to pre-filter crap out before using the SteriPen. Fast treatment. They also have models out now that run on AA batteries which I will switch to when my current one dies.

    Pack Aquamira tablets for backup.

  26. #26
    banned
    Reputation: random walk's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Posts
    2,666
    For a pre-filter look at 1-micron biodiesel filter bags from here. You can use these prior to treatment with Steripen, Aquamira, or any filtering system. Cut out the metal ring to save a little weight.

    I prefer gravity filters so the water is being treated while I do other things (set up camp, eat, etc.). Here is one I put together which uses a Sawyer 0.1 micron filter cartridge and a cheap Walmart dry bag.

    +1 on Aquamira for backup, or for really sketchy sources where filtering may not be enough.
    Last edited by random walk; 02-05-2015 at 09:37 AM.

  27. #27
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Posts
    177
    I've been using my Steripen for a few years now and am a fan. I've never had a problem with it. I take out the batteries after every use and store them in the case which some people may think is a pain but it's worth it for me to not think about potential battery drain. I also carry micropur MP1 tabs as a back up as they're small and light in case the steripen decides to quit one day, it is battery powered after all.

  28. #28
    banned
    Reputation: random walk's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Posts
    2,666
    I wanted to share this idea for a lightweight, inexpensive pump water filter:

    Make Your Own Gear Pump Filter Using Sawyer Mini -- BackpackingLight.com Forums

    Lots of great ideas for lightweight gear at the Backpackinglight forums, many of which are MYOG (make your own gear) projects.

  29. #29
    mtbr member
    Reputation: TheirOnlyPortrait's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2014
    Posts
    244
    Quote Originally Posted by HomegrownMN View Post
    Look into the Sawyer brand of 'squeeze' filters.
    Light, quick and can even be run inline with your Camelback hose.

    I'm a big fan of them for bikepacking and backpacking.
    +1 for Sawyer. I love my Sawyer mini for UL trekking/bikepacking:
    https://sawyer.com/products/sawyer-mini-filter/

    Saludos,
    Federico
    Cycling in developing countries, making & printing portraits for those families who've NONE. www.theironlyportrait.com

  30. #30
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Posts
    1,091
    In south east asia there is plenty of water available but it is all mostly suspect, i run it through a simple home made pre filter, platypus gravity filter & then either boil or steripen it. In the Uk I used to fill directly from fast flowing streams never had an issue.

  31. #31
    mtbr member
    Reputation: alaskamatt's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Posts
    271
    I really like the Sawyer. I use it inline and as a gravity feed at camp. The only time I got it to plug was with glacial silt. The water was the color of concrete. One time with the back feed plunger/syringe thing that comes with it and it cleared right out. The flow is enough for inline drinking no problem. Very light, very simple, and it works.

    I'm sure the steri pens work but I just have a hard time putting my faith in them.

  32. #32
    since 4/10/2009
    Reputation: Harold's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Posts
    20,068
    Physical filtration has been necessary for the vast majority of places I've been.

    In the US, I'm not especially concerned about viruses in my water. Not many viruses stateside that are problems in drinking water. Internationally? Different story.

    I DO pull from suspect water in a lot of situations. I do not have the luxury of drawing from glacier-fed streams, clean springs are rare, and most places I go are downstream from SOMETHING that affects water quality. Sometimes it's a current, ongoing issue. Sometimes it's due to historic land use. Pretty much all of the forest land and most of the park land around here was inhabited and developed historically. Mostly farmed, but a good bit of it in some places mined and all sorts. I've drawn from stagnant, scuzzy cattle tanks that were the ONLY water for miles, and they clogged my filter before I could get a full liter pumped, in spite of the double layer coffee filter prefilter I was using (which blew out and failed) requiring multiple field disassembly/cleaning procedures before I could get a usable amount of water.

  33. #33
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Posts
    170
    Quick note on the Sawyer Filters based on my experience on the PCT this summer. Many of us started with the Mini and got frustrated with the reduced flow rate after a couple of weeks - even with frequent backflush.
    Many, including me, switched to the regular Squeeze and ate the weight penalty for the increased flow rate.

    Two tips:
    1. Backflush. Then knock the filter on something firm (log, rock, etc) input side down. Then backflush again and you can see more junk get removed after mechanical liberation.
    2. Smartwater bottle threads perfectly onto the filter and makes a more robust squeezer. The bags delaminate and eventually get holes due to the rolling/squeezing. The Smartwater bottles also have a nice aspect ratio for backpack side pockets (perhaps not relevant to bikepacking).

  34. #34
    Positively negative
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Posts
    2,175
    Quote Originally Posted by BigDweeb View Post
    Quick note on the Sawyer Filters based on my experience on the PCT this summer. Many of us started with the Mini and got frustrated with the reduced flow rate after a couple of weeks - even with frequent backflush.
    Many, including me, switched to the regular Squeeze and ate the weight penalty for the increased flow rate.

    Two tips:
    1. Backflush. Then knock the filter on something firm (log, rock, etc) input side down. Then backflush again and you can see more junk get removed after mechanical liberation.
    2. Smartwater bottle threads perfectly onto the filter and makes a more robust squeezer. The bags delaminate and eventually get holes due to the rolling/squeezing. The Smartwater bottles also have a nice aspect ratio for backpack side pockets (perhaps not relevant to bikepacking).
    Where you running the mini inline? Any experience back flushing in that configuration? I have both a mini and squeeze and prefer the versatility of the squeeze.

  35. #35
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Posts
    170
    Quote Originally Posted by big_papa_nuts View Post
    Where you running the mini inline? Any experience back flushing in that configuration? I have both a mini and squeeze and prefer the versatility of the squeeze.
    No. There are some drawbacks to using a hydration bladder for backpacking. Accidentally getting your crap wet inside your pack, not knowing how much water you have left, and refilling multiple times/day (opening your pack, digging it out, etc). Backflushing adds another hassle. I did see one guy doing inline but did not quiz him on it. He had the filter outside the pack near the bite valve...

    That said I ride with a hydration pack - so not sure how I will tackle water when I do some bikepacking this summer. Going to be interesting seeing what worked on a thru hike but doesn't on a bikepacking trip...

  36. #36
    mtbr member
    Reputation: alaskamatt's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Posts
    271

    water filtration

    Poster above noted use of reg size sawyer. I should have mentioned that's what I use. No experience with the mini. Also the platypus brand bladders have the same size screw top so they work very well as storage or inline.

  37. #37
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Posts
    170
    Quote Originally Posted by alaskamatt View Post
    Poster above noted use of reg size sawyer. I should have mentioned that's what I use. No experience with the mini. Also the platypus brand bladders have the same size screw top so they work very well as storage or inline.
    Yep - Platy's are great and thread well with Sawyer too - but can be over torqued and create a leak at the threads. I used one to squeeze for a while. Not long enough to break one - but the stresses applied made me concerned about durability. Switched to Smartwater because the roll-and-squeeze with a bag was tedious and painful with cold, wet hands early in the morning and just a hassle other times. A Sawyer screwed onto a SmartWater bottle was so popular it became a dead giveaway identifying feature of a thru hiker.

    Everyone I saw using the Sawyer as a gravity filter used Platy's.

    All this talk makes me wish I was hiking again...

  38. #38
    the new Gilbert Grape
    Reputation: laffeaux's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    5,840
    Quote Originally Posted by BigDweeb View Post
    No. There are some drawbacks to using a hydration bladder for backpacking. Accidentally getting your crap wet inside your pack, not knowing how much water you have left, and refilling multiple times/day (opening your pack, digging it out, etc).
    I use a hydration pack when I backpack. My pump-style filer uses the same diameter output hose as my Camelback. I remove the bite value, plug in the filter, and I pump. The bladder is never removed from my pack. Works great.

    I use the same pump on extended bike rides. Being able to directly fill a Camelback through the output tube is a huge bonus.
    Each bicycle owned exponentially increases the probability that none is working correctly.

  39. #39
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Posts
    562
    I am using the katadyn hiked pro as well. Though mine is so old the shell is actually made by Pur (which katadyn bought). But the new filters still fit which is great. It's a little bulky and if I was starting fresh I would probably get a sawyer. But it works with little issue and now I am going to try and fill my bladders through the output hose. Why didn't I think of that before ?!

    I started prefiltering with a coffee filter or bandana when on a backpacking trip to Alaska. Glacial silt will clog that thing quicker than goose sh!t thru a tin horn. That is what is so great about the sawyer design-the filter lasts forever.

    I am still wary of cattle tank water but the next time I encounter it I will double up with Alta Mira tabs to be safe.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  40. #40
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Posts
    493
    I've an MSR but its yet to be used in anger.
    It fits the top of my 1.5 litre Nalgenes which is one of the reasons I grabbed it.
    Lots of places here in Aussie with little or poor quality water and filling from semi stagnant ponds seems de rigueur if many touring blogs are correct.
    MSR MiniWorks? EX Microfilter.

    I thought I'd mentioned it but can't see it anywhere, I use a paper drip coffee filter on the pickup end of the MSR Miniworks which is an idea I pinched off forum member Wazza or WarrenH. A rubber band holds it on successfully.
    These filters are cheap as chips and do a good job of keeping crud out of the unit.
    Last edited by rifraf; 03-25-2015 at 07:51 AM.

  41. #41
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Sep 2014
    Posts
    52
    Water born viruses are all be entirely absent in the waters in all of North America. In fact, you'd probably have to go to India where a dead body blooming with Hep B is upstream....within 12 hours to need to be worried about viruses.
    Quote Originally Posted by bikeny View Post
    The only issue with those filters is they do not remove viruses. They are just too small for most filters. But they are also much less common, so again it all depends on what kind of water sources you use. Personally, I have a Steripen and a Sawyer. I will take one or the other, depending on the trip. I also carry some Aquamira tablets as a backup.

  42. #42
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Posts
    21
    deleted

  43. #43
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Posts
    21
    Quote Originally Posted by Quitou View Post
    Water born viruses are all be entirely absent in the waters in all of North America. In fact, you'd probably have to go to India where a dead body blooming with Hep B is upstream....within 12 hours to need to be worried about viruses.
    This statement is incorrect and unsafe. Sure, true backcountry waters are less of a concern to water-born viruses because they originate as rain/snow melt and flow untouched. However, a lot of hiking & camping occurs within reach of human waste and other facilities that may introduce pathogenic viruses into downstream waters. I would not dismiss the threat of viruses unless I was sure of the water source. Thus, if I were depending on water from near-urban sources, I would take measures to eliminate both bacteria and virus.

  44. #44
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Posts
    1,465
    Quote Originally Posted by BigDweeb View Post
    Quick note on the Sawyer Filters based on my experience on the PCT this summer. Many of us started with the Mini and got frustrated with the reduced flow rate after a couple of weeks - even with frequent backflush.
    Many, including me, switched to the regular Squeeze and ate the weight penalty for the increased flow rate.

    Two tips:
    1. Backflush. Then knock the filter on something firm (log, rock, etc) input side down. Then backflush again and you can see more junk get removed after mechanical liberation.
    2. Smartwater bottle threads perfectly onto the filter and makes a more robust squeezer. The bags delaminate and eventually get holes due to the rolling/squeezing. The Smartwater bottles also have a nice aspect ratio for backpack side pockets (perhaps not relevant to bikepacking).
    I had the same degrading performance from my Sawyer, but was unable to unclog it even with very hot water and back flushing. Maybe I needed to beat on the thing like you did. In any case, the product is firmly in the fail category for me. The bottles are hopelessly fragile for intended use, the squeezing is laborious and a quick route to cold hands, and the filter clogs too easily (even using a pre-filter consistently), and the threads are nor robust enough to work when the flow is restricted.

    Dead reliability is what's needed in the field. Steripen/pre-filter or chemical treatment all the way. For you guys asking about nasty cattle tanks, Steri/pre works jus fine unless you're freaked out by cloudy water (which can be found in many ground water sources).

    I'll never pump or squeeze water on a ride. We have technology that eliminates the need. And I won't risk a failed piece of gear, like the squeeze filter and another pump filter I had.

  45. #45
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Posts
    477
    Well functioning water filters are about as common as reliable dropper posts. My crate of discards from decades of backcountry travel is plenty evidence. The big ceramic Katadyn is the only one that keeps working, but its heft limit it to group use, imo.

    Yet to try a Steripen/pre-filter, though.

    Bikepacking in the Southwest is often limited to routes that are not deliberately seeking out the wet spots, unlike backpacking. Hunting for elusive seeps, time consuming and often on foot, is a big part of my trips. Finding new springs are often the sole objective, like summiting a peak, and are similarily celebrated when succesful.

    Carrying lots of water becomes too much of a chore. A full 100oz bladder plus 3 bike bottles is about what I can tolerate. In addition I have another collapsible 100oz container for short hauling or anticipated dry camping.

    Here I stuffed my Platy w icy crust before dropping to lower, arid areas:

    AdobePhotoshopExpress_2015_03_18_08:38:04 by kullaberg631, on Flickr

  46. #46
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Apr 2015
    Posts
    54
    I just went through this in my head for the last week or two. I settled on the Platypus Gravity 4liter.

    For me the weight and lack of pumping sold it, as well as the fact that I dont need an additional bladder or bottle. The weight difference between the 2l and 4l wasnt even reported on REIs site and I have to imagine its negligible, so with a total weight of 11.5oz for the entire system it seemed ideal especially considering the capacity.

    Add that you can use it to wash hands, dishes or even hair and it seems like a winner.

    Most of the reviews are great and it seems to me that as long as you proactively backflush it like the instructions say, before it becomes a problem, that it should work great. I would likely carry Aquamira or another chemical solution as a SOL back up.

    Does anyone here have positive/negative experience with this or other gravity filters?

    Platypus Gravityworks Water Filter System - 4 Liter - REI.com

    water filtration-screen-shot-2015-04-06-1.29.50-am.png
    I live in Indy and work with the coolest people in the world at TreeStuff.com

    Gotta have Bonnervision

  47. #47
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Sep 2014
    Posts
    52
    I've had terrible luck with the Platy Gravity system. The main problem is the "back flush" has to also happen at gravity pressure....which sucks. I've had multiple Platy Gravity filters clog to the point of failure with as little as one bag of water passed through the system. Awful. You'll see.

  48. #48
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Apr 2015
    Posts
    54
    I am glad I bought it from REI then.
    I live in Indy and work with the coolest people in the world at TreeStuff.com

    Gotta have Bonnervision

  49. #49
    mtbr member
    Reputation: mark!'s Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Posts
    417
    Quote Originally Posted by bonner1040 View Post
    I am glad I bought it from REI then.
    Keep the receipt and return it within a year if you plan on returning it, otherwise their return policy isn't like it used to be after the first year. It only covers defects from then on.

    I settled on the Katadyn Hiker Pro for my thru hikes and backpacking trips. 1000's of miles on foot, and never had an issue with it. I keep tablets with me for sketchy sources, or emergency pick ups.
    The best journeys answer questions that in the beginning, you didn't even think to ask

  50. #50
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Sep 2014
    Posts
    52
    The MSR Hyperflow has been my preferred filter. Although it is technologically similar to the Gravity system from their sister company, Platypus, it uses good old mechanical pressure to move water through the element.

    It is a more complex filter and the back flushing is complicated to do, but it's a very efficient filter.

    But...if I'm traveling in an area with clear water (Rockies), I always just use a Steripen which is the easiest and lightest of all.

  51. #51
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Apr 2015
    Posts
    54
    Quote Originally Posted by mark! View Post
    Keep the receipt and return it within a year if you plan on returning it, otherwise their return policy isn't like it used to be after the first year. It only covers defects from then on.

    I settled on the Katadyn Hiker Pro for my thru hikes and backpacking trips. 1000's of miles on foot, and never had an issue with it. I keep tablets with me for sketchy sources, or emergency pick ups.
    Receipt? I am a member and use a REI credit card. But yes, within 1 year.
    I live in Indy and work with the coolest people in the world at TreeStuff.com

    Gotta have Bonnervision

  52. #52
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Posts
    1,465
    Sure, every filter should be able to be cleaned and keep running. Having a filter fail unexpectedly in the field will cure you of this antiquated technology that's best suited to car camping.

  53. #53
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Sep 2014
    Posts
    230
    I use and am very happy with my Sawyer Mini plus a small dropper with bleach as an emergency backup.

Similar Threads

  1. Water filtration vs Water purification
    By SuPrBuGmAn in forum Bikepacking and Bike Expedition
    Replies: 51
    Last Post: 06-21-2015, 03:15 PM
  2. water car
    By deke505 in forum Off Camber (off topic)
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 04-24-2013, 04:57 PM
  3. Carrying water where there is no water
    By the-one1 in forum Bikepacking and Bike Expedition
    Replies: 27
    Last Post: 02-07-2013, 09:29 PM
  4. Solar Bag - Walter filtration as you ride
    By Aushiker in forum Bikepacking and Bike Expedition
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 08-01-2012, 03:19 AM
  5. Carrying water, lots of water?!? Show me how you do it, purleeezzzz
    By iggs in forum Bikepacking and Bike Expedition
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 06-11-2012, 11:05 AM

Members who have read this thread: 1

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •