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Thread: Water purifying

  1. #1
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    Water purifying

    Looking at something like a UV steripen or some aqua mira tablets. Most place I tour/bikepack, I can get water. Planning on pedaling some in Southern VT woods this summer. Don't want an expensive setup. Thoughts on either use?

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    It doesn't get much simpler than tablets, assuming you don't mind waiting a little while for them to be effective.

    I've carried a Sawyer Mini Filter for the last couple years on bike trips. They are very light, compact, inexpensive and work well. They are also versatile, allowing for drinking from a straw attached directly to the filter, attach directly to narrow-mouth water bottles, etc. They can be a little slow for filtering (compared to higher end filters), but still a lot faster than waiting 20-30 minutes for tablets.
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    I love it that the Sawyer hooks inline to hydration packs. That alone might have just got them a sale!!! Have you ever used yours that way Smith...?
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    Quote Originally Posted by sXeXBMXer View Post
    I love it that the Sawyer hooks inline to hydration packs. That alone might have just got them a sale!!! Have you ever used yours that way Smith...?
    I haven't yet, but I agree that's a pretty sweet option. Looks very simple to set up as well. The Mini kit also comes with a flush pump for cleaning - simply plug it into the filter when you get home after a trip and run some water through it. For the weight and a price tag of around $20, I haven't found anything better.
    "The only way we can truly control the outcome of a ride is not going on it, which is a choice I'm unwilling to make." -K.B.

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    For me it depends where I'll be riding and the types of water sources I have to filter.

    For mountain streams where the water is running clear and sediment free, Aquamira drops - lightweight, convenient and tastes great.

    For glacial rivers or rivers with sediment, a pump filter with a pre-filter on the hose. I also carry a Sea to Summit folding bucket for use in camp. I fill the bag and let it sit overnight to let the sediment settle. Works like a champ.

    For desert sources like potholes or cattle tanks that may be a little odorous, I use a pump and Aquamira. The Aquamira helps to mask some of the bad taste.

    I've heard the Steripen works great, but it's electric and it never fails that they die when you need them most. Thus, I avoid them.

    If the sources in VT are running clear, the Aquamira is the bomb. Some people use a bandana or something similar to strain out the floaties.

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    ^^^ Good thoughts. I'll be in the woods but not so far from potable water, thinking the aqua mira would be a back up.

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    Quote Originally Posted by leeboh View Post
    ^^^ Good thoughts. I'll be in the woods but not so far from potable water, thinking the aqua mira would be a back up.
    In that case, yeah, just take some Aqua Mira and it sounds like you're covered.
    "The only way we can truly control the outcome of a ride is not going on it, which is a choice I'm unwilling to make." -K.B.

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    I used a steripen for years until the light burned out, worked well, mostly reliable, little hokey in terms of a battery powered option to clean water but overall not bad. Did not replace it once it died.
    Sawyer inline plugged up on me second day on the CTR in 2015. Seemed like a great option but that experience made it a no go for me. I cut it off and switched to pills the rest of the way.
    I always carried micropur mp1's as back up and now use them as my main. Quick enough for clean (non cloudy, silty, etc) mountain water especially racing when you don't want to be sitting there twirling a light rod through 5L's of water waiting for it to do it's magic.
    Try things out but those are my experiences over the years.

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    The inline filters may work well - but I've never wanted to put impure water into my hydration pack to suck back through the filter.

    Once you do that, your hydro-bladder is contaminated.

    I don't think it would fit your need, but I can endorse the Katadyn Hiker Pro. Water is ready to drink immediately and you can filter INTO the bladder. But it's a bit large to carry on day trips.

    https://www.rei.com/product/830745/k...o-water-filter

    I've used iodine tabs. They did stain my bladder brown but worked well otherwise with the afore mentioned wait.

    Sent from my VS990 using Tapatalk

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    Sawyer mini fliter and a smartwater bottle are my system for 4-6 quarts a day on most trips. I flush it in the kitchen sink when I return, but take a lot of care to filter clearish water. Good tasting water is worth a lot to me, and I have tried just about everything available. The regular size sawyer is good too.
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  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by connolm View Post
    The inline filters may work well - but I've never wanted to put impure water into my hydration pack to suck back through the filter.

    Once you do that, your hydro-bladder is contaminated.

    I don't think it would fit your need, but I can endorse the Katadyn Hiker Pro. Water is ready to drink immediately and you can filter INTO the bladder. But it's a bit large to carry on day trips.

    https://www.rei.com/product/830745/k...o-water-filter

    I've used iodine tabs. They did stain my bladder brown but worked well otherwise with the afore mentioned wait.

    Sent from my VS990 using Tapatalk
    I've been using a KHP for 6+ years with no complaints even for day rides in the backcountry.

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    Quote Originally Posted by connolm View Post
    The inline filters may work well - but I've never wanted to put impure water into my hydration pack to suck back through the filter.

    Once you do that, your hydro-bladder is contaminated.

    I don't think it would fit your need, but I can endorse the Katadyn Hiker Pro. Water is ready to drink immediately and you can filter INTO the bladder. But it's a bit large to carry on day trips.

    https://www.rei.com/product/830745/k...o-water-filter

    I've used iodine tabs. They did stain my bladder brown but worked well otherwise with the afore mentioned wait.

    Sent from my VS990 using Tapatalk
    I use a smartwater bottle for unfiltered water, squeezed through the filter into a bladder or bottle. Way easy, no contamination. I rinse/back flush/dry the filter before storing for the next trip.
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    I don't like the idea of treating my water with chlorine dioxide or iodine. This seems to have made at least one of my friends sick in the past, not to mention you risk contaminated water on outside or edge of vessel you're using. In a back up survival situation sure.

    I've used the katadyn filter/pump products for years. I've never gotten sick despite having pulled from some nasty water. My understanding is viruses, and some bacteria are still small enough to fit through the ceramic filter. Someone correct me if I'm wrong here as I may not be up to speed on the latest info.

    I remember seeing a study some years back showing just how effective those uv pens are. If I remember correctly (& someone may be able to find and post said study) they were the fastest, lightest, and most effective thing out there. All my friends have pretty much switched over to them, and they seem to take a beating. I'll probably switch over to one before my next big trip. If failure is a concern a small amount of chemical treatment as backup takes up next to no room.
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  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by connolm View Post
    I don't think it would fit your need, but I can endorse the Katadyn Hiker Pro. Water is ready to drink immediately and you can filter INTO the bladder. But it's a bit large to carry on day trips.

    https://www.rei.com/product/830745/k...o-water-filter
    Quote Originally Posted by 6thElement View Post
    I've been using a KHP for 6+ years with no complaints even for day rides in the backcountry.
    I've been using this for years, mostly hiking, just once on the bike but it worked great and yah its a little big. Good to filter water in the evening and put a tablet in it afterwords for good measure and let it do it's magic while your sleeping.
    Quote Originally Posted by DIRTJUNKIE View Post
    some weird crazed desert dweller.

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    I've used the Sawyer Squeeze previously, but as mentioned before, it can be very slow. I'm probably going to switch to the Steripen Ultra.

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    I love my Sawyer Mini. I've read that the fine sediment of glacial runoff can clog them pretty quickly, so that's something to watch.

    Filtering down to .1 microns will get rid of bacteria and other larger nasties. Viruses will make it through though. That is where the other options like tablets, drops or a steripen come in handy.

    None of them will get rid of organic molecules (pharmaceuticals, pesticides, etc...) or dissolved minerals/metals. I am surprised that Sawyer hasn't made an activated carbon attachment to their filter to at least drop out the organics. One of our local lakes has pharmaceuticals showing up in detectable quantities and all of them have pesticides and herbicides to some degree.

    Here is one activated carbon filter.
    https://www.highwaterfilters.com/pro...nt=29365853580

    So... For me, Sawyer first, tablets second.
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    Quote Originally Posted by leeboh View Post
    Looking at something like a UV steripen or some aqua mira tablets...Thoughts on either use?
    Both make a great system. Depending on sources, add a pre-filter, which could be a piece of cloth over a bike bottle mouth.

    I've had/seen to many filter problems to consider the method viable for the long haul.

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    I have switched to the katadyn Befree soft bottle. It weights nothing and I can fill and squeeze through the filter into any bottle easily. Not only that but when it is empty it collapses down and takes up no room. Is my primary drinking bottle and I keep it in my Feedbag for easy access.

    Literally the best filter solution i ave tried. I've had the sawyer mini and wasn't a fan, tried the aqua mira and appreciate its size but really you cant beat the katadyn bottle right now. and its fairly cheap!

  19. #19
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    [it's big and bulky, so I have a special bag for these two items plus a water jug]


    but I use two steps

    1) MSR miniworx filter stage 1

    2) hand-crank steripen sidewinder stage 2 (overkill, but hey)


    I don't want the beaver fever or ptomaine

    IF I had nothing I would use a clear 2 liter soda bottle, pine needle
    or hay filter for the chunkage, and 6 hours in sunlight method. but
    I'd have to be dying to use this. it'll work though

  20. #20
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    Has anyone tried these yet?

    https://www.thegrayl.com/

    They claim to get rid of virtually everything, including viruses, heavy metals, and chemicals.

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    ^^^ well there ya go

    that looks ideal...using the filter as a piston...friggin A

    I guess I'll dump my MSR now and go find one of these

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    Some good info here! I haven't seen the Grayl or the BeFree before, both interesting options. For bikepacking, I could see the BeFree and a couple of extra softflasks being a good option. Obviously, a traditional water bottle cage wouldn't work, but a feedbag or two would work. Fill up 3 or 4 softflasks whenever you find water, keep the one with the filter in the feedbag and the others stashed away somewhere. When you finish the first bottle just swap tops. That's of course assuming you can get more softflasks without the filter and with some other kind of top. Or you could just carry one BeFree or Grayl and squeeze the water into your normal bottles or bladder.

  23. #23
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    I saw a Grayl in a store recently. It looked cool, but then I read it could only filter 40 gallons of water before you have to replace the cartridge. Maybe that isn't too bad for an individual trip, but in the summer you could easily run through that in 10 days.

    The Sawyer Mini by comparison claims 100,000 gallons, no joke, 2500 times as much water.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bikeny View Post
    Some good info here! I haven't seen the Grayl or the BeFree before, both interesting options. For bikepacking, I could see the BeFree and a couple of extra softflasks being a good option. Obviously, a traditional water bottle cage wouldn't work, but a feedbag or two would work. Fill up 3 or 4 softflasks whenever you find water, keep the one with the filter in the feedbag and the others stashed away somewhere. When you finish the first bottle just swap tops. That's of course assuming you can get more softflasks without the filter and with some other kind of top. Or you could just carry one BeFree or Grayl and squeeze the water into your normal bottles or bladder.
    I do have extra soft Flasks that work with it fine. Hydrapak makes soft flasks and they work with the befree fine. I actually just bought the filter instead of the whole bottle because I already had hydrapak bottles.

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    Quote Originally Posted by lentamentalisk View Post
    I saw a Grayl in a store recently. It looked cool, but then I read it could only filter 40 gallons of water before you have to replace the cartridge. Maybe that isn't too bad for an individual trip, but in the summer you could easily run through that in 10 days.

    The Sawyer Mini by comparison claims 100,000 gallons, no joke, 2500 times as much water.
    The graly looking at the price is expensive to compared to the sawyer or befree. The cool part of the befree is that when you need a new filter after 1000 liters you don't have to buy a whole bottle just a 15 dollar filter. and I'm finding the bottles to be fairly rugged. I like I can just fill it out of the stream and drink from it. put it next to my sleeping bag and drink. no pumping, no tubes, no big bladder. And I can fill all my other bottles/resources I am carrying by just squeezing it. And last, it weights nothing. the bottle is stupid light.

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    I bought a Grayl a while back and have really been happy with it. It fits in a water bottle holder - it doesn't really have the exact right shape, but I squeezed down my aluminum holder and it doesn't come out.

    I don't use it on short trips, but on epics - 3hrs or longer - I helps me carry less water (just a 50oz bladder). Then I stop and fill when we take a break by the river. A couple people can share one bottle.

    I've used the Sawyer bladder filter. It works, but you have to squeeze w/ your hands, which takes longer and makes your hands really tired. I think a pump-style filter would work well too, but I've never owned one of those kind.

    In sum: GRAYL is worth looking at if you take long rides w/ water crossings.

  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pucker Factor View Post
    Has anyone tried these yet?

    https://www.thegrayl.com/

    They claim to get rid of virtually everything, including viruses, heavy metals, and chemicals.
    and bacteria and protozoas and Giardia and Cryptosporidium.

    If I'm reading their specs correctly, it is a 16oz yield (2 cups) per "press" and the water is forced UP through the filter as the user presses down, correct?

    300 presses for $60, and then a new filter for just under $25.

    Will check out BeFree as well.
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  28. #28
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    This post turned into a treatise, hope it helps! Here's my basic rule, derived from a ton of backcountry experience:

    If water sources are frequent (multiple times per day), bring a filter. If water sources are far apart (once every day or two), bring aquamira.


    More on the filter: I use a sawyer regular (not the mini, they clog too fast). They are very light and work great in my experience. Just make sure to backflush it and store it properly - I like to flush it with chlorinated distilled water and then store it WET (I vacuum seal it in a mason jar but a couple ziplocks should work fine). Calcium carbonate deposits from hard water can clog the filter if it's backflushed with tap water and then allowed to dry.

    Filters are better than with frequent water crossings because you don't have any contact time. So it ends up being lighter than aquamira anyway, because you don't have to carry water while waiting for it to finish treatment. Plus I get heartburn from using aquamira at full strength after a few days, and I know others with the same issue.

    More on the chemicals: Aquamira is the only sensible game in town. On a per-liter basis all chemicals are cheap so there's no reason to skimp out by getting iodine or using bleach, both of which are significantly less effective than aquamira at dealing with giardia and crypto. And aquamira tastes better.

    Also, you can half the concentration of a chemical treatment if you double the contact time, which is great for preventing stomach issues. On long trips in the Grand Canyon we often have water sources only once or twice a day, usually just at our campsites. So I'll treat water overnight with aquamira at around 25% of the normal concentration. Better taste, no heartburn and works just as well.

    Also also, you can bring a couple of chlorine dioxide water tabs as the lightest-possible backup treatment if your filter breaks or your steripen runs out of batteries. Just remember that you can treat a lot more water than they say on the package if you just increase the contact time.

    Lastly, an interesting side note is that the listed contact time on the aquamira bottle actually isn't long enough to effectively kill high concentrations of giardia or crypto. Particularly in cold water. Chlorine dioxide water tabs list 4 hours instead of aqua mira's 15 minute contact time, because aqua mira isn't technically approved for giardia and crypto use. Marketing trickery there? It's not something that bothers me for most of my desert trips, especially doing overnight treatment. But it's another reason to use a filter in places like Colorado that see a lot of backcountry use and have cold water with higher concentrations of giardia and crypto.
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  29. #29
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    Very informative.
    I too use a sawyer filter with chemical backup. Plus I bring the bulky syringe to back flow my filter if needed. Light but bulky.

  30. #30
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    Yeah, I love Grayl for the quick drink. You can really get one bottle full down really quickly.

    It takes a little while to fill a CamelBak (three presses w my grayl, maybe 2min for my 50oz), but that's same w any filter.

    I've used chemical tabs, used to use them s lot. But I just can't take the taste anymore, they make me drink less water.

    Lots of good options out there. Find something that works for you and stop carrying so much water!


    Quote Originally Posted by June Bug View Post
    and bacteria and protozoas and Giardia and Cryptosporidium.

    If I'm reading their specs correctly, it is a 16oz yield (2 cups) per "press" and the water is forced UP through the filter as the user presses down, correct?

    300 presses for $60, and then a new filter for just under $25.

    Will check out BeFree as well.

  31. #31
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    I often pull water from silty sources, so having mechanical filtration is important to me. It's worth noting that when chemicals and UV purifiers are in question, that bugs can "hide" on particles of sediment, which can reduce the effectiveness of those treatment methods on water with sediment. And as already mentioned, cold temps reduces effectiveness of chemicals. I do carry chemicals as backup or to double-treat especially suspect water. I'd only use them on their own on water that's already really clear and only needs maybe a bandanna strainer.

    Quote Originally Posted by NickSmolinske View Post
    Lastly, an interesting side note is that the listed contact time on the aquamira bottle actually isn't long enough to effectively kill high concentrations of giardia or crypto. Particularly in cold water. Chlorine dioxide water tabs list 4 hours instead of aqua mira's 15 minute contact time, because aqua mira isn't technically approved for giardia and crypto use. Marketing trickery there? It's not something that bothers me for most of my desert trips, especially doing overnight treatment. But it's another reason to use a filter in places like Colorado that see a lot of backcountry use and have cold water with higher concentrations of giardia and crypto.
    This is a good point. Aqua Mira said for lots of years that the certification for crypto use was "coming" but it's still not here. I gotta figure there's a reason why, but I can't do anything more than guess to the reasons. As such, my chemical of choice has been the tablets that ARE certified for such with the 4hr contact time.

    I really do like the gravity setups on the market nowadays, though. I'm tempted to add one to my collection, probably using one of the Sawyer inline filters. Those things are real winners when it comes to cost/weight/effectiveness ratio.

  32. #32
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    I picked up a MSR TrailShot back in March for the Tour De Los Padres bikepacking race. Worked like a charm in the minimal depth water sources as well as the kind'a sludge'y water we had to filter from. Bonus for me is this filter fits in a jersey pocket or a top tube bag.

    https://www.msrgear.com/water/trailshot

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    Quote Originally Posted by Harold View Post
    It's worth noting that when chemicals and UV purifiers are in question, that bugs can "hide" on particles of sediment, which can reduce the effectiveness of those treatment methods on water with sediment.
    Yeah, I forgot to mention that. And in addition to bugs hiding in sediment, chemical treatments can also bond to organic compounds in murky water, so figuring out the proper dosage is very difficult. Usually if I have a mild amount of silt I just increase concentration and contact time, and if I expect really muddy water I bring a settling agent like alum (I actually use another one that's sold to Grand Canyon river runners but I forget the name). Or use a filter and backflush frequently. Either way isn't ideal, I don't think there's any great solution out there for really muddy water. Alum works pretty well if you have the time to let it settle overnight though.

    I really do like the gravity setups on the market nowadays, though. I'm tempted to add one to my collection, probably using one of the Sawyer inline filters. Those things are real winners when it comes to cost/weight/effectiveness ratio.
    That's what I have with the sawyer - a sawyer regular filter, with a gravity system made from two platypus hydration kits. Works pretty well.
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    Great article over on Expo from Christophe Noel about this very thing. Covers just about every option:

    https://expeditionportal.com/water-t...f-all-reviews/


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    He's hating on the Grayl pretty hard, with the caveat that he's hardly used it? Most reviews I read online were overwhelming positive. Positive enough that mine is in the mail now.

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    Sawyer mini has worked well for me. My only complaints is that it's fairly slow having to squeeze it, and it can be hard to fill the pouch in shallow water sources.

    I recently got a Sawyer squeeze, the regular size filter. It's only an ounce or so heavier than the mini but can filter at a much higher rate of flow, fast enough you can gravity feed it.

    Maybe it's ignorance but I've never worried about what the sawyer can't filter out. Maybe I should add aquamira for viruses etc.

    The Grayl seems like a good option but it would annoy be having to buy replacement filters.

  37. #37
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    I got a grayl two years ago to filter tap water (they have different levels of filters), but the water out of it would always irritate my throat, probably something in the filter. Did several presses with two different filters but could never get it to taste right. Maybe the newer ultralight one works better.

  38. #38
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    I posted something about this in the "Overnight" thread in General, but thought it would be good to put it here.

    I made an 8 liter gravity / squeeze filter system out of a Walmart roll-top dry bag, a Sawyer mini filter, a few feet of silicone tubing and a few small parts from US Plastic and my hardware bin. The (not completely) dry bag comes in a set of 3 with 1, 4 and 8 L sizes for about $10. Since I normally go with several other hikers, I bring the 8L bag for community filtering but the smaller bags would be fine for smaller groups or personal use. I loaned it to my daughter's Girl Scout troop for a hike in the Sierras and it was a hit.

    The small parts are:

    - 1/2" MNPT x 1/4" FNPT Nylon Reducer Bushing
    - quick-disconnect (QD) Socket, 1/4" cplg, 1/4" MNPT
    - QD Plug, 1/4" cplg, barbed for 1/4" tube
    - rubber gasket or washer, 1/4" ID
    - metal washer, 1/4" ID

    The QD plug (not shown below) and socket are basically the same as on many hydration bladders. The rubber gasket is for the inside of the bag and the metal is for the outside.

    Water purifying-img_20171008_142559138.jpg

    Cut a small hole in the bottom of the bag (slightly smaller than the thread diameter of the QD socket), and insert the QD socket and metal washer:

    Water purifying-img_20171008_142840073.jpg

    Turn the bag inside-out, and screw on the reducer bushing and gasket:

    Water purifying-img_20171008_142949936.jpg

    Bag hanging with 4 liters. The roll top has a plastic buckle that creates a nice hanging loop. Note a few drops of water weeping through the fabric, but no big deal:

    Water purifying-img_20171008_143517599.jpg

    This can be used in either gravity or squeeze mode. The appropriate length of tubing with the QD plug on one end and the filter on the other completes the kit.

    To finish this out, I have a cut-down Smartwater bottle used for collection and also for storage of the filter kit, and a cut down 1-micron poly-felt diesel fuel pouch for pouring dirty water through into the bag, to reduce clogging in the Sawyer.

    The whole kit is 6.5 oz. Like evdog said, the Sawyer Squeeze weighs more than the Mini by about an ounce, but has superior flow so that's what I'll be upgrading to this year.
    "'Suck the mushroom' is the new 'drink the kool-aid'"
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  39. #39
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    I am using a cheap filter such as a Sawyer mini, and a Steri Pen. Filters need to be replaced. If it sits for a while, mold grows inside of it. If it freezes, the ice enlarges the holes, So much for my $120 purifier.
    .1
    .2
    .02
    microns
    What fits through there?
    The word purifier is regulated.
    The word filter is not regulated.

    somebody check this one out, and see if it works.
    Pure2Go – Only Pure2Go Contains Virobac™

    Boiling water is still the best way

  40. #40
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    I've been using the MSR Trailshot for about a year now and love it. As long as the source water is not a silt-fest, it does a stellar job and is so light/packable that I don't even notice it. Great product. My .02.

  41. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by chrisx View Post
    I am using a cheap filter such as a Sawyer mini, and a Steri Pen. Filters need to be replaced. If it sits for a while, mold grows inside of it. If it freezes, the ice enlarges the holes, So much for my $120 purifier.
    .1
    .2
    .02
    microns
    What fits through there?
    The word purifier is regulated.
    The word filter is not regulated.

    somebody check this one out, and see if it works.
    Pure2Go – Only Pure2Go Contains Virobac™

    Boiling water is still the best way
    sortof.

    NSF Standards for Water Treatment Systems - NSF International
    EPA Guide Standard:
    https://nepis.epa.gov/Exe/ZyNET.exe/...kPage=x&ZyPURL

    Microfiltration and ultrafiltration do have agreed-upon standards, though. Microfiltration is absolutely relevant for what we're talking about here, and most products you can buy filter down to the 0.2micron territory. The Sawyer Squeeze that just arrived at my doorstep yesterday filters to 0.1microns, and the product package also states removal rates for different microorganisms.

    This doc mostly covers in-home systems, but provides good information regarding the size of various microbiological contaminants.
    https://www.epa.gov/sites/production...filtration.pdf

    Though there may not be specific regulations addressing the terms "filter" or "microfilter", they do have generally understood definitions that are accepted in the scientific community.

  42. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harold View Post
    sortof.

    Though there may not be specific regulations addressing the terms "filter" or "microfilter", they do have generally understood definitions that are accepted in the scientific community.
    The sales guy feels that scientific regulations shrink his pay check.
    and
    All filters seem to claim the same 99.9999% reguardles.
    however
    Water purifiers are regulated by the government, by law they must preform to a certain level.

    boiling is still the best

  43. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by chrisx View Post
    The sales guy feels that scientific regulations shrink his pay check.
    and
    All filters seem to claim the same 99.9999% reguardles.
    however
    Water purifiers are regulated by the government, by law they must preform to a certain level.

    boiling is still the best
    So what about the physical ability of a specific pore size to remove microbiological contaminants is problematic for you? It is simple physics. If a company were proven to be making false claims about their microfilter's ability to remove contaminants to the levels they claim, the law certainly allows for them to be held accountable.

    "Best" is relative. Boiling requires fuel, something to burn said fuel (a stove, as one example), an appropriate container, and appropriate time to cool your boiled water down so you don't burn yourself. It is not without its own limitations.

    Give me some examples of people getting sick because their microfilter could not adequately remove the microbes it claimed to, that cannot be chalked up to user error (like allowing the filter element to freeze) or something else entirely (like not washing one's hands after defecating). I'll wait.

    Sent from my SM-G900V using Tapatalk

  44. #44
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    I have had no problems with a number of different water filters over the last 30 years. Beats boiled unfiltered water that tastes like crap, or chemicals. Boiling is good for cooking water, but carrying fuel for boiling 1-2 gallons a day is unrealistic for ~5 days.
    I ride with the best dogs.




  45. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by baltobrewer View Post
    I've been using the MSR Trailshot for about a year now and love it. As long as the source water is not a silt-fest, it does a stellar job and is so light/packable that I don't even notice it. Great product. My .02.
    I've also been using the Trailshot this year. I agree, it's light and packable.

    My only gripes are:
    -the length of the feed-hose is a few inches too short...in order to refill a top-fill hydration bladder (Deuter), I need to remove the bladder from the pack and the bottom of bladder has to sit in the water (or the bladder has to lay at an angle). I don't know how/if the addition of a few inches in hose length will affect the ability of the filter to draw up a column of water. The length of the hose is probably fine if you're refilling a CamelBack or other bladder that does not fill from the top.
    -the cap-leash for the spout is on the wrong side. The spout is angled, and the leash the retains the cap is on the "bottom" side of the spout. IMO, if the leash were on the top or side, you'd be able to hold it out of the way more easily, keeping it out of your beard or out of the bladder when you're trying to refill your hydration pack (again, this might be an issue only with top-fill hydration bladders...but if you're still using a CamelBack, I really can't take anything you do or say seriously. So there.).

    First-world problems, I know. Neither of those complaints are deal-killers.

  46. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by VegasSingleSpeed View Post
    I've also been using the Trailshot this year. I agree, it's light and packable.

    My only gripes are:
    -the length of the feed-hose is a few inches too short...in order to refill a top-fill hydration bladder (Deuter), I need to remove the bladder from the pack and the bottom of bladder has to sit in the water (or the bladder has to lay at an angle). I don't know how/if the addition of a few inches in hose length will affect the ability of the filter to draw up a column of water. The length of the hose is probably fine if you're refilling a CamelBack or other bladder that does not fill from the top.
    -the cap-leash for the spout is on the wrong side. The spout is angled, and the leash the retains the cap is on the "bottom" side of the spout. IMO, if the leash were on the top or side, you'd be able to hold it out of the way more easily, keeping it out of your beard or out of the bladder when you're trying to refill your hydration pack (again, this might be an issue only with top-fill hydration bladders...but if you're still using a CamelBack, I really can't take anything you do or say seriously. So there.).

    First-world problems, I know. Neither of those complaints are deal-killers.
    Sounds to me like you need some quick disconnect fittings for your bladder and filter. I even have a bit of hose and a quick disconnect fitting for my MSR Miniworks to pump straight into the drinking tube of more or less any bladder (if I put the corresponding fittings onto said bladder) without removing it from my pack if I don't want to.

    I only use the top fill opening when I have a tap to fill from.

    And I prefer Hydrapack bladders with the roll top closure. But I do like Camelbak bite valves.

    Sent from my SM-G900V using Tapatalk

  47. #47
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    Does MSR make a different top for their Trailshot that will accept a hose?

  48. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by bhorocks View Post
    I have switched to the katadyn Befree soft bottle. It weights nothing and I can fill and squeeze through the filter into any bottle easily. Not only that but when it is empty it collapses down and takes up no room. Is my primary drinking bottle and I keep it in my Feedbag for easy access.

    Literally the best filter solution i ave tried. I've had the sawyer mini and wasn't a fan, tried the aqua mira and appreciate its size but really you cant beat the katadyn bottle right now. and its fairly cheap!
    One of my hiking partners on the PCT last week used one of these in "squeeze mode" and holy crap, that thing is fast!
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  49. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by the one ring View Post
    One of my hiking partners on the PCT last week used one of these in "squeeze mode" and holy crap, that thing is fast!
    Looks like it works similarly to the Sawyer Squeeze, it looks like, but with a slight variation in setup. Do you have any speed comparisons between this and the Sawyer Squeeze in squeeze mode? Looks like you can buy it with several bag sizes. From 0.6L to 3L for a dedicated gravity setup. All use the same affordable $25 filter element.

    I am currently using a Platypus Hoser 3L bag for my "dirty" water with my Sawyer Squeeze gravity setup. It's got everything I want, except the narrow mouth that can make it a pain to get water into it. I considered using a "Big Zip LP" for my dirty water bag, but the big closure clip added substantial weight, and the location of the drinking tube meant that I'd never be able to get all the water out for gravity filtration.

    I may wind up getting a Platypus gravityworks reservoir, since it gives you a big zipper opening at the top for filling. I kinda wish I could just get the 4L one as a single, the way platy sells the 2L one.

  50. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harold View Post
    Looks like it works similarly to the Sawyer Squeeze, it looks like, but with a slight variation in setup. Do you have any speed comparisons between this and the Sawyer Squeeze in squeeze mode?
    Nothing "scientific," but it appeared to be at least double the output rate of my Sawyer Squeeze. Other hikers that were queued up to get water from this slow-flowing creek were doing double-takes on how fast he was able to fill a 2L "clean" bag with the BeFree -- most of them were using Sawyers.

    The BeFree cartridge sits inside the dirty bag and it looks to me like it has input ports all along the side housing, whereas the Sawyer sits outside the dirty bag and has just the ~3/4" input port at one end.

    BTW my friend was using the Hydrapak Seeker as his dirty bag / bladder, as shown in this video (although I think had a 2L bladder):

    "'Suck the mushroom' is the new 'drink the kool-aid'"
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  51. #51
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    I have 1 trip with my new Katadyn befree

    But I love it so far!

    Already consider it a mandatory carry

  52. #52
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    I use a Katadyn Hiker as I had one already from backpacking days. I tried the Sawyer as an inline but found the suction needed to pull the water through the filter was tiring (not so bad when squeezing water through the filter). I bikepack with friends who have Sawyers and I am able to pump a lot more water in a short amount of time which is another feature I like about the Katadyn filter. I connected some Camelbak hose hardware to the outflow hose on my filter so it plugs into the bladder input and makes a nice clean setup. I usually bring two 3 liter camelbak bladders so I can plug and play.

    I have dealt with water that was so gnarly that, even after filtering, it tasted nasty. I carry Alta Mira tabs as a backup and it not only assuaged my concerns about contamination but greatly improved the taste. A must have in your kit!

    Lastly, I have also used the steripen when traveling abroad. They work well but note that the water must be clear for it to be effective. A pre-filter of particulates may be needed first.

  53. #53
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    Wahday- We resort to caching water along the route we want to ride at times, even in the Zuni Mts. Usually several extra gallons, and in a describable place. This will get to be more developed and predictable as time goes by.

    An alternative to purifying and the only alternative at times.
    I ride with the best dogs.




  54. #54
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    Never used tablets. I prefer to drink as soon as possible. Without my inline Sawyer filter my trips will be very problematic. I also have small mini as a backup and Sawyer filter bottle in one feed bag. Drink without stopping.

    Hydration on my last (4 day trip) was a breeze.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Water purifying-img-3135.jpg  

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  55. #55
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    That is a good point as far as how to source water. Sometimes you can't and need to bring your won! I have cached water as well (including a bikepack last summer following the Zuni 100 route) Works well if you have good access for a drop but that isn't always the case. Seems more critical than ever this summer, though. A lot of springs are dry right now.

  56. #56
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    I've switched to the MSR trailshot. I had been using the Sawyer squeeze most recently but really hated the bag/bottle system. The Trailshot eliminates that need for a bag or bottle. You can filter directly from the source into your receiving bottle/bladder. This also allows for drawing from really shallow sources where the Sawyer bag system would fail. As well, you don't have to carry any back-flush equipment.

    It's a really ingenious design!

  57. #57
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    Quote Originally Posted by KERKOVEJ View Post
    I picked up a MSR TrailShot back in March for the Tour De Los Padres bikepacking race. Worked like a charm in the minimal depth water sources as well as the kind'a sludge'y water we had to filter from. Bonus for me is this filter fits in a jersey pocket or a top tube bag.

    https://www.msrgear.com/water/trailshot

    +1

    I have purchased and used most of the usual suspects for water filtration, been using the trailshot only for around 1 year now.

    Pumping through 2 litres takes some forearm pump, but it's the easiest and quickest filter method i've used.

    Because there is no need for scoops, hanging kits or dirty water bladders the weight is around the same as well

    164g MSR Trailshot
    42g 2 litre Evernew water bladder
    44g I use some adaptors to fill my hydration bladder
    250g total

    In comparison
    45g Sawyer Mini
    65g 2L Evernew bladder (Dirty water with quick disconnect)
    65g 2L Evernew bladder (Clean water with quick disconnect)
    49g Scoop tornado adaptor
    23g Hanging kit
    34g flushing syringe
    281g

    So quicker, easier and the same weight

    Only problem i've had is
    1/ Forearm pump for 2 litres up
    2/ Pre-filter needs cleaning if you dip the hose into sediment
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  58. #58
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    Quote Originally Posted by VegasSingleSpeed View Post
    Does MSR make a different top for their Trailshot that will accept a hose?
    The hole in the spout is the same diameter as the hose used on hydration bladders

    You just push the hose into the hole and pump away.

    I have a 6 inch piece of hydration hose
    I pull the red plastic stopper out from the nozzle on my Osprey water hydration, push the hose into the hole left by the stopper (bite valve stays attached), push the other end of the bit of hose into the top of the filter and pump away.

    It took longer to right the description than to do it
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  59. #59
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    Quote Originally Posted by cbr6fs View Post
    The hole in the spout is the same diameter as the hose used on hydration bladders

    You just push the hose into the hole and pump away.
    That's what she said.


    Sorry, couldn't help myself.

    Great thread folks.

    I have an ancient Katadyn Hiker, so ancient its actually a Pur Hiker. I just discovered that I must have put a new filter in it after my last trip, so I'm GTG for a while! However, after researching all the products y'all are suggesting, I realized a replacement filter alone for my Hiker costs as much as many of these full systems. So its bulkier, slower, heavier, and more expensive... but, I have complete confidence in it, so that's worth something.

    I also have a SteriPen which was great for a trip I took to Nicaragua about 5 years ago (light, compact, effective though perhaps a tedious to use in large quantities), since us gringo's can't always even stomach the tap water. However, would not use it if there was any chance for cloudy water. Maybe good for the Colorado Trail.
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  60. #60
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    Is anyone familiar with the HydroBlu Versa Flow filter? Looks to be lighter, cheaper and smaller than the Sawyer Squeeze, and faster flow rate than the Sawer Mini. I'm thinking its worth a shot for $24.

    After reading this whole thread, I'm also curious to know more about the Katadyn BeFree system. Seems like it could be operated like the Squeeze, and one of the larger sizes could double as additional water storage when needed.
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  61. #61
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    I want to throw this one out there because I have yet to come across another user and it’s a great system. One of my elk hunting partners turned me on this setup when I was still using a gravity feed setup which is slow, requires attention and usually both hands.

    I have a Sawyer mini installed on a Geiggerig bladder. You pump the bladder with air and it feeds into other bottles on its own. You can also drink out of it without having to suck the water through the filter. I can filter water hands free while making coffee, cooking, eating, taking a piss.... whatever. I can also use the air pump to backwash the filter. People ask me about it constantly.




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