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Re: inexpensive versatile light water filter

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inexpensive versatile light water filter
August 27, 2013 10:42AM
Can some of you post your opinions or share what you use to treat water on the trail. Looking for something relatively inexpensive... Less than 100$ and not heavy. Have any of you used the straw?? Any opinions would be helpful.... Thanks in advance
Re: inexpensive versatile light water filter
August 27, 2013 10:53AM
Sawyer Squeeze is awesome.

Don't use the stock bags, get platypus or Evernew bladders if you can (assuming you want to filter from a bladder into bottles, otherwise you can drink straight from bottles). I don't know if the stock bags are any stronger now, but folks reported serious durability issues when the Squeeze first hit the scene.


Other good options: Steripen, Katadyn MP1 (seriously UL).
Re: inexpensive versatile light water filter
August 27, 2013 01:00PM
Another vote here for the Sawyer. Have the inline version and it's great.
Re: inexpensive versatile light water filter
August 27, 2013 02:26PM
when in a region that has predominantly "clear" water sources, the steripen is the way to go -- roughly 4 oz w/battery. I like to use a 1 liter platy with the top cut off to scoop water and treat with the steripen -- then pour into my smart water water bottle. In the Midwest or even Appalachians, I would go with an msr mini-works -- a maintainable filter unit.
avatar Re: inexpensive versatile light water filter
August 27, 2013 03:14PM
Same here. If I carry one, its the steripen. 3.6 ounces and it works well.

Edit: what I like about it is that it doesn't change the taste of the water. I get guaranteed pure water without altering the taste via chemicals.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 08/27/2013 03:15PM by oakroscoe.
Re: inexpensive versatile light water filter
August 27, 2013 03:11PM
I've been happy with my steripen and a small bladder for filtering water in the Sierra. I used to carry a MSR Miniworks; I'm much happier with the Steripen.
Re: inexpensive versatile light water filter
August 27, 2013 04:42PM
Whatever you end up with, carrying a backup is prudent. Steripens can fail or batteries can be used up, and filters can clog (though you can usually fix this if backflushing the Sawyer or doing field maintenance on the MSR). I prefer ClO2 tabs like the Katadyn ones. A little dropper bottle of bleach would do the trick too and be cheaper. Either is light insurance.

I guess I should state why I prefer the Sawyer Squeeze over the other options:

1) Doesn't rely on batteries. As long as I backflush before flow rate suffers too much from clogging, I can use it indefinitely. Week long trips in the Sierra: backflushing not necessary.
2) Weight (though may be a wash when compared to Steripen depending on length of trip. This takes into account reservoirs, batteries, backflush syringe if needed etc.)
3) Greater versatility for me in terms of where I can employ it (I don't always backpack where there are clear Sierra water sources).
4) Any suspended particulates gets filtered out, stuff which could potentially shield pathogens from irradiation if using steripen without an adequate pre-filter.
5) I can set the filter up and let gravity do the work for me while I do other stuff (not as well as the inline, but you can still do a good job with the bladder supported on a rock or log above the bottle).
6) Taste (same with all filters, and probably a little improvement over steripen depending on how funky the water is. I just used chlorine dioxide tablets for a long time as my only water treatment, got sick of the taste, even with efforts to aerate).
7) I can process more than a couple of liters pretty quickly, when traveling with more than a couple of people. Though the steripen is pretty fast too, in 1L batches. I kinda look at the Steripen as good for liter or two on the trail and the Sawyer for camp water.
Edited to add 8) Cost. You can get the basic Sawyer Squeeze with bag for about half the cost (retail) of the Steripen Adventurer. REI sells the Steripen Adventurer for $90, while the Sawyer with one stock 1L bag sells for $40... Even with the additional cost for a platy or evernew (assuming you can find one), you're still looking at probably half the cost of the Steripen. Additionally, it's a one time cost for Sawyer, you have to keep buying CR123s for the Steripen.

I should emphasize that I'm not claiming the Sawyer is objectively better. The Steripen can treat viruses, whereas the Sawyer does not. The Steripen will never clog, nor will it suffer damage from freezing temps (and lithium batteries like the CR123s perform fine in cold). If I'm concerned about viruses, I'd need to follow my Sawyer Squeeze filtration with chemical treatment or boiling. Generally not a concern for me in the states though (and the 0.1 micron absolute filtration of the Sawyer takes care of bacteria and protozoa). The steripen is indeed quick, particularly when you only need to scoop and treat a liter or two. My buddy's been using one for a while, and the slowest part of his process is the pre-filtering.

Like most things, I think it comes down to personal preference. I like the Sawyer Squeeze for the outdoors, but would love to take a Steripen traveling out of the country.

Interesting side note: I learned recently that a UV facility has been installed to treat Hetch Hetchy water. Since the water is pretty much pure snow melt, from my understanding, filtration isn't required. But the UV treatment was added for better log inactivation of pathogens. Scaled up steripen smiling smiley



Edited 3 time(s). Last edit at 08/27/2013 04:55PM by HikingMano.
Re: inexpensive versatile light water filter
August 28, 2013 06:35AM
I have a Steripen Adventurer but prefer my Sawyer. It's a preference thing, but in the end, just filling up my bladder and going gives it the edge to me. Weighs the same as the pen (a tad less) and no stirring it around while battling skeeters. The gravity element is great in camp too.

Good luck choosing.
Re: inexpensive versatile light water filter
August 28, 2013 07:40AM
Depending on the source, I use either Aquamira or nothing. Both are light and cheap smiling smiley
Re: inexpensive versatile light water filter
August 28, 2013 08:00AM
Two weeks ago on the JMT, I used the Potable Aqua iodine with the neutralizer and thought the water tasted fine. Maybe a bit soapy. But better than I had expected. Very light weight. I also carried what I called my 'dip and drink', an AquaMira bottle with a built in filter-straw system. Very handy if I was waiting the half hour for the iodine to be effective in my other water bottle.
Re: inexpensive versatile light water filter
August 28, 2013 10:04AM
thanks fellas.. appreciate the insight. most of my hiking/bike riding is done in cali... bay area, or sierras. yosemite being the most common area i would need a filter. will look into and review all options mentioned. Bowing to his greatness
Re: inexpensive versatile light water filter
September 01, 2013 09:15PM
We use:
  • MSR Aquatabs in camp to purify 3+ liters for camp/next morning
  • AquaMira Frontier Pro* for on the go, scoop and drink. Screws on nicely to Aquafina bottles
  • Steripen Freedom** for more guzzlable water breaks when conditions permit (no skeeters)

Used to use Chlorine dioxide tabs, Aquatabs don't taste as strongly. Super small and light, always have for emergency at minimum.

* We use these for Sierra water, not near grazing, not out of mucky ponds. Steripen and Aquatabs travel with us.
** easy to charge with our kit on trail, if necessary. Have Adventurer Opti, also works well. Heavier, replaceable batteries. Both have newer sensors that work well with Sierra water. Other versions had mucho problems (we tried several models).
avatar Re: inexpensive versatile light water filter
September 01, 2013 10:38PM
Quote
JustKeepWalking
We use:
  • AquaMira Frontier Pro* for on the go, scoop and drink. Screws on nicely to Aquafina bottles



I use my Sawyer Squeeze as my scoop and drink solution. The Sawyer Squeeze also screws on nicely to Aquafina bottles:

Re: inexpensive versatile light water filter
September 01, 2013 10:44PM
Yup, works well thumbs up. I prefer using a dirty bladder and clean bottles, but have used it right on a bottle before as well.
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