Need Bottle Water Filter Ideas

12:49 a.m. on May 29, 2012 (EDT)
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Basically looking for ideas for filtering water. Been reviewing "Gear Review: In-Bottle Water Filters" here "http://www.trailspace.com/articles/2009/11/16/in-bottle-water-filters.html". 

Hope to hear from fellow backpackers,hikers and campers on their experiences on filtering water. I have carried in and also used purification systems in the past and I am going with a five member crew into an isolated Wilderness area for a 20 day excursion trip. Our food supply is being carried in on mules and limited hunting but I am also interested in hearing on ideas for water. Any and all help is more than welcomed. Thx in advance. Ed

7:23 a.m. on May 29, 2012 (EDT)
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Welcome to Trailspace damandoEd.

Personally I prefer to use a hydration bladder instead of a water bottle. There are several filters that can be put inline. I use a Sawyer Gravity fed filter and just hook the output to the drinking tube and filter back into the bladder.  In-Bottle water filters have improved since that article.  The filters listed max out at 50 gallons.  I would look at the Sawyer Squeeze Filter.  It can be put inline, used as a gravity fed, or squeezed directly into other containers.  http://www.trailspace.com/gear/sawyer/squeeze-water-filter/ There are a number of people that use this filter. Here is a recent thread you will want to read, www.trailspace.com/forums/gear-selection/topics/127464.html and this is an excellent article on water filtration, the 4th part is about the different methods available, http://www.trailspace.com/articles/backcountry-water-treatment-part-1-hydration.html.

8:04 a.m. on May 29, 2012 (EDT)
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I still can't see the appeal of a 'in bottle water filter', unless maybe your just on a day hike. But for longer trips you need alot more water, for drinking,cooking, etc.

+1 on the sawyer squeeze. It's very versatile with a little creative thinking, you can squeeze it directly into your moth like a squirt bottle, you can squeeze it into another container, you can attach a small hose on the output and make a gravity filter, or you can buy a few fittings and put it inline with a hydration bladder.

I currently only own a msr miniworks, and a steripen adventurer, but I purchased the sawyer squeeze fr my nephew last year. If I had to buy a new water filter today, the sawyer squeeze would be my #1 choice.

10:54 a.m. on May 29, 2012 (EDT)
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Hey Ed. And welcome to trailspace. Have you checked out with rangers from that area as to how good the water is? I checked it out when I moved out here. The waters (both lakes and streams) looked very clean. I asked them if I could drink straight out of them. They said for the most part yes, but they recommended a filter. So I picked up a cheapo Coghlans water filter, $24.00. This has served me well for most my trips.

I also have a Sweet Water pump for other areas. I'm looking into a gravity system for base camp. Find out what you really need and how often you are going to use it before putting down the bucks.

2:03 p.m. on May 29, 2012 (EDT)
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You can get the sawyer squeeze for 49$, and most of the other main stream options are in the 50-100$ range as well. If you think about it, buying a quality filter is more cost effective than buying a cheaper one only good for 50 gallons etc.

2:22 p.m. on May 29, 2012 (EDT)
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+ 1 for a gravity system. For a group, they work pretty well. Just fill one bag and let it drain through into the second one. No pumping, no problems.

I'd suggest the MSR AutoFlow, which does 1.5 l per minute, but there are other choices with various features.

2:35 p.m. on May 29, 2012 (EDT)
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TheRambler said:

I still can't see the appeal of a 'in bottle water filter', unless maybe your just on a day hike. But for longer trips you need alot more water, for drinking,cooking, etc.

 Ken,

There are several situations where the in-bottle filters are useful. Day hikes, maybe, but it depends on the water source. In an area where the streams are meltwater from glaciers or the streams run through tuff (semiconsolidated volcanic ash, such as at Philmont Scout Ranch), the in-bottle filters clog quickly. If your day hike is in an area with active or abandoned mines (such as parts of West Virginia or here in the SFBay Area, particularly Almaden Valley where Almaden-Quicksilver park is located - "quicksilver" is mercury, as in mercury mines) or areas with industrial or agricultural runoff, filters generally will not remove those chemicals. But most of the in-bottle filters are quite good at removing protozoa and bacteria. I have used them in stopovers in 3rd World cities where the taps in the hotel rooms (my hotels tend to be a bit lower than 3 star) are labeled "nonpotable". I do recognize that there is a good possibility of viruses in that case, so I usually add a halogen (I will note that the Katadyn bottle mentioned in philipwerner's article that the OP referred to includes an iodine matrix section to its filter-straw, and is the one I have used a fair amount). More recently, I have been using the Camelbak AllClear UV treatmentI reviewed in April, and for several years before that, the SteriPen UV treatment, depending on the straw filter to remove the silt. Some straw filters (the ones with a carbon element) also improve the taste.

One other use for the in-bottle filters is for a moderate to large group where the designated cook is using a large capacity gravity filter, such as the Sawyer which I use for groups. The cook will be boiling water for breakfast and supper anyway (no need to filter water that is going to be heated above the pasteurization temperature of about 160F), so may be providing some boiled water for the individual hikers, who if they are hydrating sufficiently, will need a refill from the stream or lake a couple times a day. I am assuming here that the OP's group is moving camp on a daily basis or that the individuals are making excursions each day from base camp.

For the OP, as all the responses to your request state, it really depends on just what your itinerary is - whole group moving together, smaller groups, base camp with short excursions, etc. Can you readily use a larger scale system like the Sawyer gravity feed (other brands have similar systems)?

Read the links that are provided (you can ignore the comments made by a certain representative of one of the filter manufacturers in response to Philip's in-bottle article and my 4-part "What's in your Water" article - I have talked to people at that company, who indicated that that rep needed some re-training to get the correct information).

11:11 p.m. on May 29, 2012 (EDT)
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mikemorrow said:

..Have you checked out with rangers from that area as to how good the water is? ...

+1
Most of the venues I camp in out west require no filtering or treatment.  Water quality surveys are conducted regularly by the government and universities.  Most water sources in the Sierras, for example, have better water than most municipalities. Try doing some research on the internet, regarding water quality in your intended venue.

Ed 

6:17 a.m. on May 30, 2012 (EDT)
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Yeah I understand that the water bottle filters work. They just don't seem to be the most practical or most cost effective option in most circumstances i can think of.

For example the Katadyn Mybottle filter is $59, and the filter element is onl good for 155 liters, and the replacement filter is $49. That is pricey! The Camelbak allclear however is more like the steripen and is good for 10,000 liters and is $99, which is much more cost effective.

I understand if your with a larger group maybe, but besides that the water bottle filters don't really seem to have alot of versatility.

Just because your boiling your water for cooking doesn't mean it doesn't need to be filtered, true boiling will kill all the bad stuff, but it doesn't remove any turbidity or trash from the water if you have a less than stellar source to begin with. A bandanna or other prefilter only does so much. This is one example where I think the water bottle filters fall short, if your having to use it in this manner it would be incredible tedious to use for anything  other than drinking directly out of the bottle.

Regarding the Coghlans water filter this one is cheap at $24 but is only good for 400 liters, and the major disadvantage is it only filters to 2 microns, where as most other main stream options filter to at least .2 or .1 microns. This filter has much more of a chance to pass through some bad stuff that is going to make you sick. I would thoroughly understand your potential water sources threats before using this option. the note from Coghlan NOTE: Coghlan's water filter will remove parasites such as Giardia, tapeworm, etc. It will not protect against bacteria or viruses. If you have any reason to suspect such contamination, we recommend treatment of your filtered water with Coghlan's #C7620 Germicidal drinking water tablets.

The OP  doesn't have to buy the largest gravity filter setup on the market, but he doesn't have to limit himself to a water bottle filter either if he doesnt want to. There are lots of options out there. Look at your needs, the versatility of products you are concidering, the weight, the cost, and the cost and life of the filter elements before you make a final decision. They all have advantages and disadvantages.

If you really want a water bottle filter though, and you want alot of versatility also, then I would go with the sawyer squeeze. Because, you can screw it directly on to any water bottle with the standard thread pattern(this includes regular disposable water bottles, squirt bottle style gatoraide/poweraide, two liter bottles, soda bottles, platypus etc). Then you could put it on a disposable soda bottle for example and drink to your hearts content, but then when your in camp you could covert it to a gravity filter if you desired. Or pop it off your bottle and attach a bag back to it to rapidly fill several other containers.

Sawyer squeeze $59 good for 1 million gallons, or the Katadyn mybottle $59 good for 155 liters(39 gallons). Which one is more cost effective, versatile? You be the judge.

9:33 a.m. on May 31, 2012 (EDT)
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whomeworry said:

Most water sources in the Sierras, for example, have better water than most municipalities.

The town of Jasper, in the heart of the Rockies, operated on that premise for decades and used only minimal water treatment. Then one year an elk died upstream of the town reservoir - everybody in town got sick, including thousands of tourists. The whole town, which depends on tourism to survive, was effectively shut down for the entire summer.

The odds of contamination are certainly lower for many water sources in the mountains, but they still exist. For the cost of carrying a safe water treatment method, why take the risk?

That being said, if faced with a choice between drinking untreated water (which might not make me sick for a few days or even weeks) or getting badly dehydrated, I'd go ahead and drink it anyway.

2:19 a.m. on June 4, 2012 (EDT)
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When we first got back into hiking and backpacking, the "best" filter way the Katadyn Hiker.  Eventually, my best friend jumped into the backpacking world, and she bought an MSR ceramic filter (which I prefer for field use) But then, I discovered the Sawyer squeeze.

Not sure how it's going to do for a large group.  Unless you have a lot-o-bucks to lay down on various filters, look at how you are going to use the filter the most. 

Bottom line, whichever one you choose, you are still using it "out there" :D !

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