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Water Bottle filter

6:09 p.m. on April 25, 2007 (EDT)
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a.k.a. Matt Sayre

I'm looking for a filter thats fits on my nalgene bottle i have already or filter bottle combo like the Katadyn Bottles or the Sawyer i saw at REI

7:35 p.m. on April 25, 2007 (EDT)
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Katadyn makes good filtration gear from the water bottles (0.75 and 1 liter) to pump filters of all sizes up to industrial and desalination equipment. I have used their pumps and been quite happy with them.

McNett's Aquamira division makes a straw ("Frontier") that filters down to 2 microns (not enough for viruses, but works for bacteria and larger). But they promote it as an emergency backup, rather than a primary filter for the whole trip.

I have seen the Sawyer, but didn't examine it closely nor did I use it. But Sawyer has been around for a long time with various first aid products (even though the snake-bite kit has now been shown to be pretty ineffective - but their time-release insect repellent is quite effective in my experience against Alaskan mosquitos in high season).

8:00 p.m. on April 25, 2007 (EDT)
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The katadyn hiker pro comes with a cap that fits the nalgene wide mouth bottle.

Excellent system. I absolutely love mine.

My name is Ed and I used to boil to purify my water.

8:14 p.m. on April 25, 2007 (EDT)
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I have an MSR MiniWorks pump filter that screws onto a Nalgene bottle-you can see it on the MSR website-REI sells them. I also have a Katydyn bottle/filter combo-mine filters viruses-or so it says. Both of these are new, so I have no idea how good either one is.

A lot of the lightweight folks just use Aqua Mira, Potable Aqua or similar chlorine or iodine based drops and skip carrying a filter altogether.

8:28 p.m. on April 25, 2007 (EDT)
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a.k.a. Matt Sayre

can you tell me how well the katadyn bottle combo works. Some people say you can't get enough water from them quickly

8:42 p.m. on April 25, 2007 (EDT)
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As Tom D mentioned, the MSR minworks fits directly onto the Nalgene bottle. I used mine just last weekend; however, rather than attaching it to the 1 liter Nalgene bottle, I attached it to a 3 liter Nalgene Cantene so I had enough water for cooking, etc. It was very convenient: I just inserted the end of the hose into a creek, held the pump and bottle, and pumped away. It didn't take too long to get three liters in the bottle.

However, sometimes it's not so convenenient--depends on the location of the water source. I have at times been forced to perch precariously on a log to get the intake hose in cleaner water.

Since most of my water gets boiled anyway, it may be overkill; but better safe than sorry. On the whole, I'd say it was a good system.

1:07 a.m. on April 26, 2007 (EDT)
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rexim mentioned having to perch awkwardly on a log to get clean-ish water in his intake tube. A tip for this is to wrap a coffee filter around the the bottom of the intake tube and secure it with a rubber band or twist tie. Not only does this prolong the life of your filter by almost double but it filters out the nasty chunky stuff at the edge of the water.

11:55 a.m. on April 26, 2007 (EDT)
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Mattman -

I think a lot of the responders missed what you were asking about, namely a "straw" through which you drink directly that filters the water or a water bottle that includes the filter, the idea being that you could avoid carrying a separate pump. Most of the responses were about filter pumps, most of which do have a method of attaching directly to the standard 1 liter Nalgene widemouth water bottle.

To answer your second question about getting enough water through the straw or combination water bottle, the straw is really for emergency use or small quantities, according to McNett (the manufacturer). You can drink almost as rapidly as through any regular straw, but you do have to suck fairly hard to do so. The combination bottle/filter that Katadyn makes had the advantage of being able to add a little pressure by squeezing the bottle, but basically it is the same as the Aquamira straw - you still have to suck on it more than a regular straw or than drinking from a regular bike-style water bottle.

The big advantage of the straw-filter or the Katadyn bottle/filter is that you have less weight to carry than if you carried a separate pump and regular water bottle or hydration bladder. But the lifetime before clogging of the straw-filter and Katadyn bottle/filter is much less than for even the smallest pumps (like the Katadyn Hiker Pro). And a small pump (like the smallest Katadyn, MSR, Sweetwater, etc) in combination with a full 1 liter Nalgene adds up to less than the weight of 2 one liter Nalgenes full of water. Plus many of the small backpacker-aimed pumps are serviceable in the field, which the Katadyn bottle/filter is not (well, you can replace the filter element in the field, but many of the pumps are cleanable in the field without replacing the filter element).

A big advantage of any filtration system over boiling and chemical treatments (chlorine tablets, chlorine dioxide, iodine) is the time involved. It takes a lot less time to pump a liter of water than the half hour or more that the chemical treatments require, plus the taste is a lot better, and it takes less time to pump a liter than it takes to get the stove out, light it, and boil the liter of water (actually, all that is needed is to raise the water temperature to 150 degrees F or greater). Filters also remove silt and other stuff which boiling and chemical treatments do not. But most filters, along with boiling and chemical treatments do not remove chemical contamination, like the mercury runoff from abandoned mines we have in parts of our local Santa Cruz Mountains (fish caught in Almaden Valley and the Guadalupe River have so much mercury that they are considered unsafe to eat even a few bites). As Ed G will tell you, a filter won't remove the sulfur taste from water from sulfur springs either.

Hope this is more directly to your original question.

12:21 p.m. on April 26, 2007 (EDT)
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no, a water filter won't remove the taste of sulphur, but a tea bag in your water bottle does a fine job.

9:17 p.m. on April 26, 2007 (EDT)
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a.k.a. Matt Sayre

thanks bill for the help

5:10 p.m. on May 21, 2007 (EDT)
(Guest)

While originally I loved the Katadyn combo bottle/filter (I bought two of the 1-L model), I now feel quite differently about them.

There is a little plastic piece in the cap that moves to allow air into the bottle as water exits. It tends to break off quite easily, either via being hit while attached to one's backpack via a carabiner and knocked around or while pressed into one's backpack with other gear. And note the word "easy", as one of mine broke with the lightest bounce against it.

Once that happens, the water bottle leaks if turned on its side. Also the air/water flow is impacted. It's basically ruined. And though the part should be available for 25-cents, you can't buy it or the entire cap at any price that I've found.

I was able to repair one of mine, but it was a complete hack using plastic model parts I happened to have at home.

Do yourself a favor. Buy a detached filter instead of wasting $40 on a bottle you might use 5 times before it's broken. If you camp often as I do, that 5 times means like 2 months. And you could easily break it the first time you use it based on my experience.

Katadyn (and retailers), if you're reading this you really should make amends by making the plastic piece or the entire cap available separately. Or stop selling a piece of junk.

-Stuart

9:31 p.m. on May 21, 2007 (EDT)
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Since my earlier posts, REI had a sale on the Katadyn filter bottle, so I picked one up. It looks like it would be very good for a tourist trip to a 3rd world country (which I will be trying it out for before we head off next Dec-Jan).

I assume Stuart is referring to the tiny floppy plastic valve in the cap. The stem that sticks up is so floppy and soft, I find it hard to believe it would "break off quite easily" from being attached to the pack with a biner or stuffed into the pack. But, Stuart, did you contact Katadyn? I have not had to deal with them very much, but the few times I did, they were very responsive (I talked to the US reps).

11:04 p.m. on May 21, 2007 (EDT)
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The problem with every bottle filter design I have seen is that they are really designed for drinking out of, not getting water for cooking, for example. The bottle has to be held upright. You can't fill a bladder with a bottle filter like you can with a Waterworks or similar filter. Other than that, you can use Aqua Mira or similar chemical.

12:22 p.m. on May 22, 2007 (EDT)
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The filter bottles have their uses (doing the tourist thing, for example, where you are wandering about town or visiting a Famous Tourist Site, called sehenswurdigkeiten in German = "sights which must be seen"). The filter for the Katadyn bottle I just got has a capacity of about 200 gallons, so would be adequate for a month-long tourist trip that had day hikes. You could still refill the bottle out of local streams even in 3rd world countries.

For more extended trips, especially backpacks, a hydration bladder or several 1 liter bottles are better, in which case you need a different method of sanitizing the water - pump filter or chemical purification.

For cooking, you are going to heat the water anyway, so you really do not need a filter or chemical purification. The only thing you might need is a way of removing the crud (silt, sand, large critters). A bandana or "coffee filter" is adequate for that, or letting the water stand overnight, then decanting off the top, may be adequate (doesn't seem to be adequate for glacial flour, though - that seems to never settle out). Heating to 155F or higher will kill viruses, bacteria, and protozoa, no need to actually boil (then again, who carries a thermometer, so go ahead and raise the water to boiling).

As Ed G noted above, none of these will remove chemical contamination, like sulfur water or the runoff of industrial, agricultural, or mining wastes. These contaminants are molecules not a lot bigger than the water molecules, hence much smaller than the smallest 1 micron filters. As I have noted before, we have abandoned mercury mines in our local hills in the SFBay Area, with the fish in the streams so contaminated with mercury compounds that signs are posted along the trails and reservoirs "Do Not Eat The Fish!!!".

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