User Review: MSR SweetWater Microfilter
Twelve of us just returned from a week backpacking/camping in Grand Gulch Primitive Area, UT. The water sources were scarce and mainly silty puddles and algae filled springs. I took along my Sweetwater that I have used for about eight years. There was one other Sweetwater and two PUR filters.
The microtubule systems clogged very early into pumping sessions (lots of water for twelve people). The other Sweetwater required frequent brush cleanings of the filter. Mine, however, pumped two and a half 3 gallon water bags before needing cleaning. (I was using the prefilter, of course.)
Everyone was amazed and how quickly and easily the pump did the job. Especially those struggling with their microtubule systems that required newly pumped clear water to backflush and clean.
I'm not sure why the other Sweetwater clogged more quickly...I've read that this may be a problem since MSR has taken over from Sweetwater (my filter is the original). I agree with a previous reviewer that it sometimes requires three hands to operate (and keep the prefilter in position-not a problem with a lot of people in my group)
In any case, I would recommend it for back country/primitive camping. It really saved the life of twelve of us. MSR is a good brand and stands behind their equipment.