I have been testing the Grayl GeoPress Purifier, a new, large capacity water filtration bottle, while canoeing, canoe camping, and day hiking this summer and fall. For the past three years, I have used a Grayl Ultralight Water Filter bottle, to provide clean and safe water for me and my dogs while canoeing and camping. I reviewed that bottle here on Trailspace on 10/14/18, and since then have continued to carry that bottle in my canoe bag, and occasionally, in my backpack side pockets.
The new GeoPress utilizes the same fill and press filtration system as my Ultralight, but has improvements that address some of the deficiencies I found with the prior bottle. I can recommend the GeoPress for its simple operation, effective filtration performance, and increased volume. The bottle can be used by a solo paddler or hiker, but can also be used to replenish water supplies for canine or human companions.
- Simple operation
- Long lasting filter
- Sip top
- Soft-press panels on lid
- Tough to separate outer refill cylinder from inner cylinder
- Requires nearly direct vertical pressure
DESCRIPTION: In the Grayl product line, the GeoPress Purifier replaces the Grayl Quest, a similar water filtration bottle, but one which was a bit heavier, and did not have the improved features of this current GeoPress model. I am using the GeoPress as an upgrade over my Grayl Ultralight filtration bottle.
The Grayl GeoPress uses a simple fill, press, and drink system to purify freshwater, but is not suitable for salt water or extremely brackish water. The filter bottle has a capacity of 24 ounces (710 ml), more than the 16-ounce capacity of the Grayl Ultralight filter bottle I have used for a few years.
The purification system removes viruses, bacteria, and protozoa, unpleasant elements that maybe found in water taken from streams, lakes, or "sketchy bathroom sinks." The "One Press" purification system is easy to use, and it can filter 24 ounces of water in 8 seconds, merely by pushing on the cap from above.
The Grayl GeoPress has a replaceable filter that is safely used for up to 350 presses, which can produce as much as 65 gallons (250L) of clean, purified, and safe water.
This filter bottle has three basic components:
- The Outer Refill, the external cup into which the unfiltered water is scooped,
- The GeoPress Drink Cap , which is the cap on the Inner Press, and
- The Inner Press, which utilizes the filter, and which is pressed down inside the Outer Refill, by applying hand pressure to the Drink Cap.
Once the water is filtered, it remains stored within the Inner Press, or can be consumed through the drinking spout on the Drink Cap.
- Effective filtration of 99% of bacteria, viruses, and protozoan
- 24 oz. (710 ml) capacity
- 10.4 inches tall. 3.25 in. diameter, and weight of 15.9 oz. empty
- Available in 5 colors
- SoftPress design lid with venting cap
- Durable, with 10 year warranty
- Replaceable filtration cartridge
Filtration Capabilities: The GeoPress has been tested by an independent laboratory , according to NSF protocols for pathogen and chemical removal. NSF International is an American product testing, inspection and certification organization based in Ann Arbor, Michigan. The bottle meets the EPA Guide standards and Protocol for the testing of microbiological water purifiers.
The filtration technology utilizes an ion exchange, with ultra-powdered activated charcoal is its component, in the replaceable filter cartridge. The replacement cartridge has a shelf life (unopened) of 10 years, and is reliable for 350 cycles of filtration pressing.
The GeoPress is reported to remove 99.99% of viruses that may be found in water, to include Rotavirus, Norovirus, and Hepatitis A.
The bacterial filtration removes 99.9999% of E.coli, salmonella, and dysentery causing bacteria.
Protozoan such as giardia, cryptosporidium, and amoebae are removed at 99.9%.
I am not a scientist, but having spent a lot of time in the woods, backcountry, and lakes of various degrees of remoteness, I recognize that nasty things can happen if you , or your dog, happens to drink water contaminated with any of the above bad elements. No one likes to get sick on a trip, and having a sick dog is no picnic , either!
The GeoPress can filter out trace amounts of chemicals and heavy metals, but is NOT designed to provide clean water in areas of high mercury, cyanobacteria ( blue-green algae),lead contamination, or nuclear disaster. So if you are preparing for the apocalypse, best to seek out a more secure water source for those situations.
Physical Description: The GeoPress is available in 5 colors (alpine white, camo black, covert black, visibility orange, and coyote amber). It is made of BPA free plastics materials, it stands 10.4 inches (26.5 cm) tall, and has a diameter of 3.25 inches (8.25 cm) at the base. It weighs 15.9 oz (450 g) empty, and 40.9 oz. (1116g ) when at capacity of 24 oz. of water. Though it has a drinking spout, the weight when full means it probably is not the best choice for use as a water bottle, beyond immediately drinking the filtered water.
There are two "SoftPress" pads on the side of the cap, to aid in comfort while pressing, a definite improvement over the Grayl Ultralight which I own. A twist of the "simplevent" cap can also assist in applying pressure, by venting air from the container. The base has a non-slip ring on the edge, keeping the bottle secure as you apply pressure.
Durability: When full of water, the bottle reportedly will survive a 10-foot drop onto concrete while remaining intact. Each Grayl filtration bottle is covered by a 10-year warranty covering materials and workmanship.
Filter Lifespan: The filtration cartridge should be replaced every 3 years, or after 350 uses/presses, or when the press time reaches 25 seconds. The replacement cartridge has an MSRP of $29.95.
Care/Limitations: The GeoPress should be protected from freezing temperatures; the cartridge can endure one freeze/thaw cycle without degradation, but if it suffers three freezing events the cartridge should be replaced.
The GeoPress is not suitable for water at temperatures above 120°(f)/50°(c). It is definitely not microwaveable, and is not dishwasher safe. Any components (except for the filter cartridge) should be washed in warm soapy water. The filter cartridge can be rinsed with clean water if needed.
Manufacturer's Information: The GeoPress is designed in the US, and its purification cartridge media are made in the US, but the GeoPress is made in China. Grayl is a member of "1% For the Planet," pledging one percent of global sales to the "preservation and restoration of the natural environment."
PERFORMANCE DURING MY ACTIVITIES: Whenever heading out for a day paddle I need to be sure that I have adequate drinking water for me, as I tend to get thirsty while on a long paddle. Carrying drinking water in my canoe is standard practice, but if I run low, I like to feel confident that I have a way to refill my supply.
I also always have a dog with me in my canoe, and while out on hot sunny days, the dog needs to be able to stay hydrated. Though the lakes we paddle are generally safe for dog drinking, we also need to be aware of the possible presence of hidden nasties that can make my dog sick. I always consider it the safer choice for me to provide drinking water for the dog.
While on remote canoe camping trips with my husband, we have used one filtration bottle to replenish the water supply in the large communal water jug. The press/filtration time is minimal, but I think this filtration bottle is best for use by one person, especially if the drinking spout is used.
Though the GeoPress can be problematic to use while in the canoe, by pulling in to shore I can quickly filter a bottle's worth of potable water. I have tried to administer the required vertical press down on the bottle while in the canoe, but my low seat configuration does not permit my reaching high enough position above the bottle to provide an adequate arm press. It can be done, but it is not easy.
In a larger canoe, with a higher seat placement, on-board filtration is feasible. However, I can readily find a nearby take-out spot, and once onshore, it is easy to press down and provide the force needed for filtration. While on the trail or at the campsite, providing the required vertical pressure is not an issue.
The one negative issue I have had with the GeoPress is that the outer refill container can be tough to remove from the inner press, in order to fill the outer refill with water before filtration. The instruction manual provided by Grayl indicates that the outer refill should be twisted around in order to facilitate removal.
I have found that this does not always help, especially if the inner press is wet from prior use...in fact, I have had to occasionally use a dull blade to pry a bit of separation between the components.
The GeoPress takes up little space, and is inconsequential in weight for day paddles, so it now lives in my canoe bag and accompanies me on every day paddle. I previously carried and used the Grayl Ultralight Filter Bottle, but the GeoPress is an improvement in performance and capacity.
When canoe camping, packing enough water for extended days can be space and weight consuming, so the need for a safe filtration system is important to me. For me, simple filtering operation is essential; the fewer parts a filter has, and the sturdier it is, the better for my purposes. The GeoPress has proven to meet my needs on my daily short paddle trips as well as on nine canoe camping trips this season. As someone who once (yes, only once) forgot the water jug on a canoe trip, keeping the GeoPress in my canoe bag insures I will never run dry again.
I do not backpack, but for day hiking trips where I know there is a water source, I have carried the GeoPress in my pack's side pockets. I can carry my usual water bottle in one pocket, and when that is depleted, refill it with GeoPress purified water from the stream, pond, or river near the hiking trail; I can also keep the GeoPress filled with its 24-ounce capacity of water, but for some, the field weight of over 2 pounds (900 g) may make this choice an issue.
SUMMARY: There are many different water filtration systems, techniques, products and options available. For me, the simple "Fill, Press, Drink" system of this GeoPress is the most amenable for my activities. I do not require large water storage, and generally do not spend long periods of time in the back country. The size and weight of the GeoPress make it compatible with my canoe camping gear, and I have found it to be reliable, and easy to use.
I have not yet had to replace a filter cartridge, but that is an easy operation, and the replacement is reasonably priced at $29.95. With my camping frequency, using the filter a few times each day should get me at least two years of use out of each filter.
As an avid canoeist, canoe camper, and hiker, I have always recognized the need to have access to clean and safe drinking water. I have previously used a GeoPress filtration bottle successfully, and have enjoyed testing this upgraded model. I have not used other filtration systems (other than boiling, Lifestraw, and purification tablets), but the simplicity of this type system makes it most suitable for my needs.
This GeoPress has been taken and used on a number of front country camping trips, canoe camping trips, hikes, and day paddle trips this past summer, so I have had multiple opportunities to test out this filtration bottle.
Source: received for testing via the Trailspace Review Corps
(Sample for testing and review provided by Grayl)
Original Review: October 21, 2020
I was gifted a Grayl by someone who knows that I have occasionally taken risks with drinking stream water on hiking trips, so far so good but it drove them crazy. This filter is highly effective, durable, no parts to hunt around my pack for, will suffice for day hikes and longer hikes and acts like a great water bottle. I love it!
- Day hikes and multi-day
- It is a bit tough to get used to how much direct downward pressure you need to filter
I have had the Grayl for about 2 years now and use it every time I am out on a hike. I have filled it from streams, lakes, ponds, stock tanks, and water trickles with no problems. It is tough, doesn't break when dropped, stuffs in my pack like a water bottle. It takes some getting use to with the downward pressure needed to filter the water, but you grow accustomed to it and I don't think about that aspect until I have someone else filter water for me and they struggle with it until they get used to it too.
Update: May 19, 2021
For day hikers and overnight adventurers, fill this beauty up with water at the start of your hike and when you find a water source, drink what you have and refill the Grayl. Original reviews talked about how difficult it is to press (filter) the water, think of a french press coffee maker, not hard at all and I am quite small. I love this simple, perfect system
- Quick and easy drinkable water provider, lakes, streams, ponds. Dip, press and drink...safely!
- The cost may have some hesitate but the Grayl is durable, reliable and, thirsty-user friendly.
This is an easy to use, effective, fast source of filtered water. The capacity of fresh water that is also stored directly in the french-press style container is about 3- 4 cups that you can empty into another water bottle and refill the Grayl at any water source.
It can be a pond, lake, stream, river, or spring you come upon and the lower part of the device detaches. Fill it with water, place the top/lid on, and press down. The water is now purified and you can carry it just like it is. It is good for two people to use on a day hike where you might occasionally come upon a water source.
On longer hikes or where water is less plentiful or predictable, fill and press the Grayl, empty into surplus water vessels, and continue to refill and press the Grayl.
I love this critical equipment.
2.5 years of day hikes and several overnight trips along with field trips, long car rides, dog walks. I have dropped it, and it is very durable.
Source: received it as a personal gift
The easiest and likely fastest filter of its caliber on the market. Takes absolutely disgusting water and turns it into purified clean, tasty water.
- Super fast
- Super easy
- A bit heavy for thru hikers/ultra light hikers
Wife and I use this on camping trips. So super simple and fast, very tough as far as the hardware pieces go.
We like to backcountry hike and camp. The $80-$90 cost for this filter, with regard to the ease and safeness of the water you get, is worth each and every penny.
We have been using this filter for about 6 months. The Sawyer Mini and Squeeze were what we used prior. While the Sawyers are very light, the Grayl is a superior product in every way other than the weight (obviously my opinion only).
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $80
The GeoPress is fast and clean, never leaks, and does a better job of providing super clear water than my Lifestraw did. You do have to use a fair amount of pressure to push it down, but the excellent results are worth it. Oh, and it is also easier to clean with a quick rinse.
- Water quality
- Ease of use
- A little heavier, like 2 oz.
Use this just like a water bottle—plunge and you are good to go. I have filtered lots of river and pond water with excellent results. No muss, no fuss.
If you are just filtering municipal water, get a cheaper, lighter bottle. but if you are out in nature, this is an excellent choice.
This is my third filter bottle.
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $70
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Current Retail: $67.46-$99.95
Historic Range: $67.46-$99.95
Reviewers Paid: $70.00-$80.00
24 oz / 710 ml
15.9 oz / 450 g
10.4 in / 26.5 cm
3.4 in / 8.6 cm at base
ion exchange, ultra-powdered activated carbon
8 seconds per 24 oz / 5 liters per minute
waterborne pathogens (99.99% of viruses, 99.9999% of bacteria, 99.9% of protozoan cysts), including Rotavirus, Hepatitis A, Norovirus, Giardiasis, Cryptosporidium, E. Coli, Cholera, Salmonella, Dysentery and more
particulates, such as silt, microplastics, activated carbon effectively absorbs chemicals, pesticides, heavy metals, flavors, and odors
Geopress made in China, purifier cartridge media made in United States