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Tried tested and true backpacking water filter. Great advice from someone who has worked and tried EVERY camping water filter out there!
MSR MiniWorks EX Microfilter.
I have done A LOT of backpacking and interior camping. With my job, I have had the ability to try MANY different water filters for free. Because I would spend so many weeks with different campers, the water filters got A LOT of use. . . . some lasted, while others didn’t (which is a REAL safety issue).
So I don’t waste your time… I will get down to the point, and why this water filter is the one that you should purchase (and the one that I personally purchased when I got my own… when I was spending my own hard earned cash).
I have tried SO many different filters… from paper filters, ceramic, activated carbon, different brands, pump kinds, and even gravity fed filters.
On one trip, I looked in my bottle, and was using a DIFFERENT filter, and there were little swimmers. If there are swimmers in the water and I can see them with my eyes… this means the filter isn’t working. I then had to make sure that the water was boiled, and prayed that no one got sick (we were lucky).
1) Durable – ours lasted years and years with heavy use by many people.
2) This filter and company has been around for many years, so you know that it’s good quality and it has stood the test of time!
3) Replaceable ceramic filter – saves money. Comes with simple measuring tool so you know when you need to change the filter. No guessing.
4) Removes Organisms including: Cryptosporidium, Bacteria, Protozoa (including Giardia), Algae, and particulates (filter pore size is 0.2 microns).
5) Removes Chemicals - The activated carbon removes chemicals such as Chlorine, Iodine, volatile organic compounds, pesticides, mercury and more (making the water taste even better!) - UV pens or filters CANNOT do this!
6) Easy Cleaning - Filter can be cleaned without tools, so the flow rate returns to back to speed.
7) Easy assembly – it is easy to take apart and care for.
8) Clear outside - You can watch the water being filtered.
9) Two filtration methods - Ceramic AND Activated Carbon filters (instead of paper - which do you trust? Ceramic or a paper filter?)
10) Fast - Pumps water at 1 Litre per minute. (No need to wait 30 mins or more for chemical tablets to have ‘cleaned the water’).
11) Easy to pump – uses an Airspring Accumulator, which helps the water go through more easily
12) Lightweight - only weights 1lb (456g) (16.3 oz)
13) Screws right onto water bottle – prevent spills, cause it screws right onto Nalgene style opening bottles.
14) Long lasting filter – approximately 2000 litres!
15) Stuff Sack to keep it.
16) Colour red! (this means it’s not as easy to misplace… plus I like the colour red!)
17) The water tastes great! - it doesn’t require chemical drops, and the activated carbon removes bad tasting chemicals, so water comes out tasting fantastic!
18) Best of all! You won’t get sick!
The cons (yup, i'll explain them, cause nothing is perfect... but I want you to know why this backpacking water filter is GREAT!): It's not the fastest, it's not the lightest, it doesn't remove viruses (only purifiers do this).
Yes, there are other faster filters out there, but if they’re falling apart or don’t filter as well, what’s the use of speed, if it’s not reliable. Plus, at 1litre a minute, it's pretty fast.
Yes, There are also lighter filters out there, but they use paper filters, are not as sturdy or hardy. You want your money to last. This filter will last. Plus, It’s lighter than carrying tonnes of water! All that it does, it's actually pretty light. And clean drinking water is worth it.
No. It does not remove viruses. Filters do not remove viruses. If you want to get rid of viruses- use a purifier- such as a UV light or chemical purification. However, purifiers have their cons. They only work in clear water. It takes a long time for the chemicals to work. You are left with gross tasting water. The chemicals are not healthy for people. And, many people have sensitive stomachs and the chemicals do not agree with them… leaving you running for the bushes. Not a fun way to spend your camping trip. If you need to get rid of viruses too, combine a filter with a purifier.
Make your ceramic backpacking water filter last even longer!
If you are going to be filtering VERY dirty water (lots of sediment), put a coffee filter on the end of the hose to save your ceramic cartridge. Coffee filters are much cheaper than replacing the whole ceramic cartridge.
Things to keep note of:
ALL gear requires some maintenance, and this backpacking water filter, the maintenance is SUPER easy, especially compared to many of the other ones out there (I've tried them, I know!)!
· Do not let it freeze at night if there is water in the ceramic filter – easy fix: Keep the filter in your sleeping bag if it’s going to get cold.
· When cleaning the filter - only Lightly brush it to remove the ‘sludge’. Do not scrub it hard (this will let your ceramic cartridge last even longer).
· After your camping trip. Clean the ceramic filter and let it all dry out, and you’ll have a filter that will last years and years. Some even suggest boiling the ceramic filter to sterilize it for storage.
· Store the cartridge separate and not inside the filter.
These EASY maintenance things will allow your filter to last years and years. It’s the only one I bought . It’ll be your first and last filter.
And at a price of less than $100, you can’t go wrong. This Backpacking water filter usually cost between $80-90- sometimes less!, and replacement cartridges (that can last several seasons depending on use), only cost $40.