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Thread: what is your favorite water filter?

  1. #1
    Member newcomb family's Avatar
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    what is your favorite water filter?

    I need to get a new filter soon and was wondering what your favorite is and why. Thanks in advance.
    Timing is Everything.

  2. #2
    Senior Member Tom Rankin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by newcomb family
    I need to get a new filter soon and was wondering what your favorite is and why. Thanks in advance.
    I got a small one from Pur. It's light, easy to setup and use, and has not failed me yet, which reminds me, maybe it's time for a new filter!

    Also, I've used the 'mix them together' drops (I know, great description :-) ). This is definitely the lightest solution, but you have to wait about 15 minutes to drink the water, and I'm not sure how long the chemicals last. On the plus side, there is no foul taste like Iodine.
    Tom Rankin
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  3. #3
    Senior Member Toe Cozy's Avatar
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    Okay, I'm guessing that a good number of people will disagree with me due to the heavier nature of this piece of gear but here's my opinion:

    I love my First Need purifier/filter. It is not necessarily light weight, it's about 16oz. But it did a fabulous job on even really skanky looking water last year on the LT. Made it crystal clear and completely lacking in any nasty flavor. The replaceable cartridge is good for 300 gallons. It has a really fast flow rate and a very comfortable handle for pumping. I could fill a one liter bottle in about 30 easy pumps...this is far better than some of the others I've seen. It gets out bacteria and most viruses as far as I can remember. Easy to use, reliable, robust construction. I'd highly recommend it as long as you're not super light weight crazy. If that's the case you might as well just use the iodine or bleach idea and drink gross looking/tasting water with floaty things in it!!!

    Hope this helps.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Artex's Avatar
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    I've had the Pur Hiker (which is now manufactured by Katadyn) for four years now and love it. It's efficient and easy to use.

    Here's a link

  5. #5
    Senior Member rhihn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Artex
    I've had the Pur Hiker (which is now manufactured by Katadyn) for four years now and love it. It's efficient and easy to use.

    Here's a link
    I've had the same one for well over four years, and it's still going strong.

    Dick
    Dick

  6. #6
    Senior Member Rick's Avatar
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    Arrow

    I never considered a filter until sitting at Moose Pond L/T in the Adirondacks one steaming August day in '91 with my bandanna and iodine tablets. I waded through the rushes into stagnant smelly water - It was the best I could find. I strained it through my Bandanna folded 3 times and used tablets. That water stunk horribly, but I was thirsty. After that my first stop on the way home to Buffalo was at EMS for a filter.

    I used a First Need from around '91-95, a Pur Scout from 95-99 and an MSR Miniworks since. I beleive the First Need is still classified as a purifier. The difference being a filter removes particles down to a certain size, while a purifier would do the same but also kill any viruses. I have read numerous times that there isn't really a need for a purifier unless traveling to 3rd World countries.

    I wasn't too crazy about the First Need as it is bulky had ridiculously short hoses and if I recall, had a single action pump. Having dropped it once, I can attest that the inside filter element can break. I think the FN use to come with a small bottle of dye (or did I use plain food coloring) to tint some water to test the filter for damage.
    I didn't like that the filter was not field maintainable, which may not be an issue for weekend trips.

    The PUR Scout was an excellent filter with a double action pump. Quck and reliable. I was always curious about the iodine resin matrix filter and how it works so quickly (...and as we all later found out...). I didn't like the iodine matrix, but I did like the charcoal filter, which was supposed to help the taste. I would probably still have this filter if PUR hadn't changed the filter element from one that could be cleaned, to the fluted paper element.

    I did have one problem with the PUR and backpressure on day 2 of an an 8-day trip in '97. My buddy, Andy, and I worked feverishly on it for 2 hours learning everything there was to know about the PUR, while sitting on some rotted logs by a stream. We discovered that several almost microscopic grains of sand had lodged against an 0-ring, embedded in the silicon lubricant, causing the pressure to build up on the backstroke. Once it ws cleaned, we were fine.

    I then bought the MSR Miniworks and it has run like a champ ever since. I have had absolutely no problems, it is forthright and easy to clean (and I am still on the first filter element). I like that the housing is transparent so I can see the water flow.

    FWIW, I always use a coffee filter wrapped around the end of the intake nozzle and held in place with a rubber band - even if there is already a pre-filter. I find it does preserve the life of a filter and cuts down on cleaning (you can usually judge if the filter element needs cleaining by how difficult it is to pump and how many strokes it takes to fill a Nalgene (60-80). I replace the coffee filter about once every other day.

    When judging filter life and number of gallons, be cautious and realistic. A filter that is supposed to last 250 gallons will do so with reasonably clear, clean water. Murky water, vegetation, sand, mud and microscopic creatures (like in pond) will drastically cut the life of a filter.

    On longer trips I usually carry a backup of Tincture of Iodine. I store it in a dark glass eyedropper bottle (pharmacies will sell you a dark eyedropper bottle for $.50 ~$1.00). I used this as my sole source of water purifying in Alaska in 2003 because I was worried about all the silt in the glacial runoff clogging a filter. Tincture of Iodine is cheap and while it doesn't taste that good, it is easy to have on board - I usually add 5-6 drops per liter of water.

    I hope this helps. I can't tell you anything about the funky new Mioxx or the UV purifiers - They are out of my element
    Last edited by Rick; 06-06-2005 at 07:29 PM.
    Rick

  7. #7
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    I have a Katadyn Pocket filter, the ceramic filter is easy to clean in the field, all you need is an old toothbrush. On a trip to the Hoh River in WA, the only filter that kept working in the silt was the Katadyn. A little heavy but worth the weight.

  8. #8
    Senior Member ripple's Avatar
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    Never had a problem w/ my PUR (Katadyn) hiker. It is light, easy to pump, has not clogged, and it gets a nice flow. I plug my drinking tube right to it. It gets my vote.
    Once in a while you get shown the light
    in the strangest of places if you look at it right.
    ---- Robert Hunter

  9. #9
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    Pur

    I have to agree the Pur hiker or Katadyn as it is called now has worked well for me for years, fairly light , very dependable, and pumps rather swiftly.

  10. #10
    Senior Member marty's Avatar
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    For weight savings, I have been using Aqua Mira chlorine dioxide drops for the past three years. To date, my backpacking friends and I have had no problems to date. It has minimal taste to it, unlike iodine and is supposed to have fewer side affects.

  11. #11
    Senior Member sweeper's Avatar
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    I have always used the MSR Miniworks. I've added a SweetWater inline pre-filter and never had a problem with it clogging.

  12. #12
    Senior Member SAR-EMT40's Avatar
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    I love my First Need purifier/filter for all the reasons listed by Toe Cozy. Nothing more I can add except that it is field maintainable. I was sold on it when I saw it remove the tannen coloring of one of the mountain ponds water.

    Keith
    Last edited by SAR-EMT40; 06-06-2005 at 08:48 PM.
    "The real work of men was hunting meat. The invention of agriculture was a giant step in the wrong direction, leading to serfdom, cities, and empire. From a race of hunters, artists, warriors, and tamers of horses, we degraded ourselves to what we are now: clerks, functionaries, laborers, entertainers, processors of information."- Ed Abbey

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    Senior Member Rick's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SAR-EMT40
    I love my First Need purifier/filter... it is field maintainable....
    Keith
    Keith,
    Now that you mention it, I do recall turning the pump around and reversing the water flow to clean it. Thanks for the memory jogger.
    Rick
    Rick

  14. #14
    Senior Member Toe Cozy's Avatar
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    I'll admit that I have very little experience with water filters as last summer was my first attempt at backpacking. But in my 130 miles on the LT I did get a chance to see lots of other people with various ways of getting "cleaner" water (is that like the idea of "safer" sex? ). Lots of people had the PUR/Katadyn filter and I got many looks of envy while using my First Need and had two liters of crystal clear water while they were still pumping away madly and hadn't filled up a whole Nalgene yet. And in comparison, my water always came out clearer and tastier than theirs. But that was just my minimal experience from last summer.

    But just think, if you are a person who travels to 3rd world countries you won't have to buy a second filter/purifier...you'll be all ready to go with the First Need! In fact, maybe if you get the First Need with purifier action you'll be inspried to travel to places you've never before dreamed of because you were limited by you measly filtering capabilities!!!!

    There's just so many gear options out there it does get a little overwhelming sometimes!

  15. #15
    Senior Member SAR-EMT40's Avatar
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    No problem Rick. I agree it is a heavy/bulky filter but I really like it. Also the pump is double action if I remember correctly (I can't be absolutely sure of that) and I don't consider the hose that short. I kind of wonder if maybe you got a real early version of it? I remember the one that first saw was different from what I bought. I am also positive that the first one I saw didn't have a pre-filter. The thing that facsinated me though was that I was getting water out of my filter and my nephews new filter that was tinted orange and he pumped crystal clear water out of his.

    By the way. Really liked your comments about the Pur Scout filter. Brought back funny memories. I too wondered how it could work so fast - until I got the letter in the mail and realized it didn't work.

    Keith
    Last edited by SAR-EMT40; 06-06-2005 at 09:38 PM.
    "The real work of men was hunting meat. The invention of agriculture was a giant step in the wrong direction, leading to serfdom, cities, and empire. From a race of hunters, artists, warriors, and tamers of horses, we degraded ourselves to what we are now: clerks, functionaries, laborers, entertainers, processors of information."- Ed Abbey

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