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Thread: Water filter recommendations

  1. #1
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    Water filter recommendations

    Hello, all. Father's Day approaches and I have elected to ask for (my family gives me the privilege of asking) a water filtration system for hiking/backpacking - mostly because I would like to carry less water than I do now into areas where there are streams and springs. So, I'm asking my fellow VFTTers who come across this post to please offer their suggestions on which brand/model of filter they like/use. Thanks!

    Pete
    Last edited by CatskillsYeti; 06-16-2005 at 09:44 AM.

  2. #2
    Senior Member Tuco's Avatar
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    I have the MSR Miniworks EX. Its fairly small, pumps pretty quickly and fits right over my nalgene bottle and my MSR bladder so I can pump direct.

    Only problem I have had is that it can get clogged in very dirty water but JayH showed me how to unclog quickly.

    Haven't used any others so I can't offer a comparison- good luck!
    Eric

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  3. #3
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    I have a PUR Hiker (now Katadin). Fairly light, easy to use, and it pumps fast enough for me. However, it does clog in dirty water, which happened to me about 1/2 way up the NLP trail. Fortunately, I had iodine tabs. Next time, I'll look for one of the ones with a cleanable/backflushable filter. I sort of wonder if they're like the printer cartriges - sell the printer cheap & make it up on the ink

    But I have to say, it works good enough that I'm not going to look for one until it completely dies!

  4. #4
    Senior Member Jay H's Avatar
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    I have 2 MSR filters, an older Waterworks II filter and a newer Waterworks EX filter. Tuco's problem was odd as I've never had that problem with my Waterworks II. I've only used my EX one a couple of times but they're all roughtly the same design, just different ones have added stages.


    Tuco and I had problems with his Miniworks Ex when we were in the pemis last year, though we were not filtering the ideal way since we were on the trail and not in camp. The ideal way is to use a pot and let the sediment settle before filtering, use a presponge, etc. etc. The problem that Tuco and I were having was very small pieces of sediment/sand was getting in the rubber stopper inside the filter case of the EX. this was preventing a vacuum on the input stage of the filter (when trying to suck water up from the input tube). Therefore, the filter was basically sucking water backup from the filter body. I basically took the thing apart (you can do that without any tools, which is a plus for the MSR, I'm sure the Pur would do the same though). and verified that the O-ring was sealing properly, no leak in the hose, hose was under water. After that, I said there must be a vacuum leak inside the filter. The rubber stopper thing must close the water flow from the housing body during input or else you're not sucking water from the hose. Found the rubber thing impeded by sand and cleaned it out before reassembling it. Worked fine after that but it seemed to get really clogged up real fast.

    Funny thing is I've never seen that with mine. I don't know if it was that particular stream. It might be a problem with sandy streams and I've never encountered it. Don't know.

    As far as the filtration itself, I've never had a problem so far, that's all I can say. Both filters filter to .2 microns and filters crypto.

    Jay
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  5. #5
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    Katadyn Hiker

    Among AT thru-hikers that filter, the Katadyn Hiker is the filter of choice. The reason is that if pumps much faster than others. Secondly, Katadyn guarantees their cartridges for a year, which means that thru-hikers get a free replacement cartridge when they plug up during a long distance hike.

  6. #6
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    i also have the MSR miniworks ex and its pretty nice. if you're an ultra-lighter you might complain that its on the heavy side, but i dont mind cuz its a good piece of gear. i've used it on about 5 trips or so and dont have any complaints so far and would reccommend it.

  7. #7
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    I'll add my endorsement to the Pur (Katadyn) Hiker. I've had mine for about 5 years now and it is still going strong. Pumps fairly quickly and is light. I've never had the filter clog on me.
    I also picked up a camelback hydrolink filter adapter that allows me to pump directly into the tube end of my bladder. This eliminates me from having to take the bladder out of the pack to fill it.

  8. #8
    Senior Member Artex's Avatar
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    Ditto for with the Pur (Katadyn) Hiker. I've had mine for several years, and it's been great. I've used other hikers' filters here and there, and personally thought they didn't even compare to the Hiker. Just my two cents.

  9. #9
    Senior Member spencer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by five_head
    I also picked up a camelback hydrolink filter adapter that allows me to pump directly into the tube end of my bladder.
    before you go out and buy one of those, try it without the adapter first. I've been filling my camelback directly from my filter (Pur/Katadyn Guide) for about 4 years without any special equipment.


    spencer

  10. #10
    Senior Member Dugan's Avatar
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    While doing my own research into filters, I found the following comparison chart that may be helpful:

    http://www.backcountry-equipment.com...n/filters.html

  11. #11
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    Wow! What service!

    Thanks to all for the terrific info - and to Dugan, my fellow kuvasz owner, for the link to that chart. I'm off now to the local EMS store, but I still haven't made up my mind yet between the MSR Miniworks and the Katadyn Hiker, but I am leaning towards the Katadyn. I think seeing the two side-by side and having a print-out of the chart with me will help me make the final decision. I'll report when the task is done. Thanks again, everyone.

    Pete

  12. #12
    Senior Member Dugan's Avatar
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    It's the Kuvasz of discerning taste that has forced me into the filter decision.

    I'm comparing those two filters as well. I started out being interested in the MSR Sweetwater Guardian and the Katadyn Hiker Pro, but am now leaning toward the MSR MiniWorks Ex. If the chart data is accurate, the initial investment is higher, but the ultimate cost is less. One factor between the two is that MSR takes care of organic chemicals while Katadyn Hiker does not. I've read that that's a factor mainly if you're using it in agricultural areas.

    If you use a hydration system: In using TramperAl's Katadyn Hiker, he demonstrated that Camelbak hose can be directly to the out flow. I'm not sure if you can do the same with the MSR. The diameter of the out flow hose that comes with the Miniworks is 3/16", while the inner diameter of the Camelbak hose is 4/16". Even if they can't be mated directly, I'm sure there'd be an easy way to rig a fit.

    I'd appreciate it if you could let me know what you think of each.

    I plan to get to an outdoor store to check them out too, but I'm finding some very nice prices on line. I've kept track of the prices and where I found them as I've done my research. If you're interested, drop a PM.

  13. #13
    Senior Member Lawn Sale's Avatar
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    Water Filters

    I treat water for a living, and own both the Katadyn Hiker and MSR Waterworks EX filters. Both have pros and cons, which are listed below.

    MSR WaterWorks EX:

    Filtration of First Stage filtered (same as a Mini-Works filter) 0.492 NTU. Second Stage (PES) filtered 0.088 NTU (average of actual results measured on my laboratory equipment).

    Pro's: Excellent filtration. Filter element able to be easily cleaned. Easy to work on should a problem arise. Screws directly to a Nalgene. Easier pumping action. Carbon core in filter element.

    Con's: At 17.2 ounces (actual weight), it's heavier. High Price. High cost of replacement elements.

    Katadyn Hiker:

    Filters to 0.416 NTU.

    Pro's: At 13.5 ounces (actual weight) it's lighter than the MSR. Less expensive. Better initial warranty.

    Con's: Harder to pump as it fatigues the hands easier. Non-cleanable element.

    Awhile ago I posted a lot of information about filters and nasty stuff you can contract from water at www.trailforums.net
    Appearances are not everything, it just looks like they are.




  14. #14
    Senior Member DougPaul's Avatar
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    Lawn Sale,

    Just read your link on trailforum. Noticed that iodine wasn't mentioned. Any comments?

    Certainly one approach is to add iodine to filtered water to kill the viruses passed by the filter.

    Doug


    PS: for anyone not aware of iodine for water treatment, authoritative sources such as Wilkerson, "Medicine for Mountaineering" speak highly of it. Significantly better than chlorine. Kills viruses, bacteria. Doesn't kill cryptosporidium and giardia (but these are easily filtered). Has a flavor that some find offensive. The flavor can be removed by adding vitamin C, but this destroys the activity of the iodine so wait til the end of the required contact time. Iodine is used to kill viruses in some dual stage water purifiers.
    Last edited by DougPaul; 06-17-2005 at 11:45 PM.

  15. #15
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    Thanks again for all the help!

    Well, I decided on the Katadyn Hiker Pro and will take it on a shakedown cruise Monday 6/20 up the Peekamoose/Table trail in the Cats. I'll file a report. Thanks again everyone.

    Pete

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