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yet another water filter thread


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Hello everyone,

I’m purchasing my first water filter and/or purifier and I’ve become paralyzed with too much information. I’ve read all about the iodine, tablets and chlorine stuff but I don’t think I’m going that route because I don’t think weight is really an issue with me. At least not yet. And I don’t like the idea of drinking muddy water. As far as filters go I think I’ve got it narrowed down between the MSR miniworks EX, Katadyn Hiker Pro, or the Platypus gravityworks. Please just tell me which one to get.

Also, are the lifestraws and mini Sawyers for real? How can you get filtered water for only 20 bucks when everything else seems to be in the $80-$120 range?

Again, thanks for all your help…. I think you’ve already saved me from a couple of bad decisions. I’m looking forward to my first backpacking trip.

P.S. To be honest I still can’t quite believe that I can pull water from any stream or lake or puddle of water I come across and not get sick after filtering it. Is it just the sheltered city kid inside me?

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From my small sampling of filters over the years, including MSR's original Waterworks, Miniworks, and now their Hyperflow, I've found all very reliable. I also have the Katadyn Hiker Pro. Of those 4, the Hyperflow is by far my first choice. Relatively light and I haven't found anything that can filter several liters of water as quickly. However, you do have to be religious with the back flushing the filter if you want it to last. We also always carry a bottle of Potable Aqua as a backup.

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Aaron Zagrodnick

I'm still using the Sawyer 3 Way SP122 - You can check out my review way back in Issue 3 if you're interested. I leave the carbon that's shown in the review behind on nearly all trips though, and use a slightly heavier webbing strap with a quick release buckle compared to what's shown just for ease of use in gravity mode. I just wish the filter had some type of integrity check, that's one thing I think is really interesting about the Hyperflow grizzled mentioned.

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Let me shed some light on what is going on here. I spent 6 months walking the AT. I used a MSR Gravity filter, the AutoFlow. To me gravity is pretty much it. For 6 months I watched people pump and pump and pump. Bogus. I mean why would you pump when you have gravity?

I think that if you spending the money, the AutoFlow by FAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAR is what I would choose to do any through hike again.

Believe me, it is not JUST the filter. That MRS AutoFlow bag is one bad mamma jamma!!! That AutoFlow bag helped me get water out of a running stream that was like 1/4 of an inch deep. But because of the bag, I was able to get a few liters!!! It wraps itself around trees and hangs there all by itself. It is like a portable sink.

I have Sawyer products, the squeeze, but I have never used it before. I have even thought about swapping out the filter from Sawyer with the MSR one.

If you are spending your own hard earned money... get an MSR AutoFlow. Just don't let the filter freeze. That is the weak point of the filter.

*****If you do buy one, remember... every few liters... you need to raise your bottle above the filter bag and let the water flow "backwards" as clean water through a dirty filter. This will help flush the filter and restore filtering speed.

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Just to go against the grain, why a filter?

I only bring filters for standing water (desert hiking). The rest of the time i just use MSR aquatabs. They're quick (30 minutes), lightweight, take up no space, and you don't have to worry about freezing/breaking.

Sure, my water isn't filtered and there's a minor taste, but i find most of my water sources are pretty clean anyways, and a small prefilter can be made if needed.

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Platypus gravityworks is definitly the answer. Easy to use, easy to clean, never fail.

The miniworks EX is good. I have one, ive used it for years, its fine, but any time i opt to take it instead of my work-provided gravityworks i regret it.

I dont have much experience with the hiker. They were issued out to use once or twice. I "nothing'd" it. Didnt hate it, didnt love it, just "nothing'd." It is a pain in the ass to field strip and clean if you're doing extended trips.

Again - Get the gravity works.

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