Mar 3, 2009 at 3:19 pm #1234500
I'm looking for some advice…
I currently use a Katadyn Hiker Pro filter. It's OK, but kind of heavy and awkward to use without an extra set of hands. I typically only hike short distances on weekends along streams, and there are usually only 2 or 3 others in our party.
I'm looking at the Platypus CleanStream Gravity Filter system and wondering if anyone has used this? Or has an opinion of any gravity system, as compared to a pump. Thanks!Mar 3, 2009 at 3:21 pm #1482405
@dpnollLocale: Maroon Bells
If you want a gravity filter try the ULA Amigo.Mar 3, 2009 at 3:37 pm #1482409
"If you want a gravity filter try the ULA Amigo."
OK, why?Mar 3, 2009 at 4:30 pm #1482428
@verberLocale: San Francisco Bay Area
I haven't used the official cleanstream, but I have a DIY version: big zip sl2 + quick disconnect connector + in line filter + 3L platypus bladder. It has been fine… much better than pumping.
Why the ULA Amigo? It's a bit cheaper, a bit lighter, and would be slightly easier to use in shallow water. If I didn't already have the parts, I would have gone for the Amigo.
–MarkMar 3, 2009 at 5:16 pm #1482442
Ben 2 WorldParticipant
@ben2worldLocale: So Cal
Some more points to consider…
1. If all you want is a gravity filter, then ULA is a great choice. Its 0.3 micron pore size makes it effective for treating against all biological pathogens — except for viruses — which luckily aren't usually a problem out in the wilds (popular water holes excepted).
2. If you want the flexibility of using the filter in gravity mode (say when at camp where you've got ample time) but also as an in-line filter (say when on the move where you just want to scoop and drink through the filter rather than spending time setting up and waiting for the water drip process) — then the Platy system may be the better choice for you. (Note: no actual experience on how easy it is to suck water through — hopefully actual users will comment).
If interested in filters that can be used in both modes — there are also Seychelle and AquaMira brands. Both are easy to suck water through, but they also have much bigger pore sizes (2.0 and 3.0) and should therefore be used in conjunction with chemicals — to kill the tiny stuff (viruses and bacteria). The filters do an excellent job clarifying water and improving taste — including the removal of any chemical taste from treatment.Mar 3, 2009 at 7:44 pm #1482486
I'm sure I'll take some grief from this because of the weight, but you might want to consider the AquaStar UV filter. I hike mostly in Pennsylvania with lots of clear streams along the trails. I carry a couple of coffee filters to use as a prefilter if I ever come across cloudy or murky water but have never had to use them.
Other than the big three, the Aquastar is the heaviest item in my pack at 8.3 ounces (plus another 1.2 ounces for an extra set of batteries). That does include the mesh prefilter that's good for straining out small debris that may be in the water and the lexan bottle that holds it. I've thought about sticking it in a Nalgene canteen (and even bought one for the purpose) but I like the protection of having it inside a hard shell.
Why do I still carry it? I usually hike with 2-4 of my friends and this is our water purifier. It kills bacteria and viruses and doesn't affect the taste of the water. It takes about 90 seconds to filter a liter of water which is then ready for immediate consumption. For us that's a real treat when hiking during the summer because you're drinking the water when it's at its coldest and most refreshing – not waiting for 30 minutes while it warms up.
It's easy to use – just fill the bottle, screw on the light assembly (which is attached to the lid), push the button, and then shake for about 80 seconds. From your avatar it looks like you hike with your children. I think you might like the idea of knowing that any boogies in the water are dead before the kids drink it.
It's just another option to think about. From the looks of the Meridian Design website, it's currently on sale for $69.Mar 4, 2009 at 3:56 am #1482560
Thanks for all the advice. I'll look at the ULA Amigo, the AquaStar and the others mentioned. I've been told that in Michigan there is no great need to worry about viruses and that regular filters are sufficient. But like Kevin says, with the kids I don't like to take chances.Mar 4, 2009 at 7:48 am #1482586
You might consider the 1.8 ounce Sawyer inline filter. Connect with a Platypus, have a 3-4 ounce water treatment system…
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