- Jun 3, 2019 at 2:05 am #3595979
A lot of my backpacking is in water rich environs and I’ve been carrying a 20 oz bottle in a shoulder pocket and then usually a 1 liter Platy in the pack, when the 20 oz is empty I refill from the liter (and often drink the rest) and refill the liter and tab it w/ a Aquatab. It certainly works, but I would like to find a way to carry just the 20 oz bottle and a light, fast and reliable filter.
5 oz vs 34 oz sounds good, but reliability usually is the sticky point w/ most filters it seems.
MikeJun 3, 2019 at 7:07 pm #3596062
Two issues with the Trailshot. The intake hose is short so keeping it in the water can be hard depending on your source. Also, it is easy to get an airlock (not caused by the hose coming out of the water) such that the bulb doesn’t really fill with water each time you release it.
We used a Trailshot on the CT last summer. I dealt with the short hose problem by scooping water into my cooking pot, setting the pot at a convenient location, and dropping the intake hose in the pot instead of the creek. The second problem stumped us for many days. At a town stop I played with it in the sink with tap water. I found I could “prime” it by taking off the little intake valve and screen. Pumping with the intake hose end open like that seemed to prevent the airlock from forming. With a couple of squeezes the bulb would be full of water; then I could reinstall the valve/screen and continue pumping with a full bulb of water at each squeeze.
I will say that the Trailshot is slower than a big pump filter like a MiniWorks. It is faster than a Sawyer Squeeze or a SS Mini. Slower than a Katadyn BeFree until the BeFree plugs up. I haven’t tried a SS Micro. All of the above were slower than the USB style SteriPen until the SP battery died only 2 days after a full charge. Most of the UL types on the CT seemed to be using full-size Sawyer Squeeze units with Aqua Fina bottles in place of the dirty water bag.
I’ll be interested in seeing what other folks think since I am in the middle of deciding whether to take the Trailshot or something else on the PNT this summer.Jun 3, 2019 at 7:42 pm #3596066
thanks for the input!
sounds like the first problem can be overcome by replacing the hose with a slightly longer one (several folks report doing it)
good to know on the second issue
certainly not a perfect solution out there (yet anyways)Jun 3, 2019 at 8:23 pm #3596073
“sounds like the first problem can be overcome by replacing the hose with a slightly longer one (several folks report doing it)”
Yes but a longer hose would weigh more! Oh no! : P
Actually since we were already on the trail it wasn’t really convenient to replace the hose so that’s when I started using the pot.Jun 17, 2019 at 7:15 pm #3598225
Nathan LBPL Member
@nathansl2003Locale: Central Vermont
Last year I did 10 days on The Long Trail and purchased a MSR Trailshot. The idea was sound. Put hose in water and pump out, or directly into my hydration bladder. I tested it multiple times and then took it on my trip. Day 3 it stopped pumping water. It would take 15 – 20 minutes to get 1 liter. I completely disassembled it and could never find the problem. It just stopped working.
The hose is really short so that takes some work. Mina has the right idea with scooping water.
I spent that day tagging along with another backpacker and using her water filter till I got to town and purchased a Sawyer Squeeze for the rest of my trip.Jul 10, 2019 at 10:03 pm #3601461
Update: We took the Trailshot for our main water treatment starting June 27 on the Pacific Northwest Trail. It worked fine at home. First day on the trail, the ridged black collar–the part the output nozzle attaches to–blew off under pressure. I fiddled with it every which way but could not get it to stay put and seal. I can’t see anything on it that is obviously “broken;” it just leaks at first and then pops off. I tried calling MSR (Cascade Designs) when we got back on the grid, but their robot just said they are busy and leave a message, but then it didn’t give an opportunity to leave a message. I sent a contact form from their web site. Site says expect a reply to take 3-4 weeks! I was hoping they would just have someone who could tell me what is going wrong and how to fix it.Jul 11, 2019 at 1:37 am #3601487
Sam FarringtonBPL Member
@scfhomeLocale: Chocorua NH, USA
I still like a Sawyer Mini with a ketchup pump. Pumps more water with much less effort, and you can buy another mini cheap when it clogs up, or try replacing with a Platy Gravity Works:
MSR has a miserable record for small pump filters. Bought two and took them right back. Sounds like they are getting worse, not better. Would make me think twice about buying their other gear. Ditto, Cascade Designs.Jul 16, 2019 at 1:09 am #3602092
Bill in RoswellBPL Member
@roadscrape88Locale: Roswell, GA, USA
My BP bud has one. He won it at the AT kickoff as a minor factor. Works great buthosecould be longer-easy fix. I think great for runners and MTBers for light trail use. Filter life of 2000 liters and filter replacement cost should be considered. For 2-3 liter of water your hand will get tired of squeezing. Sawyer filter is 100,000 liters life, made for long hikers. Trailshot has its place, but not long trips.Jul 16, 2019 at 1:20 am #3602095
I’ve got to use mine now on a couple of different long day trips. Thus far I’m very pleased with it’s performance. I’m using it to refill a 20 oz Gatorade bottle (water rich environ). It takes me roughly 30 seconds to fill the 20 oz bottle, guessing a liter would be ~ 45 seconds.
How long it will last? Don’t know. What I know thus far it really works well in a water rich environ where you can get by with a single bottle and you want timely refills.
I used to carry the 20 oz bottle and in addition a 1 liter Platy bottle (both filled). When the 20 oz bottle was done, I’d refill out of the 1 liter bottle and then refill the 1 liter and tab it. It worked fine, but I was carrying too much water weight- now I’m carrying 20 oz and a 6 oz filter, 26 oz vs 52 oz.Jul 17, 2019 at 3:29 am #3602222
David BBPL Member
I’m currently half way through the Great Himalaya Trail – we started back in April with a Sawyer Micro filter. It was working fine but a month into the trek I changed to using just chlorine tablets for a few reasons:
1) We had a few nights where the temperature dropped below zero and I forgot to sleep with the filter in my sleeping bag overnight. I don’t think it froze but I’m not 100% sure and there’s no reliable way to tell if it’s damaged.
2) A lot of the time here in Nepal you’re having to drink from glacier run-off streams which are milky with sediment. I’m sure that would clog the filter so we had to cary chlorine tablets anyway.
3) Chlorine tablets weigh virtually nothing so I’m saving almost 2oz / 60g by not carrying the filter.
4) The filter was rather fiddly, and took at least five minutes to filter 64oz / 2L of water. You get painfully cold hands while squeezing water through in bad weather.
I’m not a huge fan of adding chemicals to all my drinking water, but for the reasons above we sent the filter home. The only down side of chlorine tablets is that you have to wait 30 minutes (or 1 hour if it’s cold) before drinking. We’ve got used to this so it hasn’t often caused a problem.
I’m still looking for the ideal water filtration system!
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