- May 30, 2017 at 12:59 pm #3470488
Thank you soooo much for taking the time to see if the inline adaptor/hydration tube will work out.
Yeah, I am sold!
Other than the unknown issue of how well the BeFree filter will hold up on a thru hike to be able to only be cleared by swishing water around vs. a back flush, this is a winner.
Flow rate fast enough to drip and go with dirty water in the BeFree Bag and being able to easily drink via the inline adaptor….wow, game changer for me on my hydration setup.
I am surprised too that we are not seeing any long term reports from people using the BeFree on longer trip…maybe due to the small 0.6 L bottle/bag that it came with???
For me, getting the new 1 L BeFree, paired with a 2L Seeker for water in camp or for carrying on dry stretches of the trail should be idea….though, I might carry a 1 L Platypus so I can carry 4 L for a truly dry overnight campsite and to get me to the next water source.
Interestingly, I used the Hydropak water bottles when I went to Cambodia last year for an “urban” trip.
No filtering, but the bottles seems strong and fine for the daily abuse of carrying water around all day.
David…thanks again for taking the time to rig up the inline hydration setup.
TonyJul 19, 2017 at 4:20 pm #3479769
Sorry that I missed your post and the photo…really appreciate it.
I just purchased the BeFree plus the 2L and 3L Seeker water bottles from Hydrapak.
Took the filter home and filled up the 1L bottle and quickly squeezed out a pint of water into a glass and was blown away by how fast it is.
So fast that I am just ditching my hydration hose and will just dip and go, drinking by just pulling the bottle out of my side pocket on my MLD Exodus.
As you said….”game changer”.
I will get a chance to take mine out in August on a 4 day, 36 mile trip.
Will let you know how my experience goes.
May do the lemon juice and water freezing trick to remove any chemical taste from the bottles/bags.
TonyJul 19, 2017 at 5:52 pm #3479780
I am using the Befree right now on the Colorado Trail. So far so good. Not quite as fast as at home but still faster than other people’s Sawyer squeeze. I will update you when I finish my trip.Jul 20, 2017 at 2:55 am #3479900
Ken T.BPL Member
Other related thread,Jul 28, 2017 at 5:53 am #3481503
Ken LarsonBPL Member
@kenlarsonLocale: Western Michigan
Jul 27, 2017 : James Scott……34 year old tech support analyst, but in 2016 I quit my job and moved out of my apartment to go hike the Appalachian Trail!
“One of the few new items I picked up was a Katadyn Be Free water filter. While I was extremely happy with this item at first, it doesn’t have the reliability my old Sawyer Squeeze did. The bottle itself has sprung a few pinhole sized leaks, and despite regular rinsing the flow of the filter has slowed down significantly within only a few weeks of use.”Jul 30, 2017 at 2:18 am #3481805
Thanks for making the time to let me know how the BeFree is working for you on your epic trip.
Enjoy your adventure….be safe and looking forward to hearing about your adventure.
TonyAug 18, 2017 at 9:17 am #3485828
After 8 days of use, I am very impressed. If I don’t get any leaks moving forward, this will replace the Steripen. The ease of use encourages more frequent water stops. Just all-around fantastic!Aug 18, 2017 at 10:47 am #3485846
I think I mentioned somewhere here that one of my BeFree filters had become clogged. I read somewhere that you can help coax it back to health by soaking in warm water. I put it in a mug of hot water from the tap for 10 minutes, agitated and it’s back to normal now.Aug 18, 2017 at 11:15 am #3485850
Matt SwiderBPL Member
@sbsliderLocale: Santa Barbara
great tip, thanks for sharing Matthew!Aug 19, 2017 at 8:35 pm #3486054
Greg FBPL Member
@gregfLocale: Canadian Rockies
Anyone run these through glacier fed streams yet?
I have 1 day of my hike coming up that will be my only option. Thinking of tablets for that day to avoid issues.
So far I did a 5 day family hike and a 2 day Canoe trip doing about 10L per day. Plus a bunch of Day hikes. Far better than the squeeze so far.
Why can’t you back flush these? If you were gentle you should damage the resin bed the strands fit into.
Sep 22, 2017 at 10:00 pm #3492679
- This reply was modified 3 months, 3 weeks ago by Greg F.
Well the Befree needs a lot of work. On my second trip trip out, day 10 of use, the snap-cap broke off, making it useless for carrying water. I did buy a platy push-pull cap before the trip, but found that it did not mate well with the threads, and would leak, so I went with the standard top. In addition, the bladder developed a small pinhole leak at its base; I could still use it, but this is not the stuff of rugged use. I also found that sometimes it would leak around the threads of the main larger screw area. I think that Katydn was excited about their new filter technology and rushed the product out without proper testing. I urge everyone experiencing problems to return their Befrees to Kaydyne so they try harder to get it right the second time. I think that the filter is a breakthrough technology and I look forward to version 2.0.Sep 23, 2017 at 9:27 am #3492743
Is your BeFree one of the newer ones? When I contacted Katadyn this summer, they stated that the newer production has resolved the problem. I have heard of a couple newer ones having failures, and this is disconcerting to me.
I’ll try to post a follow up video on my BeFree which I took with me this summer for the first 175 miles of the Colorado Trail, which I will be returning to continue next year (didn’t complete it). My general observations:
(1) The flow rate slowed down somewhat since the first couple days, but was still useable and as fast or faster than a Sawyer squeeze. Comparing my BeFree to my hiking companions’ Sawyer squeeze or mini, it was clearly obvious that the flow rate was still faster.
(2) The design of the BeFree made filtering water way faster than a Sawyer. The wide mouth opening made a huge world of difference. When I got to a stream, I would kneel down, scoop, and drink directly from the filter, then reserve maybe 0.5 L and keep hiking. The easy of use convinced me to ditch my old gravity system. I will never go back to gravity again.
(3) I use a Platypus hoser hydration system for my main water storage, and the filter worked great to pass water into my bladder without having to remove it from my pack. I just pulled off the bite valve, and used the Sawyer blue male adapter that threads onto the filter to squeeze water into my Platypus when needed.
(4) I had some slight leakage around the threads where the filter screws onto the bag. For this reason, I returned my filter to REI and picked up another one, hoping that that mine was just a bad one. This was never that big of an issue, though. If I screwed it on super tight, the leakage went away. That also meant that it was hard to get on and off.
In summary, I LOVE this filter. I hope that BeFree continues to tweak it for 2018. The filter is light enough that you could probably carry a backup filter and bag and it would still come out as light as the Sawyer squeeze and in the meantime it would be much more efficient and pleasant to use.
Regarding the snap-cap, the threads are compatible with any water bottle cap, so you could always replace it with one of those. For me, I used the 1L version of the filter, and it was great to have it sit in my side pocket of my pack to carry extra water if I needed to.Sep 23, 2017 at 10:20 am #3492754
Lester MooreBPL Member
@satoriLocale: Olympic Peninsula, WA
Two fixes for the snap-cap issue:
- Put a keeper leash on the factory cap in case it breaks
- Use a third-party cap as a backup, as mentioned by others above.
If you carry standard water bottles, it’s good practice to carry a spare cap in your kit anyway, so a generic flip cap could be carried as your spare. In the photo a smartwater bottle snap cap is shown on the left.
On the right side of the photo is the factory cap with a 1mm Zpacks polyester cord keeper leash. The leash is attached to the neck with a fisherman’s slip knot. There’s a small hole melted through the snap cap with a hot nail and a large knot to keep the cord from pulling through the hole.
After at least 25 nights of use in the hills, the cap on my BeFree shows a thin stress fracture starting at the hinge, but it’s still attached (this unit was purchased in June).Sep 23, 2017 at 11:12 am #3492762
OK, I tried harder and made the platy push-pull cap work. I think it is a superior solution than the difficult-to-pull-off existing cap.
There are two pinholes in the bladder, one at each opposite corner of the bottom seams. Useable, but annoying. It makes my side pocket wet all the time.
I contacted Katadyn and would prefer the 1L bladder anyway, which was not available when I purchased this one. Perfect replacement to that Smartwater bottle.Sep 23, 2017 at 3:37 pm #3492807
Rex SandersBPL Member
@rexLocale: Central California Coast
Many people want to store water in their BeFree to save the weight of a separate water bottle. I don’t – I treat the BeFree as a water filter system, either drinking it dry at the source, or squeezing clean water into another bottle. That’s also why I’m happy with the (marginally) lighter 0.6 liter BeFree bag.
– The bag is fragile – as many people have discovered. Less handling and stress means longer life.
– Using the flip top only a few times a day also makes it last longer. But I’ll probably swap it for a pull-top soon.
– The bag + filter is harder to get in and out of pockets, especially without further damage.
– Old habits die hard – pulling a hard bottle out of a side pocket and slipping it back in is second nature. Struggling to extract and replace a half-empty, floppy bag isn’t high on my list of new skills to acquire.
Obviously I’m willing to carry an extra 22 grams instead.
I hope Katadyn can make a more robust bag. Until then, others might consider using a more robust Hydrapak Seeker instead. The 1 liter Seeker is on sale at REI right now.
— RexSep 23, 2017 at 5:04 pm #3492821
How much does the 1 L Seeker weigh? I use my 1L Befree filter as water storage in addition to my 2L Platypus for a total carry volume of 3 L if I need it. Mostly, my Befree filter was carried empty. I agree that the Befree is hard to get in and out of your side pocket while hiking. Too floppy for that. That’s why I prefer a Platypus Hoser. (Tried Smartwater bottles–couldn’t get them in and out of my side pockets and gave up).
Even if Katadyn doesn’t update the bag for next season, I plan to take my (new) Befree next year on the Colorado trail again. I may carry an extra bag just to be safe, though. I think the bag weighs around 20 g or so–I posted the weights in my original video.
Sep 23, 2017 at 5:09 pm #3492825
- This reply was modified 2 months, 2 weeks ago by David Poston.
Rusty BeaverBPL Member
“May do the lemon juice and water freezing trick to remove any chemical taste from the bottles/bags.”
Is this “chemical taste” from the Katadyn bladder, a different bladder, the filter itself…. or all of the above?
My taste buds are so persnickety, I can detect something from my Sawyer Mini (I don’t use the Sawyer bag to store the water)…. and, though it’s fine for ~1.5 days out, after that, even though it’s a minute taste, it begins to bother me. Is the BeFree not going to work for me?
Sep 23, 2017 at 5:40 pm #3492831
- This reply was modified 2 months, 2 weeks ago by Rusty Beaver.
David K.BPL Member
@dkny2laLocale: Los Angeles
I hate trying to stuff “soft” water bottles/containers/bladders into the side pocket of my pack so I just use a Gatorade bottle that I modified to work with a BeeFree by itself or with a hydration tube. For me it’s perfect, easy to slide in and out of pack pockets, wide mouth is easy to fill and clean, and it’s light and super durable. The Gatorade bottle even has a clear line down the side of the bottle so you can see how much water you have left.
Sep 23, 2017 at 7:40 pm #3492853
- This reply was modified 2 months, 2 weeks ago by David K..
@hjuan99Locale: Mountain West
Hmm…I have the opposite experience with the 1.0L befree bottle. Why my arc haul, I actually find that its easier to take in and out of my side pockets than a hard sided soda bottle. Even if its collapsed (I can reach into my pocket and grab it). It could be a variety of factors…where I have my hipbelt, length of torso/arms, etc.Sep 23, 2017 at 8:50 pm #3492870
Speaking of the 1.0 L BeFree, does anyone know of any failures with those bladders? It just occurred to me that all of the ones that I have heard about are the 0.6 L variety. Mine lasted for about 170 miles and was still fine when I returned it to REI due to the slight leakage at the threads. That’s not an exhaustive test, but it’s a start.Sep 24, 2017 at 1:06 am #3492897
Rex, I absolutely want to use the bladder as a water bottle, and I don’t think that is too much to ask. Particularly if you unscrew the threads and introduce some air, I find that it is stiff enough to reach back and pull out of the pocket. I imagine the 1L bottle would work even better. I think that squeezing the bottle hard to make water flow is way more stress on it than having it sit as a water container.Sep 28, 2017 at 3:01 am #3493660
John S.BPL Member
David Poston, my 1 liter seeker with cap weighs 47 grams. The cap weighs 11 grams.
Sep 28, 2017 at 3:44 am #3493665
- This reply was modified 2 months, 2 weeks ago by John S..
Lee WBPL Member
@ltwLocale: Mojave Desert
“Speaking of the 1.0 L BeFree, does anyone know of any failures with those bladders?”
My 1.0 liter bottle had a pinhole in it, probably from the beginning. I discovered it a couple days into a trip. Contacted Hydrapak and they are sending me a replacement.Sep 29, 2017 at 2:34 am #3493833
Hmm…Seems like either you get a good one or a bad one. I got lucky, maybe? I think the bag is the perfect size/weight in the 1.0 L variety. I really do hope they improve it without gaining weight. The Seeker bags are overbuilt (and ugly) in my opinion–also they aren’t clear. If Platypus would just come out with a bag that fits the filter, I think I would have a lot more confidence. Never had a Platypus fail on me once in 10 years of backpacking. Not once.
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