View Full Version : Camelbak All Clear vs standard ceramic/carbon filter method

05-25-2015, 11:19
I would like to buy a water filtration system. I don't want to spend more than about $100, so I am looking at the Camelbak "All Clear", the Katadyn Vario, and the MSR Miniworks EX, and possibly others.
I was curious when I saw the Camelbak All Clear. I wasn't aware that UV technology was adequate to purify water on such a small scale.
One thing I worry about with the All Clear is that the water on the outside of the bottle is still contaminated - easy to get this contaminated water into my hydration bladder while pouring.
On the other hand, the Katadyn and MSR use hoses, so the contaminated water is never going to contact the filtered water, unless you store the hose next to the filter. I have always used a plastic baggie to hold the hose. My previous filter was a PUR Explorer, which was very heavy, but worked very well.

The other issue with the battery-powered All Clear is that you have to make sure the batteries are charged before you start out on a hike. While I expect the most use on day hikes, there is the possibility that I will do a thru-hike someday. Recharging might become an issue in that case.

So, at this point, I am pretty much leaning towards the tried and true ceramic/carbon filter method and going with either the Katadyn or the MSR.

Any comments/suggestions?


Rain Man
05-25-2015, 11:34
I have a Steri-pen and it sterilizes (not purifies) water just fine. You can open the lid slightly and shake the bottle to wash away the "dirty" water on the outside of the rim.

Having said that, most folks are going to the Sawyer Mini on a gravity system. It's what I use almost exclusively these days, and besides the Steri-pen, I have a Katadyn filter and Aqua Mira drops. Of them all, I find the Sawyer Mini my "go to" choice these days. And, it's well under your $100 price cap.

If your ceramic filter freezes and cracks, it's ruined and you won't know it. Similar for the Sawyer, but easier to keep near your body to prevent freezing.

05-25-2015, 11:36
A lot of people (myself included) have gone to either a Sawyer Squeeze or Sawyer Mini. They are a bit lighter and pack smaller. They can also be used in multiple ways. Much cheaper and they don't have filters to be replaced, just back flush.

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05-25-2015, 15:30
Thanks guys; I'll look into the Sawyer options.

05-25-2015, 17:00
I like the Camebak clear. Rechargable is nice. And it works a while off a charge. They even make a prefilter for chewy water.

I would not take it on a long hike. Kayaking - sure. I much prefer a Sawyer filter set up inline for hiking.

05-25-2015, 17:38
In some of the photos of the Sawyer Mini, I see a hose attached to the input end, but I don't see any spec on what size that hose is.
My thought is to keep the dirty water as far as possible from the clean, using a piece of hose/tubing between. But I suppose the concept of using the tubing is to create a gravity system, for when you are stationary.

BTW, I found the Sawyer Mini on Amazon for $16.99. That's a substantial savings off the $24.99 retail price, so I can get one of the 64oz squeeze packs and still pay only about $25.

05-25-2015, 17:45
I have the full size sawyer hooked up with quick connects. I put 'dirty' water right into my 3L bladder. Then I go. I'm ready to drink water immediately. When I need water in camp, I hang my bladder using a wire camp tie and disconnect the tubing on the 'clean' side of the filter and gravity flow into bottles and cooking pot until I have what I need for camp usage.

It's pretty convenient and the only weight it adds to my setup is the weight of the filter and 2 quick disconnect connectors.

05-25-2015, 18:08
Just watched a YouTube vid by Simon "packed to live". He uses a carbon filter in-line on the dirty side as well. Says it takes out the chemicals. Perhaps that would be a good idea. I like the configuration he uses. Camelbak quick-link connectors so everything is easy to re-configure any way you want it.

05-25-2015, 18:32
It looks like the Sawyer Point-One or Squeeze filter has male threads on the clean side, which allows connection to an adapter that I can use to fill my Camelbak bladder (which has a wide-mouth).
Perhaps one of those would be a better choice for me, considering I already have the Camelbak hydration.

05-26-2015, 23:55
I think I'm going to go with the Sawyer Point One model SP129, a 2000ml Evernew bag (more durable than Sawyer), Camelbak Quick-Link conversion kit **, and Sawyer screw-on adapters SP110.
I choose the Point One over the Mini for one reason: easy to adapt to my Camelbak for quick fill. I will use the Camelbak Quick-Link conversion kit just below the bite valve to easily add water from the Sawyer filter.
** The problem is - how to buy the extra male quick-link for the Sawyer hose. The conversion kit comes with only one pair. So I still need another male to put on the end of the hose that will connect the Sawyer filter to the Camelbak.
The Sawyer "Fast-Fill" adapter does come with the extra male, but their system does not provide a check-valve/shutoff on the female side, so water can shoot out of the Camelbak after it has been filled.
I can just see that happening too. I've just filled up the Camelbak while it's still on my back, and the bladder is somewhat compressed by the other stuff I've got in the pack. So with a full bladder, there is going to be some pressure, and the water will shoot out when the filter is disconnected. Especially bad in cold weather... Plus, I may have a Gatorade mixture in the Camelbak, and that stuff gets pretty sticky when it starts to dry.

Anyone know of a place I can buy just the Camelbak make Quick-Link fitting?

One more thing: I'm just assuming that this quick-link conversion kit will fit the hose from my Camelbak "Mule" 2L bag. Looks like it does in the photo.


05-27-2015, 10:01
Yes ceramic is the way to go but be careful and don't drop it

05-27-2015, 10:13
Is the Sawyer Point One a ceramic filter? I thought it was the same "hollow fibre" that the Mini is. If it is ceramic, then I don't think I'll go that route. Too much chance of dropping it.

05-27-2015, 10:17
Checked the specs. Point One is not ceramic. It is same hollow fibre that the mini has.

06-03-2015, 15:40
I decided to go with the Sawyer Mini after all. No point in the Point One if all I want is a simple, lightweight filter. Only reason I was going to get the Point One is that it would be easier to attach and detach the connection to my Camelbak hydration system - I was planning to get the Camelbak Quick Link system for filling the Camelbak. After some thought, and reasoning, I decided that when I want to fill the Camelbak from the Mini, I will simply pull off the bite valve from the Camelbak's hose, and push the hose onto the output of the Mini. I suppose that the Quick Connect would have insured a longer lasting fit of the Mini and the bite valve, since all that removal and replacement of the bite valve and the Mini's barb might stretch the Camelbak's hose. So I decided that when that happens, I'll cut off a short piece at the end of the hose and start again. Once the hose gets too short, I'll replace it.
Of course, I could still get the Quick Link system later - and attach a short piece of hose from the Mini's output to the Quick Link male.

I may go for the faucet adapter for backflushing the Mini though. Seems like the higher pressure will do much better cleaning job. I'll see how it goes for a while - how fast the filter slows down.


06-03-2015, 15:43
One more thing: I said in my next-to-last post that the Point One is not a ceramic filter - perhaps I stand corrected. What are the tiny hollow tubes used in the Sawyer filters? Are they ceramic or glass?
I was getting the impression that they were some sort of fabric or fiber. Ceramic fiber?

Five Tango
06-03-2015, 18:52
While you are doing your research you might want to have a look at Hydrapak reservoirs.You can get their Dirty Bag and hook a Sawyer in line from it to your clean reservoir such that the drink tube has a quick disconnect next to the bite valve which allows you to refill the clean bag from the dirty bag without so much as having to remove your clean bag from the pack and open it up to pour clean water in.Additionally,when you do get ready to wash the bag out it is totally reversible and will turn "inside out" for cleaning which is what makes it totally worth the price.Hydrapak sells all sorts of accessories too.I think I purchased the quick disconnect at REI .The important thing to note is that the original larger Sawyer is what the quick disconnect equipment is configured for.I do have a Sawyer mini for use with Evernew Bags and a couple of Outdoor Products one liter bags purchased at Wal Mart for three dollars which also included an handy keychain style carabiner.My once prized MSR ceramic pump filter is sitting idly on the shelf now with plenty of other unused equipment......Here is the link for Hydrapak if you care to look http://hydrapak.com/store-2/

Five Tango
06-04-2015, 06:56
Note,Hydrapak does not make a "Dirty Bag".The one I have is a Platypus but I filter into a reversible 2L Hydrapak with the first generation bigger Sawyer filter by way of a quick disconnect located just below the bite valve on the clean water bag.
Here is a link to the Sawyer "fast-fill" from REI http://www.rei.com/product/858765/sawyer-fast-fill-hydration-pack-adapter-kit

06-06-2015, 20:12
I've used Platypus hydration bladders for many years. I bought a Sawyer Mini filter 2 years ago. Soon after I bought several Platy "quick connects" from REI. I have found that the same quick connects work with Camelback, Platypus and the Sawyer gravity bladders. I had all 3 connected together yesterday while experimenting in the back yard. This makes for nearly infinite ways to set up a gravity system with the Mini filter.