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Pickleodeon
08-16-2008, 10:24
I've read so many things on water treatment.. but I still have to ask. I want to carry a filter. I've read up on lots of things, chemicals, steripen, filters, etc. and I just want to carry a filter. That said, I need help deciding on which one.

I'm not impressed on mixed reviews of the Katadyn hiker. It seems to break frequently and I've heard the manual is not so great.

I'm leaning towards an MSR filter. Is it important to have virus protection on a thru-hike, or is it unnecessary? I've heard good reviews on the MSR miniworks Ex- easy to clean. The hyperflow seems pretty cool and is about half the weight of the miniworks. I've also heard good things about the Sweetwater, like the others, no virus protection.

My problem with Aquamira, which I'm sure will be recommended, is I've heard the cost adds up quickly (I know buy it in bulk), but I really don't want to wait- or mess it up. I'd rather just pump it and drink.

So, filter users, what filter do you use, is cleaning easy, did it break at all?

SmokeHouse
08-16-2008, 10:42
I use the Katadyn hiker and never had a problem, but if your ever concerened about the water source:
According to the Wilderness Medical Society, water temperatures above 160 F (70 C) kill all pathogens within 30 minutes and above 185 F (85 C) within a few minutes. So in the time it takes for the water to reach the boiling point (212 F or 100 C) from 160 F (70 C), all pathogens will be killed, even at high altitude."

So, with that quote being said, you only need to get your water to a rolling boil. By that point you know the water is hot enough and that the disease organisms in your water were destroyed quite some time earlier. Turn off the heat. Stop wasting fuel. Let the water cool down. Your water is safe to drink!

mrc237
08-16-2008, 11:24
Whichever one you choose its the smart decision, filter all water. Be smart be safe. FWIW I use a hyperflow. I find it dependable and easy to maintain.

NICKTHEGREEK
08-16-2008, 13:02
Lots of good ones some not so good. Viral protection can be achieved by boiling or chemical treatment. Sweetwater viral guard is about $10.00 for what essentially an ounce or 2 of fresh household bleach.

One Sweetwater product that is a definate winner is the siltstopper prefilter. Used on the intake line between the fine mesh (Stone and tree limb) filter and the final filter it gets, as named the sediment and suspended silt out so the main pumps easy longer. http://www.rei.com/product/611750

Works with all pump type filters and well worth it IMHO. I have a pre-MSR Sweetwater and it still works well after 10 years. I baby it, but I'm good to my gear.
The Katadin pocket filter goes forever but for $200.00+ it should.

Phreak
08-16-2008, 13:35
First Need Deluxe Purifier. Considerably heavier than other filters, but worth the weight in my opinion.

trouthunter
08-17-2008, 00:58
I use the MSR sweetwater with viral stop, purification is complete in 5 minutes at room temps, allow longer for cold water.
I personally think it is best to filter out as much bad stuff as you can and then treat chemically or boil. With chemicals alone (no filter) you need to wait 4 hrs. and longer if the water is cold. Boiling is much quicker but does use some fuel.

Viruses are not a big problem in N. America but Protozoa are. I think it is best to be safe with the most valuable piece of gear we have, our bodies!

Also the First Need does get very good reviews, although I do not have one.

sbennett
08-17-2008, 01:04
get the hyperflow because it cranks through some water (3 liters per minute) and weighs a negligible amount

i don't worry too much about viruses and you shouldn't either as long as (1) the water you're filtering from isn't contaminated by sewage, and (2) you're not hiking in a developing country

Peaks
08-17-2008, 08:10
Maybe the reason why there are so many posts about the Katadyn Hiker is that it is probably the most popular filter among those that use a filter.

I used this model, and no complaints. Many hikers perfer this filter because it pumps faster than others (but I don't know if it out pumps the hyperflow.)

DavidNH
08-17-2008, 08:37
I used the MSR expedition filter on my hike I loved it.

Easy to pump, water comes out free of debris and safe.

I wouldn't worry about viruses on the AT. Your main concern is not getting giardia. Most of the time you are in the woods away from any industrial development or even agricultural areas. If there are situations whre viruses may be a concern, then boiling the water is the only sure way to kill them off that I know of.

David

KG4FAM
08-17-2008, 09:16
I use the Katadyn and have never had a problem with it and have been using it forever. I have seen plenty of people with MSRs break down on them. The folks that I have met out in the woods this summer with Hyperflows have been cursing them because it is so hard to pump compared with the big filters.

~Ronin~
08-17-2008, 10:15
Does anyone use the Katadyn Vario Microfilter? I was thinking about buying one because of various feature upgrades over the Hiker. I would like to know what experiences people have had with this filter.

Chip
08-17-2008, 10:19
I have used the same Pur ( now Katadyn) Hiker for 12 years. I have changed the inner filter as needed over time. Have never had a problem.
:)

bigcranky
08-17-2008, 10:23
I've used the Hiker on family trips for several years. Great filter.

sbennett
08-17-2008, 11:26
I use the Katadyn and have never had a problem with it and have been using it forever. I have seen plenty of people with MSRs break down on them. The folks that I have met out in the woods this summer with Hyperflows have been cursing them because it is so hard to pump compared with the big filters.

the hyperflow is incredibly easy to pump with, especially in comparison with the Katadyn (or the old Pur version); just my opinion, but I do have both filters

sbennett
08-17-2008, 11:27
Maybe the reason why there are so many posts about the Katadyn Hiker is that it is probably the most popular filter among those that use a filter.

I used this model, and no complaints. Many hikers perfer this filter because it pumps faster than others (but I don't know if it out pumps the hyperflow.)

the Katadyn pumps around 1-2 liters per minute but the hyperflow does 3 liters per minute and weighs less

trouthunter
08-17-2008, 12:30
Any filter that is hard to pump is in need of cleaning!

All the top rated filters work well, I've had 6 to date.
They all have their little pro's and con's, biggest thing is learning proper maintenance BEFORE it is needed and understanding about cross contamination.

It is best to either let your water sit a while in a container before filtering to let the sediment settle, or to use a pre-filter such as a bandanna or coffee filter. This will really extend the life of your filter especially if you are on a longer trip.

Pre-filtering is a requirement if you are just using chemical treatment (no filter) because the chemicals do not work as well in turbid water, or cold water for that matter.

It doesn't matter how fast or easy your filter is if you are not doing it correctly, just something I have to remind myself of from time to time when I'm in a hurry.

Bob S
08-17-2008, 14:12
I have a Katadyn Hiker, it’s about 5-years old and I have never had a problem with it. But I don’t abuse my stuff as some do.

It’s been a good filter for me that has been used a lot and has a lot of use left in it.


As far as speed, is this really an issue? I don’t know how the Hiker compares in this regard and don’t really care. It will fill a 32 oz Nalgene bottle quick enough for me.

But I think any good name-brand filter will work for you.

Pickleodeon
08-17-2008, 15:45
thanks, I'll do some more comparing, and I think I'll stick with my plans for a filter vs. chemicals.

Christus Cowboy
08-17-2008, 16:18
So, filter users, what filter do you use, is cleaning easy, did it break at all?

I have used an MSR Miniworks and have been quite please with it..... yes I know that its not the most lightweight option out there but I found that it is easy to use, easy to clean, and reliable. I have never had a problem with it and I was able to buy mine off of E-bay for about $40.00. As far as a comparison of the different options I would recommend this link which I ironically got from another thread on whiteblaze a while back......

http://chppm-www.apgea.army.mil/WPD/CompareDevices.aspx

Homer&Marje
08-17-2008, 16:54
I've read so many things on water treatment.. but I still have to ask. I want to carry a filter. I've read up on lots of things, chemicals, steripen, filters, etc. and I just want to carry a filter. That said, I need help deciding on which one.

I'm not impressed on mixed reviews of the Katadyn hiker. It seems to break frequently and I've heard the manual is not so great.

I'm leaning towards an MSR filter. Is it important to have virus protection on a thru-hike, or is it unnecessary? I've heard good reviews on the MSR miniworks Ex- easy to clean. The hyperflow seems pretty cool and is about half the weight of the miniworks. I've also heard good things about the Sweetwater, like the others, no virus protection.

My problem with Aquamira, which I'm sure will be recommended, is I've heard the cost adds up quickly (I know buy it in bulk), but I really don't want to wait- or mess it up. I'd rather just pump it and drink.

So, filter users, what filter do you use, is cleaning easy, did it break at all?

MSR MiniWorks EX is what I carry... Used an MSR Waterworks I think it was called for 13 years, and it still works... just upgraded to the new one, pumps my full 96 oz canteen from nalgene in 7 minutes and it weighs 16 oz. Easiest thing to clean in the field, takes all of 5 minutes and there's no easy way to screw it up. You can see it in the bottom of this picture, I was cleaning it at Guyot Campsite. Seen a lot of filters, heard a lot of complaints but have none of my own for this brand.
http://whiteblaze.net/forum/vbg/showimage.php?i=26694&original=1&c=member&orderby=dateline&direction=DESC&imageuser=17846&cutoffdate=-1

BitBucket
08-17-2008, 17:42
I've used the Katadyn Vario Microfilter for a couple of years w/no problems. To reduce the intake of silt into the filter, extend filter life, and eliminate pumping problems, wrap a plain coffee filter around the intake filter screen hose. For really dirty water, double up on the coffee filter...

I like being able to connect the filter directly to a nalgene bottle and also have a quick disconnect plug that let's me pump directly into the hydration bladder...makes it very easy to quickly top off the bladder when crossing a stream...

rafe
08-17-2008, 17:50
I have yet to see the new (2008) MSR filter. I've used an older model MSR for years, and aside from it being heavy and slow to pump, it's generally been reliable. I especially appreciate the fact that the filter element is field-cleanable. Last summer I used a Katadyn Hiker Pro, to save weight. It was light and fast to pump, but clogged at the slightest provocation.

Rainman
08-18-2008, 11:21
Sawyer has an inline purifier. I have never used it.

http://www.sawyerproducts.com/viral.htm