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  1. #1
    Registered User gbolt's Avatar
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    Default Katahdin Be Free Wayer Filter

    Just trying to change things up to see if I like this better than my CNOC and Sawyer Squeeze that served me well on my AT Thru Hike. My one question, do I not need to worry about the larger Be Free filter freezing even though they are similar filtration methods? Have seen many comparison videos, but no one has mention freezing like they warn with the Sawyer. I often slept with my Sawyer but this could be a game changer for cold weather backpacking.
    "gbolt" on the Trail

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  2. #2

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    The Be Free manual indicates not to use it in freezing conditions, so you'd need to give it the same level of care as the Sawyer.
    https://www.katadyn.com/downloads/ka...ree_usa_en.pdf

  3. #3

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    That's true of any filter. Water freezing in the membrane is not a good thing.
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  4. #4

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    Itís a great filter, have used it for years. Better than Sawyer in my opinion.

    Like the Sawyer, it is a Hollow fiber filter able to pass water but block bad stuff down to 0.1 micron. The problem with the hollow fiber technology is when it freezes the left over water inside expands as it turns to ice and destroys the tiny hollow fibers. After that the filter is ruined.

    In freezing weather I remove the filter, put it in a small plastic bag, and sleep with it in my shirt pocket. Body heat keeps it from freezing.

    Good luck, H




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  5. #5

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    The Be Free filter I had was truly a lemon.Other people,however,swear by them.I like the Sawyer Squeeze,Micro,and Sawyer mini but my current overall favorite filter is the Versa Flow Hydro Blu filter.You clean it by backflushing but it does not require the plunger that Sawyer recommends.I like the overall profile,weight,and performance.No matter which filter you use you need to protect it from freezing.I use all my filters in a gravity feed set up with about 4 feet of hose with the filter at the end of the hose.Makes for faster filtering and no effort once you hang it up.

  6. #6
    GoldenBear's Avatar
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    Lightbulb Don't repeat my mistake

    After years of referring to my Hiker Mini Filter as a 'Katahdin' brand, someone pointed out that the company name is Katadyn -- with the last syllable rhyming with 'line.'
    https://www.snewsnet.com/news/you-sa...door-companies

  7. #7
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Five Tango View Post
    ... my current overall favorite filter is the Versa Flow Hydro Blu filter.
    Me too. I also gravity filter but without the hose. I just attach an Evernew bladder to both sides and hang. No tubing or adptors needed. I know it's slower, but if I'm in a hurry I squeeze. When I'm done I just disconnect the dirty bladder and squeeze some clean water back through to clean after every use.

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by Odd Man Out View Post
    Me too. I also gravity filter but without the hose. I just attach an Evernew bladder to both sides and hang. No tubing or adptors needed. I know it's slower, but if I'm in a hurry I squeeze. When I'm done I just disconnect the dirty bladder and squeeze some clean water back through to clean after every use.
    One thing people do need to know is that the Versa Flow should be used with an Aqua Fina bottle or Soda bottle as there can be some leakage with a Smart water bottle.However,you can still use a Smart Water bottle if you're careful and only filter from a bag to the SM bottle.I never put dirty water in a drinking water bottle anyway so it is not an issue but some people do;hence the issue.

    FWIW,the Be Free filter I used filtered about a gallon of water before it quit and I could not get it going again with the recommending cleaning instructions so I threw it away after just one use.......

  9. #9
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    Default

    My Evernew bags seem to seal tight to the Versa Flow.

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by GoldenBear View Post
    After years of referring to my Hiker Mini Filter as a 'Katahdin' brand, someone pointed out that the company name is Katadyn -- with the last syllable rhyming with 'line.'
    https://www.snewsnet.com/news/you-sa...door-companies
    Interesting. I'd always pronounced it 'dine' but recently started saying Katahdin because I assumed it had been my mistake all along.

    My experience with the Sawyer Micro led me to throw it away after the first trip because it was so unbelievably slow, where the Be Free (so far, I've only had it a month or two) is many times faster. Odd that there seems to be so much variation between examples of a given product.

  11. #11
    GSMNP 900 Miler
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    Quote Originally Posted by Slo-go'en View Post
    That's true of any filter. Water freezing in the membrane is not a good thing.
    The Sweetwater filter had a totally different design to it and the filter could be frozen... actually the original instructions used to suggest that the filter be stored in the freezer in the off season to avoid stuff growing in it.
    {Later instructions MIGHT have changed because MRS purchased Sweetwater and then modified the filter at about the same time I made the switch to Sawyer}

  12. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by Odd Man Out View Post
    My Evernew bags seem to seal tight to the Versa Flow.
    The issue is not with fitting Evernew,Cnoc,or Sawyer bags but with fitting a Sawyer bottle with dirty water in it.
    The threads can leak when bottle is sqeezed and unfiltered water can get out and drip down the sides of filter etc so you could get contamination.Not an issue if you use it with a bag.I do use the Aquafina bottles though because they seem to be sturdier.Only clean water ever goes in my bottles.

  13. #13
    GSMNP 900 Miler
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    Quote Originally Posted by Five Tango View Post
    The issue is not with fitting Evernew,Cnoc,or Sawyer bags but with fitting a Sawyer bottle with dirty water in it.
    Sorry, but I don't quite follow...

    There no such thing as a "Sawyer bottle" unless we're talking about the Sawyer S1 or S3... in which case I should hope that Sawyer's foam filter bottle fits tightly with the Sawyer Filter.

    Now if you meant to say "fitting a SweetWater bottle"...
    Well, that doesn't make sense either. One of the filter systems I've seen is for someone to put dirty water in a SweetWater bottle, then drink directly from the bottle thru a Sawyer Squeeze.

    So long as you still have the little rubber seal in the input side of the Sawyer filter, it shouldn't have a problem with Evernew bags, Cnoc bags, Sawyer bags, or SweetWater bottles, or just about any water or soft drink bottle that uses the 26mm diameter caps. These all use the same diameter and thread pitch (or at least close enough).

    Now what IS a problem for many people is the use of a Platypus bag as the dirty water bag. The Platypus has a compatible diameter, but the thread pitch is way different. This allows the Platypus bag to connect to the Sawyer thru maybe 3/4 of a turn. That can be too shallow for the rim of the bag to reach the rubber seal and form a tight seal.

  14. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by HooKooDooKu View Post
    Sorry, but I don't quite follow...

    There no such thing as a "Sawyer bottle" unless we're talking about the Sawyer S1 or S3... in which case I should hope that Sawyer's foam filter bottle fits tightly with the Sawyer Filter.

    Now if you meant to say "fitting a SweetWater bottle"...
    Well, that doesn't make sense either. One of the filter systems I've seen is for someone to put dirty water in a SweetWater bottle, then drink directly from the bottle thru a Sawyer Squeeze.

    So long as you still have the little rubber seal in the input side of the Sawyer filter, it shouldn't have a problem with Evernew bags, Cnoc bags, Sawyer bags, or SweetWater bottles, or just about any water or soft drink bottle that uses the 26mm diameter caps. These all use the same diameter and thread pitch (or at least close enough).

    Now what IS a problem for many people is the use of a Platypus bag as the dirty water bag. The Platypus has a compatible diameter, but the thread pitch is way different. This allows the Platypus bag to connect to the Sawyer thru maybe 3/4 of a turn. That can be too shallow for the rim of the bag to reach the rubber seal and form a tight seal.

    Oops,my bad,I meant to say Smart Water bottle.Versa Flow filters just don't work with a Smart Water Bottle with dirty water in them because they don't quite form a completely watertight seal all the time.My apologies to all concerned for the confusion...........They do work GREAT with a Sawyer or Evernew water bag.

  15. #15
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by HooKooDooKu View Post
    The Sweetwater filter had a totally different design to it and the filter could be frozen... actually the original instructions used to suggest that the filter be stored in the freezer in the off season to avoid stuff growing in it.
    {Later instructions MIGHT have changed because MRS purchased Sweetwater and then modified the filter at about the same time I made the switch to Sawyer}
    I remember those - we had some for our Scout group (and probably still have a few refill filters after the mechanisms broke). I also remember that about keeping the used ones in the freezer to keep them clean for future uses (which was more so with us, as we likely didn't need them as often as many hikers would, as we'd rotate from hikes/backpacks to other types of trips throughout the year).

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